Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
413 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 2 x 100w Renogy solar panels on the roof of my PM, feeding 2 6V AGM batteries through a charge controller. So far so good.

The only load I currently have on the batts is from a Norcold fridge.

I converted my van in stages, over several months, while still getting out to camp in it most weekends last summer. Because we were using it as we went, I didn't have the fridge or batts or solar ready until pretty late in the game -- yet we still needed light at night all summer.

Because of that, I bought some cheap AA powered puck lights and installed them all over in the van. They work great and are pretty dang efficient -- they even came with a remote so I can power them all on at once, from outside if we're lounging -- and even with months of use I've only just now begun replacing batteries.

It'd be easy enough to just keep replacing AA's every month+. But -- amortized out over years -- that's a lotta batteries going into landfills, not to mention money spent, when I already have an endless supply of solar power charging my AGM's for free.

I know that I could replace the AA pucks with hard-wired pucks. Yet I don't particularly want to rip down my finished interior to run wires to make that work. Plus I already own these lights, and they work well.

One possible workaround I'm considering is to use rechargeable AA's, and to have them charging off of my solar setup. I've used them for other projects for a decade, maybe more, and they work well and last a long time.

At long last, I'm getting to the question! Is there a way to safely run a AA charger off of my charge controller?

Wiring and electricity is not "my thing" -- I don't even know what I don't know.

Any thoughts appreciated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,668 Posts
A better way to do it would be thru an inverter. You don't need a very big one but your solar controller is probably putting out around 12-14 vdc and your AA batteries are only 1.5 vdc. There may very well be 12 vdc to AA chargers out there (you can find just about anything these days) that you would simply connect to your battery pack but AA's are supper cheap these days. I've never had much use for using the charge control for anything other than keeping the house batteries charged up properly.

Another option is to simply buy or make up a battery eliminator (the puck lights probably use 2 AA's and connect them up to your house batteries with a small wire using the proper size resistor to drop the voltage 3vdc.

In the end you may find it even cheaper and easier to forget the rechargables (they usually only put out about 1.2vdc each anyhow and just by the regular old AA's at Costco, Sam's etc where they are super cheap.

I've done and have LED's in my van that were originally designed to run on 110vac but I discovered actually run on 12vdc and I just wired them in directly to 12vdc. I also have the puck lights you have but they run on 3-AAA'S OR 4.5vdc and it's a pretty simple thing to wire them directly and drop the 12vdc to whatever you need.

Here are some interesting links.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/led-wired-bolts/
http://led.linear1.org/category/led-basics/
http://www.offroaders.com/tech/LED.htm
http://metku.net/index.html?sect=view&n=1&path=mods/ledcalc/index_eng
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
What make and model lights are they? Might be able to run the lights directly from the vans DC and not use the battery pack at all.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,837 Posts
Great answer. I have one rechargeable battery charger that came with a auto plug and charges pairs (two pair at a time) in the car. It has worked fine. I also have a pair of two way radios that sit in a base to recharge the internal batteries and it has a car charger cord.
See https://www.amazon.com/Duracell-Rechargeable-precharged-rechargeable-batteries/dp/B002FU6KA2

I’d wire it up and be done with it. Short term work, long time connivence. Just do it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,668 Posts
Many of the IKEA leds are actually 12vdc. I have two different sets myself from IKEA that I did exactly the same thing with. Just be careful not to switch the - & + lines or they could burn out.
 

·
Registered
2014-159 HR in CT
Joined
·
3,702 Posts
If I read the question correctly, mikesee is looking for a non-add-wiring-where-it-isn't solution.

I would recommend a 4,8 or 12 AA cell recharger that works on 12VDC. I use one to charge my AA's for my scanner, flashlights, etc.

I recommend Panasonic Eneloop 2500mAh AA cells with a charger like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/BT-C700-Batt...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MVV070WFG7Z9S68WNANF


I have one like this and it works great! They make similar units for 8 or 12 cells at a time... these units are regulated to charge each cell separately to it's optimum charge. Note the 12V cord that you can plug into your van lighter socket or a 12V socket that you may already have connected to your aux battery(s).

Ed
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top