Do you have a way to charge your Ham radio in the event of a power outage? It’s common for preppers to have a small handheld Ham as part of their emergency supplies. I own two Baofeng UV5RA. They have so many uses and are a great resource in a crisis. They can: be walkie-talkies (keeping loved ones connected when there’s no cell service), get NOAA weather stations, tune-in to local AM/FM radio stations, connect with other HAMS, and can connect with local law enforcement if you need to radio for help. My husband and I take our ham handheld radios with us when we kayak down rivers. This article will show you several methods on how to recharge a Ham radio offgrid.
How to Recharge a Ham Radio Offgrid
1. USB Smart Charge Cable & Solar Battery Bank
This is my preferred method. Having a 15,000 mAh Battery Bank means I can fully recharge a Ham radio offgrid 10 times WITHOUT using the solar charger (Ham battery 1500 mAh). Once the battery bank is dead then I can use the solar charger to charge the battery. This is only possible if you have a USB Smart Charge Cable along with a battery bank. Both additions are compact and fit in my Ham Radio Equipment Beginners Kit. The detachable two-prong power cord, that comes with the Ham radio, is swapped out for a USB power cord. In this method, the power cord attaches to the base of the charging station and not to the radio or battery.
2. Car Power Inverter
The secondary method I have for recharging my Baofeng handheld radios is to use a car power inverter. A car power inverter channels the power from a car battery into electrical devices through a car’s lighter outlet. It’s a simple device to operate. Just plug it into the lighter outlet and then plug the devices you want to charge into the power inverter. Car power inverters have many practical uses. A small 150w inverter is typically used for powering or recharging phones, tablets, smart watches, and laptops. A larger 1000w inverter can be used for inflating blow-up mattresses for camping, powering a blender, a handheld vacuum, power tools, a small refrigerator, a small microwave, and recharging electronic devices. Large power inverters typically connect directly to a car battery but there are lighter outlet attachments.
3. AA Battery Pack for the Baofeng UV5RA
Another option is to get the AA replacement battery pack. There are several ways to recharge AA batteries off-grid, as long as you have rechargeable batteries, a battery charger, and a AA Baofeng Battery Pack, you can use the same two methods mentioned above to recharge the batteries or use a saltwater battery charger.
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