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    Border Collie working dogs, Contra dance, Photography, Classic buses
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  1. I have Victron and like the idea of using with my phone. I also wanted a coach mounted display. I bought a cheap tablet with bluetooth and, with a voltage reducer, mounted it in the living area. I also have bluetooth light and awning controls as well as information from my home built BMS for my lithium batteries. I can monitor everything from one unit. As an added bonus I can send data to my computer from the tablet.
  2. Technically an LED will work on AC voltage if you get the voltage right. Since it is a diode it only lights on every other cycle. The 12v strip LED's are available in both water proof and non waterproof strips. They make connectors that snap on but, I've had better luck just soldering a wire to the copper pad. Many of the fixtures I have made use one of the led boards made to replace automotive lights. One example. They already have the resistors needed to make it work with 12V. Just remove the plastic plug and solder wires on.
  3. Made some new LED light fixtures. Top left is walnut, right is pine, bottom right is cheap plastic original fixture.
  4. These aren't fluorescent, they are aluminum channels about 1 inch wide that you put an led strip in. LED fixture
  5. I just finished the control/information panel made of solid walnut. Monitors solar, LiFePo batteries, boiler control, as well as switches.
  6. I'm pretty excited. I got everything wired and working yesterday. About noon I turned on the AC in the bedroom. At about 6PM the panels were still producing more than the AC was using. (Northern Indiana, slightly cloudy, some overcast). I left the AC on all night set on 75°. This is what the state of charge was this morning at 6AM 12,000 BTU inverter type mini-split 6 255W solar panels 6 138 Ah Valence LiFePo4 12V batteries Home built safety for battery shutdown along with Valence cell balencing All of this started about a year ago when I saw an ad for some used Valence batteries. At that time I knew nothing about lithium batteries or solar. Rough cost $5000 including batteries, solar panels and Victron inverter/charger and solar controller.
  7. Another step closer. My son came and helped to mount the solar panels. The original luggage rack was exactly the right width. It was two rails tall and with a little cutting and welding the top rail went forward to mount the front two panels. I did repaint the roof after I took this photo. 1530W, still have to finish the wiring but, this is the part I couldn't do by myself. __________________
  8. I also have a ReadyBrake and like it a lot. Much nicer than the old system that had a vacuum pump that sat on the floor. If all you are concerned about is break away safety the ReadyBrake break away system would do it with nothing else to purchase. ReadyBrake break away
  9. This is all done and installed for testing except for actually hooking up the main relay. It has changed a bit since my first post. I've added a temperature sensor inside of each battery. It logs to a memory card and sends data to my phone via bluetooth. I was surprised to find that I can get the data from inside the house.:smile: Unfortunately, now that it's spring I can't test the cold weather part but, I did thoroughly bench test it. Overview of system. 1. Arduino Mega 2. Voltage regulator 3. 9 DS18B20 temp sensors 4. Switchdoc labs INA3221 voltage sensor 5. 4 SS relays Relay 1----Main Disconnect Relay 2----Victron Charge controller Relay 3----Cabin cooling fan Relay 4----Battery heat Temp sensor 1 Battery #1 Temp sensor 2 Battery #2 Temp sensor 3 Battery #3 Temp sensor 4 Battery #4 Temp sensor 5 Battery #5 Temp sensor 6 Battery #6 Temp sensor 7 Cabin temp Temp sensor 8 Battery heat temp Temp sensor 9 Outside temp Relay 1 disconnects battery bank from everything * Relay 2 turns solar controller ON/OFF * Relay 3 turns ON/OFF compartment cooling fan Relay 4 turns ON/OFF battery heating *In all cases relay 1 turns on before relay 2 and relay 2 turns off before relay 1. voltage < 9.5 open relay 1&2 voltage > 15 open relay 1&2 any batt temp 1-6 > 175° F open relay 1&2 any batt temp 1-6< 40° F open relay 1&2 temp sensor 7> 90° F close relay 3 temp sensor 8< 45° F close relay 4 temp sensor 8> 50° F open relay 4 Sends data via bluetooth to phone. Used real time clock to keep track of date and time. Saves data to memory card. Every ten minutes. If something triggers relay 1 and 2 logs every 10 seconds. Overall system.This is mounted on back side of bedroom wall. Everything on left side of picture. The batteries on floor of same area. Screenshot of data on phone. Another view of the control panel.
  10. Since the lithium batteries I'm using (Valence) don't have any protection built in (only cell balancing), I've designed a protection system. It will totally disconnect the battery bank from everything if things go awry. It will also turn on a compartment cooling fan or turn on a heat pad if called for. I have it bread boarded and the code written. For you coders out there mine is probably a bit clunky but, it works. Not really necessary but nice for a bit of bling I'm working on a screen to see what temps and voltages are. Also working on a data logger to see what triggered an event.
  11. One: Richard Bruner Two: USN Three: 4 years 1967-1971. Four: PO2 (E5) Five: Naval Air ground support mechanic/electritian. Six: NAS Memphis,NAS Key West, USS Constellation (CVA-64)
  12. The Battleborn liths, more or less, use the same charger parameters as AGMs, if your charger/controller works with AGMs it will work with liths. Check with Battleborn. You DO NOT want to charge lithium batteries when they are below freezing. I believe Battleborns have an internal BMS that prevents this. I have installed a heating pad under mine. Check the dimensions, as others have said two in parallel would probably more than double your usable amp hours. Any kind of bracket/cradle would be quite easy as long as the new batteries are equal to or same as your current batteries. There is tons of info available about the Battleborns.
  13. I was never really happy with my lead acid house bank. 400 Ah of which I could only use 50%. I recently came across a really good deal on some Valence U27-12XP 12volt 138Ah batteries. They are used but, after getting the information from the internal BMS I find than none have 200 complete cycles of the 2000 or so available. So I now have 80% of 552 Ah. I've only had them operational for a couple of weeks but, I'm VERY pleased. At about the same time my inverter/charger died so I installed a Victron multiplus hybrid inverter and, I'm thrilled with it. It's fully programmable and the hybrid part works great. I often go to a place where I get 15A of questionable AC I had to be very careful of what I turned on or voltage would drop below 108. I was at the site for over a week and, within reason, I could turn on what I wanted. When the shore power is too low the inverter simply adds what is needed. When the power requirement drops it goes back to charging. Not even a flicker in the computers. I also got a good deal on 6 255 watt solar panels but, haven't gotten them installed yet. More to come.
  14. After 4 years I finally have a shower door. 😎 It also serves as a night light.
  15. I just finished and installed a mirror/makeup cabinet for mumsywumsy. It features dimable LED lights using a hall effect switch to turn on the lights. It is also hinged since it's pretty close to the wall in driving position. It's really hard to get a decent picture because of all the mirrors so, here's a video. mirror_cabinet.mp4
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