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  #1  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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Auxiliary Power Distribution

Hi there,

I have installed an auxiliary battery in my defender. I have connected the fridge directly to it through a fuse but now want to take a second feed of the battery for lights, water pump, etc etc. What is the best way to do this? I guess that taking a feed off and then just splicing additional feeds into that is not the best way forward.

I am rubbish at electrics so aAppreciate your help!

Bruce
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  #2  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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I don't know the best way to do it, but what I have is a nice thick cable from the battery to a '10 fuse box' from where various cables run over the landy to where they are required.

I think the shorter the thick cable is the better (ie: don't put the fuse box down the back of your vehicle on the sun porch)
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  #3  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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My auxilliary battery is in a box (fed with very oversized welding cable) in the box I have a feed for the fridge (with a ten amp circuit breaker) and then routed via another circuit breaker I have 12v sockets for lights, etc... I went for circuit breakers so that I can switch stuff off easily, and you don't need to change them if they trip. I also am no electrician, but what I do know is everything should be fused or have circuit breakers. Also watch out for high currents and too thin cables!
Gil
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Old 28 Oct 2007
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As the above post says Circuit breakers are a MUST, and I'd look at getting an electrical engineer to look at it once your done, explain to him/her what trip your going to be doing and they shouldn't take any money off you for a 10 minute inspection if they are nic people.

I'm Commenting as YOUR insurance company WILL disallow ANY claims if you don't tell them about your modifications in case of fire/theft and you will also need an engineers note of inspection.
I know this because my mate Paul burnt out his tricked out blinged up Clio when his Xbox Power supply caught fire (it was funny as hell), once the insurance accessor looked at it and found the changes to his wiring they didn't pay up.

It will only cost pennies on your insurance when you explain to them the required mods, so in this case be honest.
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  #5  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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Have a look here S.B.M.C.C. Forum check out all the old posts, or just ask a question


Trophymick
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  #6  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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Thanks Guys,

Appreciate the input. I will look into both the circuit breakers and the fuse box options. Any ideas on where I would be able to purchase one or the other in the UK?

Bruce
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  #7  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by ghenk View Post
Appreciate the input. I will look into both the circuit breakers and the fuse box options. Any ideas on where I would be able to purchase one or the other in the UK?
You should find all you need at Vehicle Wiring Products Ltd. Suppliers of auto electrical parts. and a lot more ;-)
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Old 28 Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by JulianVoelcker View Post
You should find all you need at Vehicle Wiring Products Ltd. Suppliers of auto electrical parts. and a lot more ;-)


^^^^^^ Just what he said... definately a thumbs up for VWP.
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  #9  
Old 28 Oct 2007
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NO! They are really expensive!

Just find a normal electrical company, not one catering for vehicles. When I did mine I used a company in Leeds and they were always a third the price.
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Old 29 Oct 2007
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NO! They are really expensive!
They are great because they have so much under one roof, but I agree they are on the expensive side.

I am slowly starting to find alternative and cheaper suppliers, but am finding that I am having to look in several places for the same sort of kit - for the time and effort involved in this if you have a one off job VWP should be OK.

Beal UK (0113 253 8888) are cheaper for some stuff and so are RS Components (http://rswww.com).
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Old 29 Oct 2007
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I used a smartcom split charge relay (£8 from towsure) which charges the second battery and then connected a second small fusebox from the second battery. Fridge/electrical outputs for lighting etc run from this so I don't have to worry about flattening the main battery.
the smartcom box is good because it won't start charging the second battery until the main one reaches a certain voltage, and it also has an additional couple of power outlets which will allow devices to be run from the main battery, but will then cut them off when voltage dips.
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Old 29 Oct 2007
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"Beal UK (0113 253 8888)".

