What's missing from your Ham Radio Go-kit?

Posted on 2/7/2018 by Justin G. (Marketing)

Ok, so you’ve decided to build a HAM radio go-kit or you already have one and are looking to perfect it. Most of us have a mobile transceiver, a power source (battery) and antenna in the very least; what do you do when your battery runs out?


For field day use, one battery is probably fine – but you’ve built your Go-Kit for emergencies! Let’s look at some of the available options:

A solar panel array is great, but will only get you so far; they’re large, bulky and do not put out enough power to keep you going – and you need sunlight for them to work.

Additional Batteries:
These are a great solution if you have the space and the ability to carry them as they’re heavy and cumbersome.



Power Inverter:
I believe this is the best solution in any grid-down type of emergency. Small, lightweight, and affordable, the power inverter offers AC and USB power from any 12V DC source. If there is anything that is plentiful in a grid-down emergency (weather related, civil unrest, disaster), it is a plethora of broken down vehicles with good batteries. What’s more, the power inverter can be tied to your solar panel and battery to provide you AC power for your rechargeables including your HT, phone, and other necessities such as lighting.

Power Inverters come in all shapes and sizes, but this article is pointed directly at the Smart AC Inverters as they are easy (see SIMPLE) to use, have AC & USB power outlets, and provide up to 400 watts! The Smart AC and SlimLine Power Inverters are ideal for in-vehicle use too.




SIMPLE - How do you use them?
For applications up to 180 watts, the Smart AC 200W (#2402-5) simply plugs in to the 12V DC socket. For the 400W (#2003-5) version, simply plug in the red lead to the red terminal on the back of the inverter, then the black lead to the black terminal. Once the connections are secure, simply plug in the cigarette lighter plug into the DC Socket. Viola, you have AC and USB power! For applications over 180 watts, follow the same procedure, except you’ll connect the supplied alligator clamps directly to the battery instead of using the 12V DC Socket.

Final Thoughts:
The Power Inverter is not a single-solution to all of your power needs; rather it is another viable option to keep you up and running when conventional power sources are not available. Being extremely easy to use and ultra-affordable, the portable Power Inverter is another piece of equipment that will make your kit more valuable and easier to use.
Add one of our Smart AC Inverters to your Ham Go-Kit, you'll be glad you did.


Comparison Chart


Smart AC 200W (#2402-5)

Smart AC 400W (#2003-5)

  TrueRated Power:

200 Watts

400 Watts

  Surge Power:

500 Watts

1,000 Watts

  AC Outlets:



  USB Ports:




4.5 x 3.5 x 1.75 (inches)

 3.9 x 6.5 x 1.9 (inches)


12.3 oz.

22.9 oz.

  Output Waveform:



Inverters mentioned in this article:



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