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Discussion Starter #1
Battery drained by v low mileage & stop-start journeys. :depressed:

Have bought one of those solar panel trickle charger jobbies, which sits on the dash and tops up the battery using the cigar lighter socket. The 156 has such a socket, but it is not usable when the ignition is 'off'. :ponder:
The solar charger has an alternative set of leads terminating in crocodile clips. Hmm.
I'm thinking of connecting to the car battery with the croc clips and then leading the cable through into the cabin, where the solar panel will sit secured on the dash 'looking' at the sky.
Drilling through the bulkhead :yikes: into the unknown, does not appeal - who knows what I might hit.

Does anyone know of an existing route? Possibly already in use with a rubber gromit that might enable me to wiggle my cable through?
 

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I think I'd wire another cigarette-lighter socket to a permanent live on the fuseboard. That way (a)it's fused (b)it's detachable. [edit: if there is such a thing on these cars]

On my 147 there's a grommet and loom through the bulkhead just above the glove compartment. I've fed wires through the bulkhead there. Use a coathanger wire bent to a curve as a 'mouse', insert from the engine bay so that it dives down the back of the glove compartment. Grab the end you just fed through and tape your wire to it with electrical tape, then pull through.

I had a (Maplins 1.5w) solar panel on a previous car, it only helped slow down the battery discharging some. It wasn't large enough to be as useful as it needed to be during short, dark winter days. 4 of them might have worked. If I was to do it again I'd cover the entire parcel shelf with a couple of larger PV panels.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your thoughts - most helpful. I'll be trying them out when time permits.
I think the 'permanent wiring to battery' is a no-no anyway, as reading the panel's instructions 'electrical surges when starting the car' can destroy the panel. :disappointed:
On balance then, your idea for a floating cigar lighter socket wired into a permanently 'on' fuse is going to be the way forward, as I can just unhook it when starting the car.
Again, thanks.:thumbup:
 

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I'm now wondering if I am in fact thinking of a previous car ;-/. I'll check the bulkhead tomorrow when it's light and not raining.

Yes, the panel I had carried the same warning, but I forgot to disconnect it umpteen times without any problem and in the end I stopped bothering entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, it would be neater to just croc-clip it to the battery and forget about it. I mean, it states that it has a 'built-in diode to prevent reverse charging' which would, surely, prevent reverse current flow when the engine was running.
Maybe they are just covering their a*** in case of a very, very high current surge which might fry the diode.
But you say it never happened to you.
So fit-it-and-forget-it does appeal greatly as my first best choice.
Now if I could just find the gromit of which you speak...
 

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Best place (might be only place!) is the grommet tucked up under the screen valance on the right as you look in the engine bay ...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks - you obviously know your way around the engine bay!:thumbup:
 

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Been peering in it since 1998!! ;)
 

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Yes, I was hallucinating and mixing up vehicles. There is a wiiring grommet but it's behind/underneath the foam pad at the scuttle/bulkhead join. It'll be fun going through there.
 
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