Goal Zero Yeti 400 Experiences?

john61ct

Adventurer
ArkPak 730 takes any G31

Battle Born 100AH LFP fits perfectly.

Yes DIY will be cheaper.

None come with a decent mains charger.
 

bjornb

New member
I have converted my Yeti 400 to using a LiFePo4 pack.

I asked Ping (http://www.pingbattery.com/) to build a custom pack that fit inside the cage in the Yeti. With the measurements I gave them they recommended a 40Ah pack, but I asked them what they could do if they made a pack with almost no margins, and they said they could push it to 55Ah (4S11P).
2017-01-21 13.09.56 (Medium).jpg

They are using pouch cells (5ah per cell 130x100x6mm). The cells are stacked like this:
ping_batt.JPG

The pack I received was slightly too large and I didnt dare to push it in by force into the Yeti. If I did it would be almost impossible to get it out again, so I decided to remove the shrink wrap (not a problem since it is protected inside the yeti anyway), and I also cut away the braces in the back with a dremel to give it a bit more space (not ideal, but I dont see a big problem, I treat it nicely). The weight is 4kg less now as well (just above 9kg instead of 13.2kg with the SLA battery.

2017-05-23 12.20.11 (Custom).jpg
 

bigskypylot

Explorer
I have converted my Yeti 400 to using a LiFePo4 pack.

I asked Ping (http://www.pingbattery.com/) to build a custom pack that fit inside the cage in the Yeti. With the measurements I gave them they recommended a 40Ah pack, but I asked them what they could do if they made a pack with almost no margins, and they said they could push it to 55Ah (4S11P).
View attachment 409126

They are using pouch cells (5ah per cell 130x100x6mm). The cells are stacked like this:
View attachment 409127

The pack I received was slightly too large and I didnt dare to push it in by force into the Yeti. If I did it would be almost impossible to get it out again, so I decided to remove the shrink wrap (not a problem since it is protected inside the yeti anyway), and I also cut away the braces in the back with a dremel to give it a bit more space (not ideal, but I dont see a big problem, I treat it nicely). The weight is 4kg less now as well (just above 9kg instead of 13.2kg with the SLA battery.

View attachment 409125
Nice! For someone with limited knowledge of this stuff, is it doable? A how-to, perhaps? :) thanks for this info!
 

North

Observer
Things are going much smoother now that I'm in contact with an EE; I think we're getting there. He thinks it might be an indirect short on the control board.
Update: GZ sent me a new unit, which has allowed me to remove "faulty unit" from the list of potential problems. The same condition exists with the new unit swapped in.


Snowblind, I went through this thread again and noticed that in your setup you have the 8mm input wired to an ignition hot source, correct? I wired mine direct, and am wondering if this difference possibly accounts for the different behavior you saw when you tried to recreate this issue with your setup:

This weekend I can recreate your "vehicle off/8mm plug in" scenario and see how my Yeti performs.
If you tested with the vehicle off, it would mean that your 8mm input was effectively unplugged, no? I'm guessing you accounted for this, but if not I would expect the unit to behave normally under that condition (because your "vehicle off" = my "8mm unplugged" which is the condition under which mine performs normally). No need to re-investigate if you tested with the vehicle off, but if you did and you're game to try with ignition on, I'd be curious to know the result.

After going through all the threads where Expo members have shown similar setups, I've noticed that everybody is using an ignition hot relay in conjunction with the input to the Yeti. I missed this on my first round of investigation. Either I've got some weird one-off problem that I've created, or nobody has noticed it because the isolator/relay masks it.

I'm going to install a cheap isolator this week, and have one question: Is it necessary to fuse the wire going between the Yeti and the isolator? Starting batt -> isolator is already fused. I suppose the Yeti-> isolator wire needs to be fused to protect against arcing if the wire were to be damaged somehow? Is there any internal fuse on the Yeti that would make this redundant?
 

JCDriller

Adventurer
Have any of you looked at the new Yeti Lithium 1000 that can be purchased at Costco for $1000.00?

