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 > 100 watt Solar decision

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opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 07/05/20 12:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brettmm92 wrote:

Opnspaces, I took a peak behind one of the wall lights and was glad to see that the wiring would be relatively easy to fix up a usb plug. And I was going to go without an inverter but I found a 400 watt cobra modified sine wave for 20$ refurbished with wires and had to get it. But I ordered a 12 volt plug because it will be nice to have and didn't break the bank for pure dc and convenience.

Awesome, I think the USB plugs are the way to go. Now that you decided to add one there are a few things I can think of to be aware of.

If you tap into an existing light fixture your install is already fused But I'll bet the manufacturer used 14g wire so you should probably do so as well.

Wherever you drill the hole for the outlet be aware that you need to have access to the back of the hole. If you can't get behind the outlet you can't tighten the big plastic nut that holds it all in the hole.

Don't drill too close to a corner because again that back plastic nut needs to be able to fit and screw down. If you get too close to a structural member or corner you might not be able to turn the nut. Yes I ran into just that problem with the first one I installed.


2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton
2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH
1986 Coleman Columbia Popup.

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 07/05/20 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pianotuna, that would be a good solution especially since I'll have some to spare. But the one thing in the back of my mind is that if I end up doing that and it will allow 60 amps, or 720 Watts through (of course I am not going to intentionally provoke such a thing) does that test the safety that the fuse is there to provide in the first place? Forgive my bad wording of that. What do you think a realistic "danger" energy (any unit of energy) would be running through the wire? And the fuses are to protect the battery, right?

Opnspaces, that's some good advice. I'm glad you posted that because the light most convienent to add on the plug is right on the corner and I might have not thought of that as well. They even have small usb powered fans that make the idea even more appealing.

And I got the fuses that I got but I think something like this would have been the way to go-
Fuse box with screws

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/05/20 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brettmm92,

The purpose of fuses, in this case, is to protect the wire.

The fuse box you linked to would not be useful for the 400 watt inverter, because it is rated for only 30 amps.

The inverter is rated for 400 watts, Probably it can surge to double that for extremely brief time periods such as 1/10 of a second. So it is never going to approach 60 amps continuous. The inverter will be quite happy with dual #10 wire.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 07/08/20 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In an odd turn of events, I ended up getting 2 of the 90$ sams club duracell 90$ 6 volts. Only because of a spontaneous job interview that was 400+ miles round trip. THANKS FOR POINTING THEM OUT TO ME. They were super affordable but also the core charge was ONLY 5$ when the core charge for interstate was quoted at 25$ so I will take the small amp hours loss. And the funny thing is even though I only get about 11mpg with my truck, I'd bet the money I spent on going to that job interview driving over 400 miles and getting the sams club batteries with the club membership (45$) was about the same as the interstate batteries cost. But seriously, interstate does have a good reputation and convenience factor.

BTW, does anyone know where I could find a place that has a "pre-crimped" wire that would put the two batteries in a series with thick gauge? The few places that were on my trip only had 6 gauge and im thinking 2 or 0 gauge is what is ideal. But only from articles I read online, maybe I'm wrong?

Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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Posted: 07/08/20 11:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a 2 AWG cable that will work just fine.

Brettmm92

North Carolina

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Posted: 07/09/20 09:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Boondocker, thanks for the link. Unfortunately I currently can't receive mail so I got to go to a store. I've had bad luck finding a cable larger than 6 gauge so far but haven't checked auto stores

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/09/20 11:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brettmm92,

Try Lowes or Home Depot

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/10/20 01:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Brettmm92,

Try Lowes or Home Depot


They will have "building wire" in that size, consists of thick strands and will not be flexible enough for this use.

You NEED flexible wire which consists of many much smaller strands.

Better to go to an autoparts store.

You can find short battery cables with a molded battery terminal on one end like this..

[image]

Then you can use a REPAIR battery terminal on the other end like this..

[image]

and use one of the bolts on the terminal to connect your cable end to for a couple of Dollars.

or for more expensive terminals..

[image]

Or you can buy a short 12" cable with lugs like this..

[image]

and use the repair terminals to make the connection to the batteries.

You should be able to find these at most any autoparts stores like Autozone, Pepboys, NAPA and more..

Take these photos with you and show them what you need, some places like NAPA may even custom cut to length and put lug ends for you..

Ideally you want this interconnect to be as short as possible, so depending on how you need to place the batteries you can often get away with as short as 6"..

In a pinch building wire at Lowes of Home Depot could be used, but it is extremely stiff and that can make it difficult to work with and it can also place a lot of stress on the battery terminals which may lead to the case to terminal seal breakage which leads to acid creep up the terminals. That causes a lot of acid corrosion of the battery connections when that happens.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 07/10/20 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want fine stranded wire, go to a welding supply shop. It is available at Lowes.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 07/10/20 06:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

If you want fine stranded wire, go to a welding supply shop. It is available at Lowes.


Interesting, never seen that offering at my local Lowes or Home Depot.

Have to go to a Tractor Supply store in my area for welding cable, do have a Rural King in my area, but don't recall seeing welding cable in that store (although they do have arc welding supplies there).

But you do make a good point, welding cable is very flexible and most places that sell arc welding supplies and welding cable will also have the lugs (although one would need the proper crimper to make a good solid crimp, crushing via pliers won't cut it).

Another very flexible wire with fine strands is called "stage lighting" cable, might be able to find that in a electrical supply shop (places where electricians go to buy their electrical supplies, most electricians do not depend on Lowes or Home Depot).

Shame the OP can't get mail order items, that would simplify getting the oddball items which are not typically carried in retail consumer outlets.

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