Dokio 80W foldable solar panel

The least expensive option for ham radio?

This was my very first test with these solar panels, with the PAC-12 antenna, and with the charging port and BMS I installed inside my FT-897D. It was not easy because the beach was already crowded and it was not very comfortable to operate in those conditions. The results were mixed. On the one hand, the solar panels are more than capable to provide enough power for the radio to operate at 20W. On the other hand, the charge controller produces RFI that I was not expecting for this kind of controller. As far as the battery and BMS are concerned, the battery is so small (rated at 2200mAh) that it's not able to suck all the juice that the panel can provide when on receive, and at the end of a QSO the radio shut down, which I believe could have been the BMS protection for overvoltage when the transmit load suddenly stopped, but I don't really know yet. I added three sections of my new PAC-12 antenna to my ANT-129 military whip, and in exchage I eliminated my counterpoise wires altogether. All in all, it was a good experience with inconclusive results due to the limited conditions and two many new changes to be tested at one, with some promising results but also with a number of challenges ahead. More tests are needed. In the meantime, I will tidy up my cables, which never hurts, including some custom ones and possibly an RF choke.

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