Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > Survival & Preparedness Forum > Urban Survival > Communications
Articles Chat Room Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files



Advertise Here
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2012, 08:44 PM
Kid at Heart Kid at Heart is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 280
Thanks: 58
Thanked 245 Times in 109 Posts
Default How many watts for Ham Radio use?



Advertise Here

I'm trying to set up my BOL for solar and battery power. MY main desire is electrical lighting using CFL's. The battery bank will only be a couple, maybe four deep cycle batteries.

My neighbor has a ham radio set-up. No back-up power. How many watts would it take for him to receive in a normal mode? How many watts to transmit in a normal mode? Umm, that last one might be a loaded question. It might depend on his amplifier?

Thanks,
KAH
The Following User Says Thank You to Kid at Heart For This Useful Post:
Old 05-03-2012, 09:33 PM
Tevin Tevin is offline
I love this forum
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 790
Thanks: 776
Thanked 1,528 Times in 501 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid at Heart View Post
I'm trying to set up my BOL for solar and battery power. MY main desire is electrical lighting using CFL's. The battery bank will only be a couple, maybe four deep cycle batteries.

My neighbor has a ham radio set-up. No back-up power. How many watts would it take for him to receive in a normal mode? How many watts to transmit in a normal mode? Umm, that last one might be a loaded question. It might depend on his amplifier?

Thanks,
KAH
I run my station from solar so I am very mindful about power consumption.

My microprocessor-baed Yaesu HF rig with an automatic antenna tuner pulls about 50 watts on receive and about 250 watts on transmit. The 2-meter goes about 25 watts receive and 150 transmit. I have some LED lights and a laptop on there too.

Four deep cycle batteries should run your station a fairly long time if you're light on the transmit. Of course, you will need some way to recharge. With my setup, I can run off grid pretty much day and night as long as there are no overcast days. I have 400 watts of solar just for the radios; I'm thinking of adding another 135 watt panel to my station this summer.

An amplifier...oh my. It would kill four batteries very quickly. Depending on the amp, keying it just once might load the batteries so much that the system simply fails. You would need a generator or a solid minimum of 2000 watts or so of solar to keep up with it. I would advise you plan on not having the amplifier as part of your preps, or at least not count on powering it with batteries.

Last edited by Tevin; 05-04-2012 at 07:17 AM.. Reason: My math was off.
Old 05-03-2012, 10:27 PM
Sky1950's Avatar
Sky1950 Sky1950 is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
Age: 64
Posts: 3,241
Thanks: 12,850
Thanked 7,172 Times in 2,283 Posts
Default

I power 100w with a 5 amp burgler alarm battery. In SHTF conditions, your contacts will probably less than 5 minutes and I can get about 20-25 minutes of 50% duty (50%transmit, 50%recieve) before I have to recharge the battery. Simply speaking you are not going to need a big bank of 12 v batteries to get the job done. I have 3 of these little 5 amp batteries and a roll up solar panel will keep one on the charger every day, with one fully charged backup. One suggestion, save the HAM radio for two way commo and get a little SW portable reciever (like the sony sw7600) for listening to HAMs (uses AA batteries)
Tevin is right.. no amp. Amps are for use on grid power, not batteries. In a large scale grid down situation, the wont be as much noise on the airways anyway and your contacts will be easier.
JMO

Tevin, you are pulling 450 watts? What rig are you using? just curious
The Following User Says Thank You to Sky1950 For This Useful Post:
Old 05-03-2012, 11:42 PM
aramchek's Avatar
aramchek aramchek is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,456
Thanks: 1,114
Thanked 12,521 Times in 5,835 Posts
Default

There is no "normal mode". Depends on the band and mode. Phone, Morse code, NBEMS (PSK-31, for example). Unless you're trying to reach Asia, you may not need an amplifier at all (assuming your radio does 100 watts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid at Heart View Post
I'm trying to set up my BOL for solar and battery power. MY main desire is electrical lighting using CFL's. The battery bank will only be a couple, maybe four deep cycle batteries.

My neighbor has a ham radio set-up. No back-up power. How many watts would it take for him to receive in a normal mode? How many watts to transmit in a normal mode? Umm, that last one might be a loaded question. It might depend on his amplifier?

Thanks,
KAH
The Following User Says Thank You to aramchek For This Useful Post:
Old 05-03-2012, 11:47 PM
SamboRoberts's Avatar
SamboRoberts SamboRoberts is offline
Bravo Zulu
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 12,269
Thanks: 7,812
Thanked 11,020 Times in 5,268 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramchek View Post
There is no "normal mode". Depends on the band and mode. Phone, Morse code, NBEMS (PSK-31, for example). Unless you're trying to reach Asia, you may not need an amplifier at all (assuming your radio does 100 watts).
100 watts? I've spoken to someone in Cyprus from Australia on milliwatts.

