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 Post subject: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:43 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:19 pm
Posts: 131
I’m looking for suggestions on new batteries and solar panels at a western ma. Sporting clay club. I will be helping with the course this spring.
We have all makes of traps and batteries, but no solar panels.
Even have some Laporte AC traps wired in for a generator, curious how I switch these over to DC.
Should I just order Harbor Freight panels and deep cycle batteries?

Also running some LT-100 Longrange receivers, I have 6 I found in a box.

Thanks




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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:29 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
The clubs here use deep cycle marine batteries, nothing else.
The one that tried solar panels found out it didnt stop battery changes just prolonged the time between them. This was a fairly busy (high use) club.



Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:31 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
We use these panels (or similar) They seem to hold up well and do the job.

https://www.amazon.com/ECO-WORTHY-Polyc ... ooghydr-20

Their performance is improved by mounting them to these metal sign holders. They hold the panel at a good angle and can be pushed into the ground. We also use them for holding station signs and trap numbers.

https://www.gemplers.com/product/G49606 ... x-7H-x-18L

Wire to the panels using these clips or similar and the low voltage wire. I like having the wire at least 6' long so the panel can be positioned in a sunny spot if the trap is in the shade.

https://www.amazon.com/Pairs-Vehicle-In ... way&sr=8-5
https://www.amazon.com/FIRMERST-Voltage ... ay&sr=8-25

Our stock of batteries are varied, but the best compromise between durability and price seems to be these in the 27 or 24 sizes. They are also not a killer to move compared to some of the huge ones. (We move out traps very frequently) If you can do it, battery boxes help prolong the battery's working life, and cover them so they don't fill up with water. The strap is a pain, so we substitute a bungee cord.

https://www.walmart.com/c/brand/eversta ... -batteries

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Snap-Top-Eve ... gK12PD_BwE

This set up, plus some spares on a 10 unit Battery Tender keeps us up and running. With few exceptions we can make it through a 60-80 shooter main with afternoon Super Sporting with no battery failures (although we check them the day before). This is for 40+ Lincoln Traps. I don't know what the volume of targets you throw, but we go through about 70 or so pallets a year. Open 5 days a week year round.

No idea on AC to DC conversion on the LaPorte traps. I'd contact them directly.

Feel free to contact me by PM regarding any other questions you might have.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:34 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:48 pm
Posts: 555
Tijeras_Slim wrote:
This set up, plus some spares on a 10 unit Battery Tender keeps us up and running.

Feel free to contact me by PM regarding any other questions you might have.


What tender are you guys using?


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:18 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:14 pm
Posts: 2706
Tijeras_Slim wrote:
We use these panels (or similar) They seem to hold up well and do the job.

https://www.amazon.com/ECO-WORTHY-Polyc ... ooghydr-20

Their performance is improved by mounting them to these metal sign holders. They hold the panel at a good angle and can be pushed into the ground. We also use them for holding station signs and trap numbers.

https://www.gemplers.com/product/G49606 ... x-7H-x-18L

Wire to the panels using these clips or similar and the low voltage wire. I like having the wire at least 6' long so the panel can be positioned in a sunny spot if the trap is in the shade.

You really want a charge controller between the panel and battery or, at the very least, a diode to prevent the panel from discharging the battery in low/no-light conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:08 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
MTR wrote:
Tijeras_Slim wrote:
This set up, plus some spares on a 10 unit Battery Tender keeps us up and running.

Feel free to contact me by PM regarding any other questions you might have.


What tender are you guys using?


https://www.amazon.com/DELTRAN-BATTERY- ... B006QBL4KW

Del Tran has an excellent warranty. Our unit died after a couple years of constant use and they fixed it for no charge.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
bopper wrote:
You really want a charge controller between the panel and battery or, at the very least, a diode to prevent the panel from discharging the battery in low/no-light conditions.


Early on we ran some with charge controllers and other ones with a diode circuit. We noted no apparent difference in how the batteries performed so we stayed with simple. Of course, in New Mexico, we have very few extended periods of low light.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:34 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:14 pm
Posts: 2706
Tijeras_Slim wrote:
bopper wrote:
You really want a charge controller between the panel and battery or, at the very least, a diode to prevent the panel from discharging the battery in low/no-light conditions.


Early on we ran some with charge controllers and other ones with a diode circuit. We noted no apparent difference in how the batteries performed so we stayed with simple. Of course, in New Mexico, we have very few extended periods of low light.

So it's never night time in NM?

Though, as I said above, a diode will prevent the panel from pulling power out of the battery but using only a diode and no charge controller doesn't prevent the panel from overcharging the battery (a charge controller will prevent a panel from discharging a battery as well).


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:22 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:14 pm
Posts: 1247
Location: Natchitoches,La.
If you have them running on 120 volt ac , why in the world would to change them over to D.C..you can buy a D.C. Power source converted from ac...run it on your 120 volt circuit,but that's a lot of trouble..


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:38 pm 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
shortgrub wrote:
If you have them running on 120 volt ac , why in the world would to change them over to D.C....



Like us, they dont have 120vac at all shooting stations.


Steve

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I repair MEC presses. PM me.
Used to be Steve Y


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:43 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
shortgrub wrote:
If you have them running on 120 volt ac , why in the world would to change them over to D.C..you can buy a D.C. Power source converted from ac...run it on your 120 volt circuit,but that's a lot of trouble..


