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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair-Final Report

Well--It is now 2-1/2 years since making our home-cooked repair/upgrade to our Day-Night Solar Vent (see Post #42) and, as previously reported, other than a slight burp caused by the formation of a little rust on a battery contact after 15 months, our unit keeps on going and going and going, day and night and is now merrily spinning away. Not bad for a $28.00 repair and a whole lot less costly than a replacement. With this I will discontinue reports until when/if the unit fails. (For that eventuality, we have a second spare motor and solar panel stashed together in a vacuum pack bag in our spares locker tho' I'm guessing it will be awhile before we need it.)

FWIW...
Well--Today marks the 3rd Anniversary of my $28.00 home cooked repair to our Nicro Solar Vent and it sits above me as I type, whirling away, discharging warm/hot air under the coachroof into a very hot humid SW Florida morning. At this point the unit has lasted about half the life of the original motor and solar panels and yet is operating as well as, or better, than the original equipment. I guess we got a money's worth on the repair, eh?

FWIW...
 
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Well--almost 40 months to the day, my home cooked repair finally gave up the ghost, sometime between Jan 11th and 15th. A postmortem revealed that the hobby-shop motor I used had finally died. Since it is in a sealed nylon case, I cannot tell how but, removed from the vent with power applied directly, it will not run so something internal gave out. By comparison, the solar panel still generates 2.2 volts so that was not a problem. The good news is that the motors are only $15.00 and are easily replaced. So we shall be back in business with a new motor and new 2000 mAh rechargable NiCad tomorrow. If I must spend $15.00 to keep this device functioning for 40 months at a time, that's a fair trade-off compared to the cost of replacing the entire unit, No?

Another report to follow once the new motor is installed.
 

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SV!
Happy New Year. I have repaired both of my Nicro solar vents using your suggestions (they are both going on 7 years old). One is running fine, they other one was giving me fits with intermittent shutdowns. I finally bit the bullet and stripped the coating off of the back of the solar cell looking for problems. What I found was that one of the wires that interconnects the 4 panels (they are bare wires under the clear coating) was shorting against the base of the silicon. I wedged a very thin piece of plastic between the wire and the silicon, re-coated it with silicone and it is back up and running (so far for a few days anyway).

thanks for all your input and helpful ideas.

Ron
 

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Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair; A Setback

Humm... It seems my re-repair of our vent will be delayed. Much to my surprise the hobby shop where I purchased the first replacement drive motor (later replaced by the same motor purchased from Sundance Solar) has gone out of business. As, it turns out, have the few competing hobby shops in the area. Upon inquiry at an adjoining business I learned that the shop had closed some while ago because the owners "couldn't compete" with internet sellers. I have, of course, gone back to Sundance Solar and ordered two of the motors (one as a spare) for about what I paid for one at the local hobby shop although--with shipping charges--my cost ends up being just about the same save for the 6.5% sales tax not collected by the internet seller. Frankly, if his is "progress", I'll pass...

More later...
 
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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair; A Setback

Humm... It seems my re-repair of our vent will be delayed. Much to my surprise the hobby shop where I purchased the first replacement drive motor (later replaced by the same motor purchased from Sundance Solar) has gone out of business. As, it turns out, have the few competing hobby shops in the area. Upon inquiry at an adjoining business I learned that the shop had closed some while ago because the owners "couldn't compete" with internet sellers. I have, of course, gone back to Sundance Solar and ordered two of the motors (one as a spare) for about what I paid for one at the local hobby shop although--with shipping charges--my cost ends up being just about the same save for the 6.5% sales tax not collected by the internet seller. Frankly, if his is "progress", I'll pass...

More later...
Glad you posted about your fan repair. I've got two solar fans that need to be repaired. I'll be putting them on the winter repair list.
 

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Re: Nicro Day-Night 2000 solar vent repair; A Setback

Humm... It seems my re-repair of our vent will be delayed. Much to my surprise the hobby shop where I purchased the first replacement drive motor (later replaced by the same motor purchased from Sundance Solar) has gone out of business. As, it turns out, have the few competing hobby shops in the area. Upon inquiry at an adjoining business I learned that the shop had closed some while ago because the owners "couldn't compete" with internet sellers. I have, of course, gone back to Sundance Solar and ordered two of the motors (one as a spare) for about what I paid for one at the local hobby shop although--with shipping charges--my cost ends up being just about the same save for the 6.5% sales tax not collected by the internet seller. Frankly, if his is "progress", I'll pass...

More later...
Well, my re-repaired Solar Vent has been sitting on my work bench since last evening, whirling away with one of the replacement motors from Sundance Solar like a dervish. This motor replacement went much more quickly than the original repair given my prior experience. The most problematical aspect (at least for me) was the process of soldering the tiny little wires from the solar panel to the tiny little posts on the motor, given my deteriorating vision (which also makes taking a round of sights a pain in the neck!). Never-the-less, the job is done. Based upon the longevity of the prior repair, I estimate the motors are good for about 29,200 hours of running time (40 months continuous) so I shouldn't have to repeat this exercise until late 2019, assuming I'm still around at that time myself.

One thing I have noticed is that the new motor does not respond quite as readily to power from the solar panel generated by reflected sunlight (vs. direct) as did the original. I suspect this is not a property of the motor itself but of some deterioration of the performance of the solar panel which the maker claims will have a service life of "...10 to 20 years". Given the environmental conditions the solar panel must endure--even under a clear cover--I suspect it may be loosing capacity rather more quickly than the maker's estimate. (To be one the safe side, I have ordered another of the solar panels while they are still available to keep with the extra drive motor in our spares kit)

N'any case, more reports to follow in due course....
 

