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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I'm on my 3rd Nicro Day/Night Solar Vent, and now this one too has died and needs to go back. This last one lasted me 2 months. Same symptoms every time, battery inside has plenty of voltage and is charging just fine. But the motor doesn't want to turn. Nicro has been good about replacing them but it's costing me $15 a pop to send these guys back to the factory and then I get to wait for the new unit with a hole in my deck. Whats the deal with these things?

At this point I'm wondering if a simple cowl vent would be a better solution. Would rather not have to mount a big dorade box on deck though.
 

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funny you just posted this as I have had the same problem. Mine both lasted a little longer, a year and a year and a half... well after I replaced one of them after three days.
I called Nicro and they were very helpful, with no questions asked.
I have to wait for the first to come back to send the second one in because I only have one vent cover made.
 

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Ditto here . Nicro day-night vent turns but screaches and wobbles making all kinds of noise, battery died too. This vent is just over a year old. I guess I will try calling Nicro too and seeing if they will repair it. Seems to me they would come up with a better solution then to just keep fixing them with out fixing the cause. Rick
 

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Sounds like they have quality control problems. My 15-year old Nicro solar unit is still running fine. have had to replace the battery a couple of times, but that's to be expected.
 

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i think they keep fixing these things because they can fix it as many times as needed till the warranty goes out. then people buy them again because they know if they have a problem they will get fixed. if i can buy a solar powered light for my yard for 4 bucks, why does it cost way over a 100 for a $5 motor and fan blade.
 

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The Nicro on our boat was on her when we bought her two seasons ago. The battery contacts were all corroded and when you took it out of the light it stopped right off. So I replaced the battery with a new NiCad battery from Radio Shack. It runs fine, but it doesn't run long when taken out of the light. When we race, I pull the Nicro out and put a cover plate in place so crew doesn't trip over it or step on it. When I pull it out from down below, it isn't running anymore.

There's supposed to be a cover that's held on by screws to hold the battery in place and that's missing on ours. I have duct tape holding the battery in place :p. I wonder if Nicro would send me a new part?

From what I'm hearing, I hope ours keeps running. It sounds like their quality these days is horrible.

Jim
 

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The nicro that came with my boat was pretty much toast. I put a new one in a few months ago and mine is dead as well. I can give the motor a push and it will spin for a little bit. I need to check the battery and the panel to see if its charging.

Thanks for the heads up that it may need to go back!
 

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I have only had a problem with the original battery that came with the unit, once I replaced the battery (from the local Radio Shack) they have run fine 24/7 for the past two years.

I am glad to hear they're handling the returns and hopefully diagnosing the problems.
 

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I replaced mine this spring and it's running fine so far. I've have heard that they've had some motor problems and somebody here related that they are supposed to have a handle on that now. From my experience, when they start making noise...the end is not far off. It's not the battery, it's that the motor is going and using more amps to turn the fan. The solar cell then provides just enough juice to keep it running in daylight but not enough to charge the battery.

There is a thread around here somewhere on replacing the motor with a commonly found one for those units out of warranty.
 

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not-so-old salt
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Same here. I've returned mine to WM twice and it's out again. They mentioned they were seeing many come back with the same problem. I need to take it back one more time before the warranty runs out!
 

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Sounds like they have gone to a cheaper vendor, doubtlessly in China, and are shipping junk.

You might want to ask them that specifically, and if there's been a problem since the vendor changed, tell them you expect them to do more than keep enriching United Parcel.
 

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Old Fart
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repair

Or you might want to just replace the motor yourself according to the instructions given here a few weeks ago by Groven. Just do a search for "nicro repair" and you will find it easily. I repaired mine and it works very well and the overall cost was about $15.00.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Or you might want to just replace the motor yourself according to the instructions given here a few weeks ago by Groven. Just do a search for "nicro repair" and you will find it easily. I repaired mine and it works very well and the overall cost was about $15.00.
Thank you for the info ... but I paid $160 bucks for this piece of junk, I'm not going to spend my time trying to fix it while it's under warranty ... and I'll probably void the warranty while doing so. Nicro needs to either send me a reliable unit or refund my money. Of course now I can't get customer service to call me back.

