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Old as Dirt!
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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.
Note that the Link I gave you in my prior post was not to an eBay Seller but to a direct vendor. Note too that in the earlier threads, there is a link to the vendor of the replacement motors I have used, also not on eBay. N'any case, good luck with your efforts. The repairs are somewhat tedious but not difficult and do work reasonably well.

Cheers...
 

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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...
So..its now a few daze shy of two years since my last re-repair of our Solar Vent and the thing keeps going and going. It has been running non-stop, day and night, the entire time and I'm beginning to think I may give out before the vent does at the current rate, particularly so given the cold we're enduring! (I know those up north are suffering far colder conditions but to an acclimatized "Floridian", 38º is, for all intents, "freezing!".) So, until next summer...
 
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I've had so many issues with these things and have followed the advice here but the batteries in both of the fans don't seem to be charging. They work when i manually spin the fans in sunlight. Does anyone have a link to batteries that have worked?
My electrical knowledge is very minimal. That said, I somehow lost the resistor that came with one of the nicros. What was the purpose of that? Also I do not have the diode mentioned so maybe the power is being sucked out...where do i get one? and which was do i solder it? It's been a never ending mission to make these things work.
Also is it possible to get the fans anywhere besides the nicro repair kit? I broke one of the tabs on one.
thank you.
 

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I've had so many issues with these things and have followed the advice here but the batteries in both of the fans don't seem to be charging. They work when i manually spin the fans in sunlight. Does anyone have a link to batteries that have worked?
My electrical knowledge is very minimal. That said, I somehow lost the resistor that came with one of the nicros. What was the purpose of that? Also I do not have the diode mentioned so maybe the power is being sucked out...where do i get one? and which was do i solder it? It's been a never ending mission to make these things work.
Also is it possible to get the fans anywhere besides the nicro repair kit? I broke one of the tabs on one.
thank you.
By saying "They work when i (sic) manually spin the fans in sunlight." do you mean that once you get the fans going manually, they will continue to run so long as there's sunlight? If so, the power from the solar panels is enough to spin the motor once the start-up has been initiated although, in an older motor, starting the fan can be problematic due to wear, friction, etc.

If you can, try checking the voltage out of the solar panels to ensure they're working properly (ensure that the contacts are clean and free of rust or corrosion before doing so!). If they are original Nicro panels and are quite old they may not be putting out sufficient voltage to overcome the start-up friction in the fan motor or charge the batteries when the motor is running in which case you'll have to replace the panels although that's not that difficult.

My earlier reference to a (blocking) diode was made in connection with the replacement solar panels. The Nicro panels are already fitted with one so that's not an issue unless they've gone bad. Lastly, ensure that the batteries are up-to-snuff and, of course mounted in the holder in the proper orientation/polarity. A fresh, fully charged battery should easily spin up the fan motor and keep it going for about 39-40 hours before giving out. If a fresh battery doesn't start the fan, you'll have to replace the motor but that's not too difficult (refer to some of the earlier posts for information). The replacement motors are (or were) about $8.00 and, in our case, have lasted 30K-40K hours.

The necessary repairs-all described earlier in this thread-are not difficult, merely tedious. Most anyone can handle the problem with a little patent effort.

FWIW...
 
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Thank you for this. Someone needs to make a "Best Of" from this thread.

#1 Fan -New panel (didnt know to opt for diode), new motor, new battery which doesnt seem to hold a charge. (was cheap chinese battery and indented terminals probably not making good contact anyway. lack of diode also could the issue?

#2 Fan -Motor is shot I believe (loud sound). New battery will not charge or start motor. Rest of components are old but solar is putting out sufficient mA.

I'm placing an order from sundance for two AccuPower 3000mAh NiMH batteries, two motors, diode, backup panel with wires and diode. Only $40 which is same price for a single rebuild kit from nicro. why are the replacement C batteries 25$ from nicro?
This is longest lasting project I've dealt with.

To be continued...
 

