Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 18 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 3:12 pm Thread Starter
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Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Yep, $20.00 and 5 minutes to install.

Play your stereo during the day while camping without running down your battery, charge up your laptop, pda, I-pod, cell phone, whatever - while securely locked inside your luggage.

1. Sunforce Solar Battery Charger, output up to 1.8 watts. Just about perfect for a motorcycle battery. No worries about overcharging yet enough juice to bring a depleted battery up to snuff in a few hours. They even put out great power when its cloudy. You can buy them by the two pack at Costco:

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...=1&topnav=&s=1

or just one at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_oh_product

2. Slide it under your OEM top rack - it fits perfectly in place and is held tight by the friction fit.

3. Loosen your passenger back rest and left side speaker enclosure, and tuck the wire in. Run the lead under the passenger seat and to your battery, secure the extra lead with a nylon wire tie. Plug it in and leave it plugged in - it won't hurt a thing and has a diode to prevent draining the battery at night.

4. Although they "say" these are not rated for outdoor use I have several of them sitting outside for months with no problems. Since it fits at a slight angle under the top case it will shed water when it rains or when you wash your scooter.

5. It also has a cool little blue flashing LED (damn I love LEDs...) to let you know when its charging.

ENJOY!
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Last edited by RonKMiller; Jun 8th, 2009 at 3:40 pm.
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post #2 of 18 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 3:40 pm
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

I like this.
Thanks!
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post #3 of 18 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 3:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
I did that one a couple of years ago with a solar charger from Harbor Freight.
I does the trick to keep the battery hot.
I tried that red one too - it MELTED from the sun!

(I guess THAT Chinese factory has just a leetle bit more work to do on their resins...)
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post #4 of 18 Old Jun 8th, 2009, 4:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
Mine never melted in the Sun here in FlatLand, but your closer to the Sun out there.
I had it sandwiched between my windshield and a metallic silver sun shade in my truck with the windows rolled up, on a 110F day in direct sunlight.

This just MAY have played a part in it's demise....


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post #5 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 10:56 am
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Sorry, I am not leaving my LTs under Arizona's sun :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Yep, $20.00 and 5 minutes to install.

Play your stereo during the day while camping without running down your battery, charge up your laptop, pda, I-pod, cell phone, whatever - while securely locked inside your luggage.

1. Sunforce Solar Battery Charger, output up to 1.8 watts. Just about perfect for a motorcycle battery. No worries about overcharging yet enough juice to bring a depleted battery up to snuff in a few hours. They even put out great power when its cloudy. You can buy them by the two pack at Costco:

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...=1&topnav=&s=1

or just one at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._ya_oh_product

2. Slide it under your OEM top rack - it fits perfectly in place and is held tight by the friction fit.

3. Loosen your passenger back rest and left side speaker enclosure, and tuck the wire in. Run the lead under the passenger seat and to your battery, secure the extra lead with a nylon wire tie. Plug it in and leave it plugged in - it won't hurt a thing and has a diode to prevent draining the battery at night.

4. Although they "say" these are not rated for outdoor use I have several of them sitting outside for months with no problems. Since it fits at a slight angle under the top case it will shed water when it rains or when you wash your scooter.

5. It also has a cool little blue flashing LED (damn I love LEDs...) to let you know when its charging.

ENJOY!

Matt Kas

13 Triumph Trophy SE Lunar Silver
12 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive Pearl White

Laguna Niguel, Southern California (South Orange County)
"Riding Year around"

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post #6 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 12:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattKas
Sorry, I am not leaving my LTs under Arizona's sun :-)
Aw shucks Matt I always cover my - I mean - my LT's ass.
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Last edited by RonKMiller; Jun 9th, 2009 at 5:00 pm.
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post #7 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 12:58 pm
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

That is a nice cover. Is it possible to mount the solar panel outside and keep the bike inside the garage? Do you need longer wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Aw shucks Matt - I always cover my ass.

Matt Kas

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post #8 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 1:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattKas
That is a nice cover. Is it possible to mount the solar panel outside and keep the bike inside the garage? Do you need longer wiring?
Yep, you can buy pre made extensions with that connector at most electronic supply houses, or just rig up your own with some zip wire. I think there's about 6 feet on the panel already. Still cheaper than a Battery Tender to buy up front. If you can orient the panel facing up that would be perfect, but you'll still get plenty of juice mounted horizontally as well.

I would make sure the wire gauge you end up using for your extension is at least as thick or thicker than what it is made from - you'll no doubt have a small voltage drop with a longer cord and that should keep it to a minimum.


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post #9 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 7:34 pm
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Ron,
This was one of the reviews on the Cosco Link. Is there a voltage regulator needed?

