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Off-Grid Ranch in Northern Arizona - Send me your resume!

RFOneWatt

New Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
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23
Location
Mesa, AZ
Not sure if this is the best place to post this. If not, please move to a more appropriate sub-forum.

I just began the process of purchasing a remote 40 acre parcel of land in Northern Arizona (I currently live near Phoenix) and am looking for an individual who has the same primary goal I have - to develop the property and live on it long term. A business partner? Partner in Crime? .....whatever you prefer to call it.

I am hoping to find an individual who wants to help create and enjoy a very comfortable, off-grid, self sustainable lifestyle. (separate quarters on each side of the 40 acres?)

I'm not interested in simply surviving. That's easy. I am interested in escaping the city and creating an off grid high-desert oasis while enjoying all of the technical amenities we enjoy on-grid. (I have been in the I.T. business for 30+ years.)

The single most most important characteristic I am looking for is the desire to live the type of lifestyle described above & be willing to do everything in their power to make it happen.

The ideal individual would have either assets in the form of capital AND/OR equipment / hardware / heavy machinery / technical skills, (or any combination of the above) however I am very open to many different scenarios, depending on the individual and what they have to offer.

I am investing approximately $200,000 (in cash) to make this happen and while that may seem like a fair bit, after paying (cash) for the property, drilling a 700-900 foot well, septic install, setting up the pre-fab buildings & solar array / power & well house etc. it's going to be gone fast.

While I have been preparing for years to make this happen on my own (and have almost everything to do so) I thought I would make this post to see if there were any interested individuals so that they might have the opportunity to participate in some of the decision making processes: two brains are always better than one!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and feel free to private message me if this is the type of lifestyle you are looking for and want to make it a reality.

-Tony
 
Cool!

In Mesa as well with 39 acres E of Show Low in Apache county. Currently 2 5th wheels, a 40' shipping container, 23.3kWh of custom NMC battery (another 23.3kWh to deploy), 3kW solar installed, additional 8kW solar on site.

Clearly on my own path and about $82K in. Wells in my area are on a 1 year wait list and I'll be lucky to get out for less than $50K. Typical septic is around $10K.

Good luck!
 
Thanks for the response. I have been planning for a long time and did a ton of research already so no real surprises. I allocated $40-$50.00 per foot for the well but didn't realize there would be a wait but as long as I'm on the list, I can make do. Patience has never been a problem for me so hauling water for a year won't be an issue.

I already have much of the same as you listed above but the one question I have, how much was the shipping container, delivered?

I'm doing prefab metal buildings but absolutely need a 40FT shipping container immediately upon closing on the property.

Thanks!
 
Thanks for the response. I have been planning for a long time and did a ton of research already so no real surprises. I allocated $40-$50.00 per foot for the well but didn't realize there would be a wait but as long as I'm on the list, I can make do. Patience has never been a problem for me so hauling water for a year won't be an issue.

40-50/ft for the well sounds pretty light. I commonly hear tales of low-ball quotes, but once the well is drilled, the nature of the geology requires a more expensive steel casing rather than the PVC quoted.

I got a quote from the company that drilled both my neighbors' wells - I'm literally between them. 650' is going to cost $45K. That's just for a capped well head. Pump and installation not included, but that's likely to be $6000 for a 2hp Grundfos.

We currently have a few IBC totes and have it trucked in. 1000 gallons lasts us a year, but we're only up there a couple weekends a month.

I already have much of the same as you listed above but the one question I have, how much was the shipping container, delivered?

$3250, but that was pre-pandemic in 2019. Seems to be higher now.

I'm doing prefab metal buildings but absolutely need a 40FT shipping container immediately upon closing on the property.

Very curious to see what you've selected for prefabs... :)
 
When I began doing the research & planning my two top priorities were, #1 - WELL and #2, SOLAR.

I ballparked 50K on the well but I won't have any official quotes until I close on the property. Considering the well IS number-one priority I will do whatever it takes, and do it RIGHT. I have an IBC to get water to the property initially (and a nearby well I can use until mine is drilled) but even with a functioning well I budgeted two permanent 550 gallon tanks for the property. Water is the new oil, especially here in AZ.

