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Old 11-09-2016, 16:21   #1
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Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

Any opinions /experience with the under $1,000 "Ice Box Conversion " systems being sold under the Engle and Norcold brand names.



NORCOLD SCQT-4408 Icebox Conversion Kits | West Marine
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Old 13-09-2016, 21:33   #2
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

I've had this page open for two days waiting for replies. Oh well, I'll say something.
First, try google "Cruisersforum Norcold SCQT-4407" I know, that's the old model, but they are still pretty much the same.
Then try google but without the cruisersforum word.
You should find something. I recall some complaints about the unit failing too soon, maybe something to do with refridgerant leaking and the unit not having service valves (although you could have a tech install). Also the 6 CF capacity claim for the L-plate might be a bit overstated. Some people have been very happy with cold fridges. But apparently the NorcoldT/Thetford in USA is not particularly well known for their customer care (if something goes wrong with the unit they rather prefer you to buy a new one instead of trying repairs).
Marine fridge guru Richard Kollmann does not recommend these units over the Danfoss/Secop bd35/50. If I recall correct mainly due to lack of parts availability (such as ECU).
I have the older SCQT-4407 still pending installation. And I have a 30 year old Engel still working very well.
Cheers

PS. Someone said the Engel kit is much better than the Norcold one, but I can't see why as I believe they come from exactly the same production lines. I might be wrong but I doubt it. But Engel for sure has better customer care.

PSS. If I was to buy this unit from WM I'd definitely get the extra 2 years warranty for a 4 year total.
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Old 13-09-2016, 22:31   #3
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

This looks like the engel swing motor. Basically a reciprocating piston using a solenoid and spring, which is not really a very energy efficient design, at least to my eyes. It uses less power only because it has a smaller overall displacement/capacity compared to the typical 12V systems. I expect the 6 cf claim is more marketing hype then reality. Perhaps with 4" or 6" insulation it might work. If it did not get too hot.

Thing to remember is the work/energy required to cool (really to remove the heat which is not the same thing) a 6cf box is the same. Well baring a wis-bang heat exchanger, and nothing on the norcool or engel swing compressor looks wis-bang. There isn't a magic bullet that makes the swing compressor better.

It just has a smaller capacity so uses less power because of that. I would expect a BD35 to equal the swing compressor on power draw under similar size box and temperature conditions.
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Old 14-09-2016, 03:49   #4
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

My engle fridge is horribly noisy and has a very bad vibration. I took it in to get it checked out under warranty but they said it was within specs. Not really impressed at all. Its far too loud to run at night.
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Old 15-09-2016, 05:25   #5
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

Thanks all for confirming my doubts.

Our existing box holds 100# of ice and has no moving parts. Good for now.

Out of curiosity, does anyone have any numbers on swing motor vs conventional compressor efficiency?
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Old 15-09-2016, 06:55   #6
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

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My engle fridge is horribly noisy and has a very bad vibration. I took it in to get it checked out under warranty but they said it was within specs. Not really impressed at all. Its far too loud to run at night.

You and one or two others that have the same complaint about the thing being noisy is why I won't buy an Engle, but the overwhelming majority seem to worship these things?
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Old 15-09-2016, 06:57   #7
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

Hi there .

Richard Kollmann has some numbers on these compressors, looks like they put out half the BTU capacity of a BD35.

Kollmann Marine

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Old 15-09-2016, 07:11   #8
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

A customer had me install one on his boat . I would not recommend it for install in any box that is Much over 4 cf it just doesn't work that well IME .
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Old 15-09-2016, 07:36   #9
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

At an amp draw of 2.5 amps at 12V, it's either extremely efficient, or very small. Apparently it's very small, which of course means not much heat removal.
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Old 15-09-2016, 09:46   #10
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

I know people very happy with the full drop in box but that is pretty small also the portable fridge have a good rep I have 2 friends who have simply put two of the portable fridges on slides under their counters instead of insulating the icebox. It looks like engel is not recommending the ice box conversion for fridges over 3.3 cuft. and requiring 2" of insulation.
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Old 15-09-2016, 10:51   #11
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You and one or two others that have the same complaint about the thing being noisy is why I won't buy an Engle, but the overwhelming majority seem to worship these things?
My portable Engle will occasionally vibrate against the bulkhead that it is strapped to. This 'buzz' sound is cured by moving the unit slightly or placing something soft between.

Interestingly, this has ONLY occurred when the unit is in "freezer" mode (control dial cranked to eleven) with the compressor running 100% of the time. When in "fridge" mode, the compressor is running roughly 1/3 of the time and this buzz as never occurred.

I feel that the unit sounds more "labored" after running (in freezer mode) continuously for a couple hours.

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Old 16-09-2016, 04:54   #12
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Re: Swing Motor Refrigeration Ice Bos Conversion Kits units

Thats interesting steve, Mine was being used in deep freeze mode, might try it on fridge mode and see if it is a bit quiter. Hopefully because the whole house used to rattle! It was much less noisy when I first bought it, but even so it needed to sit on a foam mat to isolate the vibration.

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