Battery Monitors - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-08-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
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OK so I just received my LED lights witch I will install this week.
Also will order my controller for my SOLAR PANELS.
But I want to know what brand BATTERY MONITORS people are using. At a good price.
I am trying to get up to speed on all this.

THANKS DAVE
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
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Look at the cheap one at Wal-Mart, in battery section, hanging up on wall by the inverters. You just plug it into the 12 VDC plug in trailer and it gives you a constantly lit readout of your battery's voltage. It is so simple that it has three extra LED bulbs, green, yellow, red and as your battery voltage drops the LEDs colors give you a quick determination of battery status. Obviously, green is good, yellow is getting close and red means you require a quick recharge.. You will be amazed how slowly the voltage is reduced with LEDs as compared to an incandescent bulb.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:11 AM   #3
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Like John i use one of the cheapies and it works really good.... the following link is where i got mine but wal mart is the same thing.
Joe
http://www.amazon.com/Equus-3721-Battery-C...161&sr=8-29
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:51 AM   #4
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I was thinking about one of these. Has anyone tried one? It's a little more expensive ($60), but could be mounted in a visible spot and displays a lot more info.

Doc Wattson RV Battery Monitor
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:28 AM   #5
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I use this one from Voltminder it works great, it has a low batttery alarm you can set to let you know if your battery getting low.

http://www.voltminder.com/
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
I was thinking about one of these. Has anyone tried one? It's a little more expensive ($60), but could be mounted in a visible spot and displays a lot more info.

Doc Wattson RV Battery Monitor
I like that meter in your link but i am only so so in the electrical department but if this item can do two things 1) Give me the amount of amps left in my battery?________ and 2)Tell me how many amps i am drawing from the battery when i have items in use?_________........ I think i would get one.
Can anyone that can read the specs on this tell me if it will do the above..... I see it has a built in shunt so i can imagine it will tell amps being used but would also like to know how many amps Ah are remaining in the battery.
Joe


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Old 09-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
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Joe: Xantrex Link 10. Got it from West Marine and it tells me everything I need to know. For me a volt meter leaves way too much to interpretation.
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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Joe: Xantrex Link 10. Got it from West Marine and it tells me everything I need to know. For me a volt meter leaves way too much to interpretation.
I'm going to google the name you mention and see what comes up..... does it tell you amps remaining in battery?_____ and amps you are currently using?______
I realise voltmeters are limited but it's better than nothing and i can be certain i am charging when plugged in or towing.
thanks,
Joe

Update: I just answered my own question and it does what i need it to do and more. Nice setup
Joe

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/237/p/1/pt/5/product.asp

Further Update: wow that thing is expensive but i guess you get what you pay for
http://www.boatersworld.com/product/198950446.htm
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'm going to google the name you mention and see what comes up..... does it tell you amps remaining in battery?_____ and amps you are currently using?______
I realise voltmeters are limited but it's better than nothing and i can be certain i am charging when plugged in or towing.
thanks,
Joe

Update: I just answered my own question and it does what i need it to do and more. Nice setup
Joe

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/237/p/1/pt/5/product.asp

Further Update: wow that thing is expensive but i guess you get what you pay for
http://www.boatersworld.com/product/198950446.htm
Joe;
DON'T PANIC! ( from a famous SCIFI series!)
Sometimes the XantreX Link 10 and 20 come up on eBay! The older units used LEDs instead of LCDs for the display, so they are still being cleared out.
I picked up an older Link 20 New Old Stock unit at less than $150 from an eBay store that was clearing them.
This may seem expensive, but is only twice the cost of the Doc Watson. I have 2 of those types of units and they do a good job, for 1/2 of what you need to know. They measure the voltage, and discharge, but don't include the charging!
If you REALLY feel that you 'need to know', then hold out for the Link 10 or 20.
They tell you lots, maximum discharge amp hrs of your battery, charge rate, discharge time at present rate, etc.
It compensates for your discharge rate (Peukart equation) which compensates to tell you a 'true' number of minutes that you will run on your battery, at ANY rate of discharge.
In other words, its a good 'Fuel Gauge' for your battery system!
Also, I use an Intellpower PD9260 Converter from Progressive Dynamics to feed my 2 Size 27 100 AHr AGM batteries. It does spit out some interference to my Ham Radio, but not too severe!
There's LOT'S of other info on a search under my name about Converters, etc.
I do enjoy really knowing how long I can boondock without power. It also tells me if I need to run my Honda Genny for a while!
Good luck.
Mike .....>
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:17 PM   #10
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I got a MinnKota tester from Canadian Tire. I little simpler but only $15... and it's portable
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:25 AM   #11
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When I first installed my solar system I had a simple voltmeter like the one Joe Z mentioned that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket. THe numeric voltage display gives you details on your battery's voltage and the three LEDs give you a quick read as to whether your battery is close to fully charged, somewhere in the middle, or low on juice, and that plus knowing your battery's capacity is all you really need to figure out how much juice you have left. More recently I installed a digital volts/amps meter, and 95% of the time it's set to read volts, not amps. Most of the time I could care less about amps.

And it's a good thing I don't need an exact Amps reading, too, because my eBay volts/Amps meter's Amps reading fluctuates and can be off by almost 1/5 of an amp. Very frustrating, but since his replacement meter is more dependable than the other two I got from this particular eBay vendor, and because I cut the fiberglass in my trailer to fit this specific meter, I can live with it. Besides, there are really only two times I care about my Amps reading, one is to do a quick diagnostic on my solar panels to make sure they are busy charging my batteries, in which case an exact Amps reading is not too important, and the other is to see how much additional load some new 12 volt device adds to my system, so an accurately "zeroed" meter is not all that important. (I just subtract the "before" from the "after" number to get the correct number of amps.)


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<=== My volts/amps meter telling me the solar panel is pumping 3.18 Amps into my battery. The actual number was 3.02 amps, but at least I knew the solar panel was working right!
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:35 AM   #12
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My thoughts are that unless you're building something like BG's Solar Desert Compact Jr that will stay off the grid for a month or better you don't need a ton of info to be mindful of your batteries condition.

I've used the $13 dollar one from Wally for 1.5 years now with a 15W briefcase solar panel and never had any need for more info on my battery.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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Quote:


My thoughts are that unless you're building something like BG's Solar Desert Compact Jr that will stay off the grid for a month or better you don't need a ton of info to be mindful of your batteries condition.

I've used the $13 dollar one from Wally for 1.5 years now with a 15W briefcase solar panel and never had any need for more info on my battery.
Hey Greg..... I just answered your PM. Keep all the info coming as i have alot to learn on this subject.

Mike Pupeza........thanks for all that great info and i appreciate you taking the time to explain some of the particulars to me
Joe
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:09 PM   #14
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I did pick up a cheap one from Walmart $14.97 It has all ready anwsered some problems that I have had like my inverter is not working will post my problem with this another day.
I am have to much fun installing my new LED lights.
DAVE
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