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Old 03-15-2009, 01:59 AM   #1
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Xantrex XBM communications kit and software

I recently added the communications kit to my Xantrex Battery Monitor. One of the problems I was looking to solve was enabling me to see the monitoring data while I was driving. The monitor is mounted in my refrigerator/Microwave cabinet witch works well when actually camping.

I had really wanted to start monitoring how well I was charging when driving, especially since I do not have solar. I decided that I did not want to move the XBM, and since I already run an on board Carputer, I figured that installing the Xantrex communications kit would be an easy way to solve this problem.

Installation was pretty straight forward, except that the J12 Data Cable was missing in my received kit. To hook up the communications kit you must remove the temperature sensor and plug one end of the J12 cable into the XBM the other end goes into the Communications module, and then the temperature sensor plugs into the communications module. You then have a serial port cable to hook up to your computer. For my install I used a length of J11/J14 cable to run the from the XBM to behind the drivers side door. This enabled me to get close enough for the needed serial port connection. I used a junction box to connect the small section of J12 cable. These are actually the same number of pins as the J11/J14 cable, the J12 section just reverses the ends. This enables me to take the communications kit out by moving the temperature sensor back to this connector to reduce power usage when boon docking. I installed the older software that was sold with the kit. They provide some gauges for the Battery Monitor.
(Brewing Coffee)

While these are pretty easy to see on my 7" touchscreen, I am probably going to write a mod for my carputer front end software "StreetDeck2"to read the XBM data. Xantrex provides all the data needed to do this. That is a project for another day.

One of the things the software allows you to do, is to go into record mode. It will capture data while you are using your battery for future analysis. It is relatively easy, as you pick the parameters you want to record and hit start. When you are done recording data you export that data to a text file to be imported into excel. This first shot is the Xantrex software, it is about 3 to 4 hours long and includes making a pot of coffee (110 coffee pot), microwaving popcorn, and running a hair dryer for a min.

As I said you can also export the data to excel.

While the data did not surprise me I does give you a nice indication of what certain appliances will do to your available battery power. Here is a blown up view of making the coffee. I should note that I have a thermal carafe drip coffee maker, so when it is completed brewing there is no additional power usage.

And again an excel version.

The coffee pot and microwave both drew 83 amps of power, the hair dryer pulled 125 amps. As you can see brewing that pot of coffee in the morning uses up 10% of my available battery power (4D battery).
. (After Brewing Coffee)

Like I said before, to some this data will not come as a surprise, but as they say a picture is worth a 1000 words. Hopefully this will help people new to the process. Next I plan on doing some comparisons to incandescent bulbs to their LED replacements. I just need to find where I put the old bulbs.


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Old 03-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Xantrex XBM communications kit and software

If you get a chance to put a ~1300W toaster* online and make some toast I would be interested in seeing that.

*(I acutally have a small toaster oven with toaster in the top, but I think a normal one would be comparable enough)

and then
everything changed
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: Xantrex XBM communications kit and software


Pretty impressive.

Are those hot air exhaust vents next to your Tripp Lite?

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Xantrex XBM communications kit and software

Those are the vents for the Startcool air conditioning. The Tripp Lite is installed under the gaucho, Sportsmobile conveniently mounted the remote control originally under the gaucho less the 12" away from the Tripp Lite itself. I usually leave it in charge only mode and only switch it to automatic or inverting mode when I am going to use the inverter. Getting to the switch proved a nuisance early in the morning when I was ready to make coffee. So I took the liberty to move the remote switch to a more "remote" location. It seemed to fit perfectly in that panel, and I would say the only drawback is another led shining at night.

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