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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help with my setup. I went camping this weekend on my new dual battery setup but was left disappointed. The setup didn't provide enough power to the fridge to keep it in optimal working condition. The setup was enough to power the fridge, but failed to keep the compressor/fan going. Ultimately, had I not brought along my generator, food would've spoiled and beer would've been hot!

Here's the setup:
Dual Odyssey pc2150 batteries. Less than a year old.
Redarc BCDC1250D battery charger
Dokio 300 watt solar panel kit
CHGeek 12V dual USB charger, cigarette lighter socket - installed in the trunk, near the rear power outlet.

Power is ran from the 2nd battery to the CHGeek by a 8 gauge cable.

The problem is that if the fridge is plugged into the 12V cigarette socket in the back, there's not enough power for the compressor and fan. There's enough to power on the fridge; LED panel was lit and I was able to set the temperature but the moment the compressor kicks on, 15 seconds later the compressor shuts off. This is while driving the vehicle and when the vehicle is off and using the solar panel. Same issue.

30 minutes of troubleshooting, I plugged the fridge via the 12V and plugged it directly to the generator. 5 minutes later the temperature started to drop.

Does anyone know why this is happening? I would assume my setup has more than enough power to power the fridge. Just a note, when I was using the solar, battery never dropped below 13 volts. It was hovering between 13.2 and 13.1 volts.

Help is greatly appreciated.

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I need some help with my setup. I went camping this weekend on my new dual battery setup but was left disappointed. The setup didn't provide enough power to the fridge to keep it in optimal working condition. The setup was enough to power the fridge, but failed to keep the compressor/fan going. Ultimately, had I not brought along my generator, food would've spoiled and beer would've been hot!

Here's the setup:
Dual Odyssey pc2150 batteries. Less than a year old.
Redarc BCDC1250D battery charger
Dokio 300 watt solar panel kit
CHGeek 12V dual USB charger, cigarette lighter socket - installed in the trunk, near the rear power outlet.

Power is ran from the 2nd battery to the CHGeek by a 8 gauge cable.

The problem is that if the fridge is plugged into the 12V cigarette socket in the back, there's not enough power for the compressor and fan. There's enough to power on the fridge; LED panel was lit and I was able to set the temperature but the moment the compressor kicks on, 15 seconds later the compressor shuts off. This is while driving the vehicle and when the vehicle is off and using the solar panel. Same issue.

30 minutes of troubleshooting, I plugged the fridge via the 12V and plugged it directly to the generator. 5 minutes later the temperature started to drop.

Does anyone know why this is happening? I would assume my setup has more than enough power to power the fridge. Just a note, when I was using the solar, battery never dropped below 13 volts. It was hovering between 13.2 and 13.1 volts.

Help is greatly appreciated.

Sent from my LM-V600 using Tapatalk
i have a three battery system setup...two are isolated from the starter and power a rear lighter connection for my fridge ( a cheap one, no compressor). Wires are all 4 gauge...charging is via an external flexible 120 watt solar panel, I have no issues. i also installed a shutoff switch (around 10.5 volts) to keep the batteries from draining too low.
 

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More information is required for methodical troubleshooting; something seems to be fundamentally wrong with your setup:

1. What cut-off voltage do you have the fridge set at?
2. Have you measured the voltage present at the fridge's DC input connector while the compressor is running and the engine is off?
3. You are trying to power the fridge through a cigarette lighter socket that's an integral part of a CH Geek dual USB charger? I couldn't find data on this charger ... do you have a specific CHG model number? I suspect that the cigarette lighter socket on this charger is incapable of supplying the current required by the fridge, but let's look as the charger spec sheet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More information is required for methodical troubleshooting; something seems to be fundamentally wrong with your setup:

1. What cut-off voltage do you have the fridge set at?
2. Have you measured the voltage present at the fridge's DC input connector while the compressor is running and the engine is off?
3. You are trying to power the fridge through a cigarette lighter socket that's an integral part of a CH Geek dual USB charger? I couldn't find data on this charger ... do you have a specific CHG model number? I suspect that the cigarette lighter socket on this charger is incapable of supplying the current required by the fridge, but let's look as the charger spec sheet.
1. I have the fridge to cutoff at 11.8.
2. I haven't but I plan to do this next weekend.
3. Here's a link to the product:

I also suspect it's this part because the moment I plugged the fridge directly to the generator, it came to life.

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I think the standard 'cigarette lighter' connector is a very poor choice for an important piece of off-road equipment like a fridge packed with several days of food. The basic cigarett-ligter socket was was never intended to be used with a plug with a heavy gauge cable attached, and the standard non-locking version just isn't reliable in an off-road vehicle. The connection to the center 'hot' terminal is particularly bad with the spring-loaded plunger in the plug, where much of the current is carried by the small wire diameter steel compression spring.

The two-blade, locking connector used by ARB on their fridges is a much better design. This uses two male prongs on the plug very much like the standard US 120 VAC household electrical outlet, except it has a screw-in locking sleeve to lock the plug into the socket. This totally isolates the connector from vibration and loads applied to the cord by gear shifting around in the cargo bay.

The ARB components could be adapted to your cord, or something similar using a MIL-spec aircraft connector (inexpensive eBay Russian surplus).

The ARB cylindrical connector is easily removed from the housing, and fits in a standard 'cigarette-lighter' hole diameter
ARB fridge socket facw.JPG




ARB fridge socket.JPG



The ARB fridge cable has a removable cigarette-lighter plug, but behind that is the 2-prong locking connector that mates with the ARB socket.
ARB fridge adaptable plug.JPG
 

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A few other thoughts:
1. You said you are running AGM batteries ... do you have a voltage booster in your alternator circuit to provide the extra voltage required to FULLY charge an AGM battery (typically around .5 - .6V)? If not, you are not charging your PC2150 to their full ampere-hour capacities.

