This textbook will show you the steps I took in building a solar APRS amateur radio excavator.
Some of the information provided here can be applied to other projects requiring unstable power supply in remote areas or utilities.
Suppose you have some technical background, basic tools, basic knowledge of electronics, and of course some common sense.
Amateur radio licenses are required for transmission over amateur radio frequencies.
This license is not difficult to obtain, and there are a lot of learning materials.
Searching for "amateur radio license learning materials" or "amateur radio practice exams" should produce some results.
APR is most easily described as an amateur radio version of Lojack.
Yes, this description annoys some hard hamsters, but it's really the best way to describe APR to someone who's not an amateur radio technician.
APRS stands for automatic grouping reporting system.
Packet refers to the data packet sent through amateur radio frequency. As data chirp, the receiver can hear it at the correct frequency.
These data chirps contain information about sender calls, locations, and short text, which can be additional data from remote weather stations or other data relays.
In short, APR can be used not only to track vehicles on and off the planet（
The International Space Station (ISS) sends out an APRS signal, which can be easily received using basic gear.
It can also be used to send telemetry and information.
As an amateur radio operator licensed in the United States, you can use APRS networks to track your car, boat, aircraft, weather balloon or other moving objects.
You can also use the APRS network to view weather data from thousands of amateur weather stations.
Although APR can use the keyboard back and forth like an instant messenger, its most common use is to display the location of moving objects.
In order to make the whole network work properly, it requires users to equip with appropriate equipment and mining equipment.
The digital converter is a digital repeater.
Digipeater listens for chirps encoded by instructions to retransmit them, and then retransmits what it hears at the appropriate time.
This enables users with mobile or portable APRS stations to cover a wider geographical area.
This is how wireless networks send data back and forth over long distances without Internet connections.
Digipeater can be a stand-alone dedicated device or a function of some high-end VHF amateur radios.
The Internet has not completely disappeared from APRS.
It's actually mixed in as an extra resource.
The radio calls me-
Gates can receive traffic heard on the radio and bounce it back onto the network so that users without APRS devices can still see what is happening.
The picture above shows APRS traffic through South Florida. FI website. Some I-
Gates can receive APRs traffic from network-based applications such as aprsdroid and output it to radio frequencies.
However, this does become a bit complicated, because all users who transmit on the wireless end must have a valid FCC license.
By connecting to the network, users can view APR traffic beyond the normal radio range.
However, if the network fails, and if there are enough stations in the Digipeater range, APRS networks will continue to work only on the radio.
In the United States, the popular VHF APRS frequency is 144. 390Mhz.
You can listen to the chirp of data on a radio scanner, or even decode it with simple software.
You don't even need a computer.
Android and Apple both have apps.
If you don't plan to launch, you don't need an amateur radio license, so if you're just curious, you just need a scanner and an old mobile phone to soak your hobby.
If you just want to look at the Internet, try APR.
FI Web site to see the situation in your area. Why solar?
I could have easily let the running utility go. In fact, that's how it began to live.
Amateur radio is a hobby that emphasizes self-sufficiency.
Unlike utility, the sun always rises, no matter what nature releases.
APR is interesting when people drive around, but it has some very important uses.
In the event of a disaster, when street signs disappear and places seem unrecognizable, APRS users can be guided to their destination by another site in real time to see their movements, which can be done without a mobile network.
APR can also be used to track assets such as ambulances, food trucks and bicycle maintenance technology in large marathons or bicycle races.
Without excavators, the coverage of APRS networks would be zero.
Like other hobbies, there are always people doing things for their hobbies, which helps keep things going smoothly.
Yes, you can build a digging water that lives in a building and consumes commercial electricity, but it's about building a digging water that can be placed anywhere.
There are interesting requirements for putting gadgets out.
First of all, your equipment shell needs to be rainproof.
A completely sealed box is actually not a good idea.
Temperature fluctuations from day to night can cause condensation in a fully sealed box.
You need something good enough to keep out the rain and breathe at the same time.
Even equipment boxes used in coastal areas have breathing methods.
Remember, we only need a small air vent, and we'd better be rain-proof. Bugs. .
Insects like ants and cockroaches like boxes.
Is there an opening in the box? （last pic)
There should be some kind of screen to prevent bugs.
Ants are very industrious, so don't be stingy.
Insect feces can corrode electronic devices.
