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Old 11-24-2018, 03:50 PM   #11
CJPJ
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

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Originally Posted by wwjase View Post
Hello, and thank you. Could you please offer a few more details? I'm asking because I found solar power trickle charger by Suaoki (I have liked other products from them). It's an 18w panel, but more curiously, it recommends to unplug it at night in case it fails and begins to draw off the battery rather than recharge. That of course is not convenient. Additional research tells me people have added a controller to circumvent that potential problem.

Questions 1) what panel size has been successful for you, and 2) does yours have its own controller and/or did you add one?

Thank you kindly.
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

All you really need to prevent back-flow is a diode ... you don't really need a "controller".

An 18 watt panel supplies 1.5 amps of current at 12 volts, so a Schottky diode capable of 2 or 5 amps would be the best choice. "Schottky" (a technology, not a brand name) diodes have relatively low "forward voltage drop", so they won't steal much power from the solar panel.

Something like this: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...WiiJklLA%3d%3d at $1.44 each.
If there's a Fry's Electronics near you, they'd probably have something similar ... it could be soldered in-line with the panel's current wiring (snip one of the wires, insert diode (properly pointed), solder the leads and wrap it in tape).
Look for a "reverse voltage" of at least 20 volts and a "forward current" of at least 3 amps.

"regular" solar panels (like the Renogy or Grape Solar) have bypass diodes on the panel... sourcing one of those diodes would work. (such as a friend throwing away a damaged panel)

--dick
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Last edited by autostaretx; 11-24-2018 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

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Originally Posted by wwjase View Post
... but more curiously, it recommends to unplug it at night in case it fails and begins to draw off the battery rather than recharge. ...
To me that indicates that it is ok unless it fails. They don't say to unplug it during cloudy days or while shaded do they? If they don't mention that, a properly operating unit will not discharge your battery.

Are there any problems related to leaving it connected mentioned by actual users in their reviews?

I would ignore it as legalese/marketing speak for lawsuit avoidance.

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Old 01-04-2019, 08:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

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Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
All you really need to prevent back-flow is a diode ... you don't really need a "controller".
Thank you. I have since purchased a solar panel that included a diode and a controller. It was ENORMOUS and provided very little recharge to the battery for its size, so I returned it.

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Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
... it could be soldered in-line with the panel's current wiring (snip one of the wires, insert diode (properly pointed), solder the leads and wrap it in tape).
Thank you. Gosh, seems so easy, but itís unfortunately lost on me. I need to find a course to learn more.

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Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
To me that indicates that it is ok unless it fails. They don't say to unplug it during cloudy days or while shaded do they? If they don't mention that, a properly operating unit will not discharge your battery.
Very good points. Thank you.

This all began for me because I have a sudden battery drain of about 1v per day. Dealer says itís the up-fitterís work and I live quite far from the up-fitter.
After I posted my questions, I thought I would try my already existing 80w panel, prop it on the dash with a cigarette lighter plug into the hot socket under the cup holder. I can also now vouch that this works quite well actually. Itís a large panel and thereís no controller (I donít know if it has a diode), so I top up the battery each morning while I have sun and unplug at noon before the battery might get over-charged and before the panel in darkness might drain. Itís high maintenance, but this short-term fix seems to work for now until I can get to the up-fitter, and I thank you guys for your wisdom.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

Is the cigarette lighter socket that is on the wall cabinet always on, and is it fed from the house batteries? I was considering hooking up my trickle charger through that port for the house batteries.
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Old 01-05-2019, 04:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

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Is the cigarette lighter socket that is on the wall cabinet always on, and is it fed from the house batteries? I was considering hooking up my trickle charger through that port for the house batteries.
Plug something into it (like a USB adapter that has a glowing LED) to get your ground-truth.

--dick
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Get YOUR Sprinter's full configuration datacard by entering your VIN to https://www.datamb.com/
http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference <-- lots of service documentation, Thanks to Jens Moller and Arnie_Oli
((as always: this post may go through a couple of post-posting edits... so maybe give it ten minutes before commenting))
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

Wwjase can you give specifics on your set up. Want to put a solar trickle charge in the 2018 sprinter passenger van because we only use it as a family once a month. Want to preserve battery. What panel are you using/ trickle charger etc...
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

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Originally Posted by cheato View Post
Wwjase can you give specifics on your set up.
I'm using an ALLPOWERS 80W Foldable Solar Panel that I had bought on Amazon for another purpose. I use it because I had it, but I don't know that I'd recommend it for your purposes of trickle charging the battery of an unattended vehicle. I don't think this panel has a controller that would top off and then maintain. I think it just keeps on charging, so I literally plug it in and unplug it again 4 hours later, daily. When I leave my van unattended more than 4 days, I unplug the master by the gas pedal (my van requires a wait of 10 minutes after turning off the van before unplugging the master). Unplugging the master is not ideal because the clock goes, the alarm cuts, etc., but it's better than a dead battery upon my return. Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I never did find a good option for unattended leaves.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:57 AM   #19
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Default Re: Trickle charge thru Lighter?

Thanks for the heads up and the information. Will continue to search.
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