[aprssig] Backup Remote Power cord ops

Stephen H Smith WA8LMF2 at aol.com
Wed Dec 1 18:54:56 EST 2021

On 12/1/2021 4:59 PM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> When preparing for winter APRS (and other) backup power I found it
> possible to fit up to 175' of power cord on the  Home Depot power cord reel.
> Just pull off the 20' of #14 power cord  and rewind with up to 175' of #18
> Zip cord..  Rated at 10 Amps the reel can still carry plenty of power the
> distance if precautions are followed and it can still fit under the car seat if
> needed.

I did this about a decade ago!   Used a generic orange cord reel from Harbor 
Freight that had 30 feet of 16-3 cord on it.  Took it apart, removed the cable, 
and replaced it with 200 feet of Monoprice premium "oxygen-free" (an 
affectation in the audiophile community) speaker cable.  This stuff is 
two-conductor 14-2 zip cord in a clear PVC jacket. One conductor is stranded 
natural copper color; the other is silver (tinned copper) (so you can tell the 
polarity for stereo speaker hook ups.  If you are really serious about 
polarizing 2-conductor AC cords, the two colors are a lot easier to see than 
the almost invisible ridges on one side of AC zip cord.

At swap meets, Field Day, etc, the safety-enforcers always freak out when they 
think they are seeing bare wires on the ground!



For power in the field, I just took the plunge and invested in a Jackery 
"portable power station".,   This is a 25-lb 10x10x12 inch box with a 1 
kilowatt-hour lithium battery inside. The battery is surrounded by TWO DC-DC 
converters and ONE DC-AC inverter:  One outputs 5 VDC to two USB-A jacks and 
two USB-C jacks.   One outputs to a 10 AMP 12 VDC car lighter jack,  The 
inverter outputs 110 VAC pure sinewave to  THREE 110 VAC three-prong AC 
outlets. The AC inverter can output up to 1 KILOWATT!      I've tried it - it 
really can power a 3/4-horse table saw or a small microwave oven, a coffee 
maker, or my 800-watt electric weed whacker..

On the input end, it has charging jacks for a normal 12-VDC car power jack 
(a.k.a "cigarette lighte jacr"). It CAN ACCEPT 10 TO 30 volts input, so the 
power station can be charged on large trucks or military vehicles with 28 VDC 
systems.  It can also be connected to  a provided 250-watt  100-250 VAC-input 
power brick.    Finally, it has a built-in solar charge controller that can be 
connected to "bare" solar panels - no external charge controller needed.    The 
device comes with a Y-shaped cable with an mystery junction box in the center 
that allows you to connect two similar 12-18 volt solar panels in parallel to 
the single port.

The front panel has a nice LCD display that shows:

    A bar-graph battery level "gas gauge"

    The number of watts coming in from all charge sources

    The number of watts going out to loads on all ports.

I have used this device several times now at ham events including swap meets, 
and a presentation on APRS that I gave to the Traverse City, Michigan ham club 
last week.  I call the Jackery my "cordless extension cord".  Sure beats 
chasing around unfamiliar venues looking for AC outlets and stringing vast 
lengths of extension cords!

Now that the winter season has arrived, the swap meets around here (Michigan) 
are all indoors at auditoriums, union halls, high school gyms, etc. There is 
always a mad scramble at these events for sellers' spaces near the wall,  to 
get access to the scarce AC outlets.  Now, with the Jackery, I can take any 
table in the middle of the room, and  plunk the power station down under the 
table.    I then plug in everything  AC or DC into the one power supply:  Phone 
and tablet chargers, 12 VDC transceivers, AC supplies for 100-watt class HF 
transceivers, laptops, desktop PCs, computer monitors, my drone charger, and 
even my Acer 1080-HD video projector.   The Jackery has had no problems 
powering all this stuff for the typical 5 hours of the average swap meet.

Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
EchoLink:  Node #  14400  [Think bottom of the 2-meter band]
Home Page: http://wa8lmf.net

-- APRS over FLdigi Modes  --

60-Meter APRS!   HF NVIS APRS Igate Now Operating

Flying Digipeater!

12 Copies of UIview in Action on One Acer "NetbooK" Computer!
Live Off-The-Air APRS Activity Maps

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.tapr.org/pipermail/aprssig_lists.tapr.org/attachments/20211201/8698f133/attachment.html>

More information about the aprssig mailing list