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 > Simplest battery monitor and shunt? Advice for non-expert

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PerryB67

Lanesboro, Minnesota

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Posted: 12/16/21 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

What I find strange about my Victron unit is that either it or my Android phone insists location service be turned on.
Yea, my Victron Connect needed location services, but not files and media. I also chose "Remove permissions if app isn't used".

OTOH, how would we know what our next purchase should be if Google and websites didn't constantly display the next appropriate buying opportunity? [emoticon]

Enjoy,

Perry


2018 Escape 5.0
2019 F150 Max Tow, Max Springs, 3.5 EB Quad Cab
Victron 712, Victron 100/20, Victron 100/30
GoPower 170 watt, and three Renogy 100 Compact watt panels, all in parallel
260 ah Soneil SiO2 batteries


time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 12/16/21 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 tons wrote:

2oldman wrote:

What I find strange about my Victron unit is that either it or my Android phone insists location service be turned on.


I suspect it may be the Android, only because I’ve never got that or a similar message over two generations of iphones, though I get that this is just anecdotal…

3 tons
I understand location services is imbedded in the bluetooth function. Nobody is tracking you.


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2oldman

NM

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Posted: 12/16/21 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

I understand location services is imbedded in the bluetooth function.Nobody is tracking you .
My Honda generators have bluetooth but they've never told me to turn on location. I asked Victron about this and they said it was my phone.


This is what google says:

Why does location have to be on for Bluetooth?
"Your app needs this permission because a Bluetooth scan can be used to gather information about the location of the user. This information may come from the user's own devices, as well as Bluetooth beacons in use at locations such as shops and transit facilities.”

Right. Like I need a restaurant recommendation when I'm checking my batteries.

* This post was edited 12/16/21 10:15am by 2oldman *

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 12/16/21 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:

StirCrazy wrote:

I'll second this one. a generic version of the Victron that works just as well at 1/5 the price, just doesnt have bluetooth. very simple install remove your negitive patery cable, run a new short one from the battery to this, then your old cable you tookoff on to the other end of the shunt. run a tiny power wire to the shunt, then find a place to dril the small hole run the wire and your done. inital setting you just enter how many AH your battery is and your off.
Sorry, not even close to the information/history the Victron 712 shunt's have. A friend has one and it's just a realtime meter, with no history. It's the history that told me our WFCO delivered 21 volts to ruin our batteries. No telling how many batteries would have been ruined before realizing it was the WFCO.

You get what you pay for.

Enjoy,

Perry


your first mistake was spending to much on a battery monitor and leaving a WFCO in your unit [emoticon] just kidding, well not realy. I always make a new converter of my choosing (usaly a PD varient) part of the deal to purchase. as for the victron, I did want Bluetooth, history, or anything.. I wanted to know how much battery was left as the 1991 cmper had nothing to indicate battery state of charge or anything. it has all the same readouts as the comparable victron at the time minus the hystory feature and one other one I cant think off... oh ya It hours to dead at the current draw, who cares realy about that.. no bluetooth when I got it and I spent 32 bucks CDN so 2.99 US haha and the 501 victro was over 200 CDN.

plus I believe the original poster asked for the simplest not the most expensive, but that could just be how I read it.

* This post was edited 12/16/21 10:32am by StirCrazy *


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2oldman

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Posted: 12/16/21 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

hours to dead at the current draw who cares realy about that.. no bluetooth when I got it and I spent 32 bucks CDN so 2.99 US haha and the 501 victro was over 200 CDN.
Fine. It's not a money contest.

3 tons

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Posted: 12/16/21 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWC wrote:

Money is only one factor out of several. In terms of functionality the order is:
Victron BMV-712 > Victron Smart Shunt > AiLi > Voltmeter > dummy lights > nothing.

In terms of cost, it is exactly the opposite.

If you are truly budget limited then pick what ever fits your budget.

