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Old 05-24-2017, 05:44 PM   #1
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Quick Question about the Trimetric ...

I've purchased the Trimetric TM-2030-RV

This is the first piece of equipment I've purchased in a long list of electrical system equipment for my van. I bought it first, because I believe that it can provide immediate use, even though I don't have my "house" battery system yet.

I'd like to use it to practice programming the settings and to understand various auxiliary loads that I plug into my 12V plugs (like my mini iceless cooler). So far I've never left my iceless cooler plugged in unless the vehicle was running, because I am not sure how fast it will draw down my starter battery.

So the plan was to hook the monitor up to my starter battery as if it were hooked up to my eventual "house batteries".

The question is, Will this work? I know the trimetric has a terminal for a second battery which is intended for the starter battery, but I believe this reads only voltage. Can I hook the starter battery up to the terminal that measures amps, or will it blow the fuse (or damage the shunt/monitor) when I start the van?

I hope my question is clear... Thanks in advance for the help. Is it common to submit electrical system designs to the forum to have people review it? I just finished my 1st draft of the power system diagram, and I'd love feedback.

Thanks again!
Rob
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:01 PM   #2
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First thing to understand is that the system measures amps across the ground shunt. So you need to put your ground shunt between the starter battery and the body/frame ground. It's directional, so the trimetric can view amps in and out through the shunt and how much time passes, thus you get amp hours. The unit never actually has the amperage pass through it, no way.

The red wire to the battery is voltage sensing and has a 1 amp fuse, it most likely also provides the small amount of power the unit needs to function.

I don't think there would be an issue with the starter and alternator, but you could always check with Bogart, they are good guys and have answered all my emails. I am in the process of wiring up my trimetric and eventually my SC30 once I get a rack and some solar going.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:04 AM   #3
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What engine do you have and do you have the 500A shunt or the 100A? You could call Bogart up, but I'd think you would be best not to run a starter across the 100A shunt. I'd imagine the 500A would be fine with most gas motors but I'd do more research if you had a diesel (typically has a higher starter motor draw).

The trimetric monitors are great - I think you'll find it very useful.

By all means post up your electrical diagram!
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:42 AM   #4
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If you just want to see what you're auxiliary loads are doing, you can more easily just wire you're auxiliary loads to one side of your shunt and then the other side to the frame. This will measure the current that is used by any load that you have connected to the other side of the shunt.

You won't be able to use this for SOC calculation as you won't be capturing all loads or charging. This would eliminate any issues caused by the starter.

If not, I agree with Rockbender, make sure you have the 500 amp shunt, they don't really spec any short time frame overload, as would be the case with the starter. The 500 amp shunt supports 300 amps with an overload to max of 500 amps for 5 mins ( 400 amps with no overload).

-greg
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:26 PM   #5
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All - Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. Yes, I went with the 500A shunt.

Scalf - I think I will try this. I will call Bogart and see what their input looks like as well.

I've attached my draft electrical power system design. As I learned in school, "if you don't know what you are doing, at least do it neatly!"

Thanks in advance for feedback.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:39 PM   #6
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I think you have the general gist, might be time to start plotting out your actual wiring schematics. Placement of components and especially that shunt is pretty critical. This is my schematic from my build. Going over everything in detail really helped me to burn it all into my head and understand what was going on. I am a week out from going live with it. The main cables are hooked in, but I have a ton of sensor and remote switch wiring to do which is not shown on the schematic.

If you are really keen on monitoring your house loads etc, maybe add a pentametric to the mix and a few more shunts. You could also buy inexpensive monitors from places like this:

Panel Meter, DC Snap-in, Multi Function DC, 100V, 100A, 10KW | MPJA.COM

I picked up one of these which should do DC amps with the clamp. Basically a multimeter for the van. I need to check some accuracy with it, but first test I did was within .1 amps, which is fine for what I want it to do.

https://www.amazon.com/Auto-ranging-...r+with+DC+amps

Here's my schematic, which was looked over by Greg (Scalf77) for which I am very grateful.

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Old 05-26-2017, 08:15 AM   #7
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This is OK for a flow chart, I have concerns about grounds, you show common ground for panels and engine, but know grounds for other items (they could be your multiple red lines).



It is important that you put the DC shunt into the ground side of the circuit or you will cause problem with your trimetric.


-greg
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:05 AM   #8
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Can you get a 12vdc power supply and use that as a stand alone instead of your car battery? I did just that - used a 12vdc power supply to power the lights and such before I got the house batteries installed when we were finishing the camper. It also gave me a great idea of the individual loads.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender View Post
What engine do you have and do you have the 500A shunt or the 100A? You could call Bogart up, but I'd think you would be best not to run a starter across the 100A shunt. I'd imagine the 500A would be fine with most gas motors but I'd do more research if you had a diesel (typically has a higher starter motor draw).

The trimetric monitors are great - I think you'll find it very useful.

By all means post up your electrical diagram!
Hey this is super interesting ---- an element to all of this that is new to me, anyway. I've got a pretty basic house electrical system (only 1 lead-acid coach battery, a low-amperage onboard converter-charger (30 amp, I believe) and a stock 5.8L gas engine with (what I believe) to be a stock alternator.

I'm close to picking up a Trimetric (at last) and installing it, along with an updated (and slightly-higher amperage converter/charger, perhaps 40amp) and I had been pretty-well-set on getting the 100A shunt to work with the entire setup. (Especially since with the 100A shunt, the Trimetric displays to one more decimal place of accuracy, which I think is pretty darn cool/useful since I'm making do with only one modest coach battery to run everything....)

But based on what you guys have been discussing ---
Should *all of us* be seriously considering going with the higher-amperage shunt (the 500A), regardless of the specs of the rest of our house electrical systems, simply to be safe for the startup/alternator current? I hadn't even thought about the possibility of the alternator input exceeding the 100A shunt rating.

Thanks for a great thread guys!!!

EDIT / more thought:
I may have read "just enough to cause trouble" when I skimmed through this thread earlier this morning and responded to it.....I'm re-reading now and noting that the TriMetric sounds to have an input that's intended for the starter battery....I'm still learning all of this stuff (and I seem to need to hear/read things 3 or 4 times before it fully sinks in, arghhhh....)

Was my question on-point? I'm still thinking that since the TriMetric measures all energy in/out for the coach battery via that shunt, and since the alternator is one of the two sources of charging this coach battery....that one needs to be mindful of the amp output of the alternator when selecting the ideal shunt size (100A or 500A.)

Thanks again for the immeasurable expertise here!
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:23 PM   #10
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The 100 amp shunt is specified for 75 amps continuous (with no overloads), and 50 amps (with a overload of 100 amps for 8 seconds). The big issue with the shunts, are once they get hot, it is difficult to cool down when running current.

In most cases if installed on your house battery, you need not worry about starting, but emergency jump starts, and other issues could make that not true. In any case I would go for the 500 amp shunt. With my one D battery 50% SOC , the alternator puts out close to 75 amps for a short period of time, Not sure what your charger output is set to, and if you have a inverter, you could easily pull a 70 amp load.With a 500 amp I loose some accuracy, but have plenty of margin..

-greg
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