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Old 28-11-2018, 12:30   #1
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Electrical monitoring system?

Hi everyone
2013 SO469. I want to install a monitoring system which will track how much power is being used by some of the main DC loads, namely the cabin lights, refrigerator, nav instruments and nav lights. Found a nice monitoring system called the Pico made by Simarine, and you have to route the wiring through some shunts for it to measure current. All of these loads have wiring go through the main electrical switch panel at the nav station, but the panel uses printed circuitboards and wiring harnesses as opposed to individual wires leading to and from the switches, so I can't just reroute the wires. Anyone have an electrical monitoring system and if so how did you tap in to the wiring to monitor the current draw?

Here is a pic of the back of the main electrical panel. I thought about removing the fuses, using a multimeter to figure out which fuse goes with which switch, then run wires to and from the fuse receptacle to go to the monitoring shunt. But if I knew which wires were which coming out of the harness, that would be safer to tap into.



Many thanks
'Dubs
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Old 29-11-2018, 16:29   #2
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Re: Electrical monitoring system?

The approach you describe is reasonable, to determine which circuits, or you could remove one fuse at a time and determine what goes off and label when known.

The Pico is a good monitor system, Bruce Schwab, Ocean Planet's website has information about it too. They use the system for some of their configurations. I was considering using a Pico.

Also the new Balmar SG-200 system will support multiple instances of their nicely designed shunts which would use a single display and allow you to select each circuit monitored.
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Old 29-11-2018, 16:49   #3
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Re: Electrical monitoring system?

The shunts go on the negative side, not on the positive fused side, if that's what you're talking about doing.
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Old 29-11-2018, 16:51   #4
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Re: Electrical monitoring system?

Yes, negative side.
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Old 29-11-2018, 20:03   #5
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Re: Electrical monitoring system?

I know the Pico was part of Bruce's big BM testing setup, pretty soon after they first started shipping.

I believe their accuracy on bank SoC was "not so great", and apparently he gave their engineers feedback to incorporate into a firmware update, to hopefully help improve that over time.

Have not heard anything since, but hope if/when that research / testing project continues, the new (beta?) SG200 will be subject to the same objective scrutiny.

Of course being a vendor may make it difficult to completely share all the results publicly. . .

I'm still sticking to recommending SmartGauge for SoC for SoC, and 712-BMV for AH, with all the caveats wrt tweaking needed to maintain accuracy for the latter type if used for SoC without SG to compare.
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Old 30-11-2018, 04:31   #6
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Re: Electrical monitoring system?

The newer SG-200 allows use of multiple shunts and thus will be more effective for the op use, in my opinion. The hours left will have to be converted to ah however if that is the desired result.
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Old 30-11-2018, 06:03   #7
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Re: Electrical monitoring system?

Bogart makes great proven meters, their Pentametric has multiple shunts.

Personally I think a full BM on just a single House bank is fine.

Other specific points can get a cheap AH meter, no need for the greater complexity.

Or if permanence isn't needed, insert Anderson plug connections and move your AH meter from one spot to another.
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