Solar Charger and Panels - Page 8 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2008, 10:34 AM   #99
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30 Watt Briefcase Solar Panel and Controller



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Both, $319 with standard shipping.

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Old 03-08-2008, 12:19 PM   #100
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Bonnie, I purchased one of the panels from this guy and when I could see that he delivered etc, I inquired if he could get more. The deal I have with him is a second chance offer from when I lost a bid on eBay. He does not have a warehouse full of them, he is checking into ordering 2 more for me at that price. But he has already delivered one. I do not know, and won't ask him about his source.

He only has one up right now. And I am bidding on it :-P There are LOTS of these on eBay, and the price varies wildly.

The 30 watt one is intriguing, but you can see, the price goes up per watt the bigger the panel gets. That is one of the reason why I opted to have it broken down into smaller bits, and it also allows me a consistent option for adding panels as I can afford them. The 13 watt panel is $3.84 a watt, (+ shipping) where the 30 watt panel is $8.30 per watt. With the 30 watt panel, you reduce set up time and get a larger current capability tho. The 30 watt panel also has Mono crystalline cells, which produce better in full sun, but the amorphous cells work better in low light cloudy stuff. (6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other) I camp in foul weather a lot, so I prefer the amorphous cells.

For connections, I am using premade housings from a product at work and fitting them with standard plugs and receptacles I can get for free. I am using 1/4 phone jacks/plugs like what is on the end of guitar cords, but you can also use a variety of other types of robust connectors. I was using speakons, but they are a bit of overkill and rather large.

For a charge controller, I am currently using an ASC 12/4 I will have to add a second one soon, as I believe this controller is designed to handle 100 watts max. I can't seem to find that spec anywhere, but I vaguely remember it from when I bought it.

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Old 03-08-2008, 12:56 PM   #101
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For connections, I am using premade housings from a product at work and fitting them with standard plugs and receptacles I can get for free. I am using 1/4 phone jacks/plugs like what is on the end of guitar cords, but you can also use a variety of other types of robust connectors. I was using speakons, but they are a bit of overkill and rather large.
Thanks for the reply. Am I correct in thinking I can drop into Radio Shack and get their 1/4" phone plugs/jacks and wire this up? Or would it be better to use something else. For some reason (inexperience?) I am not visualizing the hook up part very well.

If I figured my amp loads correctly, this one panel should work for everything I need. I may upgrade later, if I add a lot of juice hogs, but this will at least get me started and be a keeper if I need more solar watts later.

I'm looking forward to your future posts on how you're rigging things. Pictures would be grand.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:02 PM   #102
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You could, but you need to know how to solder correctly, and you need to build a box to hold all the jacks.

Your panel will come with connectors that are well suited for your needs with just this one panel for now. I would go ahead and just use them until you feel the need to upgrade.
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:06 PM   #103
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Here is the "junction box". It is the housing for our foot switch assemblies for switching functions on guitar and bass amps. They are designed to sit on the floor and literally be stomped on all night.

Unfortunately, the largest one we have easily available will only support 3 panels unless modified heavily. (We have "4 bangers", but they don't come round as scrap very often) We chuck these things in the recycling all day long for cosmetic reasons, so instead of bribing our metal shop to add more holes to support more jacks, I will just "add on" more boxes and daisy chain them together if needed. Right now, 3 suits my system.

This is what they normally look like:


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Here is how it's is gutted and converted


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I don't feel a need to paint over the functions. I know what they do, and they are powder coated, so you don't get a much more robust surface than that.

Here is the inside.


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The screws you see are simply filler to cover up the square holes intended for the LEDs from the electronics of the switch when it is actually made into a foot switch. The larger holes that the jacks are mounted in are for push switches.

The jacks are rated for high current outputs of power amplifiers, and in this application, they will never see the type of current they are capable of. They are also corrosion resistant.

I also have them normaled through one jack, as you can see, rather than daisy chaining them together. This will prevent one jack down the line from bringing the next ones in line down in the unlikely event of a failure. If the jack and connection on the noramled jack fail, well, all bets are off.. Anyway, this is a common technique used in speaker cabinets using multiple speakers. If one goes down, you still have 3 (or more) working ones.

This "box" can sit on the ground under the panels and be protected from water reasonably. I can also put in dummy plugs to prevent water from going down the jack holes if I am not using a panel in it.
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:05 PM   #104
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All of these briefcase products appear to be manufactured by Topray Solar out of China.
They are difficult to get supplied.

Here is the product page:
Solar

I do have a wholesalers license and will see what I can get.

Looks like the HF set is coming out of this company as well.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:25 AM   #105
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I looked them up some time ago and noted the same thing.

I would be interested in seeing what kind of pricing you get. They look like they want you to pick up large QTYs at Large $$$$$
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:05 PM   #106
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I looked them up some time ago and noted the same thing.

I would be interested in seeing what kind of pricing you get. They look like they want you to pick up large QTYs at Large $$$$$
That's OK, you'll buy all of them won't you? Oh, I will need to keep two for myself.....
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:53 AM   #107
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Everything arrived alive and well.

I am pleased with the size and the ease of setup.

I had one question for those of you who have done this before, can I clip off the connector to say the alligator clips and wire that to the charge controller so I have a like connector for the panel? I'm guessing it won't matter as long as the connection is strong and protected.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:13 AM   #108
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Bonnie, yes you can.

Just be careful that you know which is + and -. I think you already knew that tho.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:04 PM   #109
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[quote]Thank you, Gina!
The guitar case works perfectly.

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I've been hunting for the right guitar case since it was first posted. Tonight I stumbled across a brand new soft sided keyboard case on Craigslist. It's a little bigger than a guitar case, but will hold everything for my solar setup in one package. It's even got wheels on one end.


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Gator GK61 SEMI Harshell Keyboard Case

Thank you for the idea!
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:41 PM   #110
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Quote:
It's a little bigger than a guitar case, but will hold everything for my solar setup in one package. [b]It's even got wheels on one end.
That would be a great feature!
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