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Zig Unit Pros Cons

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BUBBLE MEISTER View Drop Down
Yardie
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    Posted: 05 Dec 07 at 14:34

Been browsing BY and came across Zig Units for camper /caravans.

The Zig Units CF6 / 8 is listed as having the following:

3 fused switches

battery condition monitoring

automatic self resetting

current overload and thermal trip

What exactly is the battery condition montior system - is it just a voltimeter?

Automatic self resetting - WTF?

current overload and thermal trip - Am I right in assuming that this monitors / protects the feed from the driver battery to the leisure battery?

Does the Zig act as a split relay, with a feed from the alternater latching the van power supply to the leisure battery?

On the Zig 8 what are the three switches on the front on the top right?

At the moment I have a simple split charger relay (with fridge supply)and a bank of 4 switches and 4 ceramic type fuses for leisure distribution.

I use my multimeter as a "battery condition monitor".

when i rebuild the interior of the van in the new year Im considering

using a Zig Unit to consolidate all the seperate switch fuses, split charger etc. 

Q1 - can someone explain all the above Zig functions?

Q2 - is it worth buying a Zig unit or keep the van in it previous leisure layout?

Thanks for reading

Confused BM

I have BUBBLE the '85B 1.9DF (currently a DG!) WBX Camper. 29 Yrs Young. Tis Tracie's V Bubble U.
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PaulG View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaulG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 07 at 17:44

Hi BM,

I can't answer all/both your questions, but here's a start.  'Battery Condition' on my Zig (can't remember model and van is 5 miles away from this keyboard!) is a pair of LED's.  Green = OK, Red = Low.  The idea is that you run on your liesure battery until green turns into red, and then switch to your vehicle battery - but only for very low consumption until you charge the leisure, or, drive to the next camp and charge off your split charger.  Yopu can switch between batteries on the Zig.

Zig make (or at least did used to make) a unit to charge your leisure off the 240V hookup.  But I couldn't find one, so I have an 'Intelligent' charger that will float-charge the leisure off the 240V.

From here on in, try using the search on here, and go Googling.  I think Zig still exists, but you will have to google for it.

Hope this is at least a start.  Good luck.

PaulG

Brick-Yard. Not a club, more a way of doing things. (Robert Fripp - kind of...)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote asahartz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 07 at 18:10

ZIG units are essentially switching units; they do a similar job to a household consumer unit. My experience of them has been mainly in touring caravans, and they vary enormously in quality. Most of them being crap IMO! The "battery condition monitor" can be an analogue meter or a LED system as PaulG says, but it's very primitive - just a voltage sensor. In most tourers, simply turning on the water pump will dip it into the red. Although that is because, in most tourers, the wiring is so puny and badly designed, there is usually a voltage drop over the long thin cable runs anyway! (Imagine a 20foot caravan, battery at the front, wired to ZIG at the back, through on/off switch next to door in the middle, then TV socket at the front - 60 feet of wire that is usually too thin to support more than a couple of amps - turn the tap on and the TV goes off as the voltage drops to about 9v!)

I've never met a ZIG with an integral split relay system, and the ones with an integral charger are not much cop unless you can get hold of an early one; sometime during the late 90s the charging voltage was reduced to 13.6v "for safety reasons" - meaning that they don't fully charge the battery! I have retained an old 80's Harmony unit for this very reason, as it still charges at 14.4v.

If your system works well as it is, and is safe and neat, keep it - the ZIG and those like it will not be any great advantage.

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BUBBLE MEISTER View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BUBBLE MEISTER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 07 at 11:27

mmmm - overall, not a major advantage to have one fitted then!

From Zig, the CF8 is around 98 squid. Quite a bit of money for not a lot really. My mulitmeter makes a fine condition monitor! As for switch ing between leisure and drive battery - I can go to Maplins for a 50p switch!

Thanks folk, you sold my current system to me! With the adavantage that I have 4 switches as opposed to the 3switches on the Zig

Cheers folks

 

 

I have BUBBLE the '85B 1.9DF (currently a DG!) WBX Camper. 29 Yrs Young. Tis Tracie's V Bubble U.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cliffbase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 07 at 13:13

I fitted one when i rebuilt my van. I have to say i think its great, works really well, looks neat etc. Being a bit anal, i used armour wire (fire safe) and rewired the whole lot - see pics.

I have the CF8 (very similar to the CF6) manual / wiring diagram etc on a PDF. If you wnat me to send it, pm me your e-mail and i'll send it over.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dubweiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Dec 07 at 17:27
ive had vans with and without
dont rate them much. they are just a glorified switching panel.
when doing conversions i knock my own up now.
most of what you need can be found in maplin or on ebay for a fraction of what a zig will cost you.
just approach each circuit individually to work out what is needed.
doddle
IF YOURE NOT LIVING ON THE EDGE YOU TAKE UP TOO MUCH ROOM
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BUBBLE MEISTER View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BUBBLE MEISTER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 07 at 09:49

Its 3 Nos and 1 yes. Im tending to agree with DW, that it is a glorified switching panel and that most parts are available from Maplins.

The only thing I havent got is Thermal Protection.

What is it and how does it work?

Surely as long as my system has suitable fuse ratings then Im pretty well protected. Plus a fuse is cheap as chips to replace.

Zig Unit idea still not sold to me.

CBs idea of armoured wire seems a good idea but is it not at a weight penalty?

keep up the opinions

BM

 

 

 

I have BUBBLE the '85B 1.9DF (currently a DG!) WBX Camper. 29 Yrs Young. Tis Tracie's V Bubble U.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 07 at 10:52
forget split charger relay systems if you are redoing
the system. myself i went for a battery to battery
charger and an on board battery charger from
sterling products. their systems are designed and
built for, amongst other things, boats so have to be
very reliable!
log onto their web site and have a read

joker
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dubweiser View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dubweiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Dec 07 at 15:25
hmmm
a split charge relay circuit for less than 15 quid (ebay)
or
a battery to battery charger module for 175 quid (specialist equipment market, {always more costly than general})
ohh let me think about that one.....
sarcasm aside, i can appreciate the technology and functionality of the sterling products but we are only talking about topping up a battery in a camper. power for lights and water at most a small tv.
me and mine:
previously mentioned switch panel
split charge relay
(or one of those JumpStart regulated cables from the boot sale)
relay for fridge
mains battery charger (bigs ass amps so the 12v fridge element can be run too )
load of chocblock terminals and wire
1 day 
jobetty jobbed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cliffbase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Dec 07 at 07:51

Each to their own, i got the Zig for 80, brand new, and i'm happy with that, its neat & tidy, & does all that i want it to.

No the cable is no heavier, its the insualtion (sleeving) that is clever, you can literally put a blow torch on it & it doesnt melt!

Good luck with whatever you go for though

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sensible_Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 12 at 13:22

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I was searching on this very subject.

I get the impression that if you have one available and are re-doing your van, its probably worth re-instating it as it is tidy and does the job.  Which is the position I am in.  Not sure I would want to stump up for a new one though - If you can still get them.
 
Especially if you have a cf5 or 6 which apparently has split charging built in and can charge from the mains.  This is what I have and am about to re-instate.
 
Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernie bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 18 at 15:16
Can you email me the EF8 zig manual
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