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Old 10-15-2014, 12:11 PM   #81
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and instead of the usual camp fire, we sat inside with the heat up, and played cards.

]
Wow, sat inside! Was that a first?

Ron
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:30 PM   #82
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Wow, sat inside! Was that a first?

Ron
Close for evenings, the only other time was a couple years ago at Bryce Canyon, when temps were cold and windy, and even though fires were allowed, the campsites were not conducive to enjoying a fire. Might not do that again though, as our wives kicked our butts at cribbage.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:30 PM   #83
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For heavy gauge wire, check out battery booster cables a/k/a jumper cables. If you do not need a long run - under 20 feet, they work real well. I bought a cheap set and cut the cheesy connectors off and had some nice 8 gauge wire.

I have looked hard for 10 gauge two wire, you only need two for the panel and it is hard to come by. Two wire to cut the cost and as important to cut the weight. Look under irrigation wire, that was referenced a lot but I did not find a match.

The other issue with heavy gauge wire is getting it to fit on the solar controller or similar connectors. You may need to plan for some conversion of wire gauge. I found NYLON Insulated WIRE PIN Terminal Connectors 10 AWG Wire MOLEX to make the transition. I also used super large wire nuts and connected a lighter gauge wire to heavier gauge wire just to make a connection.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:06 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
For heavy gauge wire, check out battery booster cables a/k/a jumper cables. If you do not need a long run - under 20 feet, they work real well. I bought a cheap set and cut the cheesy connectors off and had some nice 8 gauge wire.

I have looked hard for 10 gauge two wire, you only need two for the panel and it is hard to come by. Two wire to cut the cost and as important to cut the weight. Look under irrigation wire, that was referenced a lot but I did not find a match.

The other issue with heavy gauge wire is getting it to fit on the solar controller or similar connectors. You may need to plan for some conversion of wire gauge. I found NYLON Insulated WIRE PIN Terminal Connectors 10 AWG Wire MOLEX to make the transition. I also used super large wire nuts and connected a lighter gauge wire to heavier gauge wire just to make a connection.
I found #10 landscaping wire at a Lowes in California. Looks like heavy duty zip cord, very flexible, and described as UV protected. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available in the few eastern Lowes I've checked. #12 is the largest I've been able to find here in the East.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:15 PM   #85
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I found #10 landscaping wire at a Lowes in California. Looks like heavy duty zip cord, very flexible, and described as UV protected. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be available in the few eastern Lowes I've checked. #12 is the largest I've been able to find here in the East.
#10 landscape is available through Amazon; @$50 for 100 feet.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:06 AM   #86
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I had difficulty finding landscape wire in 8 gauge, so picked up some of this duplex wire from West Marine. It is flexible and coils neatly. The insulation on direct burial landscape wire is really tough, and should hold up well. It is a little stiffer and more unruly to coil than the marine cable, but should give good service.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:50 PM   #87
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This has been a long and interesting thread! Time for me to update from my last post, #80.

As stated...

Want to be worry free when I dry camp. Got non-tech but reasonably studious brain, been reading earnestly earlier excellent solar threads. Wire resistance, voltage drop, battery deaths, electrolyte stratification, man, this to me is carrying heavy water. Regardless, learned enough to make a solar plunge.

A packaged plug-in solar charging kit ready to go makes great economic sense. Plenty choices out there. But shucks, what fun is that?

So I've spent twice as much and built my Punch and Judy cobbed together system which employs lessons learned here, and from HandyBob, et al., and damn the torpedoes. Here's my choices:
  • Morningstar Sunsaver Duo SSD-25RM charge controller with remote display, $154.00
  • 2 each 50 watt Polycrystalline solar panels, ML Solar, $192.00
  • 30 feet of 10 gauge AWG 2-wire, $41.45
  • In-line fuse holder, 8 gauge, and 20 amp fuse, $8.48
  • Ring connectors, terminal connectors, $6.38
  • Mc4 and Mc4-H connectors (pair each), $15.98
At this moment waiting on the panels-- UPS should deliver to me later this afternoon. Biggest unresolved issue is how to run wire for the remote display from the controller in the tongue box to inside the trailer, and where inside to place that display unit.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:21 PM   #88
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Like you I have done a build your own. It looks like a nice set of components that you have chosen. A couple of other things to consider, depending on your arrangement of things, would be one or more kill switches. Just so you can isolate the solar when your are working on it or, as in my case, I keep it off except when using it. To work with those heavy gauge wires and connectors I invested in a hydraulic crimp connector. Under $30 at Amazon.

I think it is a fine dilemma to have, where to place the remote display. I like having such a feature, otherwise the need to mount the controller close to the batteries outweighs the visibility of observing the progress of charging.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crimp Tool.jpg (69.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0618.jpg (191.8 KB, 16 views)
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:18 PM   #89
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One obstacle to solar power

Solar works pretty well until the moon tries to cover up the sun, like it did today...
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:21 AM   #90
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So Fudge, you know what this is! Right. An actual "crimp connector-connector." Exactly what did not come with my two 50 watt panels today... what I didn't know I need, to properly wire up my panels in parallel, and don't have. Aaaargh.

I will not be watching my solar display show charging progress this weekend as hoped, wherever it gets put. This makes me want to go out and holler at the moon.

Oh man, now I can't find where online I got this picture. Know where this connector (or any correct crimping sleeve) is available?
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File Type: jpg crimp contact.jpg (47.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg sol-c.jpg (42.7 KB, 15 views)
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