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Old 06-15-2017, 01:10 PM   #21
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I see the three wires (red/black/yellow) that you extended that used to be connected to the Atkinson controller. Where did you get the green wire from? Which I assume is or connected to the negative wire from the PV panel? According to the wiring diagram that's usually connected to a negative battery terminal. I'm going to be replacing the Atkinson with a Victron 100/15.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:26 PM   #22
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I see the three wires (red/black/yellow) that you extended that used to be connected to the Atkinson controller. Where did you get the green wire from? Which I assume is or connected to the negative wire from the PV panel? According to the wiring diagram that's usually connected to a negative battery terminal. I'm going to be replacing the Atkinson with a Victron 100/15.
Both the + and - from the panel (yellow and green wires) can be found under that jump seat. They get split and the + goes to the Atkinson while the - goes to the nearest ground. On my coach, they chose the ground stud on the BIM. There's plenty of lead length so it's pretty simple to cut the PV wires and attach them to your controller of choice.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:14 AM   #23
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Do you know what gauge wire comes installed from Airstream from the included 100w panel to the solar controller? I was hoping to add two renogy 100w panels to the existing Airstream factory 100w panel (which looks like a flexible panel) and wire in parallel using the existing wiring to avoid more roof penetrations and pulling new wire. Also planning to get rid of the sunexplorer controller as you have and replace with a Victron unit 30a MPPT and monitor exclusively with Bluetooth thus abandoning the monitor in the controller area with the inverter remote and generator start. Anyone see any MAJOR issues with this?
The 12ga wire from the factory is really insufficient for 2x100W +the 100W original. It's more like #6 fine stranded wire.

Another excellent and VERY accurate controller is the Trimetric 2030A. with a very slight modification to the opening it fits right where the Atkinson is. The wiring will be a bit of work because of the 500A shunt. But this instrument will give you accurate amp draw plus tons of information about the state of the batteries.

The most valuable indicator is perhaps the % state of the battery more so than voltage.

For a 12V system that small you really don't need and MPPT controller, something like a Morningstar PS30 will work just fine for less money.

Indeed, a 250 to 300W system is about what you need to let the AI sit wherever. Ours is 5 month in very cold weather with two 6V 220AH Lifelines right in place. However the solar panels are off their feet and angled to catch maximum sun. Snow needs to be removed every so often.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:20 PM   #24
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Spent a week in Colorado Springs. Fridge and Fan going. The 300 Watts of Solar and MPPT performed really well!!
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:51 PM   #25
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Spent a week in Colorado Springs. Fridge and Fan going. The 300 Watts of Solar and MPPT performed really well!!
Geebus!! You spent a lot of time in the sun.

Where I camp they have 200ft tall grass.....

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Old 06-19-2017, 10:23 PM   #26
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Spent a week in Colorado Springs. Fridge and Fan going. The 300 Watts of Solar and MPPT performed really well!!


Can you explain the data readout?
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:33 PM   #27
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Another excellent and VERY accurate controller is the Trimetric 2030A. with a very slight modification to the opening it fits right where the Atkinson is. The wiring will be a bit of work because of the 500A shunt. But this instrument will give you accurate amp draw plus tons of information about the state of the batteries.

The most valuable indicator is perhaps the % state of the battery more so than voltage.
The Trimetric 2030A is a battery monitoring system - it is not a controller. I have one in my AS, along with the Xantrex FS3012 converter/charger/inverter and a Blue Sky MPPT controller for my 540 watts of solar.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:48 PM   #28
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The Trimetric 2030A is a battery monitoring system - it is not a controller. I have one in my AS, along with the Xantrex FS3012 converter/charger/inverter and a Blue Sky MPPT controller for my 540 watts of solar.
The Trimetric SC2030 is an add on unit to the 2030 battery monitor. It's actually quite sophisticated. MPPT chargers only use the MPPT functionality during the bulk charging phase and revert to pulse width modulation during the absorption and float charging phases. Since the trimetric counts the Amps entering and leaving the battery, it can stay in the absorption mode longer than a voltage based charger. In many cases it can be more efficient than MPPT chargers.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:29 PM   #29
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The Trimetric 2030A is a battery monitoring system - it is not a controller. I have one in my AS, along with the Xantrex FS3012 converter/charger/inverter and a Blue Sky MPPT controller for my 540 watts of solar.
Yes of course, controller, monitor, what was I thinking. I'm
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:50 PM   #30
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Where I camp they have 200ft tall grass.....
I prefer your tall grass
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:01 PM   #31
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Can you explain the data readout?
https://youtu.be/vZJA4eTd6vw
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:45 AM   #32
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Thanks, I can get the readout I'm just not sure I understand what the data is saying. I cant find a video or manual that explains in detail the icons and how it relates to battery charge and etc. I think I understand but hearing someone else'e interpretation would help.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:49 AM   #33
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Thanks, I can get the readout I'm just not sure I understand what the data is saying. I cant find a video or manual that explains in detail the icons and how it relates to battery charge and etc. I think I understand but hearing someone else'e interpretation would help.


