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Old 02-15-2015, 06:23 PM   #309
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I really appreciate Solarbobs information,but it sure is tedious getting to the meat of it. His ego is just to much to bear in large chunks of time.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:01 PM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
YES! It should have been replaced long ago and is primarily responsible for killing your Lifelines.

Also, the charging set points if your solar are not doing your Lifelines any favors either.
Lew Farber
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Hi Lew, we just purchased this AS last year. The PO said there was a couple of years life left in the existing LL batteries. I went ahead and bought new ones anyway. After I swapped them out I put a battery tester on each of the old ones and both tested in the moderate category. They both take and hold a charge when I use my stand alone charger. But when dry camping for a couple of days the Sun Explorer would drop to 65% with very little use. We thought it was the batteries because the solar didn't raise the level very much despite full sun. Even when connected to shore power we drop to 70%. This morning the Sun Explorer bounced between 85% and 100%; back and forth, back and forth

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Originally Posted by SilverGate View Post
Yes, you need to protect your Lifeline AGM batteries with at least a 3-stage converter, not with the OEM converter.
Good advice SilverGate, but I don't see the existing Parallax putting out much more than 12.7 volts. I see only 13v when the Sun Explorer shows 100%. Most of the time I'm reading 12.5 volts, on the Sun Explorer or with my volt meter. I periodically set the switch to 'store' if I see 100%. But we've been out for a month and it's rare to get to 100% and stay there. I can turn on the lights and it immediately drops to 90% and the more lights the more it drops the percentage in the Sun Explorer. I have converted almost all the bulbs to LED. When I turn on the 'scare' light or one of the bulbs with an incandescent light the % available drops 10%. That really seems odd. Even turning on a double LED will drop it 5%.

------

I really don't like throwing parts at a problem. Since I'm not showing 100% except first thing in the morning or if we shut everything off and go out for the afternoon, I don't think I'm hurting the batteries. I still have the original LL batteries and they are still pretty good. Either the Sun Explorer display is whack, the Parallax is bad or both.

When I get back to the house I'm going to remove the 12v connection and see what the output voltage is from the Parallax. Even so, I think it's probably a good idea to replace the converter. We haven't done a lot of camping but now that I'm retired we plan on a lot more traveling. I guess I can upgrade the converter and see what happens. If the Sun Explorer is then I'll just ignore it. As long as the voltage is showing 12.2 to 13.2 I know I'm getting enough voltage and I'm not constantly draining or overcharging the batteries.

The Sun Explorer is very confusing, however. I'm not even sure that it's working.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:07 PM   #311
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Sun explorer got blank screen.

The screen suddenly gone blank, batteries reading 12.65volts. Looked at trouble shooting book and found a fuse linked Into the module under bed, fuse was fine. Unit is hooked up to house power, disconnected the power line and stated to use the batteries, they slowly drain but still no reading from the screen when I push the buttons.
Anybody god any ideas please.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:31 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by jmpgino View Post
The screen suddenly gone blank, batteries reading 12.65volts. Looked at trouble shooting book and found a fuse linked Into the module under bed, fuse was fine. Unit is hooked up to house power, disconnected the power line and stated to use the batteries, they slowly drain but still no reading from the screen when I push the buttons.
Anybody god any ideas please.
Not sure if this will help, but check out post #85 on this thread and the posts below it on that same page.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:13 AM   #313
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Display Panel malfunction

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Originally Posted by SilverGate View Post
The Panel Display shows the status of the battery in % Remaining, and in Volts. It also can display the Solar Charge Amps currently being produced as well as a running total in amp/hrs.
At the bottom of the panel display is printed SUNEXPLORER TM. I would like more information about this component.
Just installed solar and awnings at the Airstream dealer. All works well except for the display panel. It just blinks. Same one as in the photo , the Sunexplorer. Guess I just got a bad display. Hope that's all it is. It just blinks and displays nothing even after pressing the small button on the side. ??
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Old 01-23-2016, 12:13 PM   #314
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2016 International installed Solar at Airsteam dealer. Unit clicks continuously and lights inside flutter. Does anyone know the problem?

