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Old 02-22-2014, 02:20 PM   #421
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I got this gadget on sale which will be added to my RV kit:
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Test the solar panel and amazing it could charge my power pack

Maybe 6 more weeks before I could take my A128S out....
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:04 PM   #422
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A128S Converted from ALINER Ranger

How do you measure the Amp the solar panel is producing? Even on an overcast during my test the voltage output was over 13.6 volts and the charging light is on.

I have an intelligent battery charger that is rated 2 A.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:54 PM   #423
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A128S Converted from ALINER Ranger

Wattage is the product of amperage times voltage. If your panels can generate 40 watts of power (under perfect conditions), divide 40 by the 13.6 volts you measured. The result is the amperage. A little under 3 amps. That's theoretical though; real world charging current is bound to be less. That's probably why the ad you quoted says it puts out a bit over 2 amps. But given that the energy is free now that you've bought the system, and given strong sunshine for several hours directly on the panel, you're bound to come out ahead.

Later: I misread your question at first. You want to know how to measure the amperage, not how to calculate it. An ammeter is the instrument for that job. Look at your voltmeter--some of them can also read limited amperage levels. If it's capable of doing that, the instruction sheet that came with it should tell you how. Check to be sure the meter can measure amperage up to or above 3 amps without burning out; some small meters are made for measuring milliamps, thousanths of an amp.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:49 PM   #424
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I have a MM that has 10 A mode. I have connected the red probe to the 10 A connection, now where do I connect the probes to check Amps output of charge controller that came with the unit?

I just got a suggestion from a friend. Connect the probe in series to the battery being charged, since I have a digital MM, I don't have to worry about polarity. Please comment if this is wrong.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:52 PM   #425
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For six bucks plus shipping.

Oops - Shipping is free

Good to 30 volts and 100 amps

New DC 4 5 30V 0 100A Dual LED Digital Volt Meter Ammeter Voltage Amp Power | eBay
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:01 PM   #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ko777 View Post
I have a MM that has 10 A mode. I have connected the red probe to the 10 A connection, now where do I connect the probes to check Amps output of charge controller that came with the unit?
Typically you measure voltage across 2 points. Ex across the battery. Amperage is usually measured in line (series). Ex. On a battey you could disconnect positive connection and put one lead from multi meter to the positive post and the other lead from multi meter to the wire from the post.be sure to set meter to the correct setting first.


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Old 02-22-2014, 10:37 PM   #427
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Thanks, Herk, for the link. I may follow that up myself. Back to you Marc, and I believe it is correct to put your meter in series with the positive wire (and set the dial to the ammeter position) but I don't know the specifics of your meter. See if you can't find the manual, if you don't have it maybe it's online. I fried a meter once by assuming I didn't need to check first...

For many many Loonies you can get an ammeter that doesn't need to be inserted in series. It uses a sensing loop clipped over the wire. That's overkill for your needs. Something like Herk posted is probably the best.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:13 AM   #428
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Most meters have a MAXIMUM amperage when used in series to test DC current and unless you buy a very expensive one, it will not be able to measure more than a few amps. To measure more than that a "shunt" is used and the amperage is measured off the shunt. (This one has a 10 amp setting)

NOTE - The link I posted requires a shunt above 10 amps
  • Current range: 0~100A (requires an external shunt) (connect with 100A/75mV shunt) not included)
  • More than 10A need external shunt


SHUNT AND WIRING CONSIDERATIONS (Extracted from the install instructions for my TM-2025 battery monitoring system)

A shunt (a very low resistance, accurate, high power resistor) must be wired into your battery system as described in section B of these instructions. This is how current (amps) and watts are measured by this meter: The “amps” shown on the meter measures whatever current passes through this shunt.

Therefore the shunt must be wired in series with the wire which carries the current to be measured. The shunt is almost always installed between the negative terminal of the battery and all the loads and charging sources (see Figure 1 on page 7.) It is located near the batteries, since the high current carrying wires must be kept short. The TriMetric measures the current ("amps") by measuring the very small voltage drop across this shunt. Watts measured by the meter are shown by multiplying the “volts” times the “amps”.

Shunt requirements: There are two choices of shunts which may be used: Most systems will use the 500 amp-50 mV shunt. For smaller systems you can use a 100A/100mV shunt (For this choice the meter must be programmed at Operating Level L3.)

Who might want to use the 100A/100mV shunt? (requires Operational Level L3) If you have an unusually small system that uses less than 70 amps maximum (charging or discharging) this shunt will show an extra digit to the right of the decimal point, and resolve currents as low as 1/100 amp. But the 100A/100mV shunt can get too hot with a typical 12V system with a 1000 watt inverter.

Technical note: Incidentally, it is only the shunt ratio between amps to mV. which is important to the meter--so, for example, a 200 amp-200 mV. shunt can, from the meter's point of view, be considered equivalent to the 100 amp-100 mV shunt. The implication, when a shunt is rated at "100 amps-100 mV." is that it may safely carry up to 100 amps maximum--however in many cases so-called "100 amp" shunts will not carry this much without overheating -- especially some of the "mini" shunts of this type.

This is what a shunt looks like and the amperage is measured using the small screws (a calculated number using the voltage drop).
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:27 AM   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehamguy1 View Post
For many many Loonies you can get an ammeter that doesn't need to be inserted in series. It uses a sensing loop clipped over the wire. That's overkill for your needs. Something like Herk posted is probably the best.
The donut is used in AC circuits (I use one to monitor incoming AC amps to the camper). DC requires an inline detector.

The other photo shows the shunt in use in my system. I am using an external charger in this photo and the ground for the charger must be attached as shown in order for the TriMetric Computer to monitor the external charger's current flow into the battery.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:44 AM   #430
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ko777 - where did you find that deal?
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