"I found out and checked the output voltage from the panel and found it to be 21 volts on the first one and 20.5 volts on the second one." . . ."I bought one for my girlfriend and her truck so she can keep the battery full while she is out hiking. She used for the first time and destroyed the voltage gauge on her truck.



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post #10 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 8:24 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell
Ron,
This was one of the reviews on the Cosco Link. Is there a voltage regulator needed?

"I found out and checked the output voltage from the panel and found it to be 21 volts on the first one and 20.5 volts on the second one." . . ."I bought one for my girlfriend and her truck so she can keep the battery full while she is out hiking. She used for the first time and destroyed the voltage gauge on her truck.




If that girl's battery discharged "while she was out hiking" she must have been on one heck of a walk about!

The most I've seen is 18.2V with the Tucson sun directly overhead. All other times it will be a lot less. I'm not an electrical engineer, but I don't think at 1.8 Watts MAXIMUM and 125Mah it would be an issue for a healthy 20 amp hour motorcycle battery. I assume our charging systems probably feed the battery 13.5 volts or so constantly.

I think if you were pushing maybe 24 volts or so with 4 to 5 amps you could easily cook a small battery, a charge controller would be a VERY good idea with that kind of output.

I'm sure there's others out there with a lot more knowledge on this, but I'm not gonna' sweat it.

(that is until I end up pushing the LT to my local dealer after I cook the moronics...)


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post #11 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 8:35 pm
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by PMitchell
Ron,
This was one of the reviews on the Cosco Link. Is there a voltage regulator needed?

"I found out and checked the output voltage from the panel and found it to be 21 volts on the first one and 20.5 volts on the second one." . . ."I bought one for my girlfriend and her truck so she can keep the battery full while she is out hiking. She used for the first time and destroyed the voltage gauge on her truck.


That is really not possible. It may read that high when OPEN CIRCUIT, but once hooked to a battery it will go to only slightly higher than the battery voltage. This type of device does not have the current capability to create enough current to drive a battery to that high a voltage. 20 volts on a 12 volt lead acid battery would create a very high current, which this little solar cell could not possibly deliver, so the voltage would drop to the maximum that it's current supply to the battery would need, probably less than a half volt above the battery open voltage.

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post #12 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 8:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
That is really not possible. It may read that high when OPEN CIRCUIT, but once hooked to a battery it will go to only slightly higher than the battery voltage. This type of device does not have the current capability to create enough current to drive a battery to that high a voltage. 20 volts on a 12 volt lead acid battery would create a very high current, which this little solar cell could not possibly deliver, so the voltage would drop to the maximum that it's current supply to the battery would need, probably less than a half volt above the battery open voltage.
...and I need to qualify my statement that my 18.2 volt reading was indeed open circuit.


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post #13 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 8:56 pm
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Thanks gentlemen!

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post #14 of 18 Old Jun 9th, 2009, 10:35 pm
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Thats nice but my half cover doesn't have that open view so it wouldn't help me. Good work though. Maybe if one was small enough to fit on the back by the license plate. I know it wouldn't get the most sun but still some.

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post #15 of 18 Old Nov 6th, 2009, 9:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimePower
Thats nice but my half cover doesn't have that open view so it wouldn't help me. Good work though. Maybe if one was small enough to fit on the back by the license plate. I know it wouldn't get the most sun but still some.
Buy some convertible window vinyl at your local auto upholstery supply house, cut out a hole, and sew it in.... easy.

You're not going to get much juice vertically mounted by your license plate - and the road dust and grime that will accumulate on the glass just from everyday riding will be an issue. Orientation is everything on solar panels. They only work if exposed to direct sun - or bright indirect light for long periods of time.

If you can't aim it directly at the sun horizontal is a good compromise.


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post #16 of 18 Old Nov 7th, 2009, 10:27 am
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Thanks for that great tip Ron. I've got one on the way...

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post #17 of 18 Old Apr 12th, 2010, 9:13 am
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Update: After sitting 3 months in the garage, I noticed that my solar panel had broken in half. I'm guessing it was due to the slight pressure involved from being slid under the rack, and all the thawing and freezing we have here in the crappy Illinois winter. It was -12 here for a while. Oh, well $20 wasn't a big loss.

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post #18 of 18 Old Apr 12th, 2010, 10:43 am
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Re: Ghetto Mod # 879: LT on board solar battery charger - $20.00

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razmataz
Update: After sitting 3 months in the garage, I noticed that my solar panel had broken in half. I'm guessing it was due to the slight pressure involved from being slid under the rack, and all the thawing and freezing we have here in the crappy Illinois winter. It was -12 here for a while. Oh, well $20 wasn't a big loss.
Mine did that too...but I did clear silicone across the crack & around the edges, mount holes & LED indicator. She still works managed to save the $14 I spent.

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