[amsat-bb] Very Small-Scale Solar Power for Ham Use?

Scott scott23192 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 19:20:27 UTC 2016

Greetings to everyone.

This is only satellite-related in the most peripheral sense, but since much of our equipment requires electricity, I hope it’s a valid question.

I’m normally very good with Google searches, but for some reason I’m coming up empty on this one.

In the U.S. (and probably elsewhere), it’s common now to see highway signs and stand-alone telemetry installations installed with a small solar panel and a utility box that I assume protects a charge regulator and battery for night operations.

I have an interest in duplicating this type of setup for experimental antenna installations that are too far from my house to conveniently run normal power, as well as for portable use.

I don’t know if the installations that I see on the highway are turn-key setups (solar panel, charge controller, battery) or if they have been pieced together sized to fit the need.

Naturally, the question of power requirements would affect the response from those of you who might be particularly knowledgeable about this kind of thing.  I’m talking about the low end... just enough to power things like a wi-fi router, USB webcam, or perhaps a small notebook PC charger or Raspberry Pi... that kind of thing.  At the high end, perhaps a small AZ-only TV rotator which would be a VERY intermittent draw.

Anyway, if anyone is already providing for small power needs in this fashion, or is familiar with the installs that I see along the road, I sure would appreciate your input.  

Further, one would assume that it would be cheaper to DIY this... so recommendations for small outdoor solar/charger/battery discrete components would of course be helpful, too.


-Scott,  K4KDR
Montpelier, VA  USA

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list