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WRND Products


DeepBass9
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Disclaimer: This info provided on the basis that I think it is accurate. This might be specific to the unit I had in hand, improvements might have been made, etc. Though I doubt it, the adverts on gumtree still show one thing I consider to be a massive red flag. I'm also not an electronics expert, but I know enough to know what I'm looking at. I also looked at a Microcare unit before this came across my path. Here goes.

I was sent a blown unit by someone up north, after I asked him to send it to me. I was curious what it is like and I heard of his problems. He had two of these units, both failed, and the supplier initially repaired them but started to ignore him after the second failure.

So to summarise, in case you want the quick answer: It's rubbish. Don't buy it. If you want to support local industry, buy a Microcare unit. The microcare unit is significantly better quality. The MC unit also uses an opto-coupler to isolate the control circuitry from the big power part, while the WRND simply drives all units directly.

Longer answer. When I first took it from the box, I immediately noticed the screws used to hold the LCD in place. Tapered screws sitting on top of a flat surface. Shoddy. Opened it up, the electronic design is nice. It's a synchronous buck converter, which means it's a bit more modern than the Microcare setup (which is async). One of the FET driver chips blew. It is unclear to me why it did that. The FETs were tied into a heatsink with no mica insulators, the only insulation was the heat compound. Insulation is important: The drain of the FET is connected to the tab on the back and the two FETs are not at the same potential. Split washers were used on some bolts that damaged the circuit boards as it was tightened down. The main current carrying bolts and rails are insulated from the metal case only by a small sliver of double-sided tape. The 120A unit I had had 4 buck converters in parallel with three long rails carrying the current between them. One of the rails was shorter than the others and the difference was made up using a piece of copper wire.

It came across as a good idea badly executed. Almost like a good electronic engineer who really shouldn't do the assembly himself, that sort of thing. I don't know and I always worry that the guy who makes them will find me and yell at me. He lives somewhere in the Northern suburbs.

Edit: A quick search on gumtree, I can see changes (and likely improvements) were made. The screws holding the LCD look better too.

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  • 4 years later...

I'm not familiar with that model WRND, however, I have the WRND DC to DC battery charger with MPPT. It's been running for years and works extremely well. MPPT takes any panel within its voltage range and the battery input detects the alternator is charging the main battery and automatically starts to charge the second battery. Super simple to install and very reliable. And it is very compact, so it shares the same space as the battery in the battery box. I have not noticed any heat issues.

 

It is quite possible whatever issues there were with the WRNDs in the past were rectified in the last five years. 

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  • 1 year later...
On 2021/03/09 at 3:29 PM, Paul Greeff said:

I'm not familiar with that model WRND, however, I have the WRND DC to DC battery charger with MPPT. It's been running for years and works extremely well. MPPT takes any panel within its voltage range and the battery input detects the alternator is charging the main battery and automatically starts to charge the second battery. Super simple to install and very reliable. And it is very compact, so it shares the same space as the battery in the battery box. I have not noticed any heat issues.

 

It is quite possible whatever issues there were with the WRNDs in the past were rectified in the last five years. 

I am also interested in this unit for vehicle use.  They are just over R2400.

With all the other not so good feedback on WRND I am wondering:
A 20A MPPT is larger and cost more than this.
A 20A DC-DC charger cost more than this.

How can they combine both into such a small unit and sell it for such a low price.  Where is the catch?

DSC_0018_20200413193016820-500x500.jpg.6d7880621e086326c3c3426a7c959d80.jpg

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