With CSIBASICS being crewed entirely by volunteer medical personnel, having the flagship rapid response vehicle (RRV) on the road is not always possible. As a result, most call-outs are attended in the volunteers own cars while the RRV is in the depot. This lack of continuous use, coupled with all the equipment the vehicle carries, means the RRVs battery is often low on charge.
The CSIBASICS team are fortunate enough to have had a CTEK charger donated for the RRV, which will maintain the battery when the vehicle is not in use. It does, however, need to connect under the bonnet. If the RRV needs to be on the road quickly, this is quite a time-consuming problem. Fortunately, there is a better solution.
Finding a quick charging solution
The MagCode connector is a fantastic solution to making a quick power connection from the outside of the vehicle. It’s a two-piece connector with the vehicle side and supply side held together with magnets. Not only does this mean the connection is easy to make, but if the vehicle drives away without being unplugged, the connectors slide apart!
A considerable cost to solve the charging problem!
While the MagCode solves the problem of charging the car from the outside, the technology comes at a cost. Typically it’s about £45 for the two parts of the connector and the cover. Again, not a huge expense, but with multiple RRVs, fitting a MagCode to all vehicles take cash out of the pot from which all CSIBASICS running costs are funded.
We’ve been fortunate to have the Mobile Centre sponsor us with several MagCode connectors for the fleet. This level of support makes a big difference to the team. It’s not just about the monetary value but also knowing that companies care enough about what we do to support us.
Fitting the MagCode to the BMW X5 RRV
Depending on where the battery is on the vehicle, the MagCode can be pretty easy to install. In this case, BMW recommends connecting battery chargers to the under bonnet’ jump posts’. Fortunately, this makes the installation something of a doddle.
The first step is drilling the hole through the wing of this practically new vehicle. Fortunately, I’m experienced and quite happy to rip into new cars, so I close my eyes and drill away. Okay, it’s not quite that simple. I’ve checked for a route for the wires to ensure I can get them to the hole. And I’ve checked I can get my hand to the back of the panel to tighten up the fitting. But, most importantly, I’ve made sure I’m not about to drill into the washer fluid bottle.
Pretty quickly, the MagCode and cover are installed with the wires pre-connected. Almost child’s play. Fortunately, BMW has put a nice flat area on the wing, which is not always the case!
The under-bonnet wiring is quite simple, but the electrical connection to the vehicle must be made through a fuse. The wires are secured to stop vibration and protected where they run over an edge that might damage the wire.
The finished installation of the MagCode from Mobile Centre
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Okay, there are a few other things to consider, but this installation has been very straightforward. A quick check shows the vehicle battery is being maintained by the CTEK charger connected to the outside of the car.
A huge thank you to Mobile Centre for providing the MagCode connectors and helping CSIBASICS keep the response vehicle in tip-top condition. These simple acts of kindness and support make a big difference to the team.