With a 12 volt battery system, you really want to know two things:
- Your battery’s charge level (voltage)
- How long the battery is likely to last
And, especially if you are using solar panels to charge the battery, how fast the battery is charging and how effective your solar/battery setup is.
The BushGeek battery recorder is designed to make it easy to answer these questions, by giving you insight into your 12 volt battery installation and how well your charging system, such as solar, is keeping up with your typical load, such as a fridge and lights. It records the battery voltage, and optionally a second battery or solar panel voltage, plus the ambient temperature every minute.
The app (available for iPhone and iPad) connects via Bluetooth® to the battery recorder, and shows the current readings and graphs of up to one week of historical voltage and temperature trends. From the graphs it is possible to determine:
- how fast the battery is charging
- how much difference a cloudy day makes (for solar)
- how fast the battery is discharging
- how different loads (such as a fridge running more often in hot weather) affect the battery charge
You can then get a really good sense of how effective your solar cells are with various lighting levels, whether you have enough battery capacity, how healthy your batteries are, and ultimately whether your batteries are likely to get you through this camping trip ok. And as a bonus, the battery recorder will tell you, not only the current temperature, but how cold it was last night, or whether yesterday was really that much hotter than today…
The battery recorder is designed and manufactured in Australia.
The battery recorder is easily installed in a caravan or camper trailer battery compartment, or inside a battery box.
It comes with an 800 mm cable for easy connection to most 12 volt batteries, including AGM and lithium batteries with standard M8 bolt terminals. Simply unscrew each terminal bolt, slip the M8 connector ring onto the bolt, and screw it back in for a secure and robust connection. Then plug the cable into input number ‘1’. Don’t worry, the cable only goes in one way, and the battery recorder includes reverse voltage and short-circuit protection, to protect both itself and your battery.
The battery recorder is quite small: only 7cm x 5cm x 2cm. So easily fits into tight spaces, and since the cable is 800 mm long, there is no need to place the recorder on top of the battery – it will happily go wherever it fits best. If you wish, you can screw it into place – it comes with flanges with mounting holes for a permanent installation. Or stick it down with Velcro. Or, since it’s very light (30g) and encased in tough ABS plastic, you could simply leave it loose.
When you first run the app, it will search for nearby BushGeek battery recorders – you’ll need to be within around 5m for a good connection. When it finds your recorder, it will prompt you to connect, and you can set the app to automatically reconnect to your recorder whenever you run it. The app will download the latest readings from the unit, and if you have a second battery, you can enable it. The app will then show you the current readings and allow you to see all the latest voltage and temperature data, whenever you connect.
- Wireless battery monitoring via iPhone or iPad
- Real-time monitoring of battery voltages and ambient temperature
- Stores and displays historical voltage and temperature data
- Automatic synchronisation after each connection
- Two battery inputs
- Built-in ambient temperature sensor
- Secure Bluetooth connection (bonding via a 6-digit PIN is required for connection)
- Ultra-low current (~100 µA)
- Continues to work when the battery voltage drops as low as 6V
- Incorporates short-circuit, reverse connection and surge protection.