AliExpress experience?

These look interesting to use with solar/battery power:
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Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about them, or buying
from AliExpress?
I won't be bouncing it down rough trails, although the car is 4WD and
has a 12V outlet in the back for a powered cooler.
-jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
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I bought one thing through AliExpress. They acted like a broker, and did not release the funds to the seller until I said it was ok. That was several years ago.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I'd find another distributor who doesn't go through DHL if I were you. Some shippers gouge the spit outta ya while others don't. I strongly suspect the overseas shippers of taking baksheesh.
Through Foshan Alpicool on Alibaba:
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Maybe call to see if they can set up shipping. $79-240.
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Here's a brand new (smaller) C15 for $268 delivered.
I have purchased from 4 vendors through AliExpress and have had zero problems. Shipping can be as short as one week or as long as seven.
Sounds cool.
I forgot to tell you that I talked with my friend Phil and his experience had been entirely positive with the compressor type. He inherited one from his FIL and it's still working for him 9 years later, so it's likely 12+ years old. He set it to freeze (it's one of the fridge or freezer types) and he says it stays at zero on 120vac or 13.5vdc. Also, most of the truckers he knows have had horrible luck with the peltier types, with few opting for the compressor style. Those all had positive reviews, too, regardless of the brand. Phil also said to look at the propane/12v style of RV fridges, which are spendy but reliable. I had forgotten they lived in SoCal for 3 months in their 5th wheel while the truck was repaired after a freeway accident.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
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Credit card I think. Its been a long time. I do not think they process PayPal. Or atleast not back then. No real issues. Just took a couple weeks to get my item.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I bought several small things four or five years ago and had the same experience. Small enough to come in US mail in a padded envelope. I think they were alibaba back then. Everything was satisfactory and as described.
Reply to
Winston_Smith
I have bought a number of small things from vendors on AliExpress. Usually anything you find on Ebay will also be available via Alli at a lower price . Not always true, but generally so. Have two things coming now. One is a flashlight, and the other is some security screwdriver bits.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
If I can't find an AC/DC powered compact refrigerator priced as reasonably as the AC-only ones I may be able to make the fridge thermostat turn the inverter on and off. The real issue is the APC1400 UPS inverter's 1.5A idle current, which consumes more battery capacity than the fridge does.
My present simple answer is add more batteries and let the APC and fridge operate the way they were designed to. That's looking like it might be the safest and lowest cost solution too. The APC's default float voltage setting for sealed batteries also works for flooded deep cycle ones. It's below the hydrogen generation level though they recharge rather slowly.
The fridge power cord could connect to the center contacts of a DPDT relay so that the NC side senses thermostat closure and the NO side applies 120VAC. I already have a clip-on current transformer to sense when the fridge turns off.
The APC1400 can be turned on or off by serial port commands, except that it refuses ("NO") to turn on without AC present. Startup on battery is an abnormal condition that requires pressing and holding the On button until the buzzer sounds. I could probably wire to the switch and buzzer to do that with an Arduino controller if simpler, less intrusive methods fail.
Internet comments suggest that the non-standard serial port pins also have control and status functions that might be useful, though battery 24V appears on one of them and a slip could destroy the unit. APC doesn't document the functions, which I suspect are for production line testing rather than some user accessory they sell.
Yesterday I received this DB9 breakout adapter to probe or make safer, better insulated temporary connections to the port pins. It might be useful for tinkering with CNC controllers too.
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Despite all the proclaimed concern about CO2 and alternate/renewable energy it doesn't seem like many people are DOING anything about them. -jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Your fridge takes less than 20w?
It's time for all of us to upgrade to LIPO (or better), huh? LA is just not worth the effort and hassle. But 14kW goes for $6200 installed. I hope that price drops dramatically when the Giga Factory opens and gets up to speed, or when new tech hits the markets. My single kilowatt will likely not be enough to satiate it, though.
OK.
I'm guessing that you want to retain the computer control rather than just hotwirin' logic to the SOB?
Has APC released pinout info?
Not a bad price, I guess. ($1.93 direct from China, 6wk dlvy time) DB9, wow. I remember waaay back when computers came with those! ;)
Yeah, I've noticed that, too. 12v products are few and far between while being ghastly expensive. Ditto point-of-use inverters. For now, going 100% solar is really expensive and far too many places either won't let you on the grid, won't let you put up solar, or they REQUIRE you to be on grid with your panels. It's a mess.
