Traxide dual battery kit (LR3/D3); any comments on which version?

Ray_G

Explorer
Back from a trip to Oman for the past few days where temps were well above 100 and the fridge was on throughout, including protracted sitting during some work days. Battery never dropped below 11.5 based off check the voltmeter at various times but the well known LR3 desire for good power reared its head a couple of times with general disagreement until the battery was re-charged after driving/running for a bit and clearing out codes. No big deal in practice but it did broker the discussion with the wife that perhaps we should go dual battery sooner vice later to run the fridge off that vice the main battery.

So here's my intent:

-Main starting battery will only have the winch hooked to it
-Aux battery will have my aux fuse panel wired to it (the wires are already run into the engine bay, will just route them over to the other side where the aux battery is going). The aux fuse/relay block includes the fridge, the interior LED add ons, and the Hellas on the bumper-not a lot of power but for the fridge when it is trying to get to temp.

So my question is which setup of the traxide kit is recommended by folks who have it? I'm tempted just to get the basic setup since I don't want/need the crossover jumpstart capability, am not going to have three batteries, etc.

For those that have it, or have thoughts-chime in.

More on the Oman trip in the LR3 build thread soon.
r-
Ray
 

perkj

Explorer
I started with the SC-80 (prior to the USI 160 releasing) but then switched to the USI-160. The reason I switched is all around power consumption of the dual battery controllers/isolators to maximize the available power to what you need it for. Most folks aren't aware that these dual battery controllers/isolators actually consume energy when the vehicle is shut off. here are what I feel are the power consumption advantages of the USI-160 over the SC-80:

> the SC-80 always has the two batteries joined even when the vehicle is off and volts >12.0v. This of course is to maximize your amp hours...pulling power from both. The USI-160, with the flip of a switch, allows you to have it function like the SC-80 (joined all the time) or have the batteries separate when the engine is powered off. I prefer having the batteries separated (more on this below).

> the USI-160 consumes less power when the vehicle is not running:
USI-160
SHARED Mode (batteries join & volts > 12.0) = 165ma
SEPARATED Mode (batteries separated ) = 25ma
Note: the National Luna battery isolator uses 40 mAs (35ma more than Traxide) when the batteries are separated
Note: the Blue Sea SI-ACR battery isolator uses 15 mAs (10ma less than Traxide) when the batteries are separated
SC-80
SHARED Mode (batteries join & volts > 12.0) = 260 ma
SEPARATED mode (not selectable and only engaged when volts drop below 12.0v) = 8 ma

so you can see that the USI-160 controller consumes far less mA's (95 mA less) in the share mode. these number of mA may not seem like a lot, but if your vehicle sits for a long period of time they can end up draining your battery (more so than you would think). But more importantly when the batteries are in the selectable separated mode the mA drop off considerably (saving you 235 mA)...which is why this function was so attractive to me.

> USI-160 has a Time Out mode while in Share Mode, where as the SC-80 does not. this feature is to avoid consumption of mAs if a vehicle is not used for some time while in the Share Mode. The power save counter starts when ever the voltage at the input of the USI-160 drops below 12.7v and the time out mode will engage after 72 hours ( 3 days ) from when the voltage first dropped below 12.7v . When the time out occurs the batteries go into separated mode and thus mAs drop from 165 down to 25.

So the net here is that the USI-160 consumes significantly less mAs, which in turn means more available power for whatever it is you're wanting to power. I highly recommend the USI-160 over the SC-80 for this reason alone. The other features of the 160 are just icing on the cake.

The Blue Sea SI-ACR is a nice unit also, very well proven and worth considering. I decided on the USI-160 over it because of the time out, winch, jump and share modes it has which the Blue Sea doesn't...IMO these modes are worth the +10aM consumption when in separated mode
 
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Ray_G

Explorer
Wow, that was a fantastic response-many thanks for taking the time to put all that up!
r-
Ray
 

mbwesner

Adventurer
I never thought that the draw from the isolator would be much of an issue.... hrm... math time! The aux battery alone that I use is an Odyssey 34-PC1500T-A, with 20Hr Nominal Capacity (Ah) of 68.

Using Peukerts capacity calculation (http://planetcalc.com/2283/) you can calculate a rough time to discharge to various percent-of-charge. So with just my aux battery alone, to discharge it to 50% capacity is a couple of weeks. Add in the capacity before isolation of the larger starter battery, and you easily have more than a month.

If you plan to leave it that way for a very long time you have a few options. You can always install a switch to take the SC-80 out of the equation. Or have a small solar charge to offset that.

Obviously if you are actually using anything significant like a fridge you will have to have something charging it up every so many days. For most of us, we will be running the motor, or can run the motor pretty frequently. Again.. i would only be concerned about that draw if you have to leave it at the airport for a few months.

Interesting stuff though. I suppose if I wanted I could swap out to a USI-160 from my current SC-80.. but I think I will give this one a try for awhile. (The kit I used on my 2013 LR4 was the D3-BS kit... SC80-LR + ABG-25)
 

perkj

Explorer
The way I see it is as follows just from a back of envelope calculation perspective :

In share mode the difference between the SC80 and USI160 is 95ma. So 0.095 * 24 = 2.28 ah (amp hour) per day difference.
With the USI160 in separated mode vs the SC80 in shared the difference is 235ma. So 0.235 * 24 = 5.64 ah per day per day difference.

