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Old 03-13-2012, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: Solar panel setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightybus
Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
I use HF electronics almost every day... in fact, i have 9 unopened free multimeters in the cabinet in the bus right now...

Yep to the free meters andor screwdriver sets and the 20% off coupons!
I give them out at Christmas and birthdays.
Used to get "xtra"coupons for the freebies, don't forget the flashlights! ... they knew me by name
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:42 AM   #12
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Re: Solar panel setup

I've been thinking of solar when we head out for boon-docking camping trips. But I am not a full-timer, just a weekender so the price of it can't be justified for me. Since I am in Kansas it seems more attractive as a $ per watt setup to go with wind power. But even then, I still have to set it up for just the weekend. If I was going out for longer treks, then it may be a better idea. But right now I'll just run the genny when I boondock or use independent solar lights rather than a whole solar setup. Solar garage lights are only around $30 and they will light up most of the bus for several hours each night.

Harbor freight is great source of cheap stuff. I just put in an order for 20 of the LED small work-lights.

http://www.harborfreight.com/27-led-...ght-67227.html

These little things are great and work as a backup to my solar or shore-power lighting. They also have a magnet and a fold-away hook so you can find somewhere to put them. I will give a handful away but the rest are getting stuffed away into all sorts of spaces. Either on the bus or in the cars. These things cam in real handy when I was working next to the bus to get the propane bottle changed on our lantern last week. The magnet allowed me to just slap the light on the bus. They only take 3 aaa batteries but last quite a while for the amount of light they put out.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:24 PM   #13
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Re: Solar panel setup

at 3.99.. they will be around 3 .20 ..... and you still get a free miltimeter also at HF..I would be buying one at a time... then checking out... then back in...
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #14
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Re: Solar panel setup

I just got the order in today. I guess they are so popular someone from the post office had to open the package and help himself to 2 of them. I've already got 5 in the bus. One for each of us. And some of the others thrown in different toolboxes. I also put on in the one bay storage box that the bus has.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:36 PM   #15
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Re: Solar panel setup

Those look interesting. Wonder if they could be pulled apart and wired directly into the bus' system?
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:54 PM   #16
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Re: Solar panel setup

I've got a couple that I need to put new batteries in. Somehow they got turned on in the packaging. I'll get pics when I open them up to replace the batteries.
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Old 03-15-2012, 01:50 PM   #17
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Re: Solar panel setup

FWIW I modified a AA-battery powered LED "press light" to run from the 12v system. First I measured the voltage that was being supplied via the 4 AA batteries, which was just over 5 volts. Then purchased a 5v voltage limiter from Radio Shack and soldered it to the + leg in the battery compartment of the light. Then soldered 12v+ to that, and 12v - to the neg leg. Even with my horrible soldering skills it has worked fine for a few years.

On the other hand I have a small(er) LED press light in the bathroom that I keep on batteries. It is only used intermittently so the batteries last a couple of months. In that case it's easier to just swap out rechargeables as needed.
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