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Thread: Real time monitoring of battery level? Hardware + software

  1. #1
    FLAC
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    Real time monitoring of battery level? Hardware + software

    Just wondering if anyone has implimented something like this? Im basically hoping there might be a fairly straight forward way of monitoring the battery level while the carpc is in use? To give an idea of how many hours left and what % is remaining. Perhaps a piece of hardware + software that could be embedded within CF?

    I have an auxiliary battery (isolated from the main battery) which powers my system but this could be handy for single battery systems as well. haha..I thought it would be a nice date idea to take the GF out and watch a movie in the backseat but it would be kinda dorky to have to pull out a multimeter every so often to check battery levels =)

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate
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    I do know that some of the nicer UPS battery backups came with battery monitoring software (via serial port). You could easily replace the small battery with something that has more Amp hours (same voltage), and I bet the software would still work.

  3. #3
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    I use an Arduino to monitor my battery level, but for more of a user friendly solution, have you looked at the Fusion Brain? I believe it has a CF plugin, and you should be able to buy a module that will allow you to read battery voltage.
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  4. #4
    Newbie SGAsgard's Avatar
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    there is gauge that just indicate the voltage of the battery
    English is not my first language so if I say something weird just say it to me and i try to be clearer :) :)

  5. #5
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    back on one of my work-road trips, i bought a bunch of cig. lighter adapter digital readouts.

    i hacked one up, and velcroed it to the corner of my windshield(high tech, i know )-- so i always know how low it really is...

  6. #6
    North of the land of Hey Huns
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    back on one of my work-road trips, i bought a bunch of cig. lighter adapter digital readouts.

    i hacked one up, and velcroed it to the corner of my windshield(high tech, i know )-- so i always know how low it really is...
    That's in the true spirit of cobbled and hacked together carpc's... what this hobby used to really be about
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
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  7. #7
    Raw Wave
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    What power supply do you use for the carpc? many of them offer ways to monitor battery voltage....same thing if you have an ODBII reader.

  8. #8
    Raw Wave
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    PS - this is meant for nobb. On posting I realised it might be construed as mocking previous replies. Far from it! (Or is my paranoia too close?)

    It's called a voltmeter.
    In rough terms, every 0.1V drop from its fully-charged voltage is a 10% drop in remaining capacity. (It's usually more like 0.12V/10%).

    That is probably the best you will do.
    To figure out the actual capacity remaining is not possible, and even the best methods still require lots of intelligence (regular battery discharge tests etc).
    [ If you have ever seen a "battery predicter" in operation, you'll know what I mean. If you think "tme remaining" predicters for file copies & downloads are bad (where size an bandwidth is supposedly known) - battery predictors are worse - especially when its "5 minutes remaining" display suddenly does blank. Even UPS systems intend systems take their graceful exit ASAP (maybe after a 1-2 minute delay) rather than wait based on assumed reserve time. ]


    FYI - The general rule of thumb is not to discharge below 70% for normal (cycling or cranking etc) batteries, and not below 50% for deep-cycle batteries.

  9. #9
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    Look into a product from Xantrex called the XBM or I believe they have replaced it with the Link Pro or Link Lite. This is a meter for the RV and Boat world and specifically is designed to monitor secondary batteries. It will monitor State of charge (% of capacity left), Battery Temp (optional sensor), Battery Voltage, Current, Amp-hours, and a calculation of time to go. http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/274/p/1/pt/7/product.asp.

    They also make a communication add on that allows you to hook it to your computer. I have written a program to read the data.

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    If running a secondary battery you should have a isolator or separator between the two batteries. I believe the Link pro monitors one battery fully and can monitor the voltage on a secondary battery.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGAsgard View Post
    there is gauge that just indicate the voltage of the battery
    I remember when this gauge where standard equipment of all cars!

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