Two Zone for Engel - how to make it work!

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 05, 2008 at 23:34
ThreadID: 53154 Views:8242 Replies:10 FollowUps:17
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I recently bought a Two Zone fridge top for my 40L Engels and was originally disappointed with its performance - and thats with the Two Zone insulated cover fitted.

I had the Engels running on "2" and while it was keeping my drinks perfectly cold (actually had ice in some cans), the top section was at 17C and not really keeping my fruit and vegies cold. OK - the ambient temp was 40C and both sections were fully loaded, but at ~$380 for Two Zone and cover I expected better performance. And given the Engels was nice and cold, it was the Two Zone that was not performing.

Now I figured that as hot air rises there was no way the Two Zone was going to keep cool in hot conditions as nothing was bringing up the cold air. So I bought a 12V computer fan and wired it up. Boy what a difference!!!

Running the whole setup today and I was achieving between 3.5 - 6.5C in the Two Zone as the Engels cycled on and off - and all this in a 40C parked vehicle.

Now this was really keeping everything cold and the fan only draws 0.22amps so the extra power is minimal IMHO. And I am sure a keen sparky could figure out how to only run the fan when the Engels motor is going if you wanted to further reduce the power draw.

Anyway, just thought I would share how to get the best out of a Two Zone - why they don't do this as a factory option has got me beat.

Cheers

Captain

PS. I have a pic in my members Rig and profile below, but the link to add the pic into this thread is coming up with an error - you will have to click below if you want to see the pic.
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Reply By: Member - Ken W (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 05, 2008 at 23:44

Saturday, Jan 05, 2008 at 23:44
Very interesting! I have found the same thing as you! Inorder to keep the fruit and veggies cold I had to frozen stuff below (or not so packed to allow the airflow. I'm keem to know a bit more about this "fix" so to speak. eg where did you place the fan? etc
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 00:00

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 00:00
Hi Ken,

I have a pic of it in my Members Rig & Profile below. For some reason the code to insert pictures into threads is not working so you will have to click and scroll down to my last pic to see it.

I have not tried any optimising of fan placement, just put it in the corner as it had the least cord movement when opening.

Not sure how long the fan bearings will last in the moist fridge enviroment, but at least I now have the Two Zone working for now!

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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Follow Up By: stocky - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 07:27

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 07:27
Good fix!
You can buy "computer fans" with ceramic bearings that might last better :-)
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Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 08:26

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 08:26
Then fans without 'bearings' will last even longer lol
Yes, they're common as ****


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Reply By: Member - Ken W (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 00:17

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 00:17
Ah yes..so simple even a ken can do that!
AnswerID: 280020

Reply By: Member - Bucky (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 04:36

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 04:36
Great job mate !
intend getting a TwoZone, extension in the near future, and will sertainly do that bit

Cheers for the tip
Bucky
AnswerID: 280028

Reply By: BMKal - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 06:20

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 06:20
Excellent idea Captain. Just a quick question - did you install the fan blowing "up" or "down". Might have a go at this myself.

Cheers ............... BM
AnswerID: 280033

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 12:00

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 12:00
Hi BM,

I tried it with the fan blowing up. Not sure if this is the best way but it seems to work good enough!

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 06:40

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 06:40
Captain,

I've got a two zone but haven't used it in really hot conditions. Usually run it on about 1.5 on the nob and this keeps the bottom stuff between 1-4 degrees. haven't really checked the temperature at the top apart from by hand and I'd say it's just cool.
Thanks for the heads up.
AnswerID: 280035

Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 07:49

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 07:49
The 2zones come into their element when you're using the bottom section as a freezer. Just slip the weekend extra magazine, or a medium thick section from a broadsheet newspaper in the bottom of the basket and it keeps a perfect temp. You regulate it by adding or removing a peice of newspaper till you get the desired temp.

I also found that a $10 to $15 investment in a small digital thermometer (Jaycar/dick smith) for the top section a real bonus. Saves you freezing the vegies, or heaven forbid, a precious tinnie when off the beaten track.

Cheers, Mick
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott & Gaby (Canada) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 08:48

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 08:48
Hey Mick O Can I add one of these to my oldie so I can take some steak along this June? Or should I look at getting another one so I have more space? I got to keep up with the Jones.
Scott
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Follow Up By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 08:56

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 08:56
Where would you put a second one mate? It'd leave no room for firewood! My brother has mine at the moment but if you're coming, I reckon we could squeeze enough steak for three or four in the engel! There's always camel stew if need be (Take 3 onions, 1 tin of tomato and a small to medium sized camel.......)! Did you get the trip outline on the haynet address?

