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Fro36 07-05-2006 10:22 PM

Adler Barbour refrigeration
I am sure this question has been addressed before but rather than search for the answer I thought I would throw it out there again. On my 2004 Catalina 400 I was not confident that my Adler Barbour Coldplate was keeping the box cold enough so I installed a remote temperature sensor in the box. This was just a cheap wireless Radio Shack model. Since having done this, I have noticed a fluctuation of about 7 degrees. This doesn't seen like much but I don't want the refrigerator freezing nor do I want it over 40 degrees. Does anyone have any thoughts on the subject?
I sail in Southern California so humidity is not a problem.
Has anyone ever upgraded to the digital control and if so, how did it work?

Michael Froelich
C-400 #290

GordMay 07-06-2006 05:39 AM

and check out Richard Kollmann’s on-line information, then his “Technical Forum”, where he answers specific questions.

krawfo 07-10-2006 12:33 PM


I'm not sure how your system differs from the one on my Catalina 350 but I get much more than 7 degrees fluctuation. I've documented (with the same remote thermometer as you have) up to 14 degrees variation. I've been extremely disappointed with the overall operation of my system. With an hour meter on the compressor, I've documented 78% run time. This really eats up the batteries. Catalina and Adler Barbour have been no help.

Ken Krawford

ebs001 08-20-2006 07:23 PM

I am sure every Catalina owner has the same problem. The main concern is the lack of insulation around the ice box - there is none. I added insulation where I could and use an insulating mat over the top. There are some really good R value insulations out there but they tend to be very expensive and do not lend themselves to a retrofit. In addition the refrigerant used R134 is far less effective than the now banned R 12 used in the older models. There is considerable evidence that the ban on R -12 is based on bogus information and orchestrated by Dupont because their patent on freon was running out. It's unlikely the decision will ever be reversed but it's just one more example of how big business is wagging the dog. It would seem that rather than using an evaporator plate to do the cooling the holding plate which holds a jelly like substance similar to the stuff in freezy packs is the way to go. Also the air heat exchanger is not nearly as efficient as those that use water cooling either with a keel cooler or water pumped through a heat exchanger.

camaraderie 08-20-2006 10:17 PM

Dupont conspiring WITH the environmentalists to ban R12??? Does Al Gore know about this?? <grin>

ebs001 08-23-2006 07:23 PM

I'm sure he got his cut. It's hard to believe that this nut case almost became the President

hellosailor 08-23-2006 09:36 PM

"In addition the refrigerant used R134 is far less effective than the now banned R 12 used in the older models. " Not so. R12 and R134a do have slightly different properties, and when R-134a is retrofitted into an older R12 system the performance will often (not always) suffer. Many older R12 systems (i.e. GM cars) will run identically on R-134a, except for taking a few minutes longer for the intial cool-down, because the systems were built with excess capacity.

But on other systems, the conversion is no good simply because using R-134a in an R12 system is about 5% less effective, and many systems (especially Japanese) just didn't have that much overhead to start with. Or, the conversion wasn't done right.

In a NEW system, built and designed for R-134a, you'll never know the difference. In an old system...there's no reason for the conversion, if you are dealing with someone competent to fix the leaks and recharge the system. R12 is still available, about $30/pound, and if your system is not leaking one fill should last over ten years.

On a 7-degree variation...if the alternative is changing from an analog thermostat to a digital electronics just don't last as long in appliances. Yes they are more precise--but way more expensive and sadly less reliable. If you go digital, keep your analog one as a backup.

Putting a small fan in the ice box may be all you need to even out the temperature in it. There are little ones that run off a D-cell for long periods, or off 12VDC consuming very little power. Or, cleaning and rebuilding the analog thermostat that's in there now.

SanDiegoChip 06-12-2007 05:05 PM

As opposed to our current?

Originally Posted by ebs001
I'm sure he got his cut. It's hard to believe that this nut case almost became the President

As opposed to the one we curently have? And I thought this was about boats.
Silly me.

bog69 08-02-2010 03:00 PM

Do adler barbaour refrig. use 134b? I was this on the plate on the compressor. My friend and would does A/C and I use to do Refrig I never heard of 134b.

hellosailor 08-02-2010 03:51 PM

"was this on the plate on the compressor."
If it was on the compressor, that's what it uses.

I tried a couple of web searches on refrigerant numbers, and found that three of the top four web hits on Google (searching by 2 refrigerant numbers) WERE MALWARE SITES THAT WILL INFECT YOUR COMPUTER WITH MULTIPLE WORMS AND PUT UP A FAKE SECURITY WARNING AND CLEANING PAGE.

Why seemingly innocent web sites about AC should be pumped full of malware, go figure, but if anyone else out there is looking--make Real Damn Sure you've got active anti-malware software loaded. The predators are out there hunting in this field, right now, today.

The lists I have don't show 134b, they show 143a and 134a, but there are hundreds of refrigerant gasses out there and very few direct if any substitutes that aren't problematic. What any manufacturer is using will vary over time, as regulations and supplies change.

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