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Solar charger for VX-8DR

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  #1  
Old 08-11-2010, 08:29 PM
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Default Solar charger for VX-8DR


All,

I will be section hiking part of the Appalachian Trail in Oct with another Ham and was wondering if anyone had recommendations on how to charge my new (will be here Friday) 8DR.

The main use of the radios would be for simplex between us if we are separated and to try to hit some of the repeaters for fun. Won't be using any of the advanced features (like gps)...

Thanks,

Michael


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Old 08-12-2010, 12:44 AM
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I've been trying to get set up like this as well. USB charging options are slim and hard to come by, and get figured out.

Hope to see some great solutions, I'd like them as well.
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Luke

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Old 08-12-2010, 07:35 AM
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If you want to go the cool route(read, expensive) one of these would be more than adequate. Power Film Rollable Solar Powered Battery Charger

If you are after cheap, Harbor freight has a number of options.

Solar Panel Recharger

1.5 Watt Solar Battery Charger

5 Watt Solar Battery Charger

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Old 08-13-2010, 06:56 AM
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I can see two 'problems' with solar powering a radio. The first is that the solar panel will be larger than you might think to produce adequate power. The second problem is expense. After everything is considered, solar power runs about $5 per amp of current. That's a really 'general' sort of cost figure, but about typical. Especially when on foot, a 'third' problem is carrying all that stuff.
Huge number of variables in all that, starting with sun shine. Absolutely NOT impossible, just not very convenient.
- 'Doc


(Not the same by any means, but the local club has been checking about solar powering a repeater. Solar panels are not cheap, but it's all the 'other stuff' that get's complicated.)

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Old 08-25-2010, 09:11 AM
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Why not just get the AA Battery holder and bring AAs. One set will last 24 hours.

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Old 09-12-2010, 10:43 AM
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Deus has the right idea. AA's are light and easy. The only problem with them is broadcast power. The 4.5v from AA's will only broadcast 1W. And solar power won't cross the threshold voltage, 12V, for charging.
I use one of those small 12V lead -acid batterys. There nice because they will charge from a variety of sources, including solar.
Get one of the universal power supply cords. Be sure to put a fuss inline. And if you use the lead-acid for operation,(rather than charging), keep an eye on your radios volt meter. Happy hiking.

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:26 PM
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The first option which I listed in my above post is more than adequate for charging the radio's on-board battery. It has the same power output as the factory wall wort charger. You can even charge the battery while monitoring 146.52Mhz (it will restart if you attempt to transmit with the charger plugged in). At 3.5 x 6.5 inches, it will clip to the outside of your backpack, pannier, or even your hat. Get two of them and operate your cell phone off of one, and your handitalkie off of the other. Get three and charge a small 3ah gel cell battery to power your 12V fan for comfortable sleeping at night. At $11.99 you can't go wrong.

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Old 08-10-2011, 10:48 AM
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Default Inaccurate

That charger does not work at all for the VX-8R. The MaH is not enough to charge the battery...it does not even bring up the charging screen in full sunlight at 12v. DO NOT buy this solar charger if you are trying to charge the VX-8R.

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