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-   -   Inexpensive battery monitor? (https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f218/inexpensive-battery-monitor-165485.html)

bclinton 07-16-2018 12:38 PM

Inexpensive battery monitor?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boondocking (Post 1579669)
This is an excellent monitor that will not break the bank.


I have my fish wire ran from where I want to mount my battery monitor and install the shunt in the battery box. I am getting ready to order the monitor. Is anyone using the one listed in the thread off of Ebay? If so what kind of cable does it come with. My wire hole is only about 1/2 inches around and about 15 feet from the battery box where the shunt will go. Running something like phone cord would seem easier. I hate to spend 200 on a victron (which everyone seems to recommend when I can get pretty much the same thing from a no name brand.

TitanMike 07-16-2018 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bclinton (Post 1871955)
I hate to spend 200 on a victron (which everyone seems to recommend when I can get pretty much the same thing from a no name brand.

That's just it, you get only pretty much the same, not the same.

A Victron will allow you to monitor battery bank while not in the coach/trailer with the Bluetooth feature. It can also monitor battery temperature. It records history of battery performance, power draw, voltages (High and Low) has a relay that can be used to sound an alarm when battery is approaching max desired discharge, and on and on. Over 60 separate features.

The Victron goes so much farther in monitoring your batteries in my opinion it's well worth the extra price.

Can the inexpensive monitor take into consideration the charging efficiency of your battery bank or does it just merely subtract from the amp hour total discharged as it re-charges? The Victron does.

Can the inexpensive monitor give you a temperature compensated voltage reading?

If one boondocks and has to rely on their battery bank, the Victron (or similar) monitor is actually a money saver. Short term it tells you when to turn the Generator off when charging as it's able to calculate when the batteries are truly 100% charged. Long term it helps you take better care of your batteries by accurately telling you when they are at or near the desired discharge level. Key word in both of these instances is "Accurately".

Most of the inexpensive monitors are merely the same type of monitor provided by the RV manufacturers with the exception that they use a LED/LCD readout that shows current as well as voltage.

In short, there's a good reason the Victron costs more. It does more.

67L48 07-16-2018 02:15 PM

It all depends on what you want to do and what your definition of monitor is. Battery health can be measured simply with a $5 volt meter from ebay. If you're wanting to monitor amp flow and such, then things like Doc Wattson and Watt's Up products may be more to your liking.

Good luck.

bclinton 07-16-2018 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TitanMike (Post 1872023)
That's just it, you get only pretty much the same, not the same.

A Victron will allow you to monitor battery bank while not in the coach/trailer with the Bluetooth feature. It can also monitor battery temperature. It records history of battery performance, power draw, voltages (High and Low) has a relay that can be used to sound an alarm when battery is approaching max desired discharge, and on and on. Over 60 separate features.

The Victron goes so much farther in monitoring your batteries in my opinion it's well worth the extra price.

Can the inexpensive monitor take into consideration the charging efficiency of your battery bank or does it just merely subtract from the amp hour total discharged as it re-charges? The Victron does.

Can the inexpensive monitor give you a temperature compensated voltage reading?

If one boondocks and has to rely on their battery bank, the Victron (or similar) monitor is actually a money saver. Short term it tells you when to turn the Generator off when charging as it's able to calculate when the batteries are truly 100% charged. Long term it helps you take better care of your batteries by accurately telling you when they are at or near the desired discharge level. Key word in both of these instances is "Accurately".

Most of the inexpensive monitors are merely the same type of monitor provided by the RV manufacturers with the exception that they use a LED/LCD readout that shows current as well as voltage.

In short, there's a good reason the Victron costs more. It does more.

Ok, You talked me into it :) I ordered the Victron ? It says it uses a standard phone cord so I assume I am safe to go ahead it run it now. The meter should be here Thursday :)

TitanMike 07-16-2018 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bclinton (Post 1872347)
Ok, You talked me into it :) I ordered the Victron ? It says it uses a standard phone cord so I assume I am safe to go ahead it run it now. The meter should be here Thursday :)

The Victron comes with a fairly long cord. Just make sure you take into consideration the connector ends for hole size.

bclinton 07-16-2018 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TitanMike (Post 1872454)
The Victron comes with a fairly long cord. Just make sure you take into consideration the connector ends for hole size.


Is it a regular 4 wire phone end connector? I might just wait for the cable. Looking at it again I will need about 20-25 feet by the time I round the corners. I took time today and ran pull cords the entire path. Hole size should be good. Thanks!

TitanMike 07-16-2018 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bclinton (Post 1872517)
Is it a regular 4 wire phone end connector? I might just wait for the cable. Looking at it again I will need about 20-25 feet by the time I round the corners. I took time today and ran pull cords the entire path. Hole size should be good. Thanks!

Only thing I can say for sure is that it looks the same.

namusmc 07-17-2018 12:12 AM

I installed the wireless version of the cheap one. I still needed to power the shunt in the battery box and the monitor from wherever you mount it.
Wasn't sure how well the wireless feature would work and not spend a lot of money for it. Fortunately, the cheapo works fine if you're just a few feet away from the battery box.

The Victron is probably a much better product but even the cheapo one I installed tells me more information than I need or care about...and it was about $30. It is certainly better than just the stock led non-indicator lights.
I'm sure any battery monitor system you install will be better than what you currently have.

