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How Do I? Ammeter

Ben Breese

Big Landy Fan
How do all. If you fit an ammeter which reads less that your alternator charges too, will you destroy it? For eg, my alternator charges to 65A, so if I buy a 60A ammeter will it burn it out or do unsavory things to it:rolleyes:
What happens if i get an 80A alternator, for eg? Do I need an ammeter that will read up to 80A?

Cheers, Ben
 
If it reads up to 60A it would be safe for a little more. See if you can find the absolute maximum rating, exceed that and it'll burn up. Yes, I do have first hand experience in converting a hand-built, 400 component, prototype circuit board into smoke.

Jonathan Paton
 
jepaton said:
Yes, I do have first hand experience in converting a hand-built, 400 component, prototype circuit board into smoke.

Ouch:eek: Dunno wether to laugh or cry:D So you think 5A more wouldn't hurt then? I'm sure my alt is 65A, I can't remember. Its 60 or 65 anyway.
How would I find the max rating? I'm looking at a Tim ammeter gauge, the 60A one obviously:rolleyes:

Cheers, Ben
 
Ben,

How are you going to wire up the ammeter?

Remember that ALL the current must flow through the ammeter unless you are using a calibrated shunt to bypass the ammeter. If you battery is pretty flat, or you are drawing a lot of current, the ammeter and associated wiring will have to carry 60 Amps for quite a long time.

Passing 60 Amps through a cable is quite a big deal, which is why the earth cable, and the cable to your starter motor are so thick.

I take it that the lugs on the ammeter are quite large (I'd guess they would have to large enough for 6mm square cable at the very least)?

Marc
 
No idea Marc, that was gonna be a later question:D Its not impossible though, loads of people have them so:rolleyes:

mmgemini said:
Why do you need an ammeter ?

Why not? I run a fair amount of leccy stuff on times and just would be nice to see what charge I'm getting.

Cheers, Ben
 
You get more information from a voltmeter.
You get different information with a voltmeter, not more. If you want to know if the battery is being charged, or the rate of discharge an ammeter is ideal. A voltmeter will tell you if the battery is being overused or nearly discharged. Multimeters were invented because voltmeters and ammeters are equally useful to engineers (and we also know how to use an ammeter as a voltmeter, and a voltmeter as an ammeter).

Jonathan Paton
 
Ouch:eek: Dunno wether to laugh or cry:D
Smile or laugh. Electronics, electrics, mechanics or the latter two combined into Series Land Rover it is all the same. Its the psycho gene that forces me to smile even when my indicator stalk breaks for the second time in two years - normal people would just cry. I believe the second stalk came in a blue box.

So you think 5A more wouldn't hurt then? I'm sure my alt is 65A, I can't remember. Its 60 or 65 anyway.
How would I find the max rating? I'm looking at a Tim ammeter gauge, the 60A one obviously:rolleyes:
No, I don't think an extra 5A will break it. I'm not sure if you'll see 65A from the alternator in normal use anyway. I can't find any contact information for the supplier, sorry.

Jonathan Paton
 
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