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FT-897 and Solor Power to charge batteries

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  • Bear
    Hello All... Looking for any and all info that s available for using Solar Energy to charge the FT-897 s batteries. Has anybody done it yet? What type of
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 1, 2003
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      Hello All... Looking for any and all info that's available for using Solar Energy to charge the FT-897's batteries. Has anybody done it yet? What type of Solar Panels, battery charger/controller etc. It'd be a fun to have a setup for charging while out in the field.....
      Thanks for any info.
      73's Larry W0FLY


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Cortland <cortlandka5s@netscape.net>
      Larry, The CD-24 fast charger s output is 16.5 volts at 1.4 amps, or 23+ watts. That would not be a small or cheap solar panel. The voltage is pretty close to
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 1, 2003
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        Larry,

        The CD-24 fast charger's output is 16.5 volts at 1.4 amps, or 23+
        watts. That would not be a small or cheap solar panel. The voltage is
        pretty close to the 17 volts or so from an unloaded solar panel,
        however you will still need a charge controller, I think.

        Cortland

        --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "Bear" <lgroom@f...> wrote:
        > Hello All... Looking for any and all info that's available for
        using Solar Energy to charge the FT-897's batteries. Has anybody done
      • Brian Badger <bbadger@yahoo.com>
        Cortland, Given that the CD-24 INPUT is 13.8 to 24v, that direct connect of a solar panel to the CD-24 was intended in the design. If this is the case, a
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 3, 2003
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          Cortland,

          Given that the CD-24 INPUT is 13.8 to 24v, that direct connect of a
          solar panel to the CD-24 was intended in the design. If this is the
          case, a "charge controller" is neither desired or needed.

          Most solar charge controllers are designed to charge lead-acid
          chemistry anyway, and aren't much use for NiMH. By the way, typical
          solar panels put out about 16 volts under matching load, and up to 24
          volts (not 17) when unloaded -- that is why I suspect the CD-24 was
          designed with solar charging in mind.

          When I get the money, I'm hoping to match a CD-24 to a 30 watt solar
          panel for portable ops.
          --
          Brian N0KZ

          --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "Cortland <cortlandka5s@n...>"
          <cortlandka5s@n...> wrote:
          > The CD-24 fast charger's output is 16.5 volts at 1.4 amps, or 23+
          > watts. That would not be a small or cheap solar panel. The voltage
          is
          > pretty close to the 17 volts or so from an unloaded solar panel,
          > however you will still need a charge controller, I think.
        • Cortland <cortlandka5s@netscape.net>
          Hi, Brian, The 23 watt panel I got at Real Goods is about 18 volts open circuit, not 24. In fact, almost all of mine (except the 11V one) are. They re meant to
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 3, 2003
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            Hi, Brian,

            The 23 watt panel I got at Real Goods is about 18 volts open circuit,
            not 24. In fact, almost all of mine (except the 11V one) are. They're
            meant to be used with a charge controller and, as you say, most such
            are set up for lead-acid. But not all!

            I suspect that the CD-24 is optimized for 12V and 24V, not a
            continuous range. RThat's why I hesitate to use it at 17 volts,
            halfway between those values, as I've no idea what the switching
            regulator's stability looks like this far away from those voltages.
            (Plus, it's RF noisy.) It might be squegging or latching in a
            destructive condition. But as you point out, you can't simply connect
            a voltage to NiMH and count on good results; you need to tailor the
            charge to the battery chemistry, which is why I say a charge
            controller is needed.

            I would be happy to be shown wrong, as it would be easier to quiet
            down a CD-24 than to reinvent the charger.

            Cortland
          • Brian Badger <bbadger@yahoo.com>
            ... I think your experimental evidence is quite valid -- but I also think that the manufacturers stated maximum open circuit voltage needs to be maximum
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 4, 2003
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              --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "Cortland <cortlandka5s@n...>"
              <cortlandka5s@n...> wrote:
              > The 23 watt panel I got at Real Goods is about 18 volts open circuit,
              > not 24. In fact, almost all of mine (except the 11V one) are. They're
              > meant to be used with a charge controller and, as you say, most such
              > are set up for lead-acid. But not all!

              I think your experimental evidence is quite valid -- but I also think
              that the manufacturers stated maximum open circuit voltage needs to be
              maximum voltage planned for in the charge controller design.
              According to Unisolar (for instance), the open circuit voltage of
              their line of flexible solar panels is 23.8 volts. Apparently the
              Unisolar panels can even put out 27.1 volts in full sun at
              temperatures well below freezing -- so maybe that is the real maximum
              we care about. But, as you say, typical voltages are much less, and,
              at any real world load (i.e. CD-24), approach 16 volts.

              I have no idea if the CD-24 can accept voltages continuously between
              13.8 and 24 volts. The best I can offer is that I would hope that it
              would, since this makes their charge controller much more useful. I
              was disappointed to learn that the W4RT charger doesn't like voltages
              greater than 16 volts, since that pretty much makes solar power
              impractical (required: lead acid battery, solar charge controller).
              In my opinion, a rig as portable as the 897 deserves a good
              lightweight solar solution for charging the NiMH batteries.

              But, until Yaesu adopts the practice of actually publishing the specs
              on their accessories (I'd also like to hear more about the MH-59A8J),
              we are forced to either ask politely or risk our money experimenting.

              --
              Brian N0KZ
            • Cortland Richmond
              I ve used a shunt regulator to limit voltage across a battery under charge, and such might help here (with a Zener/fuse crowbar for insurance if the regulator
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 5, 2003
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                I've used a shunt regulator to limit voltage across a battery under
                charge, and such might help here (with a Zener/fuse crowbar for
                insurance if the regulator fails open). This approach does require a
                good heat sink, however; you may have to dump all 23 or 30 watts into it.

                Cortland

                Brian N0KZ wrote:


                >was disappointed to learn that the W4RT charger doesn't like voltages
                >greater than 16 volts, since that pretty much makes solar power
                >impractical (required: lead acid battery, solar charge controller).
                >
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