I found that the aluminium scrubbing pad material is a good filling hole, if you want the gear to breathe, but you want to prevent insects. Sun and Heat. .
Plastic outdoor boxes are much cheaper than metal, but sunlight will eat them up.
If you can put your equipment box in the sun, then plastic will not be a problem.
Plastic boxes used outdoors can last for years, but one day they will burst. If you break an electronic device, you will probably find it. Thieves. .
Unfortunately, this is the world we live in, but this is life.
A lonely plastic box in a remote area is an easy target.
Let them work hard for it!
Large size metal box（pics 1-3)
Make curious people sick-
Thieves are ready in the bay.
Nothing is 100% safe, but again, why is it an easy goal? Plastic -
Cheap, easy to operate, not safe metal-
It's expensive and may require special tools. It's safe and has a stainless steel case.
New. This box may be in the range of $500.
I got a bargain as a surplus from a local radio technology company.
My box used to contain a strobe power supply for a large antenna tower.
These boxes are replaced by a system that can sometimes be found by amateur radio enthusiasts or asked everywhere who works on commercial radio.
The disadvantage of the old box is that it already has holes left by previous generations.
Considering their new costs, this is a small price.
As an added bonus, these strobe boxes have a padlock buckle that requires a crowbar to break in.
In the picture, you can see the locks, wall tags and door seals on my commercial leftovers.
Obviously, that's the way we're going.
I anchored my anchor to the side of the house with expansion bolts.
The box won't move.
As an additional bonus, some of the remaining commercial boxes will have a removable rack unit in them.
It's really convenient.
I can build my whole digging water on the workbench, test it, organize it, and then put components in boxes.
It makes life easier.
What's in the solar digging tank?
You need a 2-metre amateur radio transceiver that works on 144.
390 MHz, a TNC, is set up as a digging water, an appropriate size solar panel or solar battery pack, a battery with sufficient capacity, and a solar charging controller to handle the wattage of the solar battery pack and the consumption of your equipment.
You can have an optional RF amplifier to increase transmission coverage.
You can also choose to buy a radio with APRS capabilities and roll most of the equipment into one unit, but they are very expensive and have high standby power, which may not be ideal for solar applications.
In the picture, you see my rack.
Starting at the top is the LCD display, which shows the flow through my TNC.
Below the screen is the solar charging controller.
The right side of the solar controller is a 2-meter transceiver.
On the left of the solar controller is the radio frequency amplifier, which is equipped with TNC.
The bottom layer is the battery that runs the unit in the absence of sunlight.
The left side of the battery is the distribution board and fuse.
Let's look at these one by one.
In the photo, you see a blue plastic box with Tinytrak on it and a blue LCD screen.
This is the terminal node controller.
Its purpose is to process the input and output data traffic from the radio.
Because the system runs at very low data speed, data is transmitted by radio in audio tone.
TNC decodes data, routes it according to TNC settings, and sets keys for the transmitter of the radio when sending data.
Because all of this is done by an audio bell, the connection from TNC to the radio is not much different from the connection between the microphone and the external speaker.
There are innumerable resources to cover pins from radio to TNC, but my experience is that this is an area where I would rather buy a Pre. -made cable.
Most TNC suppliers will also provide-
Making cables for more popular radios.
The TNC I chose was Tinytrak4.
The device was originally used as a tracker.
In other words, set up part of the vehicle you want to track on the APR.
The manufacturer added Digipeater functionality to this version to make it a good choice for Digipeater services.
Do you have to use the same model? Nope.
There are many other options.
Why did I choose Tinytrak 4?
It's a simple unit and very cost-effective.
The fewer bells and whistles you have, the fewer chances of making mistakes and the lower the power consumption.
LCD display is an additional option, not required.
I'm glad to be able to verify intuitively whether your site sees data traffic.
One suggestion, however, is that this unit is a painful process.
One of its drawbacks is that after the existence of USB for about 20 years, it still needs serial connection with the program.
Programming TNC requires setting various parameters correctly.
Bainey, the man who made Tinytrak 4 will offer to ship it to you. -
Programming, this is a great help.
However, you may still need to enter and adjust the input/output audio level.
The connection between TNC and radio is usually accomplished through handheld microphone jacks on portable microphones, front-end microphone connectors on mobile phones and external speaker jacks, as well as user ports on some ham phones and commercial radios.
