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Old 07-29-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
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Digital volt meters

My 89 SMB does not have a volt meter installed to monitor the house battery so I am looking to add one. Do any of you have experience with he Voltminder, http://www.bestconverter.com/Voltminder_c_107.html.

Is there a better option out here that I can mount in my SBM?

Larrie
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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Re: Digital volt meters

I had SMB do a "solar prewire" and the BlueSky panel got used as a voltmeter for 2 years... all that and no alarm. If you're going to add solar anyway...

I also use one of the $9 plug in cheapos, which is really handy for checking the dash, but is the opposite end of expense and features.

That looks like a good option with the hard wire and alarm.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:13 AM   #3
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Re: Digital volt meters

If you don't mind a little extra cost and a little extra wiring, I'd highly recommend a meter that you can monitor amps with too. I installed a Trimetric meter because I primarily wanted an accurate volt meter but now find myself watching the current amp output as well as total amp-hours used much more often than just the voltage. It allows me to accurately track how may amps my fridge will pull in a given environment, shows how many amps my charger is putting into the batteries when I'm plugged in to shore power, and as soon as I get solar wired up will show me the output of the solar panels too.

I'm far from an expert on this stuff, but am hoping that by using the monitor and a bit of common sense I'll not only be able to gain a good sense of what the real world power draw of certain things are but also attempt to maximize my battery life by not dipping too deep into their capacity.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: Digital volt meters

It probably depends on how much you're willing to spend but I agree with Rockbender that having a slightly higher tech monitor is nice. I have a Xantrex link 10 but it was replaced by the Link pro and the Link-lite monitors. Kinda expensive but very handy with all the functions available.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:21 PM   #5
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Re: Digital volt meters

One of the advantages of the Link pro , Link lite , Trimetric meter is that it can give you a representation of how much charge you have at any time. While you can get your SOC by looking at the voltage, you can't be charging the vehicle at the time. You also get the advantage of reading current. Yes, you will pay more and the installation is a little harder, but in the long run I believe it is worth it.

The Link Pro, for sure has an relay output that can be set for low voltage threshold. I use it it to disconnect the battery. I have the XBM (predecessor to Link Pro also) and find it vary valuable to have. I even purchased their communication port and wrote some software for my computer.

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Old 07-31-2011, 07:05 AM   #6
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Re: Digital volt meters

Just use a cheap digital volt meter. Anything over 12.7v .... fully charged, 12.3v getting low...., 12.1v better recharge or start turning off unneeded stuff.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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Re: Digital volt meters

You're pretty much on with your voltages LenS, but they're only valid if the battery has been sitting with no load or charge in and out of it for at least a half hour.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:27 PM   #8
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Re: Digital volt meters

True
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:13 AM   #9
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Re: Digital volt meters

Good info. Thxs
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:28 PM   #10
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Digital volt meters

Thanks everyone. This has been very helpful. Will probably start with just the volt meter and graduate to one of the others as I add more power draws There are very few electrical items in my SMB. Just the heater, lights, and an Igloo 12v cooler. The plan is to replace the Igloo with a real fridge over the winter.

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