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Old 04-08-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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Zamp solar feedback?

Wondering if anyone has some firsthand experience with a Zamp solar system? I've been looking after a different manufacturer's system, but they're having supply issues, and frankly their system is a little more than I want to spend right now.

I've seen a few 60W Zamp systems available (previously offered only through Costco I believe), thought the 80W is probably a better match given my usage in my teardrop.


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Herb
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

I bought a 100 watt system from these folks:

http://stores.ebay.com/Renogy-Solar?_tr ... 7675.l2563

and so far am very happy with the quality and function. I added legs from Al angle to make it free standing. I'm guessing a more sophisticated charge controller might not be a bad idea in the long run but even factoring the cost of that, the system is still very reasonable.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

I have an 80 watt portable panel which I use in addition to stock 130 on roof.

Overall quality is good.

I created a "plug" on my passenger side rail/step, behind double doors. When camping I can just plug in the unit.

Let me know if specific questions.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

Our experience is good, we think. Search the forum for other threads on Zamp to see the tale of our warranty work and SMB install. However, the unit wasn't working last weekend. Will have to determine whether the problem we had with the SMB connection resurfaced or if it's the panel.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rionapo
Our experience is good, we think. Search the forum for other threads on Zamp to see the tale of our warranty work and SMB install. However, the unit wasn't working last weekend. Will have to determine whether the problem we had with the SMB connection resurfaced or if it's the panel.
I had seen your thread, but chalked your situation up to an SMB wiring installation issue, and not with the Zamp unit itself. I'm interested to see what's going on.


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Old 05-06-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

I've called John & Steve at Zamp and they've been very helpful. Were having the Fresno factory put in the controller and 2 connectors top and rear of vehicle.

Zamp is releasing a 150 watt foldable portable panel without the controller attached for tying into RV's with controller. Were also considering the 200 watt, and just wire clips to bypass the controller or use with mounted controller if on another system.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

Update: Spoke with Zamp Solar again and they plan to release many different sizes of their portables with or without the controller. Stay tuned.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
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Re: Zamp solar feedback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rionapo
Our experience is good, we think. Search the forum for other threads on Zamp to see the tale of our warranty work and SMB install. However, the unit wasn't working last weekend. Will have to determine whether the problem we had with the SMB connection resurfaced or if it's the panel.
An update on our situation: When we had the external PV hookup worked on last year, we found that SMB's ground cable wasn't connected at the plug. The mechanic found the detached cable and reattached it. (SMB-West reimbursed us for the work.) The panel still didn't seem to work but winter was upon us so we set the matter aside, probably a mistake on our part but I was hesitant to pay the money for more work on the system. However, we're back in camping season and need the additional power for shade camping so I bit the bullet to pay for more repair work.*

The problem was the SMB-West installation for the external plug. SMB's ground wire that*the mechanic connected last year*had three short sections of wiring through harness. The splices failed, so we didn't have functional grounding. We are now the proud owners of a single length of wire through the wiring harness and the external PV works.

At first, I thought the Zamp unit was still failing because the mechanic said it was only producing 2 amps of power with the SMB parked in his garage and out of the sun. However, Mike at Zamp told me this morning the controller drops to 2 amps anytime the battery is charged, which it was yesterday at the mechanic's. I ran a vacuum cleaner with the inverter for a few seconds to discharge the battery, plugged the Zamp unit in (while the rooftop unit isn't working because we're parked under a carport), and watched the battery voltage gauge climb right back up to operating levels. FWIW, Mike told me that if the unit wasn't working to send it to him and he'd fix it. Zamp continues to impress. We'll see what SMB-W says about our latest expense.
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