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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks to legger99's thread:
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120266

I am considering adding a battery monitor to my 12v outlet. (I'll have to reconfigure my existing usage which ties up both 12v outlets).

While the built-in system that legger99 used is ideal in many ways, I prefer a plug 'n play solution, if it provides practical info. I'm not too interested in doing permanent, non-Honda mods to my RL if I can avoid it. Ergo my dashcam is 12v plug-in, my backup sensors are 12v plug-in, etc.

Along that line, I've found a few modules that simply plug into the 12v outlet and monitor systems. However, since the RL switches off power to the 12v outlet when the key is off and/or when starting, that may affect some of the available info. Be advised.

Here's one potential candidate (thanks to ridged):


And a more expensive, USA mfg unit:


Another cheap model:


Anyone have experience with units like these? Are they comparable? Useful? Other similar/related plug 'n play options?
 

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I am happy with the one that I linked to and cannot offer more than the amazon description and numerous reviews. I would buy it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I decided to try the BatteryMole and ordered one from Amazon. I am also going to have one of my 12v outlets converted from switched to always hot. While this may be pretty simple, I have no idea how to do this myself so will have a local shop do it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks legger99. I read that already. I should have been more specific and said that I don't know how to make the left side hot and leave the right side switched. Do you know how to do that?
 

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No way to do that easily as the front outlets are on the same relay and the rear one is on it's own too. I guess you would have to unhook the wires off the back of the outlet and run power from a non switched source. If you stop by we could figure it out! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Heh! That might be a wee bit out of the way!

I'm afraid the audio shop I talked to is thinking this is a quick fix and doesn't realize I only want one hot and the other one cold. I'll stop by this morning and get that clarified. I'll leave them both cold if this is my only option. Then I'll look at adding a 3rd outlet somewhere up front that is fused right off the battery.
 

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Heh! That might be a wee bit out of the way!

I'm afraid the audio shop I talked to is thinking this is a quick fix and doesn't realize I only want one hot and the other one cold. I'll stop by this morning and get that clarified. I'll leave them both cold if this is my only option. Then I'll look at adding a 3rd outlet somewhere up front that is fused right off the battery.
Speed, Pardon me if I'm stating the obvious here, but....

FWIW: the battery monitoring options you're considering are voltage based only (duh), meaning they are calibrated to known V levels and don't consider other contributing factors to battery condition such as ambient and operating temps. So.... the *best* way to know whats happening at the battery with a device like those you linked to is to bypass as many vehicle circuits as possible - and all the resulting voltage drops associated with insertion loss and cable lengths. If accuracy counts, going directly to the nearest available main supply like the battery itself or one of the inputs to fuse panels is best.

Like you, I do not favor modifying OEM anything, so for powering the left side socket, it seems easy enough to disconnect the factory supply and adapt a dedicated connection to the "not a cig lighter" port, no? I've not had occasion to disassemble this part of the RL console yet, so I could be totally ignorant of why that can't be done. In my experience, I've done that exact thing when confronted with OEM connector type (etc), my solution was to use a big ol' 300W solder gun for direct connection to the housing body for - and center +. I've also run to the bone yard and scavenged this kind of thing when needed. OR - simply cut the OEM wiring, shrink over the wounded wire and adapt my new wires to the donor connector(s).

Just my $0.02

EDIT:

These charts are similar to the calibration of the "battery monitors" I've seen referenced in the forum. Again, pardon if redundant or obvious.
chart1.jpg

chart2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The audio shop had me fixed up in less than 30 minutes. They clipped the hot wire to the left socket, then attached a wire and ran it over to the fuse panel by the driver's left foot. I now have a hot left socket! $30 well spent, imo.

I believe the BatteryMole is a bit more sophisticated than a simple voltage monitor.

Here are some comments from Lonnie Goff, a part of the company that developed the BatteryMole, as he responded to some questions and issues in Amazon reviews:

********************************
The BatteryMole, as our Amazon product page describes, will not capture start voltages in those cars that turn off power to the 12v plug when the engine is cranking. The start times, however, do get calculated. The trick is neither of these samples are meaningful unless the engine is off for 4 hours. Perhaps the missing start times you mention is the result of the 4 hour wait-time.

In addition to the start times the BatterMole in your car calculates your battery's State of Charge. Here again the engine must be off for 4 hours. Typically you'll get an updated reading when you start your car in the morning. When you get one of these alarms (and you likely will) it'll be time to put your battery on a charger and then load test it.

Your charging system also is monitored as you drive. When your battery is being over or under charged an alarm will be generated.

And if your charging system should quit working entirely, a low voltage alarm will trigger. It is not necessary to visually monitor the voltage as displayed on the LCD screen.

