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  #61  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

Further to may last post (this should go in Low buck projects. In fact I wil post it there):

Last evening I was fiddling with my two solar vents, figuring out just what parts were going to be needed to repair them. I found that one solar cell was pretty well pooched, and one motor was quite noisy. I figured I could likely pick up these items at the big (and fun) electronics surplus shop. But I thought, maybe I can find what I need on eBay, save a trip and have them mailed.

I searched "round solar cell" and found this:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/390280296925?...ht_1061wt_1302



It's exactly what I already have! Looking more closely, some previous owner had bought these inexpensive solar exhaust fans, painted them white, and installed them under a presumably already existing chrome trim ring. Now, this is me cheaping out a bit, not replacing them with some $150 "marine" unit, but the last set would have lasted at least 7 years for the previous owner. For $80 the pair shipped, I figure I am well ahead, even if they only last another 7 years.

I think I will take them apart and try to install a rechargeable lithium battery of some kind, I have to figure out the optimal voltage of these units. is there a trick I need to know, some circuitry involved in putting in a battery?

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Last edited by Ritchard; 01-29-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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  #62  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

Very roughly? The picture looks like there are four cells in the package, which gives it a voltage of about 4 time 1/2 volt, or two volts total. A lithium battery typically is 3.7 volts and they tend to catch fire or explode when improperly charged, so aside from not having enough voltage to use one, you'd be safe having a plain NiMh or NiCad battery in there.

Tricks in a battery? Sure, measure voltage and current, match with battery size, add a blocking diode so the battery doesn't discharge into the solar cells at night. Use a battery holder if you can, so it is easy to change when it goes.
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

So the diode acting as a valve is the only additional electronics needed? Cool. Don't know about a battery holder, it's pretty small inside the fan unit. The battery holder may be called "hot glue"
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  #64  
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

"The battery holder may be called "hot glue" "
Remember to use the marine grade hot glue. (G)
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Old 04-01-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

Well, another 2-1/2 months has passed and our repaired Vent keeps going and going, day and night, fair weather and foul, hot or unusually cold, so I guess one can still pronounce our repair as pretty good. For those interested see prior posts #42 and #46 as to our approach.

FWIW,,,
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Old 08-20-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
...August 20, 1012...

Right now the [rebuilt] vent is sitting on my back porch spinning away, where it will remain for a few daze just to ensure it will last awhile, before I reinstall it on the boat. It is amazing the one needs go through this much brain damage to effect a repair. Nicro does itself no favors in this manner.

FWIW...
It is now one year to the day since I reassembled my Nicro Solar Vent with a $14 USD hobby-shop motor, a $15 USD (or so) solar panel, and a $4 USD rechargeable NiCad battery from Radio Shack (as described earlier in posts #42 and #46) and set it running. Since then it has operated without cease, day and night, fair weather and foul, from below freezing temps to well over 100ļ F. Accordingly, I guess one can pronounce our repair a success, eh? With a little determination, one can repair these units for very little cost, particularly in comparison to the cost of a replacement.

Cheers!
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Old 08-20-2013
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Which fan blade do y'all use and why? It comes with intake and exhaust fan blades. What's the logic for one versus the other? I have the fresh air intake fan right now but an thinking of putting the exhaust fan on instead to help drew hot rising air out of cabin. What about y'all?
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Old 08-20-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyQuest View Post
Which fan blade do y'all use and why? It comes with intake and exhaust fan blades. What's the logic for one versus the other? I have the fresh air intake fan right now but an thinking of putting the exhaust fan on instead to help drew hot rising air out of cabin. What about y'all?
I usually leave the fan on my boat in the "intake" mode. This (in theory) creates a very slight pressure in the cabin, forcing the very slight diesel smell out of the cabin and back into the engine compartment, and keeping the Admiral happy. Seems to work.
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Old 08-20-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyQuest View Post
Which fan blade do y'all use and why? It comes with intake and exhaust fan blades. What's the logic for one versus the other? I have the fresh air intake fan right now but an thinking of putting the exhaust fan on instead to help drew hot rising air out of cabin. What about y'all?
We use the solar vents to discharge warm/hot air as we have a sufficient number of passive vents to allow relatively cooler air into the boat. Our vent seems to work pretty well as we've never had a problem with mold or unpleasant odors on the boat.

FWIW...
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Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair

The other night, 15 months after our home-cooked refurbishment of our solar vent, we discovered it was not running once the sun set. I was surprised to think that the battery might have given up in such a short period but hoped that was the only issue. Upon opening the battery compartment the following morning, I discovered that some rust/corrosion had developed on the contact to the base of the battery and the base of the battery itself. Once this was remove with an Emory board "borrowed" from my wife's make-up kit, the vent resumed normal operation even with the solar panel covered. So, I recharged the battery over-night with a plug-in charger and reinstalled it in the vent, but this time coating the battery terminals and contacts with a little conductive grease to prevent further corrosion and we are back in business!

FWIW...
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