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Old 08-05-2007, 11:47 PM   #1
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Finally finished dressing out the cables on the roof solar. The cables are sheathed in 1/2" slit-wrap to keep the sun & UV from killing them. The loops on the cable allow them to be angled in any of the 4 directions: N-S-E-W. I haven't built the 90 degree mount hinge yet for the other 2 directions:

___________________________________

Also, this 15W panel has been rewired to power an additional fridge ducted fan that is installed directly below the vent. When the sun's out and the fridge is hot, this fan runs. Simple eh? Had to do something with the old panel.. I easily have enough spare power off this panel for another 5-10 of these fans, but maybe just one more. And unlike the Norcold fans, these are silent:

___________________________________


I also finished installing a permanent cell antenna for the broadband. The data card shows -106 no antenna, -71 with the mag mount, and -64 with the new antenna. The big difference is about 4' of RG-58 vs. 15' of RG-174, and it has a real ground plane. I Epoxy painted the chrome radials and the radiator to keep it from rusting out at the beach, and it's a little more stealthy. I might keep the mag-mount up there for additional cell coverage:

___________________________________


Inside: The coil of coax is the mag mount. The black cap looking thingie is a noise filter I had laying around that feeds the router B+. This area is normally wall'ed-in:

___________________________________


The new antenna also had 15' of coax I didn't need, so I cut it back and installed 'N' connectors as a splice. I actually had a cable-end female too:

___________________________________


And I finished applying Dicor to the solar panel mounts:

___________________________________


Now I'm goin' to bed...

___________________________________
Now that the important stuff is done maybe I'll go after MY vacuum leak next weekend.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:47 PM   #2
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Finally finished dressing out the cables on the roof solar. The cables are sheathed in 1/2" slit-wrap to keep the sun & UV from killing them. The loops on the cable allow them to be angled in any of the 4 directions: N-S-E-W. I haven't built the 90 degree mount hinge yet for the other 2 directions:

___________________________________

Also, this 15W panel has been rewired to power an additional fridge ducted fan that is installed directly below the vent. When the sun's out and the fridge is hot, this fan runs. Simple eh? Had to do something with the old panel.. I easily have enough spare power off this panel for another 5-10 of these fans, but maybe just one more. And unlike the Norcold fans, these are silent:

___________________________________


I also finished installing a permanent cell antenna for the broadband. The data card shows -106 no antenna, -71 with the mag mount, and -64 with the new antenna. The big difference is about 4' of RG-58 vs. 15' of RG-174, and it has a real ground plane. I Epoxy painted the chrome radials and the radiator to keep it from rusting out at the beach, and it's a little more stealthy. I might keep the mag-mount up there for additional cell coverage:

___________________________________


Inside: The coil of coax is the mag mount. The black cap looking thingie is a noise filter I had laying around that feeds the router B+. This area is normally wall'ed-in:

___________________________________


The new antenna also had 15' of coax I didn't need, so I cut it back and installed 'N' connectors as a splice. I actually had a cable-end female too:

___________________________________


And I finished applying Dicor to the solar panel mounts:

___________________________________


Now I'm goin' to bed...

___________________________________
Now that the important stuff is done maybe I'll go after MY vacuum leak next weekend.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:25 AM   #3
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Nice job and very nice write up.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:14 AM   #4
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Busy, Busy, Busy...Nice work, Very nice write-up and the pictures are outstanding...
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:48 AM   #5
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Nice work Jeff. I have considered the same thing, just not sure where to start.........
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:27 AM   #6
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Nice work and thanks for the comparative information on the cell antennas.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:13 AM   #7
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Good job and great idea for the otherwise worthless solar panel.
Best regards
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for the photos.

Do you know where the factory 15w panel ties into the coach wiring??? Did you snip this wire and only have it powering the new fridge fan or did you splice into the wiring and install the fan while retaining the original battery charge function??

I see the wiring from my 15w panel enters the coach through the fridge vent. Did you remove the fridge roof vent to install the fan???

