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Old 07-14-2016, 11:21 PM   #1
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Renogy 100w solar gift- Now what?

Sorry for the lengthy thread but I need your solar expertise. I just received a Renogy 100W solar suitcase with no controller kit (STCS100D-NC). Also coming is a seperate Renogy 30W Adventurer controller....but none of it is connected together. I have 2-12V deep cycle batteries. My goal is to buy the right parts and hook it up with Anderson connector at the battery, for quick disconnect (read that somewhere). The kit does not have an adapter kit , a tray cable, or Anderson connectors. I saw most of that stuff on Amazon but too many options for my non-electrical pea brain to choose from.
The Renogy kit has a hinged plate to mount a controller, a 2" black box with 2 lines coming out (one goes to another box)(other line coming from the box is 3feet with plus and minus marked MC4 connecters attached-does that go to controller?). I should get the controller tomorrow so it may have some of the connection wires needed.
So.....with all that, could someone please help me set this up correctly and enlighten me on how to crimp an Anderson connector (can I use the side of a straight screwdriver and a hammer?). Also, with this small setup, is a 16 foot,10AWG tray cable adequately sized?

Thanks in advance,
Happy RVing,
Jeff
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:25 AM   #2
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With it being portable, here is what I would suggest:

Once you get your charge controller, you'll want to figure out where to install it. Since I am not familiar with your camper, I can't help there. You'll want it as close as possible to the batteries without being in the same compartment/place and it will need to be safe from weather.

Once that is mounted, connections will go like such:

You'll want cables to go from the solar panel (that has MC4 Connectors on it) to the charge controller. I'd just purchase some. Length of the cables will be what you feel you need to have to get the panels to stretch to the sun. I'd suggest 25' minimum (I have that and want another 25'). You could buy wire locally and buy MC4 connectors to make your own if you wanted. You should have a fuse between the panels and controller, buy many don't do this. Renogy sells a fuse that fits inline with MC4 connections that you can place at the end of the wire at the connect to the solar panel leads.

Couple choices to make the cables easy to hook up - buy connectors to pre-wire to the cables(as you suggested), or you could by "junction posts" and put wing nuts on them and ring terminals on the end of your wires. Then it would be like connecting and disconnecting battery cables and more easily fixable if something went wrong.

You then need to wire the controller to the batteries (tray cables). Keep these wires as short as possible. You'll want a fuse on the + line between the controller and battery that is rated at your controller amperage (30amp?). I used a Maxi-blade fuse found in audio components for this.

I have attached a picture of how I set mine up. This was all done in a hurry as I was getting ready for my 2 week trip. I got the 200 Watt Renogy starter kit, that I am using as a portable kit. So my setup is similar to what you will do. The two cords to the right go to the batteries and the two on the left come from the solar. You will notice that I have a fuse in my lines coming from Solar, I have this primarily to use as a quick way to disconnect the power coming from the solar panels because I don't have another quick way to disconnect it, since my junction block uses screws. I roll up my wires and store them in the basement (still hooked up to the charge controller) between uses. I also use a 15 amp inline fuse that connects in the MC4 connectors at the solar panel. This worked perfectly for my 2 week trip in Glacier. (I have 2 6 volt batteries)

As I said, this was put together quickly, before I left on a trip. I have it all pulled out now and will be re-installing it a bit cleaner with slightly different parts, but it will be pretty the much the same in concept. I'll be tackling that job this weekend (and maybe next week) and will post the final results.

Main things I am changing:
Using 2 junction posts with wing nuts to for solar connections
Cleaning up the wiring - I didn't like how things laid out and my short stubs of wire. Will be considering layout more thoroughly this time.
Adding my cheap power monitor on the charging side to track charging power.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks much, Cdash, That really helped. I believe I have it figured out now. Easy to do once you understand it better.

Happy RVing,
Jeff
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2014 Jayflight 24FBS Elite. 2009 F150 Supercab, 5.4L ,3.73, HD/Max Tow Package, Equal-i-zer 1K,
Progressive EMS-LCHW30, TST 507RV TPMS, Hydro Life HL-200, Maxxis 8008.
Best friend wife and dog Cooper. RETIRED 6/30/16. WOOHOO! Now the "endless summer".
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:26 PM   #4
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You're welcome. Let me know if you have any questions.

I attached a picture of my new cleaned up layout that I re-did tonight. Same concept, but looks a lot cleaner and organized. The red and black junction blocks are where the solar wires will connect.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:15 PM   #5
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If I have questions, I'll ask you first.

Like the new look of your set up. Smoooothe.

Happy RVing,
Jeff
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2014 Jayflight 24FBS Elite. 2009 F150 Supercab, 5.4L ,3.73, HD/Max Tow Package, Equal-i-zer 1K,
Progressive EMS-LCHW30, TST 507RV TPMS, Hydro Life HL-200, Maxxis 8008.
Best friend wife and dog Cooper. RETIRED 6/30/16. WOOHOO! Now the "endless summer".
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