Battery Monitor Installation - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2015, 06:13 PM   #15
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I'm a gadget freak and an engineer. Some mods are not necessary but do add to my enjoyment. Some people's hobbies involve futzing about; Some just lay in the hammock.

I briefly had the voltmeter that plugs in but I shortly gave it away as useless other than telling you the charger was running. It's a lousy indicator of the battery's state of charge. The more I read about batteries the less impressed I was with the meter.

Back when I was doing more boondocking I put in an Xantrex Linkpro. I opted for it because I had good prior experiences with the brand. I wanted to track amp-hours out and ran a Honda 1000 about every 3 days just long enough to return the amp-hours. I feel I get a better sense of what's happening with the battery. It would do the same with solar. Or wind.

My sense is that the shunt should be close to the battery but the monitor can be farther away since it's not carrying the amps that the shunt is.

I suspect that there are people out there who track down iron meteorites to pound out sporks to eat their granola. Whatever floats their boat. As you suggest, it's just a different way to camp. Better for them, less so for me.
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Old 05-31-2015, 07:24 PM   #16
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Thanks Steve, I appreciate your input! I'm going to run wires from the battery to the monitor readout as I mentioned above. Like you seeing what is happening to and from the battery makes me happiest...
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:49 AM   #17
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The camping gear section of Walmart, Kmart, etc will have weatherproof plastic boxes you can modify to house the shunt.


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Old 06-01-2015, 08:05 AM   #18
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I put a shunt in a Radio Shack (RIP) kit box for what I call my trailer test box. I wanted a device I could insert between the tow vehicle 7 blade receptacle and the trailer tow plug and measure amps passing between the two. I'd call it "splash protected" but not weatherproof. But the shunt in the trailer for the monitor is unprotected from water.
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:24 AM   #19
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I've owned four battery monitors. Of these the best is the Victron and it is the cheapest. I believe they make these for other vendors. The round plug types are easiest to install. The cable assemblies are expensive and you can make your own.


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Old 06-18-2015, 08:28 AM   #20
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Just curious for comparison what were the other 3 monitors.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:57 AM   #21
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I've owned four battery monitors. Of these the best is the Victron and it is the cheapest. I believe they make these for other vendors. The round plug types are easiest to install. The cable assemblies are expensive and you can make your own.


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Agreed. I've had Xantrex Link 10 and Sevcon energy monitors in electric boats. Victron in trailer is better and cheaper.



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Old 06-18-2015, 12:10 PM   #22
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Unless one wants to monitor the..AMPERAGE of battery in which the wire gauge must be....huge, the actual required gauge for BATTERY VOLTAGE MONITOR doesn't need that much . Let's say the indicator or meter uses only a few hundreds of miliamps, you go figure. Share with you the whole monitor panel I made for Trill myself and it works perfectly ever since.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:52 AM   #23
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Unless one wants to monitor the..AMPERAGE of battery in which the wire gauge must be....huge,...
Not necessarily true for all monitor options. That's what the shunt does in a shunt ammeter. It has a low, but known resistance that causes an amperage-related millivoltage drop along it length. The more amps the shunt is passing the greater the millivolt drop. By playing with the specifications you can get a shunt that drops, say, 100 millivolts at 100 amps. Pair that particular shunt with a millivolt meter and you can monitor intermediate amperages with just millivolts. Stick some black tape over the "voltmeter" label and write in "ammeter" with a silver pen and you're good to go.
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:28 AM   #24
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Seems like overkill to me, but if it keeps you "Technofreaks" happy .... what the hey!
Best bet is to reduce the load on your batteries by replacing all incandescent or florescent lamps with LEDs.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:34 AM   #25
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Not necessarily true for all monitor options. That's what the shunt does in a shunt ammeter. It has a low, but known resistance that causes an amperage-related millivoltage drop along it length. The more amps the shunt is passing the greater the millivolt drop. By playing with the specifications you can get a shunt that drops, say, 100 millivolts at 100 amps. Pair that particular shunt with a millivolt meter and you can monitor intermediate amperages with just millivolts. Stick some black tape over the "voltmeter" label and write in "ammeter" with a silver pen and you're good to go.
Correction: What I meant in BATTERY AMPERAGE MONITOR, in fact, as TOTAL BATTERY AMPERAGE CURRENT MONITOR, exactly...i.e the meter is actual an amperage meter, which is IN SERIES with battery, not SHUNT. Sorry ab my brief note. In my case with photo, my battery is located out-side of Trill, in the rear bumper, NORMAL OPEN. That helps to reduce electrical loss due to INTERNAL CURRENCY OF BATTERY and a small amount oF SHUNT current which feeds battery meter, itself when the battery is permanent connected...
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:40 AM   #26
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Supplemental: In case of electrical loss due to permanent connection of battery, one could avoid that by using a BATTERY ISOLATOR, costs a few bucks @ Princess Auto, if he or she doesn't to disconnect battery when it is not IN USE. Just my personal opinion...
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #27
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another take....

"a la Carol's" way or thinking.....

left to right: 110V plugs...cig. lighter plug and panel meter with an on/off switch between the two that controls both......150W inverter (plugs in when needed)
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:33 AM   #28
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We just purchased a Optima D31M blue top battery for our house battery in the trailer; For extra capacity, replacing the 27 hope for better life. Reading this seems the word is not out on monitor or no monitor.
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