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July 14 2020 8.33pm

Tinkering with me motor - T4 amp meter advice

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View rawpalace05's Profile rawpalace05 Flag Saltdean 19 Jun 20 11.12am Send a Private Message to rawpalace05 Add rawpalace05 as a friend

Hello Eagles. Hope ya all well. I want to use my T4 camper I bought last year for some proper holiday action due to flight cancellations etc. I have a leisure battery and 240 inverter fitted. The last owner said the onboard voltmeter / ampmeter is broken. Whats the best way to test this, install and replace if needed? Looks a simple set up (basically the meter is a giant splint / resistor right?) but although being fairly savvy I dont like electrics. Any advice? Buy a test kit or take it somewhere? Much love! Raw

 


1/6/2010.a new era.we made it everyone!!!lets get the ball rolling for another 105 years of proud history.thank you cpfc2010.

palace forever.eeaaaaaaaaaaaaaggglless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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View ASCPFC's Profile ASCPFC Flag Pro-Cathedral/caravan park 19 Jun 20 3.50pm Send a Private Message to ASCPFC Add ASCPFC as a friend

Although they are simple set ups I believe they aren't easy to fix once broken. It will need to be replaced. With an original that would be relatively expensive. However, a small portable separate one would be cheap and would measure any other batteries too.

 


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View rawpalace05's Profile rawpalace05 Flag Saltdean 21 Jun 20 10.58am Send a Private Message to rawpalace05 Add rawpalace05 as a friend

Originally posted by ASCPFC

Although they are simple set ups I believe they aren't easy to fix once broken. It will need to be replaced. With an original that would be relatively expensive. However, a small portable separate one would be cheap and would measure any other batteries too.

Thanks for the reply mate. Yeah its an on board after market one thats fitted, designed to indicate power left from running fridges / lights etc. Shall I just buy a new one and fit it myself? It's the testing that it's working / that I've fitted it correct that niggles an air of doubt; not the sort of thing you want to get wrong if youre 100s of miles from home! Tbf they look dead simple but wanting advice just in case. Many thanks

 


1/6/2010.a new era.we made it everyone!!!lets get the ball rolling for another 105 years of proud history.thank you cpfc2010.

palace forever.eeaaaaaaaaaaaaaggglless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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View ASCPFC's Profile ASCPFC Flag Pro-Cathedral/caravan park 21 Jun 20 11.39am Send a Private Message to ASCPFC Add ASCPFC as a friend

Originally posted by rawpalace05

Thanks for the reply mate. Yeah its an on board after market one thats fitted, designed to indicate power left from running fridges / lights etc. Shall I just buy a new one and fit it myself? It's the testing that it's working / that I've fitted it correct that niggles an air of doubt; not the sort of thing you want to get wrong if youre 100s of miles from home! Tbf they look dead simple but wanting advice just in case. Many thanks

I think wiring one in is simple enough but what I was talking about is just buying a small portable one from a DIY place, or Halford (sh1t I know) and using that. There are a couple of issues with fitting or fixing the original one. There's actually a whole set of things about wiring and resistance that will change your readings. If you buy a small separate one, you won't have to worry. A decent one shouldn't be too expensive and you can get one as accurate as you like, and use it on other things.
Another obvious thing is looking it up online. I presume you have 'googled it'. It reminds me of when I went on to caravan World website for something, can't remember why. Who was the first I saw on it? Somebody like Hambo or Midlands Eagle was the mod there. We do get around.

 


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View cryrst's Profile cryrst Flag Chatham 21 Jun 20 1.50pm Send a Private Message to cryrst Add cryrst as a friend

If you need to know the current draw for an item use ohms law PVI VIR
PV= I
VI= R

P= power (watts) 1000= 1kw
V= volts
I= amps
R= resistance in ohms.

Using this you can see how much amperage something uses.
Ie 3 kw kettle at 240 v (now about 235 but 240 will get worst case.

So 3000 (3kw) 240 =12.5 I (amps) that's why you have a 13 amp fuse in the plug.
Reverse that and you get
12.5 x240 =2880 watts or close to 3 kw.
Strange that you can use this to calculate your energy usage if you know your kw/h cost.
You also can check if a piece of kit is running correctly if you have the equipment to check resistance.
That's why if you buy a generator you need to know the current draw of what you are using as most are sold with a max output in kw. Much the same as inverters for vehicles will have a current rating.
Use this law and you wont take something camping that will burn out your kit or just not operate at all.
You can buy equipment with a lower requirement so check each item and remember only use one at a time if close to the allowance.
Rule of thumb 1kw = 4 amps.

