12v Circuit - does it need to be regulated?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Kedishen, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Kedishen

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 28, 2012

    I am completely new at all of this so don't be surprised if I ask some weird questions, and probably presume some dangerous things so please point them out!

    I am installing a satellite system into my camper. The 12v system built into the camper is abit rubbish for anything apart from powering the lights and is fused at 10amp. The lighter sockets are fused at 3amps. I tried upping one of them to 5 amps before to power my laptop, but it wrecked my battery and the voltage fluctuated up and down like a crazy person.

    The leisure battery is charged by a solar panel with 6amp regulator, and also split-charged by a 95amp? alternator when the engine is running. No equipment would be plugged into this system whilst the engine is running.

    With my limited electrical knowledge, I will try to explain what I would like.

    I want to keep the wiring as short as possible. A wire will run straight from the leisure battery to a fuse box and split off to several lighter sockets. Then my components will plug in.

    The load will be:

    12v - Satellite Receiver (adaptor states 14w consumption)
    12v - Laptop Charger (adaptor states 65w consumption)

    I used a watt to amp converter (http://www.supercircuits.com/resources/tools/Volts-Watts-Amps-Converter) and it states just shy of 7amps.

    Having spoke to a bloke in Maplins, he said I should put a regulator on the circuit after the battery with a fuse either side of the regulator, a 20amp before the reg and a 10amp after the reg.

    I would like to be able to draw off at most 10 amp from the battery in short bursts, althought most of the time it will not be more than 6.5amps.

    After looking around, I cannot find a 10amp 12v regulator, although I can find plenty that regulator at mains power.

    Where can I find a 10amp 12v regulator?

    Instead of 1x 10amp regulator, could I not put 5x 2amp regulators in parallel?
    Would this work?

    How far away from the battery should I put the regulator?

    Should I use a 15amp cable all the from battery to outlets? Or will it need a higher amp from the battery to regulator?

    What else should I be thinking about to make this work?


  2. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    A good battery should be able to handle those loads with a fairly stable voltage. I don't understand the wide voltage fluctuations you are seeing. I suggest checking the wiring or doing a rewire directly from the battery (with 14 or 16 gauge wire and appropriate fuses of course). Also check the ground connections or run a separate wire for the ground. You shouldn't need a regulator.