2 Days Off Grid with PowerFilm, Ham Radio and a Raspberry Pi

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  1. OH8STN

    Ham Member

    QRZ Page

    Hello Operators
    Topic of the day is off grid solar and battery power for ham radio and our Raspberry Pi.
    During March 2018 I took a short trip to 66 degrees North, to field test the solar powered ham radio field station. I had the 120 watt PowerFilm solar panel, the Yaesu FT-891, and a Raspberry Pi running WSJT-X and FLDigi. The entire station ran off grid for the 2 day excursion, completely powering itself, despite operating QRO, which I don’t normally do out in the field. I suppose the goal was to finally throw caution to the wind, just get out there to see what happens.

    In this video we discuss off grid, man portable and pack-able power. We also discuss the PowerFilm FM16-7200 120 watt folding solar panel, measuring its performance and ability to power the QRO field station. Finally, we discuss integration of the Raspberry Pi 3B+ into the field station, and address some mods to reduce its shortcomings.
    Julian oh8stn

  2. KQ6XA

    Ham Member

    QRZ Page

    As an avid HFpack operator, I’ve gotta say, that Julian’s station in this video looks like a lot of fun to put together and operate!

    That’s an impressive strategy for a backpackable HF 100W field unit, with the large fold up solar panel and modern Lithium battery system.

    It is proof that we need not be limited to low power in the field anymore; especially important during poor propagation conditions.

    Using the “local remoted” tiny Raspberry-Pi computer for digital modes and rig control, with that small on-board battery backup is a brilliant solution.

    The video: Fabulous scenery in the forest clearing where Julian set up his station.
    Julian’s signature voice-over narration work is informative, descriptive, and documentary-quality.

    I subscribed to the OH8STN youtube channel… which is high praise, since I rarely subscribe to anything on youtube.

    and I just added the OH8STN blog to my favorites. Julian’s blog is an excellent reference for cutting edge lightweight HF station tech, and it dives deeper into some of the stuff on those videos.

    OH8STN has really become a prime source of inspiration for modern HF field comm techniques.

    Screen capture of the OH8STN youtube channel:


    Screen capture of the OH8STN.ORG blog:


    -Bonnie KQ6XA

  3. OH8STN

    Ham Member

    QRZ Page

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