Of course, that was using a damn fine antenna.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to SamboRoberts For This Useful Post:
Old 05-03-2012, 11:53 PM
Tigard's Avatar
Tigard Tigard is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 211
Thanks: 97
Thanked 193 Times in 108 Posts
Default

Quote:
One suggestion, save the HAM radio for two way commo and get a little SW portable reciever (like the sony sw7600) for listening to HAMs (uses AA batteries)
Good advice to be sure but also wise to include a cheap but well programmed analog scanner to pick up the VHF/UHF that the shortwave receiver misses. Power draw is small like the SW radio and it gets traffic much closer to home.
The Following User Says Thank You to Tigard For This Useful Post:
Old 05-03-2012, 11:56 PM
W.Lynn's Avatar
W.Lynn W.Lynn is offline
aging
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Austin area, Texas
Posts: 6,336
Thanks: 12,362
Thanked 12,447 Times in 4,086 Posts
Default

You can start learning this stuff at HamTestOnline. I studied for 7 weeks, passed all three tests, waiting on my call-sign now. Go to "hamfest" events or the local club, you'll meet people who will help - say you need an Elmer (mentor) and they will match you up with someone. Sometimes someone will pass along some gear that still works fine, but they upgraded and don't use it any more.

Some clubs are better than others, so if you don't mesh with one, look further.

Also check out http://preparedham.com - a bunch of us are from SB, and we've all been studying at whatever level we were working on, get into discussion of topics just like this one. Or how to build a working antenna for pocket change and scrap material.
__________________
Resisting organization since 1966.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to W.Lynn For This Useful Post:
Old 05-04-2012, 01:09 AM
Jedi Medic's Avatar
Jedi Medic Jedi Medic is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sonoran Desert
Posts: 737
Thanks: 713
Thanked 884 Times in 390 Posts
Default

a little Ohm's law here dude... do your own homework and you can master these questions.

E=IxR

the above "Ohm's Law" is for calculating the all important resistance found in electrical circuits.

Fortunately, your problem is extremely simple and you needn't worry about resistance in a simple power supply and device circuit.

Volts x Amps = Watts.

use a small solar panel as an example. I was shopping for one for my grundig SW. the rating wasn't enough to power the radio. I'd need THREE panels wired in parallel. basically, I needed a different solar panel.

The device should have the requirements listed on the back of the radio OR on the power supply that comes with it.

My grundig used 4 ea 1.5 volt "D" cells to operate.That's 6 volts. the power supply used to provide wall socket power instead of batteries stated 500 milliamps (half a Watt). That's 6 x 0.5 = 3 (watts)

The power supply in question pushed 6 volts at 250 milliamps. just not enough.
Old 05-04-2012, 02:07 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,119
Thanks: 4,533
Thanked 3,623 Times in 2,335 Posts
Default

if you are concerned about power draw, learn morse. you will be able to get a signal through on less power.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sooner_Will_Survive For This Useful Post:
Old 05-04-2012, 04:59 AM
ohgary ohgary is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 671
Thanks: 0
Thanked 306 Times in 215 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sooner_Will_Survive View Post
if you are concerned about power draw, learn morse. you will be able to get a signal through on less power.
Or use one of the many digial modes that lives in low power QRP mode.
Old 05-04-2012, 05:03 AM
ohgary ohgary is offline
Hiker
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 671
Thanks: 0
Thanked 306 Times in 215 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky1950 View Post
I power 100w with a 5 amp burgler alarm battery. In SHTF conditions, your contacts will probably less than 5 minutes and I can get about 20-25 minutes of 50% duty (50%transmit, 50%recieve) before I have to recharge the battery.
JMO

Tevin, you are pulling 450 watts? What rig are you using? just curious
Keep in mind that most HF ham gear are 100watts and take about 25 amps. Thats 300watts of power add some accessories and your

as for 100watts on a 5amp battery... Well 100watts at 12v is almost 8.5 amps. even running 1/2 power your at 4 amps. Most ham gear idle at on receive at 24watts (2 amps).. That battery might work ,but isnt going to last very long.
Old 05-04-2012, 06:41 AM
Sooner_Will_Survive Sooner_Will_Survive is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,119
Thanks: 4,533
Thanked 3,623 Times in 2,335 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgary View Post
Or use one of the many digial modes that lives in low power QRP mode.
because you dont always have the ability to carry a laptop with ya. building a tunatin or the like allows you to have the ability to send and receive in a small package.
Old 05-04-2012, 07:09 AM
Sky1950's Avatar
Sky1950 Sky1950 is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
Age: 64
Posts: 3,241
Thanks: 12,850
Thanked 7,172 Times in 2,283 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgary View Post
Keep in mind that most HF ham gear are 100watts and take about 25 amps. Thats 300watts of power add some accessories and your

