Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here is a Nice Song

The trailer or someone special must be singing this to me, to keep me working.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More new electric parts on order

      Seams like I just cant help myself, I saw a nice video on Anderson power pole connectors that make for very easy connection and disconnection of all things electric. They even work under load if needed - but that would reduce their service life to maybe 250 connections vs 10,000. Here is the link to this product, it will allow me to easily plug in and disconnect my stuff as needed. Especially for my e panel. Also I just really like to try out new and cool stuff. They have lots of different electrical items that are used in RV's boats and trailer etc. You could always look around for other stuff.

Anderson Power Pole

For those of you who like the link the long way, here it is again below you can copy to your browser.

The ordered parts should arrive by this friday.
I think I will really love these connectors.

This 2nd one has the different connectors.

Monday, December 26, 2011

E Panel is getting a little closer to completion

       Well I have to tell you, when I saw some e panels advertised by solar companies and saw that they go for around $2,000 ... I thought there goes another dumb SUCKER.....but having almost finished wiring my own panel, since they don't sell small pre wired e panels for crazy people with 840 watt solar panels on cargo trailers, I would say if you include shopping for the parts then it can easily become a 20+ hour project. Not even counting the research time. Most electricians try to grab you for $80 to $120 per hour, so I can see how that project would go fast toward $2000 for a little larger solar e panel.

       The nice part will be that my whole system will be plug and play, if I ever need to sell the trailer, all my hard work can be taken out in 5-10 minutes with some quick snap plugs, like Anderson connectors.

Everything you see here is installed inside a upper 24" wide x 30" high - kitchen cabinet.
Now don't laugh your BUTT OFF,
all those little parts above are close to $1,400
My labor not included

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fuses, wires and panels for DC wiring systems

       For those of you that are not up to speed on d/c wiring, fuses and breakers, here are some charts and other items I have found to let you know what is available. Here is a link to the company Blue Sea
where you can find additional info, I believe most of their items are made for boats which tend to be of higher quality. Some people seams to think that a/c wiring is complicated , but I can tell you for sure there is more stuff & it costs much more money for the d/c system

Great chart for wiring size and distances.

Chart for different fuses & fuse holders.

Chart for different fuses & fuse holders.

Chart for different fuses & fuse holders.

A large fuse block for electric system.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Solar E Panel coming soon

      Solar E panel coming soon , seams like I am always in waiting mode for more parts, set to arrive tomorrow. The final major part will be a Morning Star 300 watt pure sine inverter. When everything is all said and done, this panel will just require 5 simple connections and the whole trailer electrical system will be up and running. As you can see I will have about 5-6 breakers for the a/c and the d/c system. These are inside special Midnight Solar baby boxes, which hold 4 breakers per box.

1.) connect the battery
2.) connect the ground wire
3.) connect the solar panel
4.) connect the DC fuse panel
5.) connect the interior wall a/c lights

Then all will be ready to rock and roll with the a/c and the d/c flowing right and left.

Since we wanna be safe and this is of course


A few extra goodies are always required.

Here is the D/C panel lightening arrestor. 

A GFCI outlet that protects all others.

A special USB.. d/c outlet to charge my goodies.

And last but not least for the mood lighting a remote control 
on/off dimmer lighting switch, 
not cheap by the way :-(

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wiring your inverter with the proper cable size.

         I don't really understand, most people have small and cheap golf cart batteries of 100 - 200 amp hours & really small solar panels under 200 watts, you can only use 50% of your battery power, yet somehow they manage to have 2,000 or 3,000 watt inverters so they can run their 1,500 micro. When I am camping what is the hurry for the micro ?

A small 300 watt inverter would use 7,200 watts per day running 24 hours, that is about a 1,200 amp hour battery system. I guess they feel good if they have a 2,000 watt inverter ?

I have decided to start with a larger panel @ 840 watts and a smaller inverter 300 watt pure sine. I will let you know how that all works out. The solar panels seam cheaper then a good quality inverter, which normally only caries a guarantee of 2-5 years max. I also have a cheap 1,000 watt modified sign wave unit that could be used for a heater or something if needed ?