Thanks. Jwebbs
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:51 PM   #315
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I'd be asking the dealer that question. Are you anywhere near them? Might need them to fix something under warranty.

Our next solar install will not be done by an AS dealer - it will be done by a solar expert or by us with guidance from one.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:51 AM   #316
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A local dealer tried to replicate my system on another customer's trailer. With no real knowledge, the job was doomed from the get go. Lots of issues.

If they can not get the issue resolved, find some outfit that specializes in RV solar systems.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:54 AM   #317
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That must have been some circus!!


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Old 01-28-2016, 08:54 PM   #318
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Thanks for your post, Ray... 65% doesn't seem out of line to me...but it got me thinking, and I'm not sure what one can expect to be "normal" reduction of battery % for an evening. We haven't dry camped enough to get a sense of it. The one time we did rely on the batteries, we used the power as we normally would (except no AC, Micro, etc, of course)...but we had the lights on, the fantastic fan going and either the CD player or the TV (on the inverter), followed by a 2 hour movie...we didn't skimp on use and the batteries went down to 65% I believe... I thought that was not unreasonable... We moved on to another campfround the next day, hitting the road about 11 am and I believe by the time we got to the next stop about 2 PM we were at 100% again.

Can anyone give us a sense of what an expected % of battery drain can be expected during an evening with moderate to high power use? And at what point have we reached critical mass? And how quickly we can expect to recover to 100%..(a) on 1 53 watt solar in sunny conditions...and (b) charging while in tow?

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Old 03-14-2016, 04:43 PM   #319
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On my 2005 31' Classic my Atkinson PVCM25D is clicking like one-million monkeys trying to write Shakespeare. I called Atkinson and got a nice guy on the phone, says he gets this call all the time but to check the connections from the battery to the controller and everywhere there is a connection from the main bat. cables to anywhere else.

So I did.

And the problem comes back.

The only time that it's NOT clicking like an Uzzi on Viagra is when the house batteries are completely disconnected and I'm hooked to 110 shore power. Then it only clicks once every hour or so...ish.

I would LOOOOOVE to replace this Atkinson thing with something better, but don't want to rip out all the 'everything else'.

I read about a good Bogart replacement, but am wondering if anyone has a thread regarding a complete Bogart install. I went to Solar Bob and found the same ego-filled library that kind of turns one off instantly.

Thanks for all who have contributed to this GOLD MINE of a thread.



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Old 03-14-2016, 05:22 PM   #320
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Not sure if this was covered previously in this thread, but if you are looking at replacing the Atkinson controller, you should perhaps take a look at the Blue Sky controllers. In your case, the Solar Boost 1524iX would be an excellent choice along with the IPN Pro remote, shunt kit and temperature compensation. This controller can replace your Atkinson controller with a modern MPPT controller and the IPN Pro remote can replace the Atkinson remote.

The existing CAT 5 cable between the Atkinson controller and remote will work with the Blue Sky system with some minor modifications. The 1524iX will also let you add additional solar capacity to 200 W.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:06 PM   #321
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Good call! That will make your system much more user friendly and give you a full function battery monitor that's integrated into the iPN-Pro remote too. The existing Cat-5 cable which is 4 twisted pairs can be dual purposed into a 2 pair comm link between the iPN-Pro and the 1524iX as a comm link using RJ-11 plugs, while the other 2 pair can be used for the link between the shunt and the iPN-PRO remote by combining each pair into a single wire. Works great!!!
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:05 PM   #322
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Quote:
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... while the other 2 pair can be used for the link between the shunt and the iPN-PRO remote by combining each pair into a single wire.
In my system, I did as you say and used two twisted pairs to create a 4-pin RJ-11 connection on both ends. I repurposed one of the CAT5 pairs for the current-sense, since this must be a twisted pair connection as required by Blue Sky anyway to keep errors from magnetic interference minimal. This left me with an unused pair. I guess I could have paralleled the two pairs, but since these are signal wires and don't carry any current it wasn't necessary.

Lewster, I hope I misunderstood you, but you wouldn't want to consider each pair as a single wire. By doing so, you'll have two parallel wires from the current shunt to the monitor and thus defeat the benefits of having a twisted pair.
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