Author Topic: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS  (Read 1362 times)

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Offline LABob

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Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« on: April 03, 2013, 02:06:56 PM »
I have the Davis 6163 with 24-hour FARS. I was thinking that when the time came to replace the batteries in the FARS (or perhaps before if the itch to tinker grows irresistable) I would throw in some NiMH batteries instead of NiCd. NiMH batteries are more robust in terms of voltage, current, capacity, and lack the charge memory issues of NiCd. To accommodate the larger capacity of NiMH I though of changing the SIM cover to the double-solar panel version and wiring the second panel to provide extra power to the FARS.

Has anybody else tinkered with this or a similar setup?

Offline belfryboy

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 04:21:35 PM »
I refurbed my 24Hr FARS with NiMH cells, it seems to be working well, even with the short days and poor light of the past few weeks.

Offline LABob

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 04:31:06 PM »
That's good to hear. I figured there's no real way for the charging circuit to "know" that it isn't dealing with NiCd batteries since the voltages are the same, and I also figure the charging current is way too low to ever damage NiMH cells even if it they got full and the panels kept supplying power.

Offline LABob

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2018, 08:26:26 AM »
This is an ancient thread, but I wanted to report that my ISS is still using the original Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries (in C spacers) that I installed shortly after this discussion and there have been no issues. The fan runs 24 hours as expected. I did not get around to installing the double-solar ISS cover, though. I thought it was worth pointing out that these batteries have lasted almost 5 years without issue and I have no reason to believe they are near the end of their useful life yet.

Offline azchrisf

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 09:42:42 AM »
If I was going to do an upgrade I would probably abandon the sub-C cells that are in it, go for a larger solar charger, couple 26650 cells + charge controller in a project box and upgrade to the 6V fan - run 6V daytime and drop to 3.3 for nightime. Don't know if it's feasible but that's an idea I'm just throwing out.

Offline Old Tele man

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 10:44:59 AM »
Here's the reply I got from DAVIS regarding batteries:

Yes, yes and yes.  The NiMH battery is the way to go.

John Watkins

Davis Instruments Technical Support
510-732-7814
www.davisnet.com

 

From: 
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2017 4:10 PM
To: Support
Subject: FARS batteries?

Q: Is it OK to replace the NiCd 1.2Vdc / 2300mA batteries in my VP2 FARS with NiMH 1.2Vdc / 5000mA batteries? Can the existing battery voltage-regulator circuitry accommodate both the different metallurgy and the greater storage capacity?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 11:11:27 AM by Old Tele man »
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Offline LABob

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2018, 11:04:30 AM »
I've thought about it. With two 26650 cells, a fan like this one could run for 20+ hours in the dark with about 50% capacity remaining. Even in wintertime Colorado, a 9W solar panel would run that fan and charge the battery back to full in one day. If you were careful you could probably fit everything within the current ISS.

Offline WxLover16

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2018, 05:00:42 PM »
Or, you could forget all about the hassle of batteries and solar panels and just go A/C, not have to worry about anything except how much more accurate and fast responding your temps are. Win win. That's what I did since last summer and haven't looked back.
Davis Wireless VP2 SHT31 24hr 24CFM FARS

Offline CW2274

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2018, 05:23:19 PM »
Or, you could forget all about the hassle of batteries and solar panels and just go A/C, not have to worry about anything except how much more accurate and fast responding your temps are. Win win. That's what I did since last summer and haven't looked back.
Don't forget fan failures, exactly why I switched in the first place. The rest is gravy. UU

Offline jcookjr82

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2018, 05:23:38 PM »
This is an ancient thread, but I wanted to report that my ISS is still using the original Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries (in C spacers) that I installed shortly after this discussion and there have been no issues. The fan runs 24 hours as expected. I did not get around to installing the double-solar ISS cover, though. I thought it was worth pointing out that these batteries have lasted almost 5 years without issue and I have no reason to believe they are near the end of their useful life yet.

Eneloop is a solid brand. You can actually get a starter kit from Costco right now, on instant rebate. It comes with a wall charger and 12 batteries (8 AA and 4 AAA?), I believe. They advertise the ability to charge and recharge for many cycles, so I am not surprised by your experience. I have a Vantage Vue, so I do not need them, but if I ever upgrade to the VP2, I will certainly go that route.

I have some solar yard lights I have had since 2010. About half of them still work. I should check to see what brand they use. Whatever it is, they've taken a beating in the northern California climate, especially the hot summers.
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Offline LABob

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 05:25:32 PM »
Or, you could forget all about the hassle of batteries and solar panels and just go A/C, not have to worry about anything except how much more accurate and fast responding your temps are. Win win. That's what I did since last summer and haven't looked back.

I dunno. Trenching through 100' of yard, under 20' of concrete patio, and then tying in to out side power at the wall sounds like way more work to me.

Offline CW2274

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 05:38:31 PM »
Or, you could forget all about the hassle of batteries and solar panels and just go A/C, not have to worry about anything except how much more accurate and fast responding your temps are. Win win. That's what I did since last summer and haven't looked back.

I dunno. Trenching through 100' of yard, under 20' of concrete patio, and then tying in to out side power at the wall sounds like way more work to me.
Obviously not for everyone. Fortunately I'm not one of the "everyone" as it's best mod I've done, along with the 31. =D>

Offline WxLover16

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 08:25:42 PM »
Or, you could forget all about the hassle of batteries and solar panels and just go A/C, not have to worry about anything except how much more accurate and fast responding your temps are. Win win. That's what I did since last summer and haven't looked back.

I dunno. Trenching through 100' of yard, under 20' of concrete patio, and then tying in to out side power at the wall sounds like way more work to me.
Obviously not for everyone. Fortunately I'm not one of the "everyone" as it's best mod I've done, along with the 31. =D>

Same for me. I plan on taking my ISS down tomorrow for a cleaning and putting a new temperature filter on to keep my flawless readings going!
Davis Wireless VP2 SHT31 24hr 24CFM FARS

Offline CW2274

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 08:43:25 PM »
Or, you could forget all about the hassle of batteries and solar panels and just go A/C, not have to worry about anything except how much more accurate and fast responding your temps are. Win win. That's what I did since last summer and haven't looked back.

I dunno. Trenching through 100' of yard, under 20' of concrete patio, and then tying in to out side power at the wall sounds like way more work to me.
Obviously not for everyone. Fortunately I'm not one of the "everyone" as it's best mod I've done, along with the 31. =D>
putting a new temperature filter on
New? Adam, just clean the old one. It's plenty stout and takes literal seconds.

Offline azchrisf

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Re: Upgrading Batteries and Solar Panels for 24-hour FARS
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2018, 10:13:17 PM »
Was just about to say it's easily washable.

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