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Old 08-23-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
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Voltage / Wiring tester

I have put together a way to test for proper wiring of shore power before connecting the motorhome. I use a 50 amp male plug connected to a 20 amp spade receptacle (actually a pair of them....one for each 110v leg). I plug a simple wiring tester into each receptacle. The wiring testers I use are the ones with little lights that indicate wiring condition. This setup only verifies correct wiring and does not advise of voltage.

Now my question.......what can I add to be able to verify voltage without a separate VOM. Any ideas will be appreciated......Thanks
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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Easy, if you already have a VOM then just place the meter between the two outside vertical slots. Between those two you should read 220 volts AC. Then read either of those outside slots to the ground (bottom half-crescent) then neutral (top middle slot) and the reading should be 120 VAC for each. That's it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Easy, if you already have a VOM then just place the meter between the two outside vertical slots. Between those two you should read 220 volts AC. Then read either of those outside slots to the ground (bottom half-crescent) then neutral (top middle slot) and the reading should be 120 VAC for each. That's it.
Thanks Wardy. Here's my original question again.


Now my question.......what can I add to be able to verify voltage without a separate VOM. Any ideas will be appreciated......Thanks
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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This is what I use: Line Voltage Monitor for Sale - PPL Motor Homes
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:28 PM   #5
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I'm thinking, I'm thinking... and....

I thought about one or more of those tiny neon lights like they use in some off/on switches. They have a resistor in series with one lead and the ones I have salvaged from electronic equipment range from 33K to 270K ohms. The brightness varies somewhat, but they are not all the same size/brand bulb. There might be a way to use 2 or more of them with different resistors so you could visually see different voltages. I haven't tested one across 220, so I don't know if it would even work that way.

You could build or buy a small box to put them in and attach it to your adapters. If that sounds like something you could/would do, without a separate VOM, I can do some more research.



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Old 08-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #6
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Thanks for that idea. I could use those be sort of remaking my tester into 4 receptacles ...... two wired to one leg and two wired to the other. I use those already inside the coach but would like to be able to easily see available voltage at the supply.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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I thought about one or more of those tiny neon lights like they use in some off/on switches. They have a resistor in series with one lead and the ones I have salvaged from electronic equipment range from 33K to 270K ohms. The brightness varies somewhat, but they are not all the same size/brand bulb. There might be a way to use 2 or more of them with different resistors so you could visually see different voltages. I haven't tested one across 220, so I don't know if it would even work that way.
Sounds like it may be a good idea. Don't go to any trouble but if you stumble across something please let me know.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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The only trouble would be popping a bulb or me getting popped. I'll try to look into it tomorrow. Not sure how something like what I'm suggesting would show up in broad daylight.

What about one meter and a rotary switch for the different legs? Close, but not exactly a VOM. It's basically a DC milliamp meter with a rectifier before the meter/indicator. The meter could be any size. Think tiny. You could probably get a meter less than a inch square. I've seen them 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch tall.



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Old 08-24-2012, 11:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for that idea. I could use those be sort of remaking my tester into 4 receptacles ...... two wired to one leg and two wired to the other. I use those already inside the coach but would like to be able to easily see available voltage at the supply.
Radio Shack used to sell a very nice and accurate VOM for, IIRC under $20.00. No RVer should be w/o a VOM and know how to use it. You can buy a utility VOM at the Tool warehouse stores for as little as 2.95
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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Dunner, Sounds like it's getting complicated.

hamGuy, Thanks for that sage advice. I have several VOMs and know how to use all of them. I have already fabbed a wiring tester but would like the advantage of testing voltage in the same package. Without using a VOM
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #11
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Thanks Wardy. Here's my original question again.


Now my question.......what can I add to be able to verify voltage without a separate VOM. Any ideas will be appreciated......Thanks
What? You don't want to use a separate VOM?
You don't have to yell, I heard you the first time.



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Old 08-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #12
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Look around for 2 true RMS voltage testers for 110 that plug into a 110 outlet. That will give you room to plug in the light testers you already have for wiring and a RMS meter on each 110 leg.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:48 PM   #13
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This one would do the job.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for that idea. I could use those be sort of remaking my tester into 4 receptacles ...... two wired to one leg and two wired to the other. I use those already inside the coach but would like to be able to easily see available voltage at the supply.
I made my own tester, 50 amp plug that goes into a plastic electrical box with 2 receptacles in it. I will try and post a picture if you need one.
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