AC seriously limits the mobility of the machine. It's fine for skeet and trap setups, but if you plan on moving a trap on a clays course it needs to be battery powered.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:26 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:19 pm
Posts: 2483
Location: Tampa Florida
As to solar panels not lasting, once I put all 95 of my batteries on panels I never brought one back in to charge it.

but

this was in Florida and batteries did not get cold ! In the shade they gave 13 v AND I changed the wussy crocodile clips for ring washers, put them on the 10mm post of a marine gel battery and tightened them down with a spring washer ie good conduction

I ran a very busy club with shoots of 400 shooters regularly in a day and traps did not lose power

YMMV

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AMICSI, CPSA Certified Coach
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Phone 813-907-7340
Check out our E-books on Amazon here
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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:07 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
Roger Gascoigne wrote:
As to solar panels not lasting, once I put all 95 of my batteries on panels I never brought one back in to charge it.

but

this was in Florida and batteries did not get cold ! In the shade they gave 13 v AND I changed the wussy crocodile clips for ring washers, put them on the 10mm post of a marine gel battery and tightened them down with a spring washer ie good conduction

I ran a very busy club with shoots of 400 shooters regularly in a day and traps did not lose power

YMMV


Cold is a sure battery killer, so you're lucky. We're at 7000' and spent most of January digging out of a deep snowstorm. Plus, night time temperatures in the single digits or lower are not uncommon. I spent 2 days digging batteries, panels and traps out. Snowshoes were the only way to access them. We use clips instead of washers because they do need to be change out occasionally, and during a match clips are much faster.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:17 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:19 pm
Posts: 2483
Location: Tampa Florida
I left solar panels on batteries for years and they worked even when idiots drove golf carts over them

Why do you need to change them out?

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Roger Gascoigne
AMICSI, CPSA Certified Coach
NSSA Level 1 Skeet Instructor
Phone 813-907-7340
Check out our E-books on Amazon here
http://www.rogergascoigneshootingcoach.com/books.html


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:10 pm 
Limited Edition
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:37 pm
Posts: 407
I read this thread and the thought that came to my mind was: "This is THE reason to have something like SGW available!". It worked perfectly! A guy got into a situation he was unsure of and Slim and Roger jumped in with hard earned knowledge and freely gave it to him. Slim's answers, with specific links to websites, went way above what anyone could expect. What you both selflessly did made things better for a bunch of shooters. Thanks. You both made my day and reinforced my belief in my fellow shooters.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:07 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
Roger Gascoigne wrote:
I left solar panels on batteries for years and they worked even when idiots drove golf carts over them

Why do you need to change them out?


Not the panels, but the batteries when they drop below a certain level and need to be put on the charger. The panels are very durable.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:36 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:33 am
Posts: 83
Location: Sparks, MD
Thank you Slim for taking the time to share (with links) what works for you.

I have been improving a 5 stand course at a local (NE) Skeet club and have been trying to figure out a way to get the solar panels off the ground before mowing/weed whacking season. This sign post looks perfect, and affordable

I was actually getting ready to post on here and ask for suggestions, perfect timing


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:48 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:22 am
Posts: 4364
Location: East Mountains, NM
The fit of the panel to the holder isn't precise, but the aluminum frame of the panel can be drilled and a
3/8" #8 self tapping screw used to secure it.

Pretty part of MD you're from. Grew up on the Eastern Shore myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:53 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2315
Location: Attica, Mi
Make sure the panels have a diode in the line. Rod, from Lincoln Traps, and many others use a Deltron 10-021-0134-DL-WH . You can check them out at www.batterystuff.com - go to 12volt multi-able battery chargers under 4 amp. Then order it from www.rrtraps.com . I've checked all over and they're the cheapest at $535. Amazon wanted 751 and batterystuff wanted 690. And find a good tester that tells you if the battery can be recharged. I got the kid at the local gas station to contact Interstate for me and they'll sell me the deep cycle batteries [ smaller ones ] for $100 because I'll be getting around 20 this year. I just ordered 10. Many of my present batteries will charge up, but it's only a surface charge. Two days in the winter in a machine on our 5-stand and they're dead again. I'll probably need closer to 30 before I'm done. You'll need a different motor to change from 110 to 12 volts. Call LaPorte. Good luck. Paul

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 Post subject: Re: Help with Battery and solar panel replacement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:54 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 7:16 pm
Posts: 62
The Deltran 15 W solar panel 021-1165 with built-in tender goes for around $100. It solved all our battery problems. So far, over 2 years, we've lost one battery to an internal short. Deep cycle marine is the only way to go. Lot of venues like the Interstate, primarily because its case is white and keeps the temperature down, here in central Florida. Listen to Roger. We do the same thing, going to ring terminals when the clips get corroded. I tried some other panels where the tender was kinda separate, "in the line" so to speak, and vastly prefer the Deltran units. Their tender has a LED indicating charging/charged/mis- or not connected.
Also, we were throwing batteries away (ahem: recycling them) when they wouldn't take a charge. Most chargers won't recognize that they have a battery connected if its voltage is <10.5 VDC. So they "won't take a charge." But a battery store typically has a smarter charger and they can bring these back to life.



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