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Old 08-11-2020, 06:54 PM   #1
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amp-hour+ meter from Cruising Equipment

I have a 40 year old trawler and I'm on a budget. It is a 38' with a Lehman 120. I have an Amp-Hour+ meter from Cruising Equipment Co. It has always worked fine and I like it. It has 3 settings - battery voltage, amp hours, and amps either charging or discharging.
I did some work in the engine room that meant I had to disconnect and move the house bank of batteries (6 golf carts). When I moved them back in place, I was very careful to reconnect all the wires correctly.
However, now the Amp-Hour meter+ is only showing battery voltage and amp hours. I can't verify that they are correct. The amps setting shows .0 amps.
The battery charger is running and the circuit breaker is closed. The amp setting does not show any charging from the battery charger or the alternator. It also does not show any negative amps when it is discharging. I have cleaned and inspected the wires that attach to the shunt.
I am not particularly good at electrical jargon so please consider that when you reply. Any ideas?
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:12 PM   #2
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Sounds like the problem is at the shunt. The shunt is designed to measure current. Since its now reading zero you need to verify the connections again. Something changed there.
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:09 PM   #3
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High Wire, thanks for your reply. you are the only one who did reply.
i took your advice, checked the continuity of the wires running from the shunt to the gauge, cleaned the contact points, cleaned the contact points for the ground cables and still no joy.
Now the volts shows 12.82 (been that value for the last 2 days so it's probably wrong) and the amp hours shows 0., and the amps setting still shows .0.
I have 6 golf cart batteries for my house bank (235 AH per) and an 8D gel battery for my starting battery.
Again, I have double checked to make sure I haven't left any wires disconnected and I can't see anything.
Is it time to call a professional?
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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Does everything else work ok?
It says zero when you have a load running?
The voltage you stated indicates a fully charged battery. Its possible there is no current flow with the battery charged if no loads are running. Try turning on a spotlight or other medium DC load.



The shunt measures all of the current returning to the battery bank negative terminal. All of the negative wires (except the only one going directly to the battery) should be joined together on the shunt terminal furthest from the battery. The two small wires connected to the shunt measure voltage drop across the shunt. Any possibility they are connected backwards?



I'm going to say yes to the pro.
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Old 08-12-2020, 04:49 PM   #5
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Thanks again for getting involved.
Yes, everything else works. The fridge, which is DC powered, has been staying cold all along. The battery charger has also been running so I should be seeing the amps either gaining or losing but nothing.
I have checked the negative cables and they are as you suggested they should be. It's possible that the wires to the shunt are reversed but I didn't disconnect them initially and I only took them off one at a time to clean them and check the continuity
I'm stumped.
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:17 PM   #6
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You said in your original post that the wires were all connected as before. This means:

The shunt should have only battery B- on the high side and all B- for sources and loads on the shunt's low side. The voltage drop across the shunt is measured by the two light gage wires connected to the high side brass block (green) and the low side brass block (orange). They are color coded and it is important that the color coding is followed when connecting to the meter.

Since the meter is powered, the fuse in the B+ supply is good.

It is possible that, with a unit this old, the selector switch has corrosion on the contact points. Cycling the switch 20 or 30 times may clean the corrosion products off.

Check for voltage between the B+ (red wire) on the meter and the green (high side) and orange (low side). You should read battery voltage at both connections.

That's all I got. I installed one of these on my trawler about 30 years ago. ��
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Old 08-12-2020, 05:31 PM   #7
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Charlie, I need a little clarification. What is battery B- and what is B+? What if the two sides of the shunt are not color coded? I can see where the negative from the batteries is connected to one side of the shunt. Is this the high side?
I will try your suggestions - cycling the switch to try to clear possible corrosion and checking for voltage readings between the red wire and the green and orange.
Any other ideas?
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:10 PM   #8
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Any chance you damaged one of the shunt leads?
The signal that the meter reads to determine the current is quite low, on order of 50millivolts. Even though you cleaned the mounting faces of the connection if the wire in the crimp barrel is oxidized or loosened from your cleaning it could stop the signal.
Actually same goes for the other ends of those wires at the meter.

Check carefully. A cheap??? And quick test would be to use two jumper wires strung however need be to run directly between the meter and shunt.
Need not be pretty.
Just to confirm it is or is not the meter or the wiring.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:20 PM   #9
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Charlie, I will replace the ends on the wires that attach to the shunt to see if that's the problem.
I like your suggestion of running jumper wires to find out if it's the meter or the wiring.
What did you mean when you referred to battery B+ and B-? Can you tell me which side of the shunt is the high side?
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:31 PM   #10
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The shunt side farthest away from the battery negative is the high side.

OR.

I should have said the shunt side nearest the battery negative is the low side.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:36 PM   #11
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Did you replace the little wires connecting the shunt to the gauge? Those should be twisted wires or the signal could degrade from external interference.

The Cruising Equipment + should come with a two bank shunt shaped like a "U" Make sure the small wires are connected to the correct side of the shunt, corresponding to the correct negative battery cable.