As for the solar system, I did the math, a bunch of real world testing and then tripled everything and bought most of that equipment back in 2020. Core equipment is all Victron. One more pallet of bi-facials and a few ancillaries and I should be set for a little while. I even bought all of the copper in 2020, which I'm very glad I did, considering today's prices.

As for the metal buildings, I only just started looking and haven't decided yet as it depends on a couple of things that are up in the air.

I have two TT's to live in while everything is coming together but this is the site I have been browsing, to get an idea of cost and what's available.

Metal Buildings

Thanks for the heads up on the well head, I had only checked on the power requirements for a well head thus far and not pricing on the pump, etc.

After I read your initial response I realized that I have gleaned quite a bit of information over the last few years from your posts here on DIY and I thank you. (how could I forget "Eggo" :)

My profession is network security and I have an extensive 12V background but it's still a large endeavor so I do thank you for your knowledge & time. :)

-T
 
When I began doing the research & planning my two top priorities were, #1 - WELL and #2, SOLAR.

Solar was my first. :) Well is still in the distance...

I ballparked 50K on the well but I won't have any official quotes until I close on the property. Considering the well IS number-one priority I will do whatever it takes, and do it RIGHT. I have an IBC to get water to the property initially (and a nearby well I can use until mine is drilled) but even with a functioning well I budgeted two permanent 550 gallon tanks for the property. Water is the new oil, especially here in AZ.


I was able to provide drillers with the two pumps within 1/4 mile of my proposed well. I think it helped.

As for the solar system, I did the math, a bunch of real world testing and then tripled everything and bought most of that equipment back in 2020. Core equipment is all Victron. One more pallet of bi-facials and a few ancillaries and I should be set for a little while. I even bought all of the copper in 2020, which I'm very glad I did, considering today's prices.

All Victron too. :)


As for the metal buildings, I only just started looking and haven't decided yet as it depends on a couple of things that are up in the air.

I have two TT's to live in while everything is coming together but this is the site I have been browsing, to get an idea of cost and what's available.

Metal Buildings

Nice!

Aerial view:

1691469916354.png

Concerning dwellings, being from OK, when you say "mobile home" or "double wide," I have some very negative images pop into mind. However, we looked at some double wide Champion Homes made in Chandler, and they are shockingly nice. True quality construction. 9' ceilings, R22 floor, R19 walls and R40 roof with the 40# snow load.

Thanks for the heads up on the well head, I had only checked on the power requirements for a well head thus far and not pricing on the pump, etc.

Grundfos SQ line dramatically reduces (eliminates) pump surge. They have a built in soft start. While my Quattros could handle a fair bit of surge, I'd rather invest in a pump that doesn't hammer 'em.


After I read your initial response I realized that I have gleaned quite a bit of information over the last few years from your posts here on DIY and I thank you. (how could I forget "Eggo" :)

Glad to hear it!

My profession is network security and I have an extensive 12V background but it's still a large endeavor so I do thank you for your knowledge & time. :)

-T

(y)
 
The water wells in arizona are terrifying. Recently read a story of a guy who budgeted $50x. They expected water around 400 feet. Got to 400-500 foot neighborhood and nothing. He’d spend $45x at that point. He said go ahead and drill up the whole fifty grand. They hit water just as the money ran out.

Dropping fifty grand on a dry hole would get my attention.
 
The water wells in arizona are terrifying. Recently read a story of a guy who budgeted $50x. They expected water around 400 feet. Got to 400-500 foot neighborhood and nothing. He’d spend $45x at that point. He said go ahead and drill up the whole fifty grand. They hit water just as the money ran out.

Dropping fifty grand on a dry hole would get my attention.

It's less of an uncertainty in my area. There is a well established aquifer. The only downside is it's pretty deep. I'm literally between two wells - almost straight line between them at about 1/4 mile in each direction. Those wells are within 75' of each other. It would be a HUGE surprise if my well is > ±100 ft of either of them.
 
Just gotta comment...
Before I became disabled,(leg amputation),I was a Remodel Contractor,hunter,fisherman,and camper,did 2 places in remote Baja locations.
Boy would I jump at this ! Build your prefabs,(would rather start from scratch),install solar,get some Internet,pipe it,wire it,just build it !
 
