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konazz Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2012
Location: Canberra, ACT
TOTAL POSTS: 479
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ArkPak


At last week's Camping Show, I picked up the 2nd gen ArkPak (the one with the LCD Screen).

This is a good option for those that don't want to re-run cabling + install an isolator in their vehicles, as it can charge off the rear accessory port. Its also nice, because its portable.

Some of the things that won me over were:
- portable. this needs to be used between 2 to 3 vehicles (my old man, brother and myself).
- its everything in 1 unit: 150watt inverter, USB port, anderson connection, 2 x 12v 15A ciggie connections, comes with 240volt smart charger built in.
- depending on your chosen Battery, can be used to crank over an engine. With diesel engines though, you need to open the box up, and connect directly to the battery terminals
- LCD shows status of charge and temps. Can be switched off at a press of a button to conserve battery
- doesn't need an isolation kit or re-wiring... important as we'd need 3 of them: 1 for each car
- choice of battery

Some of the negatives.
- the smart charger only charges at 6A/h: regardless of 240v or 12v connection
- 12v DC-DC charging kit is $95 extra
- its $450
- the inverter is modified sine wave and only 150watts.
- if one component fails (e.g. inverter) you have to replace the whole box.
- damn heavy with a battery (although it only weighs a few kg's)
- no ability get a Hella plug (my preferred plug for my Waeco).

Anyway. We'll see how it goes. I've currently got my Waeco set up as a drinks fridge in the lounge room, and stressing both the Arkpak and the 100a/h 800CCA AGM battery off ebay.

Total cost of the setup was:
$410: Arkpak, DC-DC charging kit, 2 x tiedown kits (the RRP of this was $450 + $95 + $15 + $15 = $575, but there was a show special + $50 NRMA discount).
$220: 100a/h AGM 800CCA dual deep cycle/cranking battery, inc. delivery from Adelaide
= $630.

For me, thats a decent price for a portable battery setup. I looked at the Thumper setup, but they use multiple small 15Ah batteries for their systems, which are sealed and can only be serviced by the manufacturer. After working out the cost of the 105AH thumper, inverter, 3 x isolation/wiring kits, and labour to install it into 3 cars... it was nearly double the cost of this setup - even for the show special price.

I'll report back after I drain the battery down to 20-25%, and see how long it takes to recharge. I've been running the fridge since sunday night, so curious to see how it goes. (I was freezing some things earlier this week in the Waeco, running it at -22 degrees). I just put about 25 warm softdrink cans into the fridge, which should make it work a bit harder. Ambient is constant - at around 20 degrees inside the house, although I had the sun on it most mornings.

Image
Untitled by konazz, on Flickr

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Michael K
2012 X-Trail Series IV Diesel TS
Member X-2600 (C)
Mods: Pedders Lift Kit, Bash Plates, 16" X-trail Steel Rims, 235/70/16 A/T Tyres, Heavy Duty shock absorbers
1/May/2013, 11:42 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
konazz Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2012
Location: Canberra, ACT
TOTAL POSTS: 479
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Re:


Also, to get around the modified sine wave... I plan on purchasing a 400w pure sine wave inverter. The arkpak as external battery terminals, or for each of use, i was going to solder an anderson plug to the inverter. We'll see how I go.

Also forgot to mention, while the charger will only charge @ 6Ah, if you connect via the Anderson plug or terminals, you can use a isolator to charge at maximum amps.

---
Michael K
2012 X-Trail Series IV Diesel TS
Member X-2600 (C)
Mods: Pedders Lift Kit, Bash Plates, 16" X-trail Steel Rims, 235/70/16 A/T Tyres, Heavy Duty shock absorbers
1/May/2013, 11:45 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Toddyh03 Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2011
Location: Lalor Park, NSW
TOTAL POSTS: 1663
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Re: ArkPak


6Ah is slow. To charge that 100Ah battery would be almost 17 hours. But like you said, it needs to be transferable so what can you do. I would be interested to see exactly how much quick it is when plugged into an Anderson to charge.

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Toddyh X-2048 (c)
New: Challenger
Old: 2010 T31 Diesel modified
My XTrail
1/May/2013, 1:24 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
konazz Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2012
Location: Canberra, ACT
TOTAL POSTS: 479
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Re:


The anderson plug by passes the charging mechanism, so would charge as quickly as a normal dual battery setup connected directly to the alternator via an isolation switch. So < 2 hours.

