30ah Portable Solar Generator (AKA Softpak)

For about 3 weeks I lay contemplating about my next small project; A necessity for Portable communications.

I had so much crap in my possession, I could make 3 portable kits with the wiring and components alone, but I needed to scale this down to just the bare necessities for this portable kit.

Here is what I have for this kit:

  • West Mountain Radio 4005U distribution panel
  • KI0BK Low Loss Power Gate
  • KI0BK Solar Charger for LiFeP04 batteries (not yet received, but should be on its way with the new firmware)
  • 100′ of 12Ga Zip-cord
  • 2 15Ah Bioenno LiFeP04 Batteries

There was only one thing missing that kept me from putting this whole kit together: The box.

There was my quest: Should I use an 50 Cal Ammo can? Should I use an “Horror and Fright,” Apache ammo can? Hammond Manufacturing Solid Box? So many possibilities!

Several designs later and I could not come up with what really intrigued me.  I didn’t really have any requirements other than for it to run my FT-891.

As I sat in front of my ham shack, I was looking at some older bicycle trunk bags that I no longer use. AH!


I slipped the batteries in this one Topeak bag and both batteries fit perfectly.  I then went to my basement and began wiring them up.

Here is the end result.

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Basically there will be 2 wire sets for radios that are un-switched. They will feed to that West Mountain Distribution panel or to the KI0BK LLPG.  More likely to the Distribution panel. One other wire set will be for the SSBC once it arrives.

This being light weight and very flexible, i can add various amounts of cabling to this pack with plenty of room.

This is only MK1 of this set and most likely will turn into a new bag when I see the need for growth.

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