Solar was my first. :) Well is still in the distance...

I guess I lied. I thought about that after I posted because solar has always been #1 priority but since I've had that (mostly) taken care of for the last almost 3-4 years, the well has been #1 in my mind. But, yes, truthfully, Solar was always my top priority as I knew I could always use storage tanks prior to drilling the well but I can't live without electricity....and lots of it.


I was able to provide drillers with the two pumps within 1/4 mile of my proposed well. I think it helped.

Thank you for the link! Very handy. Bookmarked.

All Victron too. :)

You get what you pay for, just like everything else.

Sure, the Chinese stuff will work for a couple-few years (probably, hopefully) but when you breakdown the actual components used, unit construction, etc. it's clear you'll likely get decades of service from the likes of Victron, Outback & MagnaSine.

I love to tinker but only when I want to and I certainly don't like to gamble with my electricity.


Is that picture from Google Maps or a drone? I'm guessing Google Maps.

When I first moved to AZ in 2016 I lived out in the desert near AJ for a few months while looking for a job. A few months later when I looked at the location I had been in, using Google Maps, I was surprised to see that they had snapped a pic of my little "camp" even though I was only there for a few weeks.

bulldog.canyon.google.satellite.image.camping.3-2018.picture.PNG


Concerning dwellings, being from OK, when you say "mobile home" or "double wide," I have some very negative images pop into mind. However, we looked at some double wide Champion Homes made in Chandler, and they are shockingly nice. True quality construction. 9' ceilings, R22 floor, R19 walls and R40 roof with the 40# snow load.

That's funny. I don't think the term "double wide" or "mobile home" is PC anymore. I noticed that the youngsters prefer to call trailers "Tiny Houses" these days. :)

Shoddy home construction has always been a pet peeve of mine but I'm absolutely not opposed to prefab. These days, with advancements in technology, I would absolutely consider something that is well built, so thanks for the link.

Grundfos SQ line dramatically reduces (eliminates) pump surge. They have a built in soft start. While my Quattros could handle a fair bit of surge, I'd rather invest in a pump that doesn't hammer 'em.

Smart man. Longevity is most important so that's a huge consideration.

Whenever I spec anything I'll normally only consider 50% of max output as usable. I have separate inverters designated to specific tasks, the "pump house" is one of those tasks. Freezers & cold storage would be another.

I'm a very, very big fan of redundancy.
 
Is that picture from Google Maps or a drone? I'm guessing Google Maps.

It's actually Bing Maps. Google's most recent aerial is before we owned the land.

When I first moved to AZ in 2016 I lived out in the desert near AJ for a few months while looking for a job. A few months later when I looked at the location I had been in, using Google Maps, I was surprised to see that they had snapped a pic of my little "camp" even though I was only there for a few weeks.\

Cool!

That's funny. I don't think the term "double wide" or "mobile home" is PC anymore. I noticed that the youngsters prefer to call trailers "Tiny Houses" these days. :)

Probably not, but these aren't tiny homes either. 1800-2100 sq ft.

Shoddy home construction has always been a pet peeve of mine but I'm absolutely not opposed to prefab. These days, with advancements in technology, I would absolutely consider something that is well built, so thanks for the link.

(y)


Smart man. Longevity is most important so that's a huge consideration.

Whenever I spec anything I'll normally only consider 50% of max output as usable. I have separate inverters designated to specific tasks, the "pump house" is one of those tasks. Freezers & cold storage would be another.

My neighbor has two inverters. One for his well pump and one for everything else. :)

I'm going to try and keep with just the two Quattros in split phase. Planning for mini-splits, heat pump water heater, etc.

I'm a very, very big fan of redundancy.

Truly. I figure if one Quattro goes, I can run everything 120V on the other. I also have 3 generators and my "learner" system comprised of a 24V/2kW PSW inverter and 215Ah of 24V AGM kept on float.
 
My neighbor has two inverters. One for his well pump and one for everything else. :)

I'm going to try and keep with just the two Quattros in split phase. Planning for mini-splits, heat pump water heater, etc.

