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Old 08-22-2013, 10:06 AM   #71
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Hello David, if you have the Interstate with the 2014 upgrade, like mine, your solar charge controller is a Sunexplorer PVCM25D made by Atkinson Electronics, Inc.
Thank.....Peter
Hi Peter,
Mine is an early 2013 without the 2014 upgrade, but it does have a Sunexplorer display in the overhead panel. Is that the charge controller or is that simply a display? I may have to open the panel to check
David
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:24 AM   #72
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My Airstream guy told me that the solar panel charge controller was located under the rear lounge. I believe the display is just that. I did notice when I was putting my remote propane switch in that the cable error LED on the back of the display was lit and I still have not received an answer from Airstream as to what that means.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:31 AM   #73
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Hi Peter,
Mine is an early 2013 without the 2014 upgrade, but it does have a Sunexplorer display in the overhead panel. Is that the charge controller or is that simply a display? I may have to open the panel to check
David
I didn't find the PVCM25D mentioned about but this link will get you the datasheet (pdf) for the kit containing the PVDM4-LC display and the PVDM20D controller.
http://atkinsonelectronics.com/manuf...DM4-LC-KIT.pdf Assuming they are similar, this is both the controller and the display.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:36 AM   #74
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Hi Peter,
Mine is an early 2013 without the 2014 upgrade, but it does have a Sunexplorer display in the overhead panel. Is that the charge controller or is that simply a display? I may have to open the panel to check
David
Yes, 73shark is correct - it's located by the batteries.
Here's some advertising material with a picture of both parts:
http://atkinsonelectronics.com/manuf...fs/PVCM25D.pdf
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #75
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I didn't find the PVDM25D mentioned about but this link will get you the datasheet (pdf) for the kit containing the PVDM4-LC display and the PVDM20D controller.
http://atkinsonelectronics.com/manuf...DM4-LC-KIT.pdf Assuming they are similar, this is both the controller and the display.
Hey, you're quick wayneskid - you beat me to it!
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Hi Peter,
Mine is an early 2013 without the 2014 upgrade, but it does have a Sunexplorer display in the overhead panel. Is that the charge controller or is that simply a display? I may have to open the panel to check
David
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
My Airstream guy told me that the solar panel charge controller was located under the rear lounge. I believe the display is just that. I did notice when I was putting my remote propane switch in that the cable error LED on the back of the display was lit and I still have not received an answer from Airstream as to what that means.
73shark,
Assuming you have the PVDM4-LC display the datasheet says "Cable Error LED - lights when a crossover cable is connected" This is the CAT5 cable that connects the controller to the display. It could be a mis-wired cable OR the controller or display has a problem.

Good luck,
Wayne
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:07 AM   #77
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Thanks Peter, Wayne, Shark, & Protagonist,

So I read the spec on the PVCM20D controller and it looks like it can handle the output of 2 100w solar panels, monitors temperature, and prevents overcharging, but I don't think it's a multi-stage charger (unless I'm misreading the spec sheet). I'm not sure if I have this model controller, but I'm sure I have some kind of controller because it stops charging once the voltage of the batteries exceed a certain point. Time for more research. Please let me know if you guys dig something up. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:43 AM   #78
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When they replaced my controller, they said the old one was a PVCM25. I guess the new one is the same but haven't checked.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #79
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Update: So yesterday was the first day that I DIDN'T drive the AS since the solar panel upgrade, and I used the batteries yesterday afternoon to dump the black and gray water tanks. The batteries were down to 70% when I was finished last night because I flushed out all the tanks multiple times. I was worried what the battery status would be in the morning but, to my surprise, they were back up to 100% by 9 am (I'll have to get up earlier in the morning next time). I don't use my Interstate as a mobile command center like MILATV and the guy from Meet the Fokkers do , but if/when I do, I'll look into adding more house batteries or look into Lithium batteries. The point of this update is to let everyone know that I don't see a need to add a 3rd 100w solar panel... for now
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:18 PM   #80
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Oh, and I haven't yet decided which solar charge controller to upgrade to, so if anyone has a recommendation, I would appreciate it. Thanks,
David
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:34 AM   #81
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So as advised, I operated laptop on internal battery as long as I could (5 hrs) turned off antenna amp and router ( plugged phone into laptop for wifi) and still used HDMI on TV as 2nd monitor, ran maxxfan to keep temp under 80 and batteries lasted full 2 days in bright sun with the factory 50w solar. Ran water pump and took 4 showers ( wife and I, no AC required showers ) during the two days and ran 12v fan at night.

So without generator I was able to operate for two full days and be at 60% beginning of day 3 (recharged laptop in mother-in-laws house overnight)

So while not FLOCKER. HQ, I'm able to keep quiet most of the day and run two full days - acceptable in my book.

Thanks to everyone for tips on prolonging ops

Just for reference: what would you recommend for extended ops, shopping list and estimate - BTW: I am 3 hours from any AS dealer. Bumping to 200 watt, etc.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:00 PM   #82
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Just for reference: what would you recommend for extended ops, shopping list and estimate - BTW: I am 3 hours from any AS dealer. Bumping to 200 watt, etc.
Here's what I'm considering for extended ops


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Old 08-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #83
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If your serious it might be easier to buy this one in the states Click image for larger version

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Old 08-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #84
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Very cool. I've got an old installation on my roof that has no documentation of any kind - I am guessing that the panel is putting out between 80 and 100 watts.

Everything works, the wiring is in place so next year I'll be adding another 300 Watts to the current setup.
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