Hunting and Scraping for Solar Panels

Late this few weeks I’ve been hunting and finding Solar Panels which can be use to power up various items. Among the Solar Panel that I’ve found is listed below.

solar panels collections

1. 14 volt panel – obtained from a hobby shop
2. 4.5 volt panel – scrapped from a damaged garden light
3. 2 volt panel – scrapped from some car accessories

Why would I need solar panel for?
Just to satisfy my hobby in electronics. The place where i’m staying (Alor Setar, Malaysia) always receives equal amount of sunshine, (near the equator), except for monsoon season of course. So I’m thinking that, it’s kinda shame if I let it waste.

Among of my plans would involve of hooking up one of these panels with a regular car battery and inverter to power up my backyard lamp and various electronic projects that depends on solar power. I’m looking for any good schematic to aiding me, not too complex, but good enough for a beginner.

I would appreciate any of your suggestions, btw.


Get Garmin Amateur Radio Repeater POI from 9W2PJU

One brave soul (9W2PJU)has made Garmin POI of ASTRA and MARTS repeater location available via Garmin by publishing the Garmin POI file on his website. Although from what I read, some people has complaint that the location information stored in the POI is inaccurate, IMHO the exact Amateur Radio Repeater location itself isn’t that important as the information that contains its frequency, tone and shift which can be use to access the repeater.

From my observation, the POI of the Garmin does not store the exact location of the repeater (probably for security reason) but the general location of the repeater is good enough for travelers to discover new repeaters and use them while traveling to unfamiliar places, keeping in touch with fellow ham operators.

Please refer to 9W2PJU website for the latest POI files.

Tak-Tenna Compact and Space Saving HF Antenna Review

Tak-Tenna is a type of compact antenna which is suitable for those who has space constraints on erecting their HF antenna. It is small enough that a 40 meter Tak-Tenna is just about the size of a 4-element Yagi 2 meter antenna. Here’s photographs of 40-meter Tak-Tenna in action. Compare that to the typical 40-meter dipole or Inverted-V configuration ! Thus it has the advantage of space-saving and unobtrusive setup when compared to other design of HF-antenna.

Tak-Tenna 40 meter
Tak-Tenna 40 meter

Tak-Tenna is available in 3 models – 40, 20, and 10 meters, with the 40 meter model can be use on 40, 30, 20, 15, and 10 meters with a tuner.

Refer to this article: “The TAK-Tennaâ„¢ Review – A Limited Space HF Antenna Review” for further review on Tak-Tenna performance and advantages.

Tak-Tenna can be ordered from the official Tak-Tenna website

Simple L antenna (2 meter antenna)

Here’s the simplest antenna that you can build to transmit with your HT or mobile rig when you have nothing else to rely to. The configuration gives you a 3.5dBi gain and it is simple to construct when you’re at outdoor.

Simple L antenna
Simple L antenna
Simple L antenna

I built this antenna, specially for hitting repeaters during lightning storm, as my usual high mounted antenna might attract lightning.

This antenna can be built using any conductive wire. Though, for my configuration, I use thick copper wires with the length A = 0.525m and B=0.4815m. The A-B angle is about 100-110 degree. It gives SWR 1.0 between 145.5MHz – 145.8MHz and SWR 1.3 at 148.0MHz, the edge of 2 meter amateur radio band.

Morse Code practice oscillator diagram

This is a Morse code practice oscillator has been built by N2UHC

The circuit is a simple oscillator circuit based on a 555 timer IC. There are only a few components needed to construct it.

Parts list:
IC1- 555 timer
R1 – 150k
R2 – 1K
C1 – 10 uF electrolytic
C2 – .01 uF ceramic disc
9V battery clip

See the circuit in action (my own video) that I’ve built myself.