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Old Waeco CF80 to kegerator.

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Bodgy

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So I have this old camping fridge that still works beautifully but is falling apart. The hinges and latches are non existant and it looks a bit rough but she still goes good and will freeze extra meat that overflows from the kitchen freezer when we need it to.

I have since upgraded to a new one and was thinking about throwing it on gumtree for a hundred bucks until I had another thought. If I built an extended insulated collar for it I could have a kegerator with the form factor of a keezer that also runs on 12 volts! No problems with running external thermostats or changing the internals of a freezer. Small footprint. Fits 3 kegs and a co2 bottle no worries. The big advantage would be the ability to throw it in the back of a ute and take it down to the beach on Aussie day!

I would be using this as my primary kegerator out on the verandah running from a 100ah AGM battery and a 140w solar panel on the roof.

So what do yas reckon? Would the little compressor cope OK with the extended volume? I'd go hard on the insulation and it would be rarely getting opened. Plus I reckon the 60 odd litres of cold beer in there would be filling a lot of that volume anyway.

I already have all the gear to do this so cost isn't a factor. Or I could sell the waeco for $100 and spend $350 on a chesty plus the extra money to mod it into a fridge.
 

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Bodgy

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I made a little progress today. Decided to build it into a kind of barbie bench.

Made this thing out of scrap and some pallets I grabbed from work. Stained it and oiled it with a hardwood wax. Came up surprisingly good. I'm no carpenter by any means but I enjoyed the work. I only got the heat treated pallets not the formaldehyde ones but no food will come in contact with it. Might grab a cutting board from kmart to screw down.

The collar isn't gonna be made out of chipboard but I had some sitting around so I thought I'd try out the dimensions and with that before I build a proper collar. I'll probably fold some aluminium sheets and fill the centre with expanding foam or something like a sandwich panel. I have a sheet of cool room panel but I think it'd be easier to just make my own.

I had a 12 volt TV in the shed that had no home as well as a chrome cast so I threw that on as well.

Pretty happy with the days progress but **** it's hard to get anywhere when there is a beer tap literally right in front of you.

Tomorrow I'm gonna relocate the temp control from the fridge up on the back panel and probably just sink heaps of piss.
 

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Bodgy

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I'm planning on flush mounting the drip tray, framing the shelf in black trim as well as the backboard section. The area that the battery is sitting in will be shelving. Will try and get some castors or some wheels to make it easier to move around fully loaded.

I got the font, drip tray and tap from a mate but I need a couple more. Are nukataps any good? Also considering getting the font and drip tray powder coated black (I got a mate who works in powder coating) but I'm not sure if that would work.
 

Bodgy

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I think you'll find it will struggle to cool the extra capacity, insulating it well might help though.
Yeah it's working really well right now. Beer is bloody freezing and the compressor barely cycles. That's with a chipboard collar and no insulation.

Trouble is I really need cold beer in the summer not the winter and just because it's working well today at 23 degrees it could be a whole different story when it starts hitting 30 plus. No way to test it either. Oh well I'll just wait and see I guess.

The compressor only comes with one fan so I was thinking maybe a push/pull setup may help, there is an open vent on the fridge already that I could put a 120mm fan on. I was also thinking about a circulation fan inside the cold chamber of the fridge too that might help disperse the cold air around and keep things stable.
 
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fdsaasdf

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Great DIY build in the space of a day!

I too would have reservations about the cooling capacity in summer, especially once you've had thermal soak as all the surfaces around it heat up.

You're on the same track I'd be heading with insulation, cooling fans to circulate within the unit and others to help the compressor breathe - those Waeco fridges do pack a decent punch in my experience so just maybe it will be able to accomodate the extra workload with all the compensations you add to increase efficiency.

Edit: I have one of the first run of Nukataps and it seems fine when testing it out, but I just use it for soda water as I have more expensive Perlick FCs for beer.
 

Bodgy

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Great DIY build in the space of a day!

I too would have reservations about the cooling capacity in summer, especially once you've had thermal soak as all the surfaces around it heat up.

You're on the same track I'd be heading with insulation, cooling fans to circulate within the unit and others to help the compressor breathe - those Waeco fridges do pack a decent punch in my experience so just maybe it will be able to accomodate the extra workload with all the compensations you add to increase efficiency.

Edit: I have one of the first run of Nukataps and it seems fine when testing it out, but I just use it for soda water as I have more expensive Perlick FCs for beer.
Cheers mate, I'm gonna go with the Nukataps just to get me going. Couldn't be too bad for the money.

I will start on the circulation fans this week I think. I had a flu and can't actually leave the house at the moment because I'm waiting on a covid test result to go back to work. That's holding me back on any further progress right now (there is no way I have covid, it's not even in my area but them's the rules).

I kinda cheated on the BBQ bench build, the entire back panel was one pallet, I have never seen one like that before but as soon as I saw it I claimed it. Dunno why they built one with such small slats and tight spacing but I'll take it! The rest of the build was an aluminium frame from an old outdoor table and whatever other old timber I had kicking about. I work in the recreational vehicle industry so the electrical stuff tends to pile up for me.
 

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