[amsat-bb] Re: A Fully Rechargeable Satellite Station

n3tl@bellsouth.net n3tl at bellsouth.net
Wed Apr 29 05:52:35 PDT 2009

Hey Greg,

In addition to the internal rechargeable pack, Yaesu provides a battery tray for a "DIY" battery pack, and I have been assembling rechargeable individual batteries for these trays. In the case of a longterm power outage, it occurs to me that, as you suggest, a larger 12v battery could come into play. The regular power supply I use in the shack includes the provision to connect a gel cell battery for charging and backup, so that's one option. An auto battery certainly is another although, I suspect I'd opt for a deep-cycle marine battery (or batteries) if I was going to buy them for this use.

My intial plan would be to have enough internal-battery power to get through at least two "cycles" (i.e., at least two battery packs ready to go for each radio). The hope is that accesss to power from a generator or the larger batteries would be available for recharging the batteries and powering the radios.

As for the computer, the 6-cell pack that is available for the Acer is a lithion ion pack that, when fully charged, provides up to six hours of continuous use. Given the nature of our satellite passes - in chunks of 10-15 minutes - I have been able to make days worth of passes without a recharge. I hope to pick up another 6-cell battery because I believe two of them would provide the power necessary to handle things until power was available for recharging.

Reading yours and some other comments have me thinking about a few more elements I need to look into ... things I hadn't given much thought to, but elements that would be helpful to know. 

Both on and off the reflector, I've received multiple requests to write this up for the Journal, and that's very gratifying. I'll definitely do that, and thank everyone for their positive feedback. 

73 to all,

-------------- Original message from "Greg D." <ko6th_greg at hotmail.com>: -------------- 

> Hi Tim, 
> This is great; I've thought about the off-grid aspects of the hobby as well (but 
> not done much about it yet). 
> One question... what accommodations have you made for the recharging of the batteries? Given that AC power may not be available for some time (longer than one charge), do you use a 12v (automobile) -> 120vac inverter and regular charge equipment, or something custom? I know some radios can run from AA dry cells (e.g. my Kenwood TH-D7, and the HP-100LX Palmtop which I can run FODTrack on), 
> but not the laptop. 
> Just curious, 
> Greg KO6TH 
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