Remotely controlling a camping fridge or dual-battery system is nothing new. Wireless controls – and even wired ones – have been around for several years.
However, the possibility of having numerous camping products remotely operated and monitored via a single app on your smartphone… well, that’s pretty exciting.
Let’s face it, most of us have our cell phones on us at all times. And because modern smartphones can connect to multiple devices while offering a graphically rich display and excellent touchscreen capabilities, it makes sense to utilise one’s smartphone as a control unit rather than opting for a separate device/monitor.
When we launched our new Portable Power Pack (grey box) with Bluetooth connectivity, we knew it wouldn’t be long before our fridge range followed. Today, all new National Luna Legacy SMART fridges can be monitored, adjusted and fully controlled via the NL CONNECT APP – available for Android and iOS devices.
The potential to add further battery-management options and input/output power monitoring is hugely exciting.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now, here’s a quick look at the app’s current features in terms of the new Portable Power Pack and Legacy SMART range.
SELECTING WHICH DEVICE
Below Image: The NL CONNECT app will remember which device you were last connected to and automatically display that product first without having to manually reconnect. However, switching between devices is as simple as returning to the device list and selecting which product you want to control.
Below Image: Everything you can do on the product’s control panel, you can do on the app, too. In fact, the app makes some features more user-friendly. For example: Ordinarily, your fridge’s control panel will blink if a fault is detected. You then match the blinking sequence to the fault guide in the fridge’s user manual.
However, the NL CONNECT app automatically decodes this information for you and suggests how to fix the problem.
RENAMING EACH DEVICE
Below Image: Let’s imagine you own two 90-litre National Luna fridges – one in your 4×4 stocked with drinks and the other in your caravan filled with food. You open the NL CONNECT app and decide to lower the 4×4 fridge’s temperature. But how do you know which fridge is which?
Simple. The app allows you to custom name your fridge or battery box. So, you could potentially name one unit ‘Beer Fridge’ and the other ‘Padkos’.
KEEPING THE APP ON
Below Image: The app allows you to keep an eye on your fridge’s temperature settings – or your Portable Power Pack’s voltages – without your phone automatically locking or “falling asleep”. This can be useful when your phone is mounted in a hands-free kit, and you’re driving.
MONITORING EACH DEVICE
Below Image: Because the Grey Box uses a split-charging system connected to your vehicle’s alternator, the app displays the voltage of your main cranking battery and the auxiliary battery. The app will also tell you how many amps are being drawn. This includes amps used by your camping fridge and/or other 12V devices.
Below Image: Everything you do on the app is adjusted in real-time on the fridge or battery box’s control panel. This includes changing the ‘Battery Protection’ level, toggling between ºC or ºF or altering the compressor’s speed control.