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Old 03-15-2016, 07:08 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by alano View Post
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.
Correctomundo!
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:42 PM   #324
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Cat 5 Cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
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.
The beauty of using the car 5 cable is that by TIA/EIA 568-5-A standard (there is also a "B" standard - different pin-out of pairs) each pair has a different twist per-foot to eliminate near and far-end crosstalk and attenuation. Also with the advent of Power over Ethernet (PoE), data can be send at the same time as up to 25 watts of power with no problems as long as your don't violate the 100 meter (307) feet rule.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:15 PM   #325
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Factory Solar Wires from roof location?

Hello all, I just purchased a 2014 27FB and going through cleaning up the electrical systems for better boondocking experiences. Lewster has been great for info.

I have the factory installed solar, but already have a Morningstar converter on order, as well as a Renogy 100 watt portable panel w/o controller. I have the branch connectors needed to run the panel in parallel with the existing panels.

I am trying to locate the wires from the panels on the roof to install a plug in for the portable panel. I heard it was in the fridge compartment but didn't see it in there. I haven't had time to get on the roof and really dissect this so hoping some of you have already done this.

Thanks in advance,
Dave
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:23 PM   #326
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Factory Installed Solar Charging System

IIRC, older trailers had the solar pre-wire located in the back of the fridge compartment. Newer trailers usually have it located at the one of the Fantastic Fans.

If you have existing solar, you will find the yellow and green cables at the front of your trailer where the DC bus bars are located. They will be found behind the white divider wall in the front storage bay on the curb side where the cargo light is located.


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Old 05-28-2016, 03:39 PM   #327
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Factory installed solar ports for 2017 model year!

This is Airstream's 85th anniversary year and one of the exciting features for the 2017 model year travel trailer is the Zamp Solar Port built in next to the battery box, which makes it easy to plug in a Zamp Solar Portable Solar Charging System to charge the batteries.

See and hear Patrick Botticelli, of Colonial Airstream, show and talk about this, starting one minute into their video below:

Walk Through 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 27FB
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:50 PM   #328
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Zamp Solar Portable Solar Charging System

Starting with the 2017 model year, Airstream travel trailers have a built in port next to the battery box to recharge the batteries using the Zamp Solar Portable Solar Charging System.

Zamp Solar Portable Solar Charging System
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:10 PM   #329
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Zamp 3 Port Solar Roof Cap for 2017 Airstreams

2017 model year Airstream travel trailers will additionally have the Zamp 3 Port Roof Cap to make it easier for later installation of permanent solar panels (as discussed by Patrick in Colonial Airstream's video mentioned above).

Zamp Solar 3 Port Solar Roof Cap
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:49 AM   #330
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Are portable panels competitive with roof mount solar

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Originally Posted by SilverGate View Post
There aren’t that many of us who have Solar Panels, Charge Controller, and Display System installed by the Airstream Factory during the build of the trailer.

We, who have them, think they’re great! This system allows us to camp quietly in areas without an electrical hook-up, minimizing the worry about draining the battery too low, and minimizing and/or eliminating the need for a generator…. For example in the Anza-Borrego Desert, CA:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f396/silvergates-safari-home-last-29471-9.html

This thread is for those who either have an Airstream Factory-installed Solar Charging System, or who are considering this option in their Factory Trailer Build Order.

Please share information, photos, issues, ideas and experiences about your factory-installed Solar Charging System. I also invite others who have a solar charging system, especially with the same components as the factory-installed system, to share information.

Please note - This is not a thread for the discussion of generators, which can be found elsewhere on the Forums.
I've taken the plunge and ordered our first Airstream - a 2017 International 27FB Serenity with the factory 160W solar package. Airstream is supposedly now installing Zamp on the roof and there is an external connector near the front for connecting to a portable solar panel.

So here's the question - is a portable panel fully additive to the roof top panels? Example: 160W roof top + 200W portable unit = 360W of charging capability?

While it would seem logical to assume the roof and portable panels would work in conjunction, I've not been able to get confirmation from the dealer and Airstream has not responded to an email inquiry.

Thx
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:27 AM   #331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
I've taken the plunge and ordered our first Airstream - a 2017 International 27FB Serenity with the factory 160W solar package. Airstream is supposedly now installing Zamp on the roof and there is an external connector near the front for connecting to a portable solar panel.

So here's the question - is a portable panel fully additive to the roof top panels? Example: 160W roof top + 200W portable unit = 360W of charging capability?

While it would seem logical to assume the roof and portable panels would work in conjunction, I've not been able to get confirmation from the dealer and Airstream has not responded to an email inquiry.

Thx
We have been seeking that same answer. We have the factory panels, would like to carry a portable suitcase to supplement the factory, or put it in the sun when we are parked in the shade.

I suspect our Airstream Atkinson solar controller would turn off the Airstream solar panels current to the batteries if it sense the portable panels are supplying a predetermined voltage. In other words, I think the Atkinson would believe the batteries are fully charged, when it is actually sensing the charging voltage of the portable panels???

If that is true we would need to wire all panels through a common controller??? We need some details on suggested common controller and specifically how to wire it.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:27 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
We have been seeking that same answer. We have the factory panels, would like to carry a portable suitcase to supplement the factory, or put it in the sun when we are parked in the shade.

I suspect our Airstream Atkinson solar controller would turn off the Airstream solar panels current to the batteries if it sense the portable panels are supplying a predetermined voltage. In other words, I think the Atkinson would believe the batteries are fully charged, when it is actually sensing the charging voltage of the portable panels???

