Best way to set up with a ABR Sidewinder dual battery system

Hey guys i have one quick question about dual battery systems. I am looking at an ABR sidewinder dual battery system with the DBi140 with the ABR sidewinder monitor for it aswell. Do i leave my accessories like my lights uhf etc connected to the main battery or do i connect them to my aux battery? or does the abr sidewinder isolator connect the the two batteries up to power them when the car is not on or what does it do exactly?
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Reply By: Von Helga - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 13:53

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 13:53
Why are you not asking Derek at ABR directly, he won't bite?
AnswerID: 441364

Reply By: Navara09 - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 13:55

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 13:55
i dont no thats a good question lol....thats mondays for you. never thinking straight.
AnswerID: 441367

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 15:36

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 15:36
I run all my accessories of my second battery. The isolator does exactly that it isolates the 2 battery's.

The idea is that your main battery charges up first then the second one will charge up. Once you turn your car off the 2 will isolate and your accessories running of your second battery won't drain your starting battery.

AnswerID: 441383

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 18:19

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 18:19
There is no need to move your standard accessories such as UHF, Radio and (driving) lights from your original battery to your auxiliary.
They are all relatively low current draining devices, or usually only used while your are driving and therefore the primary battery is being constantly monitored and charged by the vehicle alternator.

Accessories such as a fridge and additional sockets to plug things like lights into are ideal to be run from the auxiliary deep cycle battery.
Worst case scenario (if not set up correctly) is that you may drain the auxiliary battery and the fridge will not work and your beer gets hot.
A bugger, but hardly life threatening. At least your primary (starting) battery will be protected and you can still start your vehicle.

A handy and cheap addition is a "battery saver" or "low voltage cut out device" which will protect any battery you have it connected to from over discharge, which will ultimately cause premature failure of your battery to the extent where it may not recover. These are also available from ABR - Sidewinder.

As an example, the excellent Engel compressor fridge will "run of the smell of an oily rag" to the extent that the battery may be completely flat before the fridge stops running. A couple of cycles like this and the battery may be buggered beyond recovery.

I know, it has happened to me some years ago.

A $30 protection device will ensure this doesn't occur. It will cut the supply voltage when the battery reaches around 11.6v or 70% discharged. This is as low as you want if the battery is to recover to a full capacity when recharged.


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AnswerID: 441406

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 18:51

Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 18:51
Gday Bill,
Me again :-) The old engels used to cycle until the voltage was almost nothing - sounds like what you had. But the newer ones such as the F-series ( released about 10 years ago) will stop working when they reach 10 volts - its intended to save the battery from death, and to prevent the compressor from trying to work at low voltage.

I've used a few low voltage cutouts in previous setups. They have their plusses and minuses. On the minus side, if you leave them powered in circuit, they will draw a low current (usually 10-30 mA) from the aux battery and can flatten a battery if the vehicle is not being used. I used to always disconnect the cutout when the fridge was not in use.

FollowupID: 713458

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 07:44

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 07:44
Hi Phil,

My Engel is about 7 years old.

At 10 volts the battery would already be "at death's door".
10.4 volts is flat according the the reference scale I use.

I only use the low voltage cutout when connecting the fridge up to a circuit.
This is used for the auxiliary battery when driving and also for the Thumper I sometimes use at camp when stationary.

I now have a new equation to consider.
My newly aquired camper has two AGM batteries (2x80Ah) and a Waeco 65 litre upright compressor fridge, so I now have some new toys to play with and get used to.
(Won't be disposing of the Engel though)


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