Replacing Solar Charge Controller in Off Grid Cabin – Video

We went up to the Cabin to check it out after the winter and to try to reach this lake we had seen on Google Maps. According the google maps there were dirt roads that connected to this lake 10-12 miles from our cabin and about 9 miles past a washout I knew about. Stay tuned for the video of the quad trip coming soon. The video of day one is below.

Day 1 of 2 (stay tuned for the 2nd video!) We used 3 different cameras to shoot this weekend. Gopro HD Hero 3 Black+, JVC Addixion that I’m testing for work and a Canon Powershot Elph 320 wifi point and shoot camera.

Living off grid

The cabin finally has some window trim! Still needs some edge trim and fascias… someday. The works is much easier to do from the ground.


Cooking over the camp fire

Brent cooking up onions and chile. Food really tastes good cooked over the fire. So glad he brought his dutch oven and tripod. We used it for 6 meals, breakfast lunch and dinner.

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Heating the coffee pot with fire makes it hot… Too hot to pick up! Brent solves the problem with a piece of window trim.  Cooking over the camp fire

Justin preps the fire for cooking mode.  batteries in solar off grid cabin

I check my new battery I got from the dump. I spent all week trying to recover it and it does hold about 70% of a charge. My Optima yellow top in the picture was a gonner due to a bad switch in my solar system. It like our other 2 batteries hasn’t been getting a charge all winter. The dump battery wasn’t great but it did give us light all night.  charge controller in off grid cabin


My replacement “cheapie” charge controller. It’s a 10amp model and very simple to wire. So far I like it. I’ll tell you how it worked next time I go to the cabin. On the drive home I realized the true culprit to my solar charging problems isn’t my charge controller. It’s a breaker switch inside my solar panel combiner box. Voltage on the solar panel side reads 20 volts, after the switch it reads 3 volts. Then I thought how could a switch go bad? I don’t know but some how it seems to be limiting my current to the controller. I didn’t have time or the tools to bypass the switch to test. Next time I’ll check it out.charge controller in off grid cabin
Here’s my Xantrex C40 charge controller that I thought was bad, I’ve still seen it boil my batteries but it may not be totally bad. The jury is still out.