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FAQs

Have a question about our products? Use the filters below to review some of our most commonly asked questions.

Brake Controllers

A

REDARC recommend the following wiring configuration: 

Black Wire: Battery power, is connected directly to the battery through an auto reset circuit breaker (recommend REDARC CBK-30E) 

White Wire: The earth is connected to a convenient chassis earth bolt.

Blue Wire: The trailer brake control is connected to pin#5 of the trailer plug. 

Red Wire: A brake signal is required to activate the electric trailer brake controller and can be sourced from either the;

There are pro’s and cons for each.

Brake Pedal Switch.
Sourcing the brake signal at the brake pedal will as you say only detect events when the brake pedal is depressed (and the switch activated) and not brake applications activated by other on board systems.

Brake light terminal of the trailer plug.
Sourcing the brake signal from the brake light wire of the trailer plug will capture all braking events which illuminate the vehicle brake lights.

Please note that if the brake signal is sourced at the trailer plug, a diode MUST be fitted on the vehicles brake light wire on the vehicle side of the point where the brake signal is sourced.

This prevents the back feeding of 12V into the vehicle when the Tow-Pro is manually activated whilst illuminating the trailer brake lights.

REDARC recommend the second method and reinforce again the need to fit the diode on the vehicle brake wire between the vehicle and the junction.

Click here to view the PDF

A

Electric/Hydraulic brake systems require signal from the brake controller as well as a separate power supply from the start battery to the hydraulic pump (usually via an Anderson plug).

A 12V vehicle fitted with a Tow-Pro™ Elite would not require extra components to operate an Electric/Hydraulic trailer.

A 24V vehicle fitted with a Tow-Pro™ Elite towing a trailer with Electric/Magnet type brakes will not need extra components however an Electric/Hydraulic braking system would require extra components.

Some Electric/Hydraulic braking systems can be sensitive depending on what electronics are within the hydraulic pump system. This means they may require a 12V input on the Red and Black wire of the Tow-Pro™ Elite, to prevent damage to these electronics. The 12V input on the Red and Black wires can be supplied using a REDARC EB24A

 

The REDARC EB24A:
• Converts a 24 volt brake signal to a 12V signal for the Tow-Pro™ Elite (Red wire)
• Allows the Tow-Pro™ Elite override button to switch on 24 volt brake lights
• Provides charge equalisation of the supply batteries so 12V can be supplied from the 24V battery bank

Click here to view the PDF

A

The Tow-Pro™ Elite will be suitable for use in your Disco 4.

The requirements for a suitable connection of a brake controller trigger wire are quite specific. This connection point must: 

Provide battery voltage output while the vehicle brakes are applied 

Have 0 Volts output while the vehicle brakes are not applied 

Accept battery voltage input when the brake controller manual over-ride is operated and switch on at least the trailer brake lights. 

Accept the battery voltage input as above without causing any damage, spurious vehicle operation or erroneous fault indication. 

For many vehicles, the brake light terminal of the trailer lighting socket provides a suitable connection, but this is not necessarily suitable for all vehicles. 

Click here to view the PDF

A

If you have a proportional mode electric brake controller, you may have difficulty proving the trailer brakes work from the foot brake during a stationary vehicle inspection. This is because a stationary vehicle is not decelerating and most proportional brake controllers will not be applying any power to the trailer brakes. If you have a REDARC Tow-Pro Elite, you can simply change it to “User Controlled” mode for the test then switch it back to “Proportional Mode” when the test is completed.

Click here to view the PDF

A

What you describe typically indicates a problem in the brake hubs in the van.  We recommend you have them serviced/adjusted by a trailer brake specialist.  

Click here to view the PDF

A

With the introduction of a new Tow-Pro Electric Brake Controller to the range, a common question is what is the difference between the Tow-Pro Elite vs Tow-Pro Classic.

The REDARC Tow-Pro Classic Electric Brake Controller offers a single, user-controlled, mode of trailer braking whilst the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite Electric Brake Controller offers two types of braking, automatic and user-controlled mode.

Below is a product comparison table.

Click here to view the PDF

A

This answer applies to Tow-Pro™ Elite products with a serial number of #16060749 (June 2016) or later. The Tow-Pro™ Elite will check for shorts on the trailer wiring. A cold 55W bulb has an initial "inrush" current as it first warms up that exceeds the trip point, and the Tow-Pro™ Elite will see this as an intermittent wiring short. While a hot 55W bulb is not likely to reach this trip point, it is best to use a 21W bulb. Products prior to this date have a slightly higher trip point.

Click here to view the PDF

A

The Tow-Pro Elite electric brake controller remote head is designed to be mounted at a distance from the main unit, allowing for a neat, convenient installation which does not impend on lower airbags or leg room. The remote head is designed to be mounted on or in the vehicle dashboard and when installed correctly complies with Australian Design Rules.

The Tow-Pro Elite remote head can be mounted directly to the dashboard, to the center console or through a spare knock-out switch panel and requires only two holes to drilled as indicated in the diagram below

Some other important considerations when selecting a location for mounting the Tow-Pro Elite control knob include:

  • It can be easily reached from the driver's seat
  • The LED color can be readily seen
  • Other controls in the vehicle will not knock
  • It is not likely to be knocked getting in out of the vehicle

The diagram below shows the dimensions for needed on the surface of your dashboard and how to apply the knob to your remote head.

For more information please consult your manual or click here.

Click here to view the PDF

A

With such a large range of electric brake controllers, it can be hard to remember exactly which one you’ve got. To identify which one you have refer to the diagram below. 

The easiest way to identify your controller is by looking at the knob.

Click here to read this as a PDF

A

When pressing the button without the van attached the Tow-Pro™ Elite "breathes" blue. This is normal and the unit is in sleep mode. Breathing, as opposed to flashing, is the LED gradually getting brighter until its brightest point and then gradually dimming off.

Whilst driving with the trailer connected, the LED indicator will flash blue and green. The Tow-Pro™ Elite will calibrate as you brake. Each time you brake the unit will monitor and record its direction of travel. The Blue flash will get longer as the unit calibrates until the unit has determined its direction of travel and the LED is solid blue whilst driving and a shade of red when the brake is applied. We have developed a technical tip describing the LED flashing red, green and blue.

A

The Tow-Pro™ Elite LED showing 1 yellow & 5 red flashes indicates an intermittent connection in the brake light.  It could be where the RED wire of the Tow Pro connects to the brake lights or in the vehicle brake light circuit itself.

A

Normal Operation

The Tow-Pro™ Elite and Tow-Pro™ Classic will indicate both Mode1 and Fault Condition through colour and flash sequences of the LED indicator. The table below shows how the Tow-Pro™ will indicate normal operation of the unit.

