Trickle charger socket - Available options



The 340 R is fitted with a trickle charger socket located behind the gear lever on the central divider console.

The purpose of this socket is to enable trickle charging of the battery whilst the vehicle is not in use in order to keep the battery fully charged.

This is quite important for a 340R as if the standard battery becomes defective and needs replacing this will require the body to be removed in order to replace the battery, making this an expensive job.

Lotus have offered an accessory trickle charger (A340M6015S - Europe and A340M6012S - UK) List UK price being 90 UKP + VAT.

Essentially this charger is a CSI Airflow battery conditioner with a nice 340R logo and a compatible plug to fit the 340R socket.

The Airflow battery charger is available from other sources much cheaper (eg Demon Tweeks for 30UKP + VAT  - product code AIRFLOW )  All you need to replicate the lotus charger is to remove the crockodile clips and solder on the compatible plug.












The Compatible Plug

The compatible plug is a Switchcraft Tini 'Q-G' Miniature Audio Connector it is 3 pole and known as a  'Free Socket' (ie it is female and connects with the three male pins which you can see when you lift the dust cap on the socket in the car).

The small black button on the plug should be pressed when you want to remove the plug from the socket. Make sure that the hinge on the flap is on the opposite side to the black button (the flap can be rotated by 180 deg).

A picture of the dismantled free socket is shown below :


The socket should be wired in accordance with the following wiring diagram :

The free socket can be obtained from RS components, their stock number is :

453 - 662 and the approximate price is 7 UKP + VAT 

See to order.

 A picture of the assembled free socket is shown below. When you connect the wires be sure to look carefully at the numbers which are embossed on the bottom of the socket (magnifying glass helps) they must correspond to those shown on the above diagram.



UPDATE 18/12/01:

RS have recently introduced a new part which is a godsend for those who don't enjoy fiddling with small part and a soldering iron.

Part Number 362-1161 is the same free socket but pre soldered with a 2 metre lead attached. To use this lead we recommend:

1. Cut the lead down to about 100mm long (the wires are small so this minimises voltage drop)

2. Discard the uninsulated wire and the black wire on the lead.

3. Connect the white wire on the lead to the red wire (+ve) on the trickle charger.

4. Connect the red wire on the lead to the black wire (-ve) on the trickle charger.

This is easier than trying to solder the free socket itself which is very small and fiddly.


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