Power Supply Wire - Pin End
This is a close up of the crimped pin for the power supply cable. I would leave well enough alone and not cut the wire shorter unless it is absolutely necessary. This pin fits nicely in the shunt socket.
Use A Small Screw Driver
Use a small flat bladed screw driver and simply slide the orange tab towards the shunt to open the clamping mechanism. In this photo I have not yet slid the orange tab towards the shunt.
Slide Back The Orange Tab
With the tab slid backwards simply push the pin into place. It will slide all the way into the socket just about up to the plastic.
Older Link 10
Here's a prime example of why I like the Victron simplicity. This is an older Link 10 and it requires five wires to be installed and then screwed down at the monitor end. This is certainly not difficult but requires some level of precision, access and can be a tad tedious.
The current Xantrex monitors, Link-Lite & Link-Pro, still connect exactly like the old Link 10 and on top of that they cost more money.
Link 10 Shunt
Rather than a shunt mounted PCB, like Victron has chosen, which offers true "plug and play" simplicity, the Link series shunts still require wire stripping, crimping, and the physical need to manually wire the shunt. The blue & red wires from the previous photo, and not pictured here on the shunt, go to the positive battery post with in-line fuses.
Again not difficult to wire but more tedious. I still have a Link-Pro on my own vessel and I am of the opinion that the Xantrex units are slightly more robustly built but you certainly pay for that quality, which may not even be necessary.
As if this writing the Xantrex Link-Lite cost $223.99 at Defender. That however is not the whole story. The Xantrex monitors do not come with the wire to hook it up, just the shunt. The "communication kit" or roughly translated to as "multiple twisted pair wire" runs another $104.99 at Defender. The Victron units come complete.
A Xantrex Link-Lite will cost you $233.99 + $104.99 = $328.98 A Victron BMV-602S will cost you about $100.00 or so less. They BOTH will monitor the voltage of a second bank but the Victron is costs less and does more. It will also allow the connection of a computer which the Link-Lite will not do.
That being said if you don't need to monitor the voltage of a second bank, really not all that necessary if it is just a starting or reserve bank, then Victron also offers the BMV-600S single bank monitor for just $184.25 and it is available for purchase right here, and helps support this site.. Buy A Battery Monitor (LINK)
Ideally unless you are taking a "resting voltage" reading of a secondary bank it really won't tell you much of anything close to accurate anyway. Stick with the single bank version for the best value.
Battery monitors can display many different values on the screen including voltage, amp hours consumed, amperage, state of charge and more.
The "V" screen, as shown here, measures voltage for the house bank. This voltage reading is showing the battery being float charged.
This particular model, the Victron BMV-602S, can monitor the voltage of two banks as can the Xantrex Link-Pro & Link-Lite models from Xantrex.
Measuring Voltage Bank 2
The "VS" screen tells you the voltage of a second bank. Seeing as I used one battery for this illustration the meter is showing the same voltage as the the "V" screen.
I should mention that there have been a couple of people on the boating forums complaining that the V & VS screens, even when fed from the same source voltage are not in sync or well calibrated. This sample happens to be properly calibrated. An experienced sailor and electrical engineer on SailboatOwners.com has had two units with voltage readings from .01 - .03 volts off when sensed from the identical source.
Is a variance of .01 to .03 volts a big deal? No, not at all, but I just wanted to make you aware so that you don't panic if your V & VS screens do not completely agree. Victron might need to do some better QC with the V & VS screen readings!
Measuring Amps At Rest
The "I" screen shows current in/out. This shot is showing no loads or charge current.
Measuring A Current Draw
This "I" screen shot shows the monitor measuring a negative load. A negative load is denoted by the - symbol.
Measuring + Charge Current
This screen shows a positive charge current as denoted by the lack of the - symbol..
Amp Hours Consumed
This is the CE or Consumed Energy screen. It shows the amount of amp hours consumed from the battery. After the battery receives a full charge this readout resets to 0.0 Ah denoting a fully synchronized monitor.
If you draw a current of 10 amps for a period of 4 hours you will show -40 Ah on the CE screen.
State of Charge
This is the SOC or State-of-charge screen. This screen is the best way to monitor the SOC of the battery with this monitor. This screen is only useful provided you have programmed the monitor correctly, it's synchronizing the way it should, and is wired properly. This readout calculates the amount of energy available in the battery and is Peukert & CEF / Charge Efficiency & capacity corrected. The screen ranges from 0% = dead to 100% = full.
Counting amp hours is ok but is most often not an accurate reflection of the true state of charge of the battery. For example if the battery is drawn down heavily & at a high rate of current you will get less usable Ah's than its rating. If drawn slower than the 20 hour rating you can get more Ah's out of it. The SOC screen corrects for the Peukert exponent and CEF the Ah screen does not.
Please take the time to read the manual for these monitors as they are generally more difficult to program and master than the actual installation!
To keep your monitor accurate:
*Wire it correctly
*Program an accurate Peukert exponent for the bank
*Program an ACCURATE Ah capacity for your bank
*Program an accurate charge efficiency
*Turn OFF or program around AUTO-SYNCH
*Use MANUAL "KNOWN-FULL" resets
*Reset as often as possible when KNOWN FULL
*Each year find your new 20 hour Ah capacity or reduce capacity
IMPORTANT NOTE: Reserve Capacity, Reserve Minutes or an RC rating are NOT the 20 hour Ah capacity!!!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Most HEALTHY flooded lead acid batteries need 115% or more charge put back in, compared to what you took out. This means a charge efficiency of 85% is going to be more accurate than 90%. Check with your battery manufacturer to get the most accurate CEF number you can get.