NOTE:   LEDs will glow full at brightness when the remote head control knob is adjusted or manual override is pressed. After release of the gain control knob the LED brightness will reduce - This is designed to be less intrusive on driver’s vision at night.

Status

Indication

Mode

Proportional1

User Controlled

Calibration

Blue/Green flashing

N/A

Sleep Mode3

Blue1 or Green2 Breathing on button push4

Trailer Connected

Solid Blue

Solid Green

Braking

Blue to Red5

Green to Red5

1. Tow-Pro Elite model only.

2. Tow-Pro Classic model only.

3. Sleep Mode occurs when there is no trailer connected to the vehicle.

4. Breathing, as opposed to flashing, is the LED gradually getting brighter until its brightest point and then gradually dimming until off.
5. The LED will vary between the Mode Colour (Blue or Green) and Red depending on the braking force. 

Fault Codes

The Tow-Pro™ features sophisticated diagnostics to warn the operator of faults in the vehicle and trailer brake wiring. Wiring faults are indicated by a series of colour coded flash patterns on the Tow-Pro™ LED.

Most faults turn out to be something simple such as a poor connection from a dirty trailer socket, however, a fault indication should not be ignored! It is a warning; if left unattended such wiring faults can become worse and may lead to deterioration or loss of trailer braking.

Please refer to the table on the next page for the list of flash patterns, showing the cause and recommended course of action for each of the conditions which may be detected.
Even intermittent faults are detected and may be indicated until cleared. Most fault codes can be cleared by unplugging the trailer for 1 minute then reconnecting.

1. Tow-Pro Elite model only.

2. Tow-Pro Classic model only.

Click here to view the PDF

A There’s a few things that catch out a few installers when they fit an electric brake controller. We always recommend to refer to the user manual which provides specific installation instructions for the Tow-Pro Elite. This is paramount to follow so that your customer has the best user and most important of all safest experience when using their Tow-Pro Elite. Below we have detailed the 5 most common brake controller installation mistakes and how to avoid them. 1. Brake Signal Pickup foot on brakes The requirements for a suitable connection of a brake controller trigger wire are quite specific. It must provide battery voltage output while the vehicle brakes are applied / 0 volts output while the vehicle brakes are not applied. It must also accept battery voltage when the brake controller manual override is operated and illuminate at least the trailer’s brake lights. 2. Unsecure or Loose Mountingunsecure or loose mounting. Whilst REDARC’s Brake controllers can be mounted in any orientation, it’s important that inertia sensing (proportional) models such is the Tow-Pro™ Elite are securely mounted to the vehicle. The internal accelerometer relies on a solid mounting to know how hard the vehicle’s brakes are applied so it can vary its output accordingly. ................................................................................................................................................. 3. Power Supplied Via Relay Power supply Brake controllers should be powered directly from the battery via a circuit breaker. There are two reasons to avoid using a switched power supply; Firstly - you want to retain trailer brakes even if the ignition cuts out unexpectedly. Secondly (on inertia controlled units) - removing power will clear the unit’s calibration. This would result in rough braking until the unit has recalibrated again. ................................................................................................................................................. 4. Dashboard Too Thick Dashboard thickness When choosing a suitable mounting location it’s important to also consider the thickness of material the controller will be installed on (or anything else hidden underneath like airbags!). For REDARC’s Tow-Pro™ range the remote head must be installed in material between 2-3mm thick so that the override button can be depressed correctly. ................................................................................................................................................ 5. Inadequate Wiring or Connectors inadequate wiring or connectors The final stumbling block is wiring gauge and/or poor connections. Under full braking force, a trailer can draw as much as 25 Amps. Whilst your own trailer may only have a single axle, it’s best to think ahead and allow sufficient cable width for the boat with 3 Axle trailer you might borrow in the future. Also, remember that cheaper components such as blade fuses or crimp terminals are often not up to the task of currents of this magnitude (particularly after a year or so underneath your car). Download this as a PDF
A Tow-Pro Elite can be mounted in any orientation in the vehicle. Active Calibration is the process of the controller calibrating itself to the direction of travel.

Once installed, Tow-Pro Elite will constantly monitor the vehicle under general driving conditions; it will record the inertia when under braking to establish the vehicles direction of travel.

Active calibration occurs with no user input required, and with or without a trailer connected.

If no trailer is connected, the LED will not flash and the user will have no indication of calibration. If you have the trailer connected and Tow-Pro Elite hasn’t completed Active Calibration, the braking provided to the trailer will be similar to Tow-Pro Elite’s user controlled mode, and will apply the brakes to the level set by the user on the gain control knob. To indicate Active Calibration, the LED will glow green with short blue pulses. When applying the foot brake, the LED will pulse green and red.

As Active Calibration progresses, the blue LED will increase from a short pulse to a longer pulse with a green pulse. The LED will continue like this until it becomes a solid blue which indicates calibration is complete.

Click here to view the PDF

A Changing between modes requires the user to complete the following process:

NOTE: Changing modes can only be completed with the trailer connected.

NOTE: Ensure the vehicle has come to a complete stop before beginning the mode change process.

Set the knob to 0

Apply vehicle brakes

Double-click the knob

(i.e. two pushes within 1s) to toggle the mode Release vehicle brakes

NOTE: Ensure you adjust the knob to a suitable setting for your driving conditions and vehicle/trailer combination once mode change is completed. Everytime the vehicle is turned on, the Tow-Pro™ will start up in the mode that was last selected, providing the black wire has remained connected to power/battery positive.

Click here to view the PDF

A

Electric / Hydraulic Braking Systems

Since the release of the Tow-Pro, our technical support staff have become aware of several technical challenges with using the Tow-Pro on the various Electric / Hydraulic systems on the market. The purpose of this technical bulletin is to outline solutions to the technical issues our customers have experienced.

Tow-Pro not calibrating

Due to the way that the Tow-Pro performs it’s auto-calibration function, some Electric / Hydraulic systems will not allow the Tow-Pro to calibrate. This is due to the response time of the Electric / Hydraulic brake actuation and the frequency and duration of the calibration signal from the Tow-Pro being incompatible. In these situations, once the Tow-Pro is calibrated, the brake application on the Electric / Hydraulic trailer works as expected.

REDARC engineers are currently exploring potential upgrades to the Tow-Pro to allow calibration to work with trailers using these Electric / Hydraulic systems. In the meantime, the current solution to this issue is to calibrate the Tow-Pro installation using a trailer with Standard Electric Brakes first.

Tow-Pro not detecting trailer

As Electric / Hydraulic systems do not use magnetic brake coils, the load observed by the Tow-Pro is sometimes not enough to indicate that a trailer is connected.

In order to allow the Tow-Pro to sense that a trailer is connected, REDARC recommend fitting a 21W, 24V Load Resistor (simulates a lamp load) from the Brake Output (BLUE) wire to GROUND, on the trailer. Please see the diagram below for detail on where the resistor should be fitted in circuit. (Load Resistors are available from Auto-Electrical suppliers).

