Author Topic: VOLTMETERS  (Read 9944 times)

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Offline Piston720

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VOLTMETERS
« on: January 06, 2012, 11:50:38 am »
Good morning
I am considering adding a cvoltmeter oto the cowling and would like to hear what others are using and locations.
Most of what I have seen are 2", which seems a little large??
Thanks for any suggestions.
Peter

Offline Gerry B

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 12:13:39 pm »
Hi Peter, I'll give you my 2 cents.  I have a 2" voltmeter mounted to the left of the gas gauge and it looks factory stock.  I recommend an analog style because you can know at a glance if it's hi/low or otherwise without having to calculate in your head is 12.2 volts too low or what.  I can look quick, see where the needle is and keep riding. I have a bigger alternator and ride with driving lights and heated gear. The voltmeter keeps me in the know.  Also, do NOT connect it directly to the battery, make sure it's on a switched lead. You don't want it to be a parasitic load and drain your battery.  Also, use a decent handheld voltmeter and check to see what the readings are at the battery directly and at your new dash meter. They may not be exactly the same, however, what you are looking for is big changes which your meter will alert you to.
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Offline Piston720

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 12:29:09 pm »
Thanks Gerry
That is exactly why I am going to add one, as I now have heated gear and will be adding driving lights. Any pro's or con's on the meters as they range from $15-$100.
How much more does your alternator put out and what is it?
What it an easy change out?
Mine is an 06, just purchased last Fall.

Offline S Smith

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 12:35:02 pm »
I have seen built-in and surface mount types used.

As for type of display, it all depends on what information the user is looking to derive and is capable of interpreting.   

 Aerostich sells simple LED based battery/charging system health gauge.


Or a more elaborate mufti-function digital meter



These are just 2 example of what is out there...

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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 05:40:46 pm »
My daughter got me THIS one from Kuryakin last Christmas and I love it!  It's a little bitty thing that fits in the curve just under and to the left of the speedo.  The LEDs are VERY bright and I can read them easily in the Florida sunshine, but it auto-dims when the evening comes.  As Gerry said, it lets you know of any big changes right away.


Offline fred-houston

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 06:45:20 pm »
There are a number of ways to mount a volt meter, I went in a little different direction.  I installed a Buck Dash Shelf, and ordered a dash mount volt meter and temperature gauge.  In the pictures you can see the volt meter before installation, and after.  You can't see the temperature gauge because it is covered up by my gloves, but it is exactly the same except on the left hand side.

I purchased the housings at a local electronic store. I thing they are called project boxes.  I also installed a cut off switch in case I want to turn them off at night.

Just another idea for you to consider.




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Offline Paulie

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 06:56:25 pm »
Datels are beeutiful on a Conc. Reelly accurate, EZ to read, bomb proof, etc.
I gots me a DMS-20PC-0-DCM-B...

http://www.datelmeters.com/cgi-bin/webshop.cgi?config=ent-home&uid=vnxeaolx132587924352&command=link--dcvoltmeters.html

Offline Slybones

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 07:09:21 pm »



I gots me one of them 5 function digital meters, tucked under the dash where it is out of the weather, for the most part anyways. I like having the voltmeter and a clock I can read at night. The temp function is can be useful a little. The lap timers and stuff I have used so little its not worth mentioning. But can be entertaining if you want to time your wife and point out how long she takes at each pit stop. In hindsight, thats probably why I never use that feature anymore.

I dont have any problem having it connected directly to the battery. It has 3 wires for this. Backlighting is connected to ignition and goes off with the switch. But the LCD display and basic operation is always on. Keeps the clock, etc running. Its sat for weeks before and not a problem. I would use a battery tender for anything longer anyways. Or disconnect for winter storage ( which I dont have to do ).

The temp probe is subject to location. In direct sunlight it reads way way high. You have to keep it out of the light, under the dash somewhere. But then it can also rise when sitting at a stop light and engine heat builds under there. Doing down the road it takes 1-2 miles to readjust again. So I have just gotten used to reading it when moving and not when sitting at a stop. Generally 3 degrees high on the temp. Clock and volts are right on.
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Offline Zorlac

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 10:00:49 pm »

http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/4231

That meter gets my vote since I've had a $50 DATEL get waterlogged & read goofy until I dried it out and sealed the back with self leveling silicone rubber.
It looks like a DATEL clone at half the price.
Analog voltmeter???  ???
Gimme #'s!!  ;)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 10:08:32 pm by Zorlac »
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Offline fred-houston

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 10:50:11 pm »

http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/4231

That meter gets my vote since I've had a $50 DATEL get waterlogged & read goofy until I dried it out and sealed the back with self leveling silicone rubber.
It looks like a DATEL clone at half the price.
Analog voltmeter???  ???
Gimme #'s!!  ;)


I have been real happy with it.  It so far has survived the rain, and is very visible without being distracting.  Sometime when the sun is just right, it is a bit hard to see, but other than that it works great.
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Offline Gerry B

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2012, 12:41:18 am »
Peter, my alternator is from a ZZR1200 and puts out like 50 amps and the stock one puts out about 30 amps... I memory serves me. It's a direct fit but you need the longer bolts and you need to do a little wiring. Real easy.  There are instructions available to do this. The tricky part is finding one. The one I bought was already kitted up and was a hour long bolt on project. I had to remove my cam chain tensioner because the new alternator wasn't tapered the the stock one and wouldn't squeeze in. So it added a few minutes to the procedure. Well worth it.
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Offline Centex

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2012, 01:18:17 am »
Another Datel meter mounting FYI


The two knobs/LEDS to the left are heat controllers for gloves and jacket liner (Warm-N-Safe)

The three-position bat-wing switch controls my fog & driving lights:
up - automatic - fog lights when on low beam, driving lights when on high beam
center - aux lights off
down - fog lights on all the time the ignition key is on (engine does not need to be running - this can be a really handy setting, just keep an eye on that battery voltage)

The Datel meter is hard to read with the sun shining directly on it but I still like it over others I've seen.  I am running a ZZR alternator upgrade.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 01:20:44 am by Centex »
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Offline SteveJ.