The 6A trickle is good to have to keep the battery prepped at home.

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Michael K
2012 X-Trail Series IV Diesel TS
Member X-2600 (C)
Mods: Pedders Lift Kit, Bash Plates, 16" X-trail Steel Rims, 235/70/16 A/T Tyres, Heavy Duty shock absorbers
1/May/2013, 2:02 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Toddyh03 Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2011
Location: Lalor Park, NSW
TOTAL POSTS: 1663
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Re: ArkPak


Well that's handy I guess. Can at least 'rush' charge it if you need to to.
I bought a 1.5W solar panel trickle charger for my camper battery. The voltage hasn't dropped below 13.2 since I connected it.

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Toddyh X-2048 (c)
New: Challenger
Old: 2010 T31 Diesel modified
My XTrail
1/May/2013, 2:31 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
nananut Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2011
Location: Kalgoorlie, WA
TOTAL POSTS: 366
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Re:


I've got my ArkPak charging at home if not out and about. Got a 120Ah AGM battery bought locally. Total cost of my setup was about $850 including delivery of the ArkPak from Perth and the DC charger. Only discount was the ArkPak itself at Rays Outdoors when there was a sale on. The inverter does need a ground wire before use and I haven't bought that yet as I'm in no rush to use it since all my devices can be charged via 12v slots or using the car's 12v. Total weight now is about 40kg.

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x-2202 (c)
New: 2014 Ranger PX XLS 3.2 Mods
Old: 2011 X-trail T31 TS Series 4 Mods
12/May/2013, 5:08 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
maateph Profile
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Date Registered: 07-2013
TOTAL POSTS: 4
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Re:


hi guys.

any updates on this? I need a question answered about the $99 in car charger..

my brothers car is a JDM Land cruiser, and the electrical system is 24v. I usually charge the arkpak via the andersons in my xtrail but his car cant do this because of the 24v..

The in car charger is designed to plug into a 12v source and then it is converted into 24v and plugged into the box itself to run the smart charger. This got my attention as his electrical system is already 24v so it looks like he pays for a reducer then run it through their in car charging lead to up it back to 24v

So I contacted ARK and asked if the smart chargers components would be able to withstand the fluctuation of voltage from 24v~28v as the alternators rpm is changing whilst driving, but they couldnt answer my question.

Could someone here with the car charger do me a massive favour and take 5 minutes of their time to plug their charger into their cars cigarette socket then hook up a multimeter and tell me if the output voltage on the arkpaks side of the cable is a constant 24v througout the rev range or if it increases at all and by how much? I really dont want him to have to buy the cable when he borrows the arkpak this weekend but I REALLY dont want him blowing it up!!
30/Jul/2013, 7:04 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
maateph Profile
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Date Registered: 07-2013
TOTAL POSTS: 4
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anyone?
30/Jul/2013, 9:02 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
maxgmoore Profile
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Date Registered: 11-2012
Location: Broome
TOTAL POSTS: 547
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Re: ArkPak


hey guys so i have been thinking about a dual battery setup for awhile now and have to have the battery in the back. i wanted it to be a removable system and the arcpak seems to be the go. from what you guys say it seems to take ages to charge. I was thinking of mounting a solar panel on the roof of the exy behind the roof basket and having it connected to the arc pack during the days.

my questions are:

1) what size solar panel would i need?
2) how would i run the cables from solar panel into the car? Has anyone done this???

Cheers

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Cheers
maxgmoore X-2776 (c)
My Ride
2003 Series 1 T30 Ti

10/Sep/2013, 10:19 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Toddyh03 Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2011
Location: Lalor Park, NSW
TOTAL POSTS: 1663
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Re: ArkPak


Max your questions: you would probably need a 100-200W solar panel but it entirely depends on how much you are pulling from the battery at the time.
Not done solar panel wiring but I did wire heavy gauge cable (6 B&S) from the battery to the boot to charge my 2nd battery via a 50amp circuit breaker.

Regarding the Arkpak, Michael had some dramas with his on the recent trip where it melted the 12v plug and was blowing fuses. We cut off the plug, put a better quality one on and put an inline blade fuse in the cable. He will have to tell you how that set up worked out.

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Toddyh X-2048 (c)
New: Challenger
Old: 2010 T31 Diesel modified
My XTrail
11/Sep/2013, 7:38 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 


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