Tow-Pro seems to work but there’s no brake activation

In the event that the Tow-Pro is calibrated and is able to sense the trailer but the brakes do not actually apply, the probable cause is that the Electric / Hydraulic system’s Hydraulic Pump Power Feed is not connected.

Electric / Hydraulic systems need power independent of the Tow-Pro installation to power the pump. Without this feed the Tow-Pro will control the hydraulic regulator but the brakes will not apply as there is no pump pressure.

We understand that in a lot of circumstances an installer may not view the trailer and so it is important to confirm with your customer the application the Tow-Pro installation will be used for. If the Tow-Pro is to be used with an Electric / Hydraulic trailer braking system, a separate power feed for the Hydraulic pump may be required. Please see the diagram below for detail on a typical Tow-Pro – Electric / Hydraulic installation.

Please click here to view the Tow-Pro Technical Bulletin as a PDF.

A The Tow-Pro Elite has diagnostics to warn of faults in the vehicle or trailer wiring. These are shown by colour coded flashes of the LED on the Tow Pro Elite’s remote head.

Yellow with 2 purple flashes can indicate either:

1. Intermittent trailer connection caused by:

  • Dirty or corroded plug/socket. (Usually fixed with a spray of WD40, RP7 Etc.)
  • Crushed pins not putting enough spring pressure on the socket (fix using a fine flat blade screwdriver to spread the male pins for better spring pressure on the socket, but be careful with this as some trailer plugs have a hardened or a cast metal and the pins can break off if too much tension is put on them).
  • Loose or broken wiring in the back of the trailer socket or plug.

2. A heavy short circuit on the blue output wire, caused by:

  • Test lamp or dummy load lamp of more than 21W.
  • Loose or broken wiring in the trailer socket or plug shorting to nearby wires.
  • Loose cable rubbing up against the body of the vehicle or trailer.
  • Worn electromagnets in the brake drums where conductor touches the drum.
  • Chaffed through wire where the swing arm in the drum shorts out while braking.

You can narrow down the location of the fault by disconnecting the trailer and put in some other load, for example, another trailer with electric brakes or a test light with a 21W globe.

If the LED on the Tow Pro Elite remote goes back to normal operation at this point there is likely to be an issue somewhere on the trailer you were using.

If the issue remains, it is likely that there is something on the vehicle that needs to be attended to, and it is recommended to contact a suitably qualified auto electrician for further assistance.

Click here to view the PDF

A Yes you can!

Start by locating the connection point in the car that the third party harness connects to. The harness should come with instructions to help find this.

Inspect the third party harness, it will have two plugs;
• One plug to connect to the car at the connection point
• At the opposite end, a plug to suit the third party electric trailer brake controller (Tekonsha/Curt/Hopkins).

Remove (cut off) the plug which would connect to the third party brake controller.

 

For more detailed information download the PDF here.

.

Chargers & Isolators

A

The alternator is the power supply for the vehicle for recovering the start battery from engine start and provide power to vehicle electrical consumers while running. There are two main types of alternators commonly used in todays vehicles, the traditional fixed voltage alternator and the modern smart alternator.

Fixed voltage alternators are becoming less common on new vehicles as reduced fuel consumption targets and more stringent emissions standards are adopted by manufacturers. A fixed voltage alternator has a high enough voltage to successfully charge a secondary battery in the vehicle to a usable level for leisure or auxiliary use.

The smart alternator system allows the vehicle to control the output voltage from the alternator based on vehicle operating conditions to reduce electrical load and in turn mechanical load on the engine by the alternator, this renders it unsuccessful at charging a secondary battery system to a usable level.

A. Engine is not running, relatively full open circuit voltage of the start battery approx. 12.6V 

B. Engine is started, alternator produces current to raise system voltage. Current level will depend on alternator capacity, design, battery current acceptance, and engine speed at the time.

C. The alternator regulator will aim to hold the target voltage, generally around 14V. Whilst not a full charging voltage, this selected voltage will be appropriate for maintaining the start battery and is not excessive for long term running at this voltage level.

D. Current will flow into the start battery to recover it from the engine starting consumption and run loads that are on at the time. This current will decrease as the battery comes up in charge, generally this will occur within the first few minutes of run time.

E. The current will be regulated from the alternator to maintain the target voltage, and can increase and decrease as loads are switched on and off.

A. Engine is not running, relatively low open circuit voltage of the start battery approx. 12.4V, as the system does not aim to achieve a full state of charge in the start battery. Specific battery types are used in this application in order to achieve good performance and service life when operating at partial charge for starter operation.

B. Engine is started, alternator produces current to raise system voltage. This voltage level can be very high to produce fast inrush of current into the battery to reduce start battery recovery time. Current level will depend on alternator capacity, design, battery current acceptance, and engine speed at the time. 

C. The alternator regulator will aim to achieve the target voltage, generally upwards of 14.5V.

D. Current will flow into the start battery to recover it from the engine starting consumption and run loads that are on at the time. This current will decrease as the battery comes up in charge, generally this will occur within the first few minutes of run time. The voltage will be decreased when current flow into the start battery falls below a predetermined level, generally below 30A, meaning that the start battery is only partially charged, well enough for repeated starting. 

E. The current will be regulated from the alternator to maintain the target voltage, and can increase and decrease as loads are switched on and off. The target voltage will change on factors such as temperature, electrical consumers, start battery state of charge, and engine load.

F. During acceleration and cruise the target voltage will be low, around the open circuit voltage of the start battery.

G. During deceleration the target voltage may be lifted to replenish any discharge of the start battery that may have occurred during acceleration and cruise.

Note: the output voltage and current levels from different alternator systems and vehicles will have varying characteristics. The descriptions here give a general view of the output types.

For many years the fixed voltage alternator has worked fairly well as a system to recharge secondary battery systems in addition to the vehicle start battery. This has commonly been achieved through systems which simply parallel the start and secondary battery during engine running, and then separate them from each other once the engine is stopped.&

Due to the implementation of smart alternators however, this type of parallel charging is no longer effective for the secondary battery. The alternator has never been a designated battery charger, so even fixed voltage alternator secondary battery charging methods can be improved.

The smart alternator does not consider the secondary batteries state of charge, chemistry type, or location in the vehicle, which are all determining factors for how it functions, being specifically tailored for the vehicle start battery.

The solution to providing the correct charge to the secondary battery is a REDARC BCDC In-Vehicle Battery Charger. The BCDC will fully charge the secondary battery in a vehicle that has a fixed voltage or smart alternator without the need for any parallel connections between the start and secondary battery.

It will provide a tailored multi stage charge process specific to the battery chemistry type, state of charge, in any location in the vehicle.

