Chescold wiring

Submitted: Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:27
ThreadID: 19040 Views:11024 Replies:7 FollowUps:17
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How does the 12v plug wire to the cable?

I have the chescold, but I need the 12v lead. I have purchased the plug and a cable etc to make up a decent lead. Now which wire goes to which socket? Does it matter? The plug is designed to ensure it goes in one way so it seems the wirining must be critical. When looking at the fridge male fitting one prong is higher than the other. which is positive?

I know they perform poorly on 12v and I use gas on site but it must help to have the fridge plugged in during travel.

Daryl
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Reply By: paj - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:40

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:40
On my chescold there are three pins, one plastic and two metal. The plastic pin seems to locate the plug. The centre higher male pin is the positive.

We plug ours in when travelling and have fitted two extras:

1. A small LED to indicate power on, and
2. A 12 volt computer fan under the main evaporator to help move the air around when packed in the car.

Seems to work well, but unplug if you stop, it sucks a battery dry in about 4-5 hours (by coincidence I just tested this today to see what happened!)

Cheers

Peter
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Follow Up By: locallaw - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:57

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:57
Gidday,I have a Chescold RC1180 fridge and am very happy with it.On a trip across the Simpson everything worked very well even on 12v also.Back to the wiring you can connect the wiring either way pos or neg as the system is different to compressor type fridges.This is stated in your manual if you have one.
Seeya Locallaw
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Follow Up By: locallaw - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:59

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 19:59
Gidday,What model Chescold do you have.
Seeya Locallaw
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:06

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:06
yep sure does sucks like a Zyrtec, i have rewired a 12v lead direct from the chescold and leave it plugged in when we are driving, it kills the battery in about 5 hrs as its a resistive load to create the heat to move the refrigeratn around or the eutectic fluid, (WHERE IS NUDENUT WHEN U NEED HIM???)
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Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:15

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:15
Bonz, chescold 40lt draws 10amp continuous on 12vdc .
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:19

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:19
yer I just monitored with the Jaycar unit till it beeped and turned the fridge off

unless i forgot and then I just recharged it next day driving, next time I wil bring the bloody gas lead
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Reply By: Darylive - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:01

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:01
Thank you my friend. That's what I like a simple answer to a simple question.

I have a GQ patrol and have wired a sicket into the rear. Well that is to say there was a socket in the rear that powered an independant flood light for the back but I have put a socket on it for the fridge. I have both a Weaco and a Chescold. The Weaco I use mainly for travelling and the chescold for travelling / camping with the camper then I put it on gas on arrival. I thought it wise to have the chescold running on 12v in the camper while on the move to keep the gases flowing. I know everybody says they are not real good on 12v but it has to be better than nothing when travelling to the camp site.

The computer fan sounds like a good idea. There is a vent behind the fridge place in the camper so a little fan would help. The only scary bit is the fridge running from the camper wiring while the vehicle is stopped but that would not be for long aand I carry a booster pack to start the truck if I have to.

Daryl ;{
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Follow Up By: Darylive - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:08

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:08
I do not know what the model is, the chescold came with the old Jayco I just bought. (hence no manual) It is about 40ltrs capacity small chest type. Work s very well.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:29

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:29
I am not sure of the positive benefits of the fan

The unit works by using heat to drive the heat exchange process, and additional air moving around would detract from the process. I know it gets warm above the element, but that is part of the process. I have built a rack that sits around the fridge in the car allowing air to move around it and it doubles as a fridge table in camp, I would be mucking with the airflow.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 07:41

Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 07:41
>I am not sure of the positive benefits of the fan

Well worthwhile. I've had a Finch fridge (same 3 way type as Chescold) for about three years and found it to be pretty much useless when travelling, ie. maybe working at 30% efficiency - I recently fitted a 12V computer PSU fan and I've only done one trip since but would guess the efficiency has improved to, maybe, 75%?.

