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Old 01-10-2015, 18:45   #46
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

a64pilot,

You asked a good and logical question at the beginning of this thread. Many folks who responded don't seem to understand what you were intending to do, and why.

I did, because I've had such a setup on my boat for many years (pics), i.e., a simple analog ammeter which directly measures alternator output. It is via a shunt in the positive output cable.

The meter is named "Phoenix" (I tend to name many of my boat's equipment pieces).

I've found it to be extremely useful to give an indication of alternator performance at various RPMs and stages of battery charging. It also gives a good indication of how well the regulator is functioning (in my case, the Balmar MC-612).

Paired with a good digital voltmeter, I've found it's all I need....no need for an "amp counter".

It's mounted where it can be easily seen from anywhere in the cabin, and the analog needle is all I need to see.....don't have to squint to try to read digital numerals in sunlight as I might have to with a digital ammeter. The digital voltmeter shown in the second picture is an illustration of this....you can't read it because of the glare.

Ditto for the two analog meters shown below in the second pic. These are AC volts and AC amps from the diesel generator.

FWIW,

Bill

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Old 01-10-2015, 19:26   #47
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

Here is what I use and the FWIW, the ammeter is in the positive side.

Tells me what is going into or out of the battery but as I only have alternator charging, whatever is going in must be from the alternator .
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Old 01-10-2015, 19:33   #48
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
…...

It's mounted where it can be easily seen from anywhere in the cabin, and the analog needle is all I need to see.....don't have to squint to try to read digital numerals in sunlight as I might have to with a digital ammeter. The digital voltmeter shown in the second picture is an illustration of this....you can't read it because of the glare…….

An often overlooked point IMO.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:18   #49
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

On most boats the house battery a bit further than in the car. In most cases the plus wire from alternator to battery can be use as a shunt.
Ideal would be micro amp meter with a couple of resistors for calibration .
No charging is affected and no weakness introduced.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:24   #50
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikka View Post
On most boats the house battery a bit further than in the car. In most cases the plus wire from alternator to battery can be use as a shunt.
Ideal would be micro amp meter with a couple of resistors for calibration .
No charging is affected and no weakness introduced.
Wonderful idea!

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:04   #51
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikka View Post
On most boats the house battery a bit further than in the car. In most cases the plus wire from alternator to battery can be use as a shunt.
Ideal would be micro amp meter with a couple of resistors for calibration .
No charging is affected and no weakness introduced.
Smartypants!
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:50   #52
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

I have used several hall effect DC meters in the past they work well the ones I tested fell within about .075 A (usually better) of the reading on the shunt meter on my workbench running from 0-50 amps. I believe the Maretron pickups works this way and several other digital monitoring systems. We talked about it for out panels but we decided to stick with shunts for now mainly due to cost and known reliability. On some of commercial ships board we used some by CR magnets but they are insanely expensive. We also built out own little board using a honeywell transducer but even that ended up quite a bit more expensive then a shunt.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:24   #53
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

Blue Sea has several shunts and meters available. One of them should work for you. https://www.bluesea.com/search/results/shunt
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Old 12-10-2015, 15:07   #54
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Re: Alternator Shunt and Meter

Cable length.
As an aside, I assume it does not matter if the shunt is wired via an extra e.g. an extra 2 metres of cable, for the house battery negative to shunt and back to starter battery -ve.

I want to get the shunt out of the engine bay as the Victron 700 has some exposed electronics on a small PC board. Also this would create a large -ve post, it would be next to the 2 x (+ve lead) battery switches, and so I would have an accessible place to temporarily connect a battery charger, or jumper leads (I have no Emergency Parallel switch, so carry some heavy duty jumper leads)
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