If that is true we would need to wire all panels through a common controller??? We need some details on suggested common controller and specifically how to wire it.
Doug, you're correct that the Atkinson solar controller would stop supplying energy once the battery voltage exceeds a pre-determined limit. The limits are a function of temperature,

Here are the limits from the datasheet:

The Temperature Compensation work as follows: (lead acid)
below 08C On @ 13.3VDC Off @ 15.0VDC
between 0-58C On @ 13.3VDC Off @ 14.8VDC
between 5-108C On @ 13.1VDC Off @ 14.6VDC
between 10-158C On @ 12.9VDC Off @ 14.4VDC
between 15-308C On @ 12.7VDC Off @ 14.2VDC
between 30-358C On @ 12.7VDC Off @ 14.0VDC
between 35-408C On @ 12.6VDC Off @ 13.8VDC
between 40-458C On @ 12.6VDC Off @ 13.6VDC

For AGM batteries the thresholds are 300 mV lower.

If your batteries are depleted, both solar chargers would contribute to charging the batteries, however, as soon as the Atkinson reaches one of the Off thresholds, then your external charger would take over.

There's no harm in connecting both systems and you probably don't need to bother trying to connect all panels to a common controller. The external Zamp panels will probably be optimized for the best solar radiation so it's likely that the external system will provide most of the energy to charge your batteries anyway. Since the Zamp system includes a three-stage battery charger, you can be assured that your batteries are topped off correctly.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:42 PM   #333
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Besides providing supplemental solar charging, the movable panels can be optimized by orientation to the sun which effectively can deliver more daily power than a larger panel restricted by rooftop positioning. I think.

All things considered we will probably be looking for a good portable suitcase in the 200 watt range, which should a least triple the power output of our present 106 watt factory setup. Maybe more, I'm guessing.

Any recommendations on a 200 watt "plug-and-play" portable unit(s)? Maybe two 100 watt units, easier to handle and set up only what is needed?
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:54 PM   #334
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Zamp Solar

I believe the 2017 AS's come with an attached Zamp Port.

http://www.zampsolar.com/product/200...stem-zs-200-p/
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:26 PM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alano View Post
Doug, you're correct that the Atkinson solar controller would stop supplying energy once the battery voltage exceeds a pre-determined limit. The limits are a function of temperature,

Here are the limits from the datasheet:

The Temperature Compensation work as follows: (lead acid)
below 08C On @ 13.3VDC Off @ 15.0VDC
between 0-58C On @ 13.3VDC Off @ 14.8VDC
between 5-108C On @ 13.1VDC Off @ 14.6VDC
between 10-158C On @ 12.9VDC Off @ 14.4VDC
between 15-308C On @ 12.7VDC Off @ 14.2VDC
between 30-358C On @ 12.7VDC Off @ 14.0VDC
between 35-408C On @ 12.6VDC Off @ 13.8VDC
between 40-458C On @ 12.6VDC Off @ 13.6VDC

For AGM batteries the thresholds are 300 mV lower.

If your batteries are depleted, both solar chargers would contribute to charging the batteries, however, as soon as the Atkinson reaches one of the Off thresholds, then your external charger would take over.

There's no harm in connecting both systems and you probably don't need to bother trying to connect all panels to a common controller. The external Zamp panels will probably be optimized for the best solar radiation so it's likely that the external system will provide most of the energy to charge your batteries anyway. Since the Zamp system includes a three-stage battery charger, you can be assured that your batteries are topped off correctly.
This is good news for those of us who have the original Airstream factory solar charging system using 53-watt solar panels. Our 2007 23' Airstream Safari has two factory installed solar panels that charge our two Group 24 Lifeline AGM batteries. This system continues to do well for us on our monthly 5-day camping trips and typically recharges our batteries to 100% by midday per our trip notes log. But for this to work optimally, we camp in sites that have full sun exposure most of the day.

With a portable solar charging system, we could park the trailer in shade as long as the portable panels can reach the sun.

It's nice to know that Airstream is using Zamp solar ports on their 2017 travel trailer models to make it easy for owners to add their own solar panels permanently on top (with the addition of a monitor and charge controller inside) or to attach portable systems that have their own monitor and charge controller built in.

Based on the Zamp Solar Portable Solar Selector Chart, their 160 Watt Portable (ZS-160-P) System would work best for our two Group 24 batteries. But they do point out that other factors can determine the proper size, such as daily power use, camp location, and time of year. Their portable two solar panels have the controller/5-stage battery charger and monitor attached and come in a case with 16' of wire that can attach directly to a port near the battery compartment or by clamps directly on the battery terminals.

We like the idea that our permanent solar panels can be supplemented by portable solar panels that easily be attached to our batteries and can be perfectly positioned to capture solar power. This would also likely prevent the batteries from becoming too depleted and thus would extend the life of our batteries!

Zamp Solar Portable Charging System
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:23 AM   #336
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Just got to try out the new Renogy 100 watt fold-able panel that I wired in parallel to the existing 2014 Foctory solar panels. Replaced the Attkinson to a new Morningstar SS-15 MPPT converter and after figuring out that you need to replace the 10 amp fuse that was going to the battery from the converter to the proper 25 amp fuse...

Was happy to see that the system collected 40 AH parked in tall trees on a partly cloudy day.

Just got the Morningstar remote hooked up using the current RJ45 wire going from old converter to the old remote in the kitchen. I had to buy a proper RJ11 crimper at Home depot but other than that, it was easy and works great! Suspecting that on a fully sunny day and without shade, could see upwards of 60 AH hopefully.
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