1. karen Hoffmeister

    karen Hoffmeister Member

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    Hello.
    Likely the wrong place for this question, but anyway, here it goes.
    We just took possession of an A Liner Classic.
    I desire to obtain an AMP Meter.
    I have what was sold to me as a dual volt and AMP meter which plugged into the cigarette lighter( yes, I am that old). Turns out it was only a volt meter.
    Looking for an AMP meter, they all seem to require instillation of some sort.
    Are there any that plug into the 12 volt receptacle?
    If not, which is a basic AMP/VOLT Meter i could have installed in the A LINER ,?
    Please advise.
    Thank You,
    K.H.
     
  2. LilRed

    LilRed Well-Known Member

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    Any device to measure the amperage will require a shunt or pickup on the wire you want under test. Most will require it on the main battery feed. Any of those self contained panel mounted ammeter volt meter will only measure the draw on it's 12v CLA port.

    Renogy makes a solid DC shunt based ammeter, but they are not cheap. If you are planning to install solar, be sure to give special consideration as the reverse (charging) current can sometimes be recorded incorrectly.
     
  3. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    BTW - the cheapo 12V voltmeters are seldom accurate. Some less so than others. If you buiy one, check it against a known good multimeter (or DVM - digital voltmeter, usually a multimeter)
     
  4. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I went as far as buying an ammeter and shunt - but never installed it.

    My newish Reogy Lithium 100AH battery has a built in battery management system (BMS)
    which reports volts, amps stat-of-charge etc to the remove wired monitor thatI also bought;
    its a great feature.

    And when I take the battery into my canoe, to use with the trolling motor
    - the meter function comes with us - and thats real handy on a boat.
     
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  5. karen Hoffmeister

    karen Hoffmeister Member

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    Thank you. I still have some studying to do on allthis.
    K.H.
     
  6. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    thing to understand - there is no such thing as a magical cheap panel-mounted ammeter, what they are in fact is a very low resistance resistor - and the current thru it creates a tiny voltage across the low-value resistor (we call this resistor a "shunt") - we then measure this tiny voltage on a micro-voltmeter - which is marked in Amps !!

    The cheapo old-timey panel-mounted ammeters for automobile use have the shunt resistor built in. They were handy if your aotomobile's charging systam was not reliable.
     
  7. karen Hoffmeister

    karen Hoffmeister Member

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    So I guess i should just accept the volts and do the calculations into amps?
    K.H.
     
  8. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    nope - the ciggy-plug voltmeter you bought is not useful for an kind of ampere measurement.
     
  9. karen Hoffmeister

    karen Hoffmeister Member

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    Thank you.
    Major bummer.
    Will keep researching
     
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus Member

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    I have found some pretty decent panel Amp meters from eBay to monitor my battery charge/discharge rate. 0 to 10 amps worked for me.
    Not too concerned about how accurate at the mA level, just wanted to know if was was charging better than 2 A for the most part.

    If you are not too concerned with absolute accuracy, then I don't see why not using an inexpensive variety.
    I do know that many multimeters are not the best accuracy either. I own 3 and none of them agree with each other and accuracy can depend on what range you have the meter set for. I would look for an ammeter that has the value you want to monitor about half way in the range of measure.

    Example, Looking to measure 5A, get one that can read up to 10A. And get extra fuses too.
     
  11. karen Hoffmeister

    karen Hoffmeister Member

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    Thank you.
    I will print this out.
    Most helpful.
    K.H.
     

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