as for 100watts on a 5amp battery... Well 100watts at 12v is almost 8.5 amps. even running 1/2 power your at 4 amps. Most ham gear idle at on receive at 24watts (2 amps).. That battery might work ,but isnt going to last very long.
Yep, agreed. My yeasu calls for a 22 amp draw in transitting at 100 w and a 2 amp draw on recieving. Using a tuner and a doublet now but for the first year I used a monoband and no tuner so I had nothing but the rig pulling juice. Usually get about 20-25 minutes on a topped off battery when some of us here on SB got together every week. Nothing wrong with having more juice, but after 10 lbs dedicated to commo alone, backpack portability becomes an issue for this old fart and my design was for a BOB rig. Definately not a set up for rag chews. DIfferent set up now, but back then I was operating bare bones HF, too poor to get everything at once.
Old 05-04-2012, 07:53 AM
Tevin Tevin is offline
I love this forum
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 790
Thanks: 776
Thanked 1,528 Times in 501 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky1950 View Post
Tevin, you are pulling 450 watts? What rig are you using? just curious
I was basing the 450 on a measurement taken from a plug-in watt meter. The problem is, I don't trust the wattmeter and should have known better. It gives odd readings, and when used with inverter power (square or sine wave) it is way off. I need to junk that thing and go back to calculating power by hand.

Since my 757 GXII is pulling from a 20 amp supply, the max I can draw is around 250 watts or so; I can't be doing more than that, right? Four hundred and fifty watts is well beyond the limit of the power supply. I revised my numbers in my previous post. The barefoot output of the Yaesu is 100 watts.

How this relates to the original question is that most of the power will be used on transmit, and you won't (or shouldn't be!) transmitting that much. Radios don't need a lot to just sit there and receive so four deep cycle batteries should get you through as long as you have some way to recharge them.

My 400 watt solar setup +battery bank allows me to use my station mostly as much as I want without too many energy concerns. About once a week or so I shut everything down (including the inverter, which itself idles around 20 watts) so the solar panels can be dedicated solely to giving the batteries a solid all day fill-up.

On bright days I can operate my station and the batteries will not go into discharge mode. That means God's big nuke plant in the sky is doing everything. Technically, I could disconnect the batteries and still have power to my gear.

Solar power is a rather complex topic and I would suggest to anyone thinking about solar to spend at least a few weeks reading and schooling themselves. There is a lot to know and mistakes can be expensive. Been there, done that.
Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 AM
Sky1950's Avatar
Sky1950 Sky1950 is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
Age: 64
Posts: 3,241
Thanks: 12,850
Thanked 7,172 Times in 2,283 Posts
Default

Totally agree on the Tx useage if the balloon goes up. I have monitored those half hour ragchews thinking to myself "I can get my info/questions out in about 120 seconds of Tx time". Things will be definately different if (gawd forbid) we have to go active on a SHTF event.
Of course there is always QRP CW or data, but i havent gotten to that stage yet.
I have adquate generator power, but a small portable roll up solar panel is next on the list for the backpack.
Old 05-04-2012, 04:03 PM
aramchek's Avatar
aramchek aramchek is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11,456
Thanks: 1,114
Thanked 12,521 Times in 5,835 Posts
Default

It takes two to tango on the airwaves. I've heard some of the old-timers compare antennas and one of them might comment, "Yours is doing most of the work". There could be some truth to that. If you're QRP and the other guy has a massive yagi or large/exotic rhombic over a good-sized section of land, then he may more easily be able to work you. But QRP to QRP is something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamboRoberts View Post
100 watts? I've spoken to someone in Cyprus from Australia on milliwatts.

Of course, that was using a damn fine antenna.
Old 05-08-2012, 10:29 AM
Kid at Heart Kid at Heart is offline
Prepared
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 280
Thanks: 58
Thanked 245 Times in 109 Posts
Default

Someone mentioned some 200 watt cosmetic "seconds" solar panels, made in Germany, that could be had for $200. That's what I'm planning to install. I just didn't know what kind of power a ham radio used. I talked to the neighbor over the week-end and asked him about Tx power. He said he has a 1000 watt amp available. That un-nerved me about the idea. Since he's always bragging about what he can do, I don't think he understands my concept of "minimal" useage. But from reading your posts, it sounds like a 200 watt solar array should keep him on the radio at low power during daylight hours.

I like the idea of having just a simple receiver that can receive SW and ham. Does a simple receiver need an exotic antenna to do quality receiving?

Thanks,
KaH
Old 05-08-2012, 11:32 AM
Sky1950's Avatar
Sky1950 Sky1950 is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Texas
Age: 64
Posts: 3,241
Thanks: 12,850
Thanked 7,172 Times in 2,283 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid at Heart View Post
I like the idea of having just a simple receiver that can receive SW and ham. Does a simple receiver need an exotic antenna to do quality receiving?
Nope. the Sony has an optional wire that comes with it should you need more antenna. Not pushing Sony, there are several good alternative brands. Everyone should have something like this and a battery powered scanner to keep up the local emergency systems.

