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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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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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A128S Converted from ALINER Ranger

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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Old 02-23-2014, 08:57 AM   #431
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ko777 - where did you find that deal?
This one has a 10 amp mode for $5.50

7 Function Multimeter

For a buck and a half more, this one has a backlight

Digital Multimeter - 7 Function, w/ Backlight

And a clamp on for AC amps for $13 bucks

7 Function Clamp-On Digital Multimeter
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #432
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Thanks for all your feedback, learn something new. I like your setup Herk; my MM 10A connected in series with Solar panel charger registers 0, I need a setup like yours to get a reading.

I just could monitor the voltage while charging, my battery started at 12.66V after 15 mins 12.73V. As you could see in the pic, there is no sun.
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I wonder if the charger will stop charging when the battery is fully charged

I'll audit how long it will take to reach 13.5V....then pull the plug
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:58 AM   #433
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Can anyone share pics on how you mod your battery hookup to conveniently plug the solar panel charger?

For now I'm dedicating my solar panel to charge my power pack which as a battery booster cable connection to the TT battery if needed.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:08 AM   #434
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Can anyone share pics on how you mod your battery hookup to conveniently plug the solar panel charger?

For now I'm dedicating my solar panel to charge my power pack which as a battery booster cable connection to the TT battery if needed.
I wired my setup for solar. The (1) on my 2 "battery" disconnect switch is for a solar panel input. The Ground from the Solar panel control module would go to the same place the battery charger ground is connected to.

The (2) goes to my two 12 volt battery bank.

When that gets used (eventually), the 2nd input from my TriMetric (B2) will go to the solar output so it can be monitored from the panel in the camper. (Currently is connected to the second battery just to have it hooked to something).
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:56 PM   #435
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Great to have your expert help with this stuff. I build circuits that use current only in the milli- and micro-amp ranges, so have not had occasion to learn much about macro current levels. As is obvious, come to think of it. Your experience with the big planes and their battery systems serves us all well!
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:21 PM   #436
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A128S Converted from ALINER Ranger

I tried sending an email to jeep4two but my message seems to be truncated and I cannot see what I have sent him. Someone have to fix this app or tell me how to manage the private email I've sent.

So I'll post my question here regarding Weight Distribution, will it solve my TW 350# limit problem.

I have a 2007 Torrent, 350# tongue weight limit and 3500# towing load limit. My A128S is front heavy and when loaded it is less than 3000# but the TW is close to 400# but I store the propane tanks and gen inside the back of my TT during my trips. What I want to do is leave the propane tanks on the front and put my gas generator in the front storage. That will make my TW over 500# but the total load is the same.

Finally my questions, will WD solve this problem? Does the WD reduces the over 500# real TW and makes it feel like less than 400# TW to my TV?

I got confirmation from a trailer shop that the WD will solve my issues but no technical details from them. Do they just want my business or are they telling the truth?

Also a WD weigh close to 100#, that will be the real TW close to 600# before hitching the TT to my TV. The way I see it, that is way over my TW limit of my TV.

What do you think?

Also the quote I got is $800 CAN for a class III hitch and WD installed. Is this quote fair price?
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:55 AM   #437
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I kind of think you're headed in the wrong direction with regard to tongue weight with a front wheel drive tow vehicle. Almost doubling it doesn't seems like the best solution to me but I'm not a professional by any stretch.....

How far are your typical trips and over what sort of terrain? How frequent?

I'll admit I am old school, I think it's more comfortable and safer to tow with trucks over cars or crossovers. The unfortunate aspect of the forest river A-frames is that the tongue weights tend to be on the high side. This is a real issue to address as it can have an impact on handling, braking, sway, etc.

If most of your trips were of short distances over normal terrain I might chance it and see, if the trips are longer, several hours drive, over varied terrain - uphill and downhill - then I personally would feel better with a tow vehicle upgrade to something that is spec'd to handle the load a bit better. (I got rid of a used jeep liberty to replace with a used jeep commander with the hemi v8 for exactly this reason)

I would expect almost doubling the tongue weight would cause quite a noticeable reaction in your rear suspension, I would be concerned about the front end lifting as well , perhaps compromising the steering and drive wheels to some degree... Even with a WDH.

I think WDH serve a purpose, I think they can make a safe situation safer.. I'm not sure if they can really compensate to the degree you're wanting. That being said, people do all sorts of things with their campers and tow vehicles.... If it were by the book, I'd say your tow vehicle is not equipped to tow the camper you chose and you should seek a more capable tow vehicle. I recognize this is not something most people want to do or feel is practical, but it is probably the right thing to do in terms of safety and overall satisfaction.

Or get a lighter camper with a much much lighter tongue weight, or find a way to lighten the tongue weight in the camper, not increase the weight and try to compensate with add ons.

Because the axle is set so far back in the a frames, it's difficult to rebalance the camper by packing more weight behind the axle, there's just not that much space back there to work with.. So I think if you're more than a little overweight on the tongue weight right out of the box, then you have some real problems to figure out. Booster shocks can help for small problems, but it sounds like you are off by at least a few hundred pounds. Not including what you'd pack into the back of the tow vehicle also, which probably adds another few hundred on top.

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:38 AM   #438
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I got this in info:
http://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9870

It looks like WDH is not a solution for me, getting a new TV with a higher TW rating is.

I have read from different sources on the Internet that the WDH does not reduce TW on the ball of the hitch. Over 600# TW with the WDH will surely damage my TV.

I'm ok with my TV, it has less than 60,000 km on it. My east coast trip last summer 6000 km proves that my TV could handle my A128S. I will do my routine of moving the propane tanks and generator to the back of TT. On my trips my TV rear sags less than 1.5" and the front lifts less than .5". Most of my trips will be less than 3 hours until I retire several years from now and hang out in Florida several months with my AFrame during the Winter months of Toronto.

Another dilemma I will face when I get a bigger TV is my tiny garage. I only have less than 3" on both side of my TV. I hate the idea folding the side mirrors of my future TV before going in the garage, solution get a bigger garage lol.

Oh well, life is good and the minor inconveniences makes even more interesting...

This is what I see every time I go out from my house:
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I can't wait for all the snow to melt so I could take my A128S out this 2014!

Happy AFrame Camping for the ones that could.....
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:26 PM   #439
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Sorry I am late to this thread. You are correct; weight distribution does not reduce the true tongue weight since the hitch, receiver, and TV frame sees the entire load. Which AXLES carry that load is what the WD accomplishes.

Here is a graphic that tries to explain the way the tongue weight distribution works. Note also that a portion of the tongue load gets thrown onto the camper's axle(s) to carry as well. It is important to weigh your rig with and without the WD bars installed to make sure you do not exceed any limits.

Again, the hitch, receiver, and frames see all the weight; it is just which axles carry it.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #440
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Looks like the same info I got in this link https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/14265335.cfm

I just got a call back from a RV shop telling me that the there is a TW rating for a TV with or without WDH, is this true?
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