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Old 06-11-2007, 11:53   #31
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My blue sky died after I loosened a hose on the bilge pump and a couple of drops iof salt water hit the controller. I immediately wiped it off, srayed it with WD40, and dried it. Afterwards, it seemed to tranfer the input current but not boost it-- I smelled burning electronics, and it had fried a current limiting resistor. A friend who is an electronics designer/installer said that the Blue Sky is a very sophisticated microprocessor based system and is pretty delicate. He also said WD40 was not the thing to use--just lots of fresh water and a thorough drying.

If I was Blue Sky, I would say that the conditions of the warranty were not met, so I am out of luck there. Rather than throwing more money at the Blue Sky, I just re-installed the old (well potted) controller. If I was going to buy another Blue Sky, I would also buy the optional case, mount the unit somewhere less vulnerable to moisture, and carry a backup controller. Warranty or no warranty, the current design is too delicate for my boat.
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Old 06-11-2007, 13:45   #32
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Battery Monitor Report ~ Practical Sailor (2004)
We recommend two CruzPro units and the Link 10. For simple amps and voltage data, the Microlog is a smart lower-cost choice.
Goto: http://www.micromediaplus.com/Batter..._Practical.pdf

Conformal coatings are materials applied in thin layers (typically a few mils or a fraction of a mm) onto printed circuits or other electronic substrates. They provide environmental and mechanical protection to significantly extend the life of the components and circuitry. Conformal coatings are traditionally applied by dipping, spraying or simple flow coating, and increasingly by select coating or robotic dispensing.
Conformal coatings protect electronic printed circuit boards from moisture and contaminants, preventing short circuits and corrosion of conductors and solder joints. They also minimize dendritic growth and the electromigration of metal between conductors. In addition, the use of conformal coatings protects circuits and components from abrasion and solvents. Stress relief is also provided, as well as protection of the insulation resistance of the circuit board.
Most conformal coatings are materials based on: acrylics, epoxies, urethanes, parxylenes or silicones.

Conformal Coating manufacturers (a good source of info'):
Humiseal division of Chase www.humiseal.com
Dexter Electronics (Hysol) www.dexelec.com
Cytec Conap Inc. www.conap.com
Dow Corning www.dowcorning.com
GE Silicones www.gesilicones.com
Loctite Electronics www.loctite.com
Quantum Silicones http://www.quantumsilicones.com/
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Old 06-11-2007, 15:04   #33
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solar regulator failures

This may get a reply or two (I have not looked into it yet) I was "told" failures occure because of overvoltage from the solar panel after the charge cutoff point of the regulator is reached as the sun input is at the least!! So this means the open circuit voltage of the panels must be concidered when buying a regulator & make sure the regulator does have the specs to handle this open circuit value on voltage input. (Just relaying the answer given to me about failures of some regulators). Has a survey been done on brands/mods of failed units??

Regards Bill Goodward
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:17   #34
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HS...here are the US warranty requirements for stores:
Written warranties on consumer products are covered by state laws and a federal law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. That law is designed to make it easier for consumers to understand and deal with warranties. It doesn?t replace state warranty laws but does add certain requirements.

The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act covers consumer products normally used for personal, family or household purposes. It doesn?t require a manufacturer or seller to give any written warranty at all. But if a written warranty is given, it must comply with the statute and with rules of the Federal Trade Commission.