Ridiculous all these people having problems with an expensive unit like this.
 

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You should get a new one year warranty with each replacement, correct? As easy as it is to change them out, you just take it back to WM on an annual basis, in perpetuity! (g)
 

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Defender sent me two "Day & Night" vents but they appear of different makes. One is Nicro and appears to have an older box. The newer one is Marinco but both appear to be from the same manufacture.
My concern was that old batteries do not hold up. It sits in the package for years with no charging and there you have it. Some vents last years and and others not so good. So I set out to find out what I already knew.
That I need to check the date on the batts.
Up date: My suspicion was that Marinco bought out Nicro but I can't find it. The battery in the older appearing box was 30 3 12.
The unit was manufacture says 05 10 12 The number not far from the skew says 050912.
Marinco is a favorable company to me. They are not far away and any problem I had they fixed beyond my satisfaction.
Defender marine will horror themselves if pushed and while the child in me wants to blame the reality is honesty is becoming more and more difficult to find for me. With age comes money to those who can save and there are those who will take it if you do not know what value is.
The tip off was that they were on sale...
ALWAYS check things that have batts for date of manufacture. A new battery is dated when you buy it for a reason. The newer batt is not dated, or at least not in a lingo that is easy. If it sits on a shelf for a year or two "it does matter."
I assume that removing the fan blade is extremely touchy though I have yet to go there. A bent shaft would wobble and perhaps bind. One more thing to worry about.
I looked at the time to disassemble and replace battery. There is a grease seal and o rings on the panel and screws. Interesting that they say not to smash the O'ring when that's exactly what they did when the screws were installed. Always good to have a heathy box of o-rings on board.
The older manual says the battery was in a different location so there have been changes to the design.

At hundred and fifty bucks these D&N 2000 vents were dearer than I wanted to pay but when I decided to go ahead and sacrifice the money for the good of the boat I never imagined I would not get quality for that price. Most disturbing is how the outside of the package says "battery lasts more than two whole years" which is ironically how old it is.
I found the replacement on Amazon but with shipping its 40 bucks. It is not the same as the N20590 battery it came with and reviews were not promising but it is all over the place that the Sanyo KR-2000C is the replacement.
Question: Will this battery be a couple and a half years old too?
I will call Marinco in the morning and it's my bet they will make it right.
If I have to go to Defender it will cut them deeper. If need be I will ship the whole kit and kabootal back East for a replacement or refund.
Do you think they don't know?
Just because you pay the money does not mean you get the quality...
The other unit has no date on the battery but the unit is 2013. I will keep it...
 

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These batteries are available at Radio Shack..... Nicro is now owned by Marinco and the packaging has changed but not the product, other than to get continually worse over the last 15 years....;) New ones seem to last about 1.5 years the older models regularly went 10+........
 

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Broad Reachin'
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I replace the batteries in ours every two years. The NiCd batteries are available on Amazon for ~$2 each. I've also noticed that the gasket on the battery compartment can go bad and allow moisture in, thus corroding the contacts. Make sure you get a good seal when you change the battery!
 

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I have two of them that are completely rotted out from 20 years ago. It's too bad they don't sell a rebuild kit for them. I agree, way to pricy for what they provide, but nothing I can find that's comparable in utility.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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As and when you guys stop getting replacements from Nicro for nothing, there is a very inexpensive fix for the motor available at Sundance Solar for all of about $9.00 (also sold a many hobby shops). It takes a little patience to install but they do work. I purchased one over two years ago and reconstructed our, then, 10 year old day-night solar vent and the unit has been whirling away day and night ever since. The thread dealing with the repairs is at http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/47138-nicro-day-night-2000-solar-vent-repair-5.html.

Good luck...
 
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Thanks guys.
Marinco which is now moved to Wi is sending a new batt.
I saw that Kwalter, the gasket was sealed in grease and the screw o'rings aren't yet... Batteries are an easy fix but if the case leaks there will be serious corrosion.
Thanks for the motor vender. Would be optimal to carry a couple spares.
Been a pleasure. Off to the boat now.
Thanks, you'll are great
 
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