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Old 04-29-2021, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default Generic DC Multi function meter

I bought one of these of Amazon, standard type measures amp, volts, watts, energy.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Most of the diagrams show installation coming of the battery but i want to install it right next to the electrical box in my 2003 Chevy Roadtrek 170 Pop.
Can someone direct me to a diagram (or photo) with correct terminals to connect to in the electrical compartment? i know it should be on the live side but do i need to go into the transfer switch? thank you
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:25 PM   #2
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Just an opinion but you would be better served to put in a Victron or Bogart battery meter with the shunt on the battery.
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
Just an opinion but you would be better served to put in a Victron or Borgart battery meter with the shunt on the battery.
Agree, check if your meter calculates SOS - State of Charge.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:08 PM   #4
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This device needs to have the shunt installed on the GROUND (-) side of the battery. You will need a 4 wire cable to the head unit, it need only be 22 AWG as it carries no current.
The other issue is that you must be prepared to calibrate the meter yourself so you will need a DC volt meter and a DC ammeter ( preferably a dc clamp on). These instruments typically come without a detailed manual but you should be able to locate this on the internet.
I have had good results with mine, but don’t expect plug and play like you would get with a Tri-Metric.
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Old 04-30-2021, 01:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I was hoping to install right in the electrical cabinet so I could mount the meter close by without having to run wires back to the battery. I'm just not sure where to make the connections.
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Old 04-30-2021, 01:57 AM   #6
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Where you wire it in is totally dependent on what you are trying to measure.


What do you intend to do with the information you get?
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:14 AM   #7
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power draw down...remaining state of battery... amperage being used.

try to maximize battery usage.

I'm just trying to find out if i have to connect the shunt right at the neg battery post or can I connect at the negative terminal inside the electrical compartment. That so i don't have to mount the shunt in the battery compartment (no room) and run wires back into the van where i want to locate meter.
I just don't know if the ground cable is direct to the electrical compartment or if it splits off or uses the frame somewhere in between.

hope that makes sense. thanks
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:25 AM   #8
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You can theoretically mount the shunt where ever you want as long as it is the first and only thing attached to the negative post of your battery or combined batteries. Mine is mounted about six feet from my batteries. A large, long cable runs from the batteries to the "battery" side of the shunt. From the "load" side of the shunt a large, short cable attaches to a buss bar. Every negative connection attaches to that buss.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:43 PM   #9
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O.k thanks. That what I was hoping for. I just have to find out if that ground cable runs direct to the electrical compartment without any connections in between, or anchored to the frame. Also does the shunt get hot.? Does it have to be mounted to a non combustible material? Thanks again.
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Old 04-30-2021, 12:47 PM   #10
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The wiring requirement is very simple for doing what you want. All the negative current has to go through the shunt as the last thing before the battery negative. No connections other than the battery after the shunt, including any wire from the negative of the battery to the chassis. If you don't know if there are other wires to the battery, you either have to check for them or put the shunt by the battery.


Be aware that the meter you are looking at is basically an ammeter/totalizer and not a battery monitor as such.


The big difference is that a monitor will have a settable "full" battery reset/calibration point on the recharge side. Without that reset capability, you will get further and further off for keeping track of where you are for battery capacity on every recharge cycle. Charge efficiency is the reason for this as it takes more amp hours to be returned to the battery than were used. Plus, charge efficiency is variable with depth of the discharge and even varies within the recharge cycle. It is nearly impossible to use fixed modifier to allow for it, and thus the need for frequent recalibration in monitors.


You can do the reset manually, but will have to do it regularly and at the right time, so is a PITA to do for some people.


