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Old 05-05-2015, 02:36 PM   #1
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DC system monitoring



Here is a new meter panel I have been building to monitor battery systems in my coach. These monitor chassis battery, coach batteries and my solar batteries. At a glance I can see what everybody is doing, and make sure everybody is charging. These are liquid crystal meters with a single LED for backlight. Very low current draw.
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:01 PM   #2
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interesting post but I can not open anything
Hope you can correct it
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:35 PM   #3
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Lets try this picture

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Old 05-05-2015, 06:48 PM   #4
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Here are the meters used. Note the small round unit on top. That is a dual USB charging system for our many devices. I will show a link for that also.

Amazon.com: XYZ Boat Supplies Dual USB Charger Socket for Boat / Rv / Car / Motor-home (Black): Sports & Outdoors

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thanks Aviator...you just cost me $10...

Saw the Dual USB plug and had to have one.
Will replace the single socket in the dash.

Good job on the voltmeter install.

Dan
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:26 PM   #6
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There are other meters that have dual display that includes amps.

Requires external shunt but a kit for about 19 bucks...

Such a deal...
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:34 PM   #7
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So we went to ebay and found led versions which are smaller but can fit inside a cabinet for a past project.

$1.72 with free shipping...ordered 20...

Then found a volt and amp display with 500 amp shunt witg free shipping for 15.88...ordered 2...

Going back for a 48 volt voltmeter...
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:42 AM   #8
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I have been evaluating inexpensive meters that measure current with a shunt and have not been happy with them. They calibrate pretty well in a high current environment, but had problems with low current monitoring. There are a number of meters for both AC and DC available these days. Try to stick with liquid crystal displays to minimize current draw. The meters I chose are 4 digit, many are only 3, and the LED lamp is easily disconnected if you don't want it. These came out of the box calibrated and all three were within a tenth of a volt without adjustment. For me, the voltage monitoring was important to monitor charging. The meters operate when the batteries are connected. The solar one stays on all the time.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aviator37 View Post

Here is a new meter panel I have been building to monitor battery systems in my coach. These monitor chassis battery, coach batteries and my solar batteries. At a glance I can see what everybody is doing, and make sure everybody is charging. These are liquid crystal meters with a single LED for backlight. Very low current draw.
aviator37
Nice job
I find it interesting that you have 3 sets of batteries... most coaches have only 2... (chassis and house).
What is the reason for, or advantage of, 3?
Wondering
Mel
'96 Safari
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:16 AM   #10
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We have 3, starting, coach and genny-levelers.

When we added the battery minders for them we installed conduits for the ac and pulled small wires for something like this.

A spare time project to build a panel.

The others will be used on assorted new ideas...

The op units sure look nice and are likely far better ones but our needs different and the space where the panel will go is where the cable/antenna switch once was.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:44 AM   #11
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We boondock frequently, sometimes just a rest area on the freeway. My wife likes the Today show in the mornings with her coffee. I designed the solar system to be independent of the other coach battery systems to avoid causing trouble. The solar panel feeds it's own 100 amp hour battery, which feeds it's own inverter. This feeds TV's mostly, but can work for anything. I broke the 120VAC plugs in half by removing the tabs. The top plug is shore/generator, and the bottom plug is solar. Just plug into what you want.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:46 AM   #12
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We boondock frequently, sometimes just a rest area on the freeway. My wife likes the Today show in the mornings with her coffee. I designed the solar system to be independent of the other coach battery systems to avoid causing trouble. The solar panel feeds it's own 100 amp hour battery, which feeds it's own inverter. This feeds TV's mostly, but can work for anything. I broke the 120VAC plugs in half by removing the tabs. The top plug is shore/generator, and the bottom plug is solar. Just plug into what you want.
aviator37
Thanks
We do that with only 2 sets of batteries...(have for 15 years).
Mel
'96 Safari, 140k miles
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:21 PM   #13
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You can certainly do it with existing batteries. When I first started experimenting with solar, I didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize the coach batteries. Building the system as an independent system seemed a logical solution.
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