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Well, it's been a week since I reinstalled our re-repaired Solar Vent and the device continues to spin away faithfully despite the fact that the weather has largely been overcast and crappy. So, the $8.95 replacement motor seems to have done the trick. I'll report back at the earlier of the device failing to work or six months (unless of course I meet my own demise in the interim, eh?).

FWIW...
 

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Well, it's been a week since I reinstalled our re-repaired Solar Vent and the device continues to spin away faithfully despite the fact that the weather has largely been overcast and crappy. So, the $8.95 replacement motor seems to have done the trick. I'll report back at the earlier of the device failing to work or six months (unless of course I meet my own demise in the interim, eh?).

FWIW...
So... At this point we're a few daze over six months since my re-repair of our 1980's era Solar Vent with a new $8.95 motor and the little beggar continues to spin away merrily blowing hot air out of the boat. I guess if I must spend $8.95 every 40 months or so to keep it going, that's not such a bad deal eh?

Next report next January or so!

Cheers!
 

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My two year old Nicro vent gave up the ghost a few days ago, so tomorrow I'll go to the boat and remove it and try to make some needed repairs. Think I'll probably end up replacing the fan with a computer fan, and wiring it to the house batteries though a wall switch in the head.

Gary :cool:
 

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My two year old Nicro vent gave up the ghost a few days ago, so tomorrow I'll go to the boat and remove it and try to make some needed repairs. Think I'll probably end up replacing the fan with a computer fan, and wiring it to the house batteries though a wall switch in the head.

Gary :cool:
Gary--

It might just be the battery. Before anything else, get a meter on the battery posts (without the battery of course) and see if your panel is still putting out amps. If so, and a recharge of the battery on your bench at home (or a new battery) doesn't revive the thing, Nicro sells a replacement motor for the new style vents and it's an easy swap.

FWIW...
 
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Ironically, when I went to the boat today, I pulled off the fan blade and sprayed some WD-40 on the shaft gave it a twist, and it began spinning. I put the fan blade back on and it was still running when I left two hours later, so maybe it's OK. Keeping my fingers crossed. Oh, and this is one of the ones that WM sold that had a totally enclosed battery compartment. If it does again, I may have to open the battery compartment with my Dremel tool . :)

Gary :cool:
 

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Was at my local Lowes. 3v motor looks exactly like the one I just ordered from Sundance solar. In hardware with special nuts and bolts. $4.38
 

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Was at my local Lowes. 3v motor looks exactly like the one I just ordered from Sundance solar. In hardware with special nuts and bolts. $4.38
Gee Jason, that's a find. I'm going by Lowes later today and will definitely take a look. After going through all of my re-re-re-repairs having a few more inexpensive spares will be worth it. I'll report back if I find the same at our local store.
 

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So... At this point we're a few daze over six months since my re-repair of our 1980's era Solar Vent with a new $8.95 motor and the little beggar continues to spin away merrily blowing hot air out of the boat. I guess if I must spend $8.95 every 40 months or so to keep it going, that's not such a bad deal eh?

Next report next January or so!

Cheers!
Well just shy of 6 months since my last report and 12 months since my last re-repair and our Solar Vent has continued to spin away all the while, without cease, venting warm air from above our galley. I'm guessing that although our rechargeable battery may sooner need replacement, the vent itself will continue to work for another 28-30 months, living up to the life-span of the last re-repair. We'll see, eh?

FWIW...
 

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Well... Another 6 months has passed and our re-repaired Nicro Solar vent just keeps going and going. We just returned from a cruise to the Keys during which we had incredibly crappy weather and little sun and I though the vent might give out in the conditions but, somewhat to my surprise, it just kept going and going. Evidently, even a little sun-light even if filtered through cloud cover, is enough to keep the battery sufficiently charged. So... until next winter I guess...

FWIW...
 
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I have two of these vents. Ons has stopped working, and I believe it is the solar panel. You have given me the inspiration to remove and replace the panel. Which is the recommended solar panel for replacement?
 

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I have two of these vents. Ons has stopped working, and I believe it is the solar panel. You have given me the inspiration to remove and replace the panel. Which is the recommended solar panel for replacement?
If your panels are dead they can be replaced. Note, however, it is more likely that the motor has failed as they are only good for about 20,000 hours. The replacement motors are reasonably easy to install however (see earlier posts in this thread). Use a multi-meter on the battery compartment contacts to see if the original panels are putting out any amps. In my case, I replaced the motor and the very weak solar panels. For that I used a 2 volt 410mA panel I obtained from eBay (see my post #42) which is somewhat better than the original panels used by Nicro. That panel just fit under the plastic cover of the vent with a little sanding of the panel corners. The panel I purchased no longer seems to be available but there are several other vendors with similarly rated panels, e.g. LU Solar. Just Google 2v 410mA Solar Panel. It is important to use a diode to prevent the panel discharging the battery after dark. In our case, the needed diode came with the panel.

Disassembling the vents can be something of a pain in the neck. One of the very early posts in this thread provides very good instruction. Just be patient.

Good luck...
 
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Thanks for the pointer to the panel.

:rant
However, I will no longer order anything small from eBay, as I was recently screwed by PayPal. I realize that they are no longer the same company, but you can't buy small stuff from eBay without using PayPal. I also told my financial advisor to completely divest my portfolio from all PayPal holdings. Note that in the PayPal user agreement you contractually agree to accept PayPal as the equivalent of all other currency (HA!), and not to disparage PayPal in any way.

Lest you think that I am the problem, my eBay user rating is still 100%
:/rant

Hopefully, I will find something similar from Amazon.
 
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