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  1. #1
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    Default Cheap, DIY, Semi Intelligent battery monitor

    Here is the dropbox link to the files. Please follow them from Step 1 directly.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fi6v8am7w...HmgxuCsva?dl=0


    The current latest version is V1.3. I will be updating the Beta version soon(29 June Comment) once we have the new boards.
    This project is now again active and we are busy with the PCB printing and component sourcing.

    There is a change in the Current sensor from the first run. We can now get a cheaper sensor that also run to 30Amps, and that has screw terminals instead of the 2 holes we had on the original one. This should work easier.

    Secondly, we cannot get these plastic holders anymore. But I am busy designing a custom steel case which is fit to this form and will allow a clean package. This will be laser cut and bent on order, once the design is finished and takes around 4 days to have it cut, bend and powder coated.



    The PCB kit can be ordered here:
    http://electrothing.co.za/products/7...um---diy-batte
    The Arduino kit can be ordered here:
    http://electrothing.co.za/products/8...um---diy-batte
    For the guys that will collect in PTA (Villieria), use coupon code "NoShipping" on checkout and delivery cost will be removed from your order. Collection will be possible in the afternoon from 16h30 and weekends. Arrangements to be made.

    I think we,ll make cutoff date 31 August. 2016

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After the initial thread about a Arduino driven battery monitor I decided to jump off that project and quickly do a much smaller, simpler and cheaper model that can be build by almost anyone with a PC and a soldering iron.
    This one will be meter that will give you the following info.

    Battery Voltage
    Percent Remaining (based on Ah out vs Ah in)
    Amps being put back in currently with the charger
    Amps being drawn by the load
    Amphours placed back with the charger
    Amphours used with the load
    Estimated time remaining based on your current load
    Max Amp charged
    Max Load Drawn
    Max Volts
    A buzzer alarm settable to the Amphours % remaining you want
    A buzzer alarm for low volts
    A relay that will switch off load if your battery is drained past a certain point
    Some Peukert values to play with (advanced)

    This meter will work on 7Ah to 255Ah batteries and can be selected via the buttons on the menu.
    The max amp in or out is limited to 30Amps, although continues use is recommended at below 20Amp.



    Total costs are around R500 for all the spares and you need to solder some bits onto the parts and then fit it into one of your containers.

    To start you need to get onto the Arduino website and get started with the basics. Its very simple and everything is open source so all the programs and software is downloaded and used for free.
    http://www.arduino.cc/


    Now, I am not a professional in this line, I do it for a hobby. If you build one and find a fault let me know and il fix it.


    So to start, have a look at the drawing and schematic I made with Fretzing.
    MThompson did a proper design and is also attached here.
    Pick the spares and sizes from there.


    MThomson did a PCB with component kit. It can also be ordered here until we achieved the target guys to make this feasible to print-60Units

    The code is very simple and is attached here in the dropbox link.

    Hope this pictures below is simple enough


    I think it is error free as far as I can test and see it. If you do run the code and find any errors let me know please.

    EDIT:
    Video added for menu and other functions-Partially v7.6-Old Version of code-Several updates done after this one(29 June16 Comment)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4v7CvNxhV4
    And here is v7.7 in action.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aG0b0zH_-Ic

    The code is updated often so have a look at the top few lines of the code to see what changed from the previous version.
    Here is a video of V7.9 of code.
    http://youtu.be/pRTn7Ivl4H0

    I added a type of manual. Will still make it look better but gives some idea.

    Here is the dropbox link. All the files will be kept in there.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fi6v8am7w...HmgxuCsva?dl=0

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by WillysCJ; 2016/08/21 at 07:30 PM. Reason: 2016 June Rerun Update
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to WillysCJ For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    Default

    Subscribed

    Wonderful project....

    Will speak to you on Saturday
    Pieter A Smuts(jnr)
    2010 Toyota Fortuner 3.0D4D 4x4
    Front Mount Intercooler / 76mm Exhaust / "Veri-Peri" Remote map Dastek chip - SAC / RAW4x4 Predator Suspension(HDP Shocks) / DIY Roof Rack / 265/70R17 BFG AT Ko2 / Frontrunner Rocksliders / Excel Long range Tank / Ironman Front Bumper / DIY Rear bumper with sparewheel carriers / DIY Centre Console / OOMS se Canvas Dash & Sparewheel covers ......what is next?
    2020 Toyota Hilux 2.4GD6 Extracab
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    2012 BMW X1 2.0D S-Drive
    Adrie's fuelsaver....[/B]
    All covered by:TUFFSTUFF INSURANCE PRODUCT

  4. #3
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    Default

    Subscribed. Are you sure about the costs, starting from scratch?

