Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

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Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Jay Summet
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My pack - (negative) was somehow connected to my accessory battery (12v)
minus and vehicle frame ground. After some investigation, I determined
that this was through my traction pack battery gauge (a cheap Chinese
LED panel mount 200v gauge.)

This surprised me, as I had powered the gauge through a 12v to 9v DC/DC
converter that was supposed to be isolated, but apparently was not. (NB:
I had 0.5A fuses on the 12v+ and 120v+ lines going to the gauges...I
need to put fuses on the negative 12v line and the negative 120v line as
well...)

Does anybody have a recommendation for a small digital panel gauge (I
prefer LED, but would go with LCD) that operates in the 200v range (I
really only need up to 130 volts) and can be powered by 12-14v or 9v, or
5v?  [I have a 12v to 9v DC/DC converter for my previous gauge, and a 5V
linear regulator powering another gauge that is measuring the 12v
accessory battery...sigh....] I'm looking for a relatively small form
factor (approx 1" high by 2" wide or preferably smaller)

The primary requirement is that the gauge not allow current to flow from
the "sensed -" to the "power -".

Jay

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Cruisin
When using the digital voltmeters it is imperative to use a 12v source
that is isolated. I use and sell a DC-DC conveter that will convert 48-75v (half of the battery pack) to 12-16v for your meter and anything else you may want to use it for. Current drain is VERY low. These solid state converters are very dependable and will last forever. I would suggest you use 2 of the and put to 2nd one on the other half of the battery pack and use that to charge (10a) a small li-ion 16v battery that I also sell. this is the ONLY way to provide both a 12v power supply for the car but also for the meter. All is isolated. cruisin@live.com
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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

David Nelson-5
In reply to this post by Jay Summet
I don't know what other gauges you have but you hit upon one big
reason I like the CycleAnalyst. It is entirely powered from the pack.
I presume that it has its own DC-DC to run the low voltage of the
meter. It has a whole bunch of other features you may not need but
comes in two display sizes. What ever you do, if you have a Li pack I
would NOT power even a meter with only a portion of the pack no matter
how small the drain is. Over time it adds up to a significant amount
of energy.

Alternatively there are some LED meters that are powered from the
pack: http://www.metercenter.com/cgi-bin/webshop.cgi?config=ent-home&uid=nevudcxj130594382094&command=link--dcvoltmeters.html

HTH,

On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 6:29 PM, Jay Summet <[hidden email]> wrote:

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>
> My pack - (negative) was somehow connected to my accessory battery (12v)
> minus and vehicle frame ground. After some investigation, I determined
> that this was through my traction pack battery gauge (a cheap Chinese
> LED panel mount 200v gauge.)
>
> This surprised me, as I had powered the gauge through a 12v to 9v DC/DC
> converter that was supposed to be isolated, but apparently was not. (NB:
> I had 0.5A fuses on the 12v+ and 120v+ lines going to the gauges...I
> need to put fuses on the negative 12v line and the negative 120v line as
> well...)
>
> Does anybody have a recommendation for a small digital panel gauge (I
> prefer LED, but would go with LCD) that operates in the 200v range (I
> really only need up to 130 volts) and can be powered by 12-14v or 9v, or
> 5v?  [I have a 12v to 9v DC/DC converter for my previous gauge, and a 5V
> linear regulator powering another gauge that is measuring the 12v
> accessory battery...sigh....] I'm looking for a relatively small form
> factor (approx 1" high by 2" wide or preferably smaller)
>
> The primary requirement is that the gauge not allow current to flow from
> the "sensed -" to the "power -".
>
> Jay
>
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--
David D. Nelson
http://evalbum.com/1328

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by Jay Summet
On 5/20/2011 8:29 PM, Jay Summet wrote:
> My pack - (negative) was somehow connected to my accessory battery (12v)
> minus and vehicle frame ground. After some investigation, I determined
> that this was through my traction pack battery gauge (a cheap Chinese
> LED panel mount 200v gauge.)
>
> This surprised me, as I had powered the gauge through a 12v to 9v DC/DC
> converter that was supposed to be isolated, but apparently was not.

My suggestion would be to get a tiny "wall wart" AC switchmode power
supply with a 9vdc or higher output. Be sure to get one that is
UL/CSA/CE listed; this guarantees it has high isolation. Also be sure it
has a "universal" input that works from 90-265 VAC. This virtually
guarantees it will also work on 120-350 VDC.

