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Custom PDU or Havis ChargeGuard

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yaknamedjak

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Hi all, planning out my '07 Expedition SSV install, which should be beginning in early/mid January. All the parts are arriving now, huge Troy console on order with them.

Anyhow looking at power options and I have pretty much narrowed it down to two options, this custom D&R power distribution unit or a Havis Chargeguard followed by a regular Bluesea/Brookings/equivalent fuse block.


I don't know too much about the power distribution unit but it looks interesting and there is documentation for something close here: http://dandrelectronics.com/files/literature/Ns8XNkNRDX.pdf

Photo attached.


Also, for a 110W MCS2000, is it ok to wire it through one of these two options?


Thanks in advance.

-Joey
 

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mmckenna

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The PDU is nice. I'd be interested in what they cost. If the price was reasonable, it looks like a good labor saving device. I could see where installing in a lot of vehicles that were all identical could make something like this really work well.

For a one off install, you might save a considerable amount of money just by using the charge guard and a fuse block.

The 110watt MCS-2000 will want a 30 amp fuse, so connecting it directly to the PDU would be out. However, connecting the MCS-2000 directly to the battery would be best, then just connect the ignition sense lead to one of the ignition sensed outputs on the PDU.
I did something similar with my own personal truck. Both radios have their power feeds direct off the battery, and the charge guard just controls the ignition sense circuits. Made the wiring a bit cleaner that way.
 

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The PDU is nice. I'd be interested in what they cost. If the price was reasonable, it looks like a good labor saving device. I could see where installing in a lot of vehicles that were all identical could make something like this really work well.

For a one off install, you might save a considerable amount of money just by using the charge guard and a fuse block.

The 110watt MCS-2000 will want a 30 amp fuse, so connecting it directly to the PDU would be out. However, connecting the MCS-2000 directly to the battery would be best, then just connect the ignition sense lead to one of the ignition sensed outputs on the PDU.
I did something similar with my own personal truck. Both radios have their power feeds direct off the battery, and the charge guard just controls the ignition sense circuits. Made the wiring a bit cleaner that way.


Thanks a lot. $80. Worth it? Charge guard alone would probably cost $50+ if I grab one off eBay.

I think power cable for the mcs2000 has inline 15A fuse holder? Correction: Never mind see now that the high power cable had inline 30A fuse.


Can I wire 25w uhf mcs2k through the board? Trying to to minimize leads to the battery obviously.




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sfd119

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ChargeGuard. It also offers High/Low voltage protection, etc. I've had one in service for almost ten years now and its very reliable.
 

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I've never seen one of these PDU's in use. I've seen lots of Charge Guards with fuse blocks. The thing that Charge Guard, Lind, etc. have going for them is a lot of years of reputation. Since I don't know anything about the company that makes the PDU, I don't know how to compare them.

Yeah, a new charge guard is going to be about $50, but I've been finding them used on e-Bay for $15 - $20.

While it looks like the PDU would save you some labor and make the wiring a little cleaner, that's about all I can see going for it.

You should have no problem running a 25 watt radio through it, however make sure the PDU isn't a noise source. Sometimes running the radio directly off a battery feed and just using the ignition sense lead to control the power is a good solution.

If you do use one of these PDU's, let us know how it goes. Looks like an interesting product. It seems a little light duty for public safety use, but that's just my opinion. Considering that a police vehicle, fire engine or ambulance will have 2 radios, some high power, a lot of lighting, etc. it seems a little light on the current capacity. I'd expect to see a pair of 30 amp switched outputs for higher power radios. The rest of the connections are probably pretty good considering the prevalence of LED lighting now.
 

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ChargeGuard. It also offers High/Low voltage protection, etc. I've had one in service for almost ten years now and its very reliable.


Thank you, I appreciate the input. I do like the fact that it wants till voltage is leveled out before turning things on, is that correct?




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I've never seen one of these PDU's in use. I've seen lots of Charge Guards with fuse blocks. The thing that Charge Guard, Lind, etc. have going for them is a lot of years of reputation. Since I don't know anything about the company that makes the PDU, I don't know how to compare them.

If you do use one of these PDU's, let us know how it goes. Looks like an interesting product. It seems a little light duty for public safety use, but that's just my opinion. Considering that a police vehicle, fire engine or ambulance will have 2 radios, some high power, a lot of lighting, etc. it seems a little light on the current capacity. I'd expect to see a pair of 30 amp switched outputs for higher power radios. The rest of the connections are probably pretty good considering the prevalence of LED lighting now.

