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  • 2nd battery options???

    I need to power my carpc as well as a 12v cooler/fridge. Should I get a second battery and use an isolator (which kind??), or use an invertor w/ or without second battery. I drive a 2004 honda element 4wd ex if that helps

    http://www.new-cars.com/2004/honda/h...ent-specs.html

    what to do ....

    john

  • #2
    man u got enough power to run that. second battery will put lot of load on your alternator.plus it take 1volt away. If i were you i will just get a Cap to hold the power.

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    • #3
      but I want to be able to run the fridge/cooler all night without draining the main battery

      john

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      • #4
        i doubt it will run 24 hours a day with even a second battery.Do you leave in your car?

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        • #5
          You need a second battery and an isolator. I have a SurePower isolator. There are different model isolators for different output alternators.

          Unless you have some kind of high-efficiency 12v refrigerator, though, you won't be able to leave it on very long without the engine running (couple hours MAX). I had a very small fridge connected to an inverter (and second battery), and it drains pretty quick. Fridges use a lot of juice. And when you keep turning it off and on, it gets moldy. -ick-

          I'd still recommend a second battery and isolator, though. I can watch videos for a few hours in my van with the engine off, or bump tunes with the subs on for over an hour. And my new Optimas arrived today! Now I've got TWO backup batteries! AND solar panels. tee hee
          95 Chevy G20 Vroom Boom Room
          ...with a whole bunch of nifty ****... go check it out: VanDomain Page

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          • #6
            Jesus christ! I just looked up high-efficiency 12v refrigerators! $570 for 1.7 cu ft?!?! DAMN.

            Not TOO surprised though, a 12v 13" television is about $400.
            95 Chevy G20 Vroom Boom Room
            ...with a whole bunch of nifty ****... go check it out: VanDomain Page

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            • #7
              $400! - Target has them for $99.00

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              • #8
                Are they 12v? They're likely normal household 110V.
                95 Chevy G20 Vroom Boom Room
                ...with a whole bunch of nifty ****... go check it out: VanDomain Page

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                • #9
                  A $99.00 refrigerator may just be a a solid-state Peltier (sp?) cooler that just keeps things cool. The expensive units are real refrigerators that can actually keep things frozen. They're not cheap because they're built pretty rugged for people who use them on multi-day expedition-type trips and they aren't made in huge quantities. I don't think you're comparing apples to apples when comparing a $99 unit to a $400 and up unit.

                  People with an electric fridge are almost certain to use a second battery to reduce the risk of being stranded because the starting battery got discharged. (Although there may be some who just use a very large single battery.) Isolators run from solenoids to connect the two batteries when charging and disconnected otherwise, to all sorts of fancy electronic isolator/charge controller devices. Lots of off-roaders and expedition traveler types use them and I haven't really detected a consensus on what works best.

                  The fridge specs should give an idea how big of a battery is needed to keep it going for any given time period. I'd think trying to run a refrigerator on an inverter would be so inefficient you'd need a really big battery.

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                  • #10
                    If you go for an Optima battery such as the yellow top, they are designed to charge very quickly so you should be fine with the standard alternator.

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                    • #11
                      thanks for the replies.

                      the fridges im looking at are either thermodynamic or compressor, both can run on 12v. compressor are more expensive and more efficient. thermo fridges can be run on any angle and can usually heat things also.

                      I dont want to ruin my alternator, what should I be careful off: the alt charging both batteries at once?? When does the alternator get damaged, and how can I avoid it.

                      I will prob. get a yellowtop + isolator. What do you all think??

                      John

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                      • #12
                        I think with two batteries you'll be fine, especially with an Optima. Put it this way, I had a car with 5 amps, 8 x 15" subs, and 4 x Optima Yellow top batteries (one in for the engine and 3 for the sound system) and my standard 70amp alternator. This worked perfectly.

                        See the photos (http://www.rayheffer.com/ren19.shtml)

                        The only other thing you need to be careful of, is that you have a good size power cable between the two batteries, at least 4 guage. I used 2 guage for my setup, but 4 guage will be fine. Also, if the second battery is going in the trunk then ground it in the trunk too.

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                        • #13
                          what kind of isolator should i get??

                          or should I just use diodes??

                          where is the schematic for the diodes if I should go that route?

                          thanks ALOT again

                          john

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=l9nux]

                            See the photos (http://www.rayheffer.com/ren19.shtml)

                            QUOTE]

                            Jesus! What's that car like to drive?? I take it that it's competition only????
                            In da club....

                            ALIZEE WANTS YOU.....

                            (\__/)
                            (='.'=)
                            (")_(")
                            Bunny's first poo
                            __ U

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                            • #15
                              lol I don't have it anymore, but it used to take me 50 miles a day to work! But it was very slow!! I weighed it once and I worked out that the sound system was half a ton. Now I only have one 12" sub, a carputer and some JBL speakers... a bit different, but it suits me better as I work in IT!

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