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Helpful ReplyHot!Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive

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carolinewoodley
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/05 12:32:29 (permalink)
Twinfan
I had Optimates for our motorbikes and they're superb, so I wouldn't buy anything else.
 
I've just ordered a 20w solar charger plus the cigarette lighter adapter to keep my GT4 in tip-top condition during the lockdown.  £135 all in which isn't cheap, however it's cheaper than a new battery and I can use the charger in the future.  I may well keep it on charge 24/7 as my car is for weekends only and lives on my drive.



Thanks Twinfan, I'm happy to spend the money if it is worth it and I know Optimate has a very good reputation, I was just wondering whether any of the cheaper alternatives were as good or not.
 
Will the cigarette lighter adapter in the glove compartment work to connect it to as I've read it has to be a socket that is always on i.e. powered without the ignition in? I don't have the "smokers' package" in my Cayman (which I think is an "always on" socket), but I don't know if the one in the glove compartment is the same.
 
Also does the solar panel work if I left it on the dash, inside the windscreen, or does it have to be left outside? I don't know enough about solar technology to know for example whether the glass would attenuate the sun or block any frequencies that might make it less efficient? I could leave it outside the car as the car is easily visible from my bedroom window when parked in my off street parking space, but would prefer to leave it inside the car as I don't want to be looking out every 5 minutes to make sure the panel is still there!
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/05 13:32:44 (permalink)
Caroline,
 
Looking at the Optimate solar chargers it appears as though they're only suitable for wall or roof mounting. Battery conditioners like the CTEK seem to charge at about 3-5amps, so you'd require quite a big solar unit to achieve that sort of charge.
 
Both power sockets on my 987-series car are always live but I've a feeling that on the later cars (the 981 in particular) the cigarette lighter power-point isn't live unless you connect-up before switching off the ignition, or something like that. I've a feeling that your other power-point is always live, but other owners can advise on both counts.
 
If the charger comes with croc clips you can always connect directly to the battery positive terminal and a separate body earthing point. Always a more reliable connection in my opinion.
 
Jeff 

987.2 Cayman S
North Beds (R10 & R24)
DWaldie
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/05 13:37:40 (permalink)
My charger is also connected directly to the battery with the lead and connector in the front boot. I only disconnect when driving 
Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/05 14:36:09 (permalink)
carolinewoodleyWill the cigarette lighter adapter in the glove compartment work to connect it to as I've read it has to be a socket that is always on i.e. powered without the ignition in? I don't have the "smokers' package" in my Cayman (which I think is an "always on" socket), but I don't know if the one in the glove compartment is the same.
 
Also does the solar panel work if I left it on the dash, inside the windscreen, or does it have to be left outside? I don't know enough about solar technology to know for example whether the glass would attenuate the sun or block any frequencies that might make it less efficient? I could leave it outside the car as the car is easily visible from my bedroom window when parked in my off street parking space, but would prefer to leave it inside the car as I don't want to be looking out every 5 minutes to make sure the panel is still there!

 
The 12v socket high up in the passenger footwell is the one to use. Connect everything up with the key in the ignition and the electrics on. Switch off and lock the car, job done.
 
A decent panel will work inside the car windscreen but you'll need to ensure the one you buy is powerful enough. There's some good info and a power guide here:
 
https://www.willgen.co.uk...charger-do-i-need.html
Nick_USA
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/05 15:02:25 (permalink)
Taking about CTEK chargers, spotted this which is the cheapest I've seen it recently:
 
https://www.demon-tweeks....ery-charger-ctek56-975

Current:
2020 718 GT4
2008 Limited Edition Boxster S 'Orange'
1964 356 SC Outlaw
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2016 Cayman GTS
2010 Cayenne GTS
2006 Cayenne S
2005 Cayenne S
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2000 C2 Cab
1967 912
carolinewoodley
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/05 20:52:33 (permalink)
Twinfan
 
The 12v socket high up in the passenger footwell is the one to use. Connect everything up with the key in the ignition and the electrics on. Switch off and lock the car, job done.
 