…keep in mind this is just draw from the isolator alone. Therefore you can see how amp draw becomes critical when you're talking a multi-day stop without any starting the vehicle or using solar.

BTW - the traxide ABG-25 draws an additional 65mAs (its time-out feature is 5 days). I opted not to install it since my ARB has a cut out built in…I figure no sense wasting valuable mAs ;)
 
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Jwestpro

Explorer
I know the more complex kits can be fun for observing levels and such but having not known any better many years ago, I had a very simple "Wrangler" dual battery kit put in my first rover that I bought from Atlantic British. It worked as needed all the time, so I did it again in the 2004 D2 and the 07 D3. They've been doing their job for 8 years now without issue.

All it does that I am aware of is split or combine them. Only 3 choices on the switch, which I leave in one setting basically all the time: "Isolated but charging both batteries upon engine running". On occasion I've used the "combine" setting when the original starter battery was insufficient.

I think my starter battery also runs the winch with the assumption you'd only be using the winch while engine running. All other added power items come off the 2nd as well as some factory items repowerd to the 2nd such as:
- the 4 "outboard" dome lamps (on either side of the front and 2nd row dome lamp cluster)
- the left 1 factory 12v in the front dash (in addition to 3 new 12v sockets in the 2nd and 3rd rows)
- rear upper hatch has interior release electric switch button

I've often wanted a battery manger that would show me the levels and "health" of each battery but there have always been other things with higher priority.
 

Ray_G

Explorer
I will likely end up ordering the USI-160 version based off the feedback. For me an important factor is that it comes with a lot of odds and ends that I'd otherwise have to source out here which can be an adventure. Many things are easier/cheaper to find, fix, or fabricate here but often little things become time consuming to source so the attractiveness of the traxide kit coming with cabling pre cut and such, battery tie downs, etc make it an easy sell to me.

If I was doing this in the U.S. on my D1, I'd probably go Blue Sea as I have before-but for out here where $ can add convenience and reduce time in the parking garage...I'll drop the cash!
 

Colin Hughes

Explorer
Sure Power 1314 battery separator, some #8 wire and connectors. I've used this set-up in four rovers now. It's inexpensive and does the job. Mainly powers my ARB fridge and charging phone, camera batteries. I supplement with 125w solar setup.
 

perkj

Explorer
I had a very simple "Wrangler" dual battery kit put in my first rover that I bought from Atlantic British.
Do you by chance know the amp draw of the Wrangler NW Product battery isolator when its in the separated state? I've searched the net and couldn't find anything.
 

unseenone

Explorer
Hi Jerry, how goes it.. I finally got mine installed, upgraded wiring, etc. it's a real nice upgrade from the SC80. :wavey:
 
Ready for my Traxide Kit Purchase, need help on which one

All,

I'm ready to go dual battery and want to run Traxide after reading all the great things about it. My goal eventually is to be able to run the dual batteries, multiple functions such as compressor, fridge, all the whizbang USB functions, laptop/Ipad Nav, etc... and have the ability to recharge via the house and solar.

My point is, I want all and not have to crack into the interior again after the install.

I feel a bit confused by the last two kits on the Traxide site and want to see if there is any further opinion on the "Bells and Whistles" differences of the:

D3-DS
http://www.traxide.com.au/complete-diy-dual-battery/land-rover-dbs-kits/discovery-3-dbs-kits/d3-ds--sc80--abg-25--fpc.html

D3-DU
http://www.traxide.com.au/complete-diy-dual-battery/land-rover-dbs-kits/discovery-3-dbs-kits/d3-du--usi-160--abg-25--fpc.html

Any advice would be greatly appreciated from you all. FYI, I love the install ideas so I am surely using your advice for my install when my kit shows up and expect many questions.

Mahalo from Hawaii,

E
 

perkj

Explorer
All,

I'm ready to go dual battery and want to run Traxide after reading all the great things about it. My goal eventually is to be able to run the dual batteries, multiple functions such as compressor, fridge, all the whizbang USB functions, laptop/Ipad Nav, etc... and have the ability to recharge via the house and solar.

My point is, I want all and not have to crack into the interior again after the install.

I feel a bit confused by the last two kits on the Traxide site and want to see if there is any further opinion on the "Bells and Whistles" differences of the:

D3-DS
http://www.traxide.com.au/complete-diy-dual-battery/land-rover-dbs-kits/discovery-3-dbs-kits/d3-ds--sc80--abg-25--fpc.html

D3-DU
http://www.traxide.com.au/complete-diy-dual-battery/land-rover-dbs-kits/discovery-3-dbs-kits/d3-du--usi-160--abg-25--fpc.html

Any advice would be greatly appreciated from you all. FYI, I love the install ideas so I am surely using your advice for my install when my kit shows up and expect many questions.

Mahalo from Hawaii,

E
You want the one in the 2nd link with the USI-160 for the reasons I stated earlier in this thread.
 
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