The sun just came out and the glare is horrible, what with all that snow out there. About 5" came down overnight and this morning. It's up to 35F so it should be gone soon. The storm should reach you by early next week. And if it snows here, you know it's going to be much heavier elsewhere. G'luck.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
It draws 80W but not continuously. The average is close to 20W although it depends too strongly on room temperature and how much I open the door to give one definitive answer. On the last 12 hour run the fridge used 230 Watt-Hours overnight, after supper to before breakfast, while room temp fell from 60F to 55F. The APC which was on wall power used 695W-h, 465 for itself plus the 230 to the fridge. It appears to draw the same ~40W idle power whether on 120V or 24V.
There had been several short power dropouts and I ran the fridge from the APC UPS overnight as a precaution, not a careful test.
Flooded lead-acid easily beats everything else for initial cost per KWH and if treated right competes well on lifespan. I don't see the life from older Li laptop batteries that I can get from LAs.
Here is an example of a salvaged EV Lithium that's 4x the cost of a 12V 105A-h SLI31MDC
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Whatever works. I have a lot of experience designing industrial relay and digital logic control hardware, and writing control software.
Alternate energy is great to impose on others, as long as you don't have to put up with the inconvenience of it yourself. -jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
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"Anywhere where weight is an issue, Li+ may be the best choice, but for stationary solar systems, they are still about double the total cost per kWh of lead acid batteries like the HUP Solar One."
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
241043_32842967793.html
I have bought a couple hundred things through Ali. Been ripped off a few ti mes, and gotten meh stuff a couple more, but mostly okay to great value if you can wait or are willing to shell out for courier + brokerage. Buying do mestically in China I have had even better experiences Ali sellers know wit h an international transaction it will be prohibitively expensive for you t o ship it back.
Also domestic shipping in China is super fast and cheap. The courier phones you when they are close and if you don't answer (in *very* rapid Chinese, of course) they don't attempt delivery.
I don't think I would buy that particular item on Ali- I would look for the same item shipped from a local-ish seller.
Reply to
speff
I have bought a couple hundred things through Ali. Been ripped off a few times, and gotten meh stuff a couple more, but mostly okay to great value if you can wait or are willing to shell out for courier + brokerage. Buying domestically in China I have had even better experiences Ali sellers know with an international transaction it will be prohibitively expensive for you to ship it back.
Also domestic shipping in China is super fast and cheap. The courier phones you when they are close and if you don't answer (in *very* rapid Chinese, of course) they don't attempt delivery.
I don't think I would buy that particular item on Ali- I would look for the same item shipped from a local-ish seller. ==========================
Thanks.
Amazon lists only the 15 and 20 liter Alpicool models. I made a foamcore model of the 20 liter one and have been experimenting with filling it with emptied frozen food boxes and storing it various places in the car and kitchen. It can hold 6 days of frozen breakfast, lunch and dinner, probably several more if I pack my home cooking in zipper bags.
Although I wouldn't mind having a larger unit that Ali offers I just ordered the C20, due March 1 or 2 with free shipping. That's pretty local-ish.
It won't automatically switch from AC to DC if the power fails like the $700 Whynter, but I should be able to run it from a battery with a float charger to get the same result. -jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Yeah, those things are always warm, even if the computer is asleep or off. (feels TrippLite Internet Office UPS) Hmm, this one isn't. My APCs and CyberPowers were always 90F+.
Your (and probably my) definition of lifetime is likely considerably looser than that of others, who would consider a battery producing only 70% of new capacity to be a throw-away item.
A "new" battery from 2015 Chevy Volt? Yes, expensive.
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Trojan T105RE (made for solar/wind) are about $200/ea (6v) but are 225Ah, same relative cost as that lithium.
Ayup.
Some are volunteering to pay more to the electric company for power which is supposedly produced with alternative energy supplies. Wind, solar, geothermal, biomass (which burns something/adds to warming. I still don't get why the alarmists go with that.)
Done right, it's almost invisible rather than inconvenient.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I ordered the Alpicool C20 for $239. It's small and light enough to use in the car, big enough to hold 6 days of breakfast, lunch and supper. Hopefully it can run all night on the jumpstarter type sealed battery pack I've been using with an inefficient thermoelectric cooler in the car.
