Installing a digital Amps/Volts Meter - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #15
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Looks good Steve.

Thanks for the insight on TV charging and reefers.

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Old 03-08-2009, 08:20 PM   #16
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That is very nice set of meters. I also understand that the real time calculated plus or minus amp-hours is very important on and off the grid.

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Old 03-09-2009, 09:24 AM   #17
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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Sometimes, one of the Xantrex Link 10 or Link 20 Battery Monitoring Systems comes up on that popular web auction site.
I was luckily able to pick up a Link 20 for just over $100 about 2 years ago.
They do magic in monitoring your battery useage, system, etc.
Even at the new price for the Link 1000 and Link 2000 series, there are many applications where they would be worthwhile.
There's several write-ups on this site if you do a search.
However, any volt-amps monitoring is better than none!
Mike .....>
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:30 PM   #18
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My set-up on 21' Bigfoot has hardwired generator and inverter monitored by the great Link 10. Switching is semi automatic via transfer relays. Inverter provides power to microwave and all outlets only. My ultimate test was connecting or turning on shore power, generator and inverter all in the same time and the logic of transfer relays worked; I am still a life. My control panel includes switches for 110V water heater, timed wireless jacks, generator, inverter, and Link 10 which I am familiar with since 1997.

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Old 03-16-2009, 01:11 AM   #19
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Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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I have an update on my original post about installing a volt/amps meter in my trailer. When I started this topic I had just installed the 20 volts/20 amps digital meter I bought on eBay from eBay vendor "e3b6ay5." I didn't mention the vendor name in my post because I was not happy with the original meter they sent me, and they were shipping me a replacement.

I just installed the replacement. It is even less accurate and dependable than the original, with the volts and amps figures dancing all over the place (17v . . . 15v . . . 19v . . . 13v . . . etc) every 1/2 second at times, and when the volts display is undependable, so is the amps display, showing totally unreasonable values (e.g. 2-3 Amps) at times when the only device running is the meter itself; if you then switch some lights on, increasing the amps load, the reading will then drop to a more reasonable value.

So, if you plan to install a volts/amps meter avoid buying your meter from this vendor: e3b6ay5!


[quote]When you depend on solar power and a single battery to supply your juice it really helps to know what your battery condition is as well as how fast your are charging/discharging the system. I installed a digital Amps/volts meter and ampere shunt I found on eBay for around $55 so I could get Amps and Volts readings at the push of a button.

Here's a picture of the meter showing the battery is being charged at a rate of 3.18 Amps. There's a round button in the bottom corner of the meter that switches the display from Amps to volts. The switch just under the meter turns the meter on and off.

Attachment 18013

I made a pressboard template of the hole I needed to cut in the side of the cabinet and test-fit my meter in the hole. Then I marked the outline of the hole on the fiberglass withe a fine-point sharpie and scribed just outside the lines with a sharp utility knife to prevent the fiberglass gelcoat from flaking off when I cut the hole. Next I drilled 1/16" holes at all four corners of the opening, and made 1/4" holes next to two of them so I coould get my saw blade in place.

The pictures here shows me using a coping saw hand-tool to cut the opening and a rotary tool (like a Dremel) with a sanding drum to smooth out my cut lines and slightly enlarge the opening in a couple spots. (Wear a dust mask when cutting or sanding fiberglass!)

Attachment 18014

Amp meters require a special device, called a "shunt" to measure the amount of current flowing through the system. One side of the shunt connects to the wire heading to the negative (ground) pole of the battery; the other side connects to the rest of the ground wires for the trailer. An additional wire pair, with one wire connected to each side of the shunt, connects back to the meter.

Attachment 18016
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:55 AM   #20
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Trailer: 1993 Scamp 13 ft
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Hi all,

Thanks for all the great info on the meters, I'll definitely be adding one in the future. However I'm curious about the A/C meters - why are you interested in the voltage and current of the A/C connection? Is this only for the case where you have a generator installed? Otherwise I don't really see the need to know anything about it...?
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:06 PM   #21
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The reason I want to know the AC voltage is if it is low and you have a air conditioner you could burn out the compressor.

Bill K

Hi all,

Thanks for all the great info on the meters, I'll definitely be adding one in the future. However I'm curious about the A/C meters - why are you interested in the voltage and current of the A/C connection? Is this only for the case where you have a generator installed? Otherwise I don't really see the need to know anything about it...?
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #22
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New River AZ
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Can somebody tell me if this is a decent enough gauge to measure volts and amp usage ... price seems fair enough but my electrical knowledge is limited...... I'm Mainly looking to see how many amps are remaining in the battery and how many amps are being used at a given time.

Joe and Linda
2013 Casita SD
Dodge Ram 4x4
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