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Old 05-10-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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Hey great deal solar $129.00

Hey folks check this deal I wondered onto from northern tools

BatteryMINDer Solar Charger
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrcrowley View Post
Hey folks check this deal I wondered onto from northern tools

BatteryMINDer Solar Charger
That charger is to keep the battery topped off, when in storage.

It cannot provide enough power when charging it's very few hours, if your using the battery.

The vendor says it will charge 4 batteries, is rather far fetched unless they mean flashlight batteries.

Solar chargers only put out maximum amps when the sun is at 90 degrees to the panel. The charge rate drops when that angle is less as well as more.

For what that charger does, it's way over priced, like at least double.

Andy
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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If it performs like they say (15 watt), that is just a hair over 1 amp charge rate at 13.8 volts. Assuming you have good sun light for 6 hours a day, that would only be about 6 amp hours, and that would be "best case".

Not really enough to extend a boondocking trip for even another day, but it would be a good "battery maintenance" type system.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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I have a battery minder plug-in version. They are great for maintaining your batteries when you are not using your AS to counteract the natural draw down when sitting idle. You have to have your batteries charged prior to connecting in order for it to maintain the charge.

The solar version would be good if you store your trailer outdoors somewhere where you can not plug in a battery charger.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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Since many still use the old Univolts, this would be a simple way to maintain when not in use especially not needing to worry about frying the batteries.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #6
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Solar BatteryMinder

Andy et al;
I'm looking at the solar BatteryMinder maintainer/conditioner BatteryMINDer Solar Charging System 12 Volt, 15 Watt Panel, Model# SCC-015 | Battery Maintainers | Northern Tool + Equipment for maintaining my batteries during storage. Our Airstream (2011FC23FB) is stored under a commercial storage facility three sided shed, so my rooftop solar doesn't help, and without access to electricity, so a conventional trickle charger doesn't help. However, the front end faces west and does get several hours of direct sunlight per day at the propane tank cover. I could mount this panel on a folding bracket on the propane tank cover.

Andy,
I'd like clarification on your claim that it is way overpriced. Have you identified a functionally equal alternative?

Others,
Have you used this product or an alternative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
That charger is to keep the battery topped off, when in storage.
Yes, that is the product.

It cannot provide enough power when charging it's very few hours, if your using the battery.
---True, it is not designed or advertised to do so.

The vendor says it will charge 4 batteries, is rather far fetched unless they mean flashlight batteries.
---Have you tried it?

Solar chargers only put out maximum amps when the sun is at 90 degrees to the panel. The charge rate drops when that angle is less as well as more.
---True for all solar panels.


For what that charger does, it's way over priced, like at least double.
---What is your functionally equal alternative that you claim is half the price??
Andy
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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Anybody seen a good darkness charger? We are going to be storing our trailer in a warehouse....
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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BatteryMinder SCC-015

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Originally Posted by JamuJoe View Post
Andy et al;
I'm looking at the solar BatteryMinder maintainer/conditioner BatteryMINDer Solar Charging System 12 Volt, 15 Watt Panel, Model# SCC-015 | Battery Maintainers | Northern Tool + Equipment for maintaining my batteries during storage.
Others,
Have you used this product or an alternative?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++
I use one of these units to maintain the two batteries on our AS. It seems to do what is necessary to maintain the two batteries for extended periods during storage.

I bought it on sale for less than the Northern Tool price, but I forget how much (been too long).
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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I got these two items for storage maintenance only for my 2 group 29 wet cells. Per my on board monitor, it puts out between 300ma and 900ma considering low angle, cloudy days and sunny days. After a series of cloudy days, my battery has been as low as 98% charged followed by one sunny day, it will be back up to 100%.
Based on my spying on my trailer batts in storage, I believe 15 watts would handle 4 batteries in areas which get 50% sun vs. clouds. That's just a swag, though.

BTW, I know that a "proper" charge staged controller is optimal, but for a low output charge maintainer, I believe that an old on at 13V/off at 14.2 at 900ma max. isn't going to boil off anything. I seem to recall getting the panel at a lower sale price last winter.


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Old 04-27-2011, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
Anybody seen a good darkness charger? We are going to be storing our trailer in a warehouse....
Gringo,

I have 2 of these:
BatteryMINDer Charger/Maintainer/Desulfator — 1.3 Amp, 12 Volt, Model# 12117 | Battery Maintainers | Northern Tool + Equipment

I use them for my AS batts during winter storage when I bring the batts home, as well as another unit which handles a scooter battery and a tractor battery. I really am happy with them.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Anybody seen a good darkness charger?
Well, you ARE in Bermuda... perhaps in the triangle, solar chargers actually charge better in pitch black?
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:26 AM   #12
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The Battery Minder 15 watt solar charging system will work..........but it is limited to maintaining your battery's charge. It is too small to actually do any charging unless you disconnect the negative lead to the trailer and isolate the battery.

Only then will it's just over 1 amp of maximum charge at full bright sun add a little to your battery.

I have installed several of these for clients who only wanted their batteries kept at full charge when in storage. They will work well for that purpose! The key is to start with a fully charged battery bank, and the 'Minder will then do fine.

BTW, their other charging products work as advertised and I use several of them to keep the numerous battery banks on the bench for test use fully charged all the time.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:57 AM   #13
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The Battery Minder 15 watt solar charging system will work..........but it is limited to maintaining your battery's charge. It is too small to actually do any charging unless you disconnect the negative lead to the trailer and isolate the battery.

Only then will it's just over 1 amp of maximum charge at full bright sun add a little to your battery.

I have installed several of these for clients who only wanted their batteries kept at full charge when in storage. They will work well for that purpose! The key is to start with a fully charged battery bank, and the 'Minder will then do fine.

BTW, their other charging products work as advertised and I use several of them to keep the numerous battery banks on the bench for test use fully charged all the time.
Lewster,

I'll challenge you..but only a little bit...and only as it relates to my AS. I moved my LP detector wire to the fuse panel, so it is not on while the cut off switch is disconnected. I figger I'll ALWAYS have the cutoff switch on while occupied. I, so far, have had no alarm issues when turning it back on until it burns off, like some have stated. With whatever other parisitic load I have, (haven't really tried to chase them down because it's not an issue..brake actuator, etc) I am only drawing right around 100ma. I have no problem with the batteries recovering to 100% after a week of rain and clouds, followed by a day or two of sunshine. I just strap the panel to the top of the propane tank cover with a 2X4 on edge s a "tilt". The panel faces the southeast. I could probably get a little more out of a 15W if I put it on the roof where it would get a better angle in the PM, but I seem to be fine as it is, and I don't have to take a ladder out to storage.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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Well, you ARE in Bermuda... perhaps in the triangle, solar chargers actually charge better in pitch black?
We're actually down south of the Bahamas, between Mayaguana and the Dominican Republic. We'd do better with a wind generator here. We get sun 350 days a year, but the trade winds blow 24/365.

Where we plan on doing most of our camping up at around 7300 ft. in the Rockies, there is plenty of the absense of dark. I am looking for a way to use the dark to generate electricity.

Something along the lines of:

Shedding the Light on Darksuckers - And Why Your Power Company Doesn't Want You to Know About Them
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