Click on the picture to make it larger.

Thinking about my wiring layout

     As I would like to have most of my stuff hidden away, without  tangles of 10,000 wires every where I am thinking to install everything into a cabinet box that will keep the wires short. Sort of like my own minnie e box. The outside of the cabinet will have most of my a/c outlet connections and will be close to where the tv and other stuff that I need will be. Everything will be there in case of fire it can all be disconnected very fast if needed.

I am still thinking about the exact layout that will come.

More solar wiring parts have arrived

While looking around for my needed electrical parts , I also found some other interesting parts that are not always available on the net when shopping around, so here is just a small selection of what I found.

The MC 4 wire tool , about $7 - you need 2 of them.

There is also another cable lock clip that is not shown here , 
but is required per new NEC code

Here is  special inline fuse holder that I thought was very cool,
this is very hard to find from solar companies.

Here is the special crimping tool for the MC4 connectors...
OUCH these things run around $600+ for a set.

Here are some special plugs to keep the water out of your boxes.

Here is one kind of fuse holder, there are about 3-4 different kinds.

Close up of fuse holder.

The combiner box, if you have 4-12 panels, this would be you kinda of box.

Here is another wiring diagram. The NEC now also requires that you use 
a 63 amp GFCI outlet in your wiring system.
That breaker costs $60+ 

The above most picture is a Morningstar 300 Pure sine inverter.
It is one of the smallest pure sine inverters.
it also runs very quiet with out a fan.
The bottom is a Magnum Modified sine inverter.
I am working on something like the above picture for my first setup.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Solar wiring Diagram

I found this on the web as a simple wiring diagram....

Ordered some more electric parts that will be coming soon, so I will have some options for the wiring of the solar panels.

1.)  4  x 210 watt Kyocera panels   -  

2.)   Outback - Flexmax 80 charge controller  

3.)   400 amp hour batteries.

The question is what size DC breakers & where ?
should the panels be wired + & -  ?  
and what size wiring goes where  on the DC side?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Security System Update

        Security System Update , as you guys might remember I tried out a security system for the trailer and also a different system for the house. So here is my update so far, the basic $299 Swan recorder and cheap cameras suck !! If you are only recording in day light & want to see outside then they will be fine.
The system below is what I have for my house and is also connected live to the internet on 8 channels.

       If you wanna have a good system then you need to shell out some bucks for a good quality DVR here would be my 2nd choice, it will record for 8 cameras, its a little large of a box for a trailer - that is why it would be 2nd on my wish list. But its good quality and in the mid price range. One thing these systems however do not do very well is to send e mail alerts, motion alarms and or snapshot pictures. At night time you can forget the whole thing as the infra red lights on the camera attract bugs / dust & you will get 10,000 e mails per minute. I also installed 3 - 2TB HD from Frys at $85 each for a total of 6TB in recording space. That lasts about 6 months on all 8 channels covering 24/7 recording. They do however run very quiet and use little energy, as the 2 & 3rd drives are in hibernation unless you search for events.

To go with the system I used 3 x 2TB SeaGate drives.
They were just plug and play install - then you select format and kaboom your done 
and installed in less then 5 minutes.

Here is the guts of the system, they really could put everything into 1/2 of the space,
but then you might not feel your getting your moneys worth for $999.
I would also say ditch the DVD recorder for $100 less
however that is not an option.

These are the cameras I like. This one is adjustable for zoom ,  
goes in any direction and is very sturdy to attach.
About $200 including cables per camera.

This camera is easy to install, but has a more limited range of adjustment.
About $200 including cables per camera.
Both work ok in the dark.

If money is no object, then I would go with this system & 
some IP cameras, it is very small and with 
IP cameras you can see a really clear picture of
the guy who is stealing your stuff

New water pump & extra security

Here is the new water pump that I selected. I really liked this pump as it runs very quiet, has 4 soft rubber feet, is self priming up to 8ft and has special connectors if it needs to be replaced fast. 

