12V TECH WITH BAINBRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES
4WDing and camping is changing – these days, it’s easier than ever to head bush with all the creature comforts of home. Whether you’re setting up your rig for the first time or you’re an expert 4WDer, having a hassle-free, enjoyable trip away is important to us all. We’ve got some tips on creating a 12v power system that will let you live the good times for longer
KEEPING YOU CONNECTED
Powering different devices when you’re away in the fourby can be a challenge. Switch panels offer a solution. Allowing easy access to power fridges, lights, and all your devices. The Baintech blue LED 6 Way Switch Panel features a Ciga socket, double 2.1a USB and Volt meter. Pre-wired for easy installation, the Baintech range of switch panels are customisable, with rocker switch labels to suit your set up. With the built-in volt meter, you can see exactly what state your batteries are in when you’re using them, rather than being out of sight and mind and running the risk of going flat as your fridge and lights run into the night. Stop having to pick and choose what stays and what goes. Set yourself up with a power panel featuring a range of different sockets today, so everything gets to come along on your next 4WD adventure.
PROTECTING YOUR GEAR
An essential part of any 4WD set up is electrical protection, ensuring you and your gear are protected from electrical faults. For your peace of mind, the DIY Baintech 6 or 12 way Fuse Block keeps your wiring organised, while assuring safe connectivity and protection to prevent shorting and fires.
POWERING YOUR SYSTEM
The last thing you need when you are out bush is a flat battery in your 4WD. When you are running power-hungry accessories like fridges, lights and charging devices, it’s important you have the right DC-DC setup to avoid draining your batteries. The CTEK DC-DC D250SA and Smartpass 120 work in unison to charge your batteries at the correct rate, prolonging the battery capacity and the life of your batteries, which ultimately saves you money. As the name implies the D250SA is designed for modern vehicles with (SA) Smart Alternators, the D250SA converts your smart alternators lower voltage output to the correct profile that will charge your batteries more efficiently. By delivering the correct current to your 12V batteries while you drive – the versatile CTEK D250SA and Smartpass 120 power management system helps you break free from having to rely on AC power. The D250SA can even draw power from a solar source when the ignition is off. With a built-in Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) solar regulator, you can connect your solar panels directly to charge your batteries when you’ve set up camp.
BATTERY AND CHARGER PLACEMENT
For longer battery life the auxiliary battery should be mounted in an area where there is good ventilation with a moderate operating temperature. Locating your DC to DC charger close to the auxiliary battery will minimise wiring voltage drop. Keep in mind with the extreme temperatures we experience in Australia, most chargers are rated up to 40 degrees, and start to lose efficiency once the temperature exceeds this. Investing in quality batteries is important to consider when setting up your power system. Choosing the right battery will save you money in the long run.
Things to consider:
Deep cycle batteries are often used as the second battery in dual battery systems. The battery profile is purposely designed to match the charger output to the cell chemistry, which keeps the battery capacity and output operating in peak condition. Though AGM, GEL and Flooded wet batteries have traditionally been the chosen few used in mobile systems, newer types such as Lead Crystal are worthy of attention. These have the ability to run in harsher temperature environments, can handle lower depth of discharge, charge at a faster rate, are more forgiving if you under or over-charge, can be left unused for longer periods without losing capacity, plus handle more electrical abuse than earlier predecessors. In the past some of these characteristics have been generally reserved for Lithium and other specialist batteries at a much higher price.