For a product costing the consumer $15 or more, the written warranty must be in simple, understandable language. Also, the seller must make the terms of the warranty available to the buyer before the sale occurs. There are four ways you can comply with this requirement:
  • Clearly and conspicuously display the warranty ?in close conjunction to? the warranted product.
  • Keep copies of warranties in readily available loose-leaf binders in each department of your store.
  • Display packages so that the warranty is clearly visible to customers at the point of sale.
  • Place a notice containing the warranty near the product in a way that clearly tells prospective buyers the product to which the warranty applies.
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Old 07-11-2007, 13:19   #35
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WD-40 and electronics

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
My blue sky died after I loosened a hose on the bilge pump and a couple of drops iof salt water hit the controller. I immediately wiped it off, srayed it with WD40, and dried it. Afterwards, it seemed to tranfer the input current but not boost it-- I smelled burning electronics, and it had fried a current limiting resistor. A friend who is an electronics designer/installer said that the Blue Sky is a very sophisticated microprocessor based system and is pretty delicate. He also said WD40 was not the thing to use--just lots of fresh water and a thorough drying...
Don,

When I was having my boat commissioned, the electronics technician told me never use WD-40 on anything with a circuit board. Don't even spray the terminals of the wires leading to the device. He said that the WD-40 will creep up the inside of the wire into the circuit board and work it's way under the clear, waterproof coating of the components, which will later allow moisture to get in there and ruin them.

Who would have thought it?
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Old 07-11-2007, 14:18   #36
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"For a product costing the consumer $15 or more, "
Well that explains why my supermarket carries no warranty files, although I suppose it means the larger cuts of beef & birds damn well ought to come with something in writing.<G>
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Old 08-11-2007, 15:58   #37
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a decision at last!

Thanks for the input. I decided to go with the outback and scale back the pannel size to 170's (mainly becuse the physical size worked out better) although the tech said 4 200's would be just fine with the outback (he's using the stuff to power his home so I would hope he should know). Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 08-11-2007, 17:29   #38
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To clarify Schoonerdog's post #24: A little over a year ago I installed four Kyocera 130 watt solar panels connected to batteries through an Outback MX 60 MPPT controller. I connected the panels in series-parallel (two panels on each side of the boat in series with the two banks connected in parallel before input to the controller). That configuration has the advantage of higher voltage, which produces less line loss. The controller owner's manual says in an appendix that it can actually handle 70 amps if the owner changes the factory default value. One of the nice features of this controller is that it automatically senses the input voltage and adjusts accordingly. I really like the flexibility it provides.
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Old 13-11-2007, 07:42   #39
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The outback is a great charge controller. It specifies in the owner manual though the maximum rated solar panels that it can handle is 800 watts and the maximum amps out it should handle would be 60 amps continuous, limited by whichever is greater. Most solar installers will have you multiply the expected output of your solar panels by 125% for brief periods for safety which for an 800 watt array brings you to 82 amps when stepped down to a 12volt battery bank. For house installations people use use 24 or 48 volt battery banks which would reduce the total amperage out by 50% to 75%, so it might work fine for a home installation with 800 watts because the total amps out at peak times would be 40 in 24 volts or 20 amps in 48volts, but it might be beyond spec for 12 volts. I use the outback for stepping down 4 175 watt 24 volt panels which are hooked up in series and parallel from 48 volts (which is the most DC voltage I personally feel is safe) to 12 volts and the outbacks flexibility is wonderful for that. Remember to size your conductors correctly, which for solar panels is less than 3% loss. I had to run for my panels two lengths of 10 gauge cable (one from each set of panels) because of long runs.
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Old 14-10-2010, 21:42   #40
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xantrex

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You want the Outback controller. We have a Xantrex and the darn thing isn't marinized. After one year the display stopped working, although the controller seems to be performing fine, but I must manually check the input, output, etc. to be certain.
I have also read other prolbems with them
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Old 14-10-2010, 22:40   #41
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The Outback 60 is digital MPPT and the Blue Sky is analog. This allows the Outback to be slightly more efficient but I am not sure if it is measurable.

The outback is more versatile in its ability to allow for other sources such as wind generators to be hooked into it.

Blue Sky and Outback are both very good brands. Either one will do a good job.

Keegan
I just talked to a tech at Blue Sky today regarding some AM radio interference. He said the PWM clock operates at 35kHz. PWM is Pulse Width Modulation which is used in digital circuitry.
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