Click here to view the PDF

A

Though the control terminals make an easy trigger to turn a device such as a fridge ON with the solenoid, REDARC warn that connecting to these terminals may cause damage to the solenoid or control circuitry.

REDARC recommend using a low voltage cut off device such as our VS12 to achieve this, rather than connect to the control terminals. See below.

REDARC recommends that under no circumstances should anything be connected to the SBI control terminals other than the SBI control box.

Click here to view the PDF

A

Redarc recommend mounting the unit vertically, with the solenoid terminals point upwards. We also understand that this is not always possible, so we do accept mounting the unit horizontally as being ok. The only mounting method that we do not recommend is mounting the unit upside down.

Click here to view the PDF

A

The normal way this type of system operates is for the voltages of both batteries to be monitored, with the alternator being switched to either one battery or the other, depending on which one needs it most. 

The idea of swapping the full alternator output between batteries (priority charging) can sound attractive; however there are some points that should be considered. 

The system must ensure there is a "make before break", i.e. there must be an overlap where both batteries are connected momentarily during the change-over. 

If there is "break before make" (no overlap), there may be a time when no battery is connected to the alternator- this will result in a very high voltage surge into the vehicle electrical system (alternator load dump) and can result in damage to the vehicle system. 

Traveling at night, the alternator may be charging the main battery, maintaining it at 13.8V and giving nice bright headlights. 

The system then notices the auxiliary battery (possibly with a fridge etc connected) has dropped to 12V, so it swaps the alternator over to the auxiliary battery to give it a charge. 

Now the main battery is not being charged and, with the headlights on the voltage drops quickly. 

This will result in the headlights getting noticeably dimmer. After a while (depending on how it operates) the system will notice the main battery is getting low, so it will swap the alternator charge back to the main battery and the headlights suddenly become brighter. This cycle will continue all night with the headlights going dull to bright every few seconds or minutes. 

This can get annoying (and maybe attract the attention of the law?)

What is the difference between priority charging and parallel charging?

With priority charging, both batteries get the alternator to themselves for half the time. 

With parallel charging, both batteries share the alternator all the time. Note, there are a few ways batteries can be connected parallel, not all resulting in optimal charging.

Click here to view the PDF

A

The BCDC1225 and the BCDC1225D can fully use solar panels up to 375W, but you could also get more benefit if you had bigger panels. The excess rating of bigger panels will not harm 25 amp BCDC's, they will just not be fully used during periods of maximum sunlight. The bigger panels will not be a total waste though, as they will still allow the  25 amp BCDC's to work at maximum capacity in lower lighting conditions than a 375W set up would. 

For example:

If you had a 375W panel in full sunlight that allowed the  25 amp BCDC's to deliver its full 25A charging current from 10AM to 2PM*, you could potentially charge at 25A for 4 hours, putting up to 100 Amp Hours of charge into your battery bank (plus the lower charge rates outside these hours). 

By comparison, If you had a 600W panel set up in the same installation, it might allow the  25 amp BCDC's to deliver its full 25A charging current from 9AM until 3PM* and you could potentially charge at 25A for 6 hours, putting up to 150 Amp Hours of charge into your battery bank (plus the lower charge rates outside these hours). 

So, even though a 600W panel is bigger than the 25 amp BCDC's can fully use, a 600W panel will still get more Amp Hours into your battery each day than a 375W panel. 

*Please note these times are as a comparative illustration only. Actual charging times will vary according to circumstances such as latitude, panel angle, cloud cover, shading, panel quality/age/condition Etc, Etc. 

Besides panel current, panel voltage must be considered. The BCDC* range of MPPT solar regulators are designed for use with recreational/mobile 12V nominal panels, with a maximum “VOC” (open circuit voltage) of 28V and will not switch on above that voltage. 

Domestic/fixed (house) panels have a higher VOC, typically 44V or more and are not suitable. Besides having too high a VOC, being designed to be mounted on a fixed base such as a house (not subject to bumpy roads) they are also not as rugged as good quality recreational panels that ARE designed for the shaking and vibration encountered on the highway and, even more so, off road. 

Other REDARC products: 

Click here to view the PDF

A

A frequent call our tech support team receive is from customers or installers saying that although their battery charger is running, the auxiliary battery's voltage isn't rising.

Fear not - this is quite normal and doesn't mean that something is wrong!

It all comes down to the way a multi-stage charging process works. When a battery is deeply discharged it will take a large amount of energy to be put back into it to make the voltage rise. This will take some time, so let it charge for 30 minutes or so and recheck the voltage - as they say, the watched pot never boils!

We've recently published a few Tech Tips about the specifics of the charging stages in depth.

As a more general guide, the graphs below show how the battery's state of charge (Green) will progress as the charger makes its way through the various stages of charge. Note that the horizontal (Time) axis in the charts isn't to scale.
The green "State of Charge" line is shown with a bulge to display that not all batteries will charge in quite the same way. Factors including heat, age, chemistry, capacity, loads attached, cable size/length, mounting location (amongst others) will all affect the way that the battery charges.

As a general rule, the battery will be around 70-80% charge when the charger moves from Boost to Absorption and at 100% when the charger moves to float.

The Lithium profile graph is very similar, although the charging profile is now only 2-stage. Here the battery will be at roughly 90-95% state of charge when the charger moves from Constant Current to Constant Voltage stage.

Click here to view the PDF

A

Green Power Priority is used to describe the priority given to a solar input when charging an auxiliary battery in your vehicle. For example, if a solar power input is available the maximum available solar power will be used before topping up the output charge current from another power source. Priority is given to the solar input then to AC Mains power (where applicable), then to DC Vehicle Power, the advantage of this is that it places less load on the alternator. 

Which of our products use Green Power Priority? 

A number of our products use Green Power Priority including: 

In-Vehicle Dual Battery Chargers: 

12-volt dual input auxiliary battery charger

BCDC1240D          BCDC1225D         

Click here to view the PDF

A

My BCDC’s charge status LED indicates Boost/Constant Current stage, but my auxiliary battery’s voltage is less than 14V. Is it charging?

The operation of the charge status LED will vary depending on the model and application of charger used. For this reason, this tech tip it broken into three parts;

  • BCDC1220(-IGN), BCDC1225(-LV), BCDC1240(-LV)
  • BCDC1225D/BCDC1240D (A, B or C Profiles)
  • BCDC1225D, BCDC1240D (Li Profile Only)

BCDC1220(-IGN), BCDC1225(-LV), BCDC1240(-LV)

The BCDC1220, BCDC1220-IGN, BCDC1225, BCDC1225-LV, BCDC1240 and BCDC1240-LV feature REDARC's proprietary three-stage charging algorithm. These stages are:

Boost:
In this stage the LED is on solid and the BCDC is applying maximum current to the battery. It maintains a constant current until the battery voltage reaches its maximum voltage. The voltage will gradually rise in the battery as its state of charge increases. Generally, Boost stage will deliver the first 70- 80% state of charge, depending on the battery type. The current in boost stage may vary during operation to maintain safe operating temperature, or to limit the difference between input and output voltages.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in BOOST stage:
Voltage: Between the battery resting voltage and absorption voltage, will increase gradually as battery charges.
Current: Full charger capability, will stay constant until the voltage rises to the maximum charge voltage.
The LED will indicate Boost when the full charge current is being applied. As the battery voltage reaches the maximum charge voltage the LED will flash to indicate the current into the battery is falling. A shorter duty-cycle (shorter illumination time of the LED) indicates less current into the battery.