Here's a quick example: Jameco Electronics www.jameco.com #1940686 is a
MeanWell GS06U-2P1J 9vdc 660ma "wall wart" adapter, 0.2 lbs, $11.95.
--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Jay Summet
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> My suggestion would be to get a tiny "wall wart" AC switchmode power
> supply with a 9vdc or higher output. Be sure to get one that is
> UL/CSA/CE listed; this guarantees it has high isolation. Also be sure it
> has a "universal" input that works from 90-265 VAC. This virtually
> guarantees it will also work on 120-350 VDC.
>
> Here's a quick example: Jameco Electronics www.jameco.com #1940686 is a
> MeanWell GS06U-2P1J 9vdc 660ma "wall wart" adapter, 0.2 lbs, $11.95.

Powering the 120v gauge off of the 120 volt pack would definitely
prevent any possibility of accidental connections between the 12v
negative and the pack negative.

That wall wart is a good way to get an inexpensive 120v DC to 9v DC
isolated power adapter.  One potential problem is that my space (in the
dash) is relatively limited and I might have to mount it somewhere else
and run a wire, which I'm trying to avoid.

I already have a 12v (accessory pack) wire and a 120v (traction pack)
wire routed to a 4 pin trailer light connector in the dash. My "gauge
package" slides in and plugs in, and I'm trying to keep all of the
electronics on it so that if I need to work on it I can easily remove it
from the truck.

photos here:
http://www.summet.com/blog/2011/05/15/on-dash-voltage-guages/

Another advantage of powering the 120v gauge off of the 12v accessory
supply is that this is turned off by the key switch. (The 120v leads
could be changed to also turn off with the keyswitch as well, but are
currently not, as they also go to my Curtis e-meter.)


I had used what was supposed to be an isolated 12v to 9v supply
(digikey VWRAS2-D12-D9-SIP), but it turned out to NOT be isolated. (or
at least, not enough...)

The specs say:

Isolation Specifications
Isolation Voltage 1500 vdc
Isolation Resistance 1000 M ohm
Isolation Capacitance 80 pF

So I am not sure why it's not providing the isolation I need (unless
perhaps it just does not meet it's specifications...)

Perhaps my understanding of "isolation" is incorrect. My belief was that
by using an "isolated" DC/DC converter on the 12 volt line, it would
prevent any connections from the 120v gauge to the 12v line. (Which was
obviously not the case, experimentally proven...)

Anybody have any suggestions as to why my current stup, powered off of
the 12v accessory line by an  "isolated" DC/DC power supply did not
correctly isolate?

Jay




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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Jay Summet
In reply to this post by David Nelson-5
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On 05/20/2011 10:14 PM, David Nelson wrote:

>
> Alternatively there are some LED meters that are powered from the
> pack:
http://www.metercenter.com/cgi-bin/webshop.cgi?config=ent-home&uid=nevudcxj130594382094&command=link--dcvoltmeters.html


David,

Thanks for your pointer.

If I decide to power my 120v gauge directly from the pack, I think I
will go with the:

DMS-20PC-8-DCM,  $50.00

It has 0.1v accuracy and works from 30v to 199volts.

At $50 it's a bit more spendy than a $10 wall wart and $15 Chinese LED
display...but having the simplicity of two wire connection and smaller
size makes up for the double cost.

If I do that, I will probably have to re-wire things so that the dash
volt meter taps into the pack voltage after the main contractors, so
that it won't draw power when the truck is off.

Jay

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Lee Hart
In reply to this post by Jay Summet
On 5/21/2011 9:11 AM, Jay Summet wrote:
> My "gauge package" slides in and plugs in, and I'm trying to keep all
> of the electronics on it so that if I need to work on it I can easily
> remove it from the truck.

Sounds good. Serviceability is important!

> I already have a 12v (accessory pack) wire and a 120v (traction
> pack) wire routed to a 4 pin trailer light connector in the dash.

I do not recommend combining pack voltage and grounded 12v wiring in the
same cable or connector. It is an accident waiting to happen.

Trailer connectors are also not high voltage connectors. For one thing,
most automotive wire has low melting point insulation and *burns*. The
UL listed stuff for high voltage use is required to be flame retardant
and have a higher melting point.

> Another advantage of powering the 120v gauge off of the 12v
> accessory supply is that this is turned off by the key switch. (The
> 120v leads could be changed to also turn off with the keyswitch as
> well, but are currently not, as they also go to my Curtis e-meter.)

That's a good point. If you want to be able to turn it on/off, powering
it from 12v is easier.

