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Old 10-07-2007, 11:10   #1
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ammeter question #2

I want to be able to see the power I'm generating through my solar panels, the power I'm consuming, and the battery voltage. Ideally it would be nice to have an amp hour counter to measure my daily consumption and power output, but that's a nice to have, not a need to have. I'm thinking of getting this Southeast Marine Services :: Battery System Monitoring :: Shoreline Ammeter because the hall effect transducer doesn't involve a shunt so it can't be a weak link in a circuit and it also won't be a power drain on the circuit. Does anyone have any input on whether this type of inducer would be a good solution (workable longterm)? Also, any suggestions for an amp hour counter? Since I'm throwing out questions, let me throw out another, a linksys battery monitor would measure voltage, but I don't think it really directly measures power consumption and power generation, is that correct?

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:44   #2
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I like my E Meter. It keeps track of amp hours used, voltage, percent of charge and more.

Properly done (which isn't rocket science) a shunt isn't any problem, nor is it a power drain.

Steve B.
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Old 10-07-2007, 18:35   #3
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Quote:
because the hall effect transducer doesn't involve a shunt so it can't be a weak link in a circuit and it also won't be a power drain on the circuit.
I would say the price is nice. I picked up an old Link 10 for about that and that really is I think the best as far as display and compact. The power drain from the shunt is pretty much nothing to worry about. It's not a significant amount enough to lose sleep over.

Current boat has an Ample Power unit and does two banks but it is a big and older unit. Having one of any of them is a great thing. Just measuring voltage is not all that helpful. It's nice to read the load / charge the amount out /in and the total left. Once you know what is going on all the mystery goes away.
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Old 10-07-2007, 19:16   #4
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Link10 is all you need. Works great!
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Old 10-07-2007, 20:37   #5
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Here is a full featured e-meter for the same approximate price as the ammeter in your link: Tm-2020 Trimetric Meter Battery Monitor Alternative Energy Store

We have had this on our boat for several years now and find it to be crucial equipment for maintaining and monitoring the battery and solar systems.

Mark
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:49   #6
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I looked at the Shoreline and am not impressed, except for the price. The Link series devices are great, shunts are plenty reliable, connections are the weak link - make them right, that's all. Hall-effect current sensing is expensive, manufacture wise, so at the low price, what's it coming out of?

"The Link 10 is all you need, works great" (for one bank) I agree; it costs more but is worth it.

If you don't have a Heart inverter to control, Newmar makes very nice and very rugged energy monitors, AC and DC, also in a large-scale version with 1.25" high numbers. Newmar Power The DC model has a NMEA output and will send data to a computer for logging.

I stock them on the east coast. tech@midatlanticseatech.com
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:39   #7
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Good replies. I'm interested in monitoring multiple charging sources to see what their output is and my individual consumption for DC and AC. I've found in the past it has really helped trouble shoot systems to have this seperated out, and with a single ammeter shunt as in the linksys simply showing net flow in or flow out of the battery bank it would be hard to tell really what you are charging or how much you are consuming as they would tend to mask each other, especially if you were troubleshooting a hidden draw somewhere in the system that wasn't turning off when you flip off all of the circuit breakers. So far only the shoreline seems to have that capacity, but I'd be very open to something else. EngNate, you mentioned "not being impressed". Any particular reason?
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Old 11-07-2007, 13:27   #8
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Shunts are cheap. Put a shunt on each line you wish to monitor then send all to a switch to a simple ammeter. Otherwise just buy a hall-effect portable ammeter. But really, after checking the first time or two you will be mostly concerned with how many amp hours you've removed from the battery - thus the Link 10 or Link 1000.
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Old 11-07-2007, 14:10   #9
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stevemac00 has it figured out. If you get too much monitoring, all you will do is sit there looking at numbers all day long instead of enjoying cruising!

Steve B.
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Old 13-07-2007, 12:26   #10
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This is a better site to see the shore line at,

Panel Meter

I got to admit that I think I'm going to get it. Seems like these are the advantages:

No wire to cut so far faster setup
No added points of failure (if there's a current failure it's not something that I have to waste time diagnosing)
More flexible range for measuring amps
Easy to monitor input and output seperately.
No risk of burning out the ammeter from current spikes (I like it when a monitoring system is not part of the system being monitored).

I don't see any advantages of the Link, though through throwing off all of the DC appliances and AC appliances I should be able to tell my charging amps indirectly, I far prefer to see my charging amps without having to shut off every system on the boat. I also like looking over and seeing exactly what I'm drawing without the charging voltage masking the outputs. I'm a geek. I actually enjoy it! And because my primary charging source at anchor is solar panels and their output is highly variable depending upon the type of day, it helps in daily figuring out if I can make it without having to run an engine. Last, I like periodically checking my draw to see if something like the refrigeration isn't cycling properly and I need to recharge the coolant. OK, I said I was a geek.....
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