Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Screen Shots of a 'System' install

I have been using the soon-to-be-available simple 2" dash display, and today took some snap shots.  On Viking Star the VSR Alternator Regulator connected locally to the alternator and working in conjunction with an RBM (Remote Battery Monitor) .  From the VSR Alternator Reference Guide, here is how things are wired up:


With this setup the Alternator Regulator is wired locally at the alternator; monitoring its voltage, current, and temperature.  The Battery Monitor is back at the battery monitoring its voltage, current, and temperature.  A single CAT-5 cable is ran from the engine room back to the battery.  To connect the simple Dash-Display all I needed to do was continue this CAT-5 cabling from the VSR Alternator Regulator up to the dish display.  While running I took these photos:

Shown here are two screens, one for the Battery and one for the Alternator.  (Note, all these screens were automatically created by the simple Dash Display, no setup needed - just plug in the CAT5 cable).  Some details I wanted to point out:
  • A key value of the RBM (Sensor Extender if you will) is that it simplified wiring.  Only a single CAT5 needs to be routed back from the Engine room.  The VSR Alternator Regulator is provided true Battery information in this way.
  • This leaves the Alternator sensing wires to sense the Alternator, voltage and current.
  • And to install the simple Dash Display, only a CAT-5 cable was needed.  No need to run ANOTHER set of sensing wires to the battery and alternator.

While running I also want to point out some details shown on the screen-shots above:
  1. Note how the Battery Voltage is 14.4v (its target) while the Alternator voltage is a bit higher at 14.5v.  This is because of voltage drop of high current over the battery cables.
  2. Note also how the battery amps are higher then the alternator output.  This is because I also have solar panels installed which are not (presently) participating in the systems communications network.
Fun and interesting if you like to watch things like this -- but one thought related to point #1 above:  If while monitoring you see the voltage difference between the battery and the alternator starts increasing, this is an indication of a wiring failure in the high current wires.   Being able to monitor and catch this is one safety ability a Systems Approach allows.

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