50 mW from potato battery

Monday 21 February 2022 20:00 UTC
KI6SYD on W6/NC-399

50mW TX from a potato battery. Need a few mins between QSOs. Will listen on 2m FM. (Posted by KI6SYD)

7.063‑cw,​ 146.58‑fm


That’s a funny idea… :smile:

How many potatoes have you connected in series and parallel?
I would like to have photos!!!

73 Armin


Does the radio use chips?


probably there are crackers…

73 Armin


Yes, please post details!
Maybe no more carrying batteries … only summits near potatoe fields :joy:

Here a couple of approaches… sorry couldn’t resist :slight_smile:

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yes - super - with barbecue afterwards and roasted potatoes in alufoil from the charcoal…I love batteries you can eat!

73 Armin


Has anyone made a beer battery yet?

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Please see this writeup on the design and a small trip report from today - I had really fun outing, thanks to anyone who was looking for my weak signal!


I’m not sure I can claim any 100% legitimate potato-powered QSO’s, but one chaser (AA6XA) did manage to hear at least a part of my call as the VFO drifted wildly. The potato battery worked nicely and the rig generated a couple of RBN spots after getting the drift under control.

It ended up only requiring 8 potatoes.


A great idea wonderfully implemented and documented…

Thank you very much!

I am amused — but I also admire you!

73 Armin


Indeed the humor and idea is great.

it would be more efficient if I ate the potato and pedaled a generator.

I guess fermenting to alcohol and powering the rig with a fuel cell might be even better. But conversion efficiency might be too bad. But hey a new challenge :wink:

73 Joe


Any calls from Tesla yet?


Forgot to try listening. I want to know how you transmit with 1.5 volts?

I’m now K7PD. Need to figure how to correct it here.

I did hear a full CQ once I knew I needed to be ready to spin the VFO.

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The open circuit voltage of each “module” was about 12.8V (0.8V * 16 cells), and this drooped to ~6V under load. I used a buck-boost converter from this 6V battery voltage to charge up the transmitter’s bulk capacitance. There are some additional details in the page linked above, if you are curious to read more.

That’s a better result than I realized! Maybe we did technically accomplish all the parts of a valid QSO, if there was enough juice for my signal report as well.

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I’m interested in this topic but despite clearing my cache and also trying different browsers I just cannot get the link to work :frowning:

Sounds like an awesome project :slight_smile:

73, Colin


By using a VPN I did manage to get to the webpage.

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Excellent idea. :smiley: saves on taking emergency food too. Just eat the ‘battery’ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’d prefer a rig powered by chocolate.