Maybe the combination can serve as a fridge with UPS, as long as the jumpstarter's charger can keep up without overcharging the battery. That's easy to test with my datalogging setup.
If the built-in charger doesn't work out I have an HF 99857 1.5A 3 stage onboard charger to dedicate to the task. I don't leave my home made devices running unattended overnight. Sorry, the HF 99857 is "Not available for shipment to CA and OR."
I knew how much current the truck starter needed and could measure how much the battery delivered. When it got close I traded.
That's $200 for 1.35KWH versus $120 for 1.26KWH from a 12V 105Ah SLI31MDC. I looked at 6V deep cycle batteries and AGMs before buying more SLI31s last month. The initial cost for 24V is $800 for the 6V batteries, $240 for the 12V ones. Perhaps the T105 makes sense for daily cycling but I can't justify them for a backup system where the smaller batteries are adequate. They may see only a dozen cycles, mostly for capacity testing, before dying of old age.
This winter we have had many near misses from ice storms. It rains and freezes but the buildup hasn't been heavy enough to bring down trees or wires. Another chance is predicted for tomorrow.
The SLI31MDC I bought around 2007 or 2008 to run a winch is noticeably weakening.
If you know how, please share it. Most of my industrial battery experience was tending to the needs of Lithiums.
-jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Yeeouch on the price. Aren't those jumpstarters a 1.3Ah battery coupled with a capacitor? I mounted a 48w (Sears/China watts; actual draw 27w) on a 12v 1.3Ah battery and it's a helluva flashlight. One of these days, I'll have to test the lifetime. It makes a great worklight.
Let me know the startup and running current draws when you received it. Very curious here. I've never seen a 12/24vdc compressor.
That's extremely funny, considering the import point is Long Beach, CA. I wonder what inherent evil they house to require them to be warded from the Republik of Kalifornia and mostly-red Blue state of Oregon.
I believe you. (slowly shakes head) ;)
The better batteries have a lot more lead in them and their lifetime is extended (barring massive sulfation). In your case, the cost probably isn't warranted, as you say. The price is easily justified for someone with a chest freezer full of meat.
That's an amazing lifetime for a DCLA. Most are rated for 3 years.
Many solar owners I've talked with spray off their panels (in the cool of the morning) and check/fill batteries twice a year. Others spend time optimizing the spit out of them, so it depends on the mindset. I thought BMSes did all the hard work on lithiums. According to Kim on LoveTesla and Richard on fullychargedshow (YT), the Powerwalls are plug and forget.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I use paypal to pay for all china direct purchases.Several years ago I bought something on a Friday and paid for it with a visa card. On Monday the visa card people called me about the motorcycle someone was trying to buy in Sanfrancisco with my credit card.
Reply to
nobody
It's in the midrange for mini and compact refrigerators. I asked about Ali because the C20 is the largest Amazon offers. An unpowered, you-add-ice Yeti cooler of the same capacity costs $200.
This one holds two 12V 18Ah AGMs.
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Are you still allowed to have fire or sharp-edged rocks?
Because they will die if left uncharged that long. The auto stores here try to recharge their stock after 18 months, or unload them at a good discount. Unfortunately they never have what I can use.
Plug and ignore, because they are maintenance-proof. I saw the BMS data logs from some field-return Lithium packs show as much as 20% capacity loss in under a year.
-jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Amazing. Century seems to make pretty good items.
I don't think so. Also, we (like CA) give lowest in-state pricing to known illegal aliens who wish to go to our colleges, and we register everyone (on visas/expired visas/illegals) to register to vote, too. God help us. We truly -have- to dump the Brown stain in Salem this next term.
No, I meant that nearly every article or guide I've read--about using marine deep cycle batteries for solar--says that their lifetime, being charged daily, is usually only 3 years. Rolls-Surrette and Trojan are good for about a decade. I'm not sure about the new RE-rated batts.
I was looking harder at the specs and pictures on the Tesla website yesterday and discovered that Powerwalls have built-in inverters.
That's horrible! Tesla or Segway? What percentage of them? Same formula as current lithium ions? LI or LIPO4 (which I've heard horror stories about)?
Reply to
Larry Jaques

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