Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Going solar

Well ...... kinda sorta.

I went to Harbor Freight yesterday during lunch to buy a 15" soft tool bag that I had a coupon for. The purpose of the bag is to haul around the disassembled pieces of my magnetic loop antenna.

While I was there, I started walking up and down the aisles, looking and knowing I had a 20% "off" coupon in my pocket.  You can get into a lot of trouble this way, but I got myself into only minor trouble, I guess.

I purchased one of these:
It's an attache` case sized solar panel with 12V and 24V - (unregulated) outputs.  It's rated at 13 Watts. This will be head and shoulders above the mini panels that I use now for charging 12V SLAs.  Knowing the output is unregulated, I then proceeded over to Banggood and picked up one of these:
So not only will I be able to charge deep cycle batteries in an environmentally friendly manner (we all gotta do our part!); but I can even run the KX3 (after mucho testing, of course!) off the panel for Field Day as this little unit will regulate the panel's output to a steady 12V.

Both units ran me less than $75.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Very neat find Larry. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Excellent purchase Larry. I think the regulated 12V (!) output is for charging a battery. I would always leave a battery connected when using a radio like the KX3. I got a similair setup to power my autotuner at the feedpoint of my vertical. It does the job for at least 5 years now. 73, Bas