Do you have a manual and wiring diagram for the +1? I can post one here if you dont have one. Seem to remember having to initiate or program the meter using a paperclip through a hole on the side of the case. It's been a while since selling or installing one.

I have several Cruising Equipment Amp Hour+ meters laying around that I bought from them during a close out sale, after they were bought by Xantrex over 25 years ago. I have manuals for them.
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:48 PM   #12
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Charlie,
Before I let this go, please tell me what you meant by battery B+ or battery B-
I did not replace the wires that go from the gauge to the shunt. They are twisted at least most of the way. When I moved the batteries I didn't disconnect those wires and the meter worked just fine before this. I do have a manual for this meter but I'm having trouble understanding it. You're telling me that this meter was discontinued 25 years ago?
Maybe I need to upgrade. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:10 PM   #13
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Charlie,
Before I let this go, please tell me what you meant by battery B+ or battery B-
I did not replace the wires that go from the gauge to the shunt. They are twisted at least most of the way. When I moved the batteries I didn't disconnect those wires and the meter worked just fine before this. I do have a manual for this meter but I'm having trouble understanding it. You're telling me that this meter was discontinued 25 years ago?
Maybe I need to upgrade. Any suggestions?
The Amp Hour + , designed by Cruising Equipment in Seattle, was rebadged by Xantrex after acquisition and continued for at least 10 to 15 years along side the "Link" which was a smaller reconfigured version, which is still marketed.

There are many newer amp hour meters available now that the patent expired. Victron, Balmar, Xantrex and many other companies manufacturer them. The meter is now called a State Of Charge meter (SOC Meter).

Some SOC meters are limited to a maximum number of battery amps that the meter will measure.

The Amp Hour + does everything the new SOC meters do other than convert amp hours to percentage and time.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:01 PM   #14
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KDA #13
B+ is battery positive, B- is battery negative.

The shunt is a very small, but stable resistor and there is therefore a voltage drop across this resistor when current flows thru it. High side and low side depends on your point of view, traditional current flow or electron flow. Forget I mentioned it.

The house battery negatives are on one side of the shunt and all source and load negatives are on the other side of the shunt.

Per the more manual, the green wire is connected to the battery side of the shunt and the orange wire is connected to the side of the shunt where the load and source negatives are connected.

By the way, I have been assuming that the shunt is for a single battery. As noted above, CE also made a U shaped shunt to monitor A and Ahr in two batteries. The principle is the same for the second leg of the shunt. I don’t have the wiring diagram for this shunt so I don’t know what the standard wire colors are. Whic do you have, straight or U shaped?
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Old 08-13-2020, 02:17 PM   #15
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Syjos and Charlie, thanks for your suggestions. I ran a jumper wire from the shunt to the meter and satisfied myself that the meter works. I replaced the connectors on the wires that attach to the shunt.
Now I am showing 12.82 on the volts setting and -18 on the amp hours setting. However, the amp (current) setting still shows .0. I can hear the fridge running so it should be showing that current discharging?
I also put a meter on the red wire to the orange wire (on the low side of the shunt) and showed 12.82. All the batteries checked out at 6.4 volts per. The battery charger is turned on and shows that it is "ready".
M
Not sure what I should do next.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:31 PM   #16
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If it is a dual voltage frig it most likely is running on shore power and not on batteries.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:35 PM   #17
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So the current or amps started showing when you used the jumpers to bypass the original
Shunt Wiring .

Now with the original wiring with new crimps and the amps are not showing then it sounds like there still a problem in that wiring. Do the other end now.

If still no joy then Replace the wries
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:17 PM   #18
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Syjos and Charlie, thanks for your suggestions. I ran a jumper wire from the shunt to the meter and satisfied myself that the meter works. I replaced the connectors on the wires that attach to the shunt.
Now I am showing 12.82 on the volts setting and -18 on the amp hours setting. However, the amp (current) setting still shows .0. I can hear the fridge running so it should be showing that current discharging?
I also put a meter on the red wire to the orange wire (on the low side of the shunt) and showed 12.82. All the batteries checked out at 6.4 volts per. The battery charger is turned on and shows that it is "ready".
M
Not sure what I should do next.
Turn on a 12 volt device and see if current registers.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:32 PM   #19
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Check voltage at meter from red wire to green wire. Is the shunt U shaped?
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:50 AM   #20
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Gentlemen, thanks for your suggestions and encouragement. The fridge is DC only so when it is running it should be drawing 5 to 7 amps. That should register on the meter.
This morning I bypassed all the wiring and took the meter into the engine room and connected it directly to the shunt, battery, and negative.
The meter is showing volts @ 12.82, AH @ -0, and amps @ .0. I think this means that the meter is fried. Can't blame it on wiring or connections anymore.
I am now shopping for a replacement. Similar size and shape would make the installation easier. All I want it to show are volts, amp-hours, and current.
Any suggestions or recommendations?
Again, thanks for your help
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