Trailer Power!

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    Neil, W6VG

    Thanks to the generosity of Jim S. and the technical expertise of David T., our trailer now has solar power. The 300w panel was installed earlier this year, and the charge controller was connected this weekend by David with Nick P.’s assistance. The batteries were fully topped off when I checked this morning.

    Next steps are an AC pass-through panel, and beefy DC wiring to both front and back of the trailer. Mike P. installed an antenna mount on the roof which gives us options for leaving a mounted 2m/440 antenna, as well as connecting antennas that cover 6m, 10m, FRS, land mobile, and APRS.

    Many thanks to the able hands, minds, and contributions that are making this happen!

    Casey, KA5WAX

    Neil, I just nabbed a few pallets of APC rack-mount UPS gear from a dot-bomb.
    I am intending to review the stuff and see what’s operational / ok / marginal / it’s-dead-jim. Most often it’s just the batteries.
    Could you use such a thing or two in the Trailer? ( elsewhere? )
    I’m slating one or two for the second-phase build-out of the emergency hut in B Canyon.

    Casey, KA5WAX

    Back at it; I had the APC up at Field Day but there was such a commootion aboot that I didn’t want to bring up another distraction.

    I have since re-attached the leads and fired up the one I didn’t trade-out. The battery was at 80% but climbed to 100 pretty quickly.

    here is the model number.
    UPS Smart-UPS X 1500
    apcrbc115 battery dates from 2010, and while it’s holding a charge I haven’t run it through a full discharge cycle – it may be wise to replace the battery.

    it also has a fancy management card; ups, ethernet etc. I am betting it does the ‘PowerChute’ thing OOTB, w/out the add-on card.

    finally there is a jack on the back which reads ’48V DC from powerpack’ or some such. I suspect it is for daisy-chaining the batteries…

    I also scored a APC fast-failover AC switch, which is intended to roll over power sources quick as a wink. Ones critical equipment would plug into this, and this would plug into a chain of batteries/foo.

    SoOoOo if you folks can’t use these in the Trailer let me know; I have a couple of other places I could use it. It’s in a rack over in the Canyon now looking forlorn. I would like to move it to one of my other uses or to the collective Trailer in the next couple of weeks.

    Mike, KJ6VCP

    That’s a really nice UPS with true sine wave and extended run time, but I don’t think it will work for us.

    As best I can tell, it wants a 48V battery input, typically 4 x 7Ah batteries in series in a ‘battery pack’. We’re wired for 12V.

    With the internal UPS batteries, we would get about two hours runtime @ 100W load. We would need additional batteries to go longer, and I don’t think we want to add more batteries to the trailer, versus running something off the existing battery bank.

    Casey, KA5WAX

    Thanks Mike! I’ll roll it into another role. I am not sure I’ll run across a 12V UPS, but I will keep my eyes open.

    Is there a write up / schematic somewhere in the Library describing the Trailer’s power?
    come to think of it do you have a handy schematic for the generator distribution unit I saw on Field Day?

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