Totally see where you're coming from, though I can say that D&R Electronics is a very reputable company for public safety upfitting products.

This particular version of their of their PDU42 is the PDU42-VEGAS, custom made for the city of Las Vegas, I believe the police department since I believe it would have gone in a CVPI.

If you check p.15 of the manual it does describe there being high/low voltage protection at least on the timed connections, so I'm sure that would be maintained on the VEGAS version.

I may sound like I'm leaning towards the PDU, probably because I am a little bit...but it does come with a plate that allows you to bolt it to a Troy vehicle base plate, which is also neat...I'm just very intrigued by the device, but I do certainly know that a ChargeGuard is beast. This would definitely keep the wiring a bit cleaner, though.


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It looks like a good unit, just never used them myself and while I do a few installs, I've never done a full police car. Usually I'm doing one or two radios. Full on installs are beyond my capability at work.

The high/low voltage shutdown can be handy.

It's probably a good unit if LV is using them. It would make the install nice a neat, and that could certainly be worth the extra money. Working around the higher power radio isn't an issue.
I'd like to hear how it works out for you.
 

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It looks like a good unit, just never used them myself and while I do a few installs, I've never done a full police car. Usually I'm doing one or two radios. Full on installs are beyond my capability at work.

The high/low voltage shutdown can be handy.

It's probably a good unit if LV is using them. It would make the install nice a neat, and that could certainly be worth the extra money. Working around the higher power radio isn't an issue.
I'd like to hear how it works out for you.


Thanks a lot. Just ordered it. But I'm not against ordering the other stuff when the install gets going if we run into something.


I read in another thread you ran a #6 from the battery to a distribution block. If I do that with a small block, I could wire the radios and the PDU individually to the block? Or is that getting redundant? Like I said going for minimal firewall work/leads coming off the battery, but I want to have the radios properly installed.

I'll definitely have a thread here with all the details of how it's going and how I feel about all the equipment. Like I said it won't be getting started till probably mid-January since I need to get some body work done on the vehicle, couple rust spots and some exhaust work.


Troy WBOS-30-LA (Troy agreed to build the custom Los Angeles County version of the console for me, so between that the PDU there will be some uniqueness to this) should make for a pretty clean looking install.


Will edit this post in a few minutes with a console layout.

[EDIT]:Added console layout attachment. Left side is the 8" that's slanted and right side is the level 22". It's looking like now the dual beverage holder I had at the bottom (for passengers in the second row) will now be coming out, everything from the scanner back being moved towards the rear and the UHF MCS2000 going between the VHF one and the scanner) Also added console diagram.



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Yeah, so I have a 2011 F-150 crew cab. I have a #6 coming off the battery, through a "mega" fuse 60 amp on the firewall. From there the #6 runs back to behind the rear seat. I've got a piece of 3/4" ply mounted back there. Was supposed to be temporary back in 2011, but never got around to replacing it.
Anyway, the #6 is tied down to a fuse block. I run power off that to the 2 radios:
CDM-1550 VHF
NX-900 800MHz
I use a Lind timer to control the radios via the ignition sense lines.

I've seen other installs where they have a battery lead coming in and a single "stud" type connection point. From there power is distributed out to the equipment via fuse panel, etc. Basically it just remotes the battery + post to inside the vehicle.

I'd tie your two radios down to the battery lead rather than running them through the timer. Your MCS-2000 will need that to get the full 30 amp connection it needs. The 25 watt radio could run through the PDU probably just fine.
I'd use a timer feed off the PDU to control the ignition sense lead for the MCS2000.
Make sure you pick up a good local ground and make sure the negative strap coming off your battery is up to snuff.
 

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Got it, thanks. I suppose we'll probably do the remote-post option.

A Heavy guage line through the firewall with a post in under the radio stack or somewhere around there so I can easily unplug everything. Both MCS2K's wired to that with ignition sense to the PDU.

Hopefully the vehicle ignition line terminating in a quickconnect somewhere near that post with quickconnect going to ignition input on PDU. Quick connect to PA speaker and front interior lightbar (the only lighting on the front of the vehicle, unless I decide on some amber on pushpumber..) there as well I suppose. Adding photo to previous post with console layout so you have an idea of what's going in.
 