I've been all over the map with my accessory charging system and I have all the shock works brackets sitting on my work bench to add a second battery under the hood, was going to go with a BB or Odyssey battery, CTEC D250s and 7002 AC/DC charger, Vicron solar charger, etc. However, at the end of the day I'm looking at a way more complex system, with more expense, with no universal warrantee, installation headaches and lack of mobility compared to a Yeti Li 1000.

I'm strongly considering purchasing the Yeti Li 1000, strapping it down and running my ARB with it. I'll likely install a Genesis 110 plug to charge the Yeti 1000 and run the fridge at night. I can still install my roof rack solar panel and have the benefits of a 1500w continuous/3000w peak inverter already built in.

Thoughts?
 

bigskypylot

Explorer
Have any of you looked at the new Yeti Lithium 1000 that can be purchased at Costco for $1000.00?

I've been all over the map with my accessory charging system and I have all the shock works brackets sitting on my work bench to add a second battery under the hood, was going to go with a BB or Odyssey battery, CTEC D250s and 7002 AC/DC charger, Vicron solar charger, etc. However, at the end of the day I'm looking at a way more complex system, with more expense, with no universal warrantee, installation headaches and lack of mobility compared to a Yeti Li 1000.

I'm strongly considering purchasing the Yeti Li 1000, strapping it down and running my ARB with it. I'll likely install a Genesis 110 plug to charge the Yeti 1000 and run the fridge at night. I can still install my roof rack solar panel and have the benefits of a 1500w continuous/3000w peak inverter already built in.

Thoughts?
That's what I'm contemplating. I may do the 1400 when I can use the REI 20% coupon
 

JCDriller

Adventurer
That's what I'm contemplating. I may do the 1400 when I can use the REI 20% coupon

My only hold up is the slow charging rate. The Anderson power poles on the front of the 1000 can take 240w of solar, 360w for the 1400. 240w is 20a at 12v, less at charging voltage. I wonder if I could hook a 20a AC/DC charger to the power poles. It would flow through the solar charge controller, which is PWM so it would lose some efficiency. Would the controller care if the amps were solar vs AC/DC converter? Don't think so. This would charge it much more rapidly than the 15 hours required if you just plugged it into a 110. Still this idea ruins the simplicity of the system.
 

dcg141

Adventurer
If you are just trying run a fridge, a 400 and 100w panel will be fine. Coincidentally, I'm currently pulling 70w off of my renogy. More than enough to keep my fridge happy.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yea, same here. I have one of the suitcase 100W Renogy panels and it more than keeps up with my fridge using a 400.
 

snowblind

Adventurer
Update: GZ sent me a new unit, which has allowed me to remove "faulty unit" from the list of potential problems. The same condition exists with the new unit swapped in.

Snowblind, I went through this thread again and noticed that in your setup you have the 8mm input wired to an ignition hot source, correct? I wired mine direct, and am wondering if this difference possibly accounts for the different behavior you saw when you tried to recreate this issue with your setup:

If you tested with the vehicle off, it would mean that your 8mm input was effectively unplugged, no? I'm guessing you accounted for this, but if not I would expect the unit to behave normally under that condition (because your "vehicle off" = my "8mm unplugged" which is the condition under which mine performs normally). No need to re-investigate if you tested with the vehicle off, but if you did and you're game to try with ignition on, I'd be curious to know the result.

After going through all the threads where Expo members have shown similar setups, I've noticed that everybody is using an ignition hot relay in conjunction with the input to the Yeti. I missed this on my first round of investigation. Either I've got some weird one-off problem that I've created, or nobody has noticed it because the isolator/relay masks it.

I'm going to install a cheap isolator this week, and have one question: Is it necessary to fuse the wire going between the Yeti and the isolator? Starting batt -> isolator is already fused. I suppose the Yeti-> isolator wire needs to be fused to protect against arcing if the wire were to be damaged somehow? Is there any internal fuse on the Yeti that would make this redundant?
Hey North.

My GZ charging system is NOT triggered by ignition hot. The 8mm plug on my Yeti400 is essentially connected directly to the + and - terminals of my second battery.

