This web page is dedicated to whatever projects are currently in progress on my bench. I'll
update the progress and specific projects from time to time and provide a link below if you
have any comments or suggestions.
At Hamcom, June 2017, I picked up a Buddipole PowerMini Compact Portable DC Power
Management System with built-in Solar Controller.
This is an interesting product that connects your battery (PbSO4 - Lead Acid or LiFePO4 -
Lithium), solar panel and rig (up to 25A max draw.
Since I now had a solar charge controller, I needed a solar panel. At Hamcom, Buddipole
had a PowerFlex Solar foldable solar array connected to the PowerMini. I decided that I
had to have one of these panels.
Ultimately I decided to obtain a 90W foldable solar array for use when using a higher
power rig, and a 10W foldable solar array for when I wanted to go backpacking with my
KX2 or other QRP rig. One thing I discovered was that while the 90W array was made in the
USA, not all of the 10W solar arrays are made in the USA. The one I obtained from the
online-only retailer was made in China from US solar panels, while the 10W array that I
purchased on the major auction site was made in the USA.
The end result is that the 90W array is probably too large for the LiFePO4 battery that I
have (6 AH with a 4A recommended charge current) and the 10W array is probably too
small for use in a long contest like Field Day.
30 or 60 Watts of solar array is probably the sweet spot for use with my QRP rigs. Enough
power to keep up with even a busy contest and light enough to backpack.
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