Truly. I figure if one Quattro goes, I can run everything 120V on the other. I also have 3 generators and my "learner" system comprised of a 24V/2kW PSW inverter and 215Ah of 24V AGM kept on float.

It's funny that you mention a separate AGM bank as I mentioned to a friend just the other day that I wanted a (smaller) Trojan bank to complement my lithium banks because of their tolerance to heat. (kept in a non-climate controlled space, opposed to my lithium banks)

I installed most of the equipment in my travel trailer to test and have four separate banks. Three large 24V banks and one small 12V lithium bank. In addition to that, I have four Trojans on the tongue, in the factory position on the factory converter. (did I mention I was a big fan of redundancy?)

I need to pick up another Quattro. I didn't plan on dual Quattro's but I recently picked up a 26K BTU mini-split / heat pump which runs on 240V so rather than buying an autotransformer or some other solution split-phase w/ dual Quattro's is the best bet.

How long have you had your property?
 
The water wells in arizona are terrifying. Recently read a story of a guy who budgeted $50x. They expected water around 400 feet. Got to 400-500 foot neighborhood and nothing. He’d spend $45x at that point. He said go ahead and drill up the whole fifty grand. They hit water just as the money ran out.

Dropping fifty grand on a dry hole would get my attention.

I think it would get anyone's attention however there is an old saying that holds true to this day: "Scared money never wins."

That's what separates the men from the boys.

:)
 
It's funny that you mention a separate AGM bank as I mentioned to a friend just the other day that I wanted a (smaller) Trojan bank to complement my lithium banks because of their tolerance to heat. (kept in a non-climate controlled space, opposed to my lithium banks)

IMHO, lead-acid of any flavor is less tolerant of elevated temperatures than LFP. The exceptionally horrific automotive 12V battery life in Phoenix is a strong indicator. They *really* hate anything over 100°F and degrade rapidly.

If paralleling with LFP for heat tolerance, you'd need to engage temperature compensation to protect the AGM from over-voltage in the head and under voltage in the cold. This may make your LFP unhappy. When in parallel, AGM will not pick up much load until the LFP is near empty.

As an offline backup, AGM is viable because it doesn't mind being held at full charge for extended periods, though temp-comp is needed for float voltage as well. IMHO, I prefer FLA as they last longer than AGM when well maintained. My AGMs are simply targets of opportunity - I got a GREAT deal on them used, and they met > 80% of rated RC.

I installed most of the equipment in my travel trailer to test and have four separate banks. Three large 24V banks and one small 12V lithium bank. In addition to that, I have four Trojans on the tongue, in the factory position on the factory converter. (did I mention I was a big fan of redundancy?)

Both my trailers are bone stock for the purposes of having their own 12V systems as backup. I have occasionally lost AC power (my fault) while remote. We rely on 12V lighting in part to keep the rodents at bay, and the trailers can run their 12V lights for about 24 hours giving me or my neighbor the chance to deal with it.

I need to pick up another Quattro. I didn't plan on dual Quattro's but I recently picked up a 26K BTU mini-split / heat pump which runs on 240V so rather than buying an autotransformer or some other solution split-phase w/ dual Quattro's is the best bet.

Be very careful. Get your HQ number from your Quattro and reach out to a distributor to ensure you get the right unit. There are slight manufacturing variations that can render two units to not parallel well with one another. Mine came with 430, but I have updated the firmware to something like 497 to get the built-in lithium charge protection. Don't need it with the BMS, but I want it as an option for backup in case BMS communications fail! :)


How long have you had your property?

We closed in Spring of 2019, so we are at about 4.5 years. All has been accomplished on weekends, the occasional 3-4 day weekend and a few full week visits.

It's where I go to do chores. :)
 
IMHO, lead-acid of any flavor is less tolerant of elevated temperatures than LFP. The exceptionally horrific automotive 12V battery life in Phoenix is a strong indicator. They *really* hate anything over 100°F and degrade rapidly.

That has been my experience here in Phoenix as well. When I said "Trojan Bank" I meant Trojan FLA. Coming from a much colder climate, I'd always bought the best of the best AGM batteries for under the hood of my vehicles and it was always worth the expense.