 

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View rawpalace05's Profile rawpalace05 Flag Saltdean 25 Jun 20 1.56pm Send a Private Message to rawpalace05 Add rawpalace05 as a friend

Thanks for all your replies guys, its much appreciated. Its good to know the premise of the various rules to bear in mind, however ultimately after reading up its ni on impossible to know exactly the remaining capacity of a battery. The readings on the meter can indicate a few things, depending on the wiring method. Talking of which, I may need a portable tester just to test how the onboard meter was set up (inline with nuetral or live). Another thing that may allow me to bypass having to fiddle with the above and purchasing both bits of kit is by using the little usb charging display that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket. Thoughts on this? Not sure on their reliability or where the socket runs off of mind you, just that its mounted above the fridge! Cheers guys

 


1/6/2010.a new era.we made it everyone!!!lets get the ball rolling for another 105 years of proud history.thank you cpfc2010.

palace forever.eeaaaaaaaaaaaaaggglless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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View cryrst's Profile cryrst Flag Chatham 25 Jun 20 6.00pm Send a Private Message to cryrst Add cryrst as a friend

Originally posted by rawpalace05

Thanks for all your replies guys, its much appreciated. Its good to know the premise of the various rules to bear in mind, however ultimately after reading up its ni on impossible to know exactly the remaining capacity of a battery. The readings on the meter can indicate a few things, depending on the wiring method. Talking of which, I may need a portable tester just to test how the onboard meter was set up (inline with nuetral or live). Another thing that may allow me to bypass having to fiddle with the above and purchasing both bits of kit is by using the little usb charging display that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket. Thoughts on this? Not sure on their reliability or where the socket runs off of mind you, just that its mounted above the fridge! Cheers guys

Rule of thumb for checking your alternator working is about 14.4v dc when engine running across red to black + to -

 

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View rawpalace05's Profile rawpalace05 Flag Saltdean 09 Jul 20 10.02am Send a Private Message to rawpalace05 Add rawpalace05 as a friend

Belated replies! So my usb 12v reader now makes sense to me thanks to a friend of mine giving me a battery capacity % > volt reading chart...sure this does not equate for time or what individual devises draw, but it is a pretty solid indicator.

So, I cant remember what I'm hitting with my engine on but its significantly higher than the 12.4 with it off. 12.4 is something like 60% capacity for the leisure battery. Its dropping to 11.8 after a few hours of our 12v fridge being on, lights and stereo etc so could probably do with a new one.

I know the above probably has a few "but ifs" and "grey wires" but I think its a good basic start for me to understand what im working with.

What I am now stuck on is the inverter. I went to use a designated 235v 600watt microwave and it couldnt fully fire it up. I think this is another indicator that the leisure battery needs replacing, I might for fun take some readings and do the maths as per the kindly laid out OHMs law post above, just so I keep the understanding going and dont waste money.

As for the original meter in question, my sparky friend has told me its a rudametary ammeter, ie shows when something is being drawn, or not. On the face of its pretty pointless, what's weird though is its pretty comprehensively wired, possibly has something to do with showing when the 130v caravan hook up is in use? I'll have a think/play!

Thanks for your help, much love and UTP.

Raw

 


1/6/2010.a new era.we made it everyone!!!lets get the ball rolling for another 105 years of proud history.thank you cpfc2010.

palace forever.eeaaaaaaaaaaaaaggglless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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View ASCPFC's Profile ASCPFC Flag Pro-Cathedral/caravan park 10 Jul 20 4.14pm Send a Private Message to ASCPFC Add ASCPFC as a friend

I tried reconditioning a couple of car batteries and failed completely. You could try that but it does sound like a new battery required.

 


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View orpingtoneagle's Profile orpingtoneagle Flag Orpington 10 Jul 20 4.22pm Send a Private Message to orpingtoneagle Add orpingtoneagle as a friend

I would be tempted to replace the unit. Should be easy enough to take out and replace as long as you remember which wire goes where. The give it a little test at home. These like most electrical kit will either fail pretty much straight away or give long service. If you are not comfy doing it, look for a local caravan supplier they may fit it for you.

 

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View cryrst's Profile cryrst Flag Chatham 10 Jul 20 4.52pm Send a Private Message to cryrst Add cryrst as a friend

Originally posted by ASCPFC

I tried reconditioning a couple of car batteries and failed completely. You could try that but it does sound like a new battery required.

A lot of the time its low distilled water in one cell. Top it up just above the fins and charge it up. 14.4DC volts from the alternator across the terminals when engine running. Did mine 3 months ago as flat every 2nd day.
No problems now. Not always the case but I would say in half the cases. Although a lot of batteries are 'sealed for life ' so might not be able to top up all of them. How they filled them up initially though is the question.

Edited by cryrst (10 Jul 2020 4.53pm)

 

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