Comment: Building a Robust Electrical System for Self-Sufficient Touring

I chose a Ranox Battery Booster which can do all these things, one of the few available at the time. Sadly it is no longer available but there are other suitable products on the market now. ANY RECOMMENDATIONS please?

This device can be programmed to exactly suit whatever 12V battery you choose to install. GREAT IDEA
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 01:26

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 01:26
Hi Tom,

RECOMMENDATIONS?.... That's a tough one for me. I am so pleased with the Ranox that I have had no need to thoroughly investigate the features of the many alternatives that are now available.

There are two things to consider - the voltage applied to the target battery and the current.

I think I can say with confidence that all the reputable brands on the market have some way of selecting the voltage to suit the battery, albeit not with the precision offered by the Ranox, but certainly good enough.

However I know of none that offer current control. I believe current control is important for many deep cycle and dual purpose batteries. Many of those batteries do not want bulk amps pushed into them. Usually the recommendation is 10 to 15% of their Ah capacity, as I said in the blog. So a whizz-bang 40 amp DC-DC charger that can be set to the right voltage might deliver 4 times the recommended current in the charging process.

So I guess you should choose your battery first then choose a DC-DC charger that has a max current output to suit your battery.

Very few have decent temperature compensation - in fact I know of only one, Ctek. It has a probe, like the Ranox. Others have none, or assume that the unit's internal temperature is representative of battery temperature and adjust on that basis, which is pretty approximate.

I haven't seen any that claim to stop charging when the battery gets too hot, and in a hot under-bonnet situation for a deep cycle battery that is significant, IMO.

With all that in mind, I have no particular recommendation! Redarc (Aussie) make robust, high-quality products with good after sales backup. Ctek's unit (D250S) is ok, but is not as robust as Redarcs'. The battery probe is rather bulky and a bit short, limiting mounting opportunities. (The Ctek D250S has a solar input as well, but a number of our club members have reported poor solar performance. If you're thinking of a combined unit, in my opinion one of the Redarcs would be better). GSL (Aussie) make one that is reputed to be quite good. ABR-Sidewinder (Derek Bester, a member here) sells a couple with good specs and a good price.

That's not an exhaustive list, but would be a good starting point for your research.

Cheers
Frank
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