Portable Power

By David Wilkie K6EV

Go-Box Power Supply with Notebook Solar Panel

Deciding on how to power a station for radio-in-the-park, field day or similar portable operations can involve a range of decisions. The right approach can vary quite a bit depending on what you plan to operate, at what power, for how long and under what physical or regulatory constraints.  During our September club meeting we reviewed a presentation to discuss this and demonstrate a simple spreadsheet calculator to assist you in calculating requirements for a given event.  As promised, the slides are posted here as PDF files as well as the calculator is an .XLSX (Microsoft Excel or similar) file.  Please contact Dave, K6EV, with any questions at K6EV.RADIO@GMAIL.COM

This is part 1 of a 3 or 4 part series.  Part 2 will follow in October. Parts 3 (and possibly 4) will follow in approximately November of 2020.  Please note that the calculator contains a number of tabs at the bottom (different worksheets).  Only the first one is needed – all the others to the right are just examples for different radios in either Field Day (FD) or Radio in the Park (Park) configurations.  You can ignore or delete these tabs as you see fit.  Enter YOUR values in the leftmost tab named calculator, per the instructions on the worksheet and in the slide presentation.

  1. Portable Power for Amateur Radio – How much do you need?  (Accompanied by a simple spreadsheet calculator).  Download the files to your computer and view or run them there – a working copy of an Excel compatible spreadsheet program is required for the calculator.
  2. Portable Power:  Storage Batteries. Some common options (excluding HT’s and QRP).
  3. Portable Power:  Solar, Generators, Inverters.   How these might complement a battery powered station in some circumstances.  Operating considerations and effect on battery size.  (may be in 2 pieces, TBD). 

Also see: Emergency Backup Power for you Shack