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  1. boondox

    Nice Rack

    Sorry about the title. I couldn't resist. Member @D. Abineri sent me a PM the other day asking about my angle iron solar panel rack and I said I would send some pics. I figured I'd put it here in case it is of interest to anyone else. I built and assembled the rack. I made all the brackets and...
  2. boondox

    Ham Radio and Inverters

    My Magnum inverters do pretty well. Mine are within the loop of my main antenna and there is no prblem. My Midnite Classic 150 makes some hash on 80 meters but since I only do 80M at night it isn't a problem.
  3. boondox

    Needing to know how many batteries and solar panels are needed.

    One thing you don't mention is a generator. A 5kW or so would be fine for thins setup. I personally don't have three days worth of battery power and never have in over 20 years off grid. I just charge every day, sun or generator. If my power slurping hog self isn't there the system would go...
  4. boondox

    Needing to know how many batteries and solar panels are needed.

    Make sure to use the term watt HOURS. It does seem that you are calculating watt hours but using the term watts. Very different meaning. It sounds like you realize this too but in terms of batteries what you need to know is the after dark loads. Running a fridge is no big deal, I run two fridges...
  5. boondox

    Solar array, 3S2P vs 6S

    +1 with what @Snowboater said. I'd just add don't forget you are working with high voltage. Make sure everything you use is properly rated and watch out for shocks.
  6. boondox

    Solar pv voltage too high

    Yeah, switch to a 2S4P configuration. UNder cold and sunny conditions your voltage will go up. Something will pop one of these days if you don't.
  7. boondox

    Charge management

    No. An isolator allows the alternator to be connected to the house battery to charge yet prevents the start battery from being run down by house loads.
  8. boondox

    Charge management

    The alternator has it's own charge controller of sorts. Most are pretty crude. There are some out there with real smart profile. Solar has its own charge controller. Wind generally has to have a load or be able to furl and you'll have to see what its requirements are but it needs a charge...
  9. boondox

    Shore power and solar

    They solar charge controller and shore power should play fine together. Your solar will mostly be idling if you are plugged into shore power as your batteries will be fully charged.
  10. boondox

    Ok to mix panels?

    It will work. Depending on the specs of the panels you may not get full expected output. Here is an explanation of what to expect:
  11. boondox

    Are my battery cells defective?

    And if you aren't yet equipped to top balance you can connect them in parallel for a day and then connect them in series and charge them. Then you can pull some power out of them and see how they do. However, you do want to top balance eventually before putting the battery pack in service.
  12. boondox

    Currently using Crown batteries. Last bank was Sam's club. I check the water levels once a month...

    Currently using Crown batteries. Last bank was Sam's club. I check the water levels once a month and usually add some every 3 months or so. Taking 200aH out of a 300aH bank will wear it out quickly.
  13. boondox

    Wire size and breaker size protection

    At 12 volts, 1500 watts will pull 125 amps. So of course you can't use the maximum rated output of your inverter. A 150 amp breaker will protect the wiring but will leave the BMS as the primary circuit protection. As to what gauge wire that depends on the length of run. You can use this...
  14. boondox

    DC-DC Chargers in Parallel

    I put my input breaker on the base of the driver's seat, Makes it easy to reach down and shut it off and turn it on. However, my battery is under the seat so it made that easy.
  15. boondox

    NEWS: New Midnite Solar DIY Series - SCC's & Inverters (great $ too)

    Awesome! A friend and I were commenting recently about how Midnite was getting left behind and entering "OK Boomer" territory. Really glad to see they are staying in the game. Although I don't know why they can't put a software patch out for the Classic to handle LFP.
  16. boondox

    DC-DC Chargers in Parallel

    I like breakers too. One reason is that since I want to arrive home with my batteries less than full I don't want to charge on the way home. The breaker makes it easy to switch off the charging. Make sure to use a quality breaker though.
  17. boondox

    Sharing solar panels for multiple uses

    I get that. There are things that I like doing the hard way. Like when out boondocking I use a radio to send email instead of just wafting until I have cell service. And I have been fooling around with component level electronics for over 40 years. I guess for me a power system is something I...
  18. boondox

    Sharing solar panels for multiple uses

    Snoobler is right, you are making it too complicated. And having a system you don't need to monitor or tend generally requires having much more system than you actually need.
  19. boondox

    Additional hydraulic crimper dies?

