Solar Power

I am looking into a solar panel for extended outings. What are people using? Do you use a charger that is capable of charging multiple types of batteries?

Please share your setup.

I found some time ago a foldable solarpanel that outputs about 18V at full sunlight from a German seller on ebay. Connected to a LiFePO4 with integrated BMS (under and overvoltage, cell balancing) makes it lightweight and simple setup to keep me running a long time. Output current about 0.75 amperes to the battery. That compensates for RX needs of the 817nd (and a little more).

What I have been looking into is a lightweight MPPT solar charger for up to 3 Amp - or make an own design - to increase yield. But only some circuit ideas collected.

73 Joe

I’m using a 50w panel to provide power for chasing and also for my soldering iron build my SOTA rigs.


Hi Joe!

For a long activities or camping days, etc, I used a 9w solar pannel USB.

It allows me connect USB any kind of chargers, powerbanks, etc.

My rig is powered by 3x18650 cells that I charge with a USB charger connected to solar pannel.

There is a lot of brands but you must watch the real power VS power indicated, In this case, RAVPower has a very efficients pannels.

A vĂ­deo (spanish lenguage) about solar equipment for mountain radio.

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At home I used 50w pannel and 26ah battery. Enough to supply my K2 and VHF rig.
Also shack’s lights are powered by solar.



I am using this solar panel:

The nice thing about this panel: It puts out 18V direct from the cells and can be used with an external charging controller for various purposes. But it has an integrated 5V USB port as well. So I can use it for charging my cellphone which can be a lifesaver. 20W is not much, but a good compromise between weight and power. For my kind of portable ops (KX2, VHF handheld, 5-10 watts tx pwr) 20Wp are adequate.

To charge my small 4S LiFePo4 pack (w/ battery protection circuit) I currently use this inexpensive MTTP controller:

But watch out - this is not a recommendation. This MPPT controller is cheap and works well for charging, but it is very noisy and wipes out any reception from HF up to VHF. I am looking for some other controller. Hints are welcome.

73 Gilbert

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