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REDARC’S latest dual-in­put, mul­ti­stage, 12-volt, in-ve­hi­cle bat­tery charger is a beauty. One of 14 in-ve­hi­cle charg­ers the com­pany makes, there’s one to suit your charg­ing re­quire­ments and your ve­hi­cle’s tech­ni­cal de­mands.

A DC-DC bat­tery charger will en­sure a dual or sec­ond bat­tery is kept at its cor­rect volt­age and 100 per cent charged all the time, even if it’s a fair way away from the al­ter­na­tor, say in a camper van. You can also use these units to iso­late a sec­ond or aux­il­iary bat­tery from the ve­hi­cle’s main bat­tery and en­sure the main bat­tery isn’t run flat by all the cur­rent-de­mand­ing com­po­nents we all like to have these days – a 12-volt fridge be­ing the main cul­prit of flat bat­ter­ies.

The unit fit­ted to our Cruiser is a BCDC1240D, which is one of Redarc’s top units and means the charger can han­dle 40 amps con­tin­u­ously, with a volt­age range of 9 to 32 volts. It can charge and main­tain any lead acid bat­tery, as well as cal­cium, AGM and lithium bat­ter­ies.

This dual-in­put charger is designed to re­ceive charg­ing power not only from the ve­hi­cle’s al­ter­na­tor but from a so­lar panel. When a panel is con­nected to the unit it will take as much power from the so­lar in­put as it can be­fore sup­ple­ment­ing that power, up to the max­i­mum rated out­put, from the ve­hi­cle al­ter­na­tor.

The crew at Out­back 4WD in Bayswa­ter mounted the unit in the front of the en­gine bay where it will re­ceive good air­flow, en­sur­ing it will op­er­ate at its op­ti­mum – in tem­per­a­tures up to 55°C. To se­lect the dif­fer­ent charge pro­files that the unit is ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing for dif­fer­ent bat­ter­ies and sit­u­a­tions, it is sim­ply a mat­ter of chang­ing the con­nec­tion of one of the wires.

The charger is a three-stage unit: Boost, Ab­sorp­tion and Float stages. Boost stage is the ini­tial process of charg­ing; when the bat­tery volt­age reaches its proper level the cur­rent drops to the Ab­sorp­tion stage, which is main­tained un­til the cur­rent de­mand is less than 4 amps; the unit then switches to the Float stage, where the bat­tery volt­age is then main­tained at 13.3 volts.

The LEDS on the front panel in­di­cate the charge pro­file and the power source, while the charge sta­tus is in­di­cated by the con­tin­u­ous flash of the ‘Stage’ LED.

The dif­fer­ent Redarc charg­ers are rated from 6 amp up to 40 amp and are priced from less than $400 up to $1000. Designed and man­u­fac­tured in Australia, all come with a two-year war­ranty. They’re a first­class prod­uct and are designed for years of trou­ble-free op­er­a­tion. I can’t rec­om­mend them highly enough.

LEDS in­di­cate the unit’s charge pro­file and power source.

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