    I have pretty much the same crimper. Sure has gotten cheaper since I bought mine 10 years ago. If you find a source for new dies please post it here. The sheet metal trick would work for when it is too big but sometimes it is too small and the next size is waaaay too big. Lug sizies seem to be...
  20. boondox

    Junk DC Breaker

    I agree that quality stuff can fail or be bad right out of the box. But the odds are better. And at least if they do fail you know that you just got unlucky as opposed to getting what you asked and paid for.
  21. boondox

    Junk DC Breaker

    Yup, buy quality and cry once. Especially for safety gear. Thanks for sharing your experience!
  22. boondox

    Did I make a huge mistake purchasing these?

    Well, they are less than ideal but you bought 'em cheap. I would try to limit the discharge to 75% SOC and they should give you some decent service.
  23. boondox

    Total Noob question......

    No. In my system anyway the generator will be charging the batteries at whatever rate I specify and then do its best to support any other loads that are applied. If the generator can't keep up with demand then the voltage and frequency will drop and the system will kick the generator off-line...
  24. boondox

    Total Noob question......

    Yes, a system can work that way, as long as it is designed to do so. There are a couple of little things that might be different. One is that many higher power inverters work in "pass through" mode when using a generator. Since the inverter is being used as a charger, it can't invert. So all of...
  25. boondox

    Opinions on Used Solar Equipment

    I was in a similar situation. Cost of bringing power in way exceeded cost of solar. Makes the choice easy. For starters, do a good solar survey. Figure out where the best sun summer and winter. Winter is more important than summer so if you have to compromise make the winter the better half...
  26. boondox

    Opinions on Used Solar Equipment

    Well, let's say you got 10 panels for 600 watts. Or you could get 2 panels for the same wattage. With the 60W panels you have 20 wires that need to be combined. With the second, 4 wires. Each panel needs to be supported around the edges. Draw up a grid of 10 VS a grid of 2. And while you can...
  27. boondox

    Opinions on Used Solar Equipment

    60 watt panels are too small to bother with in my book. Too much mounting, too much wiring.
  28. boondox

    Need help with wire sizing for batteries in parallel (Please)

    Hydraulic crimper is the way to go. Nice thing is you can do smaller gauge wire too. And know that it is tight and right. Use closed end lugs and adhesive lined heat shrink and you will be good to go.
  29. boondox

    Need help with wire sizing for batteries in parallel (Please)

    Exactly. I have a 12 volt system and a 100aH battery. 12 x 100 = 1200. Look up Ohms law, it is the single most handy thing to know to answer these type of questions and it is very simple. Yup, if you want to use 00 AWG for your battery interconnects it won't do any harm and then that part of...
  30. boondox

    Need help with wire sizing for batteries in parallel (Please)

    In the teach a man to fish department... Most of the loads you describe are pretty small. A 2-3kW inverter is not. Watts divided by volts will give you amps. If you have a 3000 watt inverter on a 12 volt system you will get 250 amps. Length of run is another big factor. Take a look at this...
  31. boondox

    Mounting components in a greenhouse?

    Hardly an apt analogy. Risking some electronics VS a life. However, many folks have SLA/AGMs in their bedroom. CPAP machines, UPS etc.. I'd still sleep just fine.
  32. boondox

    Mounting components in a greenhouse?

    I wouldn't worry about having a SLA/AGM in the same space. In theory if you seriously overcharge the battery it could vent some acidic gas. It wouldn't keep me up at night.
  33. boondox

    Should I power with 120v or 240v What are the benefits and pros and cons of running 120v vs. 240v under solar power?

    The place where running 240VAC pays off the most is on heavy loads. For example, my water pressure pump is about 100 feet from my power center. So I ran 240 out there and wired the pump for 240. I could use smaller wire that way. Same thing for my welder, although it isn't all that far it is a...
  34. boondox

    Sims power

    That would be awesome! Hopefully you could go on a rampage at the building department! To the OP, what is your application? That might help in coming up with something else.
  35. boondox

    Recommendations please

    Cool. Let us know how it goes.