However, here in Phx, as you said, anything under the hood of a car, from the cheapest Wal-Mart battery to the most expensive X2 AGM can only be expected to last three or so years, so spending $350.00-400.00 per battery makes zero sense.

Both my trailers are bone stock for the purposes of having their own 12V systems as backup. I have occasionally lost AC power (my fault) while remote. We rely on 12V lighting in part to keep the rodents at bay, and the trailers can run their 12V lights for about 24 hours giving me or my neighbor the chance to deal with it.

What kind of rodents? I'm assuming pack rats and/or? Lights keep them away?

Be very careful. Get your HQ number from your Quattro and reach out to a distributor to ensure you get the right unit. There are slight manufacturing variations that can render two units to not parallel well with one another. Mine came with 430, but I have updated the firmware to something like 497 to get the built-in lithium charge protection. Don't need it with the BMS, but I want it as an option for backup in case BMS communications fail! :)

Thank you very much for this little tidbit of information. I had no idea. I'll certainly make sure I check into that before ordering.

Geez, that could have been quite the annoying experience.

I personally prefer not to rely on the BMS for charge protection & leave the BMS' as the last line of defense for each bank. I use a couple different types of logic / relays (depending on which battery bank) to start/stop charging at a certain voltage - think ElectroDacus, but not.

We closed in Spring of 2019, so we are at about 4.5 years. All has been accomplished on weekends, the occasional 3-4 day weekend and a few full week visits.

It's where I go to do chores. :)

That's the fun part, right? :)

I enjoy (& am quite used to) the weekend drives. We've always had a summer house approx. four hours away from our primary residence so I was back and forth almost every weekend for years & years. I've been lacking a weekend get-away since moving to AZ and it's been driving me absolutely crazy.
 
That has been my experience here in Phoenix as well. When I said "Trojan Bank" I meant Trojan FLA. Coming from a much colder climate, I'd always bought the best of the best AGM batteries for under the hood of my vehicles and it was always worth the expense.

However, here in Phx, as you said, anything under the hood of a car, from the cheapest Wal-Mart battery to the most expensive X2 AGM can only be expected to last three or so years, so spending $350.00-400.00 per battery makes zero sense.

Yep!

What kind of rodents? I'm assuming pack rats and/or? Lights keep them away?

Pack rats and field mice. Lights don't keep them away, but they prevent them from nesting in lighted areas. Both trailers are fully illuminated inside, and various traps are set in the dark corners.

Thank you very much for this little tidbit of information. I had no idea. I'll certainly make sure I check into that before ordering.

For all of Victron's perfection, they sometimes have issues with paralleling seemingly same units. There can be slight manufacturing variations, and in rare cases, it can create an issue. Victron always takes care of it in the end.

Geez, that could have been quite the annoying experience.

I personally prefer not to rely on the BMS for charge protection & leave the BMS' as the last line of defense for each bank. I use a couple different types of logic / relays (depending on which battery bank) to start/stop charging at a certain voltage - think ElectroDacus, but not.

My BMS communicates with the GX, so it's telling the system what to do. I ultimately need an external relay to completely isolate the battery, but for the time being, I'm pretty happy with the options. As it stands, the BMS tells the system the charge voltage from all sources. The GX will limit all GX connected sources to that voltage, and I can also set a charge current limit if I wish. The final word at this time is the remote switch on the MPPT. If the battery registers a critical condition, it will open that switch to the MPPT causing it to terminate all output.

Curious to see what your solution entails.

That's the fun part, right? :)

Usually. :)

I enjoy (& am quite used to) the weekend drives. We've always had a summer house approx. four hours away from our primary residence so I was back and forth almost every weekend for years & years. I've been lacking a weekend get-away since moving to AZ and it's been driving me absolutely crazy.

Sounds like you're getting that sorted out! Good luck!
 
Pack rats and field mice. Lights don't keep them away, but they prevent them from nesting in lighted areas. Both trailers are fully illuminated inside, and various traps are set in the dark corners.