Absorption:
Once the battery reaches 100mV less than the Maximum Charge Voltage (e.g. 14.5V for profile A selection), the charger will hold the absorption voltage for a predetermined period of time or until the current being drawn by the output battery drops to less than 4A for 30 seconds; after which the charger will enter Float stage. The battery is fully charged at this time.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in ABSORPTION stage:
Voltage: Will be stable at the Absorption voltage (e.g. 14.5V for profile A selection).
Current: Will be gradually falling. When the current falls below 4A for 30 seconds the charger will enter Float stage.
The LED will indicate Absorption when the full charge voltage is being applied. As the charging current decreases the LED will flash to reflect this. A shorter duty-cycle (shorter illumination time of the LED) indicates less current into the battery. Note: the charger’s output current will change in line with any loads applied to the battery to prevent the need for the BCDC to skip or revert stages.

Float:
The BCDC will reduce current to the battery to allow the voltage to fall to its Float voltage of 13.3V. It will then maintain this voltage in order to keep the battery topped up. This counteracts the battery’s self-discharging or any loads applied to the battery. When the battery loses charge due to a load more than its maximum current is applied, the charger will move back into the Boost stage.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in FLOAT stage:
Voltage: Will be stable at the Float voltage (13.3V).
Current: Will be relatively low, unless a load is applied at which time it will be slightly higher than the load current.
The LED will indicate Float when the battery is fully charged. As the battery current changes the LED will flash to reflect this. A shorter duty-cycle (shorter illumination time of the LED) indicates less current into the battery. Note: the charger’s output current will change in line with any loads applied to the battery to prevent the need for the BCDC to skip or revert stages.

LED current output indication:

For an illustrated view of the BCDC charge profile, see the diagram below:

BCDC1225D/BCDC1240D (A, B or C Profiles)

The BCDC1225D and BCDC1240D feature REDARC’s proprietary three-stage charging algorithm. These stages are:

Boost:
In this stage the LED is on solid and the BCDC is applying maximum current to the battery. It maintains a constant current until the battery voltage reaches its maximum voltage. The voltage will gradually rise in the battery as its state of charge increases. Generally, Boost stage will deliver the first 70- 80% state of charge, depending on the battery type. The current in boost stage may vary during operation to maintain safe operating temperature, or to limit the difference between input and output voltages.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in BOOST stage:
Voltage: Between the battery resting voltage and absorption voltage, will increase gradually as battery charges.
Current: Full charger capability, will stay constant until the voltage rises to the maximum charge voltage.
The Stage LED will be on solid to indicate Boost when the full charge current is being applied.

Absorption:
Once the battery reaches 100mV less than the Maximum Charge Voltage (eg 14.5V for profile A selection), the charger will hold the absorption voltage for a predetermined period of time or until the current being drawn by the output battery drops to less than 4A for 30 seconds; after which the charger will enter Float stage. The battery is fully charged at this time.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in ABSORPTION stage:
Voltage: Will be stable at the Absorption voltage.
Current: Will be gradually falling. When it is below 4A for 30 seconds it will enter Float stage.
The Stage LED will flash once per second to indicate Absorption when the absorption voltage is being applied.
Note, the current may change in line with any load applied to the battery without the need for the BCDC to skip or revert stages.

Float:
The BCDC will reduce current to the battery to allow the voltage to fall to its Float voltage of 13.3V, where it will then maintain this voltage, keeping the battery topped up. This counteracts the battery’s self-discharging or loads applied to the battery. When the battery loses charge due to a load more than its maximum current is applied, the charger will move back into the Boost stage.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in FLOAT stage:
Voltage: Will be stable at the Float voltage.
Current: Will be relatively low, unless a load is applied at which time it will be slightly higher than the load current.
The Stage LED will flash once every 2 seconds to indicate Float when the battery is fully charged.
Note, the current may change in line with any load applied to the battery without the need for the BCDC to skip or revert stages.

LED current output indication:

For an illustrated view of the BCDC charge profile, see the diagram below:

BCDC1225D, BCDC1240D (Li Profile Only)

The BCDC1225D and BCDC1240D feature REDARCs proprietary charging algorithm for Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. The stages are Constant Current and Constant Voltage.

Constant Current:
When turns on, it will start in Constant Current stage. In this stage the LED is on solid and the BCDC is applying maximum current to the battery. It maintains a constant current until the battery voltage reaches its maximum charge voltage. The voltage will gradually rise in the battery as its state of charge increases. Generally, Constant Current stage will deliver the first 90-95% state of charge, depending on the battery. The current in this stage may vary during operation to maintain safe operating temperature, or to limit the difference between input and output voltages.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in CONSTANT CURRENT stage:
Voltage: Between the battery resting voltage and maximum voltage, will increase gradually as battery charges.
Current: Full charger capability, will stay constant until the voltage rises to the maximum charge voltage.
The LED will indicate Constant Current when the full charge current is being applied.
The stage LED will be on SOLID

Constant Voltage:
Once the battery reaches its Maximum Charge Voltage of 14.6V, the charger will hold the Constant Voltage 14.5V. It will maintain this voltage, to fully charge the battery and keep the battery topped up. This counteracts the battery’s self-discharging or loads applied to the battery. When the battery loses charge due to a load more than its maximum current is applied, the charger will move back into the Constant Current stage.
What you would expect to see on a multi-meter in CONSTANT VOLTAGE stage:
Voltage: Will be stable at the Constant voltage.
Current: Will be gradually falling to a relatively low level, unless a load is applied at which time it will be slightly higher than the load current.

LED current output indication:

The LED will indicate Constant Voltage when the full charge voltage is being applied.

The LED will flash TWICE early in the Constant Voltage stage, and ONCE when the battery is fully charged.

For an illustrated view, see the diagram below:

* When using the battery charger to charge a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, only batteries that feature an inbuilt battery management system featuring inbuilt under and over voltage protection and cell balancing are suitable.

Click here to view the PDF

A

Click here to view the PDF 

“Where do I mount my BCDC?” is a common question faced by our REDARC technical team.

While there is not one correct answer, below are some objectives to take into consideration when choosing the right mounting location for the individual vehicle and requirements. 