    Hilux 3.0 D4D "Goldilocks" - Rigged for overlanding
    ORRA Callsign: X130
    Passionate about alternative energy

  5. #4
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    Default

    Well yes,

    The arduino nano is R180 or so, the CT is R130, the screen is R70.

    All thats left after that is 2 resistors and some thin wires.

    The box will be a diy thing to mount it in so I did not consider those costs. Should not be costing much.

    The rest is just a mini usb cable, which is used for programming. Most people have them lying around and the software is free from internet,

    Nothing else to it.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  6. #5
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    Default

    Hi,
    great simple project.
    Just a few questions.
    1. Is this battery monitor installed inline with the camp load (for monitoring the current) ?
    2. If (1) is true are the components capable of handling the start-up current draw of a fridge as well as the sustained current draw?
    Neil T

  7. #6
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    Default

    The CT is a hall effect sensor and yes its in line. It can measure 0-30amp but isolate and handle 2.1KV and 150amp or 5 times overcurrent load.

    It has a very low impedance of 1.2miliohm so no I2C losses or heat build up.

    There are bigger ones available, but im sure 30amp will be more than adequate for a camping setup.

    Here is some info of the current sensors website.
    This current sensor is a carrier board or breakout board for Allegro’s ACS715LLCTR-30A-T Hall effect-based linear current sensor; we therefore recommend careful reading of the ACS715 datasheet (593k pdf) before using this product. The sensor operates at 5 V and has an output sensitivity of 133 mV/A. The board ships fully populated with its SMD components, including the ACS715, as shown in the product picture. The following list details some of the sensor’s key features:

    Designed for unidirectional input current from 0 to 30 A, but the sensor will provide meaningful feedback for currents as low as -1.5 A, and the robust IC can survive up to five times the overcurrent condition.
    Conductive path internal resistance is typically 1.2 mΩ, and the PCB is made with 2-oz copper, so very little power is lost in the board.
    Use of a Hall effect sensor means the IC is able to electrically isolate the current path from the sensor’s electronics (up to 2.1 kV RMS), which allows the sensor to be inserted anywhere along the current path and to be used in applications that require electrical isolation.
    80 kHz bandwith that can optionally be decreased by adding a capacitor across the board pins marked “filter”.
    High accuracy and reliability: typical total output error of 1.5% at room temperature with factory calibration, an extremely stable output offset voltage, and almost zero magnetic hysteresis.
    Automotive-grade operating temperature range of -40C to 150C.
    The pads are labeled on the bottom silkscreen, as shown in the picture to the right. The silkscreen also shows the direction that is interpreted as positive current flow via the +i arrow.
    Last edited by WillysCJ; 2014/07/10 at 08:30 AM.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  8. #7
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    Awesome little project! Thanks for the info, im going to get the components ordered.
    2012 Bi Turbo 4Motion, on Bilsteins with a 50mm suspension lift and 20mm body lift. 76mm pipe and software.

  9. #8
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    Default

    Jip, just waiting to get back to SA then I will also try my hand at this

  10. #9
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    Default

    Btw,

    This is just to get started. I will in time change the software in such a way as to get more acurate ah readings, better battery characterising and more options for different batteries.

    All that whoever wants to use it then has to do is to load the new code onto their units.

    So think of this in a practical usable sense and either tell me what more you want in this and for the battery experts, tell me how to better analyse a battery based on these sensors and different input parameters.

    If we then later add a input current measuring device, you can just connect that one pin to your board. The same goes for a extra temp probe, extra relays that you might want to switch or whatever else.

    There are extra pins available that will allow expansion without you loosing your current unit its purpose.

    So, Eggie, Fluffy, Tom, and you experts, please help. Lets make it something nice.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  11. #10
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    Just to see if I understand the above correctly:
    Can I purchase a second (maybe 3) Current Sensor Carrier, and then be able to monitor my alternator and solar voltages and currents aswell?
    Also, once the battery is put on charge (be it from the vehicles alternator or DC/DC), the voltage will increase and the % of the battery will vary accordingly?
    2012 Bi Turbo 4Motion, on Bilsteins with a 50mm suspension lift and 20mm body lift. 76mm pipe and software.