Mike.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott & Gaby (Canada) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 09:10

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 09:10
Sure did. But I did not see the cape in it or is that another trip. Oops forgot about the wood and critters that come with it. But I will have to find more space for a freezer. Can we do your trip in 6 weeks. I need to plan my time away. Only 18000 points away from a first class trip for 2.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 09:32

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 09:32
check your email. M
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - Ken W (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 10:36

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 10:36
This is trueabout freezer use and two zone. I found that was the case and I used a tea towel as the buffer between the eng and TZ
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 12:03

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 12:03
For full temperature control like in a fridge, I'd put a temperature switch set at 4 degrees in the upper compartment and use this to only turn the fan on when temperature rose above 4 degrees.

Let's see - that's Item 87 on the "Projects to Do" list.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 12:09

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 12:09
Hey great idea Mike. Wouldn't mind giving that a try, anyone have a suitable circuit diagram?

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 20:51

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 20:51
Here is a kit for $19 that needs to built up.

Oatley Temperature Controller Kit
.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 01:10

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 01:10
Looks perfect Mike. The website doesn't say what input voltage is required for the circuitry - I assume its 12V dc?

Thanks for the link.

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 06:59

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 06:59
It will run on 12 to 35 volts.

I would run a tube with its intake near the bottom of the freezer, running to the top of the fridge compartment, with the fan there. The separator between the compartments should have a hole in it the same size as the tube, in the corner opposite to the tube.
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Reply By: just - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 17:46

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 17:46
I too use the fan system to cool the upper section. I use a 1.3 watt cpu processor fan (much smaller) with appropriate sized tubing above and below it to suck air from the bottom of the fridge and blow it out at the top. I've also tapped the power from the lead to the built in fan, so that it comes on with the compressor. As for the temperature, with my system, the upper section tends to run 3 to 4 deg C higher than the lower section. If you've got the older fridge without a fan go to www.gpsoz.com.au/faninstall.htm for a circuit to power the fan. cheers
AnswerID: 280105

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 19:21

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 19:21
I have the 39L model, the one with the fan but not the temperature gauge (2000 vintage). Is the existing fan a 12V one thus easily tapped into?

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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Follow Up By: just - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 09:04

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 09:04
Correct Captain, it's a bit of a fiddle having to remove the cowling around the "engine" compartment to get at the wires - but works a treat (the fans are polarity sensitive so make sure positive to positive etc.).
Others may see them as a glorified esky but you don't need the ice!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Reply By: Jim from Best Off Road - Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 21:01

Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 at 21:01
I might get howled down for this, but here goes.

I had a 39L Engel and considered the "Two Zone".

Even a simple man like myself understood cold air falls, it simply wont go up.

So. I sold the Engel second hand for $650 and put the $350 that a "Two Zone" would have cost me together. With the gorilla I had, I picked up an 80L Waeco from The Fridgeshop and got a fair dinkhum fridge/freezer.

Over three years on it iis still working a treat, despite the belting it has had.

Make no mistake, the "Two Zone" is little more than an expensive esky, without a bottom.

$350, you've got to be joking.

AnswerID: 280143

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 01:08

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 01:08
Hi Jim,

I know where you are coming from but it all depends on circumstances, I thought long and hard on what would suit me best. I already have the Engels and also have access to a 40L Engels whenever I require it.

Typically I use one as a fridge and one as a freezer and so have 79L of refrigerated space. But I still find I need more room for stuff like bulky fruit and veg on the longer trips and this is where the Two Zone is perfect.

You are right, it is an expensive esky but even an esky would not work for how I need it as I now have 39L fridge, 40L freezer and 29L crisper - suits my circumstances perfectly and is cost effective but more importantly is space effective too.

But the best part is I still have a 39L fridge for day trips and I don't need the gorilla to help me move it :)

Cheers

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 07:28

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 07:28
"the "Two Zone" is little more than an expensive esky, without a bottom. $350, you've got to be joking. "

+ Hiclones

+ Electronic Rust Protection

+ Really expensive battery isolators

Yes, it's amazing what people will pay heaps of money for, if it sounds like it will do something very useful.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 02:54

Monday, Jan 07, 2008 at 02:54
ever wondered how those freezer cabinets at coles stay frozen despite not having lids??
AnswerID: 280209

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