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Old 08-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #29
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Tom U why the voltage regulators.
Where did you get that info.
Thanks Dave
Dave, I found the info in the thread Experimenting with LED options by peterh. The info is on the first page. I posted a 'Thank you' to Peter to bring the thread up front. Reasons and wiring diagram toward bottom of page.

Luck!
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:39 PM   #30
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Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette Deluxe / 2006 Toyota Tundra
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Just ordered 8 LED lights from autolumination, and now wait my next project.

After treating the SCAMP to some rough back country I:
1) Fixed the fridge, stove and sink.
2) gave the wood a coat of tung oil
3) tighten all nuts and bolts
and am looking forward to some other modifications this sure is fun.

DAVE tight lines
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:15 PM   #31
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I just now took apart my Autoluminance 24-LED warm white dome because it looked like I could fit the batteries and switch entirely inside.

I am impressed!!!

<span style="color:#000000">The dome contains a little circuit board with a constant-current power supply that will accept anything from 9 to 36 volts and still keep the current to the LEDs stable.

So don't worry about being a little over 12v, or even 15v -- the LEDs will be just fine.

The only gotcha is that if the voltage is high the constant-current power supply heats up more than normal, and will turn itself off if its temperature gets too high. It will turn on again once it cools down.

They use the MBI 6650 constant current power LED driver made by Macroblock. The data sheet can be found at http://www.dhes.co.kr/pdf/MBI6650_Advance_..._2_20070627.pdf

</span> Oh yes, there's room for the batteries (a 3-cell LiPoly pack) and switch in the dome, so I can make the light completely self-contained.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:23 PM   #32
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i looked at those and ended up going with a switch type. i hope they look as good as yours do. i found this one for outside. i love the idea of it b/c the batteries can be taken out when not in use. nice to help find your way to a trailer in the dark, i am going to try and use it as an outdoor light up top b/c i don't have one.
http://www.theledlight.com/Wireless-LED-Step-Light.html
Cyndi - I'd love to know how this worked out for you. I just wired a back porch light on, but the wire connection inside the wall is weak, so it's only a matter of time before gravity combined with road bounce does in the connection. PLUS my light doesn't have a motion sensor! That COULD be handy!

Jen
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:25 PM   #33
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Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette Deluxe / 2006 Toyota Tundra
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Thanks Gina I just finished installing the 8 LED I got from autolumination and love the way they turn out.
Tonight was the first time to see then all in the night.
Thank to all for all the HELP.
DAVE
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:14 PM   #34
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Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette Deluxe / 2006 Toyota Tundra
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AMPS
Just checked the amp draw on my new LED lights from autolumination.
JUMBO 24 8mm LED (installed push button switches)
COOL WHITE-0.14 amps
WARM WHITE- 0.11 amps
JUMBO HIGH POWER 24 LED UTILITY LIGHT w/switch
WHITE-0.08
OLD lights taken out (orignal) 1.35 amps
Also in SCAMP
WATER PUMP 1.70 to 2.70 amps
FAN- 1.52 amps
XM RADIO-on 0.36 amps / off but still plugged into 12 volt 0.19 amps
VOLTMETER 0.02 amps
Still need to check Heater Fan
DAVE
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:35 PM   #35
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Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette Deluxe / 2006 Toyota Tundra
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This past weekend did 4 days on Kelly Creek Idaho left the LED lights on at night as much as possible before bed. Checked them with a VOLT MINDER (gary is a great guy) WOW very little volt draw.
I am impressed!
Now with the solar panels I feel power is no problem.
PS It was cold ran heater Monday morning battery still seem fine after taking the chill out of the Scamp.
DAVE
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #36
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It was cold ran heater Monday morning battery still seem fine after taking the chill out of the Scamp.
This time last year we had just gotten back from a trip to Yellowstone where nighttime temperatures were in the teens. With its 50-watt roof-mount solar panel, 55 amp-hour AGM battery and LED lighting throughout, our trailer was perfect for dry-camping. Just about the only thing that is high-demand electric in our dry-camp setup is the furnace.

The pity was the furnace ran just about all night the first night we were at Yellowstone and just about flattened our battery. There's a story about that here, somewhere. The point is, even small solar setups will likely provide enough juice to keep your LED lights on. It's when you throw in a high-amp appliance or two that hings go rapidly downhill.