For the best charging performance the BCDC should be installed as close as possible to the auxiliary battery/batteries as possible.
While we recommend to install the BCDC less than 1 meter away from the battery that is being charged, it may not be the most practical solution. 

REDARC’s recommendations of the BCDC in close proximity to the auxiliary battery being charged, is to minimise voltage between the unit and auxiliary battery. 

If distance between the BCDC and the auxiliary battery cannot be avoided, then bigger size wiring/cable must be used so maximum charge voltage can reach the auxiliary battery. 

If the auxiliary battery is mounted in the engine bay, then the BCDC should be mounted away from direct engine heat.
The REDARC BCDC 3 stage battery chargers will work to full capacity up to 55°C ambient temperatures, then start to de-rate (reduce charge rate) up to a maximum of 80°C, with the current reducing to zero at around 85°C. 

This is to protect the internal electronics of the BCDC and to provide some protection to the battery, because charging at high temperatures can risk damaging some types of batteries. 

REDARC strongly advises to check the battery manufacturer’s specifications for charging voltage and installation locations of the particular battery being selected. 

The BCDC range can certainly be used for charging under-bonnet auxiliary batteries, but a suitable location must be identified. For example:

behind headlights,on the inner guardBetween the front grille and radiator.

These are all better mounting locations than installing the unit right next to the exhaust/turbo. The above locations will ensure adequate airflow over the unit, there by aiding in the cooling of the unit. 

The BCDC’s heatsink has been engineered to dissipate its own heat but added cooling of the unit can be achieved by mounting it to a metal surface. 

Ultimately, for optimum performance:

Away from direct engine heatClose to the auxiliary batteryEnsure correct fusing and cable size

A Scenario 1: When the solenoid operates it cycles on/off/on/off quickly, (I.e. over a period of a second or less.) Problem: The current being drawn by the 2nd battery causes a voltage drop on the cable between the main battery and the isolator. This voltage drop causes the isolator "see" less than 12.7V and it switches off. When it switches off there is no longer a current draw so there no longer the voltage drop so the solenoid sees more than 13.5V and switches on again... this cycle is repeated possibly many times. Solution: The best solution is to reposition the SBI closer to the main battery. If this is not possible, the effect can be reduced by using thicker cable between the main battery and the 2nd battery. Scenario 2: The 2nd battery has been heavily discharged (E.g. running a fridge overnight) and the owner starts the motor and leaves it idling to recharge the battery, but then finds the SBI12 cycling on and off slowly (E.g over a period of 10, 20 or 30 seconds Etc.) Problem: At idle, the alternator cannot produce enough current to charge the 2nd battery. Solution: Run motor at higher RPM to allow alternator to function effectively. Scenario 3: The 2nd battery has a battery charger connected which charges to a high voltage, E.g. 16V. SBI cycles on/off even with motor not running. Problem: When SBI senses more than 15.5V it disconnects, allowing start battery to discharge (while aux battery still being charged at 16V). When start battery falls below 15V, SBI re-connects and cycle repeats. Solution: Wait until batteries fall below 12.5V and SBI switches off before connecting this type of higher voltage battery charger. It is possible that a combination of both the above scenarios may be encountered.
A In recent times there have been a lot of enquiries on our tech helpline in regards to charging Lead Crystal® batteries with REDARC products. REDARC are pleased to announce that there has been some development in this area. Our engineering team have conducted laboratory testing to confirm that you can recharge Lead Crystal® batteries with both the Manager and the BCDC In-Vehicle battery chargers. The BCDC “A” profile and the Manager current “AGM” profile can safely and completely recharge a Lead Crystal® battery.
A

Australia is following the trend occurring in the rest of the world regarding reducing pollution from new vehicles and from next year they must meet even tighter exhaust emission standards. New cars sold in Australia from 2013 must meet ‘Euro 5’ exhaust emissions standards and the tougher ‘Euro 6’ standard around 2017.

As the standards have been becoming progressively tighter over recent years car manufacturers in their quest to meet the new standards have had to introduce new technology. They have designed the ECU to interconnect with the alternator and monitor electrical load.

The ECU can control important engine functions via the CANBUS including injection duration and timing to better control emissions as loads vary. The ECU can even shut off the alternator in certain circumstances, adjust the alternator output voltage, and preload the alternator when the load changes. We refer to these alternators as ECU Controlled Variable Voltage Alternators.

For the most part, the changes made by vehicle manufacturers are aimed at increasing fuel efficiency, whilst reducing engine emissions. They can also frustrate the 4WD enthusiast however, particularly when faced with the ugly prospect of drinking warm beer from their fridge connected to their flattened auxiliary battery.

The new engine and alternator control technology we are experiencing however is nothing new. It is widely known that temperature compensating alternators have been used primarily in the Toyota range of vehicles fitted with D4D common rail diesels since early 2000’s. It is also present in 2010 Toyota Kluger Petrol, BF Falcon and the subsequent models to name a few.

The rollout of this technology will render the common Voltage Sensitive Relay (VSR) virtually useless as was commonly used over the last fifteen years or so when adding a second or auxiliary battery to your 4WD vehicle. A smarter product is therefore required to ensure the auxiliary battery is 100% charged whilst coping with the fluctuations in voltage.

It is important to note that current sensing in the vehicle’s electrical system means that all additional electrical accessories must be grounded to the vehicle chassis or body, not to the main battery negative terminal.

South Australian automotive electronics accessories manufacturer, REDARC, has developed a patented solution. They have released a family of In-Vehicle Battery Chargers known as the ‘BCDC’ to charge auxiliary or house battery banks to 100% state of charge whilst on the move. They feature a multi stage DC-DC battery charger that is designed for installing in any 12 or 24 volt passenger, 4WD, truck, bus or marine electrical system.

Another key feature of the BCDC In-Vehicle Battery Chargers is the voltage inverter technology that overcomes voltage drop when the auxiliary or house batteries are a considerable distance from the charging source as experienced in caravans and camper trailers, trucks and buses. Most critically though, to avoid the warm beer conundrum, they boost the low output voltages provided from ECU Controlled Alternators to your auxiliary battery.

The BCDC in-vehicle charger utilises voltage sensing of the main battery to determine when to charge the auxiliary battery and when to isolate the vehicle start battery. These voltages are researched by REDARC Engineers and have been selected to suit a wide range of vehicles, and for this reason there is the need to have a range of BCDC products to best suit all vehicle manufacturer charging system variations.

The standard BCDC range will operate on voltage sensing alone in vehicles where the alternator voltages do not regulate lower than 12.7V at any time, such as standard Fixed Voltage Alternators and ECU Controlled Temperature Compensating Alternators.


The wider range of BCDC variants are applied in vehicles fitted with ECU Controlled Variable Voltage Alternators. The turn on and off voltages are sensed at different levels along with an ignition input to the charger, ensuring that the BCDC will charge the auxiliary battery to 100% while effectively protecting the main battery from over-discharge.

