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Category: WQ4RP Excalibur Site

WQ4RP Goes 100% Solar/Battery Power

WQ4RP Goes 100% Solar/Battery Power

It has been my long desire to move WQ4RP toward 100% Solar/Battery powered status.  With the total rebuilding of the radio shack during 2016, it made sense to incorporate a solar system into the new shack. The goals for the power system  system were to supply RF quiet power for the entire amateur radio station, including power for the radio(s), peripheral equipment (logging computers, keyers, etc.), and lighting.  WQ4RP is often used as a QRP contest station, so the power system needed to be robust enough to supply continuous power both night and day. This post discusses the  components that comprise the WQ4RP Solar/Battery Power System:

  • Solar Panels
  • Mounting system for the panels
  • Solar Charge Controller
  • Batteries
  • Shack Lighting
  • Wiring details

Two Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panels were selected for this project.  The two panels were mounted over under style with the use of aluminum L stock purchased from Home Depot.  The two panels were bonded very securely to the common aluminum L stock with pop rivets.  

Two Renogy 12V 100W  Monocrystalline Solar Panels

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WQ4RP Shack Gets a New Floor

WQ4RP Shack Gets a New Floor

Many hours were spent deciding on which type of flooring would be best suited for the WQ4RP remote radio shack.

In the end, southern yellow pine 1″x 6″ lumber won out, as this is the same type of flooring I installed in my log home almost forty years ago, and I knew this type of flooring would send the message that you are now entering a special place.

The pine boards were installed over a red vapor barrier.  The vapor barrier limits the amount of moisture that can migrate into the shack from the ground.  The pine boards were just a few inches longer than the 12′ length of the building, so with a little trimming the installation went quickly.  This is not tongue and groove– I simply selected the straightest boards I could find at my local Home Depot Lumber Department and arranged the boards for minimal gapping.  This method worked out very well.

Excalibur SYP Flooring

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Excalibur II Site Improvements – Drywall

Excalibur II Site Improvements – Drywall

Since it has been several months since the last report on the rebuilding of the KnightLite’s QRP operating site WQ4RP, I wanted to share some of the things the KnightLites have been up to.

In April, Marty W4MY spearheaded the installation of drywall for the walls and ceiling of the shack.  Our Drywall Fest team consisted of Marty W4MY, Marc W4MPS, Chris AA4OO, Dick N4HAY, et moi AA4XX.

Excalibur Sheetrock 1

W4MPS (L) and W4MY (R) cutting drywall

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Knightlites Excalibur Site Gets a New Radio Shack

Knightlites Excalibur Site Gets a New Radio Shack

A few months ago, Dick N4HAY, Richard N4PBQ, and I spent a number of hours cleaning up the remains of the original Excalibur radio shack, a site that has hosted many QRP events over the past ten years.   As some of you may recall, The original shack was substantially damaged by a direct lightning strike during the Fall of 2011.

Moving forward, we are pleased to report that a fairly large supply of building material was delivered to the KnightLite’s Excalibur antenna site on Jan 1, 2016.

 

Excalibur building materials delivered

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Lightning Strikes AA4XX Radio Shack

Lightning Strikes AA4XX Radio Shack

One sultry afternoon in August of 2011, a series of severe thunderstorms passed over my property, and upon arriving home after work, I decided to walk  the 1/4 mile or so from my house to make sure everything was OK at the radio site.

The only immediate sign of damage was a melted piece of ladder line near where it entered the shack

lightning melted ladder line

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