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Old 05-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #1
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Solar panel

I saw, a couple of years back, a method of connecting a solar panel to the trailers pigtail. Was it this site or another site?
I can't seem to find it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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That is what I'm doing for a temporary connection for my portable panel. Purchase a female 7 pin trailer connector, wire the output of the panel controller to the connector - Positive to pin #4 and Negative (Ground) to pin 1. See the wiring diagrams here for pin IDs. Plug the panel connector to the trailer connector & you're set.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:14 PM   #3
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Thank you Vermilye.

I already have the standard ETI solar roof top set up and I just want to augment my solar panels or get them into the sun can I do it just as you stated? I have 2 new group 27 12Volt batteries.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:39 PM   #4
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Yes. That is what I'm doing. I have the 95 watt Go Power panel on the roof & a portable 160 watt panel from Solar Blvd. I plan to install a waterproof connector close to the batteries (I have the 6V option, so mine are on the rear bumper) to prevent the voltage drop that the long wiring run provides, but the trailer plug works OK for now.

Since you won't be going through the ETI installed controller, you will need a portable panel that has a built in controller. Both work OK together, although I have noticed some flickering of my LED lighting when both are almost done charging the batteries. Since there is no easy way to turn off the ETI installed GoPower controller, I'm not sure whether it is the combination of controllers, or the inexpensive Chinese controller supplied with the Solar Blvd panel that causes the flickering, however it isn't a problem since I don't use the lights while charging.

I may switch to a single controller for both panels in the future, either using the 30 amp controller supplied by GoPower, or, better yet, switch both panels to one that produces higher voltages that better match the charging requirements of the Interstate batteries.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:12 AM   #5
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I don't have a permanent panel, but I did just this as a temporary setup with a portable panel. It seems to have moved to be a permanent solution for now.
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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Portable Solar

Here is a link to a method for connecting portable solar through the trailer to tow vehicle electrical connector. It is in the files section of this forum.

Solar Made Easy
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Old 05-10-2014, 05:03 PM   #7
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Thanks Fudge brownie!
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:21 PM   #8
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Really love this info- especially the wiring instructions...thanks Paul. Called Solarblvd., they were backordered on the 75 Watt. Had an 80 watt for $198 + $28 for Controller + $20 Freight. Decided to go with their 100 Watt Kit which also included the wire and a volt/amp display for $259- shipping included for kits. Dimensions are almost identical, however the kit panel made by Solar Cynergy weighs 25 lbs. vs. 15 for the 75 Watt W Solar unit. Hopefully this is a good choice.

AutoZone had a 25' 16 gauge cord attached to a shoplight for $13; the 7-Pin was $15. $295 total and now I can charge the twin 6 V's. Nice.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:25 PM   #9
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I need to go camping again 'cause am looking at this too much. Rethought the package and called Solarblvd; they are swapping the Phocos charge controller for the Morningstar. $213 vs. $259.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:33 PM   #10
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I found in ordering from SolarBlvd that items can be out of stock. Usually a certain wattage panel, or the portable units are a bit harder to find. I am sure the vast majority of their product comes from overseas, that may account for some of it.

Rossue
I looked over the installation instructions for the Phocos products. The controller will do an adequate job charging your dual 6 volt batteries. The monitor system looks interesting, I like how it plugs into the controller. That plug in module appears to be a shunt, which allows for measurement. I look forward to a report of how it installs and operates.

I needed some heavy gauge wire for a project, I believe 8 gauge. The best deal was buying a set of car starter cables, or what are called jumper cables and cut the clamps off. For 20 feet of cable it worked real nice. Nice to see how you used a similar method.

What wire type will you use to connect the controller to the battery?
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:27 PM   #11
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Switched my order back to standard kit with Phocos controller based on fudge_brownie's comment. The monitor system might be useful. While I could clamp down on the battery terminals, it think the original idea with the 7-pin is the ticket. Thanks again Paul for all your help.
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:08 AM   #12
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I bought a 120 watt solar suitcase with a built-in controller and made a 10ft 7-pin connector cable. When I plug it into the pigtail on the trailer, the controller does not power on. However, when I plug it directly to the battery with alligator clips everything works fine.
Why is the controller not detecting the battery when plugged into the 7-pin? Im not sure how it is wired. Has it something to do with the converter?
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:26 AM   #13
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Are you still using the 10' cable with the 7 pin connector when you use the alligator clips?
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Old 07-17-2015, 03:35 AM   #14
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Are you still using the 10' cable with the 7 pin connector when you use the alligator clips?
No. But I triple checked the wiring on the cable and controller output. Everything is correct.

I should add that my batteries are dual 6s, located under the dinette bench.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:26 AM   #15
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I just have a 40W portable, and wire it through the 7 pin connector with no problem.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:29 AM   #16
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I have the dual 6V under the dinette seat too, though that should make no difference.

So, not sure the issue, but I would double check the trailer wiring from the connector to the batteries, along with your connections to the plug.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daubsy View Post
I bought a 120 watt solar suitcase with a built-in controller and made a 10ft 7-pin connector cable. When I plug it into the pigtail on the trailer, the controller does not power on. However, when I plug it directly to the battery with alligator clips everything works fine.
Why is the controller not detecting the battery when plugged into the 7-pin? Im not sure how it is wired. Has it something to do with the converter?
Check your battery disconnect switch, it must be on.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:56 AM   #18
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Need to see 12v+ across the GND and +12v pins on the 7 pin trailer connector (either side of the key), without the solar panel connected. Should see the same on the 2 wires of your adapter cable that connect to the panel, also before hooking up the solar. If you have it you have a good connection, if no go then you have something wrong on your adapter. Or as suggested, you have the battery disconnect thrown.
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daubsy View Post
I bought a 120 watt solar suitcase with a built-in controller and made a 10ft 7-pin connector cable. When I plug it into the pigtail on the trailer, the controller does not power on. However, when I plug it directly to the battery with alligator clips everything works fine.
Why is the controller not detecting the battery when plugged into the 7-pin? Im not sure how it is wired. Has it something to do with the converter?
Have you done as this .pdf from the files section describes?
Solar Made Easy

Some seven pins might use a unusual pin configuration. I had a female version that showed the numbers after taking it apart, even then they were very difficult for these old eyes to read.
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Have you done as this .pdf from the files section describes?
Solar Made Easy

Some seven pins might use a unusual pin configuration. I had a female version that showed the numbers after taking it apart, even then they were very difficult for these old eyes to read.
Im stumped. I used jumper wires to connect the controller directly to the pigtail, and it still didn't work. Voltage from the pigtail is reading 12.7 - 13.4v, so the controller should be powering on. Im using this controller.

It must be in the way that the 7-pin trailer cable is wired to the battery?
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