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About flatfourfan

  • Birthday 27/11/1973

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    Vintage porsches, giving the middle finger to the man and making music.

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  1. So, an update..........the trickle charger failed. I thought that it was a once off because it was a bit older, but we got one for them, new out the box and it lasted less than a month before going toast. So The in-laws agreed to go for the panel and charge controller. Job done.............and the way that I wanted to do it in the first place.
  2. Thanks for the input guys, so a few things changed last night. - We changed the battery for a 60ah unit as the larger one was pretty much overkill for them and what they were running. I've taken it and will use it for storage at my place in case they change their minds or want to have more capacity. - I was approached by someone in here who offered me their spare charger and low and behold its the ring branded one that was listed above. She says with the usage that the in-laws have it can deal with the amp draw easily and I can loan it for as long as I need it......(she actually said 6 months...lolzzzz). They used it for a similar purpose and it comes with terminal hook-ups for long term use and has had it with no issues for almost a year. This is purely a stop gap because they have the space to go with a nice 120w 12V panel like mine and a solar controller is nice and cheap and I'm just trying to convince them. They're happy though and will do the hook-up over the weekend. Will provide an update once installed.
  3. So just spoke to the battery charger shop(hoping to find the B&D unit and they pointed me in the direction of this https://www.takealot.com/optimate-3-desulphating-charger-maintainer-tester-for-12-v-batte/PLID40732677/description hmmm, thoughts? This is pretty much at the max of where I want to spend and this seems small.
  4. Thanks for the advice. I did some sums last night and noted that you're right. The battery seems to take flack when the outdoor lights are added to the mix and it pulls it down too much. If the battery is charged full with the regular charger, then the small one can manage to top it up with no problem, (green charge light shows). When there is big draw, then the red light comes on, (aka.........I'm not coping). The battery is a royal 102AH. The adapter is a cheap ac-DC adapter HN-DC138V100. I like the look of that B&D charger, but yeah locally, I'm not finding anything close to that. https://www.autostyle.co.za/product/ring-automotive-12v-4a-battery-charger/ - No clue on the name for R660 https://www.builders.co.za/Automotive/Automotive-Spares-%26-Accessories/Auto-Electrical/Powerzone-Battery-Charger---Black-(3-8a)/p/000000000000566619 - No name for R690 and also can't get it anywhere locally. and something like this is going to put me in the same boat as I am now. https://www.takealot.com/x-appeal-automatic-battery-charger-xa300/PLID41165270/description Then there is a China route. https://www.midas.co.za/pebble.asp?relid=1729&t=75 I wish that they would let me put in a panel with a controller and all of these issues would be gone.
  5. SO about 2 years ago, I installed a 12v lighting system in my in- laws place and as they didn't have the money for a panel or solar controller, they requested that we run it through a small battery that was hooked up to the mains on a trickle charger. This has worked great and when the battery went belly up (it was old to start off with) they asked me to install a larger royal battery so that they could have some standby if required. Upon instruction from an electronics store I built a trickle charger using a DC power adapter, diode and presto, charges at 13.4v and everyone was happy. However recently the adapter went, so I replaced it and noticed 13.4v output from the charger, but once hooked up to the battery it drops to 12.5v and the lights have started flickering. Once I hook the battery to a regular charger, it works just fine and the battery charges. Any advice?
  6. with the amount of taxi's that ride on the shoulder of that road, there is no surprise that those panels look the way they do. But DAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMN, that's a lot of crap......lol.
