Solar Power for portable Operations

Today I tested the first time my new solar power setup for portable operations. I am using a 60 W PowerFilm foldable solar panel and a 5 A MPPT charge controller for a LiFePo4 4S battery. The whole weight is 1600 g including the 5 m connection cable.

60 W foldable solar panel with MPPT charge controller
Hanging solar panel on the balcony – testing

It was cloudy day and the sun was most often covered by clouds. The panel is only exposed to 1/3 up to max. 1/2 to the full sunlight, if it is there.

Using a power analyzer to measure the incoming power and charge.

Using a power analyzer, the data show a 1.4 A peak current and 19 W peak power. I was able to charge 10 Wh in about 2 hours. Next time I will try to get the panel under full illumination in the sun and measure again.

Power Analyzer from Turnigy

The analyzer shows current, voltage and power and in addition peak values for current and power as well as total energy (power integrated over time) in Wh.

CQ WPX SSB Contest 2018

Over the weekend March 25th/25th I participated in the CQ WPX Contest SSB, category Single Operator, Non-assisted, Low Power. Although propagation was not favourable, I could make more than 1000 contacts and achieve more than 1 Mio points (raw score). Having fun!

Klaus, 4E1A, during WPX SSB contest 2018

The analysis of log data gives a good snapshot for the current propagation conditions from the Philippines.

CQ zones reached with time (local Philippines) and average frequency. Yellow: long path.

10 m band was open to Japan, Korea and China

80/40/30 m Dipole

For the lower bands I am using a 40/80 m trap dipole. In order to become qrv on 30 m, I added a radiation coupled lambda/2 element for 30 m, using 10 cm spreader. After cutting the additional wire to the right length, the resonance on 30 m is exactly at 10.1 MHz. The additional element has no influence on the resonance for 40 and 80 m, but the impedance on 30 m is with 150 Ohm significant higher than 50 Ohm.

10.1 MHz Impedance (141 – j34) Ohm – VSWR 3
7.1 MHz Impedance (40 + j1) Ohm – VSWR 1.24
3.6 MHz Impedance (27 – j5) Ohm – VSWR 1.9

CQ WW DX SSB contest 2017

My first participation in this contest. Would have preferred the CW part, but we will not be here end of November. Decided to enter the classic, non-assisted, single operator class for 20 m band only.

Propagation conditions were not bad. 77 DXCC entities, 31 CQ zones and 411 contacts result in a raw score of 121 thousand. Quite satisfied with the result!