  12. #11
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    Yes you can.

    You can add 6 more devices which uses analog. So as an example.

    3 current sensors to measure sunpanel, alternator, load.
    3 voltage dividers to measure sunpanel, alternator and load if you are seperated by a Ctek or something.
    2 temp probes.

    The only thing is that we need to update the code by recalling some off the subroutines and then find space on the screen to show it.

    You can let the screen scroll through all the values or let it clear and show different sensor values.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBoy View Post
    Just to see if I understand the above correctly:
    Can I purchase a second (maybe 3) Current Sensor Carrier, and then be able to monitor my alternator and solar voltages and currents aswell?
    Also, once the battery is put on charge (be it from the vehicles alternator or DC/DC), the voltage will increase and the % of the battery will vary accordingly?
    When charging the volts will show higher than 12.8 and it will show "Charging" on the screen without any Ah remaining indications. Once the volts drop to 12.8V again after charging it will show percentage down until battery reaches 11.3Volt after which it will indicate "Low" on the screen.
    Gerhard
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    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  15. #13
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    For future:
    1. Cut off the load if battery is below a set level or if current draw to high
    2. Alarm if battery low and/or 1 happens

  16. #14
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    There is going to be a spike in Arduino sales........

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by neoT View Post
    For future:
    1. Cut off the load if battery is below a set level or if current draw to high
    2. Alarm if battery low and/or 1 happens
    Yes, can be done easilly but will need then to add a contactor that can be switched from the arduino relay to drop the load off but its expensive.

    Thr buzzer is R5 so we can add that very easilly.

    I see this place is cheaper on the arduino

    http://worldcnc.co.za/index.php?rout...product_id=166

    No stock at netram
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  18. #16
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    I picked up a few silly mistakes tonight so fixed them up now.

    I also replaced the 2 resistors of the voltage divider with a 10k variable resistor to make sure that there is an easy way to calibrate voltage to as close as accurate as possible.
    So when you build yours set the pod to roughly in the centre, then compare the reading on the screen to that of a mulitmeter like I did below and turn that pod until they match. It can be done on any voltage below 15Volt and the reading will be accurate for a range between 0 to 15 Volt.

    Il update the code and drawing with the 10k pod in on post one.

    Il also add version numbers to the code and then whoever updates the code will on the screen during startup of the monitor know which version of the code they havr and compare it to the latest version on this thread.

    Have a look at the pic. I think its accurate enough on voltage.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by WillysCJ; 2014/07/10 at 09:47 PM.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  19. #17
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    Default The CODE-Versions will be updated here

    Just in case anyone missed it.

    The code is attached on a word document in post 1 as of last week due to the forum making errors in the code by removing spaces and making faces.

    Fluffy. Hope you just missed it and thats where the worry comes from??
    Last edited by WillysCJ; 2014/07/30 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Update that code moved to post 1.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  20. #18
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    Comparing amps.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Gerhard
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    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  21. #19
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    Default Help with Amphours reading

    I want to add the amphours drawn into the code but im struggling to see practically how this will work?

    If you do Amphours I can make it calcultate it based on the reading from the Current Sensor and it will start displaying the Ah used from the moment you switch on the unit and acumulate over time as you draw more load and time goes by.

    The moment you actually reset the monitor, or take the power off then the Ah used will start at 0 again.

    Now when camping, how would we want to use this value?

    Do we want the Ah reading to reset every hour?
    Do we want it to continually acumalate?
    When you place the battery on charge, should the Ah out reset?

    Help please. Im stuck on a brain freeze here.


    EDIT: This is what I am considering to do.

    Let Ah run until it reaches the stated battery capacity, then reset. It should keep record during normal camping for around 4 days on a 105ah battery, so by day 3 you can see as an example 80Ah used and when you wake up in the morning and its 19Ah, you will not it reset and is now busy with its second cycle. On a smaller battery it will obviously be less but help with estimating how much went out the batery.

    OPINIONS?
    Last edited by WillysCJ; 2014/07/11 at 08:09 PM.
    Gerhard
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    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by neoT View Post
    For future:
    1. Cut off the load if battery is below a set level or if current draw to high
    2. Alarm if battery low and/or 1 happens
    I added a little speaker as per point 2.
    It will buzz for a second during startup and when battery volts fall below 11.3Volt.
    Gerhard
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2
    Mercedes GLA 2.0 diesel (SWAMBO)
    And a Summit Everest trailer that SWAMBO loves.

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