On the other hand, the pack can power it for a lot longer than the
little 12v battery. You may not need to turn it off if powered by the pack.

> I had used what was supposed to be an isolated 12v to 9v supply
> (digikey VWRAS2-D12-D9-SIP), but it turned out to NOT be isolated.
> (or at least, not enough...) The specs say:
>
> Isolation Specifications Isolation Voltage 1500 vdc Isolation
> Resistance 1000 M ohm Isolation Capacitance 80 pF
>
> So I am not sure why it's not providing the isolation I need (unless
> perhaps it just does not meet it's specifications...)

I see this problem over and over again. The specs for many of these
little DC/DC converters are deliberately misleading.

The front page claims "1500vdc isolation". But when you look at the
isolation specifications, it says "flash tested for 1 minute". Normally,
a flash test is a very short high voltage pulse test, with no limit on
the current. The device either survives and they ship it, or it fails
and they don't. This is a ONE TIME test, with no leakage current
specified, and does not represent a safe operating condition.

For serious isolation, you need to apply an AC test potential. You need
to measure the leakage current, and apply it long enough to see if it is
stable, or rising. A device with weak insulation may initially pass, but
its leakage current rises rapidly until it breaks down completely.

Note that the isolation resistance is only tested at 500vdc. 1000
megohms of leakage is 0.5 microamps. That's actually a lot for a part
that is supposed to have high isolation.

Notice that the part has no UL, CSA, CE, VDE etc. testing or
certification. If it could meet these specs, they would brag about it,
because they could command a higher price.

Look inside the unit you've got that failed. I'll bet you will find tiny
spacings between input and output, and that the transformer is wound
with ordinary magnet wire, with the primary and secondary right on top
of each other, with no supplemental insulation between them.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Jay Summet
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>
> I do not recommend combining pack voltage and grounded 12v wiring in the
> same cable or connector. It is an accident waiting to happen.

You have a point, but I did not want to have two different connectors to
hook up my gauges.  For protection, I have a 0.5 amp fuse on both the
12v+ and 120v+ lines under the hood.  [Smallest I could easily find in
the automotive in-line fuse holder format....]

(After finding out that the electronics were connecting the frame ground
to the 120v negative, I plan on adding a 0.5 amp fuse on both the
negative lines as well....)


>> I had used what was supposed to be an isolated 12v to 9v supply
>> (digikey VWRAS2-D12-D9-SIP), but it turned out to NOT be isolated.
>> (or at least, not enough...) The specs say:

> I see this problem over and over again. The specs for many of these
> little DC/DC converters are deliberately misleading.
>
<snip>
> Look inside the unit you've got that failed. I'll bet you will find tiny
> spacings between input and output, and that the transformer is wound
> with ordinary magnet wire, with the primary and secondary right on top
> of each other, with no supplemental insulation between them.
>

The funny thing is that the DC/DC converter is working just fine. (The
120v pack gauge combined with the DC/DC converter were connecting the
frame ground to the pack ground. and this posed no problem until I drew
some current through the negative frame/pack connection when debugging
why my pack negative was grounded to the frame....at that point the
gauge went pop.....but the DC/DC converter is still correctly powering
my 12v accessory gauge.)

In any case, once I buy the self-powered panel gauges my current power
supply will be removed from the gauge unit.

Jay
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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Lee Hart
Jay Summet wrote:
>> I do not recommend combining pack voltage and grounded 12v wiring in the
>> same cable or connector.

> You have a point, but I did not want to have two different connectors to
> hook up my gauges.

Then, you could choose a connector that has sufficient spacings and
voltage ratings to withstand full pack voltage between its pins. An
automotive connector won't. One example would be the Molex Mate-N-Lok
series.

> For protection, I have a 0.5 amp fuse on both the
> 12v+ and 120v+ lines under the hood.  [Smallest I could easily find in
> the automotive in-line fuse holder format....]

Here again, automotive fuses are only rated at 32v max. They can't
safely break 120v DC pack voltage.

> The funny thing is that the DC/DC converter is working just fine. (The
> 120v pack gauge combined with the DC/DC converter were connecting the
> frame ground to the pack ground. and this posed no problem until I drew
> some current through the negative frame/pack connection when debugging
> why my pack negative was grounded to the frame....at that point the
> gauge went pop... but the DC/DC converter is still correctly powering
> my 12v accessory gauge.)