Yes, thats who I used - they had everything I needed, but then old Land Rovers aren't the electrical nightmare that is the modern cruiser ;-). It's much cheaper to buy a whole reel of cable etc than a few feet. Get the thickest most coated wires possible as something somewhere will start rubbing on one of them at some stage.

fyi, here is my system: 7 years ago I bought a National Luna system directly from National Luna in SA - £90 including delivery. Then red top and yellow top Optima batteries. I have a Shell/Siemens 40W Solar panel going through a regulator (from A B Butt at their special Billing price) to charge when not on the move and about 10 DIN sockets around the vehicle to plug in fans, lights and sex toys. These all route through 2 ten fuse boxes bought from Beal. A few normal cigi lighter plugs are a good idea as well.

For things like your GPS, permanently wire in the 12 volt charger and have it pop up in the dashboard if you can (ie: tidy up as much of your normal cabling as possible)

When drilling a hole for the cable from the solar panel to the battery I also put in an extra wire that runs to three DIN sockets in a little box. This I tucked into my Eezi Awn tent (still for sale!) so that I could have a light, laptop or fan on up there. Also I externally mounted 2 DIN sockets, one by the passenger door and one by the rear door. These all run through a switch which I leave turned off. These have all proved quite handy at times. My 12 volt compressor has been converted (snip, rewire) to use a DIN socket which is handy.

As I use loads of battery time when stationary (Football Manager 2007 helps pass those lonely nights ;-) I will upgrade the Yellow Top Optima to a bigger battery from A B Butts at some stage. About £150 for twice the capacity of the Yellow Top (AGM130 Battery, will fit in a normal Defender battery box with another battery)

Hope that helps!
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Old 29 Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by roamingyak.org View Post

but then old Land Rovers aren't the electrical nightmare that is the modern cruiser ;-).
HZJ78 is less of an electrical mystery than my old defender <BG>. In my Defender I had a battery blow up under the seat while driving, handbrake cable thought it was an earth strap and caught fire after attempting to take some winch current often it wouldn't switch off and had to be stalled, lights had a totally unique 'ghost in the machine' which also three times went into the alternator and caused mayhem...

But seriously, my set up is very similar with slightly less plugs! and the second battery charging managed by a sterling battery to battery charger to be able to quickly charge up a normal wet cell battery as fast as possible, while still leaving the main vehicle charging system alone. While the charger is expensive it works well and I cannot get fancy agm/deep cycle batteries where I am. But as a 100a.h. battery costs about 50 euros it works okay for me - say it lasts two years it is fine!

So while the charger was expensive, the battery was cheap, old welding cable was cheap, for the fridge I used a duraplug rubberised connector like you would use in the garden with a electric lawnmower, battery box I made myself from finest wood, a few extra power sockets (cigarrete type) cost a few quid. I managed to blag an old 30w solar panel which works okay (currently experimenting with it). Circuit breakers I used household ones (kloeckner Mueller) again cause I could get them cheap. Nothing in the car (except the hard wired GPS power cable and the original lighter PTO) is set up to deal with any less than 10 amps, so hopefully things won't start melting - barring some lunatic trying to plug a microwave into my dinky lap-top inverter!

Darrin, a quick question: how long do you find you need for the panel to put back a charge into a fairly depleted battery? (super-rough figures are fine!)

Gil
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  #14  
Old 29 Oct 2007
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I was just winding up Julian about the cruisers ;-)

"how long do you find you need for the panel to put back a charge into a fairly depleted battery"

If I use the Yellow Top Optima (deep cycle) battery at night (stereo, lights and 17"powerbook for about 4 hours) until the battery alert comes on and then leave the solar panel in the (African) sun all day it would charge back about 1/2 to 3/4 I would say.

On a cruiser/landy a 40watt panel is about as big as your going to bolt on somewhere(?) - so a bigger battery in the first place is the way to go (for me and if you have a fridge which I don't) imho
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  #15  
Old 29 Oct 2007
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but then old Land Rovers aren't the electrical nightmare that is the modern cruiser ;-)
What do you mean - ok an 80 series does have more electrics, but at least they always work ;-)
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