One thing i have found on the 3 day camping trips is that my battery gets pretty much hammered. Sure its 100ah, but after you have taken 40 to 50ah out of it, its pretty much done all it can do for the high current demands of a FT-897. When you see the voltage on TX get into the 11 and 10v range, you know you are not far away from hurting your battery permanently.
Maximum cycles and ultimately life of a deep cycle battery, can only be had if you do not discharge much more than 50% of the total battery capacity. Sure a deep cycle can be deeply cycled, but doing it often will lead to sulphation of the plates and poor holding capacity. Being the tight arse that I am HIHI, I wish for my cheap Chinese import battery to last for as many cycles as possible and with that in mind, i bought a solar charge kit.
So the kit i bought is a MaxRay 80w folding solar kit off Ebay. Total cost $140 delivered. Which comes with a 10A charge controller, 9m lead with 50A Anderson plug, carry bag and Anderson plug with battery clips.
Build quality seems ok, one small issue is the wiring to the charge controller was not done correctly, this is something i will rectify before i use it. Other than that, it seems like a nice enough unit. I will put it in the sun tomorrow and measure its voltage and current delivery to see just how close to spec it really is. That will be the real rest for this. But, if it keeps both our deep cycles charged for camping, it will mean i can take other high power devices and not have to worry about hurting the batteries. A fridge will be next and I think the boss wants a fan in the camper as well. HIHI.