Tri-Metric Monitor question - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-09-2018, 10:08 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas & Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape as of 01/16/17
Posts: 1,106
Tri-Metric Monitor question

For those Tri-Metric monitor aficionados...

If my monitor is indicating a 12.2V and a 53% charge, what exactly is this telling me? I want to make sure I understand this monitor completely.

Fred M.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7171.jpg (285.1 KB, 57 views)
__________________

__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 10:48 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 3,437
It is telling you that your batteries are 1/2 dead, or that you have used just about as much as you should to prolong battery life. Assuming you have it, this information is available at the solar controller.

A more useful setting for the Trimetric is amp hours. This will give you a more accurate idea of the battery condition. It tracks amp hours in & out of the batteries, and let you know how far down the batteries are, and after a bit of practice, what the chances are of making up what you used during the day, or how long you will need hookups to refill the batteries.

While voltage readings can also give this information, it is a bit more difficult to get an accurate voltage reading when using solar since it is always charging during daylight. The only accurate voltage reading is at night, and hour or two after sunset.
__________________

__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,480
Tri-Metric Monitor question

That is telling you that your electrical system is currently at 12.2 volts. If you don’t have any inputs or outputs during the time of the reading then this is the voltage of your battery itself, otherwise both inputs (eg charging from your converter or solar) and outputs (eg lights, furnace fan, etc) will change the voltage reading to something either higher or lower than your actual battery’s voltage. This is why battery meters that use only voltage to estimate state of charge are basically a wildish guess.

Your Trimetric circumvents this problem by counting how many amps go into and come out of your battery, thus providing a much better measurement of your actual state of charge. This is true provided that you have programmed your monitor correctly, of course, so that it knows your actual battery capacity.

The 53% is your monitor’s estimation of your current state of charge.

I suggest you plug in and fill er up. Going below 50% is bad, as I’m sure you know, as is leaving a lead acid battery undercharged for an extended timeframe.

Also, doublecheck your monitor to make sure it’s programmed right. The manuals and instructions are all on Bogart Engineering’s website, and I’d be happy to assist if I can.
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 11:51 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas & Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape as of 01/16/17
Posts: 1,106
Scott, looks like the monitor indicates -110 aH.

Fred M.
__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 12:22 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,480
Do you have dual 6v batteries? If so then that 53% state of charge pretty well matches and suggests your Trimetric is programmed for correct battery capacity. The quick reference guide is here http://www.bogartengineering.com/wp-...renceGuide.pdf Can you post all of your current settings?
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 01:08 PM   #6
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,764
As mentioned, the voltage level can vary depending on the current load use, to get a valid voltage everything need to be off and no input for an hour or so. The amps or % is better, I leave mine on the % FULL setting. The amp reading being the current load, +/-.

From the Quick Reference "Between 12.0 and 14.0 volts the display is a poor indicator
of state of charge in a working system. Use % full instead."
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2018, 07:49 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,449
Here are my settings taken from my initial setup of the Trimetric. The second set of numbers, a slight change from my initial were recommended here on the forum. These numbers are only valid if you have the dual 6 volt Interstate flooded batteries that Escape installs as an option.

Trimetric Settings Or Latest Suggestions

P1 15.3 Or 15.2
P2 5. Or 1.0
P3 232 Or 230



The Trimetric is a nice device. It is not user friendly. I have written numerous notes all over the installation instructions. It is accurate once it is set up. Several things I have discovered is, the only number to look at is the percent (however reread the previous sentence). And be careful with the reset button, the only time to use it is when you know your battery is fully charged. That means it has been plugged into shore power for a minimum of 48 hours.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 06:28 AM   #8
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,409
I installed one in my 2009 T@da, it was very complicated to use and understand. Now I use the on board solar display.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 07:59 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Strongsville, Ohio
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
Posts: 104
I've been experimenting with the Trimetric, SC-2030, and 200 watts of portable solar for about 2 months now. (I think we have seen the sun for a couple of hours during that time). The electronics is on a table in the garage, with the panels in the backyard, so my experience is limited.

Make sure the shunt is the only connection to the negative battery terminal, and connect a battery charger of some kind, or just the WFCO if you are in the trailer. ( I've been using the Battery Tender Plus in the garage when there is no sun here in Northeast Ohio.) You will see the voltage rise, and that percentage begin to increase.

I drag Candy out in the garage to watch the meter...but she just doesn't get as excited as I do when the sun lights up the panels!
SeldomSeen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 09:22 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas & Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape as of 01/16/17
Posts: 1,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
Can you post all of your current settings?

I do have the dual 6V batteries that ETI installed. This trailer is 2 years old.

Here are my current settings:

P1=14.3
P2= 2.0
P3=220
P4= A
P5= OFF
P6= OFF
P7= L1

While I was going through my settings yesterday, I must have pressed “reset” once too many times and it changed my “Battery % Full” reading from 53% to 100%. This morning, it reads 89%. Butterfingers that I am!

Fred M.
__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 09:59 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I do have the dual 6V batteries that ETI installed. This trailer is 2 years old.

