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Old 12-21-2017, 07:47 PM   #1
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Tank Monitors - the Edge of Tech

Finished my other coach mod before the winter trip to warmer weather.....the installation of a Tech-Edge iSeries tank monitoring system. I found several posts about the SeeLevel, but not much on the iSeries, so I thought I'd share my experiences with the TechEdge system.

Seems like every RVer fights tank sensors at some time. Most RVs use four contacts thru the side of the tank and read in thirds. These are subject to fouling from tank contents and as a result end up reading incorrectly.

The other type of system uses sensors that attach to the outside of the tank and are much less subject to problems from a dirty tank. Two of these systems provide much greater resolution, reading from 0%-100%. The most popular system is the SeeLevel by Garnet. Another less known system is the iSeries by Tech-Edge. This system can read up to six liquid tanks, two propane tanks, and the battery voltage. The standard package comes with three liquid tank sensors.

I think the Tech-Edge system has several advantages over the SeeLevel. These include:
less expensive ($190)
higher resolution (can be 1%)
complete customizable calibration
alarming for each tank and for battery voltage
However, the Tech-Edge does not have Bluetooth capability and I do not believe it will interface with SilverLeaf.

The Tech-Edge tank transducers are completely different from the ones used by SeeLevel. The SeeLevel transducers are a flexible circuit board in a fixed length that can be shortened 1" at a time. The Tech-Edge sensors use metal tape that can be any length, they just have to be between 15-40 sq inches in size. This allows complete top to bottom monitoring of any height tank. The measurement module attaches to the foil tape and is wired to the display panel. These sensors can use the wiring for the existing sensors.

Overall the system works very well. The only thing I noticed is the keys on the panel require a click and hold for a half second, they don't respond instantaneously. Otherwise I think it is going to be a great system and the alarming is a fantastic feature. No more constantly checking tank levels, just wait for the panel to tell me when we're getting close to full (or empty).

I've attached some pictures of the sensor installation and the panel installed in the overhead control cabinet. The switch in the upper right corner of the panel is a mod I made that allows me to monitor either the house batteries or the chassis batteries.

Dave
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Old 12-21-2017, 08:28 PM   #2
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Thanks, something else to consider for an upgrade.
By customizable, does that mean I add 25% capacity and it calibrates, then 50%, and so on? Our tanks are not symmetrical so can that be compensated for.
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Old 12-21-2017, 08:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ThePowells View Post
Thanks, something else to consider for an upgrade.
By customizable, does that mean I add 25% capacity and it calibrates, then 50%, and so on? Our tanks are not symmetrical so can that be compensated for.
They have multiple calibration options: empty/full, 25% increments, 10% increments, and manual (basically change any setpoint to any value, after the fact). If the tanks are wider at top, i.e. a lip or stepout, you may need a "foil jumper". That's discussed in the instructions and can be ordered from Tech-Edge.

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Old 12-21-2017, 09:09 PM   #4
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Other benefits with Tech-Edge.

- doesn't need to be ordered to suit the number or type or height of the tanks
- internal tank sensors are available for metal and thick wall >3/16" tanks
- only the sensor (black plastic square) may need to be replaced not the whole board.

a negative
- display panel is larger than need be
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:39 PM   #5
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Another neat thing is if you have an earlier Newmar you probably already have the sensors installed. I retrofitted by 2008's system by just replacing the Newmar panel with the Tech Edge, original foil sensors work fine with it.

My fresh water tank is upside-down L shaped and I was able to calibrate it very well for it.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2go View Post
Another neat thing is if you have an earlier Newmar you probably already have the sensors installed. I retrofitted by 2008's system by just replacing the Newmar panel with the Tech Edge, original foil sensors work fine with it.

My fresh water tank is upside-down L shaped and I was able to calibrate it very well for it.
That's interesting! I have that same setup. Foil sensors and the L-shaped fresh water tank. Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:08 AM   #7
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Dave, thanks for the nice report. I have been looking at their systems. I am amazed that so few RV builders have moved to one of the two systems that actually work. The technology has been around for many years but RV builders seem to hang on to the cheap junk as long as possible.

Great information!
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKP Kirk View Post
Dave, thanks for the nice report. I have been looking at their systems. I am amazed that so few RV builders have moved to one of the two systems that actually work. The technology has been around for many years but RV builders seem to hang on to the cheap junk as long as possible.

Great information!
Kirk, I believe it's just a matter of how much each individual is bothered by inaccurate sensors. I can tell by listening, just how full the tanks are, another system is dump when in doubt.

Just not willing to invest time and money when there are other solutions.

Fred
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:17 PM   #9
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See-Level fan here; With Sea Level you have only one sensor to mount on each tank, instead of the two sensors per tank. No biggie, but since you were listing pros and cons.......
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:12 AM   #10
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... I can tell by listening, just how full the tanks are, another system is dump when in doubt.

Just not willing to invest time and money when there are other solutions.

Fred

That is an option for waste tanks, but does nothing for the fresh water tank. On our 105gal tank, “empty” is somewhere between 0 and 35 gals. We boon dock enough that we like a little more resolution that 1/3 of a tank. And, as mentioned the alarms are nice.

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Old 12-26-2017, 09:09 AM   #11
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Is that display panel hard wired to the sensors? If so how did you do the wiring?
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:54 PM   #12
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The sensor module is hardwired to the display panel.

I was running cabling for my electric dump valve mod, so I pulled cabling for the tank monitor upgrade as well. The cable route was from the overhead control panel up front, down the passenger windshield pillar to the generator compartment. From there it was through a cable duct in the frame rail all the way back to the tanks on the passenger side.

The sensor uses a power wire, a signal wire, and a ground wire (which can be frame grounded at the sensor). Most existing systems that read in thirds use four wires to the tank sensors. So, you can use the existing wires if you so desire.

I choose to keep the existing tank monitor wiring in place in case I wanted to compare the two systems or would ever want to go back to the original system.

Dave
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