Digital voltmeter/ammeter

bobcat2

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
Hello all,

Saw a digital voltmeter/ammeter combo on Amazon for something like $20. My SS12 didn't have an ammeter when I got it, and definitely wanted to add one to keep an eye on my charging system. I kinda like the idea of being able to monitor volts and amps digitally vs. trying to guess what an analog ammeter is reading on a -30 to +30 scale. I've never been around these Delco/Remy systems much, but it seems like you have to keep a close eye on things so they don't go south on you.

Should I stick with an analog gauge, or perhaps try a digital unit?

Anybody have or try one?

Any opinions?

Thanks,
bobcat2
 

bobcat2

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
This is a combo unit, in dash mount.

I could be wrong about this, but I read you have to monitor the amperage to know if your under or overcharging the battery or doing anything at all.

Yes I could break out the multimeter and check, but if I'm adding a gauge anyway, I figured I may as well get 2 readings at once anytime I want them.

I'm definitely up for some education on these systems, lol.
 

ol' stonebreaker

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
With some minor education the voltmeter will tell if it's under or over charging. The 2 in 1 will work fine. I just don't know if the digital ammeter has to be part of the charging circuit or if it has a pickup to go over the charge wire.
Mike
 

ol' stonebreaker

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
I believe it would be alternator in, alternator out and ground to read amps. If it reads neg amps reverse the connections.
Mike
 

ol' stonebreaker

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
I like to keep things simple so IMO I'd just go with the digital volt meter. I installed one with a normally open pushbutton switch on my 24v portable welder just so I can monitor voltage during extended down times.
Mike
 

FixItCharlie

Well-Known Member
Member
This is where the mistake is made on some equipment. Voltage is potential one the biggest mistake with this is on batteries. I have seen on battery charging system the voltage (potential) is any where between 13.6 to 15 volts, but the battery was not receiving a full charge. In railroad signaling they use many batteries for all sorts of protection it is important to check both. Where the problem comes in is that it does not take much corrosion (resistance) to not maintain the full charge on the battery. The only way to find this is by checking the current. For me if I can have only one meter I prefer a current meter That is the only way to find if a battery is getting a full charge and that is by watching the current drop as the battery getting charged.
Charlie
 

Cvans

Tractorologist
Senior Member
Member
Another way to check it is to test the voltage at the battery posts. Not the battery terminals but the posts themselves. If your readings at the posts are lower than the reading on the tractors volt meter then the problem lies between the battery and the ground or the battery and the charging source. If the battery reads higher than the voltmeter then there is a problem in the volt meter circuit.
 

Ducky

Ducky
Senior Member
A volt meter is sufficient to monitor your charging system. 12.6 to 12.7 with engine off = a fully charged battery. Running you should see 13.6 to 14.2 = battery is charging.
 
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