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Old 10-17-2019, 06:48 PM   #1
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Question Battery Monitor Kit Questions

My rig was prewired for solar by SMB and is equipped with a 2000 W Magnum system with remote and the Zamp 30A solar controller.

After the advice that I received in this thread
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-me-24345.html
I purchased the Magnum BMK and had SMB install it.

I've had it a week and have been checking the readings as we drove back home to learn what the BMK is telling me. I have noticed that when the engine is running, there is clearly charging going on, but the BMK doesn't indicate a +A number to show how many amps are going in to the battery. Today I connected it up to our solar panels for a first test and had the same result. Charging was clearly happening, but the meter showed a steady -0.2A (the 12V system was turned off).

My expectation from the Magnum manual is that I should be able to see the amount of amps going in or out in real time, as well as a net +/- reading.

SOC seems to be working okay, and I think things are working correctly when plugged in to a/c, but I'm wondering about these "onboard" charging systems. I've attached a photo of the displays when the solar panels were connected.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...sue-24550.html showed that others had run into bad BMK systems as well as incorrect wiring. I've looked at the wiring and I think it is correct, but it's a real bowl of spaghetti under my bench seat so it's hard to tell. Before I go digging too much, I want to make sure I'm understanding what I should be seeing.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:06 PM   #2
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Have you checked that shunt is between the battery and all the charging sources, The current has to go through shunt to be read. If it is on the wrong side of the shunt it won't be seen.

Do you see positive amps when you are charging with the Magnum charger?





Note: In the above diagram all the paths from battery to charge source have to go through shunt.


-greg
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:43 AM   #3
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Hey Greg -

That diagram is incredibly helpful! I'll be double checking everything when I get back from a weekend away.

Yes, I see positive amps when plugged into "shore power" and charging from the Magnum. When I'm charging from the engine, I see -0.2 amps.

I suspect that both the feed from the alternator and the solar controller are on the wrong side of the shunt. Your diagram will help me trace that down. I'll update when I've checked.
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Old 02-29-2020, 02:33 PM   #4
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Hey Greg -

I wanted to follow-up on this. Your diagram was very helpful and it looked like everything was connected properly, but I still could not resolve the problem. I did manage to prove that the KBM was working properly by removing the wire from the back side of the solar controller and running my own wire to the shunt, but it became apparent that there was something going on with the wiring that I could not see.

We visited SMB West last week and they got it all sorted out. Prior to our appointment, I sent them your diagram as well as an e-mail from Magnum that confirmed my understanding that ALL negative legs of any house battery system has to run through the shunt (only). It appears that SMB had something connected directly to the battery, which meant that it wasn't running through the shunt. They got it fixed now and I'm quite happy.

Your diagram was very helpful in resolving this. I don't think SMB would have resolved it so quickly without it. Thank you!

Ernie
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:14 PM   #5
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Glad I could help, you would think SMB would know how to install. Unfortunately, anything that connects to the battery is usually shown as a direct connect to the battery in their installation manual. You have to take a step back and look at it the big picture. This is very important when installing the battery monitor shunt.

-greg
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:41 PM   #6
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Ernie,

Would you please post a picture of the shunt that was installed by SMB. I have ordered a ME-BMK and was intending to install it my self.....then I saw the wiring mess that is under the bench seat. It looks like a hack by someone wiring for the first time in their life. Tracking down all the wires to determine if I can clean up the mess. Definitely a challenge.

Thanks, Lance
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:18 AM   #7
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I happen to be refreshing the interior and have a couple of shots of that.



This would be where my original body/ground connection was made . The cable that the picture says is going to the BMK, would have gone directly to the house battery. In my original SMB layout that was the only connection to battery ground. Now I have the BMK between the SMB ground point and the battery.



hope this helps

-greg
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:58 PM   #8
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Lance -

I agree about the tangle of spaghetti under the seat. That's part of why I paid SMB Fresno to install the BMK (and because I don't have the tools, etc to assemble the cables). It all works, but it is not as organized and cleanly laid out as I would like.

In the wide shot, the shunt is the white spot in the middle. The flash burned out the detail so I shot the narrow shot.

Besides putting the shunt into the middle of the negative cable on the converter/inverter, they also removed all the cables from the bus bar and put them into one connector that they also put on the correct side of the shunt. This ensures that everything that goes in/out of the battery is recognized by the BMK. I don't know if they had any other cables attached to the battery under the van which were also moved.

Ernie
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Old 04-04-2020, 11:27 PM   #9
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I realize that the space available is much more in this photo, but this is the style of wiring that I think SMB should be using.
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Old 04-04-2020, 11:30 PM   #10
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Looks like s similar tangle of spaghetti that I have, with tons of wire joined with crimped connectors and wrapped in black electrical tape that makes a gooey sticky mess when it is undone. I really want to undo them all and solder then together and use shrink wrap. Since there is no shutoff switch for the battery need to check with forum best way to remove all power before I dig in. Will also cover solar panels so they are not generating any power. Looks like the ground wire from the inverter is still wired to you ground bar? I think you just need a connection on the inverter side of the ME-BMK shunt to the ground bar rather than moving them all down to the shunt. Thinking I will need to use a jack to lower the battery under the van to confirm there in nothing directly grounded there. Need to add a temperature sensor anyway for the Zamp solar controller so improve charging characteristics withe heat here in AZ. Don't know why that was not offered by SMB. I don't have all the tools yet to do the job, but will be building out my own van after this, so saving the cost of SMB doing it will surely pay for the tools! ...and expect to get it right the first time!
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