A decent panel will work inside the car windscreen but you'll need to ensure the one you buy is powerful enough. There's some good info and a power guide here:
 
https://www.willgen.co.uk...charger-do-i-need.html




Thanks Twinfan, TBH I hadn't realised there was a socket in the passenger footwell, will have to check that out!
 
From your link it looks like a 20W will be OK, I can park the car facing East in a sunny area, with the panel outside either fixed to a South facing fence or just leant on the ground along the South facing side of the car, at least during the day, so not 100% ideal and obviously the alarm is on. Assuming the battery is fairly OK now (last long drive was 2 weeks ago 100+ miles and I took it to the supermarket today, 10 mile round trip and about 25 minutes engine on time, including warm up time and a small amount of queueing when I got there) does anyone have any idea how long a 20W panel + Optimate in that position would take to charge the battery back to full charge? And how often would I need to connect it to keep it charged, bearing in mind I don't want to leave the car out overnight?
 
Thanks
Caroline
carolinewoodley
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/06 07:47:11 (permalink)
OK, so I've ordered the 20W panel and Optimate charger, some suction cups to fix the panel to the car windows and a cigarette lighter adapter. Will see how it goes with the car out a day or so a week, hopefully that combined with a 10 mile round trip to the supermarket every couple of weeks will be enough to stop the battery going flat!
 
Thanks everyone for your help, these are unprecedented times and let's hope we can get back to enough semblance of normal that we can drive for pleasure again fairly soon.
GordonT
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/06 09:06:01 (permalink)
Well done, Caroline.
 
Please let us know how you get on with this setup - particularly if you find that it does charge (as opposed to maintain) the battery.

Cayman 981 GTS
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Motorhead
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/06 09:07:45 (permalink)
Assuming that your battery's in reasonable shape, I'm sure that will be fine to keep it topped-up Caroline. After a week the car's electrics reduce to a minimum maintenance current condition, although if you're using the car on a weekly basis that won't apply, but on the plus side your 10-mile journey should keep the battery in good health.
 
Thankfully temperatures are on the up, so we're well past cold weather cranking requirements, and the longer days should lengthen charge time.
 
Keep us posted on how it goes.
 
Jeff

987.2 Cayman S
North Beds (R10 & R24)
Brian_Innes
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/07 12:22:55 (permalink)
carolinewoodley
OK, so I've ordered the 20W panel and Optimate charger, some suction cups to fix the panel to the car windows and a cigarette lighter adapter. Will see how it goes with the car out a day or so a week, hopefully that combined with a 10 mile round trip to the supermarket every couple of weeks will be enough to stop the battery going flat!
 
Thanks everyone for your help, these are unprecedented times and let's hope we can get back to enough semblance of normal that we can drive for pleasure again fairly soon.




Caroline, 
 
Good choice with the charger. Just one point worth noting. Remember to double-click the key fob remote locking to deactivate the internal cabin movement alarm. Not only does this reduce the load on the battery, but it avoids setting off the alarm if the solar panel suction cups become unstuck and panels fall inside the cabin.
 
Good luck with the charging.
 
Brian 

Nairnshire,
Highlands
Previous:
2007 Cayman 987.1 2.7 Manual.
2010 Cayman S 987.2 Manual
2012 Cayman R Manual
2016 718 Cayman S PDK
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2015 Abarth 595 Competizione 180bhp Manual
2019 718 Cayman GTS PDK

Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/08 16:32:03 (permalink)
Well my 20w Optimate has arrived but my cigarette lighter adapter is still with Royal Mail somewhere.  Hopefully it'll turn up tomorrow or Saturday.  I'll be taking my car out for a shopping trip on Friday and dropping some supplies over at my Mum's, so at least it will get a decent run out in the near future at least.
 
I'll be interested to see how the charger fares.  My car lives outside and points southwards, so I'm hoping the panel connected inside the car 24/7 will provide enough energy to keep the battery topped up before lockdown sanctions are lifted...
Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 14:44:23 (permalink)
Quick update on the solar charger.  I'm all hooked up and have gone from red to amber on the traffic light system after about an hour.  I'll check it again later as I expect it to be green before sundown tonight.  So it seems to be working a treat.
 
