Christie Battery Charger

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:17
ThreadID: 14859 Views:4799 Replies:12 FollowUps:16
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Hi folks:

Just wondering if anyone has any first hand experiece with the Christie 12v High Powered Battery Charger. My primay purpose would be to recharge my 2nd battery (which powers my Engel fridge) during long stays, and possibly to run a 12v drill occasionally.

I had considered solar panels, but on three trips have been turned off this alternative when I saw the difficulties others were having. Space was a secondary consideration.

I am similarly hesitant of buying "el cheapo" generators, and can't afford a Honda.

Many thanks.

Jack
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:30

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:30
Yes, there are a few in our club, they have an excellent reputation. We were at club property for few days, others had been there a week.. They had not been driving anywhere, just bushwalkin from the hut outwards.

Come time on the sunday to go home, they jumped in the car, and it just started up fine.. So they work well from what I saw..

They arent the cheapest things on earth though, but there is one in the trader section of this board I think...
AnswerID: 68773

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:33

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:33
Christies charger is a similar price ( they are a good idea, but overpriced) to a 0.7 Honda at $999 and a lot quieter and more useful, I know which one I would choose.
Hunt around the generator places for a generator exactly the same as a honda 1.0 only yellow called a Sinus, or similar name like that, and they are exactly the same as a Honda only about half the price, about $650. They are made by Honda, let me know if you cant find one and I will get the exact detail as our local has one on the floor for that price.
AnswerID: 68774

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:17

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:17
Thanks Steve. I'd appreciate the details. I took a quick snoop around today but came up empty. Sinus??? Interesting name : )
Thanks
Jack
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Reply By: -OzyGuy- - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:52

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 09:52
Jack,
I have been using a single 80Wt Solar panel without problems for many years now, where I use the Solar Panel when I am camped for many weeks/months in the one place.
I can't understand what problems you could have with a Solar Panel as they are a totally stand alone product that require no maintainence, except maybe a good surface clean weekly.
I think it may be in the way the Panel is wired to the battery system, the regulator or maybe it is the battery system?

Can you please elaberate on the "difficulties" they were having with their systems?
There may be a very simple answer to the percieved dificulties that can be clarified for you!
AnswerID: 68777

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:44

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:44
Hi Ozguy:

I have to admit I didn't take much notice when the solar panel owners (3) hooked up my fridge to their systems. What I did find was that after about two days my fridge was struggling and their batteries (connected to solar panels) were going flat. I had the only fridge in captivity on this particular leg of the trip. It was an Engel and was used for cooling, not freezing, so my thoughts were that it was not sucking maximum power from their batteries.

But on three separate stops, each of between 3 to 5 days duration I found the fridge struggling to keep up towards the end. (The fridge was out of my car and stored in shade).

The panels were roughly 1.7 x 1 m approx, suitcase types. No idea on brand.

At one stage I thought it could have been the fridge, but on the rest of the trip, where it was hooked into my car it ran fine, battery had no problems, so I have discounted the problem that the frigge had a problem. The fridge is used here at home to keep the extra beer cold and has been performing fine for the best part of a year, hooked up to 240v -> 12v transformer (or whatever it is called).

I was keen on solar until I went through this, but then thought a battery charger would be the best option.

If you hae advice I'd be happy to take that on board, as well as pass it on to those I travelled with. Thanks.

Jack
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Follow Up By: The Banjo - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 16:26

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 16:26
Ozy....interested in your reply to me below re using a MM instead of a regulator....do you mean that a MM can regulate or that the reg is unnecessary ? (I'm an electronics klutz).
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Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 05:19

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 05:19
The Banjo,
the regulator is, in my case, unnecessary as I can safely use all the power supplied by the Panel, as it is attached to the roof on a removable roof rack, often I am in the shade and it does not work, however because I have such a large amount of battery power available to me I have no problems of a few days with out a sun re-charge and my batteries are Calcium, not water and can take a bit more power when it is available.

The MultiMetre is used to show the power used by the fridge and also the power available in the batteries.

With a 12 volt fridge motor ie, Engel and all Danfoss compressors, when the power gets low the compressors run slower and then they have to run a bit longer time to move the same amount of refridgerant, so a MM set to the 10 Amp setting and attached inline with the positive wire allows you to see what power you are actually using, when you set it back to check the battery power, from memory 3rd on left from the top (?200?) you can check the available battery voltage, this must be done when the battery has been 'rested' for a while or you will only get 'surface voltage'.

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Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:10

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:10
Just had a look at these chargers look like a good thing but could not find a price anyone know how much.

