Arizona Emergency Net - Maricopa

Arizona Emergency Net - Maricopa feed:

Copy the feed link and paste it into your aggregator

Copy the feed link and paste it into your aggregator

Subscribe to this podcast with iTunes

Subscribe to this podcast with iTunes

This site currently includes recordings from 2010-2012


Every Monday night, the Arizona Emergency Net – Maricopa meets on 2 meters FM for training and exercise in the public service communication arts. We focus on preparation and readiness for public service – be it scheduled events like bike races or drills, or emergencies such as storm damage or terrorist attacks. Someone has to be ready. This net is dedicated to addressing that challenge. The Arizona Emergency Net – Maricopa also activates during threats or emergencies affecting Maricopa County

12-13-2010 - Field Power Part II: After Batteries - KF7CCC


We had 21 stations that participated in the net. We checked in by the ability to
run non-battery field power. One station was actually running field power. Seven
stations had the capability to run field power. By far the most popular
non-battery field power was gasoline generators, and then solar panels. Some
people had experience with wind power as well.



Some generators are true sine wave; some aren't. Some equipment needs true sine
wave/clean power. The June 2008 QST has a good article on generators. Some
generators create large magnetic fields, which may be an issue for
computers/radios near them.

Most generators are heavy, smelly, large - they go in the back of pickup truck
only. Smaller generators have lower peak power. More expensive generators may be
lighter or quieter. Many generators have a Sone or dB rating for noise
comparison. Some gas generators can be extremely loud. Be considerate of others
when placing a generator.

There's a difference between 100% duty (which means "runs all the time but
amperage may go down as the generator heats up") and continuous duty ("runs all
the time at the rated amperage"). A lot of generator information comes out of
the welding field.

Natural gas/propane generators may rely on natural gas/propane delivery systems
(pipes). This may present a problem for fixed generators in an emergency.

Using a car as a generator isn't as bad on fuel as you'd think. But in general
it's better to run the car intermittently to charge a battery, then run off the
battery (rather than running at 0 mpg continuously).

It's important to distribute power using high voltage, then convert to 12vdc at
an inverter near your station (rather than trying to send 12vdc through a 100ft
cable). Note that inverters can cause a problem with electrical noise near a
radio, though.

Generators are cantankerous, and need attention to keep available for use. Fire
them up regularly to make sure they'll work when you need them. Have spare parts
(spark plugs, etc), tools (spark plug, wrench, file, spark gap tool). Use fuel
antioxidant to prevent fuel from turning into gunk.


One person spent about $20/panel for used panels "used up" from a commercial
standpoint. Another user got a 15w panel for less than $100 from Harbor Freight.
One person reported that a 15w panel will keep his RV battery charged for about
a week of usage.

Several people recommended you get a charge controller for the solar panel. This
prevents reverse voltage going back into the panel, prevents overcharging the
battery, and also regulates output voltage/current. Small charge controllers are
not expensive, although once you hit 300w or so they get more expensive.

Transporting solar panels: use original packaging, or a Pelican case, or build
your own with small dimensional lumber and plywood.

Solar cells vary in efficiency. Better efficiency means a smaller size for the
same wattage/amperage (and also higher cost).


In Arizona, there's not much chance for large-scale wind power: wind is either
non-existent or enough to take blades off a wind generator. Flagstaff is an
exception, though - and anywhere there's a venturi effect might be a good place
for wind generation.


There are some citrus groves in the valley that have things that look like
wind-powered generators. Those are actually fans to keep the orange trees from



Filetype: MP3 - Size: 20.19MB - Duration: 44:07 m (64 kbps 11025 Hz)