my 12 volt setup

ok so one of the main reasons for writing this blog is to show how easy it is to go 12 volt and to encourage other people to do the same, since i experienced a lot of feelings like being scared to play with electrics, or feeling stupid, or thinking it wouldn’t be possible. but i am still here and have not blown myself up. yet.

so i thought a photo tour might help. by the way as you will notice, i have not cleaned up beforehand, this is the REAL DEAL… but i will be cleaning up after the photoshoot, since doing this and seeing it with fresh eyes helps me notice that it is a bit of a mess!!

above – solar panel

so first things first,the solar panel is hooked up on the outside of the house. most people put the panel on the roof to keep it out of the way and to avoid shadow. for me, after watching how the sun behaved for the best part of a week, it seemed like the angle of the light hitting the panel would be better if it was on the front of the building. since we have a corrugated metal roof that also solved the problem of how to fix it to the roof! also it could be a problem that the roof gets warm in summer. and as a final point, it’s easier to clean where it is now.

when i put the panel up, the trees had no leaves, but as hoped, the sun now moves higher inthe sky and thus there is still no shadow on the panel. and miraculously the screws have held and the panel is still there. it got a good thrashing from the storm the other night and i repeat, it’s still there… i never have faith in my constructions.

above – panel guardian hard at work.

above – cables come in and go out

so here we see the two cables from the panel coming in through the wall and down to the regulator (plus there’s cabling for the lights)

above spaghetti

here’s the mess – i need to get a DV fuseboard and have all the cables going through it, this is a test setup. and im happy to say everything works. you don’t need to worry about shocks so much with DC (although a battery is a powerful thing and you are warned not to wear metal jewellery or watches when hooking up cables to a battery in case you conduct and the metal becomes hot), the concern is more high amp release whch could melt cable plastic and cause fires. thus we have a fuse on the positive cable coming in from the solar, as close to the regulator as possible. do research this bit, i’m not expert and i spent days reading this up. it’s good to be careful.

above fuse

above regulator

the panel inputs into the regulator, which controls the charge to the battery. so you have the positive and neagtive cables coming in from the panel on the left, the two cables going out to the battery in the middle and on the right two empty spaces where a lamp could be fitted. there’s also a DC out and a 5v standard usb socket, which i find really handy. this is powered off the battery not the panels.

above – battery close up

so here’s battery, with cables hooked up going to LED light fittings




and then another crocodile clip pair going to the inverter

above the inverter

the inverter converts DC to AC, so i can charge my laptop and run the macbook, photos below



one final thing – a car amplifier (which goes nice and loud) is hooked up on the side there, for music (although most of the time i use the minirig)

above car amp

and here’s some more fotos…

above a wired in voltmeter

above the little 2000mAh battery packs i use to charge my fone at night

above the LED lights

above the full setup

so that’s the setup, nice huh? but messy but hey. why should i clean up my 12 volt system when the world’s in such a mess?


all of these pages are my own views. i urge you to do your research and hold no responsibility for any accident which may occur. you are on your own! just like me! but having said that, good luck, this is neither rocket science nor brain surgery and if i can figure it out, you can too. also squat the world and bring on the full communism.


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