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Old 08-04-2020, 04:38 PM   #1
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Ancillary benefit of portable solar suitcase??

Recently, 2 months ago, purchased 2020 Bambi 20’ with the Zamp 90W rooftop solar panel and the auxillary Zamp port on AFrame. Initially, while still less educated about solar, bought a Zamp 230 W portable suitcase. Then, given the spatial size vs weight (~50lb) decided too unwieldy so sent it back and purchased Zamp 180 W portable (~33 lb ��). Some folks on the form discuss removing the charger control on the portable and wiring the auxillary Aframe port directly to a inside charge controller, same with roof mount. I raised some similar questions with Zamp Ops Manager and he suggested pros and cons. Cons being if you remove the charge controller on portable unit then you are not able to use it to 1) loan to friend who needs to charge trailer battery, 2) cannot use to charge your tow vehicle battery if needed. I thought, yeah. But I ask forum sages, what are some of the other things I can do with the portable solar if I retain as is and keep the charge controller intact? Is there anyway to run other electronic devices? thx, stephen
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Old 08-04-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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You could just wire it to bypass the portable controller. Leave the portable in place and reconfigure when the portable controller is needed. Honestly if it were me I’d just leave the controller in place. It’s a bit less efficient but the main time you need it is when the roof panels are not getting any sun.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:11 PM   #3
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Where does the Zamp plug on the AS go? Directly to the batt's or to a controller?

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Old 08-04-2020, 06:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Where does the Zamp plug on the AS go? Directly to the batt's or to a controller?

Bob
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Bob, the Zamp plug that is on the AFrame only goes to the battery, not the inside charge controller. The rooftop Zamp (currently one 90W panel plugged into a 3 socket rooftop port) goes to the charge controller. I have read quite a few of previous notes and threads about the inefficiency of a two controller system (the Atkinson supporting rooftop and the separate Zamp controller on the portable). Obviously, confusing.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:56 PM   #5
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But again, if I just leave the portable Zamp 180W as is, with its charge controller, are there uses other than charging trailer battery when rooftop is in shade, charging tow vehicle battery if there was problem or loaning to another camper to charge their trailer battery?
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:46 PM   #6
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Well, with my solar suitcase I split the difference. Controller Velcro’s to the trailer near the solar port, and panel sans controller can go wherever. If I had to lend it out, I could give them both. Still too heavy though, so I am going to use it to build a roof mounted system.
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:20 AM   #7
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We run 200w on the roof and 180w suitcase with its own controller through the umbilical. works well no cons they work together. We like the extra because we boondock most of the time and often shade is an issue. the Add suitcase provides that "follow the sun".
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:18 AM   #8
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:51 AM   #9
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options, options

Seems we have a lot going on around here that depends on a battery. And since it is a pain to remove the battery from the: mower, atv, fuel trailer with 12 volt pump... - I use the Renogy 200w suitcase to top off the batteries periodically. Recently, I added 12v LED lights to a remote shed that has a suboptimal fixed panel orientation. The suitcase will be used to top off the recycled golf cart batteries when the solar gain on the fixed panel is low for an extended period.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smsasf View Post
Bob, the Zamp plug that is on the AFrame only goes to the battery, not the inside charge controller. The rooftop Zamp (currently one 90W panel plugged into a 3 socket rooftop port) goes to the charge controller. I have read quite a few of previous notes and threads about the inefficiency of a two controller system (the Atkinson supporting rooftop and the separate Zamp controller on the portable). Obviously, confusing.
Then plug your Zamp portable directly into the Zamp connector on the AS, contrary to some advise, the controllers will play well together. One or the other will most likely shut down as the batteries approach full charge.

Bob
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