#47204  by vansvilla
 Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:03 am
I have just fitted a Smartguage, it only gives me % of charge and current voltage, does not need a shunt, press the button and I get a reading.

If you google smartguage you will find the item I refer to.,

Got mine from Aus and was half the price of a full blown meter, I decided that I only want a SOC as a % so this works fine for me.
 #47208  by Neddy
 Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:48 am
That SmartGauge battery meter looks really interesting.
What did it cost all up and where did you get it John?

The electrical guru Collyn Rivers (whose opinions I value very highly) says
"In my own experience there is remarkably little difference between the SoC indications given by by three quite different monitors on the same (large) battery bank over many years. All were well within 10%. And that, I suggest, is close enough."
 #47209  by Nut17
 Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:59 am
Neddy, you just asked exactly the same questions as I had typed and was about to post :!: :!:

Cheers Chris
 #47211  by vansvilla
 Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:30 am
Hi guys,
I got it from Enerdrive in Aus, they are the closest agents.

Cost was $230.00 including post but less Aus sales tax.

The company dont normally sell to the general public but made an exception in my case.

Smart guage have a very comprehensive web site, their FAQ pages make good reading.
 #47221  by Nut17
 Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:51 pm
Hi John, our "full blown" Votronic meter is NZ$269.00 with 100A Shunt or $299.00 with the 200A shunt. For the extra information and charging and discharge limit controls represents very good value for money. Only marginally dearer than the Smart Gauge for the extra features.

Cheers Chris
 #47242  by vansvilla
 Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:29 pm
Hi Chris,
I agree it is not a lot more to pay for all the info it gives you.

I sometimes think that there is a tendency to overdo things so opted for the most basic info.

Besides I was swayed a bit by their FAQs and explanation of why they considered the smartguage to be more accurate than amp counters.
Time will tell I guess.

Cheeers
John.
 #49792  by Genesis
 Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:29 pm
Chris, getting back to the topic, no doubt you've been keeping up with the news of the problems the Dreamliner is having with its batteries overheating and catching fire. Do you think you might have a problem in the future?
 #49809  by Nut17
 Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:59 pm
Hi Geoff, I am fairly relaxed at this stage as investigation would show that the cells used in the "Dreamliner" were of a different chemistry to the LiPo4 Yttrium units we have. There have been several interesting threads on the Aussie "Caravaners Forum" which end up in slanging matches with admin having to lock the thread and in some cases posters being banned from the forum. Seems to be when all the self proclaimed experts get together they cannot agree. It would appear that the largest contributor to failure of these new batteries is cell imbalance which can be caused by incorrect charging protocols and - or loose connections on the cell connection straps. This apparently results in one cell being overcharged then "meltdown" My battery pack has always remained at room temperature whenever I have checked - even after an hour with over 40 amps of charge current being delivered.
Last time I checked the cell balance, they were all within 0.02v. All battery connections are robust using stainless steel bolts with spring washers and get checked whenever I do a cell balance check.

I have recently purchased a cell logger, but have yet to spend the time working out how to connect and program it.

The longer I live with this battery pack, the more I realise that they are a fit and forget device that really needs no special attention.

Cheers Chris
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