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Well, it is now about 2-1/2 years since my last re-repair of our Solar Vent and the thing is still whirling away, day and night, without fail. One thing I have noticed is the build-up of yellow discoloration on the exterior surface of the plastic cover over the solar panel, similar to the discoloration one sometimes sees in older plastic headlight lenses. The last time I saw this I treated it with Meguiar's PlastX which somewhat worked. Since then, however, a local mechanic told me that that he'd found using "Deep Woods Off" on a paper towel worked as well or better than any of the plastic cleaner/polishers which could be used for a final "polishing" after a Deep Woods treatment. I tried the stuff on an old plastic lens and found that it performed much better than the cleaner/polishers alone so I will be giving our Vent cover a treatment later today--once its in the shade and cooled down a bit--to see. I will report back on that.

N'any case, based on our earlier experience, I expect the Vent to continue working for another 10 months or so but who knows. Maybe more...or less. We'll see eh? (At least this time I'm prepared for the re-re-repair when needed!)

FWIW...
 

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Thanks for the update; you must have done something right. After rebuilding two of them again with new motors and batteries they worked for about two weeks then died again. ug
 

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Well--Another 6 months or so has passed since my last report and our Solar Vent keeps going'n going, now about 3 years since my last re-repair. The fan does seem to have slowed somewhat but I suspect that may be a function of the aging of the rechargable battery which I shall finally replace after the first of the new year. At three yers it's done its duty, no? (FWIW I replace all the batteries in all the battery power devices on the boat, save the Solar Vent battery, semi-annually, on or about the first of January and the first of July--or sooner if need be--to ensure that everything works without fail as, when and if needed and to avoid the possibility that a battery might deteriorate and damage the gear during intervals of disuse/storage.)

N'any case, I shall provide another up-date in six months or so, or, sooner if the Vent gives out (my original repair lasted about 40 months!). We'll see, eh?

FWIW...
 

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Well--Another 6 months or so has passed since my last report and our Solar Vent keeps going'n going, now about 3 years since my last re-repair. The fan does seem to have slowed somewhat but I suspect that may be a function of the aging of the rechargable battery which I shall finally replace after the first of the new year. At three yers it's done its duty, no? (FWIW I replace all the batteries in all the battery power devices on the boat, save the Solar Vent battery, semi-annually, on or about the first of January and the first of July--or sooner if need be--to ensure that everything works without fail as, when and if needed and to avoid the possibility that a battery might deteriorate and damage the gear during intervals of disuse/storage.)

N'any case, I shall provide another up-date in six months or so, or, sooner if the Vent gives out (my original repair lasted about 40 months!). We'll see, eh?

FWIW...
Thanks for the update. It's also a reminder to me that I need to repair my solar fans. I've got the motors you mentioned but, they are still sitting in my project box. Perhaps I'll get around to it this spring or summer or...
 

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Well, another 6 months has passed and our re-repaired Solar Vent keeps running and running, now 42 months since my last re-repair. This is two months longer than my first repair, which lasted for 40 months and the device shows no sign of failing (yet!). I did note some slowing in the fan last December but I attribute that to the relatively shorter day-light hours for recharging the battery during the winter months; and, to some "fogging" of the clear plastic lens over the solar panel. (That I was able to clean up with a wipe down with a cloth sprayed with Deep Woods Off followed with a polish with McGuier's PlastX cleaner/polish. I was told about the Deep Woods Off trick by a mechanic when I was looking for something to clean the plastic lenses on my aging automobile and the stuff really works.)

N'any case, I shall file another report on my re-repair on the earlier of the Vent's failure or 6 months (assuming, of course, that I last that long myself given my own aging!)

FWIW...
 
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Well--With some disappointment but no surprise I discovered our vent had finally stopped working sometime between late Tuesday afternoon (the 19th) and yesterday AM (the 21st). So, it will have run continuously without fail for one month shy of 4 years. While it might just be the battery, and I will try replacing that, I suspect it's the motor. If so, I might be able to resurrect it for a short while longer with a good blast of circuit cleaner and a little SailKote lube, and may try that, but it's more likely that another motor swap is in order (fortunately I have a spare in the Parts Locker). In either case, I shall report back shortly.

FWIW...
 

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Thanks for the continued updates. I found that the wires and the connections between them and other components had to be re-soldered three years ago. I only use the vents in the winter, and I have removed the Ni-metal hydride batteries, so my use is not really comparable to yours.
 

