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Volt and amp meter have no display

 
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James78




Joined: 01 Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Albuquerque, NM


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 3:57 pm    Post subject: Volt and amp meter have no display Reply with quote


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Happy New Year! I'm working on building the control panel, which I bought as a kit a few years back, but I've run into a problem where both the volt and the amp meter are not displaying anything. I'm following the testing-your-control-panel-as-you-build-it instructions. First, I connected only the transformer input side and measured the transformer output voltage (~21V AC). I also verified that I read 120V AC when check the hot and neutral buses with my multimeter. The DC power supplies are mounted with the nylon standoffs and screws provided in the kit. I then connected the DC power supply inputs and left the meters disconnected. The outputs of both the DC power supplies measure ~4.7V DC with the meters disconnected. After connecting the meters, the outputs on the power supplies measure around 1.2V DC, which might suggest the power supplies are defective. To me, though, it seems more likely that I'm doing something wrong (perhaps with my wiring of the meters) than that I have two defective power supplies or meters.

Thanks,
James
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Volt and amp meter have no display Reply with quote

Hi and welcome to the forum James!

James78 wrote:
First, I connected only the transformer input side and measured the transformer output voltage (~21V AC).

That's good! Means the transformers are getting the input voltage they need and outputting as expected.

James78 wrote:
The outputs of both the DC power supplies measure ~4.7V DC with the meters disconnected.

Also good!

James78 wrote:
After connecting the meters, the outputs on the power supplies measure around 1.2V DC, which might suggest the power supplies are defective. To me, though, it seems more likely that I'm doing something wrong (perhaps with my wiring of the meters) than that I have two defective power supplies or meters.

Agreed. If connected incorrectly it could cause the power supply voltages to "sag" (i.e. lower). Usually happens when the draw is too large because the load (the meters) are attempting to draw too much current. Incorrect wiring can also damage the power supplies and/or meters unfortunately.

I would double check your wiring. Sometimes having someone else check can help too as when mistakes are made they're sometimes hard to pinpoint if the same person is doing the wiring vs. the verification.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Kal

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James78




Joined: 01 Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Albuquerque, NM


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not finding any issue with the wiring to the meters. I've attached a couple of photos of the amp meter wiring. I've tried the same wiring configuration using different wires and get the same result. I've also tried seeing what happens when I connect the bare wires from the amp meter (5+DC and GND) to the corresponding outputs on the DC power supply. The red light on the power supply goes dim a bit, which again suggests it can't handle the load. Same thing happens with the other power supply.

I'm hesitant to start re-ordering parts, since I'm not exactly sure what's failing. Is there a safe way to test the meters that does not rely on the DC power supplies from the kit? Or any other suggestions that will help troubleshoot.

Cheers,
James



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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

Both meters require (separate) 5.0V DC power supplies to operate. You can try powering them from a different 5.0V DC source to ensure they work correctly. Please measure/make sure that whatever you use is 5.0V (and not any higher) and DC before connecting. The meters do not draw use much power (wattage) so just about any 5.0V DC power supply can be used. These are fairly common, such as is found on USB wall power supplies. You'd need to make (or cut apart) a USB power cable.

Are you sure you didn't power the meters (even momentarily) with much higher power before adjusting the power supplies down? That can damage the meters permanently.

Good luck!

Kal

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James78




Joined: 01 Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Albuquerque, NM


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

I'll try testing the meters on a different 5V DC power supply. I'm sure the meters were not supplied more than 5V DC, since I tested the output prior to connecting the meters. Thanks for the prompt replies! This small problem notwithstanding, I've really enjoyed the process of building my no-compromise home brewery.

Cheers,
James
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great James! Let us know how you make out with your tests.

Kal

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James78




Joined: 01 Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Albuquerque, NM


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used an old phone charger as my new power supply. After stripping the red and black wires, I verified that it was outputting 4.7V DC. Both the volt and the amp meters are able to display numbers, as shown in the attached photos. Not sure if what is being displayed means they are fried too, but it looks like I should replace the DC power supplies, as something may have happened to them during the installation.

Thanks,
James



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kal
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Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good! All is normal with the meters. Once you connect the signal side of the meters it'll display as it should.

Kal

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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 01, 2022 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before replacing the power supplies I would double/triple check your wiring to/from the power supplies to make sure you didn't inadvertently cross a pair of wires. Good luck!

Kal

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James78




Joined: 01 Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Location: Albuquerque, NM


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2022 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

I'm very happy to say that I did have my wires crossed, as the orientation of GRD and + on the DC power supply output was different from what I thought it was. But all's well that ends well. The volt and amp meters work great and look amazing! Thank you for all your help.

Cheers,
James



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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 02, 2022 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you go! Glad it was something simple. Look great. Happy brewing!

Kal

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homedown




Joined: 28 Dec 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Florida


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James78 wrote:
Hi Kal,

I'm very happy to say that I did have my wires crossed, as the orientation of GRD and + on the DC power supply output was different from what I thought it was. But all's well that ends well. The volt and amp meters work great and look amazing! Thank you for all your help.

Cheers,
James



It's always nice when the fix is a simple one. Sometimes it just helps to have another set of eyes look over your work. Sometimes I've looked at a problem so many times, that I just skip over the issue when it's right in front of me and I don't notice it until someone else points it out.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10938
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, Mild, Pliny the Younger, Belgian Dark Strong, Weizen, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed! This is why I often recommend having another set of eyes look things over. It's human nature to overlook things, and things that are missed the first time will usually be missed a second, third, or 10th time. It's just how our brains work.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
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Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
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