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Old 10-12-2016, 11:11 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by proftjs33 View Post
That's peculiar. My owners manual says the Cat-5 cable is for the remote display, I assume this is the phone-like cable you referred to, and I assumed it had nothing to do with the operation of the controller. Any idea how to test it?

That is true, yet a new Cat-5 cable resolved the problem for me. I suggest you test by bypassing the existing cable with an extra long one.


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Old 10-15-2016, 07:14 PM   #16
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I connected with another cable and you are right, my Cat-5 cable is bad. I also found that the house power must be turned on before the solar charging works. Does anyone know why Airstream wired it that way. Nothing in the controller specs indicates to me that it must be done that way. I also tested connecting directly to the battery, with a 15 amp fuse added. Direct connect (with the house turned off) resulted in recharging my batteries. The way it was originally connected, the drain was more than the solar charge. I was only getting 2 amps at that time. Is there any reason why I can't do the direct connect permanently?

I also got a Renogy controller. Is it worth switching to it? Down side is losing the remote display. Upside is that it has more cycles (besides on and off). Any additions to either of these? It cost about 1/2 the price of the Atkinson.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proftjs33 View Post
I connected with another cable and you are right, my Cat-5 cable is bad. I also found that the house power must be turned on before the solar charging works. Does anyone know why Airstream wired it that way. Nothing in the controller specs indicates to me that it must be done that way. I also tested connecting directly to the battery, with a 15 amp fuse added. Direct connect (with the house turned off) resulted in recharging my batteries. The way it was originally connected, the drain was more than the solar charge. I was only getting 2 amps at that time. Is there any reason why I can't do the direct connect permanently?

I also got a Renogy controller. Is it worth switching to it? Down side is losing the remote display. Upside is that it has more cycles (besides on and off). Any additions to either of these? It cost about 1/2 the price of the Atkinson.
Glad the cable swap fixed your problem.

Re. the house power needing to be on, I don't think that's correct. I thought the same thing with my system, but with mine, what's really going on is a combination of the battery voltage and how the Atkinson controller works. If the batteries are above 12.6v, the solar won't turn on. This is a hard setting in the Atkinson charge controller (sadly it's not adjustable). When I switch on the house power, I pull the batteries below this level so the Atkinson turns on the juice from the solar panel.

What Renogy controller do you have? Assuming it's the Duo, you can buy their Tracer remote meter and put that in place of the Atkinson panel. Is it worth it? IMO, not for a 50W panel. If you want to upgrade your solar to 100W or more, then yes, definitely upgrade to the Renogy controller.
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