Yield is how much solar energy was harvested that day. Pmax and Vmax are the maximum amount of watts and volts the panels produced that day. Battery voltage is min/max voltage at the batteries over the day. The last number is how many hours the panels harvested power that day.
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Old 06-21-2017, 04:14 PM   #34
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Thanks, how about the live data?
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:23 PM   #35
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Thanks, how about the live data?
McRider will have to provide a screen shot of that. I don't have the same system so I don't know what they include in that view.....
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:37 PM   #36
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Thanks, how about the live data?
Instantaneous Watts being produced by panels
Instantaneous Volts of Panel array
Current Battery battery Voltage
Amps being produced by Controller and consummed by devices or charging
Charge State: Bulk, Absorb, Float . .
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:43 PM   #37
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EPSolar

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Done with the remote install. Shaved 20mm off the bottom of the mounting frame and it fits perfectly.
Based upon your tutorial, I swapped out my Atkinson controller. I used a an EPSolar PWM (for my own specific reasons).
Their MT50 is fully programmable 3-stage and has the RJ-45 jack, so no new wire.
Making it work in the 2014 EXT was easier than I had a right to expect.

I'm going to swap out the 50 watt Ameresco PV panel with a 150 watt one that will barely fit in the available real estate.
Best I can do without a life changing effort. The 13 awg wire installed OEM appears to be borderline OK for the top amperage from one 150W panel.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:16 PM   #38
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The 13 awg wire installed OEM appears to be borderline OK for the top amperage from one 150W panel.
You're fine w/ 13awg. You're not going to pull more than 10A, and solar is a "non-critical" circuit. According to ABYC-E11 wiring specs, you could pull up to 20A and still be in spec given the relatively short run length.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:43 PM   #39
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If you ever decide at a later date to add more solar panels or to upgrade your existing panel to a newer more efficient one, you'll kick yourself for not having upgraded the wiring to a heavier gauge. When I acquired my current AS in 2011 it had 3x75 watt panels and 10AWG wire. The actual run from the panels on the rear portion of the roof to the batteries up front under the gaucho is 30 feet. I was in Quartzsite and there was a sale on a 140 watt panel at the time I needed a new controller. When the new controller shut down, they called Blue Sky who told them the wiring needed to be heavier, suggesting 8 AWG. Since the labor cost to rerun the wiring was the major portion of the job, I opted for 6 awg wiring. Last winter I had the guys at Discount Solar in Quartzsite optimize my system, trading in the 3x75 watt panels for 2x160 + 1x80 along with the 140 watt panel making 540 watts in total. The 6 awg wiring handled it just fine. I enjoy Boondocking with a group of friends in the Sonora Desert.
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Old 10-01-2017, 11:18 PM   #40
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If you ever decide at a later date to add more solar panels or to upgrade your existing panel to a newer more efficient one, you'll kick yourself for not having upgraded the wiring to a heavier gauge.

Since the labor cost to rerun the wiring was the major portion of the job
All that goes away if you use a MPPT charge controller and wire your panels in series. As you said, rewiring a coach is a big project and a lot of expense. Just spend the little extra up front for a MPPT controller, which is more efficient anyway, and avoid all the wasted time and money on rewiring.....

P.S. This is the Interstate forum, so our cable runs are never going to exceed 20'.
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