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

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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 12/18/21 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jon, your style of camping is fairly close to mine, so your comments are particularly persuasive. How do you recalibrate the Victron? Is it difficult? Do you have a bluetooth-equipped monitor?

Thanks in advance.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/18/21 10:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

Dan in reading your posts and looking at the beautiful photos you always post with them, I believe while all this technology that was posted here while very informative, someone that likes to boondock like yourself, I would just get 2 6v GC batteries with 230amp hrs and not worry about an expensive way to monitor them. Just check voltage when you get up each morning and go hiking for the day and take some more photos. 230 amp hrs will last you a week before you need to recharge.


DING, DING, DING, we have a winner!

No matter what battery you chose to use, they ALL degrade in capacity over time whether it has been used or not. Whether they are fully charged 100% or in some partial state of charge they ALL degrade in capacity.

Batteries are considered a "consumable" item, as such you use them and consume them until they no longer have enough capacity for your needs.

Meters are just there to monitor your progress and nothing more. Perhaps you might squeak out an additional one or two months more life with critical monitoring down to the last electron every second but in the end you still will have to replace the battery eventually.

Sometimes life works a lot better by not trying to helicopter and hover over things you cannot control?

I go camping to LEAVE technology behind, when I am camping, technology is the last thing on my mind, it no longer dominates and controls me when I am away from it and now able to concentrate on the beauty of this Earth around me.

Simply buy enough battery capacity to handle your needs for a specified time and supplement with some solar and/or generator as needed and don't sweat the small details in life..

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 12/18/21 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another option if you don't mind dealing with .tenths instead of .one hundredths is the Renogy BT-1 or 2 bluetooth dongles that give a little extra in readings..From using it with my Victron monitor it is spot on to the tenth..

[image]

As well as a history page with stuff like total this or that used etc.

Jayco


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3 tons

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Posted: 12/18/21 09:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Providant139 says, “how do you recalibrate a Victron”??

First off, ask yourself why you’d need to recalibrate??…The only answer I can think of is that several years of battery usage has passed, thus causing some normal wear and tear (e.g. normal irreversible sulfation with age, or other battery malady), but not really needed as a routine exercise…

Or, perhaps your confusing recalibration with re-synchronizations which typically recur passively at the end of every full charge cycle?

Either way, to do a recalibration, you might simply impute a presumed amount of capacity loss over time (say x amp/hrs worth of decline, per season??), and adjust the meter’s programmed capacity accordingly, or do an actual load test which (without a solid reason…) many might view as an a love of unnecessary labor…

Bottom line here is that even with a small amount of naturally occurring capacity decline, I seriously doubt you’d find a need to routinely recalibrate when as an alternative (say over a x year period?) you might simply choose to go no lower than 55% SOC instead of your previous 50% SOC…Reality is that (for flooded wet cells), shunt meters are just not that persnickety - JMHO after years of meter usage…

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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 12/19/21 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jaycocreek wrote:

Another option if you don't mind dealing with .tenths instead of .one hundredths is the Renogy BT-1 or 2 bluetooth dongles that give a little extra in readings..From using it with my Victron monitor it is spot on to the tenth..

[image]

As well as a history page with stuff like total this or that used etc.

Jayco


did they update the App, I have never seen that screen before.


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jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 12/19/21 12:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SC

That's DC home,I like it better than the Renogy BT..

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 12/19/21 04:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jaycocreek wrote:

SC

That's DC home,I like it better than the Renogy BT..


never heard of it.

Steve

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 12/19/21 05:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

jaycocreek wrote:

SC

That's DC home,I like it better than the Renogy BT..


never heard of it.

Steve


It's called Renogy DC Home and it's in the app store for both Android and Apple..I like it better because the Bluetooth connection is much stronger and the layout I like better also..

Jayco

vermilye

Oswego, NY, USA

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Posted: 12/20/21 11:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

Jon, your style of camping is fairly close to mine, so your comments are particularly persuasive. How do you recalibrate the Victron? Is it difficult? Do you have a bluetooth-equipped monitor?

Thanks in advance.


I have a Victron solar controller (which is a 100/50). I had to add a Victron dongle to it to be able to read the device from my truck. I have read that the Smart Shunt produces fairly weak Bluetooth & requires the dongle as well. My old 100/30 didn't need one; neither does the 712.

As to a daily recalibration or sync, if the solar controller shows it reached 14.5V & the absorption stage runs at least 15 minutes, and it switches to float, I assume that the batteries (3 100 amp hour Battleborn lithium) are full. Most of the time, under these conditions, the Victron 712 battery monitor does an automatic sync, if not, I'll do it manually.

If I was really concerned, I'd test the batteries every year by running them down to the BMS low voltage shut off & note the number of amp hours used, but to be honest, I don't bother.

With lead acid batteries, it might be more important to know the true battery capacity, however I suspect that shortened discharge times before hitting low voltage would become obvious as the battery capacity drops. Not so obvious with lithium...

Hope this is helpful.

Jon


Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
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