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My Nicro also failed, and not the first one. I took the guts out and fitted a cheap USB fan in the bore. This goes to a small solar panel on deck. I ditched the battery part when it was pointed out to me that our local nights are far more moist than the days. Why would I want to circulate wet air at night? The cheap fan is far better constructed than that poor excuse for a motor in the original. It also moves a lot more air. So far so good. It has even dried racing sails in a day or two that were put away hastily. Hogging out the bore to fit the slightly lager fan blades was the hardest part of the job. Some time ago, I also replaced the slip in part with a screw in so the deck plate is sealed a little better. The fan is always removed for racing. Did the OP's motor replacement, but it only lasted a couple of years. Still better than Nicro.
 

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Well--With some disappointment but no surprise I discovered our vent had finally stopped working sometime between late Tuesday afternoon (the 19th) and yesterday AM (the 21st). So, it will have run continuously without fail for one month shy of 4 years. While it might just be the battery, and I will try replacing that, I suspect it's the motor. If so, I might be able to resurrect it for a short while longer with a good blast of circuit cleaner and a little SailKote lube, and may try that, but it's more likely that another motor swap is in order (fortunately I have a spare in the Parts Locker). In either case, I shall report back shortly.

FWIW...
With regard to the foregoing, I am happy to report that the failure of our re-repaired vent after 47 months involved nothing more than a very dead/deteriorated Radio Shack NiCad battery. Once that was out of the vent and the vent placed in the sun, the fan spun up and whirled away quite merrily. Since I had the thing at home on my work bench I used the opportunity to seriously clean and polish the plastic cover over the solar panel and clean up the other plastic innards, and clean and polish the battery contacts. With a fresh battery in place, the fan spun right up and purred away.

With that, I headed out to Batteries Plus to purchase a replacement rechargeable C-Cell but there discovered that NiCad batteries are no longer offered, only Ni-MH although of much higher capacity, 5000 MAH verses 2000 for our former NiCads. For the moment I have one of the Ni-MH batteries in place and the vent sitting on the window sill, spinning away,but I am unsure as to whether the solar panel has enough "oomph" to recharge Ni-MH cells. (My knowledge of batteries rivals only my knowledge of brain surgery!) If anyone has any thoughts on that subject, I'd appreciate a comment. In the mean time, the experiment continues albeit with the shortened sunlight available at this time of the year. We'll see I guess.

FWIW...
 
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With regard to the foregoing, I am happy to report that the failure of our re-repaired vent after 47 months involved nothing more than a very dead/deteriorated Radio Shack NiCad battery. Once that was out of the vent and the vent placed in the sun, the fan spun up and whirled away quite merrily. Since I had the thing at home on my work bench I used the opportunity to seriously clean and polish the plastic cover over the solar panel and clean up the other plastic innards, and clean and polish the battery contacts. With a fresh battery in place, the fan spun right up and purred away.

With that, I headed out to Batteries Plus to purchase a replacement rechargeable C-Cell but there discovered that NiCad batteries are no longer offered, only Ni-MH although of much higher capacity, 5000 MAH verses 2000 for our former NiCads. For the moment I have one of the Ni-MH batteries in place and the vent sitting on the window sill, spinning away,but I am unsure as to whether the solar panel has enough "oomph" to recharge Ni-MH cells. (My knowledge of batteries rivals only my knowledge of brain surgery!) If anyone has any thoughts on that subject, I'd appreciate a comment. In the mean time, the experiment continues albeit with the shortened sunlight available at this time of the year. We'll see I guess.

FWIW...
I don’t remember the size of the 2000mah Nicole cadmium batteries. Will any of these fit the bill. I can gat to my boat to check

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=2000+mah+battery&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=177803870080&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13643830629164308576&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007924&hvtargid=aud-840076997981:kwd-117158117&ref=pd_sl_v28cknmdz_b&hydadcr=21412_9712051&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6Mi03eKF5gIVRdyGCh0y2g8lEAAYASAAEgLS4fD_BwE
 

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Thanks for the referral. I did find rechargable C-Cell NiCad's on the Amazon web site and have ordered a pair which should arrive by Dec 4th or so. In the mean time, we'll use the NiMH that's currently in the Vent and see how it does. At this point (12:19 11/25) the vent is sitting in bright sunlight on the window sill (outside) and whirling like a dervish after having run from about 1700 last evening through about 0700 this AM (shortly afer sunrise here) on battery power only. I guess the test will be whether the battery will be sufficiently recharged today to run the vent overnight yet again. I shall report on that on the morrow.

