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Old 01-14-2022, 03:37 PM   #1
kmack
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Default Putting power in the blind - ideas?

For those that have added 12V battery power with a solar panel to your blinds, was it pretty straightforward? Easy? How'd ya do it?

I'm looking to add some simple LED light strips & 12V charging power in a current single blind, and also in a future blind to be build this year.

I'm looking for some ideas.

From a simple standpoint, I figure, decent-sized 12V battery, solar charger, hook it up to lights, and one or two USB ports for charging stuff.
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:45 PM   #2
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I have a 12v feeder battery/panel set up I got a cigarette lighter plug/USB charger and fan from a auto parts store to wire it I run the fan and charge phone by on it
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:59 PM   #3
kmack
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I was kind of thinking of adding something along these lines:

Linkstyle 4 in 1 Charger Socket Panel





Although, it would be nice if the USB ports had higher Amp ratings.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:31 PM   #4
Kong
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I have a 100-150 watt panels on top of the blinds with marine deep cycle batteries under them hooked up to solar chargers and I have interior lights, usb charging ports as well as green off-road LED lights mounted to the outside of a few of them hooked up to dimmer switches so we can pig hunt at night. It’s simple straight forward stuff and if your simply wanting an interior light with a charging port or two you can get by with much less. All you would need for that is a 25-50 watt panel and a small lawn mower sized battery and a $10 solar charger, I’ve got 2 stands that have ran this way for 6 years now and the batteries are still going strong.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:38 PM   #5
ShoootLow
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We have to replace batteries every year. They donít get enough regular discharge, and even using a controller it seems like it kills the batteries over time. We have marine terminals like pictured, USB for fans, phone chargers, and lights. In the end itís easier to bring a larger portable battery bank that will make it through two hunts and charge it overnight.
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:43 PM   #6
Kong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoootLow View Post
We have to replace batteries every year. They donít get enough regular discharge, and even using a controller it seems like it kills the batteries over time. We have marine terminals like pictured, USB for fans, phone chargers, and lights. In the end itís easier to bring a larger portable battery bank that will make it through two hunts and charge it overnight.
You have an issue somewhere, Iíve got 8 blinds with power and I havnt replaced a battery in 5 plus years. It sounds like your solar chargers arenít working properly to me but Iíve never had an issue unless someone left lights on and then they charged right back up after they were turned off.
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:19 PM   #7
Leddy
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Default Used same plate

Here is what i did with same front plate as you are considering. I just ran to solar panel on outside of the Blind.

Pretty sure I used someoneís idea off here but canít remember.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:47 AM   #8
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^^ Looks good!
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Old 01-18-2022, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leddy View Post
Here is what i did with same front plate as you are considering. I just ran to solar panel on outside of the Blind.

Pretty sure I used someoneís idea off here but canít remember.

Mine are similar to that except I used the plastic ammo boxes you can get from Academy. Make sure you have a controller. My batteries are going on their 4th year. Iíll try to dig up a picture.


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Old 01-18-2022, 08:56 PM   #10
Smart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDFWU View Post
Mine are similar to that except I used the plastic ammo boxes you can get from Academy. Make sure you have a controller. My batteries are going on their 4th year. Iíll try to dig up a picture.


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How about a link to said or similar controller as well?
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Old 01-19-2022, 07:18 AM   #11
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Default Putting power in the blind - ideas?

Sorry to hijack op Ö.

Is this similar to what you folks with controllers are using? I have two blinds with 12v feeder batteries and similar solar panels and they donít draw unless I have my cell booster hooked up to them Öand depending on what blind Iím hunting for a specific deer that could be 0-20 times a year in a 3 month periodÖ. I burned up one battery in 1.5 years so I stopped keeping them hooked up unless I was there. Wanted something I could hook up in September and disconnect in January and not worry about damage to a battery due to non-use.

Renogy 10 Amp 12V/24V PWM Negative Ground Solar Charge Controller Compact Design w/LCD Display for AGM, Gel, Flooded and Lithium Battery, Wanderer 10A https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NPDWZJ7...8TS21QK0JH7TEZ

Last edited by Smart; 01-19-2022 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 01-19-2022, 07:26 AM   #12
kmack
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No worries about the hijack! I put this out there as a sounding board for ideas.

On the issue about controllers, I thought it wasn't necessary to use a solar panel charge controller if the system itself was under a certain number of Amps, like say a feeder battery, be it 6V or 12V. I read that some where, but I don't remeber what the total was.

Now, I did see something last night about using a diode in the wiring from the solar panel to the battery, so that the battery doesn't back-feed the solar panel at night. I think this was a problem I had with a 6V feeder setup last year. The battery lasted 1.5 months on the solar panel, but lasted almost 3 months w/o the panel.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:10 AM   #13
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I know NOTHING about electricity but built a nice 6 x 6 stand and installed a system earlier this year. Only been going 5 months but has worked great. Probably oversized but runs a charging system for phones or lights. I also have a DVD player in there but don't really use it. The best thing it runs is a small 12 volt ceiling fan! Don't think I've ever seen it posted on tbh but it's a game changer on hot days! I meant to do a build thread and share all this but didn't.

