Redarc Electronics

CW Staff — 18 September 2019
Balance of power

REDARC Electronics is an Australian company producing a diverse range of electronic products including many leading accessories for offroaders. The company started life 40 years ago by making voltage converters for the heavy transport industry at a time when imported trucks were fitted with a diverse collection of electronics. 

Today it has grown into a world leader in electronic products for any mode of transport with a battery on board. It’s a company that places a lot of pride in remaining a local producer against many businesses that have moved manufacturing to China to compete on price. REDARC is more committed to locally-built quality and has invested heavily in the latest manufacturing technology. 

Marketing Coordinator Hugh Bila told Caravan World that REDARC is dedicated to innovative products that are rigorously field tested to suit harsh Australian conditions. 



“You might find a cheaper overseas product, but it won’t have the durability or reliability of ours,” he suggested.

That’s why they were the perfect choice for equipping the Zone RVs we used during our infamous trip across the Great Australian Bight. 

REDARC BCDC1225D

Keeping food and drinks cold on an extended trip can be a challenge even with the top-line refrigeration in the Zone RVs. Batteries and electronics take a hiding with vibration, heat and dust and it was a credit to Zone RV that the systems held up so well. But without a reliable charger there is no power to run lights and accessories. 

 Our Zones were equipped with the latest REDARC chargers, capable of topping up batteries from both the vehicle's alternator through an Anderson plug and the solar panels. The BCDC1225D is a 12V DC charger capable of up to 25A output. Its Maximum Power Point Tracking solar regulator (MPPT) has “Green Power Priority” to choose solar input over DC charge to save load on the alternator. 

The REDARC charger is unique in being suitable to charge all types of batteries including lithium, AGM, gel, calcium, lead and lithium (LIFePO4) for combinations up to 200Ah. If you need higher capacity the BCDC1240D or BCDC1250D is recommended.

The charger is fully sealed and is designed for fan-free cooling for complete protection.  

Months of rigorous testing ensure each charger can stand extreme 80C heat, vibration and water immersion and despite all the challenges of our journey, we still had cold beer in the fridge at the end of every day to celebrate.

REDARC TOW-PRO ELITE v3

REDARC’s claims to be reactive, innovative and customer-centric can be no better demonstrated than in its ongoing refinement of its Tow-Pro electric trailer brake controller. 

Its first Tow-Pro electronic brake controller was a breakthrough (pun intended) when it was introduced four years ago, but it’s already in its third iteration. Version three has an even more miniaturised control head and subtle modifications to ease installation in the latest vehicles, where space in the dash is at a premium. 

The new control head also has brighter coloured lights for more immediate mode recognition.

Safe braking is one of the most important aspects of towing a big rig and the Tow-Pro was revolutionary when it hit the shelves and it continues as the market benchmark today. It is the only controller to use both proportional and user-controlled braking.

The 'proportional' mode applies stopping power in accord with the amount of braking force the driver has applied. A miniature accelerometer and complex computer algorithms automatically determine the required — 'proportional' pressure to the trailer brakes. It delivered smooth deceleration and no locked brakes on tar and hard dirt roads.

On the dirt we switched to the 'user control' which is common to older braking systems. When the brakes were applied, the trailer brakes activated at the selected pressure. A turn of the remote knob raised or decreased the amount of braking needed in tighter situations on rough roads. 

Although we didn't need it on our trip, a third manual method can be used to apply only the trailer brakes in cases where you want to stop saw. To operate, it’s simply a matter of touching the central red button on the remote head to activate the brakes at the level set on the dial.

Dedicated wiring harnesses are available for the full range of current tow vehicles and the controller is compatible with all electric and electric/hydraulic brakes as well as AL-KO Stability Control and onboard trailer sway systems. 

BLAZING A TRAIL IN INNOVATION

REDARC’s commitment to Australia was cemented last year when it completed an expansion of its existing facility with the latest in robotic and computer controlled equipment. The workforce of around 200 skilled staff includes 50 full-time engineers. 

As well as real world research, much of the testing is carried out on simulators including one that cools prototypes to minus 100 then heats them to 200C and a vibration test lab that enables highly accelerated lifetime testing of products that can simulate 10 years of life in just two days. 

Products include solutions for dual batteries, battery management, voltage conversion, electronic brake controllers, portable solar panels and electronic gauges. 

REDARC's sister company, Hummingbird Electronics, which was acquired in 2015, is especially dedicated to heavy transport with speed alerts, trip meters as well as driver behaviour monitors.

REDARC takes quality control seriously and has been accredited as International Standards compliant in ISO 9001 since 1996 and ISO 14001 since 2008. They have been recognised as supply chain compliant in the aerospace and defence industries and have recently won contracts to supply electronics to the Australian army and the Australian and British navies.

Over the years REDARC has won many awards including the 2014 SA Telstra Business Award, The Endeavor Export award in 2018, The 2018 Good Design award for its total vehicle management system; RedVision, and the 2017 and 2019 Excellence in Manufacturing Award at the AAAA Expo. 

Distribution of REDARC products is worldwide and the reputation for quality continues to grow.

Tags

redarc product test review

Photographer

Matt Williams