Why should I use purpose built appliances?

Home appliances are designed to sit permanently in one spot at a fairly stable temperature. For this reason, they perform best in a static, stable and predictable environment.  But life for a mobile appliance is very different. Extreme vibrations and temperature changes are on the daily menu.

Make sure you have surge protection - life on the road or out at sea will give irregular voltage supply (you can spot this on a TV with flickering screens and power meltdowns).  Built-in surge protection technology is able to detect and handle unwanted voltage spikes and dips.

The truth is that solar panels and your 12V DC battery can be quite fickle at times… Surge protection means that Voltage supply is increased to 12V if it falls lower, and decreased to 12V if it creeps up.

Some basic rules around electronic use

It is really important to plug your electronics together in the right order.  Yes, do follow the instructions. Do all connections BEFORE you connect to your power supply.  For example, when plugging and unplugging your TV the power is the first to come out, before any other cables. And when plugging in your TV it is the last. You could damage the processor if you power up at the wrong time. Warranty will not cover a damaged processor output.

Don’t forget to be kind to all of your electronics. They are manufactured for a hard life, but they still need care and they don’t age well in the circles they travel. They are being moved and bumped and jingled, and then we let them sit lonely and sometimes unloved. They love regular use and care.

Let’s talk TVs

Your standard, 240V home TV may not hold up in a mobile environment.  A purpose built TV will be fitted with vibration-resistant circuit boards that enable them to withstand high levels of vibration stress.   All internal components should be sealed with silicone glue and have a sturdy frame that can create a resilient enclosure for extra protection.  It gets humid, hot and very cold in the mobile world so having a shield for the TV to handle temperature variations is key.

What should I do to look after my TV?

Technology is designed to be in constant use. This is no different to the TV in your motorhome.  Lack of usage is the worst thing for your TV. 

Use your TV regularly. Across our Smart TV range (this includes the Hako Smart Box and the Minilite) we recommend you run your TV at least once a month.  The hardware needs to keep up with the changes companies are making with their software.  Hardware needs the small and regular updates to keep it from being slow and freezing. 

TVs, like all electronics, do not like damp.  If you park your RV for longer than a week, take steps to protect it from damp conditions. Unplug the TV from power. Cover the unit with a towel or blanket and this might help protect it from moisture which will cause damage.

What is the difference between Full HD and HD?

1080p is refers to Full HD and 720p as HD.  Put the two screens side by side and you’ll spot the difference.

The 1080 and 720 in 1080p and 720p stand for vertical screen resolution, or height, in pixels. The more pixels there are in an image, the clearer it will be. As such, a screen resolution of 1920x1080 (two million pixels when multiplied) should appear twice as sharp as a resolution of 1280x720 (fewer than one million pixels). Meanwhile, the p in 1080p and 720p stands for progressive scanning, which updates full frame images more quickly than traditionally interlaced content.

How do I power a modem?

Most modems are powered by 12V DC power supply.  The 230 volt adapter normally supplied with them merely takes 230V AC in and puts out 12v DC. 

Using a 230v adapter is ok if you are plugged into mains.  But… if you are powering off an inverter, is not a very efficient process as your inverter takes the 12v DC from the house batteries and converts it to 230V AC, then your 230V adapter converts back to 12V DC again.  So it is a full circle!

But it is an expensive full circle, as the inverter will use more energy to produce the same 12V required, that if you had actually used 12V to power the modem in the first instance.

Why can I not use a USB point to power my modem?

The USB points have a 5 volt DC output which is not sufficient to run a Modem that requires 12V.

Why should I use a DC Filter?

It takes the 12v supply and filters out the noise ‘spikes’ that are possible with some solar charging systems and with the running of some DC motors such as water pumps.

A common use for a DC filter is when you are using a modem for your wireless.  It comes with either a cig plug enabling it to be used in a house battery supplied cig socket or a hardwired version so that it can be mounted out of site with only the power supply lead to be visible. This is normally hardwired to the house battery supply through a dedicated wifi switch.

Let’s talk diesel heaters

The burner on a diesel heater can carbon prematurely.  To ensure that your heater performs well it needs a good burn once a month.  Change to your heater to the winter setting, open all your windows and burn for at least one hour at max temp. 

When storing your vehicle, make sure the exhaust and inlet cover is fitted to stop insects nesting and dust collected.  When you run your monthly burn, remove the cover and checking that it is nice and clean before you start up.