Alpine Radio’s DIY no-break power system

March 5, 2019

Alpine Radio broadcasts across the Kiewa Valley, Ovens Valley and Harrietville in north-eastern Victoria. The station is proudly independent and community owned and operated, presenting a mix of local news, sports, radio reading and specialist music.

Being the official emergency broadcaster in the area makes it critical to have back-up power during any power failures so they can keep the community informed of any emergency situations. The station has a generator for this purpose but requires technical expertise to operate meaning the station could be out of action for hours until a technician can arrive at the station in an emergency.

Car batteries and switchable charger

Understanding the price and limitations of commercially available uninterruptable power supplies, Alpine Radio’s ingenious technicians began experimenting with car batteries as an alternative for their transmission site. Using four car batteries, a car battery charger and a changeover switch, the results were 10 hours of continued power following a blackout.

With the support of a CBF Development & Operations grant, Alpine Radio has purchased new car batteries and a switchable charger for $1,215. Testing their No Break Power System for their studio has been successful, ensuring Alpine Radio can keep their community informed and safe during emergencies in the local area.

Are you interested in adapting this approach for your station? Alpine Radio has kindly provided a block diagram for their No Break Power System to guide you.