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Old 05-08-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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DOC Wattson Battery Meter HELP!

I am the first one to admit that electrical is not my field. We have been boon docking a lot and want to see how the battery life is doing. I wanted just a simple meter that acted like a gas gauge green good red bad. However, I saw this DOC Wattson model R102 digital panel meter. It sounds like it does the gas gauge thing and a whole lot more. MORE GOOD well maybe not.

First I am not sure how to hook it up. The diagram shows one end from battery the other end to charger. The only place for me to hook it up easily is in the 12v fuse panel. Does this look right??

The other issue is that not all of the readings offer information they are just at 0 the only thing the shows a reading is the volts. It show volts being used and the charging volt.

Maybe the way I have the battery connection (load side) and the other connection on the same side of the fuse panel it is not drawing 2 different readings. Would it be better to hook directly to the converter??

Any and all recommendation are appreciated. This thing may just end up on ebay before the weekend is over.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
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Your unit is a combo amp / volt meter. It also converts amps to watts, but that is simple math. In order to see amps or watts, there needs to be current flowing through the meter. It looks like you attached the meter to the lugs where converter attaches. There would be no current flowing through the meter and you would see zero amps and zero watts. You will only see voltage.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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Nick,

though I can't say that I've ever used one of these devices,
this looks like the Swiss Army Knife of power meters! here's a link from someone who's apparently been down your road before - Watts Up and Doc Wattson power meters.

when all else fails I try reading the manual.

let us know how it works out for you?

best,
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Thank for your help. The link was a big help for me understand it a little better. It still does not work the way I want it too. But after a bunch of sparks, cursing and the handy dandy multimeter I was able to figure out a 12v problem that just started this year where the 12 volt would sometimes work and sometimes not work. A 30 year old fuse that looked fine with the multimeter I discovered it was not. AND the neg fuse from the battery was lose.

My intent was to hook the Doc Wattson up so I could see the draw of everything on the 12v and the condition of the battery. however, I dont really see how to do it. I read the manual and played around with it and I can not figure out how to hook it up to the fuse box to work that way. I may just go buy a simple volt meter that I can see how much juice the battery has. Maybe there is something in the forums that will describe how to that.

Thanks again for your help. I will think about it a little more but I think it will be ebay bound.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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Is this what you were looking for?

Link 20
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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Filler' up!

It MAY not give ya what ya want...

I did some lookin' at those and unless I missed something, that's a 1 way meter...it will totalize all the juice you pull from the battery...BUT...it doesnt take into account what juice the charger puts back INTO the battery...

What that means is kinda like measuring how much gas your engine is burning but having no idea how much is being been added to the fuel tank...

The only solution I have found for a meter that will tell ya' how full is your battery (based on usage and recharge) is the bigger $$$$ units like the LINK or Trimetric's...

My Trimetric arrived today from Randy (Best Converter) so I'll be doing an install this weekend.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:44 PM   #7
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HiHo, where in the trailer did you install the meter?
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
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HiHo, where in the trailer did you install the meter?
Street Side, just fwd of the dinette. I have a 110V outlet with a Kill-o-Watt meter I use to monitor the Campground voltage so I mounted the Trimetric right next to it. The wiring sneaks down and behind the cabinet, forward under the wall mounted table, down an interior panel seam to the shunt thats mounted on the internal wall skin between the two battery boxes.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:19 AM   #9
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Hi Nick,
If you like to boondock you've got to get a good multimeter for your batteries. I would recommend a Link 10 which provides voltage, amps being used, a history of amps used since last charge, and how long you have on your present charge until you need to recharge your batteries.

I have the Link 1000 which does the same thing as a Link 10 but it also controls my Freedom 10 Inverter/Charger. A great setup which provides
110v AC to all of my outlets. My Sovereign is a boondocking machine.

You can see pics of my installation on my blog.

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I truly only wanted a gas gauge for the battery to tell me if it was full or empty. Then I thought about going a little more high tech for a few extra bucks. But that idea did not work. So I just went and bought a honda generator last week so that I don't even have to worry about it anymore. Not sure how I got from a $50 gauge to a $900 generator but either way the batteries will have juice.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:09 PM   #11
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...Not sure how I got from a $50 gauge to a $900 generator but either way the batteries will have juice.

Thanks again.
We have a technical term at work for that phenomenon, it's called 'scope creep'
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
We have a technical term at work for that phenomenon, it's called 'scope creep'
Yep!!
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #13
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Severe Scope Creep

I have severe "scope creep" then. I started out looking at battery monitoring systems, then the little Hondas, and ended up with a Yamaha EF3000iSEB so we can run the AC, hair dryer (for the Mrs.), or the convection oven (no gas oven in the '06). I do have to say it has come in handy for power outtages at home and boondocking.
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