Chescold F 40 fridge freezer project

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 00:17
ThreadID: 110597 Views:5095 Replies:2 FollowUps:7
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We have just purchased a cheap Chescold F40. With no 12v leads. Was thinking of making one that mainly runs on 12V off solar power. I ve heard they run crap on 12v but with some basic mods can run well. I also pulled out the old insulation (which looked like a dead guinea pig) whats the best way to replace this???.

Anyway my real question is on the element which one is positive and which one is neg. Or is there even a pos or neg??? There is 2 wires very confused.....any help would be great...not much info out there on these old fridges.....thanks
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Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 07:39

Saturday, Jan 03, 2015 at 07:39
Chescold do not supply leads with their fridges, only a plug as they draw more than the standard ciggi plug is rated for. The intention is they are meant to be hard wired directly to the battery, there should be a male plug receptacle on rear. The F40 was the forerunner to the RC1180, so essentially you will need to find the female plug to suit (rocking horse poo). As far as I'm aware there is really no mods to make them run better on 12v, certainly tips to run better generally (240 or gas). You would require a solar output in the vicinity of 12 to 15 amps, and they generally only maintain the temp on which they were running when disconnected from gas or 240v. Most importantly, I would be taking the fridge to a certified gas centre to have it thoroughly inspected before I did anything, saw one go off at a camping ground, luckily it only destroyed the camper trailer and no one was injured.
AnswerID: 543643

Follow Up By: Brad D2 - Sunday, Jan 04, 2015 at 13:11

Sunday, Jan 04, 2015 at 13:11
I was just going to make my own lead I just dont understand how the element is wired. there is just 2 wires coming out of the element and into the female plug into the back of the fridge. I try either way putting the wires on neg and pos and swiched but didnt work. Both wires must be positve. Confusing. Have to do more research. Anyway I was just going to have a lead running out of the fridge with an anderson plug conecting it to my battery box directly to the pos and neg. Dont use cig conectors much.

The gas kept playing up on our last camping trip when I got it home I gave it a good clean out and now it doesnt work at all. I dont want to mess around with the gas side of things so I decided to go 12v as we have a few solar panels. We also have a F 60 we run on gas and a new syle 12 v fridge....thats why this F 40 is just a big of a project for me.

As for mods have heard that a small 12v computer fan on the cooling tubes and new insolation on the elements and chimney can make great improvments. Using less power to keep the cool bits cool and the hot bits hot.
FollowupID: 830731

Follow Up By: garrycol - Sunday, Jan 04, 2015 at 14:53

Sunday, Jan 04, 2015 at 14:53
You are going to need heaps and heaps of power.

A typical compressor fridge will use 35 - 45 Watts when cycled on - so about 3 to 4 amps but depending on temperature and thermostat setting will be on for about 15 minutes (on fridge mode) every hour so will only use say 1-2 Ah.

A 3 way on on 12v as mentioned can only realistically be used as a fridge and runs flat out - my 3 way is 120w on 12w so used about 10 Ah - almost 10 times the power of a compressor fridge.

From my experience with 120w panels and a Watts meter on a good day you will average about 4 amps during the day - it will get up to 7 or 8 amps at high noon and lower than four at the other ends of the day - on a poor day then much less.

So to give you 10 amps to power the 3 way from solar you are going to need huge panels (up to 1kw to power in the mornings and afternoons) Big batteries could help lower this a bit - what is going to run the fridge at night as unless you have huge batteries you will run out of power.

There is a reason these run on gas and only use 12v as a maintenance function when just on the road. To run these on 12v is an expensive exercise and the fridge still will not work well.
FollowupID: 830750

Follow Up By: Brad D2 - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2015 at 08:51

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2015 at 08:51
cheers for the info mate I had an idea they used more power but not that much may as well scrap that idea then......still interested in finding out how the elements work in these fridges though..............any ideas???
FollowupID: 830867

Reply By: kcandco - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2015 at 23:36

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2015 at 23:36
Hi Brad
I have a f40 myself (only runs on gas). I actually owned a F40, F400 and RC1180 all at the same time and was able to do a comparison on each running simultaneously. On gas surprisingly, the oldest F40 performed the best, followed by the F400 and then the RC1180.

I am pretty sure that with the element it will not matter which wire is connected to positive and negative. If you google 'f40 12v element' you will find sellers of these elements online who I'm sure could confirm this for you.

You said that you hooked the wires up with no results. it would take a while for the element to heat up on 12v. Also are you able to check that power is actually flowing through the element, ie with a multimeter or maybe a 12v bulb in the circuit after the element. I am thinking that way if power is not flowing through the element, it will not make it to the bulb.

Also read ThreadID: 9209 for more info

Good Luck

AnswerID: 543838

Follow Up By: Brad D2 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 07:32

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 07:32
sorry didnt explain it very well the elements did work but when I put the it on the 12v battery the wire started smoking instantly also when I put it on 240v the element heated up the wires stayed cool but after about 10mins it tripped the safety switch......hense confused?!#???
FollowupID: 830933

Follow Up By: Brad D2 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 07:48

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 07:48
come to think of it the wire ran thru the insolation maybe that kept the wires cool........must need thicker wires......for 12v might try adding a cig plug.

if i can get the 240v to work again will probably just be an outside fridge for parties. I dont want to spend money getting the gas fixed for camping as we already have 2 other fridges (we only got this 3rd fridge cause we left our other gas one at a freinds property and havent got it back yet and we like to have 2 fridges camping over christmas. Our first fridge was a bargain at $50........brought this one for the same but the gas kept going out over chrismas) The 12v doesnt seem very effeicent by what the previous posts have suggested.....might just sell or give away
FollowupID: 830934

Follow Up By: kcandco - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 09:07

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 09:07
Don't use a cig plug as they are only good to carry a few amps. Your fridge will draw 10 amps plus at 12v, well over what the cig plugs can handle. I've had one melt doing the exact same thing (years ago).

My thoughts on the 12v element is that it must be shorted out causing more than the normal 10 amp to flow through the wiring. Like you said the cost of parts, ie 12v element around $100 makes them too expensive to repair.
As for the gas, I had problems with an F40 I owned prior to this one. refer post ThreadID: 51676. I ended up selling it cheap as never did fix the problem.

FollowupID: 830937

Follow Up By: kcandco - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 14:06

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 14:06
Hi I just checked my f40 and the small terminal next to the plastic pin is wired as the positive in this case. This is looking at the back of the fridge. Cheers
FollowupID: 830955

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