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Old 07-08-2015, 19:13   #1
smo
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Looking for electrical meter

I recently purchased a 1992 corsair f24 mark 1 trimaran. It has an outboard with wiring to the battery so it charges the battery when running. It also has a small 10 x 14 solar panel.
Power drains are a raymarine st2000+ tiller pilot, a depth, speedo. And soon a gps.
Is there any type of meter available that can be attached to the battery to show gains from the outboard and solar panel and drains from the autopilot and electronics.

This would seem valuable when when I start using the boat and when I cruise it.

The nav lights and interior lighting has been switched to leds.

Thanks
Smo
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Old 07-08-2015, 20:50   #2
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

There are watt meters on Ebay from China that go inline and tell you everything. The one I got is good quality, slilycone wires etc.
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Old 07-08-2015, 21:37   #3
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by smo View Post
I recently purchased a 1992 corsair f24 mark 1 trimaran. It has an outboard with wiring to the battery so it charges the battery when running. It also has a small 10 x 14 solar panel.
Power drains are a raymarine st2000+ tiller pilot, a depth, speedo. And soon a gps.
Is there any type of meter available that can be attached to the battery to show gains from the outboard and solar panel and drains from the autopilot and electronics.

This would seem valuable when when I start using the boat and when I cruise it.

The nav lights and interior lighting has been switched to leds.

Thanks
Smo
Another simple option

VDO Voltmeter, Cockpit, Black Face, 2 1/16" - Aircooled.Net VW Parts

This connects directly across the battery and tells you if it's charging or discharging as well as an indication to the star of charge remaining in the battery. There are hundreds of expanded range voltmeters on the market.

Or with some more complexity, fit a series amp meter; this tells you how much current is either going into the battery (charging) or leaving it (discharging). IMO not as good as the above for the non electrical sailor.

VDO Ammeter, 30 Amp, Cockpit, 2 1/16", Black Face - Aircooled.Net VW Parts

Or fit both or fit a battery monitor or fit a wattmeter as Guy suggested.

But the simplest and reasonably good option is to simply expanded range voltmeter - it is very hard to get it wrong!


Or build your own, here is my panel, I rebuilt the meters out of an old test panel that was lying around
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Old 07-08-2015, 21:54   #4
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

Depends on how accurate you want to be. A basic volt and ammeter would work well on a Corsair for weekend cruising as long as you know what your reading or you could go for something like a Victron battery monitor if you want more info. I know some corsairs did have a voltmeter on them from the factory as we used to build their electrical panels where I work.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:14   #5
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

Hi,

May be you like one of this. Mine is working 100% and I can not imagine how I sailed 4 years without one.

Low Cost Battery Monitor

Regards, Vlad is
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:47   #6
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

I use this:

Auto LED Cigarette Lighter Voltage Digital Panel Meter Voltmeter Monitor Car OE | eBay

Although its not a perfect solution, its pretty good for $2!!!

It plugs into any auto style 12volt outlet. So installs in like 1 second flat. And as you can see from the link, it costs like $2. I leave it on all the time. I can quickly see when the engine is charging the batteries, or if there is a large draw (the tv/dvd player). Although it does not give the refined data of a true battery monitor, it gives me enough simple data to know whats going on with my batteries.

My 12v socket is off the main panel, so gets power through the selector switch. I'm thinking of adding a direct 12v socket to each battery (with fuse of course), to monitor both at once.
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Old 08-08-2015, 13:58   #7
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

if you are just looking for the net of ins and outs. then either an amp meter + volt meter. or battery monitor like victron 700.


if you want to know each the ins and outs. then you'd need 2 shunts and 2 amp meters.
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Old 09-08-2015, 13:15   #8
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

Thanks to all!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:53   #9
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

SMO:
You've gotten some great advice from sailors here. I have an F-27 (with A/P and instruments and VHF and a solar panel) and I use just a digital voltmeter: it can tell me the state of the battery (i.e., how charged or discharged it is) and if electricity is going in or out, and how quickly it is going in or out. All that can be read off of a digital $2.00 voltmeter. More info is good, but for the price a digital voltmeter will do all you need.
-Steve
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Old 12-08-2015, 14:25   #10
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Re: Looking for electrical meter

Voltage alone only gives a ball park figure as to battery state of charge, and can be very misleading if large loads or large charging sources were recently employed

Amps flowing at voltage gives a much better idea.

When one can see AH removed from what hopefully was a brimming full battery, one can have confidence, and notice when battery performance degrades and failure will come as no surprise.

I make use of these RC watt meters:

http://www.amazon.com/iMeshbean%C2%A...wer+watt+meter

They have their limitations, like only counting to 64AH, and only counting current in one direction with a load and source side, and their 12awg aluminum leads might be super flexible, but I would not pass more than 20 amps through them continuously.

I replaced the 12awg with 8awg, and use 45 amp anderson powerpoles on them, and will pass 40 amps through it for an hour with minimal heating.


They are not 100% accurate and currents under 0.8 amps become progressively less accurate, but on one of the 3 I have used it was accurate does to 0.01 amps.

If there is interest I can elaborate more on these inexpensive tools which are so much better than just a voltmeter.
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