Some audio settings need to be correct. If not, your TNC will not "hear" other stations. Its transmission signal may be too weak or distorted to be decoded by others.
Different manufacturers have different settings.
If you are not familiar with how to correctly master these levels, I strongly recommend that you get help from an experienced APR or packet radio operator in your area.
What about the loudspeaker?
Amplifiers are absolutely optional.
In my example, I used the low power settings on the radio to drive a small amplifier with only 1W input.
I get 10W from the amplifier.
This gives me a lot of safety.
If the amplifier fails in some strange way, the radio will certainly be able to handle it, because its power is only one fifth of the rated output.
If the antenna or cable fails, the amplifier's output power is less than half of its rated output power, which may be able to withstand.
If everything was running at full speed, I would have no safety margin.
My AMP choice is an old-fashioned phantom B23 VHF AMP designed for handheld radios.
The amplifier has a radiator, which forms the bottom of the amplifier. It is only a thick aluminum plate.
I bolted the amplifier to the rack in my device box, and then used thermal composites to couple the amplifier to the aluminium rack, just like in the CPU.
This increases my heat capacity.
Old mirage products like this amplifier are made in the United States and new products are made in China.
Since MFJ took over mirage in Haishi City, there has been a significant difference in quality.
Can you get a bigger amplifier?
Of course, but remember that larger amplifiers mean greater current consumption.
More current consumption means that you need a larger solar battery pack and larger batteries to maintain the system in cloudy weather and overnight. 10-
A good antenna has 15 watts of power and can go a long way.
The cool thing about APR is that you can use almost any old 2m. (VHF)
Amateur radio to complete the work.
You don't need PL（tone)
You don't need to remember, because everything happens on one frequency.
Even in ancient times（
According to technical standards)
ICOM IC2AT will play a great role from the 1980s.
Handheld radio and mobile radio. .
The advantage of hand-held radios is that they are small in size and generally consume much less batteries when they are idle.
Disadvantages of using HT（
In most models, the maximum output power is about 5W, and the receiver quality is poor.
The height of the elderly is 1.
5W requires an external amplifier to achieve reasonable power!
ICOM IC2AT（3rd pic)
It's one of them.
5W radio, but it has a very low battery consumption, because it has no fancy functions and digital display.
It uses a thumbwheel to set the frequency.
Another advantage of these old-fashioned finger wheel ICOM radios is that if energy is recycled, they return to frequency.
Mixing without memory channels.
This is just the beginning.
When it comes to selectivity, most receivers on hand-held radios leave much to be desired.
This is the radio's ability to ignore strong signals in frequency, not the frequency it should be tuned to.
It seems that the updated heat treatment is worse.
IC2AT has a very good receiver. It's a more modern brother, IC02AT.
So what about using one of China's many inexpensive space products to fill the market?
Although very sensitive to receiving, most of these chips seem to be SDR chips of some kind. (
Software Defined Radio)
Receiver types with almost no filtering function.
These receivers are easily saturated by strong signals, even at other frequencies.
They are just not suitable for this application. You will have a large external antenna connected to them.
A Semi-modern heat treatment technology has become very popular on APR, namely Radio Shack HTX202. (
As shown in Figure 1, it is mounted on the rack. .
This radio can provide 5W output power, and it has a better receiver than most mobile radios.
Power cycle This radio will also cause it to return to the required frequency and volume settings.
This is what I use and a good choice for APR.
Some hamsters, called 202, sell for about $30 on the second-hand market.
By the way, HTX202 is not a commercial radio, but it's very strong.
In the second photo, one experienced Hurricane Irma.
The storm poured out of a random electronic device box in my backyard corridor.
Almost a week later, people found the radio lying in a puddle.
Because I didn't want it to work, I turned it on and took a bath in the electronic cleaner.
Wire brushes are used for all fasteners because they peel off and rust.
The radio survived!
Receiving and transmitting are very good, and the audio is also very good.
Another note about using old HT. . . powering them.
HTX202 can receive 12V voltage directly through the tubular connector at the top of the radio.
Most HTs require odd-numbered voltages like 7. 2, 8. 4, or 9. 6vdc.
Applying 12Vdc on the old IC2AT will kill it.
Fortunately, eBay has many inexpensive Chinese buck DC-DC converters.
Find one that can handle a few amperes of current, use it to get 12 volts of direct current, and convert it into something that a radio can use.
