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Old 04-16-2024, 08:16 PM   #1
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DC Source Inside Fridge Controls Area

I am adding a couple of DC fans to help move air over backside of fridge. I have a Norcold N8X. The fans will be attached to the inlet louvers at the side of the RV.

Does anyone have an idea where a good point in that area is for a power supply to my fans? Everything has been installed other than hooking up a power supply, plenty of spots to hook up the ground.
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Old 04-16-2024, 11:45 PM   #2
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What have you decided to use to control the fans turning on and off? It is very likely that there is a pin built into the board for the refrigerator that could control and power the fans. I’m not into electronics enough to tell you for sure where it is on the board. Hopefully, someone will have a better answer for you.
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Old 04-17-2024, 05:57 PM   #3
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The photos below show the controls area of my fridge. There is pair (green and white) of wires that go to the main board at J1 and J2. One is clearly marked as J1 and one as J2. With the fridge off and the AC unplugged, J1 shows 13 volts. Does anyone have an opinion as to whether this would be a suitable power source for my fans. Each fan may draw up to 0.3 amps.
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IMG_6662.jpg   IMG_6661.jpg   IMG_6664.jpg   IMG_6682.jpg   IMG_6683.jpg  

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Old 04-17-2024, 06:11 PM   #4
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Kevin, the fans I purchased will operate either in manual or auto. In manual I can choose multiple settings between off or a low and a max speed. In auto the fans operate based on temperature. I set the temperature to start fans. The fans ramp up in speed as the temp goes farther beyond my setpoint. I suspended the temperature sensor near the exit of the fridge vent.
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Old 04-17-2024, 06:30 PM   #5
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According to the nameplate, the controls use a total combined 9.9 amps. In my world, fuses should be sized 25% above total load. 10x1.25=12.5 amp fuse.
So with fans the max load would be 10.5x1.25= 13.5 amps. Based on that, and that there is not a huge inrush on the motors, 15 amp fused circuit should work. If 20 amp fuse, then very comfortable it will work. This is based on the batteries only going down to around 11 amps. Any lower, then the 15a fuse would be suspect.
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Old 04-17-2024, 06:38 PM   #6
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FWIW, on our Norcold 2118 I disconnected one of the 2 small OEM fans in the rear that don't do much and used that lead to connect a 110mm fan mounted at the top vent to exhaust heat. Runs off of the fridge temp switch. Not sure if this is any help.
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Old 04-17-2024, 06:42 PM   #7
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Basically this mod does nothing to help with fridge cooling. While some will tell you that it helps, fact is it does a degree or two at best. So try it and see what happens but I found it was a waist of time and money that did little to help with cooling.



And I tried it with three different RVs and had the same result.
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAG View Post
Basically this mod does nothing to help with fridge cooling. While some will tell you that it helps, fact is it does a degree or two at best. So try it and see what happens but I found it was a waist of time and money that did little to help with cooling.



And I tried it with three different RVs and had the same result.
From my experiences I'd say it depends on the initial install. Also I have always had better cooling performance with a RV fridge vented through the roof vs a wall vented install. Our current wall vented fridge would not cool when travelling no matter what it was set at, a 6 hr summer trip and I'd see high 50's in the fridge. Closing off the open area at the top opposite the flue and exhausting air at the top vent with a 110mm fan worked for travelling, and when parked I can set the fridge at 3, vs previously setting at 4 to get 36-38 degrees. Of course a hotter day requires a higher setting.
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Old 04-18-2024, 02:32 PM   #9
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I have the same fridge and control board in my ORV. When I installed my ARP Fridge Defend I had to move power for the Norcold Cold Weather kit off the 12v Aux on the control board and over to the 12v source that connects to J1/J2 ahead of where the ARP device was wired in. I've measured the cold weather kit draw at around 1.8-2a so I don't see any issue with tapping the J1/J2 12v source for your fans.

One difference that I did note between your control board and mine is the wiring on the large white connector. Mine has an extra red and black wire for the 12v Aux output which is rated to 7.5a per the label on the cover over the control board. If you added those wires in then I think you'd only have 12v to the fans while the fridge was actually powered on which might be preferred.

When I moved the cold weather kit over I added in a mini-fuse so that I could prevent the cold weather kit from activating when the fridge is powered off by pulling the fuse.
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Old 04-18-2024, 04:30 PM   #10
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I connected to the J1 and J2 feeds. Both fans on at max speed are drawing just under 0.6 amps, so I am good to go. As it is now, I have power to the fans anytime the DC is powered up in the coach (and the fuse isn't blown or removed or blah blah blah).

I would probably have used the aux contacts on the 16-wire connector had I known for sure which ports to tap into. I think it would be port 1 and 6. but I wasn't convinced I knew what I was looking at.

Thanks to all for your help and participation.
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Old 04-18-2024, 04:42 PM   #11
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See the attached picture for future reference or if you want to fiddle with it further. Assuming pin 1 is bottom row far right it looks like pin 1 is ground and pin 6 is positive. Sounds like everything is working as expected now though. Hopefully you see the improvement you are hoping for.
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Old 04-18-2024, 04:54 PM   #12
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ttavasc - Thanks again. I see that my 1 and 6 are both empty, this would have been a good solution. The ports are labeled 1 - 8 and 9 -16, with 1 being at the bottom right and 9 being the top right.

If I had mowed my yard this afternoon instead of wiring the fans, I could have taken advantage of this knowledge. I still might use this info. Depending on the improvement I see, if any, I might add another small fan(s) at the exit point of the vent to add more airflow. I now know where to grab power from!
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Old 04-26-2024, 08:33 PM   #13
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I installed twin fans in my Norcold fridge. Powered it by running the hot wire through the condensation drain hose and connecting it to 12 volt wire behind the fridge.
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