A good HAM radio that covers HF, VHF and UHF (like the Yeasu 857D or the ICOM IC-7000) is the final touch for 2-way commo. You dont need 1KW of power. That's an overkill. Most of us run "barefoot" at 100 watts and we communicate just fine. At 12 volt, 100 watts, it's more about your antenna and it's SWR than anything else.

Something nice to have extra is a used CB with a good masted base station antenna like the IMAX 2000. Get that sucker up about 50 feet and see how much you pick up. You can rig this out completely (used CB, used power supply,antenna and homemade mast) for under $300 and, under optimum conditions, you may get out to 20 miles. If you are within 10 miles of a major highway, and dont have a mountain in between, this may be a very valuable source of info. You can pick up a good deal of info listening to motorists and truckers (if you dont mind a lot of profanity)

JMO... others may have different opinions
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sky1950 For This Useful Post:
Old 05-08-2012, 06:20 PM
Tevin Tevin is offline
I love this forum
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 790
Thanks: 776
Thanked 1,528 Times in 501 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid at Heart View Post
I like the idea of having just a simple receiver that can receive SW and ham. Does a simple receiver need an exotic antenna to do quality receiving?
Short answer: No. "Exotic" antennas are certainly nice to have, but quite a bit can be done with a basic long wire. So set yourself up and have fun with it. You can always upgrade as you gain more experience. And by the way, if you decide to go against the advice you've been given and use the 1 kW amp anyway, you're going to need a lot more than some thin wire to dump all that power into. Your ham neighbor (hopefully) already knows this.

Regarding your solar panels: Assuming they are multicrystalline panels and the only defects are cosmetic, then you are getting a very good deal. Solar panels normally start at about $1.50/watt and go up from there, so you are well under that threshold. If they do not come with MC4 plugs already on them, count on an additional $15 or so per panel to add them yourself.

What will kill your wallet is the batteries, charge controller, wire, inverter, and all the extras you need to make your panels useful.

I don't want to turn this into a solar power thread, but I can't stress enough the importance of carefully doing your homework and having a clear understanding of the abilities and limitations of solar and what you want to achieve before going out and buying a bunch of stuff.
Old 05-08-2012, 07:03 PM
Technologist Technologist is offline
Idiot Savant x Infinity
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: San Clemente and Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 884
Thanks: 88
Thanked 780 Times in 385 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid at Heart View Post
I'm trying to set up my BOL for solar and battery power. MY main desire is electrical lighting using CFL's. The battery bank will only be a couple, maybe four deep cycle batteries.

My neighbor has a ham radio set-up. No back-up power. How many watts would it take for him to receive in a normal mode? How many watts to transmit in a normal mode? Umm, that last one might be a loaded question. It might depend on his amplifier?

Thanks,
KAH

Watts are only a part of the equation. With the right antenna people have sent a single to the moon. Bounced it off the moons surface (moon bounce) and picked it up on an earth based receiver using only 100 watts. That's almost 500,000 miles round trip. That's an extreme but it demonstrates that watts alone are only part of the picture. With the right "high gain" antennas you can have clear conversions with 20 milliwatts even 30-50 miles away.

I would skip any thought of an amplifier. The wattage of the mobile or base stations are more than adequate. You could always add an amp in the future.

The 2 meter band is the most popular (most active users) and is great for long range, handheld, mobile, fixed stations and has almost endless active repeaters sitting on mountains. This allows a weak signal to be amplified and rebroadcast increasing the range dramatically and allows the use of low wattage handheld radios.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-meter_band

HF bands can reach around the world but the larger antenna's make them mostly used for fixed locations.

You might want to decide how far you'll need to transmit before picking a radio. Do you need 10 miles, 50, 1000 or around the world? One way is to pickup a 2 meter that will allow about 50-200 miles with repeaters and use a Shortwave radio just to listen. Do you really need to talk to someone in Japan or would listening to conversations and broadcasts be sufficient?
The Following User Says Thank You to Technologist For This Useful Post:
Reply

Bookmarks



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2M 30+ watts mobiles for $50 or less Armordude Communications 1 09-16-2011 11:00 PM
1000 watts per sq meter 300mag Religious Discussion 45 08-16-2010 03:28 PM
how many watts a day do you think you use hank2222 Disaster Preparedness General Discussion 7 08-02-2010 12:10 AM
10 watts? GENT Communications 5 04-30-2009 05:50 AM
45 watts solar for $200.00 BJJ_Grappler Disaster Preparedness General Discussion 23 04-01-2009 10:04 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Kevin Felts 2006 - 2012,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net