Some even have digital displays showing the output voltage.
In Figure 4, you can see a circuit board mounted on the back of an inexpensive UHF heat treatment board designed to run 3. 7vdc.
If you use HT, you may need to install an amplifier behind it to generate more flame in the wire.
You don't need too much, 10-
When connected to a decent antenna, 20W output is sufficient.
Make sure that any AMP you choose can be driven by your HT.
Not all amperes work at low power and high temperature.
How about using a mobile radio?
A mobile radio will certainly give you a decent output signal without an amplifier. In many cases, there is a better receiver than high temperature.
The biggest disadvantage of using mobile devices is that their idle currents are much larger than at high temperatures.
Everything is important when consuming solar energy.
Increased current consumption must be included in your electricity budget.
The power budget is based on the power consumption of everything, so you can calculate that your solar system not only runs your equipment during the day, but also charges your batteries for use at night.
Other things to note when using a cell phone are to ensure that a cell phone that can restore the required frequency, volume, power supply and noise settings is selected during the power cycle.
Because it's cloudy for a few days, your APR device is out of power, and your radio is reset to a frequency you don't need, which will embarrass you.
Solar panels generate electricity, as we all know.
What some people don't know is that voltage seldom can be used directly from the panel.
The output of solar panels varies with the illumination level.
Clouds pass, output changes, birds sit on the panel, output changes.
When they are in bright sunlight, they produce too high or too low a voltage to connect directly to anything.
In order to safely charge the battery and run the electronic equipment, the output of the panel must be adjusted.
The rated current of the regulator shall be the maximum ampere it can withstand, and shall have the specifications of the maximum input voltage of the solar panel and the voltage of the battery group.
For Digipeater, we are working on a 12V system.
Rated current applies not only to panel input, but also to load connection.
To figure out how many amperes there are, your array will output the overall rated power of all panels, divided by the panel's operating voltage.
* Watt divided by volt equals ampere * What is the reason for low voltage disconnection? The LVD (
Low voltage disconnection)
Protect your battery from extreme discharge damage.
If the battery is severely depleted, the LVD will start and disconnect the load.
If the lead-acid battery discharges deeply, it may damage the battery.
Of course, this means that your digging water won't work until the sun charges your battery.
Your device should be connected to a load connection on the regulator to take advantage of this option.
Prices of solar materials have fallen sharply due to mass production.
The regulator I use is Morning Star. It's well-made and costs about $50. -60.
It's a good unit and it feels good.
Can you make it cheaper? Yep.
The regulator in Figure 1 costs less than $10 to ship!
As solar panels and regulators cut prices, China is killing the solar market completely.
I bought a 20A regulator for $10. -14 SHIPPED!
Do they have the same building quality and efficiency as Morning Star? Nope.
Have they finished the task yet? Seems so.
I have some magic boxes in China for outdoor lighting and so on. They work perfectly.
I find their common disadvantage is that they are not as efficient as American-made batteries in converting energy from the panels into battery charging voltages, and most batteries are not sealed within the price range of less than $20, so they have to be installed in a protective case.
In an era of expensive distribution panels, efficiency used to be very important, but now it's easy to find distribution panels under 100 watts or $100.
When I started to dabble in solar energy, a 45W solar panel cost about $400.
Because panels are so cheap, wallets won't be hurt much if you get a bigger panel than you actually need.
Regulators fall into three basic categories. .
Shunt, PWM and MPPT.
The shunts are the oldest type, which basically only turn on and off the panel while observing the battery voltage.
If you're not careful, these can cause problems with electronic devices, because the voltage always jumps up and down every time you switch on the power supply.
Pulse width modulation is a low-cost installation method.
The Chinese units I use are all pulse width modulation.
Pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers do not use the power supply of the user's obvious slow switch panel, but switch it at a faster speed, which generates fast pulses and a slightly more stable voltage.
Once the capacity of the battery works, what you see is that the voltage of the battery rises steadily as the sun rises.
Finally, we have the MPPT controller.
These things are slightly more expensive, but most efficient.
To make a long story short, they can feel what the best load is to get the maximum current from the solar panels.
Many MPPT controllers also make good use of panels that are much higher than battery pack voltages.
Suppose you have a 12-volt battery to charge the sun.
If a non-MPPT regulator is used, it is limited to a 17-volt panel.