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Actually, on page 7 on the guide, figure 3, that model shows it having a 12v out that is essentially a remote battery post. I'm not sure that the Vegas version has it but it does have the 40A Out post, I could use that, right? I won't be transmitting on both radios at the same time.
 

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Thank you, I appreciate the input. I do like the fact that it wants till voltage is leveled out before turning things on, is that correct?
Correct. Even while its running, if it senses a voltage too high or too low, it immediately kills everything to protect it.

As echo'd above, I wouldn't use the PDU deal. Use a fuse box from Blue Sea. That's what I use in my truck. I know I have full power and can add / remove things and not worry about blowing fuses.
 

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Correct. Even while its running, if it senses a voltage too high or too low, it immediately kills everything to protect it.

As echo'd above, I wouldn't use the PDU deal. Use a fuse box from Blue Sea. That's what I use in my truck. I know I have full power and can add / remove things and not worry about blowing fuses.
Wow. Drooling over your install. Beautiful. I can only hope that mine will be half as nice as yours. As you can see I'm getting a similar console. You are pulling me back to the ChargeGuard route. Wow. So your master switch normally stays on, right? It's just if you need it? Otherwise you let the chargeguard turn everything off and on based on ignition, voltage, and timer? So from the battery you have one line to your master switch then your chargeguard? How are your radios wired?

Do you think the shoreline/tender setup is necessary? I want to put one on but have a feeling it will be very expensive, probably can't afford, and not sure if I'd need.

Again, very much appreciate your input, sorry for all the questions, pretty new to the vehicle side of things.


Thanks
 

sfd119

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Wow. Drooling over your install. Beautiful. I can only hope that mine will be half as nice as yours. As you can see I'm getting a similar console. You are pulling me back to the ChargeGuard route. Wow. So your master switch normally stays on, right? It's just if you need it? Otherwise you let the chargeguard turn everything off and on based on ignition, voltage, and timer? So from the battery you have one line to your master switch then your chargeguard? How are your radios wired?

Do you think the shoreline/tender setup is necessary? I want to put one on but have a feeling it will be very expensive, probably can't afford, and not sure if I'd need.

Again, very much appreciate your input, sorry for all the questions, pretty new to the vehicle side of things.


Thanks
My Master switch is always on and then the ChargeGuard turns everything on and off. The master switch is the master override and kills power to everything including the ChargeGuard. Mostly I use it to shut equipment off while rewiring to really make sure nothing is hot. From the Master it goes into the ChargeGuard and from there into a BlueSea fuse distribution panel. The radios connect directly to the fuse panel, with the radio control heads going to a different fused out put and toggle to switch the radios on and off.

As for the shore power, it's not necessary. I'm hoping that it saves the battery a bit. My stuff stays on for 30 minutes after I shut the truck off. The shore power keeps the battery topped off at all times. It's nice to know that I have a full battery every time I leave...no matter if the truck is sitting for a few hours or a few days. The ChargeGuard will kill everything after 30 minutes so it's not like I have a huge battery drain...but it's still nice.

It wasn't expensive to put in. The plug was $20 and requires a 2" hole through the fender. From there it goes into a $100 battery tender but I suppose any battery tender would work.
 

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Another thing with the ChargeGuard, mine is set to Automatic mode. It senses the truck starting up and shutting off without additional wiring. It works flawlessly.
 

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Wow. So are you saying you have no ignition sense line running to the ignition input, but does it give you ignition sense out that I could run the ignition sense on the radios ? Or actually I guess I wouldn't need ignition sense on the radios, the charguard is entirely ignition sense?

Wow.

Do you have a circuit breaker/fuse between master switch and battery?
 

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That is correct. The ChargeGuard does not require an ignition sense input, it does it automatically in most vehicles. Even when I plug shore power in, the ChargeGuard knows the difference between when my vehicle is running and when it is not.

My ignition sense is the toggle switches for my radios, however, you can run it to the ChargeGuard and let it be your "ignition sense".

I have a 30 amp fuse between the battery and master switch. It is located about a foot from the battery.
 

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Just thought I'd throw this out - used ChargeGuards are going for $12-20 on eBay right now. Just picked two up.
Yeah, I've purchased a few different brands off e-bay. I can only assume they were removed from installs, although a few came in the original boxes and looked brand new.
Good for installs on personal vehicles.
 
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