Please don't take anything I did as the "right" advice because I really don't have a clue about this stuff but its what I did. Here's the links to what I used. I can get some pics this weekend if anybody wants to see them.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07GY...b_b_asin_title

https://www.amazon.com/your-orders/p...ntId=UHHsxXDvM

https://www.amazon.com/SUNSUL-Mainta...bap_m_rp_26_sc

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Ceil...s%2C138&sr=8-4
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:17 AM   #14
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Forgot to list but I got the smallest lawn mower Battery from Walmart. Not sure how long it will last but doing great so far.

One other thing I would probably not use the led light strips I listed or get a smaller version. They are just too bright! The little controller box has a light on it the glows enough for me to see when I get in the stand in the morning so I don't use them.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:26 AM   #15
kruppa24
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Man that’s cool idea. May have to add this setup to my blind
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:27 AM   #16
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Great stuff, doug. Please post pictures when you can. Thank you!
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmack View Post
No worries about the hijack! I put this out there as a sounding board for ideas.

On the issue about controllers, I thought it wasn't necessary to use a solar panel charge controller if the system itself was under a certain number of Amps, like say a feeder battery, be it 6V or 12V. I read that some where, but I don't remeber what the total was.

Now, I did see something last night about using a diode in the wiring from the solar panel to the battery, so that the battery doesn't back-feed the solar panel at night. I think this was a problem I had with a 6V feeder setup last year. The battery lasted 1.5 months on the solar panel, but lasted almost 3 months w/o the panel.

Iím wondering if this was our problem. I assumed it was due to lack of draw. We could try changing our solar panel also, not sure if weíve tested it.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:40 AM   #18
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I'll be there this weekend and take some pictures. It has really worked well for me so far.

Just want to say again though I know NOTHING about this stuff. It may be a pile of ashes when I get there this weekend.
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:48 AM   #19
warrington
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we have it in all ours

solar panel
regulator
inverter
marine battery
multiplug extension cord
electric antenna
tv
fan
light
beer
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Old 01-19-2022, 09:59 AM   #20
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:37 AM   #21
kmack
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^^ What size battery and inverter do you have to have to power all that stuff?

I like that ceiling fan idea...a LOT!!!

Last edited by kmack; 01-19-2022 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-19-2022, 11:41 AM   #22
Kong
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I’m glad I’m not the only one that likes power, lights, fans and options. I also use the power to run the fans on the Big Buddy heaters. Night and day difference in how the heaters work.

On a side note I do have 3 way switches installed for the lights above the ladders going into the elevated blinds so we can turn the lights on either from the ground or getting out of the blind from the top in the evenings. Nothing better than not having to hold a flashlight going up and down a 12’ ladder
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Old 01-27-2022, 04:07 PM   #23
davidpark06
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Hopefully I can find the time to put power in my blind this year
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:37 PM   #24
kmack
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I'm working on a parts list. I'll post up what I end up with once I get things in and built.
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Old 01-28-2022, 01:49 AM   #25
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I know of a fella that actually had a separate little shed built away from his blind and it housed a small Honda generator. From there it was conduit to the stand.
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Old 01-28-2022, 04:05 AM   #26
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https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=604803
This is a blind I built a while back. See post #29
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:40 AM   #27
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This post is going to have some duplicate info from my DIY Solar Panel thread, so if y’all want more in depth info, take an hour or two and read it.


1. Not all solar charge controllers are made the same.

I’ve personally seen a cheap solar charge controller work the first time you hook it up, but after the sun went down it would turn off. In order to turn back on again the next morning you had to manually reset it, every day. Buy a name brand charge controller and this won’t be an issue. Some el cheapo charge controllers can also use more power than it puts into the battery, especially if you are using a small solar panel. Once again, a name brand charge controller will prevent this from happening. For a small setup, a PWM charge controller is perfectly fine.

2. Don’t worry about adding diodes. All modern solar panels have diodes built in to them now.

3. Add a fuse!! Even a small feeder battery can put out enough current to start a fire if a short were to ever occur, and a short cab be caused from something other than the work that you did(faulty/defective electronics can cause a short).

4. Don’t skimp out and buy cheap wire. There are 2 types of wire that are available for wiring up these systems. CCA and OFC. CCA is copper clad aluminum that is cheap but has a higher internal resistance than OFC wire, and from my experience CCA wire tends to corrode quicker. OFC is oxygen free copper and is a much higher quality wire that will last longer.

5. When buying LED lights, don’t buy the LED lights that need to be plugged in to a 120 volt AC outlet. Buy 12v LED lights. As already pointed out, LED light strips can be VERY bright!! My preference if you want a normal light is to buy 12v RV LED ceiling lights. If you want colored lights, look at water proof 6” to 12” light strips. These can be placed strategically throughout the blind without sacrificing your vision in low light situations the way normal lights can.