We considered two approaches to fixing our furnace power situation. One was to buy a Wave 3 catalytic heater. The other was to expand our solar capacity.

The Wave 3 catalytic heater uses no battery power at all, so it's a great option if you run on solar. We bought one but decided to upgrade our solar panels instead, but the Wave 3 may yet go in to our trailer. Why? The same reason that catalytic heaters don't suck battery reserves down also makes them almost silent: they have no energy-sucking, noise-making fan. That gets real attractive when the noisy furnace comes on several times a night.

The other option we explored was to add capacity to our solar array so we can replenish our battery more easily. We decided to install a second, 55-watt solar panel on our roof, bringing our system capacity up to 105 watts. 105 watts should be adequate to top our batteries off after a cold, cold night as long as we park in a sunny spot. Parking in a warm, sunny spot is not a problem when the temps drop below freezing at night; for times when it's warmer I'm figuring the heater won't need to run as much and we can park in a spot with partial shade and still come out on top.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:13 AM   #37
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We decided to install a second, 55-watt solar panel on our roof..... for times when it's warmer I'm figuring the heater won't need to run as much and we can park in a spot with partial shade and still come out on top.
Peter,

You may have mentioned this before, but can you remind me what kind of solar panels you have? I haven't kept up on new developments since I last used them boating, which was a number of years ago. At that point in time, the rigid panels would pretty much quit putting out if they were even slightly shaded (like by a rope's shadow even). There were flexible panels that would work when partially shaded, but the trade-off was that they didn't put out as much as the rigid panels when it was sunny.

I know things are probably evolving by the day with solar stuff. I'd love to put a panel on the roof of my camper, so I could "fit and forget," but I had thought that would be a no-no because I like to park in the shade (or partial shade).

Thanks,
Raya
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:50 PM   #38
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Just briefly, there are three commercially available types of solar panels. Amorphous panels have been the cheapest ($3.00/watt), but also the least efficient (5-8% conversion of solar energy to electricity) and least durable (5 year lifetime when continuously exposed) panels on the market. Their energy output falls rapidly as the angle of the sun falling on the panel increases.

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are head over heels more efficient than amorphous panels and have a much longer life expectancy (25 years when fully exposed). The "crystalline" structure of these panels also allow them to capture light energy at a wider range of bandwidths and and angles, so these panels continue to deliver usable power as the sun gets low on the horizon and in slightly shaded conditions. Dapple wunlight under a tree will not deliver full power, but it may deliver 10-25% of what you'd get under full sun, which is better than nothing.

In other words it's still a good idea to have a mobile panel you can place in the sun. I roof-mounted my panels both to simplify our set-up chores (our solar charging system is always set up and "always on") and make them very hard to steal. The downside is we paid for that choice by having to install more panels on our roof than we'd need if we had a more mobile setup.

Advances in growing crystals have also made the new generation of panel much more efficient. At 16-18% efficiency my Seimens "monocrystalline" panels (one 50 & one 55 watt) were king of the hill five years ago, but some of todays polycrystal panels claim up to 22% efficiency, and they do this while costing less new than I paid for my panels used! I've seen prices well under $3.00 per watt recently, but paid just over $4 per watt for my panels on the used market.

Solar technology is continuing to improve. New (currently much more expensive) solar technology promises to boost crystalline panel power production to 30%, and other technologies that emulate the ways plants collect sun light look like they'll allow us to create flexible plastic solar panels with an efficiency rating over 40% and which will perform better in the shade and better as the sun heads down the horizon. Cool stuff . . . but many years out.

--P
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:00 PM   #39
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Peter,

Thanks for the info. What you posted sounds pretty similar to what I had to choose from, and 10% or a bit more sounds about right for partially shaded output. I thought perhaps you had panels that would do more like 50% or more when partially shaded, and that I wanted to know about

A thin, adhesive panel that would work decently in partial shade would be fabulous, wouldn't it?

I love the idea of roof-mounted panels, for security and ease of use; I just can't decide if they would be good enough for my use vs. shaded parking spots. I'll have to pay more attention to how often the roof is shaded.

Raya
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