I'm also going to fit a socket and diode to the fan so that when the fridge is on gas on hot days (35+) I can plug a battery in to run the fan and give the gas a helping hand.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Mick - Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 23:43

Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 23:43
Mike, Check that your wiring to the fridge is sufficiently heavy. I also have a Finch and it works very well from the socket in the back of the Prado. (Frozen beer after one day from William Creek to Roxby Downs) I think running the air con on hot days is a far better aid to it than a computer fan. I always use the fresh air setting so that there is a flow through past the fridge. I know many people say they don't work well on 12 volts, including the previous owners of my fridge, but my experience has been the opposite and I put it down to the power supply being up to the task and the air con.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:41

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 15:41
Thanks for the nudge Mick. I checked the wiring today and noticed (although I've always known it's been there - just ignored it! :) some bright spark had used about 2 feet of table lamp flex for the final 12V connection to the fridge (I bought it secondhand). This flex was dropping about 0V5 - which is quite a lot on a 12V system. I replaced it and now have a 0V8 drop from the battery terminals to the heater connection on the fridge - which I can live with. With the engine running that gives me around 13V at the fridge. I also took the opportunity to put a socket and diode on the fan I fitted previously so I can now run the fan when the fridge is on gas - as the fan only draws 150mA it could easily run for a couple of days from the vehicle battery without problems. I shall be interested to see how much the fan improves performance when the fridge is on gas on hot days. It has certainly helped under 12V conditions when the fridge is at the rear of my vehicle with (I suspect) very poor airflow.

I always thought the reason absorption fridges didn't work well on 12V ie. when they are in a moving vehicle, was because they must be kept level for efficient operation and on most 4WD expeditions they are anything but level - is that correct?

Mike Harding

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Reply By: Darylive - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:12

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:12
Don't bring nudenut into this remember I only wanted to know what the wiring is for the plug. I have read the long winded debate about what watts etc. etc. etc.

That's why I was hyappy to recieve the simple version.

Thanks
AnswerID: 91152

Reply By: TheUndertaker - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:26

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:26
Darylive , pos/neg not critical look in the archives on how u can improve the overall performance of chest type chescolds,,$10 computer fan wired into correct spot will make a huge difference in cooling,, my old 40 fridge freezes down to -5c and thats on a day like today of 37c ambient.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:45

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 20:45
wheres the right spot?
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Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 21:15

Monday, Jan 03, 2005 at 21:15
Bonz, mount fan to DRAW hot air away from condenser tubes, far as possible away from flame tube, works for me and lots of others, somtimes so called experts let theory get inthe way of actual systems that work,,next thing someone will say is why chescold dont incorperate same into production ? because it means using both gas and a tiny amount of 12vdc at the same time ,means people would have to think more to use their now 6way,, 12v only, 12v+fan , 240only ,240+fan , gas only, gas+fan.
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Follow Up By: Mick - Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 23:52

Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 23:52
Unertaker you don't need the hassle of fitting a 12 volt fan under any circumstances if the fridge is correctly set up. Proper ventilation, a good 12 volt power supply when travelling and a good gas plame is all you need. I've used mine in many and varied conditions, including FNQ in summer and have never had any problems. Just get the basics right and you don't need "bandaids"
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Follow Up By: TheUndertaker - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:33

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:33
Mick ,its no hassle to fit a fan , set up the fan converts a FRIDGE to the performance of a FREEZER , there are lots of misconceptions about 3ways ,check the archives, one fool even thinks that the themostat works on gas,no no no ,only works on 240v.
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Follow Up By: pixiemops - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 13:20

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 13:20
The 3 way fridges are great and Id never buy and Engel Waeco or any other compressor fridge for that matter. Why invest in all the other equipment needed to run them. Put a fan under the fins to conduct the heat away ( the twelve volt shop in Perth sells a u beaut setup a mug can do) get your car correctly wired from the battery for 12v operation. A cigarette lighter socket is not designed to run any appliance like a fridge. Keep the heat conducting pipes at the back free of dust. Keep it level when on gas and 240v. An old sleeping bag makes an excellent cover and assists insulation of the box. Finally people only whinge about these fridges because they simply dont know how to use them properly. Like anything if you dont set it up right how on earth do you expect it to work.
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Reply By: Tuco - Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 00:02

Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 00:02
Daryl,
Chescold fridges only perform poorly on DC (12V) because of insufficient voltage at the 12V heating coil.
The britax polarised socket on the fridge and also the supplied wiring will not carry sufficient current to the coil.
The voltage drop is easily measured with a multimeter at the DC heating coil with the fridge running. Don't be suprised if you only get readings in the 9 - 11 Volt range!
The DC performance will improve significantly if you upgrade the 12V wiring to the coil. There are a couple of ways that this can be done.
1. Use Dick Smith Super Low Loss OFC (cat W 2017) cable and preferably wire it via a gromet in the rear case directly to the 'tails' coming from the DC coil - using DSE Connector strip large (cat P 4848) . These 'tails' are crimped (swaged) onto the coil and best left alone at the coil end. Doing it this way will result in the least possible voltage drop, but will mean that you end up having a 12 V DC cable as well as the AC 240 V cable hard wired to the fridge at all times.
2. If you feel that you don't want the DC hard wired - then run the DC heating coil wires directly to an Anderson plug mounted on the rear panel of your fridge. Then make up your cable with Anderson plugs at each end. Cigarette lighter plugs and even Hella plugs/sockets are only rated 8 Amp - so set up your in vehicle fridge wiring using 50 Amp Anderson plugs.
Once you have modified the wiring and plugs in this manner - use your multimeter to check the voltage at the heating coil with the fridge running - you will be amazed at the improvement in voltage - and fridge performance.
Remember that on DC (12V) the Chescold doesn't have any thermostat for temperature regulation and it will get VERY cold! The temperature control only works on AC (240V) or gas.
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Follow Up By: Darylive - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:44

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:44
Tuco,

Thanks mate, sounds like you know what you are talking about. I have a mate camped with me at the moment from the bush. He is a bit handy with wiring (electrician) I will get him to have a look at it. I tried wiring up a bloody wireless to my car as a young buck (a hundred years ago) and nearly burned the lot to the ground so I swore off wiring vehicles then.

Thanks heaps.

It seems the thing does nothing on 12v but the wiring might be the problem from what you say. In reality I plug the Barsard in to 240V the night before I leave home to get him cold and then run gas on site. I was just wanting to keep a chill on things. Reports indicate anything from -5 on 12v to nothing?

How long does this thing stay cold before needing a charge. A few have suggested 4-5 hours in neutral, any more stop for a counter lunch and fire up the gas. The problem is the bloody fridge is in the camper and to fire up the gas it has to come out.

Daryl
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Follow Up By: Tuco - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:40

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:40
Daryl

What you are presently doing - cooling overnight on 240 V then running gas at your campsite is fine - as long as the campsite isn't too far away!

We don't use absorbsion type fridges any more - but did have 2 of them at one stage years ago. We had a 60 Litre Chescold fridge/freezer and also a little 15 Litre Finch.

Both worked well on 240 or gas but were not up to the job on 12 V. Thats when I started serious investigation and upgraded the 12 V wiring. Once they were converted and had a good 12 V supply (at the 12 V coil) then there was not much difference in performance compared with 240 V or gas. In fact the fridge on 12 V would get too cold - because it doesn't have any temperature regulation.

We did Cape York 3 week trips and also a 5 week Kimberley/Tanami/Simpson desert trip. On all these trips we ran 12 V when travelling and gas once camped. We often had ice cream in the freezer. Ice cream at -10C is too soft - it needs to be below -15C at least.

I know that the insulation on the 60 L Chescold will maintain reasonable temperatures - but I think that 5 hours would be pushing it a bit. One of those cheap internal/external digital thermometers will tell you the situation without opening the lid.

If you are intending running your Chescold in the camper on 12 V - then do a seroiusly large cable run from the vehicle battery to the drawbar, a 50 Amp Anderson plug at the towbar, then more of the LARGE cable from the coupling to the fridge. Any compromise in wire size will be reflected as poor voltage at the 12 V heating coil.

It can be made to work efficiently, but remember these type of fridges are savage on the battery. So if you were to lock your vehicle and head off bushwalking or a long shopping trip - you may come back to flat batteries. Either fit an isolator or remember to unplug the Anderson connector - so you don't flatten your start battery as well.

We now use an Evakool ED 70 12V fridge and find that it runs rings around the Chescold for fridge performance. No need to precool - and it will run down to -24C. Also only uses 3.3 Amp compared with about 15 Amp for the Chescold. We use a Kyocera 120 watt solar panel and dual batteries in the vehicle. Never had to run the motor yet to charge batteries.

Have fun ...

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Reply By: Banjo (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 08:53

Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 08:53
I found the 12v plug at the back to be pain - being a tight fit, the metal wall of the cabinet was caving in and out when fitting the male - because there was no pilot light for the circuit, I wired the whole thing in hard and installed a light that can be seen from the front of the car - that way I know there is a circuit running ! My power comes straight from the aux battery - there will be a v drop I know, but the fridge runs fine on 12 while mobile - gas is my go, when static.
AnswerID: 91225

Reply By: Darylive - Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 01:54

Saturday, Jan 08, 2005 at 01:54
Tuco,

Thank's matey no further questions ;{
AnswerID: 91888

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