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post #21 of 28 Old 11-26-2013
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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If your bilge pump or loads run enough you can get away with it but if you go without rain or don't use loads for a period of time even small panels can and will over charge and damage batteries. I see this over and over again. I see it so much I finally made a video to bring more awareness to it... Web sites such as the West Advisor are so wrong on this that it gets downright scary.....

Solar Over Charge - 12W Unregulated Panel vs. 220Ah AGM Bank - YouTube
Thanks for the video, Maine. I guess I instinctively knew that since every time I wasn't using the tender for any length of time I covered the solar panel to keep it from generating and overcharging. Guess that's why I haven't had problems over the last three years of using the system. The video brought that to my attention even more.

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post #22 of 28 Old 11-26-2013
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

Defender has a cheap ($21) controller for 12 volt solar installations. Think I'll get one and install it on the dink after watching MaineSail's video.

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post #23 of 28 Old 11-26-2013
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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I'd like to be able to take it away for a few days sailing at a time, perhaps a weeks worth. Charging in that way may therefore not be an option.

I could potentially charge the battery using shore power in a port, but then the electrical system gets rather more complicated and expensive.
Ah, then we're back to you needing to equip the boat for that kind of usage. Do what Maine says (and get nav lights, etc.).


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post #24 of 28 Old 11-26-2013
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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Please excuse my ignorance of electrical systems, but how can I be sure that the the system can keep the iPad running? If would be nice if the the panel could deliver enough power to the battery to charge the iPad even when it's being used.
That will all depend on how much you use 12V DC.. I just plugged in my iPad Air with iSailor running on full bright screen and with the iPad battery at 27% SOC. It draws about .98A with my 2.0A 12V adapter. My wife has my 2.4A adapter in her car so I would fully expect it to break the 1A level...

The consumption is low but can't be over looked. A single G-24 battery will have about 70 Ah's but you don't want to regularly discharge below 50% SOC so you really have just 35 Ah's to use.. If you figure one to one and a half iPad charging cycles per day at 10-11 Ah's or so for a total, using 5-6 Ah's per charge cycle, you can get approx 4 days out of a single group 24 battery before it needs to be recharged. A single 30W panel can produce about 7.5Ah's per day as a rough average..

Contrast an iPad to my small Garmin 76CSx hand held which burns only 0.03A and the difference in navigation time is huge......!

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post #25 of 28 Old 11-26-2013
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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It's not quite as mad as it seems:

* I don't need a bilge pump because there's no bilge
At last, huzzah, the solution to sinking boats. Boats sink cos they get water in the bilges. Eliminate the bilge, problem solved.

Pardon the sarcasm but even without a bilge if you are leaving a boat unattended on a mooring you do need an emergency pump, bilge or no bilge.

Or am I missing something here ?


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* I will be installing Nav Lights, but it'll be a while before I'll be navigating at night, so that's not an immediate priority, but it does need thinking about now for the future. For the small size of boat I just need a tricolour at the top of the mast.

It's a very small boat and I don't wish to be too excessive. There are currently no other electrical requirement at the moment other than the iPad. The log runs off of some AA batteries as do the interior LED lights.
Personally I think that anyone thinking of spending multiple days on board any boat needs lights. It doesn't take too much to go wrong for a day sail to end post twilight so it does make sense to be ready.

A small solar (with regulator, cos I agree with MaineSail) system if you do the hard work yourself is relatively cheap and you'll end up with decent nav lights and an emergency pump plus the ability to run a radio and keep that Ipod charged. Attack the problem holistically , piecemeal is never a terribly good idea.

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post #26 of 28 Old 11-27-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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At last, huzzah, the solution to sinking boats. Boats sink cos they get water in the bilges. Eliminate the bilge, problem solved.

Pardon the sarcasm but even without a bilge if you are leaving a boat unattended on a mooring you do need an emergency pump, bilge or no bilge.

Or am I missing something here ?
Well, the cockpit is of the self-evacuating kind. There's no engine compartment. The structure itself is basically a sandwich of fibreglass filled with foam, so it's pretty much unsinkable. I suppose I could have a pump in the cabin, but that's not something I've seen before...

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Personally I think that anyone thinking of spending multiple days on board any boat needs lights. It doesn't take too much to go wrong for a day sail to end post twilight so it does make sense to be ready.

A small solar (with regulator, cos I agree with MaineSail) system if you do the hard work yourself is relatively cheap and you'll end up with decent nav lights and an emergency pump plus the ability to run a radio and keep that Ipod charged. Attack the problem holistically , piecemeal is never a terribly good idea.
Yes, I agree with you.

Last edited by tarmes; 11-27-2013 at 02:50 AM.
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post #27 of 28 Old 11-27-2013
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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Personally I think that anyone thinking of spending multiple days on board any boat needs lights. It doesn't take too much to go wrong for a day sail to end post twilight so it does make sense to be ready.

A small solar (with regulator, cos I agree with MaineSail) system if you do the hard work yourself is relatively cheap and you'll end up with decent nav lights and an emergency pump plus the ability to run a radio and keep that Ipod charged. Attack the problem holistically , piecemeal is never a terribly good idea.
This is what I was thinking, even without having a problem you can be out and having fun loose track of time and it starts getting dark. Though he might be able to legally get away with just a flashlight to shine on the sails when another boat is near, I would not be comfortable with that.

I have been on boats with limited electronics that had battery powered nav lights, not even sure if they were legal or not and they certainly were not LED. Seems that would be a good product to make, even as backups to have on board. With LEDs seems you should be able to get at least a night out of a pair of AA's.
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post #28 of 28 Old 11-27-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: iPad - the charging conundrum

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This is what I was thinking, even without having a problem you can be out and having fun loose track of time and it starts getting dark. Though he might be able to legally get away with just a flashlight to shine on the sails when another boat is near, I would not be comfortable with that.

I have been on boats with limited electronics that had battery powered nav lights, not even sure if they were legal or not and they certainly were not LED. Seems that would be a good product to make, even as backups to have on board. With LEDs seems you should be able to get at least a night out of a pair of AA's.
They already exist. For example:

Emergency Navigation Lights

That's actually the reason that I hadn't yet decided whether or not to go for a full electrical system. One option would be a battery to power the iPad and battery powered navigation lights if needed.

Having now looked into it, the electrical system sounds like a fun challenge
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