Cheers...

PS: With a little research I learned that NiCads can be stored indefinately in a cool dry location so long as they are fully discharged before storage. Of course, they will need recharging before being put into service again, and may take several charge-discharge cycles to reach full capacity, but they reportedly will be rejuvenated. In theory, C-cells should be good for about 1000 charge/discharge cycles. As our old battery would power the vent for about 3 days without any sun, it evidently was only partially discharged on a daily basis which may accout for its 47 month longevity.

FWIW...
 

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Good deal.
Long time ago I bought a NiCad charger cheap at Bacons. We no longer purchase “ normal” sized batteries as the charger keeps our supply of multi sized batteries at top charge.
 

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So... Not without some trepidation, I went out to see whether our Vent was still running at 0600 this AM and discovered that it was still whirling away at about the same speed as it was yesterday afternoon shortly before the sun set. So, it seems that the NiMH battery was/is sufficiently charged by our solar panel despite what I had been told by a Nicro tech rather a long time ago (we originally bought this vent in 1989).

My insistence on finding NiCad batteries per Nicro's long ago instruction failed to account for the facts that: the solar panel in our vent is not the Nicro originals (there were two) but a single larger panel that I installed in the course of my first repair; and, that the motor is an aftermarket unit that I installed during my first re-repair which may be a bit more efficient/robust than the (then) 25 year old original. With those changes, the Vent may be able to use the NiMH batteries vs. the NiCAD. Accordingly, I shall continue using the NiMH battery for the while, even after I receive the NiCAD's I ordered, and see how the thing performs and will resume my periodic reports.

FWIW...
 

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I found an almost identical motor for the 4" Nicro vent fans. I say almost, since the shaft length is specified as 10.8mm, while mine measures 13mm. All the other dimensions are identical to mine.

The other issue is that I cannot find any sources outside of Europe.

Conrad Components: part number 198080
The data sheet (see the German Conrad link) seems to show that the motor is sourced from Nissei (Japan) as part number B-148. My motor has "Made in Japan" molded into the plastic base.
Note the specifications and the upper left graph:
250 rpm under working load
27mA under working load
0.4v nominal, 0.3-6V range

Links (sorry, I have insufficient posts to make real links or to add files):
www<dot>amazon<dot>de/Components-198080-Solarmotor/dp/B005FQJQDQ
www<dot>amazon<dot>co<dot>uk/Conrad-Solar-motor-diameter-Nominal/dp/B005FQJQDQ
www<dot>conrad<dot>com/p/conrad-components-198080-solar-motor-198080
www<dot>conrad<dot>at/de/p/conrad-components-198080-solarmotor-198080<dot>html

Can anyone find a source in the USA? That would be great!
 

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The motor that people have been using (in this post) is from Sundance Solar https://store.sundancesolar.com/motor-for-solar-projects-1-5v-to-12v-dc/ and apparently still available after all this time....

I found an almost identical motor for the 4" Nicro vent fans. I say almost, since the shaft length is specified as 10.8mm, while mine measures 13mm. All the other dimensions are identical to mine.

The other issue is that I cannot find any sources outside of Europe.

Conrad Components: part number 198080
The data sheet (see the German Conrad link) seems to show that the motor is sourced from Nissei (Japan) as part number B-148. My motor has "Made in Japan" molded into the plastic base.
Note the specifications and the upper left graph:
250 rpm under working load
27mA under working load
0.4v nominal, 0.3-6V range

Links (sorry, I have insufficient posts to make real links or to add files):
www<dot>amazon<dot>de/Components-198080-Solarmotor/dp/B005FQJQDQ
www<dot>amazon<dot>co<dot>uk/Conrad-Solar-motor-diameter-Nominal/dp/B005FQJQDQ
www<dot>conrad<dot>com/p/conrad-components-198080-solar-motor-198080
www<dot>conrad<dot>at/de/p/conrad-components-198080-solarmotor-198080<dot>html

Can anyone find a source in the USA? That would be great!
 
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