  7. I actually really wish that my consumption was more, but alas, our family is so energy conscious that we struggle to get it any lower. So we can only save so much. We are however managing to cut bit by bit and to cover the general increases with a bit more to spare. I’ve been tweaking the system a bit and every few months I’ve been adding some stuff and changing some other stuff that didn’t really pan out. Luckily I’ve got a friend who did what I did before I did it, so most of the teething issues were sorted out by him. So very little changes had to be made to my set-up. I think that the last big changes will be a full gas stove as well as a solar geyser and then when the pool comes along a 12v DC pump for that sucker. I like what you do with spending the savings……however at this stage we’ve had self-payment gaps with medical aid of about R10 000 a year that we’ve had to cover. We already made the crossover to drinking our borehole water a few years back and this was the best thing that we did to date. Testing was cheap and I pump once a week into the big storage tank outback. Next will be adding a pump to get it into the house, cause at the moment, it’s done the old school way. I remember my neighbours comment when I was on the roof installing my loan 120watt 12v panel……………..”hey buurman……….HEY…..GARY!!!!..........jy gaan die son doodtrek met daai ding…..klim af die dak seun.” I also remember the load-shedding and him getting off his bike to open his gate, in the dark, while Chez-Gary was lit up like the Moulin Rouge.
  8. Love hearing the stories, especially the *ou dae* ones. I'd love to go totally off, but the numbers don't add up for us in our area, we also don't use enough to ever expect an type of ROI. If we had unreliable power, then so be it, but we don't. If the rates keep going up, well then that's another thing altogether. My wife's uncle who lives about 60kms from Lainsburg is the one who actually got me interested in solar as his farm, (closest neighbour 27km away) is totally off the grid and was all very much DIY, but his farms existence depended on it.
  9. Holy crap...................drop of 350l diesel a month?????
  10. I put this under the beginner section as that's what I am. My 12v light installation and ROI so far. Yes I know that people frown down on simple 12v installations and I get a lot of rooftop $$nobbery from the community at large, but eh, Je m'en fiche!! My initial system was installed in October 2015 and to date I’ve had little to no issues with it. I have however always been tweaking. Total set up 28 x 3w LED 12v DC downlights (Eurolux) 12 x 1.5w LED strips mounted into existing light fittings. 4 x 1.5w LED strips mounted into spot light fittings. 4 x 1.3w LED strips mounted into spot light housings What I have: 1 x 120watt/ 12v Sunmodule panel Royal deep cycle battery N150 Steca - Solar charge controller The power pullers: 2 x kwikhot 150l geysers (1 hardly ever gets used) 4 x PC’s that we use for television 1 x defy stove 3 LED tv’s 1 big assed plasma (soon to be upgraded) 1 x dishwasher 1 x washing machine 1 x tumble dryer (only gets used during long spells of crap weather and only certain clothing items, i.e. none of mine) To date I have had to replace 2 flickering lights that Eurolux replaced free of charge as they have a 12 month guarantee and also tighten some screws Our household has always been pretty energy efficient and so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of savings. For a family of 4 with 2 girls, (showers) below is what we were using. 2015 – Average of 634kwh a month (this includes the 2 months that we actually used just 12v DC lights in the house) 2016 – Average of 520kwh a month (we then changed 3 outside lights and 1 spot light that pulled it down even more) 2017 – Average of the 6 months so far 507kwh - we’re due to change the last of the lights outside to the solar set-up and that should see us dip into the 400’s - Also looking into replacing the older of the 2 geysers to a Solar Geyser at some stage. - I also think that our 1 geyser is still set on the factory settling, which can be adjusted down. The reason that we went 12v and just the lighting is because the rest didn't make much financial sense for what we needed, this was created in the age of load shedding, but we have come to use it all the time. We set a target of ROI of about 5 years and we should be in the green by then.
  11. I think that this is still awesome........and to have 1 day of no generation in 2 years, is freaking great in my books.
  12. Yup. If I was running the same wattage I agree. But I'm not running the same wattage globes, which I've said a few times already. As for the voltage comment... I noticed now that I left out the word drop. My bad.
  13. I am not sure what the problem is. It is only the negative which takes the full Amp load. Every circuit on the positive is on a separate line. The capacity of the 1.5 sqmm cable is approximately 16 A and I'm not even close to it. My circuit breaker is only 10A, if I have any issues then it will go first. Thicker wires will reduce voltage I agree.
  14. Have a look at an old post of mine. I made a 6w LED flood light that's 12v by using old casings and retrofitting LED strips inside. Total cost on these for everything was about R50 each. Distance of about 15-20m for each one easy. I actually made 2 this weekend that use 360lm 1.5watt units. 1 battery, 1 solar controller, 1 solar panel.
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