Installation Guide — C3 and Solar Panel — Split-Mount

Larry Pitts

Created: ; updated: .

The Tech Note, OBS-USR-TN006-R1, C3 Solar Panel Split Mount, is available for downloading and printing.

The parts provided with the Observant C3™ Solar Panel Split-Mount Kit (item number 10165) allow the solar panel from a C3 Solar Enclosure to be removed and mounted at up to 30 feet (10 m) from the C3 and its enclosure.

Where Used

This kit is appropriate for any circumstance where mounting a C3's solar panel high enough to receive adequate sunlight would prohibit easy access to the C3. For example—with this kit, solar panels in orchards can be installed above the tree canopy with their C3 modules and enclosures mounted below, at a convenient height.

Included Hardware

  • A blanking cap, o-ring, and bolt to seal the C3 enclosure.
  • An aluminium, solar-panel mounting bracket with two 2” hose clamps and fasteners.
  • A 30 ft (10 m), 2-core, extension cable.
  • Two gel-filled, electrical crimp-connectors (power-cable joiners).
  • A cable gland for a 5/8" (16 mm) hole.
  • A hex key for installing both the blanking cap and the solar panel bracket.

Required Tools

  • Large pliers for installing the two electrical crimp-connectors.
  • A large, flat-bladed screwdriver for the three hose clamps.
  • A small, flat-bladed screwdriver for the C3's two terminal-block connections.
  • A battery-powered hand drill with 1/2” (12 mm) and 5/8” (16 mm) drill bits (for routing the cable into and back out of the mounting pole).
  • Cable cutting and stripping tools for the extension cable.

Installation Procedure

  1. Disassemble the C3 solar enclosure.
    Caution: the bird deterrent on the solar panel has quite sharp points. (You may wish to remove it and reinstall it only after the solar panel has been remounted on the pole.)

  2. Assemble the blanking cap.

  3. Drill a 5/8” hole in the enclosure (as shown above) and install the cable gland.
  4. Shorten the remaining solar panel power cable to 4” (100 mm) and remove 2” (50mm) of its outer sheath. 
  5. Attach the mounting bracket to the solar panel as shown here.

  6. Connect the power cable extension to the solar panel power cable using the two supplied crimp connectors. Be sure to connect red to red and black to black.

  7. Drill a 1/2” hole in the mounting post at the point you wish to mount the solar panel.
  8. Thread the power cable extension (with the two cable joiners) through this hole. Be sure the length is sufficient to reach where you wish to mount the C3 module and its enclosure.
  9. Affix solar panel assembly to the pole with supplied hose clamps ensuring that it will face the sun at local noon. The power connection should be housed within the mounting pole.                                                                                                                                             

  10. Install the C3 enclosure mount onto the post.
  11. Drill a 5/8” (16 mm) or larger hole through the mount and the post using the bottom pilot mark.
  12. Use a stiff piece of hooked wire to draw the power cable through this hole.
  13. Push the power cable through the cable gland and install the enclosure on the mount.

  14. Shorten the power cable if desired; some excess cable can be stored inside the C3 enclosure.
  15. Connect the power cable to the C3's power input terminal block as shown below (Red to V+, Black to Ground).

  16. Close and latch the C3's enclosure door.


This completes the installation of Observant's C3 Solar Panel Split-Mount Kit. 


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