Here are some options for "man portable" HAM comms - long distance comms. Bear in mind, this came from a discussion regarding the near infamous Chinese hand cranked surplus generator. After much research, I have determined that setup will NOT WORK as it stands, and would need to be heavily modified, as it only outputs 6.3V DC. You need 12V DC. An electrical engineer has posted some mods on the internet, if you or your group is bound and determined to buy a hand cranked generator, you can look them up yourself. All information is based on some basic math and knowledge of the systems being discussed. I try to give easy to understand breakdowns. Using a pair of 7 amp hour (7aH) gel cell batteries (similar to the ones used in alarm systems, and uninterrupted power supplies). This is exceptionally portable, and if you throw in a solar panel with charging attachments, silent and literally free energy. Note: the radio (or electrical gizmo) needs power pole connectors for the battery pack. You add some weight with the gel cells, but it gives you more transmit/reception time. The 7aH batteries are really cheap as well (about $20.00 each). However, research has shown that a 12v 1.5w 120mA output solar panel from Harbor Freight which, while it runs under $20.00 requires about 66 hours of good daylight to charge one 7 aH battery to full. Based on extensive research, I provide the following options. Always remember "Fast, good, or cheap", pick 2. Option 1: "Good and cheap" At under $100.00 you can run portable, with extremely light weight. Pros: Extremely portable (panel is 13.75"x4.75"x0.5"). Free energy from the sun (no labor needed), can charge the batteries while on the move. Cons: exceptionally slow charging speed. Cannot run a small radio directly from the panel. Break down as follows: 1.5 Watt Solar Panel: $12.99 (trickle charges a battery. Will fully charge [from 0 charge to full] a 7 aH in approximately 66 hours under full sun - 1.5 watt/12 V = approx .112 Amps. 7 aH/.112 A = 66 hours In direct sunlight.) Connector wire set: $8.99 2 Qty. 7mA hour Gel Cell batteries: $40.00 Total cost, minus tax or shipping: $60.00 Option 2: "Fast and good" Allows for faster charging, more flexibility and a bit more cost. For just over $120.00 you can have a larger portable solar panel (14 Watt) that charges faster, and it comes with a connector wire set. Pros: Extremely portable. Free energy from the sun (no labor needed), can charge the batteries while on the move. Charges the battery in 1/10 the time of the smaller, lower powered cell. Can potentially run the radio (as long as TX power is in the 4-5 AMP range, you are golden, as the radio draws less than the 14 Watt output of he panel) without any battery source during daylight hours. At 9 and 15 AMP TX you would drain a battery fully in .75 and .5 hours of constat transmission (approximate). Cons: Larger solar cells (20"x15"x1.5"). Higher price point. Break down as follows: "Briefcase" Solar Panel: $79.99 (trickle charges a battery. Will fully charge [from 0 charge to full] a 7 aH in approximately 6 hours under full sun - 14 Watt/12 V = 1.1666 Amps. 7 aH/1.1666 amps = 6 hours In direct sunlight.) 2 Qty 7aH gel cell batteries: $40.00 Total cost, minus tax or shipping: $119.99 Please note, these charging times are very conservative as all panel ratings are calculated using winter time sunlight. Sunny locations with more daytime hours will give higher Amps, thus shorter charge times. One of the heftier 14 Watt portable panels will fully charge a standard car battery (40 aH) in 34 hours. Also to note, the larger panel can be used to charge NiCads, relatively quickly with an adapter and battery charger hooked in (I have one that is cigarette lighter adaptable, and the large panel comes with a 12V DC "cigarette lighter female adapter"), or a separate charger can be bought. I took the time and built two of the option #2. I housed the batteries in surplus ammo cans (water tight and nearly indestructible) and connected the batteries in parallel, thereby doubling the amp hours of the bank, while maintaining the Voltage (14 aH at 12vDC as opposed to 7 aH at 24vDC). I lined the bottom of the ammo cans with 1/2" thick styrofoam. I installed 6" tall 3/4" dowels as "legs" in each corner of the box, and installed a cover plate of 1/8" balsa ply with a power switch. I screwed through the outside of the ammo can into the legs to anchor them tight into the structure. Sealing them with silicone, I painted them olive drab to match the outside of the can. The foam and dowels keep the batteries tight in the box, yet keep an airspace around the batteries to help keep them cooler during use and charging. The switch (which is recessed approximately 1/2" below the ammo can lid) allows me to turn the power on or off as I need. I ran a female "cigarette lighter" 12vDC connector with a cover cap to the outside of the box (sealing around the wire with silicone), wired to this to a charge controller (mounted under the wooden plate), switch, and then batteries. My briefcase solar panel can be plugged directly into the batteries using the male 12vDC connector. any 12vDC item can be plugged into the system. If you know what kind of amerage your equipment draws, you can easily figure out how long you can run on this battery pack. This was designed as a portable power pack for comms, but it can have many uses. I will be building another battery box, and will post pictures as I progress.