Solar charged battery operated (low current draw) station using a Flex Radio

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I want to develop a Solar charged battery operated station. I need a recommendation on any computer that will work on low current draw @12 Volts that will run any new Flex radio. I want to upgrade from my SDR 1000 but the 12 volt/low power consumption remains a problem. KD6ET
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Gerald Capodieci

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Posted 5 years ago

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Graham / KE9H

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You probably will want to use a laptop for your computer. They are designed to be power efficient to get maximum battery life, unlike desktops. Most laptops run from 18 to 20 Volts, so you will need some kind of step-up converter, but will still be your lowest power computer solution, even with the step up converter.

--- Graham / KE9H
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Stan - VA7NF

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Expanding from what Graham said:
Many laptops have "car chargers" which will handle your 12V battery source.
Also The laptop must have a good video hardware/driver. The one I have is easily driven to 100% with several RX active and has a noticeable panadapter delay with a refresh rate over 10.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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I have a go kit with my 1500 and a netbook PC that works pretty well. Although it's set up for use with a power supply and mains, you could probably do okay for a while on solar, but like Graham says, a little boost for the computer may be required.
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Alan - KA4B

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A Mac Mini is a low power choice that is not a laptop. If I remember correctly it takes between 13 and 17 watts.
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Apple lists the power consumption for the current models of Mac Mini's as, "Maximum continuous power: 85W." Also, the Mac Mini uses Intel HD Graphics 4000 video built into the Intel Core i7 CPU's. (Note: I'm not bashing Macs. I own a Mac Mini.)
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Alan - KA4B

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My wife's Mac Mini is currently running about 18 watts. She has a 23 inch Dell monitor that runs about 20 watts. It is true that if you are running several slices the power consumption would be higher, but in a solar installation any time the radio is not being used the panadaptors could be closed to reduce power. I have been operating a normal household on solar power for more than 20 years. I have a Macbook Pro, but my wife chose to get a Mini and power wise it has worked well for us. I only mention it because for a non laptop the power consumption is quite low.