ARB Smart Solenoid

Submitted: Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 15:45
ThreadID: 34253 Views:3579 Replies:6 FollowUps:11
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G'day all, I am looking to fit a dual battery system to my 79TD landcruiser. The local ARB shop have recommended a ARB Smart Solenoid system.

Has anyone had any good or bad experiences with these? ( I have searched!)
Am also looking at getting a Warn XP 9500 winch. Any feedback on the pros and cons of this on a 79 series would be appreciated.

Thanks and Regards
Jack
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Reply By: Alan H - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 15:53

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 15:53
Hi Jack.
I've got one and the only prob. ws in Bell Gorge last year and it wasn't very Smart!
Both batteries were flat one morning and I got a jump off a passing hire vehicle. Made very sure the fridge was turned right down at night after that and all was well.
Returned to Perth and approached the branch that had installed it and it was wired up wrong.
They corrected this and the battery running accessories immediately collapsed as it was getting a charge for the first time in 2 years.

Back I went and they changed the battery for a new one with no hassles.
AnswerID: 174706

Follow Up By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:20

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:20
Can't believe they got the wiring wrong...it's really simple. I did it all myself and bought split tubing to put on the wires and heatshrink and it looks professional.
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FollowupID: 430769

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:01

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:01
I have a so called smart charger, one of their earlier ones. Supposed to charge aux battery only when the main one is charged, etc etc. Problem is that if you leave your headlights on , BOTH batteries will flatten. I've had it happen. I suspect that the charger needs a voltage from the main battery to isolate the two. Not very smart.
AnswerID: 174710

Follow Up By: wheeler - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:30

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:30
I have had the ARB system to my past 2 vehicles and have not had any problems at all. I run a fridge and lights off it and it works great. I also have the link switch which manually engages the 2 nd battery if there is a problem with the main.I dont think footlooses comment is correct as the ignition needs to be on to power the the smart system and link the 2 batteries. So you would need to leabe the ignition and the lights on and if you did this you shouldnt be in control of a vehicle. :-)
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FollowupID: 430749

Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:36

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:36
Thats a very good point...does it need to have the ignition on ? If so, then mine is wired wrongly. You beauty, I'll rewire it, thanks.
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FollowupID: 430751

Follow Up By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:19

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:19
I've got a Sure Power Smart Solenoid too. www.surepower.com

Footloose, don't know what happened, but if you leave the lights on with engine off, it will seperate both batteries. That's because the lights current draw will drop the voltage on the main battery below 12.4v and it will seperate them at that point. Will only parallel them again when you start car and the alternator supplies 13.X volts. (Can't remember the exact). It monitors (and works off) the voltage on the main battery.

Like wheeler said about the link switch, I don't have a switch because I rarely need that function, so all I carry around is a tiny piece of wire with an aligator clip on one end and a female spade connector on the other. Then I can just use that for the rare occasions I need to force it to parallel.

I would go to their website and read up on it (not specifically you footloose - anyone who wants to know EXACTLY what it does) - it's smart enough and does the job.

Pete
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:28

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:28
Wheeler, not sure what happened when mine was installed, but I accidently left the lights on and BOTH batteries went flat. Something to do with the supply (which is wired to the main) has to have a small voltage to make it work. I'm going to investigate , it shouldnt happen.
I run with trhe lights on in the bush, and if I accidently leave em on then I'm kerstuffled.
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FollowupID: 430772

Follow Up By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:40

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:40
You are right - it shouldn't happen.

Of the three pins on the Smart Solenoid, I only have the negative one connected to negative on the car. It's possible that you have a constant voltage going to the "override" terminal making it parallel them permanently. The only time you should force it to parallel them is if your main is a little flat and you know the aux is very good, then it will assist in your starting by having the batteries paralleled.

Testing it is very easy. Start the car and using multimeter measure the voltage of the main, and the aux. They should both be very similar because the main is a receiving a charge from alternator, so the Seperator should parallel them. Turn off engine. They will probably still be paralled, but turn on lights. You should head the Seperator click as it unparallels the batteries. MEasure the voltages and your main should be lower than aux because your headlights should only be drawing current from the main.

I know this backwards because I actually had mine fail a few years ago. It was replaced under warranty and has been fine since. Apparantly failures are very rare.
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FollowupID: 430775

Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:45

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:45
Thanks for that Pavo. As soon as my fingers defrost tomorrow morning, I'll do that check.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 430777

Follow Up By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:55

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:55
No worries. Took me a while to find, but they also have the installation instructions on their website. Under "Company" --> "Tech Support" somewhere.
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Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:49

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:49
I wired up one in my mates Bus, appears to be a simple easy to install fail safe unit if installed correctly.
AnswerID: 174718

Reply By: brian - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:08

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:08
I have had one for a couple of years and checked it recently,found it was not isolating the batteries at all,but at least it fails safe,leaves you with batteries charging in parallel,didnt notice because with both batteries in parallell and fridge cut out at 11.4v the truck would always start after fridge stopped...anyway have now changed to a manual marine style switch and only need to isolate 2nd battery in rare circumstances when you think about it.Works for me but others will have different preferences...
AnswerID: 174719

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:44

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 17:44
Best to stick with a REDARC or ABR system.

The new REDARC SBI12D can sense voltage in both batteries and will switch off the charge circuit when the aux battery is full. It has the usual low volatge cut out and isolation needed in dual battery set ups.
AnswerID: 174727

Follow Up By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:25

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 18:25
I'm looking at the Redarc website and I see descriptions of a model SBI12 and it appears to work the same as the Sure Power Smart Solenoid.

I don't think SBI12 monitors the voltage of the aux battery...maybe SBI12D does.
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FollowupID: 430771

Follow Up By: Pavo - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:07

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:07
My mistake Derek...I see it now...it seems to be similar to the 'other' Sure Power model (1315) which monitors the Aux batt too.

It appears as though the Redarc Smart Start and the Sure Power Smart Solenoids are both very similar...and both offer the option of buying a model that monitors both batteries.

I didn't know about Redarcs ones years ago when I bought my SurePower, but I have since found out they are considerably cheaper and quite popular too.
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FollowupID: 430781

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 01:30

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 01:30
Now, now, Derek. Careful mate.

There are other products on the market which, although you may not distribute, work very well.

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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FollowupID: 430877

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:34

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 19:34
I use an Arrid smart relay, similar to the ARB and redarc, just not voltage sensed, timed. Very reliable and cost effective way to run dual batteries. I had an electronic setup orgionally that was spose to be totally "whiz bang" but it was just "bang" and packed it in after about 12 months or so. I'd highly recommend the basic solinoid/relay type.

Sounds like footloose was using an electronic diode type isolater, not a relay/solinoid type. They will allow current to be drawn from the aux to the main even when the aux is isolated from the main. ie you can drain the aux flat without flattening the main bat, however if you flattern the main bat (leave the lights on) it will faltten both.
AnswerID: 174738

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