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Author Topic: Ammeters.... Worth it?  (Read 1552 times)
wg4t50
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 04:59:28 PM »

On the DC side, strongly agree the Volt Meter is more useful than a Amp Meter.  The Heavy wires needed for Amp reading is a large disadvantage.

On the AC side, you need both Amp & Volt PLUS a frequency meter if you would like to have a clue as what is happening.
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gus
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2013, 06:00:55 PM »

I agree that plug in devices are much better for the AC side. You can use them both in the bus and at RV park outlets.

Most mid to good VOMs will give you AC frequency which I only use to check my genset output on occasion.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2013, 06:10:15 PM »

I had Blue Sea build my panel with both the ammeter and the volt meters with a digital read out for all systems it monitored everything including the generator,inverter,house system and bus starting battery system it even had a reverse polarity warning, it was never a problem and I loved it and sure Matt does too
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 06:17:02 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2013, 05:05:41 AM »

    I have a little meter called a "Kill - a - Watt".  It's about the size of a pack of cigarettes.  You plug it into the wall socket and then plug your electrical device into it.  I don't know if it reads amps directly - I toggle mine between V (I'm amazed at how a normal house plug varies) and watts.  I've measured my entire bus on a 15A 120V plugin, and I've used it for measuring individual appliances.  Also, it will show you how much "parasitic" draw appliances (microwaves, TV's, stereo systems, etc.) use all the time even if they're not "on"; it also shows wattage being pulled by plug in battery chargers etc.  It's pretty light-duty so I wouldn't try to measure more than about 1500 watts but it sure works well for what it does. 
    I also use the "Mate" control box readout for my Outback system to check on voltages (it's particularly good for house battery voltage which the Kill - a - Watt" won't measure).  IMO, we need different types of checks for different systems and conditions, but the inverter readout and a "Kill - a - Watt" are a pretty good combo.   (And I need one of the little devices that shows you if the supply socket is wired right, has a a good ground, neutral, etc. - I'll get one in the next couple of days.)


If you want to have a little control over parasitic draws you should check out this item.

http://amzn.to/17WOnPZ

It is primarily designed for entertainment systems. It automatically shuts off various items based on the power status of 1 item. For example, if you have a tv, home theater system, dvd player, satellite box, and video game, you could have the tv be the monitored item, and if it is off, the power would be shut off to the other items as well.

Could be very useful to prevent those minute draws that can drain batteries.



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sledhead
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 02:54:11 PM »


 

the one on the right is from bogart  http://www.bogartengineering.com/products/TriMetric

the one on the left has 120 v / amps in a/c and 12 v  amps out d/c . helps to know how much amps you are using .                                                     dave
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 09:15:55 AM by sledhead » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2013, 08:47:13 AM »

Quote
I had Blue Sea build my panel with both the ammeter and the volt meters

Cliff - I looked at those Blue Sea panels - they are real nice.  Way to proud for my budget though.  Someday....maybe on the next build Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2013, 02:49:16 PM »

One problem with those digital gadgets is one accidental grounding or wrong wire connection and all is toast!
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PD4107-152
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