The 12v socket in the passenger footwell seemed to power off on my 718 GT4 so I switched to the cigarette lighter in the centre console and that seems to stay live.  My car has the smokers pack option but if you don't have that I think the socket under the armrest should stay live, although I've read that 981 Sypders don't keep any sockets live!  Best to try each one if you're having issues.
carolinewoodley
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 14:52:12 (permalink)
Twinfan
Quick update on the solar charger.  I'm all hooked up and have gone from red to amber on the traffic light system after about an hour.  I'll check it again later as I expect it to be green before sundown tonight.  So it seems to be working a treat.
 
The 12v socket in the passenger footwell seemed to power off on my 718 GT4 so I switched to the cigarette lighter in the centre console and that seems to stay live.  My car has the smokers pack option but if you don't have that I think the socket under the armrest should stay live, although I've read that 981 Sypders don't keep any sockets live!  Best to try each one if you're having issues.



Thanks Twinfan that's good to know, mine arrived today (literally a few minutes ago!) but I will not get a chance to install until over the weekend as I'm working today. Good to know it is charging that quickly in the direct sunlight though - have you got your panel inside the car (i.e. charging through glass) or outside?
 
Thanks
Caroline
Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 15:15:34 (permalink)
Yep, mine is inside the car:

 
However, when checking the charger after I took this pic the socket has gone dead.  I've reset it and will check it again in an hour or so...
carolinewoodley
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 15:49:08 (permalink)
Thanks Twinfan, interesting to note your sockets don't seem to be live all the time. Mine's a 981, I don't know if it's any different to the 718 in that respect?
 
I got some suction cups to stick the panel to the windows, would it fit onto the side window as my car will be parked due East, I was hoping to be able to fix it to the south facing window on the inside? (working today so no chance to check right now).
 
The other option is to use the croc clips and connect it directly to the battery and earthing points but then I'd probably have to leave the panel outside the car, suctioned to the outside of the window or (less optimally) the front of the windscreen. Unless there is enough of a gap between the front wing and the door to run the wire through? 
Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 16:05:48 (permalink)
Not sure about the wires, you'd need to check on your car.  I was only ever planning on a "completely inside" solution.
 
There seems to be some chatter of 12v sockets not staying live on later model 981 GT4s but I was hoping it wouldn't apply to 718s.  My socket has just gone dead again after around 40 minutes, so I've just opened the car and re-locked it to trigger it live again.  I'll check it again in 45 mins but it's looking like my solutions isn't going to work.
 
Pants.
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 17:43:52 (permalink)
Caroline, Dave,
 
Provided the cable's long enough, I'm sure that you'd be able to route it via the door shut and the gap between the bonnet and wiper panel through to the battery to use the croc clips on the positive battery clamp and body earthing post?
 
There's always been a lot of chatter about the 981 internal power-points. For the one(s) that power-down after 40mins or so, don't you need to keep the ignition turned on while connecting and powering-up the charging source to keep the power-point live?
 
Jeff
 
 

987.2 Cayman S
North Beds (R10 & R24)
Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 17:46:31 (permalink)
Tried keeping the electrics on while I hook up, doesn't seem to make a difference.  The solar panel only outputs 2A so maybe this isn't enough to trigger the socket to stay live? The Porsche Charge-O-Mats output 3.3A or 5A depending on model.
 
I'm a bit annoyed I've wasted £135, but I suppose you don't know until you try.
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 17:55:45 (permalink)
Yes, that could well be the problem Dave. Assuming you've been supplied with croc clips, is the cable long enough to reach the battery?
 
Jeff

987.2 Cayman S
North Beds (R10 & R24)
Twinfan
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Re: Some Advice Please Guys & Gals, with this COVID19 and we cant drive 2020/04/09 17:56:42 (permalink)
I'll need to check, going to dig them out now...
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