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Celebrating the independent kiwi spirit of invention.


Brass Monkey 50 L dual zone 12 V fridge/freezer:
Specifications

By Ian Mander, 5, 9, & 13 January 2020

 

Sadly, quality control in the specs on the Jaycar website product page and in the downloadable manual is so pathetic it's probably illegal – it might even amount to a "bait and switch" practice. The printed manual that comes with the 50 L has significantly different specs from what is stated online.

The staff member said he would trust the manual over the website. But which manual?

  Website & downloadable PDF manual
(except as stated)
50L DZ printed manual and box
(except as stated)
Actual, with comment
Power All the fridges from 15 L up to 60 L are claimed to have the same 45 W power draw.
The 80 L has a claimed 70 W draw.
60 W 6.4 A * 9.4 V is close to 60 W, so 60 W might seem a reasonable spec, but I've actually seen up to 80 W on a mains watt meter (which is probably closer to 90% efficient, not 75%). Even on a single mode/setting it varies hugely (48-60 W, and up to 80 W on occasion).
Current All the fridges from 15 L up to 60 L are claimed to have the same 3.75 A current draw (although the 60 L datasheet mixes up the 12 V current and the 24 V current). Max. Current: 5 A

Both figures are wrong; I've measured 6.41 A. The claimed 5 A might be possible with a full 12 V supply, especially if a DC-DC converter is being used, running at a constant 60 W power, but even the H battery cutoff level is less than 12 volts.

"Max. current 5 A at 12 V" would be better.

24 hour energy use Product page: "- Average power consumption over 24 hours is 0.2kWh" (sic – kWh is actually energy, not power) PDF and printed manual, page 2:
"0.25 kWh/24h"

Unverified at time of writing; see DC Fridge Test page.

How much energy is actually used in 24 hours will depend on the temperatures set, the ambient temperature, and possibly the MAX/ECO mode.

Colder zone on left

Product page and box: "A separate temperature setting sets either the left or right section to be up to 15°C colder than the chiller section."

Video review of 80 L dual zone: Steve has the left zone set as a freezer. The model he has is a different range which uses an LG compressor.

PDF and printed manual, page 3: "The temperature of left zone can not be set colder than it of the right zone." (sic)

Just pushing the left zone down button drags the right down with it, so it does appear to be the intent that it not be set lower than the right. However, it is possible to confuse the programming to lower the left below the right by pressing and holding the button (doesn't always work). I got -7 °C on the left and 15 °C on the right before I moved on to something else.

Difference between zones

Product page and box: "A separate temperature setting sets either the left or right section to be up to 15°C colder than the chiller section."

Video review of 80 L dual zone: Steve has a 21 °C difference between the zones.

PDF and printed manual, page 4 :
"Left zone (Fridge): 5°C
Right Zone (Freezer): -20°C"

There is not a set 15 °C difference limit. I can easily set the left at 2 °C and the right at -20 °C, and I've seen 3 °C on the left and -19 °C on the right (a 22 °C difference) and the hack I mentioned above was the other way around, with -7 °C on the left and 15 °C on the right (also a 22 °C difference).

The only explanation I can think of is that there may be a practical reason for the claim, such as that difference being roughly what the internal dividing wall can reliably cope with.

Battery cut out levels [Nothing!] [Nothing!]

The battery cut out levels are not in the manual. (What's with that?) I found the following figures in the manual for a different Brass Monkey fridge model – I can only guess they're the same.

  • H: cut out 11.6 V / cut in 12.4 V
  • M: cut out 10.8 V / cut in 11.4 V
  • L: cut out 9.6 V / cut in 10.9 V.

I note that 9.6 V is very low for a normal lead acid battery but is more than the 9.2 V cutout for Jaycar's LiFePO4 batteries.

 



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