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Has anyone installed a MPPT controller in place of the factory Zamp controller?


John E Davies
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I am thinking about switching (when I install lithiums in a while), but I want a Victron unit, which is not flush mounted and it has no built display.

 

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I could use their app to view charging status, but I admit I like the easy to read Zamp amperage display. I like to watch it change and cheer on the panels when the sun gets brighter and the numbers go up .... well, sort of. I could live without that eye level display but... 

What do you do with the big rectangular hole in the cabinet? Flat piece of painted aluminum? Drill holes in it for extra airflow?

Would it be better to relocate the controller down with the inverter and other electrical stuff rather than mounting it up high? I tried routing some wire from top to bottom and could not figure out a way to string it through the tight gap at the wall. I would rather put it up high where the Zamp is now for ease of connecting the wires, but if it would work better elsewhere, then I am all ears.

Finally, can you post actual real world numbers for the improvement over the original setup? I have read lots of theoretical advantages, but the bottom line is HOW MANY MORE AMP/ HRS do you get with the standard Ollie array? 

If you have replaced your original unit with an MPPT one, please help.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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John,

I am early in the planning process but considering these three options.

1) Leave the ZAMP controller in place, but disconnected.
2) Remove the ZAMP and deal with the hole somehow - storage cubby?
3) Remove it and replace it with something like the Victron color control panel.

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29 minutes ago, mjrendon said:

3) Remove it and replace it with something like the Victron color control panel.

I think that’s the answer, depending on the size of the original hole. 

Though if I were doing mine today I’d opt for the separate GX unit and touch display rather than the all in one. And that display is smaller and so less likely to cover an existing hole. 

John, how about a nice two way radio in that spot?  Would that work to cover the hole?

Maybe a small tablet dedicated to the Victron app?

❄️🏈

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A small tablet is a GREAT idea, you could have picture slideshow running when you did not want to look at solar performance. How cool is that! Love it! I have an old iPad Mini 2 but I think the IOS is so old it won’t communicate with the Victron Connect app. I guess I could test it.....

I did find a very nifty $50 Victron controller remote display head that I like, but it only works with certain high end MPPT models ($500+). It is intended to plug into the rubber covered port in front, but it is a standard serial port, according to reviews, so you could easily run a cable from there and mount the display in a nice visible spot.

 

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I have decided to remotely mount the controller in the inverter bay, where there is lots of room and it is close to my new positive and negative busses. Up top at the existing Zamp controller I will simply splice together the leads from the roof panels to the existing output power leads, and not have to run cables through the wall. Easy easy.... it leaves tons of room inside for a hidden usb power supply for an iPad.

7ABA4855-9913-453E-98CA-A1AA36DEB291.thumb.jpeg.244573eef60a8e0d2ccd757e24460100.jpeg
 

Thanks for the tablet idea, I am stoked. Unfortunately the app display on my iPhone is locked in portrait and it will not rotate to landscape, so I am a little confused about how to deal with that.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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I was wrong, I got my old iPad set up and it works fine, the Victron Connect app rotates properly, whereas the phone version does not.
 

 

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The Victron app is huge, is there a way to reduce it to half size?

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
  • Like 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Figured out one way to reduce the app size, use “Split Screen”.

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You could have another utility app running (for propane level or for Garmin inReach communication Earthmate), a slide show, music, or even a web browser.😀. I think this has potential.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by John E Davies
  • Like 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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