Ctek chargers

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 22:00
ThreadID: 137330 Views:2023 Replies:6 FollowUps:26
Hi folks, I put this on another forum but it seems a bit quiet so I thought I'd try here.

I'm just wondering if one of the electrical gurus can help me, I somehow ended up with two ctek chargers, a D250S dual and a D250SA.

I want to install one into the rear of my truck for the 2nd battery and was wondering which one would be best suited, the rig is a 2003 F250 with a 200w solar panel on the roof so should be a fairly basic install.

I was also thinking I have a caravan which is anderson connected to the truck also, could the second ctek be used to power that? Or should I run the anderson of the 2nd battery in the truck?

The links are below for each charger, any help appreciated.

https://www.ctek.com/products/vehicle/d250s-dual , https://www.ctek.com/products/vehicle/d250sa , click on product or technical details.

Cheers Wayne
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 22:41

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 22:41
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Well Nutta, I don't think I would want to use the d250s-dual at all. The following is a cut-and-paste from the Ctek Product Information Sheet: (Oops Ctek)
"....improve the performance of the CHARRING of remote batteries." That's not something I would want to do to my remote batteries!!!!!

But to address you question.... The D250S-dual was the original version of a dual input for both alternator and solar. The D250SA is essentially the same except it is suitable for "vehicles fitted with smart ECU controlled alternators".

Your 2003 F250 would not have a ECU controlled alternator so you could use either for the tub battery.

Your caravan battery would benefit from having the second D250S mounted close to the input of the caravan battery. This should be supplied directly from the alternator (the starter battery terminals) rather than from the tub battery.


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 07:27

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 07:27
Definitely don't want to char it! lol

Thanks for your input, I might use both seeing I have them, cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 21:06

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 21:06
Well researched Allan - that first para would be a great contender for 'Friday Funnies' - well spotted :O))

Cheers - Phil
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 at 12:01

Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 at 12:01
As they say - one missed typo, and your whole day is urined!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 at 12:08

Sunday, Oct 14, 2018 at 12:08
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Classic Ron.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 07:51

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 07:51
Nutta,

As Allan has stated, either charger can be used for the auxiliary truck battery,
but as the D250SA also has the ability to charge the starter battery once the auxiliary has reached full charge, I would put that one in the truck.
Whether this happens regularly will depend on how much draw is being taken from the auxiliary to run items such as fridge, etc., but it makes sense to utilise this feature if possible.

Just for your interest, I run two D250S chargers.
One connected to the auxiliary in the rear of my dual cab to maintain a 100Ah AGM and another in my camper which maintains 2 x 100Ah batteries connected in parallel.

The D250S in the camper was a no brainer as the best way to charge and maintain the 200Ah battery bank while traveling and an additional input from a 200w solar panel when bush camping.
The D250S in the vehicle was chosen as I wasn't happy with the VSR controller method to maintain healthy battery condition. It make take longer to charge (20A maximum) but it receives a full charge from the multiple stage charging process.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 08:42

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 08:42
Thanks Bill.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 07:15

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 07:15
Yes, thanks Bill.

That answered an obvious immediate question I had to the OP (why not just charge vehicle aux via VSR at 70amps / 80 amps etc ?).

This is how I've had the Ranger aux setup for about 5 - 6 years now, and it works well, no other camper needs as yet for more power.

I also put both batteries on the smart charger / desulphater every few months, so far one AGM in 4 years, but think with most aux batteries that is about the life with pretty rough driving conditions, and never have it go lower than about 80% SOC.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 08:53

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 08:53
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Hey Wayne, do you have a 3-way fridge in your caravan (12v,240v,gas)?
If so, I can suggest a neat way of connecting it to the 12v.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:09

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:09
Hi Allan, yes, this is the main reason I am doing a major upgrade, our recent trip with no sun the 3 way was sucking the life out of the batteries, major headache.

What is your suggestion?

Thanks Wayne.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:22

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:22
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Hang on, I'll draw it up.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: rooster350 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:24

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:24
Is there any reason that you cannot use gas to power your 3 way fridge , it is common knowledge that they are very high users of 12v batteries because of the heater element system of cooling...they or ours runs quite well when traveling on 12v connected to the cars system , but as soon as we get to camp we switch it gas..cheers
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:27

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:27
Hi Rooster.