The BCDC In-Vehicle battery chargers are available in 6 Amp, 20 Amp, 25 Amp and 40 Amp outputs. These current output options ensure there is a BCDC for all common load and battery charging requirements. The BCDC products incorporate specific battery charging algorithms to suit lead acid, Gel, AGM and Calcium batteries that have been designed by REDARC Engineers in conjunction with research commissioned by REDARC and carried out at The University of Wollongong.

The BCDC1225 and BCDC1240 models also feature a MPPT Solar Regulator, which can be used to charge your auxiliary batteries from solar panels. The MPPT Solar charging algorithm extracts the maximum available power from your solar panels at any given time.

A common question is which model of BCDC can we use in our vehicle? Typically vehicles released from late 2011 onwards with common rail diesel motors are fitted with ECU Controlled Variable Voltage Alternators such as the Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Navara, BMW X5 2010 onwards, Ford Ranger 2011 onwards, Mitsubishi Pajero 2012 onwards, Mazda Spirit, Mazda BT50 and various Range Rovers. Practically, the best way to determine your alternator’s characteristics is to go for a drive with a voltmeter on the main battery.

Run the vehicle through varied driving conditions and record the minimum voltage found. The driving condition variations should include:

  • Engine temperature (test whilst the engine is cold, and again whilst at operating temperature)
  • Vary engine load (accelerate up an incline, and decelerate down declines)
  • Vary electrical load (turn on the headlights and airconditioner and with all off)

The table below also helps identify the BCDC that you require for your vehicle.

Fixed Voltage Alternators (always 12.7V or more from alternator during driving)

Temperature Compensating Alternators (always 12.7V or more from alternator during driving)

ECU Controlled Variable Voltage Alternators (12.7V or less from alternator at any time during driving)

BCDC1206 (6 Amp model)

BCDC1206

BCDC1206

BCDC1220 (20 Amp model)

BCDC1220

BCDC1220-IGN

BCDC1225 (25 Amp model)

BCDC1225

BCDC1225-LV

BCDC1240 (40 Amp model)

BCDC1240

BCDC1240-LV

It is important to ensure that the correct BCDC is selected for your vehicle, application, and battery charging requirements. REDARC have developed a growing database of vehicles that determines the correct BCDC model to use for each vehicle.

If you have any questions or require help choosing the right BCDC for your vehicle, please contact the REDARC technical helpline, power@redarc.com.au or call the friendly technicians for free assistance on (08) 8322 4848.

A In previous BCDC models, the blue wire would be connected to battery positive for BCDC1225 or Ignition for BCDC1225-LV. The new BCDC1225D combines the Standard and Low voltage functions in the one unit. When the blue wire is connected to positive the unit will operate in Low Voltage (LV) mode and leaving the blue wire disconnected will allow the unit to operate as a standard BCDC. The diagram below shows the connection required for Standard or LV functions.

For more information on correct wiring please consult page 9 of the user manual.
A In the new BCDC1225D Orange wire is used to select maximum output voltage. This can be achieved by connecting in the following way.

  • To select Profile A leave the ORANGE wire disconnected. This will set the Maximum voltage to 14.6V.
  • To select Profile B connect the ORANGE wire to Common Ground. This will set the Maximum voltage to 15.0V
  • To select Profile C connect the ORANGE wire to the RED wire (Input source positive). This will set the Maximum voltage to 15.1V.
  • To select the Lithium Profile (Li) connect the ORANGE wire to the GREEN wire (LED output). This will set the charger to Lithium mode.

It is important to ensure that you check the manufacturer’s data for your battery to ensure the maximum voltage of the profile you select does not exceed the manufacturers recommended maximum charging voltage. If the maximum voltage is too high for your battery type please select another charging profile.

For more information on selecting the correct charging profile please consult page 8 of the user manual.

In the BCDC1225D the charging profiles have changed from previous BCDC units. The 3 charging profiles; AGM/Gel, Standard Lead Acid and Calcium  will be changed to A, B and C, with a reference to the Maximum Charging Voltage appearing both on the product decal and in the product manual.

The Stage LED indicates the charge profile stage. With either A, B or C profiles selected the charger will output a 3-Stage Lead Acid type charging profile with Boost, Absorption and Float Stages. When the Lithium (Li) Profile is selected the charger will output a 2-Stage LiFePO4 type charging profile with Constant Current and Constant Voltage stages. The diagram below outlines the LED sequence mentioned above.

The BCDC1225D needs to indicate an active Solar Input and Alternator Input as well an extra profile type (Lithium). As a result, the stage LEDs have been consolidated to one LED with a flash sequence to indicate stage

For more information please consult page 4 of your manual.

A Scenario:

You have a 12V auxiliary battery a long distance from the 24V battery bank (E.g. at theback of a long 4WD or in a trailer). In this application, a CE20-13.8 would be better but you only have a standard CE20

Question:

Where should the CE be mounted to minimise the effect of voltage drop on long wires?

Answer:

When using a CE to charge an auxiliary battery, the best results will be obtained by placing the CE close to the 12V battery.

The input current on a CE20 (or higher) is only about 60% of the output current. So the voltage drop on the long input wire will only be 60% of what the drop would have been on a long output wire.

For example:

(In both cases, assuming 28V supply and 0.1W wiring resistance between the 24V battery and the 12V battery).

Case 1: CE20 mounted close to the 24V battery- 12V battery terminal voltage (at 20A charging current) would be 12V.

Case 2: CE20 mounted close to the 12V battery- 12V battery terminal voltage (at 20A charging current) would be 13.4V

A

Question

Can I use the BCDC* charger to charge my under-bonnet auxiliary battery as well as my fridge battery in the rear of the vehicle (or the slide on camper or the camper trailer)?

Answer

Whilst this can be done, it is not as good as having a BCDC* charger close to each auxiliary battery you want charged. The reasons for this are:

The BCDC* will charge the under-bonnet battery 100% but the voltage drop associated with the long run of cable from there to the battery in other location will mean that battery may take longer to reach 100% charge or may not reach 100% charge if it has a fixed load such as a fridge (unless you use heavy cable).

If the auxiliary battery under the bonnet is a different type from the battery in the other location, it is likely one battery or the other will be either under or over charged. For example if you set the BCDC* to charge the standard flooded battery under the bonnet and you have an AGM or Gell battery in the other location, it may be over charged. Alternatively, if you set the BCDC* to charge the AGM or Gell in the other location, the one under the bonnet may be undercharged.

The BCDC* will work at full capacity up to 55°C ambient. Above that it will de-rate its output as temperature increases such that at 85°C, it will cut back to no charge at all. This is partly to protect itself but more importantly to protect the battery, as batteries can be damaged by being charged 100% in under-bonnet temperatures (especially AGM or Gell batteries).* If your under-bonnet battery is being protected in this way, the battery in the relatively cool other location is also getting a reduced charge when it could be getting full charge as it is not in the hot environment.