I have a dual battery set-up and the battery isolator uses ignition hot as a signal of when to CHARGE the second battery. Other than charging the second battery the system runs independent of the vehicle. The isolator does NOT control power to the rear of the vehicle.

I run 12v power wires directly from the second battery to a rear distribution block and split off a direct 12v feed for the fridge, a direct 12v feed for the GZ charge cable, and a direct 12v feed to some rear LED lights. All of these 12v feeds has the ability to drain the 2nd battery dead.

The Yeti400 should ONLY take charge from a source with MORE THAN 13.5v (or thereabouts). This is indicated on my Yeti by the inability to charge unless the vehicle is running AND the battery isolator is closed. (Note: When the vehicle is first started there is a delay before the isolator starts charging the second battery.)

So... On my Yeti400 a 12.5V input does NOT cause the 12V power outlet to remain HOT when turned OFF. A solar panel input at around 14V-15V does not cause the 12V power outlet to remain HOT when turned OFF. The GZ 110V charger input does NOT cause the 12V power outlet to remain HOT when turned OFF. There is NO scenario where the 12V power outlet on the Yeti remains HOT when turned OFF.

That is your problem as I see it -> The 12V power outlet on the Yeti is remaining HOT when turned OFF.

My take is that Goal Zero has a bunch of bad units out there with this specific board/controller. Could be part of their currently shipping models. It is not a problem in my unit.

As for fusing. Fuse protects everything "down current" of the power source. That mean that a fuse at or near the battery will protect the whole wire. Then fuse each individual connection. Yeti has it's own internal breaker but fridge may or may not so better to just fuse or breaker everything.


Matt
 
Last edited:

snowblind

Adventurer
Matt,
I was toying with building a system and it would run almost as much as the 1400 using Blue Sea, Victron and CTEK components but was curious if there are any alternative batteries you can replace with what is already in the 400? Also, i could just add an extra battery via Anderson plug, correct? What precautions would i need or how would i charge the additional battery from the 400 itself? I have a 100w briefcase and took your idea and running a cable from my alternator/battery with a 60A inline fuse. Would i need a seperate solar charge controller (my panel doesnt have one due to the yeti already having a controller) or would i need a battery tender?

Hey BigSky.

The Yeti takes a fairly standard battery. I don't know the exact measurements but I'm sure you can find them. Here's the battery - http://www.goalzero.com/p/327/goal-zero-yeti-400-replacement-battery.

When using the Anderson Ports on the side of a Yeti you are direct connecting an additional battery and essentially making a bigger INTERNAL battery. That means the two batteries will equalize charge between themselves regardless of what the Yeti charge controller is doing. The Yeti charge controller will charge the unit properly but it is "seeing" one big battery. To that end you should probably use identical batteries (internal/external) if using the Anderson Ports. $100 to double your capacity is a pretty good deal. Only worries are strapping down the 2nd battery.

I would charge the Yeti with the briefcase using the GZ 4-input splitter so you can gang 12v vehicle with the solar. Down the road add a cheap solar controller for the battery if that meets your needs.

I have never used a generator for battery charging duties but that might be the determining factor in what you run. Main generator use for the Yeti would be good, clean, 14-15V power for bulk charging from 0-80% charge. Doubt that you want to run the fridge via 110V and constant generator so the 12v charge supply capabilities become important. You could also double up using two GZ 110V wall chargers off the 110 outlets on the generator.


I'm trying to just run a 12v fridge (leaning towards a Snomaster but contemplating National Luna) is all and some interior camp lights and charge phone/tablet/laptop. If all else fails, i have my Yamaha ef2000is generator to charge while camped. If i dont need to spend the money, i don't want to.

I would do it a little different.

For me the best part(s) of solar/battery gear is that you can move it from vehicle to vehicle easily and also build redundancy fairly cheaply. I would get a totally separate unit for your camp lights and and phone/tablet use. Something very small and litho like the GZ Sherpas or Ventures or even a camp lantern with battery and USB charge outlet. These units are small enough for tent and backpacking use and way more convenient around camp than being tethered to the Yeti. Their intended use cycle also makes it easy to drain at night / charge in day.



Matt
 

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