volt meter connection - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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volt meter connection

I'd like to connect a volt meter and mount it on the right side of the dash.
If I connect it to the battery terminals, it will be ON all the time!
What is a better choice for connection point?
Would connecting to the forward running lights give a useful reading?
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratTuner View Post
I'd like to connect a volt meter and mount it on the right side of the dash.
If I connect it to the battery terminals, it will be ON all the time!
What is a better choice for connection point?
Would connecting to the forward running lights give a useful reading?
Voltmeters draw current and will eventually kill the battery. Yes, put it on a switched circuit such as the running lights.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 04:52 AM
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Or....

There are voltage indicators that simply plug into a battery tender and turn themselves off after a specified time.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 06:55 AM
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Mine is plugged into the glove box outlet. Works fine. I can see what’s going on easily from my riding position when the bike is running but it’s off when the bike is off. Has two USB ports so I lose no capacity.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 08:03 AM
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You can use a fuse tap, plug it in to a fuse that is powered with the ignition, say the hazard fuse or glove box fuse. If you put it always on, use a small switch to shut it off. I like to have mine like that so I can check battery voltage before I turn on the ignition...
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratTuner View Post
I'd like to connect a volt meter and mount it on the right side of the dash.
If I connect it to the battery terminals, it will be ON all the time!
What is a better choice for connection point?
Would connecting to the forward running lights give a useful reading?
I put mine straight to the battery with a momentary switch. I guess you could use a locked switch as long as you remember to turn it off. I mounted mine in a small electrical project box under the dash shelf.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Glove box outlet: already in use for cell phone and NAV devices.
Battery Tender: drives the heated seat OR the battery tender as needed. (you'd never do both at the same time.)
What is a "momentary" switch? Just a simple ON/OFF toggle switch?


I connected the Voltage meter wires to the right-front running light (always ON when key is ON) and got a 12.2 reading. Great. Let's turn on the heated grips and heated seat and watch the # go down....


NO change! Hmm... voltage meter isn't aware of the heated grips or heated seat. Hmmm....


As usual, I don't understand how voltage meters work... Where you connect them seems to matter A LOT.


I'm hoping to connect the voltage meter wires so that the readout tells me when the heated grips/seat are drawing power, but it's starting to be not worth the effort.


Both heating devices work AND the battery still charges when I ride. What more do I need to know?

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StratTuner View Post
Glove box outlet: already in use for cell phone and NAV devices.
Battery Tender: drives the heated seat OR the battery tender as needed. (you'd never do both at the same time.)
What is a "momentary" switch? Just a simple ON/OFF toggle switch?


I connected the Voltage meter wires to the right-front running light (always ON when key is ON) and got a 12.2 reading. Great. Let's turn on the heated grips and heated seat and watch the # go down....


NO change! Hmm... voltage meter isn't aware of the heated grips or heated seat. Hmmm....


As usual, I don't understand how voltage meters work... Where you connect them seems to matter A LOT.


I'm hoping to connect the voltage meter wires so that the readout tells me when the heated grips/seat are drawing power, but it's starting to be not worth the effort.


Both heating devices work AND the battery still charges when I ride. What more do I need to know?

It simply needs to be connected as close to the battery as possible. You (we all) are using a voltage meter to see when the battery crosses over into draining due to the amount of additional load you are putting on the system with extra lights/heated gear etc etc ...

If you connect it far from the battery, it will red a few tenths lower and not give you a good idea when you cross that line ...

That's it, not complicated ...

I have a volt meter on top of my tank bag and I power the tank bag via a powerlet connection. It is only there when I have the tank bag on the bike so I dont worry about a switch or draining etc ... If you want to keep it simple but permanent, just connect it directly to the battery and put a basic switch in line ... Just remember to turn it off when you get off the bike ...

If ya want to get fancy and never worry about it, add a relay triggered by something that only turns on when the engine is running ...
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 05:16 PM
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volt meter connection

Quote:
Originally Posted by StratTuner View Post
Glove box outlet: already in use for cell phone and NAV devices.
Battery Tender: drives the heated seat OR the battery tender as needed. (you'd never do both at the same time.)
1. What is a "momentary" switch? Just a simple ON/OFF toggle switch?
2. I connected the Voltage meter wires to the right-front running light (always ON when key is ON) and got a 12.2 reading. Great. Let's turn on the heated grips and heated seat and watch the # go down.... NO change! Hmm... voltage meter isn't aware of the heated grips or heated seat. Hmmm.... As usual, I don't understand how voltage meters work... Where you connect them seems to matter A LOT.

3. I'm hoping to connect the voltage meter wires so that the readout tells me when the heated grips/seat are drawing power, but it's starting to be not worth the effort. Both heating devices work AND the battery still charges when I ride. What more do I need to know?
StratTuner,

1. A doorbell is a momentary switch. When your finger is not on the button, no power flows. The doorbell (or meter) will be Off then.

2. You want to measure Amps, not Volts, for those heaters. The Voltage Regulator (or a good strong battery) will not allow (show) much Voltage drop on a meter when things get added. Grips and seat warmers do not draw huge currents, usually. The controllers "pulse" power to the grips/seat, so actually the power may be Off more than On in time, when the heaters draw power. Your DC Voltmeter can't respond fast enough to show the DC Voltage drop because the draw is "intermittent," not constant. Try reading those gadgets as AC power, and you will see the "ripple Voltage" that the heaters cause in the DC Voltage. (Do not try this reading with a plug-in Voltmeter, use only a hand-held battery-powered meter.)

2a. As a side note, you want the Voltmeter connected across the battery + and Ground terminals. If THAT voltage starts to drop in-flight, there is a REAL problem.

2b. If you put an instrument light bulb between the heater lead and ground, you will see the bulb glow as you start to draw power, and a brighter glow when you draw more power. We are using the bulb as a quick-n-dirty (cheap) Amp meter. It will only show current flow, which is what you want to see there.

3. What you want to know is the actual Voltage of the operating electrical system. See 2a. Connect the Voltmeter + lead to the fuse or relay closest (electrically) to the battery + terminal, if you want to see the Voltmeter working at all times the key is On, and then shut Off when the key is removed (which is recommended). A Fuse Tap makes it easy to tap a Voltage from any fuse position. Car parts stores will have Fuse Taps. Insert the Fuse Tap so the Tap wire has no power when the original fuse is removed. The Fuse Tap usually has a separate new fuse for that Tap line. Questions are welcome here.

Cheers,
Red
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-18-2020, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, gentlemen. I'm especially glad to learn new things:

1) put the volt meter as close to the battery as possible
2) a momentary switch is a door bell

Your replies are both encouraging and informative.

It seems like another relay is in order. I can use the running light wire in the front (blue) to tell the relay to disconnect the circuit. Run that wire up close to the batter where the Volt Meter will connect (as close to the battery as possible). I should probably use an AMP meter (not Volt) for this as I want to see what the grip/seat heaters are up to.

I'll connect the meter to the power coming out of the relay with will be connected directly to the battery (and the running lights BLUE wire). That should do it.


I'd like to avoid drilling holes to mount the display just to the right of the FJR's LCD panel, so I'll lay down blue tape first, then use velcro for the meter.

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"Time ... , why you punish me? Like the waves breaking on the shore
you wash away my dreams..." - Darius Rucker

Last edited by StratTuner; 02-18-2020 at 09:09 PM.
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