Sunday, April 6, 2014

Counting - Radio #2 - Yaesu FT-817ND - Portable Power Monitoring

A few weeks back I did a post about portable power for my portable QRP station.
Well, last Friday I received the Turnigy 2 in 1 power meter. Today I spent some time setting up the unit to go between a power source (battery or power supply) and a load (radio).
Here are the unit's main features and specs:

Accurate voltage/amperage/wattage measurement
1.5" TFT backlit color display
2 channel operation (CH1 8.4V/10A max, CH2 60V/100A max)
Adjustable amperage/voltage alarm

Servo meter input CH1: 8.4V/10A max
Power meter input CH2: 60V/100A max
Display: 1.5" TFT
Dimensions: 58x45x9mm
Weight: 41g

From factory, the unit comes with some very thick wires, as it is rated for 60V, 100A max. Since I will not be using such high voltages/currents, I decided to save some weight and make my life a little easier for soldering Anderson Powerpoles. Perfect system integration was my goal.

So, here's how the unit looks like after conversion for thinner wires and Powerpoles:

The unit is equiped with a 1.5" TFT backlit color display. I had no idea that the display would look so good. While indoors, colors are bright and strong, but be warned: under direct sunlight... well, it's not that good and in some circumstances it will be difficult to read the information displayed on the screen.

Starting up the unit, looks like this:

It's a feature, not a defect, but when the unit starts, until the voltage stabilizes, the unit displays a voltage alarm (configurable via menus):

The menus are acessible via top buttons:

For detailed information about the above buttons (and extra input and output port) please see the unit manual, available here.

So, on and all, a great addition to the portable station. All is well when it ends well. Here's a couple of pictures with the unit already integrated with the FT-817ND. Hopefully, as weather gets better, the next pictures will be from the field.

 Until then... 73.

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