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Old 08-19-2016, 07:16 AM   #1
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Solar Panels & Charge Controllers

A set of solar panels & charge controller are in the works for us after haul out and I don't want to make the same mistake. Eg... Two sailing friends at the marina have installed panels etc. on their boats this year and appears that when ever the charge controller is " ON ", it totally chokes off their VHF radios and incl. any VHF radio ( yes ! even the masthead ) within close vicinity of their boats. Even the hand held is dead until one walks away from the boat. Their eqpt. has the CE label on it but not FCC or UL etc. and appears from poking around websites, that this is a common problem with some charge controllers yet that is not mentioned at point of purchase.

Has any one experienced such problem ? and what is the solution / brand recommendation ... ? Tx. in advance ......... FB
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:27 AM   #2
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Never even heard of that particular problem. Even after reading dozens of long threads on solar and dozens more articles that never mention it either.

No problems at all with my Renology panels and cheap controller from Amazon.

After searching for this issue and reading up a bit on it, it doesn't sound very common, but if it happens, sounds like a pain to resolve if a different controller doesn't fix it right away.

I wouldn't be hesitant to install solar, just try the all the suggestions up front while installing the system instead of waiting for the issue.

Fortunately my setup is OK, hope my 2 new panels this year don't become a problem.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:48 AM   #3
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We use a Trace and it does not have this problem.

What ever you buy be sure it will easily allow you to set the charge top voltage and the float voltage.

Cruising you will be wanting all you can get to fill from 85% or 90% up to 100% full charge.

When NOT cruising you will want the charge and float V much lower to not use as much water.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:00 AM   #4
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I have a Morningstar TS-MPPT-45 Tristar 45 Amp MPPT Charge Controller that is mounted three feet from my bridge radio. The power output cables run withing inches of the radio. I haven't had any issues with the radios on the boat.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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He should make sure the controller and panels are properly grounded.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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I had solar panels and a controller on my cruising sailboat. Absolutely no problems. While down in the islands, most sailboats had solar panels and I never heard of any type of problem like you described. I can only guess that somehow those owners made a basic wiring error. If you install your new system following approved wiring practices you should be fine.

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Old 08-19-2016, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex Sailor View Post
A set of solar panels & charge controller are in the works for us after haul out and I don't want to make the same mistake. Eg... Two sailing friends at the marina have installed panels etc. on their boats this year and appears that when ever the charge controller is " ON ", it totally chokes off their VHF radios and incl. any VHF radio ( yes ! even the masthead ) within close vicinity of their boats. Even the hand held is dead until one walks away from the boat. Their eqpt. has the CE label on it but not FCC or UL etc. and appears from poking around websites, that this is a common problem with some charge controllers yet that is not mentioned at point of purchase.

Has any one experienced such problem ? and what is the solution / brand recommendation ... ? Tx. in advance ......... FB

You say two boats? Same marina? Wonder if the same person installed both systems?
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:11 PM   #8
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Find out what they bought, same controller for each?? Don,t buy those controllers. Most boats have no problems such as you describe.
Either it,s a poor installation or it,s a poor controller.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:26 PM   #9
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Find out what they bought, same controller for each?? Don,t buy those controllers. Most boats have no problems such as you describe.
Either it,s a poor installation or it,s a poor controller.

They are both the same make. I don't think it's an installation issue, there was a harness provided so there is nothing to go wrong. Of note: one guy is a chemical engineer and the other is a electrical techie type as well so that thought seems redundant. I too had solar panels on my previous sail boat with no issues. This is RFI, plain and simple ! The mfg. told them to shield this thing ... LOL ( very minor reduction only ) but that is BS ! as this product should not be sold if it produces RFI or the CE compliance label on the equipment was bogus as is the case with a lot of Chinese products.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:42 PM   #10
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It is not uncommon for electrical or electronic devices to produce electrical interference with other electronic devices. I installed some LED lights that interfered with certain TV channels. My chart plotter interferes with one channel on my VHF.


I've seen battery chargers interfere with AM/FM radios. I have a bass guitar amplifier that interferes with wireless microphones and wireless guitar systems (but it's a great amplifier).


Have these people contacted the manufacturer of their equipment for help?


I suggest either buying another brand or buying a system with installation from a reputable dealer. If you do that, you will have someone to complain to and someone responsible for dealing with any problems.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:17 PM   #11
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I have a Ham shack with four VHF radio's, a scanner, a HF radio, a TV and a stereo system in my man cave and two Morningstar 30 Amp charge controller as well as an 1800 Watt inverter. They are all within 10 feet of each other and I have zero interference from anything. No birdies, no static, nothing.

Make certain the coax shield is properly connected.
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:32 PM   #12
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Had me worried ther for a min
Just completed install 780 watts Kyocera and Morningstar mppt 60 controller
Running now @ 485 watts local time 4:30pm
Radio check ok no problems
The wire harness the sent was 2 pair but as I was stripping noticed it was twisted pair not the normal 2 conductor wiring.
Don't know if that makes a difference or not but no problems here.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:30 PM   #13
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My advice. Do not cut costs on your solar controller. A cheap one will cook your batteries. Been there, done that.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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Hope I have no issues, 9 x 250w Jinko's through a MidNite classic 150 mppt going up next week sometime.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:57 PM   #15
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As other have said, just stick with a reputable brand controller, and if in doubt, ask for the FCC ID number. It's illegal to sell an electronics product in the US without FCC class A or B certification, and the cert number on the product. But of course that doesn't stop many people from doing it anyway. LED lights are a good example.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:23 AM   #16
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I got what I consider a rather inexpensive charge controller brand of Sainsonic through Amazon. I bought this particular one because it does dual banks which works best for the way I have my batteries wired. I've had no problem at all with the controller affecting radios, etc. It actually has a setting to change the internal frequency in case it does affect other electronics, but I never had to change it.

Ken
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:02 PM   #17
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Hope I have no issues, 9 x 250w Jinko's through a MidNite classic 150 mppt going up next week sometime.
And they are up.
Tomorrow leccy comes back to connect

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Old 08-27-2016, 04:25 PM   #18
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Wow! that is is a nice setup. How big are your battery banks?
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:50 PM   #19
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8 x 220ah 12v batts so 880ah @ 24v
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:07 PM   #20
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Nice
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