Christie charger

Baz.
AnswerID: 68781

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:46

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:46
Hi Baz:

They come in at around $950.

Jack
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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:16

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:16
Thanks Jack, are these chargers loud, you said you ran a 12v drill sometimes i have one too, i bought a new battery for my dirt bike after it would'nt start the bike, even when i fully charged it so i thought i would try it to run my 12v drill with it, works bloody good lasts about two days of constant use before you have to recharge it, a new one would be even better, just a thought and the big advantage very small.

Baz.
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Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:18

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:18
The old battery i mean !!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:52

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 12:52
Hi Baz:

No idea on noise levels. Truckster may have a better idea (see his earlier reply) as he seems to have seen them in operation.

The bike battery sounds like a good idea as well for the drill. Thanks.

Jack
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Reply By: The Banjo - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:23

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 11:23
All very interesting - I have low demand on energy compared to some (3 way fridge) so I will be going with the 80 W panel as mentioned by OzyGuy when staying put in the bush - prefer that idea to gennies seeing that they create a noise issue for other campers in certain places. If the "sun don't shine" as they say in the classics, and I'm getting lineball on energy supply, I will just start up the Jack's TD and run it for a hour (a back-up generator in effect - but can't see me doing much of that). Seems I can get an 80W BP panel in Adelaide with regulator for close to $690. I see this plan as being workable, but I will have to keep an eye on power levels AND the main car battery is always reserved for starting only!
AnswerID: 68782

Follow Up By: -OzyGuy- - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 13:26

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 13:26
I run my system without a regulator, as I have 160 Ah Calcium DC battery bank and my 80 Ah Solar Panel is like a trickle charge to those numbers.

Your 80 Wt panel puts out around 5 Amps peak, so is not going to do any major damage when the fridge is connected 24/7 and pulls ~3 Ah, the Panel will only peak deliver for about 6 hours daily, (in WA) therefore putting back similar to what the fridge takes out.

A reasonable MultiMetre $2o, is a good investment instead of a cheap regulator, unless you get one of the digital readout regulators available.
My next purchase :)
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Follow Up By: Glenno - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 17:26

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 17:26
Check the dimensions of the BP and Kyocera 80W cells. I found the BP was too long and skinny for me to fit on the roof racks easy. The Kyocera was a better fit. I have a set of Rhino racks and I can still fit a 9ft Mal next to the Kyocera no probs.

Both the Kyocera and BP are excellent panels.

Cheers,

Glenn.
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Follow Up By: The Banjo - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 17:36

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 17:36
Glenno - who markets the Kyocera panels ? Any retail chains ? etc....
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Follow Up By: Glenno - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 18:25

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 18:25
I bought mine from some bloke at Deception bay in Brisbane. Found him in the yellow pages. Cant remember his name though. Most places who deal Solar sell both BP & Kyocera.

I checked Olbis in Brisbane and they sell the 80W for $689. Just go in with $650 of cash and lay it on the counter and see what they do.

Cheers,

Glenn.
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Reply By: Moose - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 13:38

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 13:38
Jack
What sort of battery do you have? I was looking at one of these recently but Christie's themselves told me that it wouldn't really be suitable for my deep cycle battery. The chargers suit a normal starting type battery, or some of those fancy $400 jobs that can charge quickly (can't think of name at moment). As far as noise they said it makes a fair racket but if you're not around anyone else I guess you can put up with noise for an hour of so.
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Reply By: pjd - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 19:54

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 19:54
i have had one 18 months works atreat .at a base camp run it for an hour every 1 or 2 days depending how hot it is cant beat it. smaller & cheaper than solar a lot more rugged for out back tracks & works in any weather conditions .genies are good but you need 6 or more hrs of continious running to do the same job.
AnswerID: 68878

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 08:55

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 08:55
Thanks pjd - I think I have reached the same conclusion. A hour or so every couple of days sounds fine to me, will not inconveniece anybody if I have fellow travellers around.
Cheers
jack
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Reply By: Disco_Inferno - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:08

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:08
I bought a 100w Suntech panel from Landline in Albury 02 60235703 for $729 delivered
I have a Chescold fridge and use the solar panel to charge the battery for lights tv and laptop
AnswerID: 68898

Reply By: Member - Willie Sydney - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:35

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:35
Jack , CHARGER or GENERATOR ???????????????????????????

I am in the same boat as you and I can't decide to go with a battery charger such as Christies make , or a generator like the many Japanese ones around .

Is it better to run your fridge straight off a generator for two hours a day ( I have a eutectic ) or run it off the battery and recharge the battery when neccessary .