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2012, 02:21:52 am »
My daughter got me THIS one from Kuryakin last Christmas and I love it!  It's a little bitty thing that fits in the curve just under and to the left of the speedo.  The LEDs are VERY bright and I can read them easily in the Florida sunshine, but it auto-dims when the evening comes.  As Gerry said, it lets you know of any big changes right away.

This one has worked for me for a long time now. I covered it with some 90%(I think??) window tint to cut down on the brightness, particularly annoying in the dark. The tint really helped.
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 02:37:34 am »
The tint's a good idea, though at this point I've gotten used to the way it looks.  Thanks for the suggestion, Steve!

Offline Greg

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 02:59:59 am »
I picked one of these today from Amazon (gotta love gift cards).

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Offline WG

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2012, 02:57:05 pm »
I ordered one of these and intend to install it as part of my off-season maintenance:

http://www.clearwaterlights.com/infopg_cvs.html

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Offline MizzouMike

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2012, 07:42:21 pm »
My daughter got me THIS one from Kuryakin last Christmas and I love it!  It's a little bitty thing that fits in the curve just under and to the left of the speedo.  The LEDs are VERY bright and I can read them easily in the Florida sunshine, but it auto-dims when the evening comes.  As Gerry said, it lets you know of any big changes right away.



I have the same one, and it seems to be working well.  With my aux lights and heated grips on, it will go below the green while stopped and ideling at less than 1000 rpms, so I will often turn off the lights when I dont need them.  I have never had any issue while travleing....
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Offline Zorlac

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 10:37:28 pm »
I ordered one of these and intend to install it as part of my off-season maintenance:
http://www.clearwaterlights.com/infopg_cvs.html
Love the info page which states "Accuracy is better than 1/4 of a percent!" when a yellow & green LED cover 12.1V-13.1V.  :rotflmao:
But in all fairness, if it's as good as they say it is the price ain't too bad I guess.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 10:39:17 pm by Zorlac »
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2012, 11:48:51 pm »
My daughter got me THIS one from Kuryakin last Christmas and I love it!

Great idea, MizzouMike - here is my experience with this thing.  When I first turn the key, the lights "Cylon" back and forth as a test, and then stop with a single green flickering.  If I let it sit there with the key on, it'll drop back to two solid orange lights.  When Connie's warmed up and idling at a stop light it flickers between 2 green and 1 green.  So long as I'm moving, it shows a solid 2 green, even when I'm running both the heated grips and the aux headlamps.  When both of those are on and I'm idling, a single green will flicker.  Haven't tried it with the heated vest yet.

Last Saturday morning, I left my heated grips on when I came home from work.  When I went back outside to head back to work, Connie was dead as a doornail; none of the meter's lights (or any other lights for that matter) came on at all.  I hooked up the battery charger (not the trickle charger) and was able to get her going after about 20 minutes.  I didn't let it sit and idle, afraid that it would die again, but as I was running down the road on my 38-mile trip to work, it started off with one solid and one flickering orange light.  By the time I got 5 miles down the road, that had changed to two steady oranges.  About 20 miles into the trip the first green light started to flicker and by the time I got to work I had the second green flickering.

It sat (with the heated grips OFF!) for about 11 hours and started with only a little hesitation at the end of my shift.  At idle, I had two solid orange lights which changed to one solid green when I started moving down the road.  By the time I got home it was back up to two solid green lights.

So despite draining the battery completely, this meter allowed me to see that it really was recharging, which gave me a lot more confidence in the system as I drove home in the wee hours of the morning.  I think this is a wonderful tool.  Yes it costs forty bucks, but it sure gave me at least a hundred bucks worth of comfort on that ride home from work!

Offline connieryder

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2012, 04:29:47 am »
Hey Chip,
i cant help but feel bad for ya.  Not because of the battery issue, but because that must have been difficult being at work for 11 hours while knowing connie was out in the parking lot waiting to ride home !!   :)

Just kidding, great write up on the voltmeter, i think you just sold me on one of these gizmos.

cheers
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Offline Piston720

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2012, 01:41:00 pm »
Thankyou for all the great ideas.
I have ordered a model similiar to the datel, and will install it once it arrives.
Lots of time over the winter to get all the little projects done.

Offline John_Atkinson

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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2012, 05:42:44 pm »
I like that one, John.  It gives all the info you really need in an absolute minimum of space.  I prefer a more intense display that attracts attention to itself.  I drive in a very bright environment and a lot of LED displays wash out.


Offline John_Atkinson

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2012, 07:31:48 pm »
I like where you have that ChipDoc....I have an older digital bar-type meter that I got ages ago from Aerostich and I have it mounted on the right inner fairing panel......nice and bright so I can see it during the day. However, I do know some people like a dimmer display that is easier on the eyes at night and won't affect your night vision....that's where I've heard of a lot of folks using the smaller unit.
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Offline WG

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Re: VOLTMETERS
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2012, 09:10:12 pm »
Here's a photo of my completed Clearwater Voltage Senty installation.

It is glowing solid green (12.5-13.1 volts) as the engine is not running.
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