Once the sun starts to set, your panels won't generate enough voltage to charge the battery.
If you use MPPT regulators, you can run panels for 24 or 36 V systems, for example, the regulator will generate the 12V batteries you need.
When the sun sets, the higher voltage panels still generate enough energy to continue charging the 12V system, albeit at a much slower rate.
This is the advantage of a MPPT regulator with a higher voltage panel.
There are many articles about regulator technology.
I have a good working experience in Chinese regulators, but before making a decision, please do your own research. Epoxy sealed?
All electronic components of the epoxy resin seal regulator are sealed with glue. (pic 2).
If you worry about humidity or insects, this may be a good thing.
Ants seem to like electronic products.
Either buy a bug-proof box for your equipment or buy a sealed regulator.
The last thing you want is a $12 regulator that has been short-circuited by bugs and damaged equipment or batteries.
Notes on Regulator Connection *** All the regulators I have so far stipulate that if not, please connect the battery first, otherwise there will be a risk of damage.
Some of the Chinese regulators I have can work on 12 or 24 volt systems.
First, connecting the battery tells the regulator what the system voltage is.
Don't screw it up, or you'll be able to add a 24-volt voltage to a 12-volt system.
The price of solar panels is the lowest ever.
There are many brands to choose from, which can be daunting.
What I'm looking for on the panel is the correct voltage range, the wattage I need, a glass surface, an aluminium frame and a blue battery.
Yes, there are other rules to consider, but as a "thrifty" person, I will do my best to work, or make a deal.
Blue means the silicon battery you want.
You don't want a brown amorphous panel.
The amorphous panel produces less power per square inch and has shorter service life.
The rated power and voltage of the panel are.
Open-circuit voltage refers to the maximum voltage of the panel in addition to connecting the voltmeter in sunny conditions.
The open circuit voltage shall not exceed the maximum input voltage of the regulator.
On the back of the panel, you will see a label that gives the panel specifications and one or two connection blocks.
You can see two black junction boxes on the back of the panel in the second picture.
This is the position of the cable from the regulator to the panel.
Some panels have built-in diodes to prevent reverse discharge.
Solar panels can act as resistive loads and discharges at night.
This used to be a problem, but modern regulators have built-in protective measures to prevent this from happening.
Some panels will be advanced-
Connect MC4 connector.
MC4 connector is a kink connector that provides a solid connection and seals it in case of weather.
This is the industrial standard outdoor rated connector for solar systems.
Do you have to use it? Depends. .
Are you building buildings that are hard to reach and may be exposed to extreme weather? Then yes.
Are you building buildings that must conform to building or insurance codes? Then yes again.
You're a budgetary amateur. Don't you have to worry about code that meets your project? Then no.
I have been using external cables to connect directly to residential areas, and have never encountered problems for more than 20 years.
My solar installations are purely amateur stuff, so I don't need to deal with any licenses.
For example, if I'm working on an appropriate home system, I'll use MC4 and related wiring.
How about the installation?
There are many suppliers of solar installation hardware.
At the end of the day, you have an aluminium frame that needs to be mounted on something to face the sun.
This does not require expensive dedicated hardware.
In the second picture, you can see the back of one of my panels with brackets on the wall.
These are common wall brackets, from low hardware, that have been drilled and connected to nuts and bolts.
The bracket is steel and very strong.
Other installation configurations can be assembled in hardware stores with some creativity.
Remember, your panels need a good view of the sky, and they need good support.
Aluminum frames are strong, but you still need to support panels from at least two ends. Wiring?
Over the years, I have been experimenting with solar energy using large-scale Meibao light cables.
These things look like real heavy-duty lights.
It is rated for outdoor low voltage applications and can withstand sunlight.
Is this a professional solution? Nope.
I recently disassembled a portable array, and I built it about ten years ago, Cable said, Meibourg Optical Cable.
The cable is still very good, flexible, and there are no cracks in the insulation.
It works for me.
How many panels do I need? Math time!
You first need to figure out what your sun exposure is.
It's a measure of how many hours of sunshine you average shines in your area.
In my area, I have read seven books.
Maps of 5 and 6.
When your battery panel generates electricity in less than ideal sunlight, you won't fail if you just count on that number.
If you make a good mistake, you won't have a solar project that "runs out of gas" because the sun is not enough.
For this calculation, let's choose 7 as our lucky number.