This is a 3 GPM pump

Nice rubber feet - helps to run quiet.

Easy to change connectors, just snap in and out.

A little extra security, wheel locks on both sides.
I also padlocked the tow chain.
As I read on a blog that I follow, trailers are stollen more often.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Its official 840 watts - worlds most powerful SOLAR cargo trailer

            Finally the 4 Kyocera 210 watt panels have been installed with ZERO holes in the trailer roof. Im using the 3M 5952 VHB tape, it seams to be working pretty good.  I can always add more brackets and tape if needed. The one item that I did notice is that the roof skin is not attached to the metal ribs, which allows the panels to move up and down somewhat ? Well you have been warned - don't drive behind me just incase they fly off including the whole roof. I may install some bolts to hold the skin to the ribs if this presents a problem. To help support the weight of the solar panels a little extra , I used some plastic tubes for attentional support, keeping the panels approx. 1.25" above the roof.

For those of you with a keen eye, you will notice the panels are about 1"+ to far to the left side of the trailer roof, so much for the old saying, measure 2x and glue just once ;-). I just eyeballed the measurement.

Here are some plastic tubes to give extra support to the panels.

Here is the 3" metal bracket, you can see that I scraped off the roof coating 
under the bracket so that I would have metal to metal contact.

As the roof vent in not in the center of the trailer you can see that the front panel
comes close to the front trailer edge, I will make a small spoiler
to keep the air flow from under the panels to a minimum.

Stay tuned, I have ordered the wires to connect everything together. 

OutBack FLEXmax FM80-150V MPPT Charge Controller

Friday, December 2, 2011

One $$ per watt solar - Big Fat BUST !!

This morning company e mailed me that they only had 1 panel, did I want it ?
Answer no !! There goes my dream of cheap solar....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One $$ per watt solar - JACKPOT !!

German panels, "Made in Germany" the add says a little scratch & dent stuff, ONE DOLLAR PER WATT !!!!

Don't know how I can go broke at that price ? I may use some on the trailer or also at home as I have a almost flat garage roof, lets see what comes. Total with trucking freight $385 is $275 per panel delivered, or $1.17 per watt. Now I just need to keep my eyes wide open for the other goodies. I have done business with this company in the past and their products are good, just the tech help is a little lacking as my needs are different then the normal homeowner.

I have seen homeowners, that when their system is all done, they are spending about $2k per panel..... JUST INSANE !!

The special tape also arrived from my last blog post, now I just need to pray for some free time and warmer weather, so i can get busy again.....

Maybe I need to change name to 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Still alive and kicking

         Well many of you might have thought that I have dropped off the face of the earth, but no I am still here on planet mother earth. The big problem that stopped me from working was that I just could not get myself to drill 16 holes into the cargo trailer roof, no matter how hard I tried. I just kept dreaming of 16 leaks that could not be patched. All that water dripping onto my bed and cabinets, not even thinking of the out of sight expensive $$$$ wood flooring, just gave me the chills.

To give credit where credit is due :

Thank you Glenn & I hope you don't mind I use your picture from your blog to show how it will work !! The standard metal brackets and taped directly onto his fiberglass roof ? The tape will get here in about 7-10 days I'm guessing. I'm pretty sure it will work & I am thinking of using some brass door hinges so the panels can be tilted and or easily stolen :-)

P.S. Glenn has the one of the greatest blogs that I have seen on the web, as he travels the country for 2+ years now enjoying life and playing music, I can only hope that one day we will meet. PLEASE go and check it out.

I still have lots of other unbelievable stories to tell you guys, in the coming weeks, about what happened in my neighborhood and about how my upgraded DVD camera system is working, YES !! I even caught a killer next door !! 

I also meet the guys from as they were nice enough to stop by my house for a great visit.

Simone, Olaf & Pacco in my driveway.

Their truck from their web site