6. When picking out a solar panel, as long as you are using a charge controller, it’s better to go bigger than what you think you need. You never hear anyone complain that the solar panel they installed puts out too much power, but quit frequently you do hear people complain that the solar panel won’t keep their batteries charged.

7. The same goes for batteries. Go with a bigger battery setup than what you think you need. Keep this in mind too. Batteries are typically rated in amp per hour. What this means is a battery can put out X amount of amps over a 20 hour period. So, a 20 amp/hr rated battery is rated to put out 1 amp of current non-stop for 20 hours. However, if you run a lead acid, flooded, or AGM battery down this low then you are going to do damage to the battery! As a rule of thumb, you have to decrease these battery’s capacity by half if you want them to last! So a 20 amp/hr battery can realistically put out only 1/2 an amp for 20 hours straight if you want the battery to last. I know that, typically, lights will only be run for 3-4 hours a day tops. But, you also have to keep in mind that sometimes it can be cloudy for several days straight during hunting season so the solar panel might not get a chance to recharge the battery during that time. Now with lithium batteries, you can use it’s rated capacity without doing any damage to the battery. The only downfall to lithium batteries is they can’t be recharged when their internal temperature is below freezing without doing damage. They can be discharged while below freezing though. Good lithium batteries do have low temperature protection built in that prevents charging from occurring while the internal temperature is below freezing.


Hope this helps.

Last edited by 91cavgt; 01-28-2022 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 01-31-2022, 03:27 AM   #28
JES
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
Sorry to hijack op ….

Is this similar to what you folks with controllers are using? I have two blinds with 12v feeder batteries and similar solar panels and they don’t draw unless I have my cell booster hooked up to them …and depending on what blind I’m hunting for a specific deer that could be 0-20 times a year in a 3 month period…. I burned up one battery in 1.5 years so I stopped keeping them hooked up unless I was there. Wanted something I could hook up in September and disconnect in January and not worry about damage to a battery due to non-use.

Renogy 10 Amp 12V/24V PWM Negative Ground Solar Charge Controller Compact Design w/LCD Display for AGM, Gel, Flooded and Lithium Battery, Wanderer 10A https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NPDWZJ7...8TS21QK0JH7TEZ
The controller you posted looks oretty good, would be good for a blind power supply, I like the USB ports it provides.

This is the controller I am using on several of my solar panels, seems to be working fine. I wanted a small waterproof option to fit inside my feeder boxes. I also use it for a 12V light set up in my wife’s chicken yard. They have been in service for over a year, will be two years this May, and are working great still.

5A Waterproof Solar Charge Controller 6V/12V Auto, 5 amp Solar Panel Charging Regulator IP67 Waterproof 24Hours Load on for Lead-Acid (AGM Gel Seal Flooded) Battery https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XTQ76WW...ing=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by JES; 01-31-2022 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:01 AM   #29
Smart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JES View Post
The controller you posted looks oretty good, would be good for a blind power supply, I like the USB ports it provides.

This is the controller I am using on several of my solar panels, seems to be working fine. I wanted a small waterproof option to fit inside my feeder boxes. I also use it for a 12V light set up in my wifeís chicken yard. They have been in service for over a year, will be two years this May, and are working great still.

5A Waterproof Solar Charge Controller 6V/12V Auto, 5 amp Solar Panel Charging Regulator IP67 Waterproof 24Hours Load on for Lead-Acid (AGM Gel Seal Flooded) Battery https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XTQ76WW...ing=UTF8&psc=1

Thank you for the info! Appreciate it!
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Old 02-07-2022, 05:41 PM   #30
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I like the 12v ceiling fan idea.
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Old 02-07-2022, 06:22 PM   #31
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I have not read all the comments, but I would recommend a lithium battery. Bass pro sells a nice battery made by Relion branded Tracker if you want to stay mainstream. For less you can buy an off brand from amazon for about $300. During the off season you can use the battery for all kinds of stuff, tailgaits, trolling motor, backup bettery for jump start etc.
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Old 02-07-2022, 10:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warrington View Post



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Oh man this is great.

I get way too loud watching sports. I'd never see any game!
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Old 04-06-2022, 02:03 PM   #33
kdm015
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what size blind do you have to fit 2 kiddos in there? building my first box blind this year
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Old 04-06-2022, 03:12 PM   #34
warrington
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5x10

If you are bringing the family I would recommend it or a 6x8. 6x8 is better for material but a 5x10 I can swing from front to back with out moving my chair. I put a horse mat from tractor supply on the floor to deaden the sound of the chairs and kids dropping things
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Old 04-15-2022, 09:39 AM   #35
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Good stuff here. I need to do something similar, but I just want a ceiling fan. Hunting in SETX theres probably only a handful of days it wouldn’t get used!
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