2. Having your low-voltage cutoff set to such a high value (11.8V) allows you to only utilize a small portion of the ampere-hour capacity of your aux battery. If you've actually got the system configured as isolated starting and auxiliary batteries, there should be no fear about drawing the aux battery down to a lower voltage, as long as the starting battery remains fully charged.

Take a look at the Odyssey Battery Technical Manual, and look at the discharge curve for the PC2150. The recommended low-end discharge voltage is 10.02V, and discharging to this point will provide 5.0A continuously for 20 hours, or 105 amp - hours of energy. If your Snomaster operates like most portable fridges, the compressor will be cycling, and only running when actually required, which will provide even longer total run times.

I am 99% certain that you have excessive voltage drop in your wiring to the fridge, and this is what is tripping the low voltage cut-off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A few other thoughts:
1. You said you are running AGM batteries ... do you have a voltage booster in your alternator circuit to provide the extra voltage required to FULLY charge an AGM battery (typically around .5 - .6V)? If not, you are not charging your PC2150 to their full ampere-hour capacities.

2. Having your low-voltage cutoff set to such a high value (11.8V) allows you to only utilize a small portion of the ampere-hour capacity of your aux battery. If you've actually got the system configured as isolated starting and auxiliary batteries, there should be no fear about drawing the aux battery down to a lower voltage, as long as the starting battery remains fully charged.

Take a look at the Odyssey Battery Technical Manual, and look at the discharge curve for the PC2150. The recommended low-end discharge voltage is 10.02V, and discharging to this point will provide 5.0A continuously for 20 hours, or 105 amp - hours of energy. If your Snomaster operates like most portable fridges, the compressor will be cycling, and only running when actually required, which will provide even longer total run times.

I am 99% certain that you have excessive voltage drop in your wiring to the fridge, and this is what is tripping the low voltage cut-off.

1. Yes, I have one of those voltage booster fuses. My alternator has also been upgraded to a 250 amp high output along with the big 3 upgrade to 0 gauge.

2. From what I recall, I think the lowest setting for the Snomaster is 11.8. I'll have to take a look.

I think you're right, I'm going to order and install that ARB unit and I will test it out to ensure it can fully support the fridge.


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Low voltage cutoff options are 10.0, 10.7, or 11.8.

Make sure that your charging system is operating as expected, when fully charged your PC2150's should each be at 12.84V or higher at 77F.

There are multiple threads on various 4WD forums describing problems with Snomaster fridges very similar to what you are experiencing.

SnoMaster headaches
Snomaster voltage cutoff

First, these fridges draw a lot of current ... apparently as much as 6.5A or slightly higher. This requires very low voltage drop in the cabling to the fridge: calculate the maximum permissible voltage drop and the required wire gauge, based on the total length of the run (B+ AND ground wiring).

All lugs and other connections must be crimped and soldered, not just crimped.

Did you run dedicated power and ground wiring, or are you using a chassis ground?

Another connector option is the Hella plug and socket, lower voltage drop than conventional cigarette plug and socket.

Hella fridge plug.JPG


Hella plug and socket.JPG
 

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I agree with FJtest.... I think it's the wiring going to your 12v socket.... and wholeheartedly endorse the ARB wiring with the fancier plug. I've got that when I first got my fridge and have had zero problems.... and way less disposable power than you do.
 
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Low voltage cutoff options are 10.0, 10.7, or 11.8.

Make sure that your charging system is operating as expected, when fully charged your PC2150's should each be at 12.84V or higher at 77F.

There are multiple threads on various 4WD forums describing problems with Snomaster fridges very similar to what you are experiencing.

SnoMaster headaches
Snomaster voltage cutoff

First, these fridges draw a lot of current ... apparently as much as 6.5A or slightly higher. This requires very low voltage drop in the cabling to the fridge: calculate the maximum permissible voltage drop and the required wire gauge, based on the total length of the run (B+ AND ground wiring).

All lugs and other connections must be crimped and soldered, not just crimped.

Did you run dedicated power and ground wiring, or are you using a chassis ground?

Another connector option is the Hella plug and socket, lower voltage drop than conventional cigarette plug and socket.

View attachment 1164253

View attachment 1164254
OP, I went with this Hella option for my National Luna Freezer/Fridge. Works great in my Fj and in my wife’s Grand Cherokee. With 8 ga, I wouldn’t think that you’d have too much voltage drop from the battery, but as FJ Test pointed out you do need to check that. I don’t think the cigarette lighter plug is the right solution here. Also 11.8 seems to me to be a high cut off. You should be able to calc how long that should last given the power draw and resting battery voltage. If you have dual batteries you should be able to drain the house battery down and still have the starter battery to get running again.
 

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A fully charged PC2150 should give you 20 hours at 5.0A load current before it is discharged to 10.08 volts, the lowest that Odyssey recommends. Obviously, you'd need to set the fridge's low-voltage cutoff to 10V to take advantage of the battery's capacity. If your solar panels are properly connected and you have at least 3-4 hours of direct sun exposure every day, the battery should only be required to supply power when there's no solar supply.

In other words, if everything is properly wired, there's sun, and your fridge is the only load, your aux power system should run continuously without any charging from the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So just an update....

First of all I want to thank each and every one of you!

That cigarette socket was the culprit. Instead of using the recommended ARB hardware, I went with a pair of 50 amp Anderson plugs instead. I used 6 gauge positive and negative Ancor marine grade cables and copper lugs which are soldered using a Bernzomatic torch. I cut the end off of the supplied 12v cigarette cable that came with the fridge and soldered on an Anderson plug. Did the same to the other end going to the battery. Let it ran all day and the drinks I left in the fridge are ICE cold! You guys rock!


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