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Old 07-29-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Dutch Star Solar Indicator Light

Well.....mine has burned out for the second time in 17 months, so I gave up on replacing the LED. I bought a digital volt meter (1" x 1/2") for another project and never used it. Today, I just clipped the wires off of the old solar indicator (small circuit board behind round dash cover) and soldered on the digital unit. I enlarged the hole and popped in the digital meter.

I know this isn't a big deal, but that solar light not working makes anal twits like me crazy. The voltage goes up and down with the sun. At least I'll know it's still working.

If you haven't handled the OEM unit, it has a small circuit board, (1"x 3/4" with three resistors. During daylight hours, those resistors are too hot to hold onto. I think their close proximity to the LED could be shortening the LED life. The new digital gauge was under $10.00 on Amazon. Hopefully it will last more than 8-9 months.

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Old 07-29-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Nothing anal , about wanting everything working right, right !

Nice install; can you remember where you bought the display?
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:40 PM   #3
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This is the model I bought on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/DROK-Waterproo...lt+meter+green

They have quite a selection and come in red, blue and green. Just make sure you get one that goes to the lowest voltage possible. The above goes from 2.7 - 30 volts. Obviously, it's not telling how many amps are being placed back into your batteries, but it gives you an idea that everything is working. It even went up a smidge when I cleaned the dirt off of the panel.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
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Don,
Please let me know when you are thinking of a new coach. I can't think of a better used rig to buy than yours.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:53 PM   #5
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Another add to your MOD's in QT's # 3, never had a problem with mine must be a DP problem not hot enough with engine under you.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
Don,
Please let me know when you are thinking of a new coach. I can't think of a better used rig to buy than yours.
Canadian dollar , better be in good shape at that time , or you'd need to be a member of the Canadian Senate to afford it.
Sounds like a legitimate expense to me.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:22 PM   #7
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What a great tip! Just ordered mine.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:52 AM   #8
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Oh me likely!

I will have been contemplating adding another panel and that mini volt meter would be a great add to the dash. I like that it is led and not lcd.


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Old 07-30-2015, 11:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Canadian dollar , better be in good shape at that time , or you'd need to be a member of the Canadian Senate to afford it.
Sounds like a legitimate expense to me.
Ya, and by the time the dollar improves, they will have abolished the senate. Looks like me and my old DS are in it for the long haul.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:53 PM   #10
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Dennis with all the work you had done in your coach I would be happy to just live with that, some good work was done.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:10 AM   #11
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Great idea. I replaced my light and it still doesn't work. What did you use to prevent the solar panel from draining the battery at night?
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:18 PM   #12
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I ordered the digital meter from Amazon at the link above and installed it this weekend. I left the old indicator and installed the new meter it in an empty slot on my dash. Fit perfect although it's sideways.

The old solar indicator is connected with two molex plugs. I happen to have a molex crimping tool so I simply connected the digital meter to the existing wire and recrimped. See pic of installed meter. Meter is showing 14.1 in the pic, which doesn't show up very well in the pic.

Question. The solar panel on the roof isn't much bigger than a piece of notebook paper. Would installing an amp meter be useful? Kind of wonder how much charging it's actually doing.
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:40 AM   #13
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Hi Pexring,
The roof top solar panel is rated at 5 WATTS. If you install an AMP meter it needs to measure very small amounts of current. 1/2 AMP and less.
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Old 08-16-2015, 06:53 AM   #14
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I am just wondering if the wiring harness of the original 5watt panel could accommodate some larger? Like a 55w?

I am strongly considering beefing up the solar system.


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