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Old 09-12-2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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More mods - fridge fan and battery

Hi All,

Super disappointed in the cheap Camco or whatever brand "portable fridge fan" that I had to rewire it.

First off it runs on 2 "D" cell batteries (for 3 months supposedly) but there was no on/off switch. Also, the thing slid around in there easily.

I opened the back and soldered new wires to the contacts for the batteries. Could still use batteries if necessary with how I connected them. I then used and alligator clip for ground to clip on the fridge fins (surprisingly the fridge +DC feed is live all the time so any permanent ground would result in the fan running all the time). The alligator clip allows me to turn it off and remove it (the shelf etc) for cleaning or changing the little charcoal pack if I want to. For the hot I used a bullet connector also for removal options. I also drilled a couple holes in the bottom and used a zip-tie to secure it to the shelf.

Despite looking like bare copper, the wire I ran down the drain tube is actually clear (very well I might add) insulated 22 gauge copper. I ran this to the +12VDC connector to the fridge on the outside. I don't like to add additional connections if possible (introduces additional corrosion points) so I stripped it back, widened the connector a touch, and feed the wire in with the existing plug.

I think the pictures should explain the rest. I can turn the fan off, remove it and the shelf if necessary, now it doesn't use batteries that have to be hauled to recycler, and it doesn't slide around. I can even throw a new charcoal pack in once in awhile if I feel like it.

On another note, I posted some pics of the waterproof splice (Mills Fleet Farm) I replaced the truly nasty huge wire nut the dealer installed the battery with. In fact, I believe that wire nut (super corroded already and one black wire pulled out easily) was the source of my audio system losing its mind (presets/time) constantly. It is wired correctly behind the cabinet (I checked) and now works great.

I have a master battery cutoff installed, but have my Trimetric able to read even when the master is off so probably a 100mAh phantom drain just from that when fully disconnected.

As always - open for questions...love this forum!
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inservice.jpg   custom1.jpg   outwire1.jpg   outwire2.jpg   seal2.jpg  

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Old 09-12-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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Neat mod! I had to read and look at those pics twice! Sure looks like bare copper wire!

Couple of quick things -- when you said
Quote:
surprisingly the fridge +DC feed is live all the time
-- did you mean -DC? I wired up a fan as well and could not find any +12 that was on all the time so I had to run a wire like you did. i use the fins for ground.

If the fan is designed for 2 - D batteries, that is 3 volts. How is the motor holding up to a 12 volt feed? I would think it would not last long?

Lastly, I would highly recommend you put a small inline fuse where you connect to your fridge power. If you accidently short out the fan or it has a problem, you will disable your entire fridge without it.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Good idea with the fuse...it would take the fridge fuse out if shorted like you say. I meant the feed outside is 12 volts hot constant - thus the wire down the tube. Fins are ground like you said. I think that motor will be fine running at 12 VDC. I fly electric RC airplanes as a different hobby and subject similar motors to excess voltage all the time and they seem to last quite a while. I figure it will only be on when camping so should hold up ok. Can always buy a new one if needed. I think part of the reason they run the low voltage is to make the batteries last "3 months"...

I will definitely fuse my line though.

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
I meant the feed outside is 12 volts hot constant - thus the wire down the tube
Ok - I see what you were saying now. Apparently these fridges used to have +12 at the light hot all the time, but in the last several years they do not. I was going to be excited if you found +12 inside

Quote:
I fly electric RC airplanes as a different hobby and subject similar motors to excess voltage all the time and they seem to last quite a while.
Well shoot, then why didnt you add an ESC and make it a variable control speed fan from the comfort of your bed
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tafische View Post
Ok - I see what you were saying now. Apparently these fridges used to have +12 at the light hot all the time, but in the last several years they do not. I was going to be excited if you found +12 inside



Well shoot, then why didnt you add an ESC and make it a variable control speed fan from the comfort of your bed
Could have thrown a brushless in there and used it as back-up AC with the door open!
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