For these reasons, it is far better to have a BCDC* close to each auxiliary battery being charged. If you want avoid the cost of two BCDC* chargers, one possible compromise is to have a SBI12 battery isolator for the under-bonnet battery and a BCDC* charger close to the battery in the other location.

 

Click here to view the PDF

A

Equipment needed: Multimeter or voltmeter.

5W/24V test lamp with connection leads/clips.

1. Leave input (VIOLET) wire and earth (GREEN) wire connected.

2. Disconnect output (BROWN) wire from battery. (Do not allow BROWN wire to contact chassis/earth).

3. Connect 5W test lamp between BROWN wire and vehicle chassis/earth.

4. Using a voltmeter, measure voltage on the BROWN wire. (Voltmeter positive wire to BROWN wire, negative wire to chassis/earth)

5. Measure voltage on the input (VIOLET) wire 24V connection. (Voltmeter positive to VIOLET wire connection, negative to chassis/earth). (Voltage on BROWN wire should be half the voltage on the VIOLET wire (within 0.25V)) Note: If the test lamp is not used, the BROWN wire voltage will be high, Ie 20V or more.

Example 1.

With Motor running, if VIOLET wire measures 28V, BROWN wire should be 14V (+/-0.25V),I.e. BROWN wire voltage should be in range 13.75V to 14.25V.

Example 2.

With Motor not running, if VIOLET wire measures 24V, BROWN wire should be 12V(+/- 0.25V),

I.e. BROWN wire voltage should be in range 11.75V to 12.25V.If these voltages are OK, it indicates the Charge Equaliser is operating correctly.If 12V battery does not maintain the correct voltage, check that all connections are sound. If this is all OK, measure the 12V current draws and check that the Charge Equaliser is suitably rated.

A

As part of our continuous product improvements, over the coming months a change to the BCDC charging profile selection will be rolled out to the market.

The 3 charging profiles; AGM/Gel, Standard Lead Acid and Calcium  will be changed to A, B and C, with a reference to the Maximum Charging Voltage appearing both on the product decal and in the product manual. The image below shows the new charge profile on the BCDC 1225D label.

Due to varying manufacturing processes, changing structural and chemical differences in automotive batteries, labelling the charging profiles using generic battery chemistry descriptions is no longer an accurate way to identify the correct charging profile.

It continues to be the installer’s responsibility to select the correct charging profile based on the battery manufacturers Maximum Voltage specification along with consideration for the temperature conditions the battery will be subject to during normal operation. This is clearly explained in the user manual. It is important to read and understand these instructions before selecting the charging profile.

A

SMF series
(To nearest 5mA)
SMF2= 15mA (ign off), 30mA (ign on)
SMF5= 25mA (ign off), 35mA (ign on)
SMF8= 20mA (ign off), 35mA (ign on)
SMF10= 20mA (ign off), 100mA (ign on)
SMF20= 20mA (ign off), 200mA (ign on)
SMF30= 20mA (ign off), 100mA (ign on)
SMF40= 20mA (ign off), 100mA (ign on)
SMF60= 20mA (ign off), 100mA (ign on)

VRT series
(To nearest 5mA)
VRT7=35mA
VRT10=35mA
VRT20=35mA
VRT30=35mA

SBI series
(To nearest 1mA)
SBI24=9mA at 24V
SBI12=7mA at 12V
New=4mA

Inverters
Cotek 350S= 80mA

Other
CR1224=10mA (12 or 24V)
CR1224L=45mA (12 or 24V)
TIM04, 05, 06= 9-10mA (12-24V), add 35mA when relay is on.
VS12=<1mA off, 30mA on.
AHLF (switched off)=0mA
EB
EB/EBRH/EBTM=5mA (no trailer)
EB/EBRH/EBTM=10mA (trailer connected

Click here to view PDF!

A

In order to work with Variable-Voltage type alternators (aka Smart Alternators), BCDC chargers require an ignition input. This must receive starter battery voltage when the engine is running, and either GND or be disconnected when the engine is turned off.

In some situations it may be difficult to run ignition feed all the way to the unit (for example, if installed in a trailer) - The following 'short-cut' using a RK1260 Relay Kit may be used.

 

 

 

Click here to download this as a PDF.

A With the constant evolution of technology in today’s modern vehicles, the days of straight forward dual battery setups are becoming a thing of the past - Variable Voltage Alternators are now becoming standard issue in most modern vehicles. The type of equipment you may need to correctly charge and maintain your auxiliary batteries depends on whether your vehicle has this technology or not. Variable Voltage Alternators are also commonly known as ‘Smart Alternators’ or ‘Computer Controlled Alternators’. The natural question to ask is, how do I know whether my vehicle has a Variable Voltage Alternator? Variable Voltage Alternators require some sort of battery sensing technology to determine load coming from the battery and this is done by a battery sensor which is found on one of the battery terminals (usually the battery negative). Please see pictures below for examples.

FAQ’s with Variable Voltage Alternators

My vehicle has a Variable Voltage Alternator, can I use a SBI12(Smart Start Battery Isolator) to charge my auxiliary battery? No; Because of the way Variable Voltage Alternators work, there are several situations in which the output voltage is either too low, too high or not charging at all (hence ‘variable voltage’) therefore it's not possible to charge your auxiliary battery correctly and to 100% state of charge. The BCDC1225D or BCDC1240D should be used instead of the SBI12 to compensate for these situations and to charge and maintain your auxiliary batteries to 100%.

I have a Ford Ranger with ‘Smart Charge’ technology, do I need to have this software disabled by the manufacturer, so I can setup a dual battery system?

No, this is not required; All you need to install is a BCDC1225D or BCDC1240D to charge your auxiliary batteries effectively.

 

Click here to download this as a PDF.

Gauges

A When selecting an optional sensor to suit your REDARC gauge, it's important to choose one which will fit the intended mounting location. The dimensions* of REDARC's optional sensors are in the PDF here.

*dimensions are in mm.

A

The REDARC G52 series gauges are brilliant, but sometimes at night they can be a little too brilliant and may need to be dimmed.

 

• If your vehicle has dimmable dash lights with the dimmer in the negative or earth line of the dash lights, in most
cases you can simply connect the gauge dimmer wire direct to the dash dimmer and the gauge brightness will
follow the dash light brightness.

 

• If your vehicle does not have an earth side dash dimmer, and you find the backlight too bright at night, REDARC
recommend using the optional GA-ELC (Enhanced Lighting Controller). The GA-ELC, triggered by the park lights,
can be programmed to set the daytime brightness and night time brightness and even different colours for
daytime and night time.

To view this as a PDF click here!

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