7 hours of intense sunshine multiplied by the rated power of the battery panel can get the total power generated under ideal conditions every day.
If I use a 50W panel, that's 350W per day.
350W divided by my working voltage（
In this case, 12 Vdc)
Give me 29A every day.
I read 20% about the average of charge loss and other electrical losses.
29-20% of my daily production of 23A goes back to my battery, or what you have.
This is a very conservative number, considering that we are only based on the strongest sun in a day.
Therefore, under the same conditions, 100W batteries can provide up to 46A of electricity per day.
A 300 W battery panel can provide up to 138 amperes of current per day for the battery pack.
These calculations are based on the 12V system panel.
If you use a MPPT controller with a higher voltage panel, you will generate a little more voltage than these calculations suggest.
This is because of efficiency and the fact that MPPT controllers can use higher voltage panels, which will generate power available when your 12V system panels are short-circuited in harsh sunlight conditions.
Remember, this is my fault protection method for calculating the content of the project work.
I'm not an engineer, I'm just a weirdo!
Please feel free to search the Internet for other methods of calculating these numbers.
In Figure 3, you can see the temporary 100W panel of my project.
It happens that the sun is arcing from east to West on the side of the house where APRS cabinets are installed.
I just put the panel on the cabinet until the cabinet with the bracket is mounted on the wall with a nozzle.
This temporary arrangement allows me to test my solar devices in different weather for several weeks and then connect them permanently.
Solar panels can be bait, so be careful when installing loose panels.
They are also easily blown down, so pay attention to the weather during the testing phase.
Solar panels can provide you with electricity, but you still need to store it.
Lead acid is the most commonly used battery in solar energy systems.
Lead-acid batteries are the best battery packs.
If taken care of properly, they will live a long life.
The most common lead-acid batteries are wet batteries for cars and trucks.
If your battery is in the same box as your electronic device, that's not what you want.
Wet batteries exhaust and corrode everything around them.
This may be an option if your battery box is separated from the electronic device.
Ensure and use deep cycle batteries, such as golf carts or marine batteries.
Wet batteries for deep cycle applications also need to be maintained.
The electrolyte level in batteries should be checked regularly.
Another lead-acid battery that is very suitable for our application is SLA. （pictured above).
Sealed lead-acid batteries are commonly found in UPS devices of computer systems, where children ride toys and adults move bicycles.
The acid in these batteries is gelatinous.
With proper care, they can last for a long time without fear of exhaust or leakage.
SLA also has the advantage that it generally does not have all B's. S.
Expenses related to the purchase of car or truck batteries.
Lithium rechargeable batteries are ubiquitous in the market, and their power density is very high, but they present unique charging problems, which are difficult to solve by low-cost regulatory agencies.
I've seen countless Chinese solar regulators advertised as safe to use lithium batteries, but careful study of the pics project shows that there is nothing but a common lead-acid battery regulator.
Overcharging or improper use of lithium batteries can lead to violent explosions.
Before the technology matures, I will stay away from them.
If you decide to work with a lithium battery bank, avoid non-branded products and deal with a reputable company.
What capacity of battery pack?
There are complex formulas that can be used to calculate this, or you can only learn from experience.
I'm Level 2 in this area, but what about beginners?
This is my unscientific method.
Take an ammeter that can withstand at least 10 amperes of current and connect it in series with your load.
Pay attention to what it draws at boot-up, and don't transmit it.
Whatever that number is, it will be a 24-hour constant, so multiply it by 24. say it's 1 amp.
24 amperes a day.
Now, either wait for radio transmission, or press the launch button, if possible, to read current consumption.
This is an intermittent lottery, which can vary greatly depending on the frequency of your digger ID or the traffic of the digger.
Packet transfers are relatively short, and it's clear that the evening will be quiet.
Where APRS traffic is low, you can have a full transmission time within 24 hours a day.
There are more in some places.
I'll start with that one-hour number.
What's the ammeter reading?
Suppose it's 5 amperes. （
Very consistent with my settings).
Add these five to the top 24, and we now have 29 amperes.
In this case, your battery pack needs to provide 29 amperes of current to run all day without the help of the sun.
The next question is how is the sun in your area?
You see, more sunshine, less battery dependence.
If you're in a cloudy place, your battery pack will be taxed more, and you may go for a few days without a good charge.
This should be taken into account when planning battery pack capacity.
