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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tryed to mount a solar panel on the front of there yak.
The reason im asking is ive been playing with some ideas but ive not a clue what im doing........I know what i want but i dont know how to do it.
Give me power tools any day i say.
If i was to put a waterproof solar panel on the front of the yak what power would the panel neede to be? would this one work?
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Solar-Panel-12V- ... dZViewItem
But this kind of thinking only give me more question i dont know the answer to.
Like what power battery do you need for a sounder?
How long would a battery last on one charge?
Do i need a Boat battery or can i use a car one?
Do i just clip the sounder onto the battery or is there more to it?
:?
 

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Rik,

Entry level monochrome sounders draw around 0.25 Amp. At 12V that means 12x0.25=3W.

Rechargeable AA batteries vary from 1700mAh to 2500mAh and are typically 1.2V. Connecting 10 of these in series will give you 12V and at 0.25Amp you will have 2.5/0.25=10 hours service, provided the sounder can keep operating as the batteries get low (requires the battery voltage to remain stable). Most sounders have a very good voltage tolerance, which means a lot of yakkers just connect 8 batteries in series (gives 9.6V) but doing this increases the chance of falling below the sounder's voltage threshold as the batteries discharge.

Alternatively, you can go for a 12V sealed lead acid battery. Many around. A 7AHr battery will be overkill but it is a popular size so you can buy them at a good price (less than the price of the AA rechargeables). A 3 or 3.5AHr battery will do the job. Don't skimp on the charger as a good automatic charger (switches from recharge to trickle charge and will turn off and on when fully charged then slightly discharged) will extend the life of the battery.

The SLA battery should be a deep cycle one so that it can withstand being fully discharged. (Car batteries are designed only to support a sudden discharge when starting the car and will have a short life if constantly discharged). Marine Gel batteries are good if you will be subjecting the battery to a lot of shocks, but are more expensive.

Connection between sounder and battery can be direct. Most sounders come with a fuse and it is recommended that it be used on the red wire connecting to the battery. Note that you will have to waterproof the fuse if you get any water into the yak.

In summary, you can choose between 8-10 AA batteries or a 3-7 AHr 12V SLA battery. There are lots of suggestions on this site and others as to how to fit a battery. You want something that is waterproof, is easy to setup and doesn't weigh too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave that a real help, I think.
So 7Ahr 12v battery is the one to go for and dont go for the cheap ones.
N/p i can do that :?
Super cheap auto sounds like a good place to start looking :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yea so that mean a 5w solar panel would do the job right?
If the sounder takes 3w of power from the battery and the panel puts back 5W then im 2w up most of the time right? :?
 

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Magicrik said:
Oh yea so that mean a 5w solar panel would do the job right?
If the sounder takes 3w of power from the battery and the panel puts back 5W then im 2w up most of the time right? :?
In principle yes. However you need to consider its performance in less than ideal light conditions. Under what conditions will you want the sounder to operate? You say you go out before dawn - will you want the sounder then?

Solar panels are not a very effective direct power source because they are subject ot the vagaries of the weather. They a best when used with batteries - they keep the battery topped up while your equipment draws power from the battery. You need electronics to ensure that the cell does not overload the battery when you are drwing less than is being produced. All in all, it is definitely more expensive and probably less robust than just using a battery and charging it when you get home.

Also, you might consider the environmental cost of solar. The reason the cells are expensive is they require expensive materials and manufacturing methods. I read somewhere some years ago (don't you love assertions qualified in this way) that more energy went into manufacturing solar cells than they ever produce. Don't know if it is true today. Like many obviously good ideas, the reality of solar isn't all its cracked up to be. It is good for autonomous operations in remote locations where you don't want the expense of frequent visits to tend a system (eg channel marker lights) but can't be considered as a viable replacement for many energy requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is what i was thinking of, hooking a solar panel to a battery vier a regulator to keep the charge of the battery up if im out on a long day fishing or is the power in a 12v battery loads enough?
 

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A 7 AHr battery will give you 28 hours at 0.25 Amp. No need for any topup while you're out there. You can run a radio as well, but the bar fridge will take too much power!
 

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One more problem Rik, is that the measly demands of a sounder will still be using more power than the solar panels can produce. SPs are still pretty inefficient and I wouldnt bother with them on a yak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks Jake ive just copy and paste all the that post........Was great post btw and with the links its gave me all the prices.... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jake with that Light and the sounder how long do you get out of it?
 

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Rik,
Ive got a low voltage alarm on the sounder which I set for 10V, and the alarm has never gone off. I have never tested it to failure but you can easily run the sounder all day. The light probably draws more than the sounder but with a couple of hours in the morning before the sun rises it has had no impact on the battery life just using the sounder for the rest of the day.

I suppose you could work it out, but Im now drinking red wine thereforemy brain cells have given up for the day.... 8)

I reckon if you flatten the 7amp then you have fished enough for the day.

Cheers,
Jake
 

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The link you posted jake, apparently the topic doesnt exist.

One little question, with a 5W solar panel and a 3W sounder. Would that mean i could run a 3AH battery for a couple of hours before daylight and then rely on the solar to top up the battery when the suns up?(with clear wheather of course) but if wheather was a problem i could probably just run a 7AH battery soo i get pleanty of hours out of it and the solar just charges it when ever it can?

Just wondering what sort of out put solar panel i could fit on top of my esky? As i dont want one on my hatch. Its a 25L eva kool (blue ones) soo if anyone has any idea please let me know?

I have know idea jake lol please help me? you seem to be a genius with this sort of stuff ;-)
 

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Anyone at all Please.

Im wanting to do some longer yak camping trips (overnight MJ hunts) that includes running a 12v Fluro light at night as well as my sounder and maybe a live bait tank (if get round to making one, other wise ill just get a bait bucket and keep em in the water).
Not sure what the light uses but the sounder will probably use more and the bait tank will only be running a small bilge or inline pump.
I only need the light for 4-8 hours at night to fish and then set up camp, eat and then ill be in bed. I may need it for an hour in the morning to setup but that will be it.
Then the sounder will be used for the rest of the day.

I just need to know wheather i could get a solar panel that would keep everything going, not neccasarily fill the battery but just help keep it topped up, so i can hopefully get another day or two out of it. before a proper charge can be done. And preferably one that will fit on my esky lid (25L eva kool).

Just a rough idea what would be required to do this is all i need.
Thanks to anyone who answers me.
 

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Sounds like a great trip you've got planned Deano.

Would like to see what you end up sorting out for your needs.

I think you are on the right track because you can survive and still have a good time even if it doesn't work 100%.

Try led lights instead of fluro, they hardly draw any power. Sort that esky out and you will be very popular.

You could contact caravan and camping people as they specialize in solar powering caravans and would be able to calculate you needs.

Here is a solar power site based at Caboolture, might be able to assist you: http://www.solarxpress.com.au/small.html
I am not connected to them and have never used them.

Have a safe trip
Max
 
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