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  1. #1
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    Default National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Hi All,

    Due to a bit of brute force when changing my fuel filter at the dealer in Zambia, my CTek D250s was cracked. A subsequent pressure wash of the engine bay finalised the problem.

    Unfortunately in Zambia we don't have access to CTek's so I have had to swap out the CTek and replace with a National Luna 12v Split Charger System.

    I have no experience of these but due to my trip being in a couple of weeks I had to take the plunge. Does anyone have experience with the NL product and will it perform in a similar manner to the CTek product?

    This will be providing power to an Aux Battery Box (Also NL) as well as the Anderson Plug for charging my Bush Lapa when driving.
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    Last edited by David Gale; 2021/07/19 at 02:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Not the expert but a lot of people use these to charge prim and auxiliary batteries. That one you posted is just fancier because it has a monitor. .
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Not the expert but a lot of people use these to charge prim and auxiliary batteries. That one you posted is just fancier because it has a monitor. .
    And the monitor was the only part i did not use as I have the Monitor I installed when i did the CTek

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    If you have a deep cycle aux battery, this unit will struggle to charge it to 100% and may never get to more than 90-95% as it directs your altenator's amps directly to the battery which is usually at about 13.6 - 13.8V Altenators start out at 14 + volts but then same tapers of as the main battery get full.

    The Ctek is able to up the volts to about 14.4-14.7 constantly which is what is required for deep cycles charging currents.

    If your aux battery is a high cycle or cranking battery, then this unit is great.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2021/07/19 at 02:50 PM.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    The NL split charging system utilises the main battery's power and send it via thick cables to the secondary battery. 5 Minutes after you have started your vehicle and the charging commences, the power is send to the secondary battery. If the distance between your two batteries is about 8m, you will probably get 11,8V or lower. The distance and your cable thickness plays a big role here.
    The DC to DC charger takes whatever power it gets (it might be 11,2V) and raises it to properly charge a secondary battery. This is the layman's version. Lets hear from the experts.
    Current - 2009 Mazda BT50 3.0CRDi 4x4 d/c
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Tried and tested.

    However - I assume with the CTek you had DC-to-DC charging - which in the NL's case is not..
    So it will work... however not at the same rate / efficiency. The NL you have shown is purely a solenoid opening / closing based on main / primary battery status and alternator current.

    The "slimmer" manne will be around shortly :-)
    Martin Pienaar

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    If you have a deep cycle aux battery, this unit will struggle to charge it to 100% and may never get to more than 90-95% as it directs your altenator's amps directly to the battery which is usually at about 13.6 - 13.8V Altenators start out at 14 + volts but then same tapers of as the main battery get full.

    The Ctek is able to up the volts to about 14.4-14.7 constantly which is what is required for deep cycles charging currents.

    If your aux battery is a high cycle or cranking battery, then this unit is great.
    Thank You - its a 105Ah Deep Cycle Aux Battery in the Load Bay of the Cruiser. Not used for cranking.

  13. #8
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by Martinj View Post
    Tried and tested.

    However - I assume with the CTek you had DC-to-DC charging - which in the NL's case is not..
    So it will work... however not at the same rate / efficiency. The NL you have shown is purely a solenoid opening / closing based on main / primary battery status and alternator current.

    The "slimmer" manne will be around shortly :-)
    This is where it gets a bit technical for my limited brain. The CTek was DC-DC but my Cruiser is one of those with 24v Start so has 2 batteries upfront.

  14. #9
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Because both batteries are in the engine bay, thick cables is not an issue anymore due to the short distance.

    As stated, that NL solenoid is nothing more than a switch that will connect the batteries together.

    If your alternator cannot continuously put out 14.4V, you will not get the deep cycle full. It is how deep cycles were designed.
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  16. #10
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by David Gale View Post
    This is where it gets a bit technical for my limited brain. The CTek was DC-DC but my Cruiser is one of those with 24v Start so has 2 batteries upfront.
    Wait what? You have a 24V system in the vehicle? Like a truck?
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Wait what? You have a 24V system in the vehicle? Like a truck?
    I was also wondering about that but decided to wait for someone knowing Cruisers better. I'm in any case wondering why Cruisers gets sold with 2 x batteries. I think most or maybe a LOT of Cruiser owners don't know why there's 2 x batteries in the engine bay.
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Wait what? You have a 24V system in the vehicle? Like a truck?
    Yes 24v start, rest is 12v.

  19. #13
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    Because both batteries are in the engine bay, thick cables is not an issue anymore due to the short distance.

    As stated, that NL solenoid is nothing more than a switch that will connect the batteries together.

    If your alternator cannot continuously put out 14.4V, you will not get the deep cycle full. It is how deep cycles were designed.
    Silly question. As I understand it, the primary battery ie start battery gets the charge for a few minutes then the solonoid switches over to charge both primary and secondary ie auxiliary batteries. As you mentioned, the auxiliary will not reach full charge as the alternator is sharing charging ie parallel.

    Would it not work better if the alternator live wire went into 2 solinoids and the out puts went to each battery separately, having a switch to each so that one can switch the solinoid over or off ie each auxiliary output goes to each battery. Hence when starting and driving, one can allow the primary battery to charge for eg 20km then switch off that solinoid and switch on the other solinoid to give all charge to the auxiliary battery. Once auxiliary is charged then switch other solinoid back on so both are now equally charging both batteries.... Or is my understanding wrong.

