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Messages - DavidM


[/quote]thanks David. Suspected i might be told to go that way. Any thoughts on a good AGM battery or brand?

I have a pair of 100 Ah AGMs in my current RV supplied by WindyNation from Amazon at $200 ea. At G31 size they are probably too big for your battery box. WN, Renogy and Weize are all good, low cost AGM brands and should have a suitable G27 size that shlould fit. All are available through Amazon.

Why go through the aggravation and expense of switching to Li If you never boondock? Replace the bad battery with a similar one, or for no maintenance switch to an AGM. Much cheaper and easier and works fine with your existing converter.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
February 04, 2023, 09:51:50 AM
I have read that the Starlink power consumption runs about 5 amps, ex snowmelt. That and other house loads can certainly run your battery down quickly.

Best to turn it off when you are not using it.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
February 03, 2023, 03:55:39 PM
Any idea of the amperage that the Starlink system only (no TV and presumably no snow to melt) is drawing.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
January 09, 2023, 05:22:13 PM
My understanding is that with the ice and snow melting feature off, the power draw isn't too bad, maybe 50 watts.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
January 09, 2023, 02:21:19 PM
Quote from: gibby on January 09, 2023, 12:39:24 PMOkay, you have peaked my interest. Going to have to check this out for up here in Canada.

I think it works fine in Canada. Some users in Anchorage, AK have reported good service there.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
January 09, 2023, 02:14:07 PM
Review this comprehensive thread started two years ago and still going strong with more than 1,000 posts.

Here is brief summary:

There are three types of Starlink service/hardware: standard- based on a fixed location, RV and mobile.

For the standard service, in some locations you may have to wait a while for more satellites to be launched to allow expansion. This policy while maybe frustrating ensures that there are sufficient satellites serving your location to get decent service. Decent service means 50+ Mbps and less than 50 ms latency. The standard physical package consists of a satellite "Dishy" and a router. You place the Dishy outside with an open view of the north sky. If the northern sky is obstructed by buildings or trees, you may not get a connection.

The standard service costs about $500 for the hardware (one time cost) and $125 +/- per month for service.

50+ Mbps will stream HD TV just fine, even with a couple of different users at the same time. Zoom also will work fine. Not sure about multi player video games. The latency is a bit slow for these I would think. FWIW the best internet connection available today is fiber optic based and has as much as 500 Mbps and <10 ms latency. To put that into perspective, I started my computer communications with a 300 bps dial up modem, a million times slower, but it also had a microprocessor and disk drive that were equally slow. But FWIW, it blew my mind when I wrote a short Basic program with my new Apple II that spit out the square roots of all numbers between 1 and 100 in a second or so.

The RV service uses the same hardware, but it allows you to try to connect anywhere and you don't have to wait as above. Usually (maybe always) it works, but as Chappy discovered the speed may be a bit slow, but that is all relative- see above. The RV service can be started or stopped any month and restarted later. The cost is the same for the dish but about $150/mo for the service.

The RV service plan can be used at home, but if you are in a high user density area, your speed may be slow and you are not guaranteed 50 Mbps.

The mobile service is the newest and it works on any moving platform: RV, truck, boat and at speed. But it requires a larger and much more expensive antenna- several thousand $.

And FWIW, it won't work for us. We always camp in rustic, forested campgrounds and unless you have a good view of the northern sky it won't connect.

Frankly, I am having a hard time seeing how it will all work out financially for Starlink when all satellites are launched. Right now I am guessing that Starlink has launched about 25% of their final satellite count which is projected to hit 10,000+. In some areas of the NE US you have to wait as much as a year for Starlink to allow you to connect with standard service. I just don't see how they can serve enough customers to pay for the billions they have spent and will spend. Maybe future satellites will be able to serve more customers per satellite. Time will tell.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
January 05, 2023, 11:05:40 PM
Those are very nice speeds.

Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
January 02, 2023, 04:12:43 PM
Speed is rated as down and up (up is often slower but a fast speed isn't so important in up) in Mbps- millions of bits per second. Latency or Ping is the time in milliseconds to send the first bit from your device to the satellite (or maybe back down to the ground station) and back.

It takes about 5 Mbs to stream an HD movie, so two separate devices streaming movies simultaneously could cause problems with that speed. 36 ms latency is ok, high speed cable is usually under 20. High altitude satellites such as Hughes have more than 100 ms latency which may cause problems.

I would have expected faster than about 9 Mbps. Since you on the RV plan it has low priority so may get slowed down in dense population areas.


Camping General Discussions / Re: Starlink
January 01, 2023, 01:34:11 PM
Lots of good things have been written about Starlink on both boating and RV forums. Sounds perfect for your forthcoming KW stay. But let us know how it works if you also camp in shady spots. Probably not much shade in KW though.

Member Introductions / Re: New member from Cedar Park TX
November 08, 2022, 10:11:23 AM
If you are thinking about powering your A/C with batteries and solar, here are some thoughts:

Consider replacing your existing A/C of about 10,000 btu/hr with a DC A/C of about 5-6,000 btu/hr. Not only will direct DC be more efficient than DC and an inverter to make AC, the smaller A/C unit will draw less power.

There are a few DC rooftop A/C units on the market, mostly for truck cabs. Here is one by BCool: It uses 60 amps DC (about 700 watts) to make about 5,500 btu/hr of cooling. That should be adequate for sleeping when the sun is down, but probably won't keep you cool during a hot sunny day. But don't worry, you will have trouble fitting enough panels for nighttime use, much less daytime as well.

Assuming that the BCool unit cycles at 50% during an 8 hour night, plus an hour at 100% to cool the interior down before bedtime, it will use 300 amp hours. That will take at least 400 amp hours of batteries to cover that and other DC loads, presumably lithiums.

Charging them back up during the day will mean lots of solar panels. As a rule of thumb, 1,000 watts of solar panels will produce 300 amp hours on a sunny day. Fitting 1,000+ watts on a LL will be a problem. Maybe a combination of rooftop and portable panels will work.

It won't be easy or cheap. In big round numbers: $3-5,000 depending on high end or low end components for the A/C unit, batteries, solar panels and controller much less installation materials and labor.

Member Introductions / Re: New member from Cedar Park TX
November 07, 2022, 03:25:43 PM
Go to the Newsletters section. RV Squirrel and I recently published a comprehensive article in the current newsletter about adding lithium batteries and solar panels to his LL. Also look at previous Newsletters about other solar systems including one on portable panels by Merlin.

Our moderator Paul should be able to help you with site access problems. PM him for help.

Camplite and Bearcat Travel Trailers / Re: frame
November 03, 2022, 11:16:33 PM
Yep, it's cracked. Inspect all welds for similar cracking. Then find a good aluminum welding shop to fix them.

It is rather late to be making reservations for a Florida campsite this winter. Look for  state parks that have no hookups which will weed out the full timers that fill Florida up in the winter. The Allstays app for iOS is great for finding campgrounds.

Starting with your last question: 12V TVs are hard to find. They all run on DC internally and many have a brick that you plug in and it converts the power to DC but usually at 18-21 volts, not the 12V that would let you run the TV directly from your batteries.

But inverters aren't that inefficient. How big is yours in watts? Take that value and divide by 12 and that will give you the approximate amperage it needs to run it at full output. But you probably won't run it anywhere near full output. A 30" TV needs 100 watts or less or 8 amps at 12V DC. Here is a quick table of wire size vs amperage for a 10' run:

5 amps #14
10 amps #12
15 amps #10
20 amps #8