It is possible for it to break down input-to-output, yet still work. The
spacings inside are extremely close. High voltage can arc across, but
once the high voltage is removed, the connection is open again so it
still works.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Jay Summet
In reply to this post by Jay Summet
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On 05/21/2011 10:25 AM, Jay Summet wrote:

> On 05/20/2011 10:14 PM, David Nelson wrote:
>> Alternatively there are some LED meters that are powered from the
>> pack:
> http://www.metercenter.com/cgi-bin/webshop.cgi?config=ent-home&uid=nevudcxj130594382094&command=link--dcvoltmeters.html
>
>
> David,
>
> Thanks for your pointer.
>
> If I decide to power my 120v gauge directly from the pack, I think I
> will go with the:
>
> DMS-20PC-8-DCM,  $50.00
>
> It has 0.1v accuracy and works from 30v to 199volts.
>
> At $50 it's a bit more spendy than a $10 wall wart and $15 Chinese LED
> display...but having the simplicity of two wire connection and smaller
> size makes up for the double cost.

I am finally think I have a final solution for my traction & accessory
pack voltage gauges. Photos here:

http://www.summet.com/blog/2011/06/08/new-voltage-gauges/

This picture shows off my new flush-mount laser cut panel with voltage
meters installed. These new gauges are Datel self-powered LED voltage
displays (DMS-20PC-8-DCM for the red traction pack display and
DMS-20PC-0-DCM-B for the blue accessory battery display). They are
considerably more expensive than my previous gauges ($50 for the red and
$59 for the blue) but have two major advantages. First, they actually
fit inside the dash, so I can flush mount them instead of building a box
around them. Second, they are ?self-powered?, which really means they
have their own DC/DC converter built in and draw power from the source
they are monitoring. But, because each gauge has it?s own DC/DC
converter, they are completely isolated from each other (something that
my previous ?isolated? DC/DC converter didn?t really do well.) Having
all the power circuitry integrated into the gauge also greatly
simplifies the wiring.

NB: I wanted two different colors for the accessory and traction pack
voltage, so I paid $9 extra to buy the blue LEDs for the 12 volt
accessory battery. It turns out that this was a mistake. The blue gauge
is much brighter than the red one, and at night it is blinding. I wired
up a toggle switch to allow the driver to turn it off when driving at
night. (The red gauge is just right, easily visible in the daytime but
not too bright at night.)

Jay

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

David Nelson-5
Those look great, Jay.

For the blue being too bright, what about putting a gray filter over
it? Something like this will block some of the blue so it won't be so
bright.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/166181-REG/Gam_GC1543_GCA1543_Full_CTO.html

I use these over my flash when taking pictures with incandescent
lighting so I don't get strange coloring. They cut down on the blue
light.

If you want to try it PM me your address and I'll cut you a couple of
pieces of of my sheets and send them to you. You'll have to figure out
how to keep them attached but it might help.

On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 6:20 PM, Jay Summet <[hidden email]> wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
>
>
> On 05/21/2011 10:25 AM, Jay Summet wrote:
>> On 05/20/2011 10:14 PM, David Nelson wrote:
>>> Alternatively there are some LED meters that are powered from the
>>> pack:
>> http://www.metercenter.com/cgi-bin/webshop.cgi?config=ent-home&uid=nevudcxj130594382094&command=link--dcvoltmeters.html
>>
>>
>> David,
>>
>> Thanks for your pointer.
>>
>> If I decide to power my 120v gauge directly from the pack, I think I
>> will go with the:
>>
>> DMS-20PC-8-DCM,  $50.00
>>
>> It has 0.1v accuracy and works from 30v to 199volts.
>>
>> At $50 it's a bit more spendy than a $10 wall wart and $15 Chinese LED
>> display...but having the simplicity of two wire connection and smaller
>> size makes up for the double cost.
>
> I am finally think I have a final solution for my traction & accessory
> pack voltage gauges. Photos here:
>
> http://www.summet.com/blog/2011/06/08/new-voltage-gauges/
>
> This picture shows off my new flush-mount laser cut panel with voltage
> meters installed. These new gauges are Datel self-powered LED voltage
> displays (DMS-20PC-8-DCM for the red traction pack display and
> DMS-20PC-0-DCM-B for the blue accessory battery display). They are
> considerably more expensive than my previous gauges ($50 for the red and
> $59 for the blue) but have two major advantages. First, they actually
> fit inside the dash, so I can flush mount them instead of building a box
> around them. Second, they are ?self-powered?, which really means they
> have their own DC/DC converter built in and draw power from the source
> they are monitoring. But, because each gauge has it?s own DC/DC
> converter, they are completely isolated from each other (something that
> my previous ?isolated? DC/DC converter didn?t really do well.) Having
> all the power circuitry integrated into the gauge also greatly
> simplifies the wiring.
>
> NB: I wanted two different colors for the accessory and traction pack
> voltage, so I paid $9 extra to buy the blue LEDs for the 12 volt
> accessory battery. It turns out that this was a mistake. The blue gauge
> is much brighter than the red one, and at night it is blinding. I wired
> up a toggle switch to allow the driver to turn it off when driving at
> night. (The red gauge is just right, easily visible in the daytime but
> not too bright at night.)
>
> Jay
>
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>
> _______________________________________________
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> | Please take those discussions elsewhere.  Thanks.
> |
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>