I do flick it to gas on parking up, its towing thats causing all the grief.

I think I have an issue on 12volt as my last car/van combination was fine.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: rooster350 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:51

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:51
Nothing like an expert , but is does seem like a lack of charging from the alternator, our fridge runs of the "ütilities" line in the car to van plug.
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:55

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 09:55
Yeah I'm not sure whats going on, anderson was showing 14.5v with the truck running.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 10:07

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 10:07
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OK Wayne, here is what I suggest. All you require additional is a relay or solenoid.

The setup in the vehicle is standard. It charges the aux battery via the Ctek, allows for solar charging, and tops up the crank battery from solar. The addition to this is simply a 60Amp relay
(Jaycar SY-4074, $8.95)

This relay supplies power to the caravan only when the engine is running and ensures that the fridge can only draw from the alternator. This arrangement thus protects all batteries from the fridge when stationary and requires only one cable via Anderson plugs from the vehicle to the caravan.


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 12:55

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 12:55
Nutta
If the previous setup worked the fridge ok then something now must be different.
Nice to have 2 DCDC units to use but I am curious as to how the anderson plug will be reading 14.5v. Even IF the alternator was producing 14.5v at the alternator terminal, the cable and anderson plug whilst under load of the fridge isn't going to read 14.5 v, it should be less if running the fridge 12v element. If it is very close to, or at, the alt voltage then it would seem the fridge isn't using current or very little. Either way not much cooling will happen.

So, even if you add the relay Allan suggests and supply the trailer DCDC and the fridge from that line, I would think you will still have the same problem.

Have you isolated the fridge supply and directly fed the fridge with power to see what happens, as a test? Perhaps testing the fridge current draw amp flow while delivering a constant 14v to it may show what is happening. ie testing by eliminating all the cables, anderson plugs etc. Unless you know the fridge is working as it should, ie, do basics first, your refurbishement may not be aimed in the best directions.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 13:08

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 13:08
Nutta
Have you isolated and tested the fridge to see if it performs properly, ie, amp flow and voltage correct while being delivered with minimum cabling lengths???
Unless you know it is working properly before anything else, all the cabling and DCDC chargers aren't going to improve your troubles.

I cannot see how you can have 14.5v, at the anderson plug of the van if the fridge is running. The cables would have to be quite large in cross section AND the alternator would have to be producing in excess of 14.5v for that voltage level to be present at the anderson under load.

If you have a cable supply problem, the direct to trailer through the relay, Allan suggested will be trying to run the DC DC unit AND run the fridge, ie, two electircal loads on the anderson plug line. The fridge which is having troubles at present may not improve unless the basic problem is found. Adding expensive electronic chargers may not solve the problem.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 15:48

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 15:48
Nutta,

When you measured 14.5V at the Anderson, was there anything plugged in to it?

It is the voltage at the Anderson when a decent load is plugged in that matters.

Try plugging in your van with the fridge set on 12V, then probe the back of the terminals on the Anderson and report what the voltage is.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 20:17

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 20:17
Thanks guys, I'll pass this thread onto my mate so he can have a read o it as I'm not the best with electrics.

I do know all the cabling is heavy duty, I saw it the other day when I checked the fuse which I think was 50amp.

The anderson plug was showing 14.5 volt with no load.

I will get back to everyone when I get to the bottom of it.

Sorry I can't answer all questions, (not much knowledge) thanks again.
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Follow Up By: Tim Owen - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 20:06

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 20:06
Hi Allan B - If I understand it correctly, your approach/diagram would prohibit the Fridge and Van Aux battery from getting any charge from the Solar when stationary. Is that right?

Not sure what the solar arrangement is, but if simple to switch the solar over, then I assume no reason why you cannot ustilise the solar input on the Van CTEK250S if you wanted to (ie. a second solar input on your diagram).

Given it sounds like the 3-way is 12V hungry and better served on gas when stationary - and given the need to provide 12V to a fridge in the car also, your solution seems like a good one in this circumstance.

If someone was wanting to run both the car and van fridges on 12V you'd probably want a different arrangement to allow all batteries to be charged via a single solar input simultaneously?
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 22:52

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 22:52
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Hi Tim,

The proposal I offered to Wayne was based on minimal change to his existing system, merely using the Ctek chargers he already had and adding only a relay. in his description of his existing system Wayne said that he wanted to add a battery into "the rear of his truck" which had a "200w solar panel on the roof". There was no mention of solar on the caravan.