I found out about pack rats quick enough when I first moved to AZ. I parked my truck & small trailer at a friends house at the foot of the Superstitions for two weeks while I was transitioning from my camp to another temporary place (a tiny-home park) and when I went to pick up my truck I had two pack rat nests sitting on top of each battery under the hood of the truck. Fortunately, they didn't get to the trailer and they didn't chew anything up in the truck. Thanks for the heads up.

Question, likely stupid - are their cockroaches up around your place? Before I moved to AZ I had never even seen a cockroach but I found that, in the city, if you don't spray chemicals, it's insane. It's like every breed of cockroach in the world loves to call Mesa their home. I'm hoping the cooler temperatures up north keep their numbers at bay?

My BMS communicates with the GX, so it's telling the system what to do. I ultimately need an external relay to completely isolate the battery, but for the time being, I'm pretty happy with the options. As it stands, the BMS tells the system the charge voltage from all sources. The GX will limit all GX connected sources to that voltage, and I can also set a charge current limit if I wish. The final word at this time is the remote switch on the MPPT. If the battery registers a critical condition, it will open that switch to the MPPT causing it to terminate all output.

Curious to see what your solution entails.

I haven't integrated my CANBUS BMS' to the Quattro's yet. Is that what you've done? I haven't bothered to dig into it yet but I'm pretty sure CANBUS is standard serial communication? It is something I need to look into. I need all of my BMS' in the same place & chatting with the Cerbo.

My current solution is almost completely analog and quite primitive, however very reliable.

I use several chineseum voltage/current displays w/ programmable voltage set points that trip multiple 200A contactors and a few smaller relays for different things. For charging, in addition to the Quattro I use two AIMS power 12/24V chargers for (FAST) generator charging of the lithium banks, along with two PowerMax 100A chargers for my FLA bank. (just four-six Trojan golf cart batteries I've been using for testing.)

I use two of these to control the AIMS chargers individually on the A/C side. These are great as they can handle quite a lot of current.

iot relay1.JPGiot relay2.jpg

For alternator charging or moving power from the FLA bank to the lithium banks I use a 200A Sterling Power DC-DC charger and a 60A Renogy unit. Which reminds me, I need to check into a secondary (24V) alternator for my truck. :)

I am a huge, huge fan of keep-it-simple-stupid so I don't want to complicate things but I do need to cover all of my bases.

Sounds like you're getting that sorted out! Good luck!

Thanks man, I appreciate it.

I'm gettin' there. I'm currently disassembling everything in preparation for moving everything.
 
I found out about pack rats quick enough when I first moved to AZ. I parked my truck & small trailer at a friends house at the foot of the Superstitions for two weeks while I was transitioning from my camp to another temporary place (a tiny-home park) and when I went to pick up my truck I had two pack rat nests sitting on top of each battery under the hood of the truck. Fortunately, they didn't get to the trailer and they didn't chew anything up in the truck. Thanks for the heads up.

Question, likely stupid - are their cockroaches up around your place? Before I moved to AZ I had never even seen a cockroach but I found that, in the city, if you don't spray chemicals, it's insane. It's like every breed of cockroach in the world loves to call Mesa their home. I'm hoping the cooler temperatures up north keep their numbers at bay?

I've never seen them up North, but I don't know how likely they are to get into trailers.

We see maybe a total of half a dozen a year here in Mesa. They are the huge "sewer" roaches that get in through the drains.


I haven't integrated my CANBUS BMS' to the Quattro's yet. Is that what you've done? I haven't bothered to dig into it yet but I'm pretty sure CANBUS is standard serial communication? It is something I need to look into. I need all of my BMS' in the same place & chatting with the Cerbo.

Communication with the Cerbo is a rigid standard. The Cerbo must recognize the device, so you either need to be able to make your own Cerbo driver, or you use an already compatible system. "all of my BMS'" is going to be a problem The Cerbo is designed to only work with a single BMS.

My current solution is almost completely analog and quite primitive, however very reliable.

I use several chineseum voltage/current displays w/ programmable voltage set points that trip multiple 200A contactors and a few smaller relays for different things. For charging, in addition to the Quattro I use two AIMS power 12/24V chargers for (FAST) generator charging of the lithium banks, along with two PowerMax 100A chargers for my FLA bank. (just four-six Trojan golf cart batteries I've been using for testing.)