ArkRVHog 07-17-2018 11:34 AM

Hey BClinton from NLR...ArkRVHog from LR here! I'm wanting to install one of the Victron with Bluetooth also but what has me stumped (and I'm sort of a novice at this) is getting wires through to the battery case (under my stairs in a metal casing it appears) and up the wall to mount it where my OneControl is located. You sound like you've been there/done that part already...can you give me any tips on this? (And photos would be great too if applicable.) I'm in a 2801 QSF. Thanks!

bclinton 07-18-2018 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArkRVHog (Post 1873021)
Hey BClinton from NLR...ArkRVHog from LR here! I'm wanting to install one of the Victron with Bluetooth also but what has me stumped (and I'm sort of a novice at this) is getting wires through to the battery case (under my stairs in a metal casing it appears) and up the wall to mount it where my OneControl is located. You sound like you've been there/done that part already...can you give me any tips on this? (And photos would be great too if applicable.) I'm in a 2801 QSF. Thanks!

Hey neighbor. I just finished doing the wiring (for me the hardest part). It was actually a lot easier that I thought it would be. The first thing I did was work backwards and took the panel off the wall and looked at the path that those wires took. I used a rigid fish tape and strung a pull wire each step. That led me to behind my sink cabinet and out into the water heater storage area. I drilled 2 holes total. One through the floor up to the sink cabinet are from the water heater area and one out of the back of the water heat storage to the chassis. Once the wire was in the chassis area it was as simple as zip tying the flex wire wrap down the bottom the RV to the battery compartment. I left a pull wire so next time it will be easier.

bclinton 07-18-2018 09:06 PM

I see the victron has an extra sensor port. Does it make more sense to connect a temp sensor of the chassis battery to it?

ArkRVHog 07-18-2018 09:21 PM

There's some "fishing" tricks here that I've just not experienced...yet. Guessing the HD sells the fiberglass rod and any other accessories needed for doing this type of wiring? Going to let my RV place (Moix) tackle my battery monitor install and maybe solar controller. Hope to bump into you sometime in CA (Central Arkansas!)

ArkRVHog 07-18-2018 09:27 PM

BClinton...I ordered my Victron 712 today with bluetooth. The salesguy said that I needed a controller for the temp sensor to plug into and I honestly didn't know if I had that (a port on the controller) so didn't order it with the 712. Did I mess up and most all controllers have a port available to communicate this info with a battery monitor?

aeblank 07-18-2018 11:19 PM

Why does everyone get the 712 over the 700? The 712 does dual battery (like the chassis battery), but who is actually doing that? Just curious, as it's $50 (25%-ish) more...

ArkRVHog 07-19-2018 06:57 AM

As I was told, the 712 comes with built-in BlueTooth capability and has two ports. Typically one for a temperature sensor and the second to tie into a compatible master display (if you had or wanted one.) I wasn't aware it could monitor two different battery banks. And it is their latest product.

bclinton 07-19-2018 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArkRVHog (Post 1874581)
BClinton...I ordered my Victron 712 today with bluetooth. The salesguy said that I needed a controller for the temp sensor to plug into and I honestly didn't know if I had that (a port on the controller) so didn't order it with the 712. Did I mess up and most all controllers have a port available to communicate this info with a battery monitor?

Yes, there is a second port on the shunt - the docs show it going to another battery. Not sure if that works with the temp sensor. All the documentation I can find says the temp sensor that you can order for about $20 is for the 702 model. Maybe someone with one on the 712 will chime in.

edit: just checked on Amazon and looks like they sell the 712 with the temp sensor so it appears to support it with the second port. https://www.amazon.com/Victron-BMV-7...07F3C7ZV7?th=1

If you would like some help installing it I would be happy to help. Not an expert but between us I bet we could get it in. :)

bclinton 07-19-2018 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aeblank (Post 1874641)
Why does everyone get the 712 over the 700? The 712 does dual battery (like the chassis battery), but who is actually doing that? Just curious, as it's $50 (25%-ish) more...

If bluetooth is desirable it has it built in allowing you a second monitoring port. It also draws less current to run than the 702.

aeblank 07-19-2018 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bclinton (Post 1874749)
If bluetooth is desirable it has it built in allowing you a second monitoring port. It also draws less current to run than the 702.

Dang it. I screwed that one up then.

bclinton 07-19-2018 08:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Install complete! I must say that is one slick gadget! Glad I spent the extra money. Just started learning the functions but being able to watch watts and amps leaving your battery as you turn off and on your 12 volt devices is pretty darn useful. I am going to leave it off charger tonight to see about what it uses with nothing on. Right now it looks like I have something drawing about 4 watts with no lights on....probably the propane detector. Next step I will be installing the Xantrex auto transfer switch and connecting to to my non GFI outlets which will basically give me power for limited use on the entire drivers side of the RV. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

After that I will be going with a 1500 watt invert. My thinking was if I install an external transfer switch I can go with any brand of inverter.

bclinton 07-20-2018 08:39 AM

Just realized that the chassis battery terminates at my battery control center right next to where the shunt is mounted. Easily added to the victron via the second sensor port. Very useful information.


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