So yes, the proposed circuit wold not allow the "Van Aux battery from getting any charge from the truck Solar when stationary." His existing 200W solar panel would be inadequate to contribute to both the truck aux battery, the van aux battery and the needs of the 3-way fridge.

Certainly, it would be easy to have a solar panel on the caravan servicing the van battery via the Ctek D250S. It was not shown on the diagram because no van solar was mentioned. But such a panel would not be sufficient to support the needs of the 3-way fridge.

Re your final paragraph.... the 3-way van fridge can only be satisfactorily run on 12V when that is available from the alternator. No "different arrangement" would serve.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 13:02

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 13:02
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Wayne, you said.... "our recent trip with no sun the 3 way was sucking the life out of the batteries".

Which batteries?

Also, what is the Anderson plug at the rear of the vehicle connected to? The cranking battery or the auxiliary battery in the tub?
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 20:12

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 20:12
Hi Allan, I got your pic which I will print out and show my friend, thank you.

The van at each stop was always flat like nothing was getting to it, my truck was almost as bad with its 2nd battery as I have a fridge in the back seat as well, but it seemed to be worse than normal too.

The anderson plug on the truck is off the crank/alternator.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 20:44

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 20:44
Nutty
Do you have two 3 way fridges running while travelling? An accurate description of what you have would be of assistance to anyone replying.
It is impossible for the batteries to be flat, partially discharged maybe, while the alternator is running.
Either you have a disconnect while travelling, ie, no power to either battery system and fridges OR the alternator is not charging sufficient amp output.
Perhaps the alt has a blown diode and has lost 2/3 of it’s output. That might keep the engine running but nothing extra for fridges or batteries. Until you get a surety of the systems performance it seems pointless to alter things in an attempt to charge batteries and run fridges.
My alt runs at 14.4v and through a decent connection and Anderson plug, it charges and runs a 3 way fridge at around 12.7v while travelling. Fridge runs off at least 12.7v. Van battery will be less than fully charged when that is happening. The solar and DcDc unit replaces that when stopped and fridge OFF.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 22:06

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 22:06
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Nutta,
By the way, that circuit I proposed is not just speculative. I have installed it a couple of times and they have worked perfectly. A simple concept yet eliminating the common problems of a 3-way fridge in a caravan,
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 22:07

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 22:07
Thanks Allan.

Hi Rmd,

Only 1 x 3 way fridge in the van and the 12v waeco in the back seat of the truck.

There must be something breaking down in the system somewhere, I'm hoping to have it looked at this weekend.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 07:34

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 07:34
The dc’s will get in the road of your bulk charge until you get your other issues sorted. I’d work out what is going wrong first. 3 way’s can flatten a battery pretty quick, how long do you leave it run on 12v with the engine off?
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 08:19

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 08:19
I turn it off as soon as we pull up.
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Reply By: Von Helga - Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 14:39

Friday, Oct 12, 2018 at 14:39
Wayne,

A couple of experencies with Ctek.

Ensure your solar input is not regulated from your panel/s to a Ctek/s... Ctek likes to do their own regulating.
Obviously not too high for the DC volts in to the Ctek/s. Your 200 watt panel/s outputs how many volts unregulated???
If you choose to have one Ctek in your truck and one in the vanvan ( which is what I would do) then only power the van's Ctek from your truck start battery and not slaved off your Aux Battery in the truck. From real world experince the truck Ctek gets confused with the van batts connected to the Aux resulting in warm beer in the van

The Ctek will protect you from a flat start batt in the truck.

AnswerID: 621545

Follow Up By: Nutta - Saturday, Oct 13, 2018 at 11:09

Saturday, Oct 13, 2018 at 11:09
Thanks Von.

The solar on the truck has no reg but the van does, I'm not sure how ill get around that yet. jayco has its own setec, no doubt a cheap clone of ctek.
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Reply By: Von Helga - Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 08:06

Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 08:06
Wayne,

I have seen the Setec in a jayco van.

it is simply a solar terminal on the back of the unit that you can disconnect and then wire in the Ctek seperately using the cable that came from the solar panel to the Setek unit. the MPPT in the Ctek is the much better option since you have a spare
AnswerID: 621594

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