I use two of these to control the AIMS chargers individually on the A/C side. These are great as they can handle quite a lot of current.

View attachment 162755View attachment 162756

For alternator charging or moving power from the FLA bank to the lithium banks I use a 200A Sterling Power DC-DC charger and a 60A Renogy unit. Which reminds me, I need to check into a secondary (24V) alternator for my truck. :)

I am a huge, huge fan of keep-it-simple-stupid so I don't want to complicate things but I do need to cover all of my bases.

Very nice.

The PM3/4-100LK units are fine for LFP as well. You can change the absorption voltage with the pot or set to constant voltage mode. I have three of them.
 
I've never seen them up North, but I don't know how likely they are to get into trailers.

We see maybe a total of half a dozen a year here in Mesa. They are the huge "sewer" roaches that get in through the drains.

I see only one or two a year IN the house, the house is really well sealed from pests/rodents but outside, if I don't spray, is freakin' crazy. American cockroaches, German cockroaches and it seems like a few of every other breed known to man thrown in for good measure. When I first came to AZ I certainly sprayed too much insecticide (all outside, never inside) and didn't see any cockroaches or scorpions outside.

This year I decided to do things a bit differently and didn't spray at all, to kind of get a "control" and see what things are like naturally, with no insecticide & it was totally out of control outside. I sprayed minimally outside while the cockroaches and scorpions were THICK and it did the trick, at least so far. Only a couple here, but we'll see how long that application lasts.

As for the travel trailers, as you mentioned, because they are so high off the ground & because they are sealed really well (even being parked on the side of the house right in the middle of where the cockroaches were thickest) only one managed to get in.

But, thanks, I was just curious.

Communication with the Cerbo is a rigid standard. The Cerbo must recognize the device, so you either need to be able to make your own Cerbo driver, or you use an already compatible system. "all of my BMS'" is going to be a problem The Cerbo is designed to only work with a single BMS.

Is that the difference between the Cerbo GX and the regular Cerbo, maybe?

I haven't looked into it yet but my GX has a couple of canbus jacks that appear to be industry standard canbus protocol & because the Cerbo is wide open using mostly open source software, at least on the surface, it appears quite doable... maybe without any software modification, but as I said, I haven't done a deep dive but it seems like it could be a fun challenge. However, because of my propensity to stick with the KISS principle as much as possible I prefer to keep my stuff as "stock" as possible for reliability so if it's too much of a PIA I'll find another solution.

I am still considering the ElectroDacus but we'll see how I feel about that after I spring for my second Quattro. ;)

What voltage is your system, BTW?

Very nice.

The PM3/4-100LK units are fine for LFP as well. You can change the absorption voltage with the pot or set to constant voltage mode. I have three of them.

I have both a PM3 (which I believe is actually 75 amps, now that I think of it) and a PM4 which states it is a 100A unit and I've had great luck with both of them over the years in my lead acid application. My PM3 has been beaten down since 2017 and still works perfect.

Heck, if you can change the CV via a pot, have you ever used them with Lithium?
 
I see only one or two a year IN the house, the house is really well sealed from pests/rodents but outside, if I don't spray, is freakin' crazy. American cockroaches, German cockroaches and it seems like a few of every other breed known to man thrown in for good measure. When I first came to AZ I certainly sprayed too much insecticide (all outside, never inside) and didn't see any cockroaches or scorpions outside.

This year I decided to do things a bit differently and didn't spray at all, to kind of get a "control" and see what things are like naturally, with no insecticide & it was totally out of control outside. I sprayed minimally outside while the cockroaches and scorpions were THICK and it did the trick, at least so far. Only a couple here, but we'll see how long that application lasts.

As for the travel trailers, as you mentioned, because they are so high off the ground & because they are sealed really well (even being parked on the side of the house right in the middle of where the cockroaches were thickest) only one managed to get in.

But, thanks, I was just curious.

We've never sprayed in 25 years except for 3 termite treatments.

I've NEVER seen a scorpion inside or outside.

Is that the difference between the Cerbo GX and the regular Cerbo, maybe?

No.


