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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a trailor-sailor which currently has no room for a chart table, and no electricty aboard.

To solve the charting problem I'd like to use an iPad with iNavX. However, I realise that leaving an iPad running with the GPS activated will quickly drain the battery.

With this in mind I'm trying to work out what my best option would be to keep it topped up for trips of 2 to 3 days when I might not have access to a 240v supply.

* What sort of battery could I use to power the iPad?
* How much longer would this last?

I'm also wondering if this would be a good moment to installed a basic electrical system into the boat. Would a wind or solar powered charger deliver anywhere near enough power to charge up the main battery when the boat is left moored for a week or so?

Regards,

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It looks interesting, but it does mean finding room for that panel. Would a "proper" marine solar panel do the job better?
 

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There are a lot of options out there and yes I'd say a basic electrical system would be a good idea. Especially since if you are leaving it on a mooring I'd want a bilge pump! Get a small agm battery ($70 on ebay shipped), and a small solar panel, no need for a controller if you get a 5 - 10 watt one ($40 or so). Mount them and add a 12v outlet and an iphone specific car charger (ipad takes 2.1 amps versus usb's typical 1 amp). Done.

Not the cheapest solution but more than enough. Otherwise there are countless iphone extenders out there.

All of this really depends on how long you really need the ipad to run. All day or week long trips?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi,

I can't yet say what my actual use would be, but let's assume that I'd like to use the iPad for a total of 40 hours between charges.

I've read elsewhere that iPads charge very slowly from a 12v source, but I can't find much information on this issue. As long as I can charge it while I'm using it with GPS enabled then that's fine. So, what combination of panel/battery/12v output would allow this?
 

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Get a small agm battery ($70 on ebay shipped), and a small solar panel, no need for a controller if you get a 5 - 10 watt one ($40 or so).
I would STRONGLY suggest a controller........ I can push a bank of Lifeline 6V AGM batteries of 220Ah's over 15V with a single unregulated 12W solar panel... !!!! Controllers are cheap batteries are not...

A lot of the information you read on-line about solar panels without controllers is complete hogwash and dangerous if the panels get left unattended. I have seen far too many banks needlessly destroyed by the lack of a controller.
 

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Having just bought a C22 without much in the way of technology on board, no battery, I have just tackled this issue. The yard at the marina here in Arizona has added two deep cell marine batteries and a management/controller system to maintain them while in the slip via the available shore power. They claim this will keep all the necessary lights available, use of knot meter and depth finder and radio for the entire day, plus some, while out on the lake.

Supposedly the management system has also the capability of adding a solar panel to it that would maintain a pretty full charge on both batteries if I was camping out in one of the remote coves on the lake for a weekend and/or longer. We also installed a accessory charger for phones and I-Pads.

I'm waiting on spending the cash on the panel to see what my usage will be for away from the slip on overnighters since I'm not much of a camper especially on a C22.
 

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I've read elsewhere that iPads charge very slowly from a 12v source, but I can't find much information on this issue.
The iPad or iPhone has no clue whether it is connected to a 12V source or to a 120V source as they charge on DC anyway.

They charge at 5.0 - 5.2V and require 2.1A - 2.4A at 5.0 - 5.2V for optimal charging speed.... Most 12V car adapters, until very recently, did not put out 2.1A - 2.4A. Most put out 1.0A max and were intended for iPhones not iPads.

The current iPads ship with a 5.2V X 2.4A 120V AC to DC wall charger. If you want the same speed as this then you'll need to match those specs on a 12V cigarette style USB char charger.

Here's an example of a 12V 2.4A capable USB car charger for an iPad.

Anker Dual 2.4A USB Charger
 

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Yes, but I'm tackling one issue at a time.
It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to tackle one thing at a time when they are interrelated. If you need lights then you need a basic electrical system, which can be extended to cover the iPad problem and bilge pump problems.

By the way, have a small solar charger on my 12' dingy which I use to get to my moored boat. It keeps the battery charged very well and has no controller. I don't run the outboard enough in the short hop to the big boat to charge the battery but the solar keeps the starter and the bilge pump for the open dingy and the running lights operating well for the whole summer.
 

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By the way, have a small solar charger on my 12' dingy which I use to get to my moored boat. It keeps the battery charged very well and has no controller. I don't run the outboard enough in the short hop to the big boat to charge the battery but the solar keeps the starter and the bilge pump for the open dingy and the running lights operating well for the whole summer.
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.....

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Spending money and time on a chartplotter setup before your boat is ready to sail (no nav lights, no bilge pump, etc.) doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Do the important stuff first.
It's not quite as mad as it seems:

* I don't need a bilge pump because there's no bilge
* 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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.....
Hi,

What set-up would you recommend for my use case? I basically need to run an iPad and some LED nav lights and have the battery charged by a solar panel.

It would be nice to have room for extendibility in the future, just in case.

Regards,

Tim
 

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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
* 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.
Oh, okay - that makes sense. So it's just a small daysailer. Carry on then!
 

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Hi,

What set-up would you recommend for my use case? I basically need to run an iPad and some LED nav lights and have the battery charged by a solar panel.

It would be nice to have room for extendibility in the future, just in case.

Regards,

Tim
Small battery - group 24 or 27
Main Battery Fuse
Battery Switch
Small 6 position DC panel
12V Outlet
Small 20-30W panel with PWM controller
 

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Small battery - group 24 or 27
Main Battery Fuse
Battery Switch
Small 6 position DC panel
12V Outlet
Small 20-30W panel with PWM controller
Main - I guess now that I understand his boat a bit better, my question is why he needs a solar panel at all. If it's on a trailer and he's only daysailing it, can't he just pull the battery and charge it at home?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
If it's on a trailer and he's only daysailing it, can't he just pull the battery and charge it at home?
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Small battery - group 24 or 27
Main Battery Fuse
Battery Switch
Small 6 position DC panel
12V Outlet
Small 20-30W panel with PWM controller
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.
 
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