There have been a lot of discussions lately on battery monitor and charger capabilities related to the monitors lately. Suffice it to say that it is one of the most misunderstood subjects around, with few solutions that give very good results, IMO.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:56 PM   #11
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Thanks.. a lot of good information. Think i'll start off simple for now and progess later as i get a feel for the new to me unit.
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovsa View Post
I bought one of these of Amazon, standard type measures amp, volts, watts, energy.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Most of the diagrams show installation coming of the battery but i want to install it right next to the electrical box in my 2003 Chevy Roadtrek 170 Pop.
Can someone direct me to a diagram (or photo) with correct terminals to connect to in the electrical compartment? i know it should be on the live side but do i need to go into the transfer switch? thank you
Hi, they are great little multimeter for the price. They do not give you any information on the charge state of the battery but are useful for monitoring amp draw and power . They are in fact tricky to calibrate , to do so , find yourself some kind of accessory that draw exactly 10A (confirm by an external multimeter) and get the procedure for Droke website. Second point, never leave them in the RV in cold winter storage, they will fail as stated in the specs. Third point , before activation, connect secondary wiring first, power wires last and it should work.! Hey, let's not be too greedy, they are really cheap ;0)
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:03 PM   #13
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Hi, they are great little multimeter for the price. They do not give you any information on the charge state of the battery but are useful for monitoring amp draw and power . They are in fact tricky to calibrate , to do so , find yourself some kind of accessory that draw exactly 10A (confirm by an external multimeter) and get the procedure for Droke website. Second point, never leave them in the RV in cold winter storage, they will fail as stated in the specs. Third point , before activation, connect secondary wiring first, power wires last and it should work.! Hey, let's not be too greedy, they are really cheap ;0)

The most important thing for the OP will be to be able to reset the "energy" reading, which appears to be a w-hr totalizing. They would reset it after a full charge, and compare used w-hr to the w-hr capacity of the batteries, minus whatever bottom SOC they want to leave and a guess of just how full the batteries got. It appears that the meter would do that reset. Also don't know if it totalizes on discharge and recharge or just one way.
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The most important thing for the OP will be to be able to reset the "energy" reading, which appears to be a w-hr totalizing. They would reset it after a full charge, and compare used w-hr to the w-hr capacity of the batteries, minus whatever bottom SOC they want to leave and a guess of just how full the batteries got. It appears that the meter would do that reset. Also don't know if it totalizes on discharge and recharge or just one way.
Those small multimeters shows only battery voltage volt, amp and total VA (watts/hr)draw on discharge only. You can reset the watts/hr to zero and they do have an alarm function hi and low voltage that you can preset. I use it to monitor my nightly power draw .
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:34 PM   #15
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Those small multimeters shows only battery voltage volt, amp and total VA (watts/hr)draw on discharge only. You can reset the watts/hr to zero and they do have an alarm function hi and low voltage that you can preset. I use it to monitor my nightly power draw .

The one in the OP's link shows a w-hr on the screen and also mentions it as a resetable energy reading.
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:00 PM   #16
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I used two of these on my RT, one for each direction. I had them mounted inside near the solar controller. Resetting them became a routine.

I live in FLA so removing for cold storage was not an issue.

I did no calibrating and they seemed to work just fine for 4+ years until they went with the RT to the new owner. Definitely not as user friendly as a real monitor. The battery I used was a "deep cycle" Walmart Maxx and it still worked quite well after a total of about ten months of boondocking spread over 2.5 years, with solar charging.

I ​bought this one for our new to us Safari Trek:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It performs a lot like a Victron but will not interact with the really great SmartSolar Victron app. I do have the SmartSolar controller and remote battery/temperature sensor.

The above meter should work out fine, just reset it each time you park. It's a very frugal way to keep an eye on the state of the battery and for measuring total current in one direction.

I installed my shunt to the negative cable coming off of the battery as that cable went directly to the vehicle chassis. I modified a two gang plastic electrical weatherproof junction box and cover to protect the shunt and made the wire holes big enough to provide minimal ventilation and mounted it to the subframe. This was on a 2000 200 Versatile.
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:12 PM   #17
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Good info..thanks. so the shunt should be mounted in a protective box? Does it getting hot?
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:15 PM   #18
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Good info..thanks. so the shunt should be mounted in a protective box? Does it getting hot?
It didn't get hot for me. It may get warm or hot if run at close to the full rating for hours on end, or may not.

It should be protected from the elements and dirt and such. It could skew the accuracy.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:15 AM   #19
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I originally mounted mine in the battery box inside an 8 inch piece of 2 inch CPVC pipe with end caps on each end drilled to accept the battery and signal wires. I hever experienced any overheating. At 100 amps a 75 millivolt shunt will dissipate 7.5 watts, not enough to make much of a difference.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:00 AM   #20
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good idea.. 2" pipe!
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