However, for most of us with $20K - 500K campers, $100 is in the noise and having a better idea how things are working is probably worth the cost. Particularly with lead acid batteries who boondock, it is important to know that your batteries are actually getting fully charged, which a meter with history will tell you.


Battery type is also a factor, meaning LFP accuracy should warrant a meter of the highest reputation…I’ve found via LFP load testing that the battery’s built-in SOC meter was very inaccurate as per SOC and ‘total amps consumed’ (actually, more of a marketing gimmick - maybe I got a one-off??) whereas, after several 200a/hr load test found the Victron BMV-12 nearly spot on with only a minuscule and insignificant error amount…I’d rate this to be quite exceptional…

3 tons

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 12/16/21 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

If you are NOT using Li batteries the very best meter may be the smartgauge. It actually tracks the "real" capacity. It checks the voltage several thousand times per minute.

http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

PerryB67

Lanesboro, Minnesota

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Posted: 12/16/21 02:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

your first mistake was spending to much on a battery monitor and leaving a WFCO in your unit [emoticon] just kidding, well not realy. I always make a new converter of my choosing (usaly a PD varient) part of the deal to purchase. as for the victron, I did want Bluetooth, history, or anything.. I wanted to know how much battery was left as the 1991 cmper had nothing to indicate battery state of charge or anything. it has all the same readouts as the comparable victron at the time minus the hystory feature and one other one I cant think off... oh ya It hours to dead at the current draw, who cares realy about that.. no bluetooth when I got it and I spent 32 bucks CDN so 2.99 US haha and the 501 victro was over 200 CDN.

plus I believe the original poster asked for the simplest not the most expensive, but that could just be how I read it.
When our batteries died I cared about finding out why. The Ali wouldn't have told me, so how many batteries would have been destroyed before finding the problem? The 712 told me the issue, whereas the Aili would have been a waste of money. Until you need history you won't understand.

You're correct he did ask for "the most basic and inexpensive monitor?"

profdant139 wrote:

In your opinion, which is the most basic and inexpensive monitor?
But he also said,
profdant139 wrote:

Thanks in advance for your advice and expertise!
I don't consider the Aili a worthwhile monitor. Plus I gave "advice" knowing the difference between the Aili and the SmartShunt since I have "expertise" with the SmartShunt, and have a friend with the Aili.

profdant139 is much more informed and has other options because 2oldman, FWC, and I expanded on the choices. A forum gives those options. It was forum advice that separated realtime meters from historical monitors that provide considerably more help finding problems. By being able to immediately find our 21v charging issue we paid for that piddling extra cost many times over.

Enjoy,

Perry

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 12/16/21 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:


Plus I gave "advice" knowing the difference between the Aili and the SmartShunt since I have "expertise" with the SmartShunt, and have a friend with the Aili


Perry


the smart shunt is fairly new, and I may have bought that when I was looking if it was released. it might have been in the US but at the time it wasn't in Canada that I knew of. that would only have been three times the cost of the Aili instead of 6 but no drilling for anything for install. but having said that my camper didn't even have any monitoring system at all (not even the three lights) so I wanted somthing I could just look at to see either voltage, current in/out when troubleshooting other equipment and capacity remaining. that it does very well, and if I wanted to see what the furnace was consuming when camping in the fall in the middle of the night I dont want to have to dig out my phone.

I do have the bluetooth conectivity with my solar system and it keep history of a bunch of stuff to do with the solar charging but I find I only use that when I want to see what the max amp input was during a day or just fun things, generaly I like to put my cell down for the most part when I am camping.

mynext upgrade will be some sort of tank level system so I know when they are getting full haha

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 12/16/21 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi,

If you are NOT using Li batteries the very best meter may be the smartgauge. It actually tracks the "real" capacity. It checks the voltage several thousand times per minute.

http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/


I don't look at my meter several thousand times per minute.

Why would my meter need to make several thousand battery voltage measurements every minute?

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