Here are my current settings:

P1=14.3
P2= 2.0
P3=220
P4= A
P5= OFF
P6= OFF
P7= L1

While I was going through my settings yesterday, I must have pressed “reset” once too many times and it changed my “Battery % Full” reading from 53% to 100%. This morning, it reads 89%. Butterfingers that I am!

Fred M.
I agree with Jim, the Trimetric is not especially user friendly. Unless you first read the manual carefully to ensure it's programmed correctly, then set it to the % FULL display, and just leave it there. Then it's a very accurate State of Charge (SOC) gauge, simple and easy to use. Otherwise it's a well made device, made by engineers, for engineers.

I think your settings look perfect and I would leave them there. Barring any wiring issues, I think your Trimetric should be good to go. The most important reading, as I and others have mentioned is the % FULL display. This reading on the Trimetric will be far more accurate than any voltage based battery charge indicator, e.g. the one on your KiB tank monitor panel, or the one built into a solar controller. The Trimetric actually counts the amps going into and coming out of the battery; something voltage based gauges cannot do.

So I have a concern, and some confusion, that on your original post, the pictures indicated a 53% SOC, but the charging LED was also illuminated, and your voltage was 12.2. This is a really odd combination, because while the 53% matches the 12.2v, the charging light shouldn't be on unless the Trimetric detects amps going into the battery. But if your converter or solar were actually charging, I would expect to see a voltage of at least 13.2. This confuses me, and maybe one of our local EE's can chime in here.

For diagnostic purposes, was your trailer plugged into shore power when the pic was taken. If so it makes me wonder if your converter is failing to charge your batteries properly. Something seems fishy.

Bottom line though, outside of figure that out, is that you need to charge your batteries up, both to protect them as you're on the cusp of damaging them, and also to reset your Trimetric so it understands when your batteries are actually full.
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2018, 11:02 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,449
Give your batteries another 48 hours on shore power, then use the reset button for the very last time. That should get your % remaining straightened out and like it was recommended, just use the % screen to monitor.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2018, 08:52 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas & Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape as of 01/16/17
Posts: 1,106
Tri-Metric Monitor question

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
For diagnostic purposes, was your trailer plugged into shore power when the pic was taken. If so it makes me wonder if your converter is failing to charge your batteries properly..

Scott,
I observed the monitor at the previous campsite while plugged into shore power, and the state of charge was 100%.

The photos were taken at the next campground with no shore power. It was a clear sunny day and I had my portable solar panel (100W) out to assist my roof mounted solar panel (160W). In effect, I had a 260W solar panel setup.

I will check my connections at the shunt and behind the monitor to make sure they are all secure.

How does one diagnose the converter to make sure it is providing the proper voltage to charge the battery? I will look into that as well.

Fudge_brownie,
We arrived at a new campground yesterday that has shore power and will be here for 3 days. I will see how that affects the state of charge.

Thanks for everyone’s input!

Regards,

Fred M.
__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2018, 02:12 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Caldwell, Idaho
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0
Posts: 109
First, solar panels are often rated at the maximum they can possibly produce because it makes for a better number. They get this rating at a high altitude, on a cloudless day, with low dust count, with the pannel directly perpendicular to the sunbeams path and at the perfect temperature. They may even cheat a little and have a reflective surface close by. Under normal conditions you won't get the rated capacity.

A little about lead acid batteries: When lead acid batteries discharge they do so by removing the sulfur from the electrolyte and combining it with lead in the plates to make lead sulfate. When the plates are completely coated with lead sulfate they are electrically the same so there is no potential to make voltage between them.

Lead sulfate does not adhere to the plates very well. The more there is the more likely that it will flake off and settle to the bottom of the battery. Once the sulfate is lost from the plates and goes to the bottom of the battery it is lost to the chemical reactions that make the battery do its thing.

The more the battery is agitated the more it will shed sulfate. It is a good idea to keep the battery topped up when moving so that there is minimum sulfate to flake off under the agitation of movement.

When camped up and not moving though it is okay to let the batteries get a little down. It is in the nature of lead acid batteries not to like deep cycling but if you buy the proper kind of batteries they can take more of it than normal starting batteries. Deep cycle batteries are a little more expensive than starting batteries but they are worth it in this case.

With the right deep cycle batteries you can run them down until the voltage drops too low to be useful and they can take it. Just don't move them in that condition. It is a good practice to try to keep them above 50% but if you need the other 50% it won't ruin them. It will just shorten their life a bit.
mizterwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2018, 07:20 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
sclifrickson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,480
Fred, just following up to see how things turned out? From our offline discussion it sounded like your Trimetric was fine, but were you able to confirm that your solar and converter are operating correctly?
__________________
💩-p+☕️+n
sclifrickson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 10:59 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas & Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2017 21' Escape as of 01/16/17
Posts: 1,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
Fred, just following up to see how things turned out? From our offline discussion it sounded like your Trimetric was fine, but were you able to confirm that your solar and converter are operating correctly?


Since our conversation, we have shifted to Holiday mode with full hookups and cold weather conditions, so my trouble-shooting has been put on the back burner. Once we leave Reno, NV and head south to warmer temps and more available time, I will resume and report back. Thanks for your concern!

Regards,

Fred M.
__________________

__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×