    My above method is to save costs of buying a DC-DC charger and wiring is of correct cross sectional area for above set up.
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  20. #14
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Just to inform the unenlightened; a primary battery is the term used for non-rechargeable batteries such as AA, AAA, C or D disposable cells.
    Current - 2009 Mazda BT50 3.0CRDi 4x4 d/c
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  21. #15
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Are you sure about the 24v start? What cruiser do you have?

    I can confirm that on a 100 VX 4.2 TD as well as on a 200 GX 4.5 v8, although both has 2x batteries in the engine bay, they are connected in parallel and the vehicle will be able to start with only one of the 2 connected.

    The assumption I made that the second battery is there to increase the available starting amps in cold weather environments.

    To come back to your question on the NL Solenoid, they are good units and the rental companies still use them. I would replace the wires running to the battery in the rear compartment of the cruiser with a thicker cable. Although not necessary for DC-DC systems, for solenoid systems this is where your losses are going to be.

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  23. #16
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by coetzer94 View Post
    Are you sure about the 24v start? What cruiser do you have?

    I can confirm that on a 100 VX 4.2 TD as well as on a 200 GX 4.5 v8, although both has 2x batteries in the engine bay, they are connected in parallel and the vehicle will be able to start with only one of the 2 connected.

    The assumption I made that the second battery is there to increase the available starting amps in cold weather environments.

    To come back to your question on the NL Solenoid, they are good units and the rental companies still use them. I would replace the wires running to the battery in the rear compartment of the cruiser with a thicker cable. Although not necessary for DC-DC systems, for solenoid systems this is where your losses are going to be.

    Not 100% sure of the 24v start. Just read it somewhere and never really verified. Its a 2013 200 VX purchased from Fourways Toyota. However my 2020 VXR from the same dealer only has 1 battery. But that is too nice to turn into a bush-mobile

    Thanks for the advice on the cables, they are already installed as it was done on the original CTek fitment, but I will have a look and change if required.

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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Nothing wrong with NL solenoid system, or any other solenoid system, provided the battery can be charge by the alternator. I use a normal solenoid (much cheaper), with the switch wire to the wiper motor feed.

    I would test it and see how it works. Worse that can happen you might need to replace the battery if its a proper deep cycle. Semi deep cycle might be ok.
    Last edited by JLK; 2021/07/20 at 09:50 AM.
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  25. #18
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Silly question. As I understand it, the primary battery ie start battery gets the charge for a few minutes then the solonoid switches over to charge both primary and secondary ie auxiliary batteries. As you mentioned, the auxiliary will not reach full charge as the alternator is sharing charging ie parallel.

    Would it not work better if the alternator live wire went into 2 solinoids and the out puts went to each battery separately, having a switch to each so that one can switch the solinoid over or off ie each auxiliary output goes to each battery. Hence when starting and driving, one can allow the primary battery to charge for eg 20km then switch off that solinoid and switch on the other solinoid to give all charge to the auxiliary battery. Once auxiliary is charged then switch other solinoid back on so both are now equally charging both batteries.... Or is my understanding wrong.

    My above method is to save costs of buying a DC-DC charger and wiring is of correct cross sectional area for above set up.
    No this is not the issue. There is plenty amps available from even the smallest commercial vehicle alternator to charge 2-3 and possibly even 4 high cycle/cranking batteries simultaneously and get them to 100% SOC

    The issue is that deep cycles requires those available amps (whatever they are) to be delivered at a higher voltage.

    - Deep cycles require all amps they can take at 14+ Volts when getting to bulk or absorption stage.

    - Cranking batteries can take all available amps at less then 14 Volts and still get full.

    It has to do with the battery design, and possibly the chemistry as well.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2021/07/20 at 01:24 PM.
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  26. #19
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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by David Gale View Post
    Not 100% sure of the 24v start. Just read it somewhere and never really verified. Its a 2013 200 VX purchased from Fourways Toyota. However my 2020 VXR from the same dealer only has 1 battery. But that is too nice to turn into a bush-mobile

    Thanks for the advice on the cables, they are already installed as it was done on the original CTek fitment, but I will have a look and change if required.
    I think it is fairly safe to accept that your Cruiser has a 12V system. Else the Ctek would not have worked, and none of the other electrical components in the vehicle.
    Nico Swart

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    Default Re: National Luna 12v Split Charger System

    Quote Originally Posted by Die SwartKat View Post
    No this is not the issue. There is plenty amps available from even the smallest commercial vehicle alternator to charge 2-3 and possibly even 4 high cycle/cranking batteries simultaneously and get them to 100% SOC

    The issue is that deep cycles requires those available amps (whatever they are) to be delivered at a higher voltage.

    - Deep cycles require all amps they can take at 14+ Volts when getting to bulk or absorption stage.

    - Cranking batteries can take all available amps at less then 14 Volts and still get full.

    It has to do with the battery design, and possibly the chemistry as well.
    Aaah thanks for clearing that up, much appreciated.
    Isuzu STD 2.5d 2x4 rear diffy lock
    2x spotlight,2x fog lights
    215/80/R15c tyres
    1 x great humourous driver
    GPS,Bluetooth
    Eagle eye dash cam --stolen ..bought another one
    snorkel soon
    Craig
    I DON'T LIVE IN AFRICA,AFRICA LIVES IN ME- Kyle my son

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