It's better to make errors in more capacity than to have the system disconnect the low-voltage connection regularly.
My system runs on a 20 AHR service level agreement and does well, but once again in Sunshine South Florida and APRs traffic is light in my location.
My redesigned cabinet has a good distribution board and fuse.
This is another good thing to readjust the old business cabinet.
It's all very well, but you can do the same thing with cheap stuff.
Many online vendors sell cable assemblies, which are built-in with blade fuse holders for after-sales vehicle accessories.
You can also use DC circuit breakers if you like. What to fuse?
Power supply from your panel should be fused.
Some regulators have fuses built into them.
Wires from batteries to regulators should be fused.
The "load" terminal on the regulator should be a fuse that powers the gears.
Whatever the expected workload, these should be fused at about 150%.
If you have any questions, please consult the electrician.
Don't forget to ground in case of lightning strike.
Equipment should be lightning-proof.
Antennas attract lightning.
Even nearby strikes can damage unprotected equipment.
If you are a new lightning protector for radio devices, seek help from local amateur radio enthusiasts.
People working on commercial radio devices will be very helpful in how to do this.
All these things are useless. There is no decent antenna to radiate your signals and hear local traffic.
There are many options for VHF amateur radio antennas.
From DIY to over $1,000, you have a choice.
My choice is a tram 1481 three-band dual-band antenna.
The monster is 17 feet long and has enough revenue to make my 10W run farther.
Quick calculation shows that this antenna makes my 10W transmitter equal to 45W signal on a gain-free antenna.
As an added bonus, it's a dual-band antenna, which means I can use an UHF radio on it without interfering with my APRS stuff.
The tram 1481 antenna was about $100 when it was written.
In the photo, you see that my tram 1481 shares an antenna pole with my TV and WISP antenna.
The low transmission power from the digger made my TV reception no problem.
This may not always be the case, so it's best to test it before making a permanent installation decision.
If you are in a windy place, you may have to give up gaining strength.
A single tram antenna with two horns is suitable for wind speeds over 100 miles and costs less than $50.
If you want to check "Copper 2m J" for yourself-
The antenna pole is on-line.
It is an antenna consisting entirely of a copper tube and an antenna connector that can be removed from an old CB radio.
They work well, but you have to follow the instructions carefully and know how to use copper tubes.
When it comes to antennas, the higher the antenna, the better the gain.
Antenna gain is not only helpful to low power transmitter, but also helpful to weaken the station.
The best antenna in the world is only as good as its feeder.
Don't waste time on your supply line. (antenna cable).
Poor antenna cables can cause damage.
At least I recommend using LMR400 or similar cables.
What do you hear or see?
APRS traffic sounds like a beep, followed by a short burst of data.
If you can monitor traffic on TNC or get display options as I do on my device, you will see the sender's call number, ssid, location and other information.
On the digged data packet, you can even see that it reaches your path through other users'radio.
Packets intended to be digitized will be heard by your system and retransmitted immediately.
In Figure 2, you can see how the data packet displayed on my device looks in the packet.
All of this can be decoded to determine who initiated it, who forwarded it, and what the station's informal name is.
If you want to know if your site is visible on the Web side of the network, please go to APR.
FI and search by zip code.
If there is an I-
The door is within your excavator's radio range, and you have correctly configured something that will appear on the APR. fi website. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
June 2018 Reliability Update.
Solar energy is already quite reliable.
Due to cloudy/stormy weather for 2 days or more, the system is only shut down due to several power outages.
Considering everything, I am not disappointed at all.
It's designed to know what might happen.
The only solution is to add more panels and larger batteries, but I'm satisfied with the current performance.
I did encounter an interesting problem. It was a good learning experience.
The system chirps, but the coverage is sporadic.
Receiving is a bit sporadic.
I put a SWR/power meter on the line. The standing wave is very good, so the antenna and the feeder look normal, but the output power of the transmitter is unstable.
I bypassed the amplifier and read the radio to the feeder. All ok.
The problem is that the relay inside the amplifier is spalling, possibly due to contact corrosion or wear.
It affects both Rx and Tx.
When the radio is connected directly to the antenna, I return to the APRS map until the amplifier is replaced or repaired.
To be honest, 5W radio access to my high gain vertical is entering the excavation water of the next county, so I am not in a hurry to replace the amplifier at this point.