I made this control panel using some parts I found online from a company called LightObject
. It gives me real time monitoring of battery
voltage and current. The big 50 Amp toggle on the left (from AutoZone) disconnects the battery
ground from the system. I installed it because I found that the propane
detector will drain the battery
when the trailer is in storage. There's a small LED next to the switch to tell me that my battery is connected. The smaller toggle in the center turns the meters off when you're not using them. The unit is mounted on the back of my partition which keeps the wire lengths short.
Some of the stuff I've found out is interesting, like that my Revolution LED bulbs take .12 Amps while the incandescents they replaced drew 1.2 Amps each. My furnace
fan is about 3 Amps and my water pump is about 5. Nice stuff to know when you're boondocking
I used the following components from LightObject:
1) 3 1/2 digit 20V voltage meter
2) 3 1/2 digit 20A current meter
3) 20A current shunt
4) 12V to 12V isolator module (needed for current meter)
Total cost of everything was about $40 and the skills necessary are just simple wiring and soldering. Now the company has new models of meters which give 4 1/2 digit resolution for those people who like to get down into the Milli-Amps. If anybody's interested, I'd be happy to make up a schematic and post it.