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Forum Index : Electronics : Current Meter Selection

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Revlac

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Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 342
Posted: 09:06am 19 May 2020
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There is a variety of meters around that work well for monitoring inverter power usage from the battery bank, some are a nice and simple readout, well priced.
I have been using these 100vdc units with the 100A shunt, working ok.



Now I see a new one LCD Display DC Battery Monitor Meter 50A-300A  but not exactly sure about the way it works, the display looks a bit small to read from a distance and the Manuel on the web page is a little unclear.
Interesting that it is available with 100A, 200A or 300A shunt, which the other model is only up to 100A



Anyone tried these yet?
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1564
Posted: 09:32am 19 May 2020
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I had a shunt type one before, but swapped it out to a hall sensor type unit.

Can't remember who, but someone added up the losses a shunt creates and that made me switch.

Every little bit adds up in cloudy Melbourne, probably not a concern so much where you are.
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
noneyabussiness
Senior Member

Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 262
Posted: 09:47am 19 May 2020
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Ive found these to be accurate and useful,  and wireless if you want...

dc meter

Columb count and everything,  the 300a shunt uses bugger all power
I think it works !!
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1425
Posted: 10:19pm 19 May 2020
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Interesting post.   I sort of am of the old school , preferring the analogue meters.

 I'm thinking this ,because of the somewhat unnecessary add-on metering that these new digital meters are full of -wattmeter, time used, amount used, and many other screens of information that I would never use.
The other think is that with the old Telstra 3 inch (75mm) meters, they are instantly easy to read from across the room , and can can be left on indefinitely ( also ,I've plenty of them,lol.)

and, as has happened to me , I can salvage parts from a crook one if wanting to repair ..

My new inverter,(thanks Aaron), is coming along and I have the top panel waiting for a couple of these above mentioned meters ready to fit , If Aaron allows me or we change our mind..(Bruce is old ,you know, and has to be pushed to stay abreast of modern thinking !!).



Bushboy
 
Revlac

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Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 342
Posted: 11:42am 20 May 2020
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As yet I have not noticed much heat at the shunt, but I'm not running at its limit, mostly heavy starts (shed use), the transformer warms up just a bit above ambient temp.
Definitely seeing some of that grey sky low power days at the moment, reached float charge a bit after 2:00pm then a bit later about 100W from 7.5Kw of panels.
I might try a current sensor type on the house setup later, probably at the battery bank and have it Bidirectional.

I do like that JUNTEK one with the Wifi, Might come in handy on another project, a little cheaper than it used to be to.

Bruce, I also like the look of the old style meters, My farther also like's to see just Amps and Volts, doesn't want to know about the rest of it, our generator has a set of analog meters, they certainly move well when starting things.
I see we can rule out the second meter I had pictured, too much stuff on the little screen.
We can add a meter at any time if necessary, easy to connect up.
The lcd for the control board will have the DC volts and temp display (still waiting on AUSPOST), might print out a mount for it and we will see later were it will go, and look nice.
Nice battery shelf BTW.
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
noneyabussiness
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Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 262
Posted: 10:10pm 29 May 2020
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meter

Ok, i have a complaint with this meter.. i ordered one to try, it simply sucks, no idea which direction the current is flowing, just reads flow, so the " ah " just counts irrelevant of whether it's charging or discharging. Which is critical for solar, the juntek works much better imho. Please correct me if im wrong, or someone can figure out how to change that..
I think it works !!
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1425
Posted: 11:57pm 29 May 2020
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I was thinking of this type of meter for the power "IN'. and "OUT" .  The centre of the dial being Zero.

I have one that even has a set of alarm contacts ,, which would be fancy for "Fiddlers" like me !!.

/Users/bruce/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads/2983B561-B834-4C8E-945F-673B26E78F36/IMG_0810.JPG


The meter face could be re-worked and appropriate shunt calibrated for the particular task.

Bruce
Bushboy
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3254
Posted: 12:44am 30 May 2020
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There are now quite a few free software programs to draw and print out custom meter scales.

https://gibiru.com/results.html?q=meter+scale+software&cx=partner-pub-5956360965567042%3A8627692578&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8
Cheers, Tony.
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1425
Posted: 03:45am 30 May 2020
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Thanks Tony .   That has always been the messy bit ,can remember drawing out the display and photocopy ing it ,cut and paste parts.

So, I'll fiddle with your link and see what sort of job I can do ??.  Thanks.  (I have some very big meters ,like 6 inch square that one day I was going to recalibrate for a windmill RPM meter .would have been fancy in the living room wall....
/Users/bruce/Desktop/IMG_0811.JPG
Bruce



 Sorry for unintentionally hi-jacking the thread-
Bushboy
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3254
Posted: 06:47am 30 May 2020
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Its quite a few years since I used any of this meter scale CAD printing software, but these days the "rub on lettering" that used to be readily available at any newsagents is now long gone.

Trying to do it by hand myself, always ended up looking like a wobbly cartoon drawn by a drunken three year old.

I used the meter scale software to print out the frequency scale for a piece of home brew Ham Radio equipment. Took me quite some time to get it to print out exactly as I wanted it, but the final results ended up being pretty good.

Once you have this software stuff all figured out, it then becomes pretty easy to make any kind of meter scale any size you want.  There are some very high quality meters available really cheap secondhand, because the original scales are completely useless.
Cheers, Tony.
 
Revlac

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Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 342
Posted: 12:15pm 30 May 2020
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Thanks Noneya, for the info on that meter, I didn't know it was that bad, There might be a combination of button pressing to possibly change some settings, perhaps leaving it run for some time might reveal what some of the display means.
Maybe there is something inside the unit.
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
Revlac

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Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 342
Posted: 12:18pm 30 May 2020
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A meter with power in power out would be good if the shunt could be bolted onto/at the battery bank and the solar controller and inverter connected to the shunt, I do wonder if this way might cause noise on the DC cables to the inverter, might be a simple fix by twisting the pos and neg wires around each other a few times.?
Depends if the shunt is part of the Meter or not.


The old Man has a couple of old meters with the face plates looking a bit sad, Had a bit of a play with that Basic meter program, Some of the samples with a few changes look just like the proper job.

Printed face plates will work for a time, unless the sunlight gets to it, I think some of them are painted.
Perhaps these could be laser etched on to the face plate, Perhaps a K40 Could do this.



Not sure if that works.
Edited 2020-05-30 22:23 by Revlac
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
noneyabussiness
Senior Member

Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 262
Posted: 11:27pm 30 May 2020
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Nothing on the instructions to mention anything too changeable... however it does have uart / rs485 communication capabilities, that are referenced by the chip manufacturer... but not a whole lot of info on it beyond " it has the capacity to do it " .. ill do some more digging but can't promise anything.
I think it works !!
 
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