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[aprssig] RE:Solar Powered Digi

Kriss A Kliegle kliegle at comcast.net
Wed Feb 14 18:43:00 UTC 2007

   I used an HTX-202, KPC-3, and a Peet Bros. WX station all solar powered for years until I upgraded, by building an 8'x12' shed to house the voice repeater and associated gear... all of which is still 100% solar powered.
   HT's use less the least amount of power when idle (30-50mA) compared to a genuine mobile rig (+500mA). I installed all equipment in a box the size of a large birdhouse mounted to a piece of black iron pipe imbedded into the ground. Atop the pipe was a Diamond X-200 antenna, at 10' above ground level was the enclosure and the solar panel was mounted overhead at a 55 degree angle. The battery was a 17A/hr gel cell and was charged w/a 30 watt flexible panel rigidly mounted over the enclosure to keep rain/sun off the enclosure. A small solar charge controller was also squeezed into this box.

    For just a few days, a simple HT, TNC, known good charged battery and simple verticle antenna should do just fine. If you want to keep out all the unwanted packets, use a different frequency than the APRS standard. That way you won't QRM the network, and they won't QRM your event. 
    I do the same thing for Tour de Cure (American Diabetes bike tour in SE New Hampshire). I issue Open trackers to participating vehicles on a discrete frequency, crank up their TX rate so net control has updates every minute on their positions throughout the event while they are in motion. I also change the frequency of the two local digipeaters to match them for the weekend. Works great, and gives net control much better SA when things go bad. 

Good Luck!

KA1GJU-3 Solar Powered WX Digi
KA1GJU-7 Pickup Truck
W1WQM/R Solar Powered Voice Repeater
W1WQM Digi (Commercial Power)
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