What are the thoughts on having only volt meter or having amp guage.* I have only volt meters and although I cant tell how much amperage my autonator is putting out I can tell that it is working properly.
I prefer having an amp-hour meter, which shows volts and amps (in or out) with great accuracy, but more importantly how many AH have been drained from the batteries, so you know exactly how far you have discharged them.* Seems worth the investment to me.* Mine's a Link 2000.* Don't know what current models are called.
We have both an Amp and Volt for both AC and DC.* I tend to use the amp gauge for than the volt as we tend to push the amp demand to the max being a live aboard.* A volt can tell you the amps and/or condition of your battery by the voltage reading.* How do you think we did be for all the expensive/fancy meters?* The volt metter has three separate reading* for the three battery banks, house, 671 start and gen set start.
Gonzo -- Many work well, my Link seems to do the job. But how they and in turn your charging/battery circuits are hooked up can spell success or failure, not to mention burn out components. You may want to consult with a GOOD marine electrician who has done this before and have him look at the setup.
I am doing a complete overhaul of the charging system this winter, so I'll be adding it then and have time to learn what I need to learn. I have extensive electrical experience. I won't be paying anyone unless I somehow get stuck in a big way, but TBH, I'll be consulting you guys before I call a contractor :-D The "good" electrical guys I have talked to in this area have been disappointing.
Can someone compare the battery monitors, please?
We have a Trimetric in the bus and a Link on the boat.* I prefer the Trimetric.* I think that is because I prefer to have the inverter control functions separate from the monitor.* But either one works and I don't dislike the Link enough to install a Trimetric on the boat.
A Voltmeter will take care of looking at the start and windlass batts , as they do not usually deep discharge or have power sources from solar, wind ,shore power ,noisemaker and main engine to keep track of.
The start and windlass will probably be Start built batts , where if you deep discharge them , you toss them out.
The house will probably be Deep cycle , and depending on HOW deep you discharge them , will determine their service life.
All the monitors require a shunt , to me there should never be a shunt in an engine start circuit , as it may act as a FUSE , much ungood.
-- Edited by FF on Wednesday 16th of November 2011 05:07:05 AM
I've used the BEP monitor now for almost 7 years - has never missed a beat.* It's also quite surprising how much energy is actually used vs how quickly (slowly) that energy gets replenished.* Only and AH meter can tell you that.
By the way, it comes with a huge shunt that gets installed in the negative leg of the battery bank you wish to measure.* Works great, but I only monitor the house bank.* Engine start batteries would be quickly recharged once you get going just like in a car.
The monitor does have the ability to show volts on the (2) start banks.