--
David D. Nelson
http://evalbum.com/1328

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Lee Hart
Jay Summet wrote:
>>>> Alternatively there are some LED meters that are powered from the
>>>> pack... DMS-20PC-8-DCM $50.00

Datel is a good brand. Note that the data sheet says this meter draws
about 7ma from the pack, which is rather high if you're going to leave
it connected all the time.

--
Lee A. Hart | Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave N | Forget the perfect offering
Sartell MN 56377 | There is a crack in everything
leeahart earthlink.net | That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Cor van de Water
In reply to this post by Jay Summet
Use a scrap of window tinting on the blue meter to "dim" it?
Finally a beneficial use for window tinting...
Other alternative would be to open it and change the
current through the LEDs (replace resistors)

Cor van de Water
Chief Scientist
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [hidden email]    Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water     XoIP: +31877841130
Tel: +1 408 383 7626        Tel: +91 (040)23117400 x203

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
Behalf Of Jay Summet
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2011 6:20 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that
is actually isolated?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1



On 05/21/2011 10:25 AM, Jay Summet wrote:

> On 05/20/2011 10:14 PM, David Nelson wrote:
>> Alternatively there are some LED meters that are powered from the
>> pack:
> http://www.metercenter.com/cgi-bin/webshop.cgi?config=ent-home&uid=nev
> udcxj130594382094&command=link--dcvoltmeters.html
>
>
> David,
>
> Thanks for your pointer.
>
> If I decide to power my 120v gauge directly from the pack, I think I
> will go with the:
>
> DMS-20PC-8-DCM,  $50.00
>
> It has 0.1v accuracy and works from 30v to 199volts.
>
> At $50 it's a bit more spendy than a $10 wall wart and $15 Chinese LED

> display...but having the simplicity of two wire connection and smaller

> size makes up for the double cost.

I am finally think I have a final solution for my traction & accessory
pack voltage gauges. Photos here:

http://www.summet.com/blog/2011/06/08/new-voltage-gauges/

This picture shows off my new flush-mount laser cut panel with voltage
meters installed. These new gauges are Datel self-powered LED voltage
displays (DMS-20PC-8-DCM for the red traction pack display and
DMS-20PC-0-DCM-B for the blue accessory battery display). They are
considerably more expensive than my previous gauges ($50 for the red and
$59 for the blue) but have two major advantages. First, they actually
fit inside the dash, so I can flush mount them instead of building a box
around them. Second, they are ?self-powered?, which really means they
have their own DC/DC converter built in and draw power from the source
they are monitoring. But, because each gauge has it?s own DC/DC
converter, they are completely isolated from each other (something that
my previous ?isolated? DC/DC converter didn?t really do well.) Having
all the power circuitry integrated into the gauge also greatly
simplifies the wiring.

NB: I wanted two different colors for the accessory and traction pack
voltage, so I paid $9 extra to buy the blue LEDs for the 12 volt
accessory battery. It turns out that this was a mistake. The blue gauge
is much brighter than the red one, and at night it is blinding. I wired
up a toggle switch to allow the driver to turn it off when driving at
night. (The red gauge is just right, easily visible in the daytime but
not too bright at night.)

Jay

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Re: Recommendation for a 200v digital panel gauge that is actually isolated?

Jay Summet
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On 06/20/2011 01:01 AM, Cor van de Water wrote:
> Use a scrap of window tinting on the blue meter to "dim" it?
> Finally a beneficial use for window tinting...
> Other alternative would be to open it and change the
> current through the LEDs (replace resistors)
>

A bit of window tinting film may be small enough so that it wouldn't
look ugly plastered on top of the blue gauge, and it has the benefit
that it self-sticks and wouldn't need any other mounting hardware.....I
might try that.

The gauge is a single piece with the components potted in epoxy, so
re-wiring it's output levels isn't going to happen.

Jay
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