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Old 11-16-2017, 10:22 AM   #1
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Picture and information Request

I am working on my build sheet for my 21'. I am considering moving the EMS and solar charge controller display somewhere a little higher in the trailer so I can actually see the displays easily. Escape isn't willing to move them, but they offered to not install the displays. I searched but struggled to find out exactly what I wanted to know. Questions:
1. The solar display is part of the same box as the controller, correct? If so, I am not as tempted to move it because I want the controller to battery distance to be short. If I am incorrect, pictures would be helpful.
2. The EMS display looks like it has a cable running to it from the EMS box, correct? Is this a standard telephone cable?
3. Does anyone have pictures (or links to pictures) of the back of the EMS displays in the cabinet?

Thanks for all your help!

Eric
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:29 AM   #2
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The EMS display uses what looks JUST like a phone cable, and just plugs into the bottom of the display.

You can get a good view of it in this video:

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Old 11-16-2017, 10:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ericw View Post
2. The EMS display looks like it has a cable running to it from the EMS box, correct? Is this a standard telephone cable?
The installation instructions for the HW30C specifically say this: "12. Plug in remote display and cable. (This cable is not a phone cable, but rather a data cable)."

This might be overkill, but they do make a kit that allows two displays and you switch between them. Or just order a longer cable from them - the kit has a 14' one. I think the cable that comes stock is only 3 to 5'.

http://www.progressiveindustries.net/ems-rds
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ericw View Post
I am working on my build sheet for my 21'. I am considering moving the EMS and solar charge controller display somewhere a little higher in the trailer so I can actually see the displays easily. Escape isn't willing to move them, but they offered to not install the displays. I searched but struggled to find out exactly what I wanted to know. Questions:
1. The solar display is part of the same box as the controller, correct? If so, I am not as tempted to move it because I want the controller to battery distance to be short. If I am incorrect, pictures would be helpful.
2. The EMS display looks like it has a cable running to it from the EMS box, correct? Is this a standard telephone cable?
3. Does anyone have pictures (or links to pictures) of the back of the EMS displays in the cabinet?

Thanks for all your help!

Eric
The current GoPower controller has a built in display, and, if you purchase the 1500 watt inverter option, the inverter on/off switch is integrated in the controller.

Personally, I dislike crawling around under the dinette to switch on the inverter, check the controller display, etc, but I could not convince Escape to go back to mounting it above the refrigerator as they did in the past. I realize keeping a short run to the batteries is ideal, but with the size of our trailers, the location over the refrigerator is not a problem as long as wire size is taken into consideration.

I added a Bogart battery monitor, and may switch to their controller, which uses the battery monitor display. I'll have to check with GoPower to see if they have a separate remote for the inverter...
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:07 AM   #5
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Some solar controllers have the ability to add a remote (wired) monitor. Not sure if the current GoPower has that ability. You could consider a different model with that feature. I added the Trimetric Battery Monitor to accomplish the eye level monitoring.

There are a number of other models available, check this link for possibilities.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Personally, I dislike crawling around under the dinette to switch on the inverter, check the controller display, etc, but I could not convince Escape to go back to mounting it above the refrigerator as they did in the past. I realize keeping a short run to the batteries is ideal, but with the size of our trailers, the location over the refrigerator is not a problem as long as wire size is taken into consideration.
I agree, and do not like the EMS display there. I am contemplating moving it above the fridge with a longer cable, or maybe use a second display like Dave linked to.

I plan on installing my own transfer switch, and will install the switch above the fridge.

I already ran my remote solar controller panel to above the fridge, leaving the controller near the batteries. I very much prefer this location as it is easy to read, and all the meters are there.

I also have a coax run to bring down from right beside the fridge in the upper cabinet.

I will also be installed a new control panel that has the 120V switch for the water heater on it, but had Escape pull that wire for me, though never checked yet to see if they did.

Now I just need to decide whether to pull the fridge or to run the cables up the corner and through the upper cabinet to above the fridge.

A question of my own. What is the advantage of installing a separate battery monitor, is not the voltage read on my solar charge control panel pretty much the same thing?
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:08 PM   #7
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I already ran my remote solar controller panel to above the fridge, leaving the controller near the batteries. I very much prefer this location as it is easy to read, and all the meters are there.

A question of my own. What is the advantage of installing a separate battery monitor, is not the voltage read on my solar charge control panel pretty much the same thing?
Jim, the difference, as I understand it, is measuring battery voltage vs Amp hours (using a resistor in series with the batteries). Voltage gives you a feel for where your batteries are at and Amp hours gives you a much more detailed and accurate view on the situation. Obviously I am grossly simplifying the situation since battery monitors provide a lot more information.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:51 PM   #8
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Jim, the difference, as I understand it, is measuring battery voltage vs Amp hours (using a resistor in series with the batteries). Voltage gives you a feel for where your batteries are at and Amp hours gives you a much more detailed and accurate view on the situation. Obviously I am grossly simplifying the situation since battery monitors provide a lot more information.
It makes good sense when you put it that way.

I am not enamoured by the solar display. I don't fully trust the readings on it, but do need to confirm. The battery level indicator shows near empty at 12.2V.

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Old 11-16-2017, 12:52 PM   #9
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A question of my own. What is the advantage of installing a separate battery monitor, is not the voltage read on my solar charge control panel pretty much the same thing?
A battery monitor, such as the Trimetric or the Victron use a "shunt" device. This shunt goes inline on the negative side of the batteries. So, ALL battery activity, whether its amps in or out is measured. So, the battery monitor then can display your current state of battery charge in AMPS remaining.

The major difference is that showing "capacity remaining" using only voltage is problematic. As the voltage being measured is affected by both charging and loads. So, if the charger (or solar) is "on" then you get a high voltage reading and a display would indicate your batteries are fully charged. Or if a heavy load is on, the voltage would read low, indicating a low state of charge. When, in fact, your batteries could be freshed, fully charged. You just happen to have the microwave turned on at the moment.

The battery monitor tracks every amp in or out and uses an occasional point in time when it knows its full (a baseline point). You configure it with your battery capacity (say 225 aH). So it knows that a net of, say 50 amp-hours have been drawn out, so the remaining capacity is 175aH.

The shunt is mounted right next to the battery, on the negative terminal. Then the display is mounted remotely, using a "data" cable.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:59 PM   #10
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A battery monitor, such as the Trimetric or the Victron use a "shunt" device. This shunt goes inline on the negative side of the batteries. So, ALL battery activity, whether its amps in or out is measured. So, the battery monitor then can display your current state of battery charge in AMPS remaining.

The major difference is that showing "capacity remaining" using only voltage is problematic. As the voltage being measured is affected by both charging and loads. So, if the charger (or solar) is "on" then you get a high voltage reading and a display would indicate your batteries are fully charged. Or if a heavy load is on, the voltage would read low, indicating a low state of charge. When, in fact, your batteries could be freshed, fully charged. You just happen to have the microwave turned on at the moment.

The battery monitor tracks every amp in or out and uses an occasional point in time when it knows its full (a baseline point). You configure it with your battery capacity (say 225 aH). So it knows that a net of, say 50 amp-hours have been drawn out, so the remaining capacity is 175aH.

The shunt is mounted right next to the battery, on the negative terminal. Then the display is mounted remotely, using a "data" cable.
Thanks for your input, Jeff. Do I look smarter? I feel that way.

I am going to look into one, and minimally run a data cable from the batteries to where I would want the monitor.

I know I could go back through threads to find what people use. I know Trimetric comes up a lot. What is a recommended model?
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