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Old 07-30-2019, 05:46 PM   #1
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Bluetooth battery Monitor-Solar-DCtoDC charging

These Mods are a little more complex but very cool if you want an off grid - no generator system.

The PowerMon Bluetooth battery management system is a cheap ~$120 to watch battery levels, current power usage or power being added back into the system.

You can view all your details on your phone from anywhere Bluetooth has range, about 30 - 40 feet. Pic attached

I have a DC to DC Ctek charger that also works as my solar controller.

With this system I can charge my battery from 60% to full in about 2 hours of full sun or one hour attached to the truck. I did run some 6 gauge wires from the truck to the CTek for maximum flow.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:52 PM   #2
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What does the truck connection look like?

And what did you connect to in there?
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:18 PM   #3
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More pics

The DC to DC wire is directly from my truck battery to the Ctek controller via a Anderson plug connection.

I used heavy booster cable wires and luckily the battery in the Discovery is in the back so it was not a far run.

I use the powermon as my switch which can stop all flow from my battery in either direction, essentially disconnecting it.

It also has the ability to kill the connection at any voltage or battery percent. So I automatically disconnect the battery if it gets below 50% saving my battery. It's nice having this hands free. When I know there is solar,DC-DC, or AC current coming in, I turn it back on.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:55 PM   #4
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Just as a comparison, for less than $200, the Victron 712 can handle up to 500A where this monitor only handles 60a unless you buy an external shunt which prices it above the Victron. Keep that in mind if you have an inverter.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:27 AM   #5
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Just as a comparison, for less than $200, the Victron 712 can handle up to 500A where this monitor only handles 60a unless you buy an external shunt which prices it above the Victron. Keep that in mind if you have an inverter.
True, true, but the unit does seem to have a lot of capabilities via the BlueTooth interface. Seems like the next step in SOC meters with everything available on the Smart Phone interface and nothing on the unit itself.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:47 AM   #6
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True, true, but the unit does seem to have a lot of capabilities via the BlueTooth interface. Seems like the next step in SOC meters with everything available on the Smart Phone interface and nothing on the unit itself.
The Victron 712 already has all that information on a built in Bluetooth interface. That's how most people use it. It has a display but typically nobody uses it.

In addition, pair the Victron monitor with a Victron solar controller and it shares the voltage info with the solar controller for remote voltage sensing and temperature sensing.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:05 AM   #7
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The Victron 712 already has all that information on a built in Bluetooth interface. That's how most people use it. It has a display but typically nobody uses it.

In addition, pair the Victron monitor with a Victron solar controller and it shares the voltage info with the solar controller for remote voltage sensing and temperature sensing.
Hey, time marches on. Seems like a nice option for new purchasers. Trimetric also has a companion solar charger that uses its remote sense for charging and the readout is common. Their current product doesn't have BLE capability but they are going to have to upgrade to stay competitive. Trimetric also has a serial interface which I currently use for all of the functions that Victron and Thornwave have plus AGS and others. I don't think the Victron Smart offers internet connectivity for monitor and control at a distance. Today that capability is pretty much free from a hardware standpoint since the new crop of BLE controllers also have WiFi built in for no added cost. BLE is great but pretty limited for distance. Thornwave uses it to eliminate the need for any controls or displays on the device itself, allowing it to be installed in the battery compartment, which for some would be an advantage.

I bet Thornwave, Bogart and Victron are all going in a common direction.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:15 AM   #8
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The 712 looks like a nice unit as well, I just shared what I used.

I did not need the screen, as I did not want or need more wires running to the trailer. I also like the versatility of having a shut of switch that kills all power to the trailer so I never need to disconnect the battery. This can also be programmed to happen automatically. 60amp x 12V = 720W that's far more than most people would ever need. It also looks like the 712 unit has no internal shunt and comes with a 500 amp shunt. Either unit can get shunts up to 10000 amp which is way out of the scope of this application.

Do you have the Victron? How do you like it?
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
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The 712 looks like a nice unit as well, I just shared what I used.

I did not need the screen, as I did not want or need more wires running to the trailer. I also like the versatility of having a shut of switch that kills all power to the trailer so I never need to disconnect the battery. This can also be programmed to happen automatically. 60amp x 12V = 720W that's far more than most people would ever need. It also looks like the 712 unit has no internal shunt and comes with a 500 amp shunt. Either unit can get shunts up to 10000 amp which is way out of the scope of this application.

Do you have the Victron? How do you like it?
Babock has a Victron, I have a Trimetric. If I were doing it today I would probably go with the PowerMon because of BLE and Internet and the reasons I listed. I would miss the digital interface however that I have been using on my Trimetric for years and I would need a little more information on the programmability as well.

Frankly, any SOC meter works. The Trimetric is the oldest, and Bogart is currently doing a revision but I haven't seen it yet. Victron is good as well.
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Old 07-31-2019, 10:48 AM   #10
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You can connect Victron products over the internet already. You just need the correct components.

You can also do logging which can be interesting on large systems. Not really needed on small systems of 2 or 4 batteries.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:12 AM   #11
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You can connect Victron products over the internet already. You just need the correct components.

You can also do logging which can be interesting on large systems. Not really needed on small systems of 2 or 4 batteries.
OK, OK, so you like your purchase...not surprising, but it seems that you can connect the Powermon with no additional hardware at all! Its just a tool and there are all kinds of them but it seems that the PowerMon is a really good option as well, depending on what your goals and installation requirements are. BLE and Wifi is a pretty good package; auxiliary shunt is no big deal since virtually every SOC meter needs one. They have gone with an additional small one built in, which would be pretty good for an installation like the OP is showing. Hey, if he hits 65 amps for a few seconds, it won't hurt anything, its just clipped data.

Bluetooth SmartPhone display is an option on Victron...it is the only display on Powermon.

I do see Victron has a iOT interface that goes to an iOT gateway but that is a totally separate piece of equipment and Victron has a lot of them as they are a big supplier and clearly targeting the renewable energy field which has a lot of its own interface specs. You can get anything from Victron, the question is how much will it cost?
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:29 AM   #12
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OK, OK, so you like your purchase...not surprising, but it seems that you can connect the Powermon with no additional hardware at all! Its just a tool and there are all kinds of them but it seems that the PowerMon is a really good option as well, depending on what your goals and installation requirements are. BLE and Wifi is a pretty good package; auxiliary shunt is no big deal since virtually every SOC meter needs one. They have gone with an additional small one built in, which would be pretty good for an installation like the OP is showing. Hey, if he hits 65 amps for a few seconds, it won't hurt anything, its just clipped data.

Bluetooth SmartPhone display is an option on Victron...it is the only display on Powermon.

I do see Victron has a iOT interface that goes to an iOT gateway but that is a totally separate piece of equipment and Victron has a lot of them as they are a big supplier and clearly targeting the renewable energy field which has a lot of its own interface specs. You can get anything from Victron, the question is how much will it cost?
Face it, there are those who've been pioneers in the battery monitor, solar, charging industry and those who are tapping into an existing market.

Some have proven products, having made their mistakes 20+ years ago and some are attempting to cash in by offering less expensive products for those who don't want to spend the money on more expensive product.

The buyer will need to decide what they want, not just today but over the life of their system.

I like my Victron equipment (monitor and solar controller). Only need one system so I'll stick with it. Personally I like the fact the Victron has a separate, hard wired, monitor. Some functions in their system can't be controlled from a smart phone and require access through the "Meter". Over 64 controllable parameters but only the most basic and commonly used ones can be accessed through the phone interface.



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