Hook up amp meter circuit




The positive terminal is usually red and is indicated by a plus sign. Once you have located the terminal, you must then take either your socket wrench or screwdriver and disconnect your positive terminal from the battery post. This will help ensure that you will not shock yourself if any wires cross that are not supposed to. Once you have your positive terminal disconnected from the battery post, you will then connect one end of the red gauge wire to the positive battery post.

Make sure that the eyelet fits snug over the post and will make proper contact once the positive battery wire is reconnected. After you have connected your red gauge wire to your battery post, take the other end and connect it to your ammeter terminal. After you have connected both wires, you should hand tighten the nuts just in case you have to repeat any steps later on.


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With your positive battery terminal now connected to the ammeter, you are ready to connect the next wire. Take your other piece of red gauge wire and connect it to the other terminal of the ammeter. Once you have connected it to the ammeter , you will then connect it to the alternator terminal post. What I want to do is hook up my ammeter so that it will show me when the battery is getting amps from the alternator, and also show when I'm using amps when running stuff only off the batteries.

It seems to me the connection for this scenario would be for the main battery lead from the selector switch to go to one side of the ammeter, and from there to the terminal on the starter solenoid. This doesn't seem plausible, however. The wonderful diagram that Don has posted before shows the orange lead from the alternator going to the ammeter, and thence to the IGN terminal on the ignition switch, with the red lead going from the IGN terminal to the terminal on the starter solenoid.

This would show all the current going from the alternator into the battery, but not from the battery out into the other devices. How can I make the connection so that I can see both usages?

Wiring basics

You have posted a questions about one of my favorite perhaps over labored topics. One end of the ammeter goes to the output of the battery switch, that is correct.

DC 100V 10A Voltmeter Ammeter Blue + Red LED Amp Dual Digital Volt MeterA meter

Every other 12 volt device lamps, solenoids, ignition switches, depthsounders, radios must attach, ultimately, to the other terminal of the ammeter. The circuit is depicted below. Here is the relevant clip from a diagram I posted earlier.

With this arrangement, you will see the difference between the Battery charge from the alternator and the battery draw to equipment. You will need a meter that reads both plus and minus. I hope this helps. A couple of questions: How is that the 8 ga.

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How to Use an Ammeter to Measure Current

Shouldn't there be 4 ga. All the figures marked xxA are fuses, right? When I relocate my instrument panel later on I'll use this. One other question about my setup: However, the ammeter reads nada. Sound like a dead ammeter to you? Everything electrical works OK, I just don't get an ammeter reading at all.


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It took me a while to get this, too. The key in the fusing is preventing wire fires. Most fires are started by wires which get hot when they bump into the wrong thing and get shorted. This may involve a device failure which shorts, but usually a wire get damaged or gets loose and touches the wrong thing.

So look at it from the wires perspective. A 4 wire will handle a current of about amps without getting hot. When push comes to shove out at sea, you want to be able to start your engine. A fuse in the starter motor circuit introduces a potential failure point.

How to wire digital dual display volt- and ammeter - DIY Projects

Bilge circuits are usually over-engineered for the same reason. When you want the bilge to run, you really want it to run. The 8 wire can carry 60 amps without getting hot. The fuse limits the current to 60 amps max. If the 12 volt bus is shorted, the 60 amp fuse will blow. The total amperage of the 4 wire can not be fed to the 8 wire. Nothing over 60 amps can reach the 8 wire because the fuse is in the way. Here is another example.

If the blower circuit tries to draw too much current say it has a stalled motor , up to 60 amps available from the 12 volt bus will start to flow across the 7. So, as fuses value decreases, wire sizes can decrease. There are ampacity charts which identify wire ratings.

How do these ammeters work?

Also, notice the advantage to fusing down circuits. The lower value fuse will blow first. This keeps the rest of the devices before the fuse in operation. For example, if the alternator wire shorts to ground, the 60 amp fuse will blow, not the The 60 is weaker than the 80 and it will blow first. The rest of the devices on the boat remain powered up by the 80 amp fuse which remains intact.

When the alternator is off, there is no electrical path through the alternator back to ground. This has to do with the diode output of the alternator and is a requirement of the design. Otherwise the alternator would draw the batteries down when not running.

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