Volt meter

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by golly, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. golly

    golly Funster

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    Hi
    As regulars will know from my previous posts, I am a total numpty when it comes to mechanical / electrical matters :Doh:. My query is - The only indication I have in the van of battery condition is a series of lights on the control panel. It doesn't give any reading of actual voltage, the battery is under the front seat and cant be reached without removing the seat.
    Do you think one of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-24V-D...arts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item3cc095ec13

    would be satisfactory to get an idea of battery voltage, I have a cigarette type socket on the habitation circuit that the 12V TV plugs into.

    Thanks John
     
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  2. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Got a similar one - works well, very handy! :thumb:
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Perfect. What a price too.

    Hopefully the cab socket gives you the starter battery and equally hopeful the habitation socket/s run of the leisure battery.

    You will be able to tell the engine battery, when you crank the engine it will dip to something like 10V.
     
  4. golly

    golly Funster

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    Thanks, that's good to know, I didn't want to try and wire one in permanently, not with my level of knowledge:Eeek:
     
  5. golly

    golly Funster

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    Thanks Brian, yes the cab socket will show the engine battery, I'm fairly sure the socket in the TV cupboard is on the Hab battery.
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    short answer .. yes.. it will give you an idea..

    but, the tolerance is 0.1 - 0.3 v .. that is the difference between a half charged and flat battery .. ie .. 12v flat ... 12.6 fully charged.. 12.3v half charged..

    this isn't a proper test meter..

    Better to buy a digital multimeter with test probes.. more useful than one that can only be plugged in.. and gives only a rough idea.

    for example .. this one from Maplins which can be used to test fuses, voltage , continuity etc

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/domestic-multimeter-37279

    even if your not sure about using it, they come with instructions or just ask at a meet and you will get plenty of help in how to use it. No motorhomer should be without one and know how to use it.
     
  7. golly

    golly Funster

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    I have something similar to that meter, but where would I put the terminals as I can't easily get to the battery terminals. Would I be able to take a reading from the Cig socket, presumably the centre pin would be positive.
     
  8. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes, and the polarity makes no difference when taking a reading .. however, you need to take care, as there is always a risk of shorting between the pos and neg with a probe.. .. and blowing the fuse..

    the item you first pointed to has it's uses, provided you appreciate the lack of accuracy .. it will be a reasonable guide..
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    if you wire it in permanantly then fit some kind of on/off switch as well.

    it may only draw a few milliamps (no details) but over the winter layup it could flatten the battery
     
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