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Old 24-07-2013, 19:17   #61
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

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Originally Posted by CoCoKnots View Post
So I'm doing it correctly by placing it inline on the positive lead ? If I have 12 volts going thru it... I should see an amp reading, shouldn't I ?
Inline is correct for an ammeter. ammeters go in series. Volt meters go in parallel.

Positive side of your boat's electrical system is OK.

If you put the wires to the meter in the wrong direction, then the meter will read hard zero when you put power through it. In that case, reversing the wires on the meter will make it work correctly.

If you disconnect one of the wires to the meter & the needle comes up a little bit, then you had the wires on it backwards.

If you can post pictures or diagrams of what you have, it might help us to help you better.
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Old 24-07-2013, 19:29   #62
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

"So I'm doing it correctly by placing it inline on the positive lead ?"

If you literally mean ON the lead, that's the whole problem. You need to interrupt the lead and run the power through the ammeter.

Unbolt the positive lead, cut the positive lead, break the positive lead, and insert the ammeter across the break to reconnect the circuit.

That would explain everything.
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Old 24-07-2013, 19:35   #63
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

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Have you looked for a blown fuse?
Or maybe bad shunt connections?
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Old 28-07-2013, 07:12   #64
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

I read the whole thread and am unclear about one thing:

Are you connecting the ammeter on the positive (+) lead between the controller and battery?

Like this??? Solar Controller + ------> + Ammeter + --------> + Battery

Also check the negative connection from the controller to the battery.
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Old 05-08-2013, 19:40   #65
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Did this ever get resolved?
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Old 05-08-2013, 20:00   #66
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

No Jim... I'm very frustrated at this point...
Sidetracked with too many other projects on this boat.
Opie91 is correct with his diagram of
solar panel---> Controller ---> + amp meter + ----> Battery
It should be reading something
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Old 05-08-2013, 20:49   #67
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Do you have diagrams or any other documentation? Do you know who wired the boat originally?
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Old 05-08-2013, 21:12   #68
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Do your batteries appear to be charging? Do you know of anyone nearby with a clamp on DC amp meter you could borrow?

You may have a metering problem or you may have an open circuit between your panels and the batteries. Easy to tell on a sunny day by watching a voltmeter reading the batteries. If the panels are charging, you should see the battery voltage increase.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:16   #69
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Good Morning Jim & Foggysail,
Jim, The only documentation I have is that which came with the solar panels, controller & meters...
Foggysail, Yes the batteries appear to be charging during the day. At least I am somewhat keeping up with one refrigeration unit. this morning the battery voltage shows 12.2v . By this afternoon I would expect to see them around 12.5-12.6... Good sunny day here so far.
If not I will power up the Honda EU200i. That too shows charging issues, but learned from another post that's common when used with a Heart 2000 Inverter/Charger. Something about Honda & Heart ???
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:26   #70
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Inverters often don't play well with other inverters. It usually has to do with the carrier frequencies overlapping or else the sensing circuit on one inverter not picking up a sufficient sample from the waveform of the other inverter before reacting to it.

I believe that your Honda has an inverter for an output. I would not use it in a situation where another inverter is also powered up. You may seriously damage one or the other inverter.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:44   #71
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

I don't see where powering the Heart inverter/charger with power from a Honda inverter generator would make any difference. I am not that familiar with the Heart units and am assuming that the inverter stage is independent and separated from other AC sources whether shore power or another generator. There are units like the Victron that connect in parallel with and phase match the inverter output with another AC source. With these units there can be a problem with dirty AC from the generator not working with the inverter AC booster system.

However if the Heart is an independent AC inverter then the AC input from the Honda will be powering only the charger section of the Heart and should be no different than AC input from any other source. The inverter section of the Heart would be drawing it's power from the batteries, will be isolated from other AC sources and not care as well.

But I could be wrong. Is the Heart inverter designed to connect in parallel with other AC sources to boost the total AC power available?
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:04   #72
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Hi Skip...
That's exactly how I see it too... That's one of the reasons this was confusing for me as well... Take a look at the thread on "Reverse Polarity" on this same forum. I was on there last night about this issue & was quite surprise to find there is some kind of compatibility problem... And it seems to be unique with Honda/Heart.
I have to agree with Jim... Sounds like sometimes inverters, although not expected to perform together... don't play well together, even when expected to simply be a generator.
It appears that the safest way to charge the batteries, if the wind & solar can't keep up, would be to pull each battery & connect the Honda individually to the built in 12v charging outlet totally independent from the Heart/Freedom 2000.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:48   #73
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"So I'm doing it correctly by placing it inline on the positive lead ?"

If you literally mean ON the lead, that's the whole problem. You need to interrupt the lead and run the power through the ammeter.

Unbolt the positive lead, cut the positive lead, break the positive lead, and insert the ammeter across the break to reconnect the circuit.

That would explain everything.
Nope... That's what I did. Perhaps a wrong choice of words. I did cut the positive & connected the meter between the two ends so the power would run thru it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 13:09   #74
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

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Originally Posted by CoCoKnots View Post
It appears that the safest way to charge the batteries, if the wind & solar can't keep up, would be to pull each battery & connect the Honda individually to the built in 12v charging outlet totally independent from the Heart/Freedom 2000.
Technically that will work but will take you a month of Sundays to charge a bid battery on the Honda DC output since it is only 8 amps.
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Old 06-08-2013, 13:46   #75
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Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoCoKnots View Post
Hi Skip...
That's exactly how I see it too... That's one of the reasons this was confusing for me as well... Take a look at the thread on "Reverse Polarity" on this same forum. I was on there last night about this issue & was quite surprise to find there is some kind of compatibility problem... And it seems to be unique with Honda/Heart.
I have to agree with Jim... Sounds like sometimes inverters, although not expected to perform together... don't play well together, even when expected to simply be a generator.
It appears that the safest way to charge the batteries, if the wind & solar can't keep up, would be to pull each battery & connect the Honda individually to the built in 12v charging outlet totally independent from the Heart/Freedom 2000.
Regarding reverse polarity. I saw the thread and have read a couple of imilar threads in the past. If it is the same thing I've read about in the past it is not just a Honda/Xantrex/Heart issue but is possible with many portable generators. If you are seeing the reverse polarity light on your AC panel or elsewhere it is most likely a ground issue relating to connecting the neutral and ground lines or frame of the generator.

If I recall, the light comes on due to a slight difference in potential between the ground and neutral lines.
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