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Old 08-07-2017, 12:25 PM   #1
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Location of battery meter

Before I have the boat yard install the battery meter, I'm wondering if anyone has any guidance on location. Not having had a battery meter, and being somewhat new to boat ownership, I'm not sure how often I might be peering at the meter, etc.

The yard is currently recommending that they install the meter behind a cabinet door in the salon (see photo).

Do you think having it behind the cabinet door is fine, or should I have it somewhere where it's always visible, or even have it installed at the lower helm?

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:37 PM   #2
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Always visible, but doesn't have to be in your face.

Good choice on the SmartGauge BTW
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:50 PM   #3
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Mine is on my electric panel. There was room and it was a perfect place for it. Technically, it is behind a sliding panel/door. But I always leave it open. But yes, I would put it where it is visible.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:24 PM   #4
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What are you calling a battery meter that the smart gauge isn't?
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:27 PM   #5
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Mike, while I think that having it mounted in a location where it is always visible is ideal, that isn't always possible/practical on a retrofit. I think the location you show is just fine. No real reason to have it at the lower helm since it isn't necessarily while under way that you need to be able to check it.

Several considering. Where is it convenient to monitor? Where do you have a place to mount it? Where can you mount it without adding lots of work hours by the yard who will typically charge you for those hours?

I want to install the same unit and have been trying to come up with a good location. I will likely end up installing it where it is the most convenient to install.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:37 PM   #6
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My LinkPro is a small round gauge that fit perfectly in place of my stbd ammeter on my helm overhead panel. Its V and AH in/out is valuable to me there.

The SOC% is important and, I believe, more accurately computed on the Balmar Smartgauge than the LinkPro. Having it behind a panel door may inhibit the casual peek at it as you pass by. My preference would be a more visible position without having to open a door to view it but not a major issue either way, IMO.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:40 PM   #7
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You will probably only look at this meter a couple of times a day... Just before you start the generator. If it fits next to the generator control panel, you will find that to be a good spot.

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Old 08-07-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
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What are you calling a battery meter that the smart gauge isn't?
wut?
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:23 PM   #9
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Behind a single hinged cabinet door. No problem.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:47 PM   #10
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wut?
OK...what do you call a battery meter?

A voltmeter? A voltmeter with red, yellow, green bars?

A complex instrument measuring 10 parameters including SOC, voltage, amps, etc......?

What?.....been around and battery meter to me is a generic term and descriptive really of nothing in particular.

All I have is a Balmar gauge .....no "battery meter" ......and a clamp meter to check a few draws now and then to get an idea of what is going on.

So I am questioning what he is getting to see if he really needs snything else.

And if he does, just how important it is to look at and what kind of frequency.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:12 PM   #11
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I was just confused by the syntax.

To me the right term is "battery monitor", SoC is the most important parameter, and for lead chemistries SmartGauge is the best.

It is also useful to see AH flows, so a shunt-based unit like Victron BMV-702 is great, especially paired with a SG.

Voltage on its own is not very helpful.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:48 PM   #12
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OK...what do you call a battery meter?

A voltmeter? A voltmeter with red, yellow, green bars?

A complex instrument measuring 10 parameters including SOC, voltage, amps, etc......?

What?.....been around and battery meter to me is a generic term and descriptive really of nothing in particular.

All I have is a Balmar gauge .....no "battery meter" ......and a clamp meter to check a few draws now and then to get an idea of what is going on.

So I am questioning what he is getting to see if he really needs snything else.

And if he does, just how important it is to look at and what kind of frequency.
I assume he is talking about the Balmar Smartguage that he is holding up in the proposed location in the photo.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:09 PM   #13
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We have the same (I think) round Linkpro gauge as FlyWright. It is in the saloon on an aft bulkhead along with other related stuff (Inverter/charger remote etc.). It is normally set on % battery charge which allows me or anyone else know approximately what the SOC is. Having it visible across the room is quite handy and it is a ready reminder for all on board to not waste electricity.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:20 PM   #14
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I assume he is talking about the Balmar Smartguage that he is holding up in the proposed location in the photo.
Oooops, my bad.... couldnt really see the persoective on my phone.

You could mount the Balmar almost anyplace convenient to look a dozen times a day, not usually more than once every hour or two.

My display goes off, maybe it can be programmed to stay on, so opening a cabinet or a door would not be much effort ad you still push a button or two to get info.

Thanks Dave...
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:43 PM   #15
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BTW, one of the places I have considered putting a Balmar Smartgauge is underneath the furnace thermostat in the saloon. I think I can get wires there relatively easily and as long as I do it before my wife sees me drilling holes in the teak, I should be safe.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:13 PM   #16
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I have a 3"x1/25" on the bridge between (same type the port/stbd engine voltmeters) Who is ever on watch glances occasionaly
Also on the bridge is the solar controler shows volts (house), The inverter control panel shows volts (House), and a victron meter left on amps +/ - shows flow of power in amps.

In the saloon we have a combined voltmeter usb charging station for phones , kindles, ipads etc. People are walking past and tend to notice the voltage which in the day is 13 + from the solar. These cost milliamps to run, and as we generaly move round the boat it's something we glance at because its on view and easy to read.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:59 PM   #17
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I wonder if the Balmar has an alarm that goes off once a certain state of charge threshold is breached. Gotta check the manual. That would make it easy to know what's going on without looking.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:21 AM   #18
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I have mine near the helm where I can see it from just about anywhere in the saloon. I'm a little OCD with my battery consumption and tend to look at the metre quite a lot. I like to know the SOC and AH consumption primarily for the house bank but can also monitor the start bank if necessary.

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Old 08-08-2017, 05:33 AM   #19
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I wonder if the Balmar has an alarm that goes off once a certain state of charge threshold is breached. Gotta check the manual. That would make it easy to know what's going on without looking.
i believe it has a low power circuit that can run a small buzzer or relay to a larger one.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:42 AM   #20
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I wonder if the Balmar has an alarm that goes off once a certain state of charge threshold is breached. Gotta check the manual. That would make it easy to know what's going on without looking.
SmartBank ​http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/sbdesc.html

The UK maker is Merlin, Balmar just markets it this side.
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