I am buggered if I know which way to go !

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 08:54

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 08:54
Hi Willie:
As you said, I have the same dilemma. I have a small 12v battery charger to recharge my torch and gps batteries on the go, but need to keep the fridge battery topped up.
I do not really need a generator, but considered it. But on t his forum there are enough horror stories to hae me steer clear of the cheaper ones, and I have not managed to see a solar power setup that I felt comfortable with. Plus, no sun = no charge.
So, as I only want to give my batteries a kick along, I figured the Christie charger would be the best and most viable alternative, albeit, a bit pricey at aroudn $950 each. Smaller than a generator, less bulky than panels.
Being 12v, I could run lights, or my drill if I needed it, but if I have charged batteries I don't need to do it. I think the Christie is the way I will go.
Cheers
Jack
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Reply By: Member - Nobby - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 08:25

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 08:25
Jack I have both the Christie Set and Solar Panels. I find that the Solar(2 x 80w) will keep the batteries fully charged(2 x 105DC) for most of the time.All I run is a 60l Evakool F/F and lights at night. Christie were right that their charger is not really designed for Deep Cycle Batteries as they prefer to take a low charge over a long period of time, but the Christie has got me out of trouble more than once.Personally if I did it all again I would not buy one and invest in good solar panels with a good regulator and probably one of these cheap Bunnings Generators as a back up. Best advice I can give is to make sure that your Batteries are fully charged before heading off as most things will top up power at same level but will not increase charge.Only my thoughts.
AnswerID: 68969

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 12:15

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 12:15
Hi Jack called into my local supplier this morning and he has a 1kva Sinemaster unit
( guess I got the name slightly wrong LOL) which is exactly the same as a 1kva honda, his current retail price is $799, last time I asked it was $600 something, but is still $600 cheaper than a honda. Someone told me that honda can only import so many and as a result they bring in the same thing only called something different and in a different coloured case. I wouldnt buy an el cheapo gen purely for the noise factor, these hondas are very quiet, but wouldnt hesitate to grab one of these, have thought about it even though I dont need one. The christie unit does a different job and is OK but quite noisy I beleive.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 19:37

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 19:37
Hi Steve:
I'd be interested in having a chat to your supplier if you'd be good enough to send me details. I am assuming they are 240v. Via the Member Message might be best in this case. Thanks.
Jack
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Reply By: Mick - Friday, Jul 23, 2004 at 09:54

Friday, Jul 23, 2004 at 09:54
Hi Jack,
I do read forums from time to time!
To start with it all depends on what your doinng with your battery and how long your going to camp in the one spot.
If you only go away for a weekend at a time, then get a cheap wet cell deep cycle, and dont worry about a charger, as you will be driving 6-8 hours per day to charge it.
Now if your going to do a big trip, like we do!, and possibly like to stay in one spot for a few days or a week, catching massive fish!, then you start getting into trouble.
A wet cell deep cycle needs a constant trickle charge for about 6-8 hours EVERY day, the only way to do this is either buy an EU10i and run it from 7:00am to 7:00pm to keep up with the fridge, as they will only put out 6amps max (yes we tested them), and your fridge is running on 5amps duty cycle, so you dont get much charge back in the battery.
Then let the battery drain overnight with the fridge running, as you want to sleep!
OR get at least 2 80watt panels and park them out in the sun to get a good trickle charge all day.
Now when the sun says goodbye, i guess youll have to run the truck, or pack up and go!
We have been there done that!!
Sick of it!!
No one else made a product that would do the job, so we designed our own.
With a fast charger like ours its best to use a fast recharging battery, of course to make it efficient!, as your wet cell deep cycle will still take 6 hours to recharge, and our charger will charge them, but is designed in a way so no battery can be killed by it, through voltage regulating.
An AGM, or ordinary cranking battery is the most efficient way to go.
All you need is to run our charger for around an hour, more if you have a higher load, but for a fridge only, your looking at an hour per day.
Heres our website,
http://usrwww.mpx.com.au/~christie_eng/index.html
They retail for $990 inc GST, which isnt dear!
A new honda engine and new bosch alternator is quite expensive to start with, not including all our digital readout and cast bellhousing.
If you call us, we can explain anything you need to know.
02 9620 1208.
Thanks, Mick & Les Christie
AnswerID: 69207

Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Friday, Jul 23, 2004 at 11:17

Friday, Jul 23, 2004 at 11:17
Thanks Mick.
I don't catch "massive" fish, unfortunately, despite my best efforts. Appreciate your input, though.
Cheers
Jack
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