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Old 07-14-2019, 01:32 PM   #1
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Locking System for ZAMP Portable Solar Panels

I'd like to find or fabricate a Locking System for my 140 watt ZAMP Portable Solar Panel. I occasionally leave mine unattended while charging.

What is your security solution for the current generation of ZAMP panels?
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:47 PM   #2
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Fold it up and put it in the truck or trailer? Well obviously, you won't do much charging that way.

Seriously, though, it's tough to find a great solution for securing the Zamp panels since they are by design portable. I have run a chain through the folding legs to keep someone from just walking away with my 200W panel while we're in the trailer or around the campground but that wouldn't stop anyone who was serious about taking it while we're away from camp. I've read of people drilling a hole through the aluminum frame to secure the panel with an eye bolt and chain and that might make it a bit more difficult to steal.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:10 PM   #4
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Locking System for ZAMP Portable Solar Panels

I locked mine up by attaching feet and then permanently glueing them to the roof using 3M tape and silkaflex.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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Hi

Unfortunately, getting carried away isn't the only thing that may happen to unattended solar panels. The same lovable pooch in the post two up might decide it's a vertical object and "treat" it accordingly. Kids playing with various toys, either with or without evil intent are another risk.

Anything you can practically lock them down with is < 10 seconds for a thief to remove. Some techniques are fast and a bit noisy, others are pretty quiet.

As mentioned above, best approach is to put it away / out of sight.

All that said, in over 50 years of doing this, I've never had anything "wander" off from a campsite. Just about all that time was in tents. With one of those the whole idea of "lock it up" is silly. Indeed the vehicle did get broken into when parked "in town" on one trip. In that case, the stuff probably would have been better off on the floor of the tent ....

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Old 07-14-2019, 04:54 PM   #6
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The handle on my Zamp 180 is solid metal and connected well to the frame. I run a cable and lock through the handle to what ever is closer, the AS or TV.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:24 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Here is a prototype that I came up with today for securing my ZAMP 140. I'll put a lock on each of the two lower corners and cable the panel to the trailer or TV.

Security screws and the placement of the cable loop to discourage good hacksaw purchase should help eliminate my solar panel as the low hanging fruit in the campground.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:18 PM   #8
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Looks interesting. I guess I'm having difficulty visualizing how the metal piece that the cable ties to doesn't interfere with closing the panel. Does it swivel out of the way somehow?
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Looks interesting. I guess I'm having difficulty visualizing how the metal piece that the cable ties to doesn't interfere with closing the panel. Does it swivel out of the way somehow?
The angle aluminum piece is mounted just below the top edge of the panel so does not interfere with closing.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:01 AM   #10
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What is the definition of 'portable'? 🤔
If the 'Burb gets stolen we ARE in trouble.👎
I do have a 15' Master Lock Cable...but realistically it's just 7'.
Just easier to take advantage of the portable feature. 👍

Bob
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:48 AM   #11
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I have the 160 suitcase and after thinking about it figured anything I came up with on the suitcase itself was nothing when the Master Lock cable could be cut with a pair of snips in minutes or a cable cutter in seconds.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:17 AM   #12
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I have the 160 suitcase and after thinking about it figured anything I came up with on the suitcase itself was nothing when the Master Lock cable could be cut with a pair of snips in minutes or a cable cutter in seconds.
Yes but typically the thief is just an opportunist and won't take time to go find the tools. If someone is determined to steal it, none of the solutions above will work
Except foe the Dog....Love that one!!!
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:22 AM   #13
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On my Renogy Suitcase, I riveted two heavy duty metal tie-downs to the frames and use a 30 foot Python Cable Lock to secure it to the trailer or TV. Available on Amazon. Not fool proof, but stops the casual thief.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:35 AM   #14
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15' 3/8 braided steel cable (PVC coated) and a Bolt Pad Lock ... this keeps honest people honest and deters other as it requires bolt cutter's to remove it. Nothing is absolute. When in doubt lock it up in the back of the truck.
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