Let the sunshine in

by Antony Chazapis

Preparations for the 2010 Field Day included building a portable, solar power station for my team. The suitcase includes two 10 Watt panels, the charge controller, and a 17 Ah sealed lead acid battery. It is a bit heavy to carry around (it must be around 10 kgs), but the battery is large enough to power the radio for many hours. This was our main power source for both the 2010 and 2011 Field Days. The weather was good, so the charger was working full-time and no extra power was needed. In 2011, the team, SY1P, got the second place in the VHF contest, using a Yaesu FT-897D, a Diamond A144S5R, and the suitcase (more here, here, and here). I also took the suitcase with me at the ΤΑΚ24 earthquake-preparedness exercise (more here and here). The panels and the charge controller are made by Tycon Power Systems.