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Post Info TOPIC: Ridge Ryder DC-DC 20amp charger review and install


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Ridge Ryder DC-DC 20amp charger review and install


Hi all,

I finally got around to chucking the dcdc charger into the caravan this weekend.

Tis a supercheap ridge ryder branded variant which is rated at 20amp.

It can handle lead acid, gel and calcium batteries.

I currently have a 125a/h battery doing duties for mostly lights and usb charging of various devices .

The unit is very basic and takes an input from the alternator of your tug and boosts the voltage up sufficiently to charged your aux battery.  No different to any other brand of dcdc charger.

 

One challenge with this one is that it requires 12.8 - 16v input to switch on and commence the job. So if you're looking at these, consider your installation carefully.

As you will see in the video below, I applied various voltages to the unit to test this out and can confirm operation starts at 12.8

So depending on your alternators output and the size of your cable run, you may be on or under that limit for it to work.

I'll report back once I get the tug side of things sorted and let you know of any challenges that present themselves then.

Compare this to the projecta dcdc charger I have in the back of the pajero which operates 9-32v . This also has an mppt solar controller onboard.

Based on the install and the level of testing I've already put it through, I'm happy to report it appears to be doing the job just dandily.

 

For now though and until I get into further testing, based on the relatively high voltage suppl required, I think this one may be better suited to under the bonnet or in tug duties.

I'd be very much interested if anyone else has installed one in their van or camper and what their results have been.

 

 

cheers Brett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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HI all
Caution on the ""cheaper "" dc dc chargers/240v  not all but some will boost every time they charge . This is a charge cycle at around 16volts . Not always explained in the instructions . Happened on a battery about 3 mths old . 
Not to be confused with desulphation mode . More like a recondition/ equalisation mode . Better chargers have on/off for this .  
Beaware the charger above appears as Matson, Power train = rebadged who actually makes it who no`s .
I found Power Train chargers do it .



-- Edited by swamp on Tuesday 7th of August 2018 07:25:16 PM

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Guru

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Brett,
The issue with under the bonnet is will it work in temperatures 70 to 80 degrees C?
For that reason I had to install my CETEK just behind the grill, in front of the radiator.

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Hi Brett

Good review and voltage info.  I installed Ridge Ryder DC to DC in our Caravan about two years ago and it does a good job keeping the house battery charged while we are traveling.  It solved the problem of the house battery not being fully charged in a towing day after free camping.   While the Tug (D-Max) cables are heavy via an battery isolator, I never upgraded the caravan wires but all appears to work well as per your review.

Cheers Denis   



-- Edited by Rabbit on Wednesday 8th of August 2018 07:18:46 AM

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Isuzu D-Max LS-M 4x4 Dual Cab Auto towing Galaxy Southern Cross 4 Caravan



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W-P, agreed.
I don't run any aux batteries under the bonnet (no room in the paj) but sticking it somewhere to get good airflow would definitely be a consideration.
This one doesn't have temp compensation like the projecta one in the pajero.
It's pretty much just a basic model with none of those frills.


Cheers Denis, thanks for the info. It's good to hear from someone who has used the actual product in the field and of course that it is working well.
That set up looks nice and tidy.

Based on the tests thus far, I've confident it will do what I need. I just need to take it for a good run :)






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Swamp, I can't talk to the powertrain brand but I have used matson power supplies for my ham radio gear without issue.
I haven't had extensive experience with them but what I have has been fine and based on reviews the opinion of them also appears to be high.

I did note on the SC website they have a near identical (design) matson brand for about half the price again, but it is a 10amp variant.

During my initial testing I didn't see voltages being applied that I would consider a 'boost charge'.
I'll be keeping an eye on it for a little while and will report back any oddities that I might spot.

When you say your power train 'does it' are you referring to a 240v charger ?

cheers Brett

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HI
Den monkey
Yea could have been either dc/dc or 240v was playing around with both 3 year ago when setting up camper . Found recon did not switch off although near new battery .
As a result did not try another , went solar EP tracer 30A / 240v voltech 40 amp 240v / direct connect altenator with booster diode .

There might be small differences between them all .

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Hey swamp picked up a ep mppt controller a few weeks back. seems to be well made.
we shall see. they do get good reviews for their price.

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Just as a follow up, here is the video of the install of the anderson plug at the rear of the pajero.

I did have to get a bit creative due to lack of space but these work well like this.

stack.jpg

 

as always, here's the video if it helps anyone

 

 

cheers Brett



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Senior Member

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Don't fit it under the bonnet near high engine temps or it will die an early death.

Have used that very model for a couple of years now.
They are NOT elcheapos. They are a Matson charger, made in Melbourne but with SCAs own branding.
Unlike the two leading brands that charge all batteries the same, the SCA/Matson can be properly set for different lead acid battery chemistries.
The great thing about 12.8 volt turn on-off is this eliminates the need for a VSR.
The bad thing is that the long run to the van may very well drop the voltage below this so that is simply doesn't work.
For me, the first one in the engine bay failed in the heat. SCA had no issues with a refund or replacement.
An auto elect tech in WA I sought help from said every DCDC charger he's ever seen fitted in an engine bay, regardless of brand (Redarc too), has failed prematurely in the outback heat.
My SCA replacement was therefore fitted in the cabin under the passengers seat and has faithfully served my wet aux batt in the engine bay for 2 years without a hiccup.
A lot of folks think they don't need such devices but the reality is that all vehicles made after 1 Jan 2016 are required to comply with ECE emissions standards which requires the charging system to shut off or disconnect the load on the engine in some way once the crank battery reaches what the boffins have researched to be an acceptable level.
It usually means you see no difference to your crank battery performance or lifespan but without DCDC on a modern vehicle aux batts just don't get fully charged any more.

As for the one I also fitted to my (previous) caravan, the combination of modern alternator controls and long run resistance meant that the caravans house battery would drop the line voltage even further to below 12.8 and cause the DCDC to cycle on-off at approx. 2hz. That great feature that eliminated the need for a VSR rendered the product useless for distance charging.

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