GX is the generic term for the control center. I have a Color Control GX or CCGX. There is the Cerbo-S GX that does not have the BMS-CAN and other features.

I haven't looked into it yet but my GX has a couple of canbus jacks that appear to be industry standard canbus protocol & because the Cerbo is wide open using mostly open source software, at least on the surface, it appears quite doable... maybe without any software modification, but as I said, I haven't done a deep dive but it seems like it could be a fun challenge.

Anything communicating with the GX must be recognized by the GX via a built-in/add-on driver. Period. While there are two "CAN" ports, there's a reason for it. The higher end Victron MPPT can be "daisy-chained" via built-in VE.CAN ports on the MPPT. Up to 25 can be connected to a single Cerbo. Thus the VE.CAN is for the MPPT and the BMS-CAN is for a BMS. They can't be on the same bus.

On a lesser GX like my CCGX, I only have one VE.CAN port. I can use it for a BMS OR for MPPT VE.CAN communication. Since I only have one 250/100, I'm using it for the Batrium.

However, because of my propensity to stick with the KISS principle as much as possible I prefer to keep my stuff as "stock" as possible for reliability so if it's too much of a PIA I'll find another solution.

I am still considering the ElectroDacus but we'll see how I feel about that after I spring for my second Quattro. ;)

For the love of all that is holy, do not use an ElectroDacus. It is the most primitive SCC on the planet and has no hopes of communicating with the Victron CAN bus. It's a nifty piece of gadgetry, but it's pretty limited.

What voltage is your system, BTW?

48V

I have both a PM3 (which I believe is actually 75 amps, now that I think of it) and a PM4 which states it is a 100A unit and I've had great luck with both of them over the years in my lead acid application. My PM3 has been beaten down since 2017 and still works perfect.

Yep. I got my PM4-100 around 2018, and it's been abused. :)

Heck, if you can change the CV via a pot, have you ever used them with Lithium?

Not personally, but LFP can be readily charged with Pb-acid chargers.

Default is 14.4 bulk+30 min absorption/13.6V absorption (10 hours?) and then 13.2V float.

Default behavior will fully charge LFP to near 100% with no intervention. When done in an RV with their shitty wiring, hitting 100% is challenging.
 
We've never sprayed in 25 years except for 3 termite treatments.

I've NEVER seen a scorpion inside or outside.
Wish I had that luxury here. When I first moved in the Mesa house, after it had sat (over the winter) I stepped on two scorpions within about a month and saw one just hanging out on the wall. That's when I decided to spray outside and haven't seen one in the house since. Even after spraying heavily I did see a couple outside, here and there. Since spraying this year I haven't been outside with the black light yet. Based on your information I guess it varies quite a bit, even within a relatively small area.

Sorry for the subject deviation and thanks again.

No.

Anything communicating with the GX must be recognized by the GX via a built-in/add-on driver. Period. While there are two "CAN" ports, there's a reason for it. The higher end Victron MPPT can be "daisy-chained" via built-in VE.CAN ports on the MPPT. Up to 25 can be connected to a single Cerbo. Thus the VE.CAN is for the MPPT and the BMS-CAN is for a BMS. They can't be on the same bus.

Understood.

I thought canbus was an industry standard that Victron was courteous enough to support. I suppose I should have known better. :)

For the love of all that is holy, do not use an ElectroDacus. It is the most primitive SCC on the planet and has no hopes of communicating with the Victron CAN bus. It's a nifty piece of gadgetry, but it's pretty limited.

Gotcha. When I first saw it I was pretty impressed, but again, that was a couple years ago. I haven't checked into it recently and don't know what new stuff is out there yet. Hmm... Batrium... I've heard of it, but can't place it.

Yep. I got my PM4-100 around 2018, and it's been abused. :)

Bought my PM3 in 2010, still going strong.

Not personally, but LFP can be readily charged with Pb-acid chargers.

Default is 14.4 bulk+30 min absorption/13.6V absorption (10 hours?) and then 13.2V float.

Default behavior will fully charge LFP to near 100% with no intervention. When done in an RV with their shitty wiring, hitting 100% is challenging.

Excellent information! Thank You once again!
 

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