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 1 
 on: August 27, 2014, 10:47:16 pm 
Started by ron.dittmer - Last post by Denny & Barb
Interesting results, but I'm not surprised Ron as the stock lights are noted for being efficient.  Saying that, however, I still believe in your design because of the "nite lite feature", and the softness of the lighting.  I just installed some undercabinet kitchen LED lighting,  on dimmers. So I would have to add your next idea, using potentiometer, or some form of DC dimmer. 

A six watt potentiometer is quite a real estate hog. Meaning, its not going to be the size of your little 3 position switch. So that maybe a problem to overcome. A better approach would maybe be a variable voltage regulator IC controlled by a miniature pot.  But your engineer will have all the info on this and maybe other more hi-tech solutions.

Thanks Ron....

 

 2 
 on: August 27, 2014, 10:31:49 pm 
Started by Doneworking - Last post by Denny & Barb
Thanks Paul for the solar update on your rig. Certainly not a mistake to add solar to any unit. We do mostly dry camping so we ordered our PC with 4 batteries and no generator, and thus no AC ether. Haven't seen a problem in two years with this setup. Solar does what we need, and keeps us comfortable.

Tomorrow we are heading to Cheyenne, and later in the week to the Medicine Bow mountains where the campground elevation is around 11k.

We us lots of power I think anyway... I'm a ham radio guys that uses his 100 watt radio maybe 3 times a day. Also my wife likes lot of dvd's playing. When the mornings are at 32f we use the propane heater.

Weather we are in the sunny southwest (ariz/nm) or Wyoming, or Wisconsin, dry camping with the solar keeps the 4 batteries at or near 100% at all times and conditions. Now those of you with two batteries, will notice a slight less than this.  But that is ok. Batteries are designed to be cycled. 

 

 3 
 on: August 27, 2014, 04:04:18 pm 
Started by Margie - Last post by Margie
Thank you so much to everyone who responded about your choice for a small, quiet, electric heater.  This group is the best!!

Happy travels,
Margie

 4 
 on: August 27, 2014, 03:44:06 pm 
Started by LRS - Last post by LRS
Thanks, Ron and all.  I was late responding, but just now read your helpful replies.   Smile

Back on the road, finally, and enjoying all the new postings!

 5 
 on: August 27, 2014, 01:26:07 pm 
Started by Doneworking - Last post by Doneworking
Just a report on the performance of my two Renogy panels discussed earlier in this thread.

Two weeks just completed of boondocking high in the Rockies (mostly above 9,000 feet) and lots of useage of the electrical system and solar panels for recharging.   I could not be more pleased with this addition.  Even on the days when it was mostly cloudy our batteries stayed adequately charged.  I monitored the system frequently to make sure how the panels were working.  The heater (a real power eater) was used quite a bit since it was generally in the mid to high 30s in the mornings.  We were camped in a couple of spots on this trip and the rig was in the shade for over half the day, sunny for half the day (on good weather days).    We did change campsites from Colorado to New Mexico (one week in each state), so a couple of hundred miles driving assisted the charge.   

All those years we did this and fretted about battery levels are now history.  Solar is great!

Paul

 6 
 on: August 27, 2014, 01:17:42 pm 
Started by Margie - Last post by Doneworking
I have used Vornado heaters for a couple of decades now and they are really great.  The cyclonic circulation of the heat makes all the difference in the world in whole room comfort.  Alas, like Pelonis and I guess all the others, they are no longer manufactured in the US.  Originally, they were built right outside of  Wichita, Kansas and were of the highest standards.   Now:  China just like all the rest. 

So, if you ever find an old one at a yard, garage or estate sale buy it!

 7 
 on: August 27, 2014, 11:51:56 am 
Started by ron.dittmer - Last post by ron.dittmer
SURPRISING POWER CONSUMPTION TEST RESULTS

Testing three original florescent lights with two 8-watt light bulbs each.
Testing three 33 LED light strips

Each group of three varied within it's respective group by miniscule amounts, not enough of a difference to calculate an average.

Here are the results at battery voltage 12V

RESULTS
Original Florescent Lights operate at a surprising 9 watts for each twin bulb fixture.  I expected it to be around 16 watts.
33 LED strips operate at 3 watts x 2 per fixture, so the LED conversion is a 6 watt fixture.  This I expected.
(a previous LED strip tested prior was determined to be faulty...I won't get into why except that it got crinkled before the test)

VARIFICATION
We double checked our measurements with two different testers, one a hand-held, the other a much more sophisticated bench top piece of equipment.

CONCLUSION
The two 33 LED strip conversion reduces power consumption by only 33% because the florescent lights were much more efficient than I expected.

APPLES TO APPLES
If I had been trying to achieve the same amount of light lumens, I would have reduced the number of LEDs from 33 to 27 per strip, which would make the LED fixtures 5 watts instead of 6 watts.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS
Given our interior has dark cherry cabinetry, I desired a little more light, achieving an estimated 20% more.  My LED conversion included mood/night lighting which also helps justify to myself that the project was worth doing. We also like the warmer look the warm white LEDs provide over the cold-blue florescent tubes.  If I was going solely for reduced power consumption, I would be disappointed.  

OBSERVATION
Regarding the fixture over our dinette.  That fixture always had a glare to it, both as a florescent and now as an LED.  It is simply positioned low putting that light in my face when looking across the table to my wife.  Since that fixture is now a little brighter as an LED, I think the glare is a little worse, so the electrical engineer and I are tossing around ideas on that one.  A POT (potentiometer) would be nice to adjust the voltage, but heat is a concern.  So we are leaning towards a really big resistor to simply lower the voltage to the fixture to 9V-10V to a fixed lower light level.

 8 
 on: August 27, 2014, 11:25:47 am 
Started by ron.dittmer - Last post by Denny & Barb
Thanks Ron for the links.  And your a good development engineer as three units should be an ample number.  That was my job at Barber Coleman in Rockford.

 9 
 on: August 27, 2014, 10:12:06 am 
Started by Margie - Last post by Pax
Margie:

We have a tiny Pelonis unit which does a great job. It can really crank out some heat for its size.
Pelonis Honeycomb Ceramic Disc Furnace - Model PF-1212  (1500W variable, 5A min draw, 12.5A max continuous draw, 5200 btus, $65 @ Amazon, auto/man, heat/fan/off, adjustable thermostat, overheat protection, safety tip-over switch, 6-3/4h x 5-3/4w x 5-1/4d)

Obviously with heaters you need to watch the amp draw as it relates to what source you have (20, 30 or 50 amp campground power....or generator) and what other devices you are using in the rig.

With many heaters the amperage is determined by the setting on a switch (low, medium, high). On this Pelonis unit the amp draw and heat provided is determined by the variable thermostat and current ambient temperature, meaning it will draw a lot if the rig is cold and you have the thermostat way up, but then as the rig heats up the amp draw goes down. 

If you are looking for tiny, they don't get any smaller than this I don't think.  Love the ceramic disc feature, for efficiency and safety too.

   - Mike

 10 
 on: August 27, 2014, 09:53:14 am 
Started by ron.dittmer - Last post by TomHanlon
Works now. They had problems this morning.

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