MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

ZoNiEZoNiE Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
I have to say, the Midnight Kid seems to be the shiznit in MPPT controllers. I'm leaning 80% to this one. Then there is the Morning Star, been around longer, packaged with the panels I am looking at with Northern AZ wind and Sun, and then there is that blog from Handy Bob touting the MorningStar Tri Star 45. (and yes, Bob, if you are reading this, I read all of your pages, and Yes, I will be getting the Tri-metric, I totally agree that accurate metrology is never too much :) )

Gahh, this is tough.

The Kid has not been around long, but designed by what is arguably the leaders in the business who came together to do their own thing, their way, Same thing I have done in my line of work, so I have a strong connection to and respect for that mentality. Their customer service is touted to be the best, and on that forum, I get answers from the engineers.

The Morning star is more mature, and has a larger installed base, but then there are more PC's than Mac's and Mac's are better than PC's, Beta was better than VHS but VHS had larger adoption. My thinking is that the masses don't necessarily know what is best, and I tend to go against the flow.

Anyone here have experience with both?

Comments

  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

    Well if you need persuading... with the kid and Whizbang you wont be needing the trimetric. Instant saving!

    There are still a trickle of firmware bugs on Kid, but theyll bleed away over time.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

    The TriStar 30 MPPT is a recent addition to the Morningstar line. Price: $355
    The MidNite Kid is a recent addition to their line. Price: $285

    I would pick the Kid over the TriStar if only for the price difference.

    But then I'm a cheapskate.
  • ZoNiEZoNiE Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?
    zoneblue wrote: »
    Well if you need persuading... with the kid and Whizbang you wont be needing the trimetric. Instant saving!

    There are still a trickle of firmware bugs on Kid, but theyll bleed away over time.


    good point.............
  • ILFEILFE Solar Expert Posts: 364 ✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

    I am the proud owner of Beta Kid #35. They are in full production now, so I don't know how many more "bugs" are in the firmware. However, I know other features will be added via upgrades to the firmware, in the future.

    While I had some issues with my Kid at first (kind of the reason for having Beta units, isn't it?), Ryan and Mario helped me sort them.

    I currently have my Kid connected to 270 watts of solar, 24vdc, and a single 120AH FLA battery. This is connected to a 150 watt inverter that powers my internet, laptop and accessories.

    I also own Morningstar Sunlight SL-10L-12V and MorningStar ProStar 30m PWM controllers. While I will be the first to agree that MorningStar offers good quality products, their customer service is SERIOUSLY lacking. To me, this is inexcusable. The last two times I rang them, they were as cold as an ex-wife. They were apprehensive about trying to help me over the phone.

    Midnite, on the other hand, went out of their way for us to be able to communicate, giving me several different options as to how to reach them in order to sort my issues. Midnite has me sold on future purchases. My next controller purchase will be another Kid. In fact, there is zero doubt in my mind as to which manufacturer I will buy from, from now on.

    By the way, a major selling point for Midnite that I was not fully aware of until recently, is the fact that you can overpower the Kid controller with PV without damaging the controller. (This information comes directly from the staff of Midnite, not third party gossip.) For me, this an EXCELLENT feature. You see, I live in Cambodia. Half the year, we have rain - like many people will never see. The other half of the year is dry as a bone. By adding more than the maximum panels to the controller, it will help harvesting more usable energy for the battery during cloudy / overcast days.

    Take a look at the Midnite Kid Solar Controller Instruction Manual.

    One piece of advice, if you decide to buy a Kid: Make sure you have a quality multimeter that shows at least tenths of volts, as you will have to use it to calibrate the Kid upon first connecting it.
    Paul
  • ZoNiEZoNiE Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

    I don't like talking to my ex-wife...:p

    Thanks. good info.
  • mryimmersmryimmers Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

    Rogue Power Technologies also makes an excellent charge controller, I have their MPT-3048 and am very happy with it. Customer service is excellent, when you contact them the guy that designed it is who you will hear from. It's a very well built piece of equipment.
    510 watt pv, TS-MPPT 60, Exeltech XP1100, XP600 & XP250 @ 24V, 4x Trojan 105RE, Trimetric 2030, Yamaha EF2400i gen.
  • CharlieczwCharlieczw Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?

    Hi!
    I have recently bought a Midnite Kid but have had a few issues with it. I have upgraded the firmware to 1742 - Latest. After working for a short period, the 40A fuse decided to blow. Not sure why, as there was considerable shade on some of the panels and it was early morning! I replaced the fuse, but the kid went into "resting" mode. Mario from midnight has been helpful, and has guided me through recalibrating the kid, but up to now it seems to be stuck in "resting" mode. Has anyone else out there had a similar problem??

    Charlieczw

    I have 9 x 195 Suntech panels, 3 x 3 series/parallel, 200Ah x 48v battery bank, MS4348E Magnum Inverter!
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MorningStar or Midnight Kid?
    Charlieczw wrote: »
    Mario from midnight has been helpful, and has guided me through recalibrating the kid, but up to now it seems to be stuck in "resting" mode. Has anyone else out there had a similar problem??

    Welcome to the forum,

    You need to find out the RFR (reason for resting). There's a sequence of buttons to push to find the RFR. Check out Midnite's forum and do a search on "RFR".

    Here's a recent table of RFRs: http://midniteforum.com/index.php?topic=2034

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • blahblah6868blahblah6868 Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 3
    My kid controller is stuck in resting mode. After the panel wire came unplugged while system was charging. I can't find the rfr. This is frustrating . Anyone that can help is much appreiated
  • blahblah6868blahblah6868 Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 3
    Also. You guys provide the rfr chart. But there's no solutions????
  • blahblah6868blahblah6868 Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 3
    I cannot get my kid to give me a rfr number
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,975 ✭✭✭✭

    ...   just lost a Post again ...

    Am not at the main site that has one KID,   have never needed to find a KID RFR,   so   will look at the Manual later.

    Assume that you have reconnected the PV lead to the KID,  Try turning OFF the PV breaker,   then the battery breaker OFF. Wait about one minute,   then turn the battery breaker ON, followed by the PV breaker to ON.   Did this help?

    More later,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,975 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2017 #14

    blah..,

    Googled KID RFR, and this came from the MN Forum,  form Member Taos,  ...

    "If you want to check the reason for resting you must go into the tech menu,then scroll down to about kid hit enter then hold down the set up button and enter at same time then right arrow and you will see a screen with whole bunch of numbers the top left number is the reason why it's in resting mode   ... ."

    Will post the Classic RFR Table,   this table has brief description of most RFRs  ...   but while we wait;

    Had this KID been working fine before that PV cable disconnection?
    Have you tried doing a Reset to Factory Defaults?   This Reset will probably mean that  any custom settings will be lost ...
    What does the Main Status screen show as the PV input voltage?  What is the battery voltage on the status screen?

    Here is a good Link for the MidNite Forum:
    http://midniteftp.com/forum/

    There is a KID Topic there ...   limited time here,  just now  --  doing project work.

    Later,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
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