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Old 04-25-2012, 08:08 AM   #1
Rangerdaniel
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Default Adding a volt meter

What kinds of things do I need to know / remember when adding a volt meter?
First I want to say I LOVE the digital one a member sales, they look great. I am just not sure I want to spend that much if I don't have to.
Are there any you all would recommend? If it will cost 50 or so to get a good one I will go with the digital one.
Also what else would I need? Just the meter or would I need to minimize the voltage going to it?
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
scottyb
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

You can get inexpensive analog meters that work just fine.
No need to spend a lot, the important thing is that you monitor usage and recharge at the correct discharge level.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
Rangerdaniel
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

I have brand new batteries and want to take good care of them. I have heard conflicting reports on running and recharging batteries. I have been told to run them down then recharge. I have also heard not to run them below 75%.
What is the proper way to break them in?
Then to run them once they are broken in?
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
JohnnieB
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

If you want clean, fresh oats, you gotta pay the price. If you don't mind that they've been through the horse once, that's cheaper.

Waterproof Digital Volt Meters that can take vibration aren't cheap.
Analog State of Charge meters are less expensive.
Check out the setup at the bottom of page: http://www.cartsunlimited.net/Digita...ry_Meters.html

There are also the LED Bar Graph types, but they cost about as much as a DVM and there have been a lot of posts about them having strange problems.

If you want accurate information, go with a DVM, but by using a hand held DMM (which you'll be needing if you don't already have one), you can add some lines to the faceplate of a Analog meter for specific voltages.

Here is how the break in those new batteries. http://www.cartsunlimited.net/Batter...n_Methods.html
While there, read everything with the word "Battery" in the title. Tons of good info.

Whoever told you to run them down before recharging was doing you a disservice. That is opposite of what you want to do, if you want you batteries to last more than a year or two, if that long.

Lead-Acid batteries have no memory, so they don't need to be discharged to any specific point before recharging.
In fact, putting the on charge without discharging them at all doesn't hurt them, if you don't make a habit of it.

Here is a chart showing Average State of Charge Vs theoretical Life Expectancy and a chart showing SoC vs Voltage.

As you see, the closer to full charge you keep your batteries, the longer they last.

Basically, if you use your cart more than 10-15 minutes during the day, recharge the batteries that night.

Never discharge your batteries below 50%.
If you are routinely discharging much below 70%, you might want to look at higher Amp Hour batteries the next time you buy, or other means of getting the run-time to match your usage.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SoC vs Theoretical Charge cycles with Voltages.JPG (119.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg StateofChargeChart.jpg (53.8 KB, 0 views)
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
greenmonster
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerdaniel View Post
I have brand new batteries and want to take good care of them. I have heard conflicting reports on running and recharging batteries. I have been told to run them down then recharge. I have also heard not to run them below 75%.
What is the proper way to break them in?
Then to run them once they are broken in?
If you've spent $500+ on new batteries, spend <$100 on a digital volt meter from ScottyB at Carts Unlimited. You won't be sorry- huge upgrade over LEDs or red/green analogs.

With Scotty's you get real time status of you batteries- he even provides a chart that lets you know voltage at various states of discharge- so you know when to head home.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
Rangerdaniel
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

Ok you bring up a great point. Will do
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
deerlover
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

I actually just ordered this for my cart. What does the number on the meter represent?

Example, if I am running a 36 volt system and my batteries are fully charged, what should it read. If it gets to around 75% charge, what should it read?

probably in the instructions, but I am an impatient one!
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
Rangerdaniel
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

Scotty I will be ordering one today. There are a few on your site. Which do you recommend for a 95 medalist?
Great question about what it should read.
I am wondering the same.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

Quote:
Originally Posted by deerlover View Post
I actually just ordered this for my cart. What does the number on the meter represent?

Example, if I am running a 36 volt system and my batteries are fully charged, what should it read. If it gets to around 75% charge, what should it read?

probably in the instructions, but I am an impatient one!
Here is a chart showing State of Charge vs Voltage. The reading are taken 12 hours after batteries come off charge.

38.22V is a full charge, but will read a bit higher with new batteries.
37.14V is 70% and 37.50V is 80%, so 75% would be about 37.32V

Also, to get an accurate SoC estimate, let the battery pack rest a few minutes after driving. (Eletrolyte stratifies while batteries are being discharged and give low readings)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerdaniel View Post
Scotty I will be ordering one today. There are a few on your site. Which do you recommend for a 95 medalist?
Great question about what it should read.
I am wondering the same.
I'm not Scotty, but there is just one DVM,with different mounting plates.
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File Type: jpg StateofChargeChart.jpg (53.8 KB, 0 views)
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adding a volt meter

This is a simple little chart I send out along with wiring directions with every meter.
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