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Old 04-10-2021, 01:41 PM   #1
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Amateur radio questions.

OK,

First question.
Do you notice any interference from the solar panels and charge controller on HF?
Same question for the Onan generator.

I will leave antenna and shack setups for a later discussion.

73
K7HMR
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Old 04-10-2021, 05:30 PM   #2
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I'm not quite qualified to answer this yet since I'm taking my Technician exam next Saturday, but I know when HF DX'ing the solar charger controller and inverter throw out lots of RFI. I can turn those things off when DX'ing, or simply move away from the trailer with my shortwave radio. I've also seen some YouTuber's demonstrate this same issue with solar panels & charger controllers.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. The RFI varies greatly from each manufacturer ,and the noise from different units they produce can be inconsistent. I will be using the RV as my base and want to know if there is anything particular to the Outdoors RV.
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:31 AM   #4
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The converter is the major offender in mine. It can even be heard on the dash AM radio. When operating HF portable (parked) and using an antenna away from the RV it's OK, so it's only a problem in the proximity of the RV. Over the years in different setups I've had 3 different brands of converter and they were all EMI generators, on Iota brand I could hear even on 2M FM.

I've never run radios off the onan, just off the house battery or portable gel cell so no data point there.

My solar panel is direct connect, no controller, so no chance of EMI.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:59 PM   #5
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How do you regulate the battery charge if you do not use a charge controller?

What kind of a setup do you run for your HF?
I have a FT991A coming and am looking at probably using a Comet vertical for the
antenna?
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_K5LXP View Post
The converter is the major offender in mine. It can even be heard on the dash AM radio. When operating HF portable (parked) and using an antenna away from the RV it's OK, so it's only a problem in the proximity of the RV. Over the years in different setups I've had 3 different brands of converter and they were all EMI generators, on Iota brand I could hear even on 2M FM.

I've never run radios off the onan, just off the house battery or portable gel cell so no data point there.

My solar panel is direct connect, no controller, so no chance of EMI.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
You have to have a charge controller between your panels and batteries
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Old 04-13-2021, 08:06 PM   #7
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the only RF I have when operating HF is from the converter. I just turn it off and let the solar panels keep everything charged while operating.

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Old 04-13-2021, 08:16 PM   #8
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There have been a few articles over the years in the various ham radio magazines discussing solar charge controller interference.

If my memory is correct (at almost 70 years that's questionable) I read in one of the ham radio magazines that the Morningstar company is run by a ham, and that their products are designed to be as radio-quiet as possible.

Mike
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSparks View Post
How do you regulate the battery charge if you do not use a charge controller?
I don't have a panel large enough to require charge control. 120W into a 220Ah battery with my daily use is always in deficit. When the RV is parked the panel is shut off and I use a mains powered tender.

Quote:
What kind of a setup do you run for your HF?
I have a "go box" with an Icom 7000 and an Elecraft K2, a couple dual band HT's plus sundry station accessories. I have a storage tote in the basement with "antenna stuff", wire, coax, paracord, stakes, adapters with a few pre-made dipoles and end feds ready to go. That and either a jackite or crappie pole if needed gets the wire into the air. I usually take my pneumatic antenna launcher which makes use of any nearby trees if available. Also have an Arrow yagi for working the easy sats.

Quote:
using a Comet vertical for the antenna?
"Everything Works" - N6BT. Wouldn't be my first choice (or 2nd or 3rd) but some folks find that level of performance adequate. I usually run QRP so I lean towards more efficient solutions.

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Old 04-14-2021, 07:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W5CI View Post
You have to have a charge controller between your panels and batteries
Well, no I don't. It depends a lot on the installation and use. If the panel size, battery capacity, state of charge and loads are such that the panel output isn't capable of overcharging the battery, any controller in use wouldn't be doing any controlling anyway. If you don't care about optimizing efficiency through MPPT you get the same delivered watts connected directly as you would any PWM controller operating in bulk mode. My "controller" is an on-off switch for when the RV is parked and the batteries are full. When in use, my panel will never generate enough Ah to keep up with typical use so no point in bothering with a controller. I do have a battery monitor to keep tabs on Ah and SOC.

I have a portable solar setup too, a roll up panel and a gel cell. I use an inline monitor and if conditions are such the battery has reached full charge all I have to do is shade/tilt the panel or unplug it. No controller needed (I'm the controller). If I'm using the equipment it's a rare occasion that's necessary. Not saying controllers are bad or unnecessary, just that some applications don't require them.

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Albuquerque, NM
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:22 PM   #11
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That is some good info. Right now I only have a portable solar setup that I use for field day and the events that I work. I plan to be fairly mobile and camping in areas without many trees, so I am looking for a quick and easy setup for my antennas.
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