-Tom
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:14 AM   #9
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CZIMM: Worthless is all a matter of perspective isn't it? Unless you would like to deliver shore power to me in the middle of a storage lot or come and jump me every 4 weeks it's not exactly worthless is it? I make in excess of 12A for 5 hrs/day, tapering off until the sun sets. Batteries don't recharge themselves.

Tom: On the Meridian there is a plug right inside the exhaust vent that feeds the panel downstairs. After debate with myself I finally cut the plug off feeding the coach and installed splice beans in case I ever were to re-attach it. Since the exhaust screen is molded to the flue itself, I cut the entire screen out with tin snips and cut the burrs out so there's a nice smooth edge around the vent. Home Depot sells the same stuff in a sheet, so I built a removable top that gains me service access to the new blower as well as the top of the burner flue, and makes cable access way easier.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:17 PM   #10
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Great job on all the projects. Really like the idea of enclosing the cables. Looks nice and serves a great purpose. The fan is excellent too. Thanks for sharing with great pics.
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:40 PM   #11
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Jeff,


First full-on solar panel project on a 34H I've heard about. I wish I had your skill (and enough spare time) to confidently do a project like this. You thought about hiring out?

What controller did you go with?

I can't remember, do you have an e-meter like a Xantrex Link 10?

Glad you were finally able to sort out the Wilson antenna project. Very nice.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:40 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by vicsryd:
Jeff,


First full-on solar panel project on a 34H I've heard about. <span class="ev_code_RED">Take a look at the AM Solar website. They have a 32T with 1000 watts on the roof!</span> I wish I had your skill (and enough spare time) to confidently do a project like this. You thought about hiring out? <span class="ev_code_RED">I'm not sure if I could afford myself. Often if I don't like what I see I'll stare at it for as long as it takes to come up with a better idea. My ex-boss lurks around here and will verify. Sometime it got to the point that he'd get it done, I'd make it pretty.</span>

What controller did you go with? <span class="ev_code_RED">The whole system is from AM Solar up in Oregon. The control regulator is from Heliotrope (sp). I like that the system is somewhat turn-key. I'm still a fan of the 21V panels and have yet to hear anyone convince me otherwise</span>

I can't remember, do you have an e-meter like a Xantrex Link 10? <span class="ev_code_RED">Not yet.. I need to figure out how to "sell" it first.</span>

Glad you were finally able to sort out the Wilson antenna project. Very nice. <span class="ev_code_RED">Thanks! As you can see, I whittled the mount down a tad, then painted it. I also came across a metal strap in the ceiling and missed that sucker by maybe 1/16" to stay vertical. Yikes!.</span> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:03 PM   #13
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SCVJeff: Didn't mean to make you feel bad. That little panel wasn't sufficient to keep my coach batteries up. Maybe I just have too much parasitic drain (or maybe not enough sun). I added 300 watts of solar and that keeps me powered up. I do a lot of dry camping so from my perspective it is worthless. So yes; you are so right, it is a matter of perspective. We all have different needs. My chassis batteries will discharge much faster than the coach batteries so I have a jumper that keeps those guys fully charged. In my case the small solar panel would be more benificial tied to the chassis batteries. Maybe I'll do that and get rid of the jumper.
Best regards....
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:25 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by C Zimm:
SCVJeff: Didn't mean to make you feel bad. That little panel wasn't sufficient to keep my coach batteries up. Maybe I just have too much parasitic drain (or maybe not enough sun). I added 300 watts of solar and that keeps me powered up. I do a lot of dry camping so from my perspective it is worthless. So yes; you are so right, it is a matter of perspective. We all have different needs. My chassis batteries will discharge much faster than the coach batteries so I have a jumper that keeps those guys fully charged. In my case the small solar panel would be more benificial tied to the chassis batteries. Maybe I'll do that and get rid of the jumper.
Best regards.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I read it wrong.. Sorry about that. There's a few out there that whine and moan about other peoples solar like it was their money. Obviously I was on the defence.

The Meridian has a Trik-L-Charge that bleeds off a 5A charge to the engine batteries, so that frees up the toy panel. Makes a great exhaust fan supply instead. Also the Solar charger has a 5A tap for the starting batteries that I may hookup someday and turn the Trik-L-Charge into a Toad Charge for the Honda.
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