Our company spent over two years developing this product. The U.S. patent office has granted our company two patents that relate directly to the inner workings of our product. It really is far more than an voltmeter even in those cars where the start voltage cannot be captured.
**********************************

Irrespective of the start voltage, the following additional functions are performed in all cars:


1) The output of the alternator is monitored when it is predetermined that the temperature under the hood will approximate the temperature read from the BatteryMole's built-in temperature sensor. An alarm is generated when the battery is either being over or undercharged.

2) A Low Voltage alarm, qualified by time, is generated whenever the battery's voltage drops below a predetermined threshold.

3) The charge state of the battery is calculated once the engine has been off for more than four hours. For those cars that switch off power to the 12V receptacle, this calculation is based upon multiple voltage samples taken during the first 50 milliseconds as the ignition switch transitions from the OFF position to the START position.

4) The time it takes the engine to start is sampled whenever the engine is started after it has been off for more than four hours. This measurement is used by the software to determine the health of the battery and if there is probable cause to raise an alarm. This function neither requires nor makes use of the start voltage.

4 Peaks Technology has one issued and three pending patents that describe the behavior of the BatteryMole. This does suggest that there is far more to the BatteryMole than just start voltages.

If 4 Peaks Technology had tens of thousands of customers (which it does not) and if many could provide accurate feedback as to how their 12V receptacles behave, it would be possible to generate a list of those cars that don't capture start voltages or have excessive electrical noise and/or voltage attenuation at the 12V receptacle. The accuracy of this information could not, however, be guaranteed since some ignition switches and 12V receptacles, as they age, behave erratically. Results in the same make, model and year could differ.

***************************************

The calculation for the state of charge is difficult in those few car models where both the 12v receptacle is normally powered off and where there is either voltage attenuation or excessive electrical noise occurring when the ignition key is first switched on. Mini Coopers are the worst for attenuation. Some Toyota's are noisy. And some Volvo's display both issues. In those receptacles where power is normally off, the BatteryMole has only about 50 milliseconds to sample the battery's voltage before the ignition switch transitions to the start position. If a stable reading cannot be taken in this narrow window of time then the state of charge will be an issue. Without knowing the model year of the Toyota Tundra it is difficult to verify if the 12v receptacle really remains powered on all of the time (it probably does). If power does indeed remain on, then none of the above applies. The state of charge is calculated differently. Every half hour, after the engine is off for more than 4 hours, the BatteryMole wakes up for less than a millisecond and calculates a new state of charge before going back to sleep. The ignition switch plays no role in these calculations. There is no electrical noise to contend with nor any voltage attenuation. It's possible that the Toyota Tundra really has a bad battery or perhaps an alternator with a faulty diode. It is unfortunate that no opportunity was provided to troubleshoot this problem. The main reason the BatteryMole is a product is to demonstrate to the car companies that this technology indeed works and should be made available on all new cars. Perhaps someday Toyota Tundras will come from the factory with the ability to warn the motorist when a battery needs replacement. This warning could be as simple as a Check Engine code or as convenient as a message displayed on the infotainment console. The cost to add this technology to a new car would be less than $2.

*********************

And somewhere I found that Lonnie linked to a SoC table that may be useful:



Edit: Hah! I see you edited your post to include a SoC table while I was prepping my post!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's another gadget. ;)

Plus, it should provide better advance warning of impending battery failure vs the ol'... hmm, I don't think it's spinning over as fast as it used to. Click... click.... (get out the jump starter while it's pouring down rain, the wind is blowing, and the temp is 33*F...)
 

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Gotcha, I wish they would just put a full set of gauges in the dash. This is the only truck I've ever owned without them. I also like to monitor as much as possible before that stupid light shows up or worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Me too. I'm a sucker for gauges. The more the better. ;)

But not much of a fan of idiot lights. Can't see a trend with lights.

But take the temp gauge in the RL. It is normalized (I hope that's the right word to use here). The actual coolant temp can vary considerably (40-50*F) and the needle won't budge from the "normal" indication. I have observed this in actual use. IIRC, the temp gauge reaches the normal setting once the coolant temp hits 160*F or so. I've seen coolant temps above 210*F and the gauge never moves from the normal indication. If this is true of all RLs, then if you get an indication of hot coolant, it must really be HOT.

My Android phone connected to the ODB2 port and running the Torque app tells me the real temp that's going on under the hood.
 

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That's the problem with some gauges, especially 'factory'. They are only as good as the arbitrary markers the needles are pointing to....calibrated to some infinite point in space.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have an update to this thread. I received a beta device from 4-peaks to try out. It is a bluetooth device that connects to the battery and transmits the data to a BT connected smartphone.

Here are some pics of the device and it's sister device, the BatteryMole.
 

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Interesting little device, I wonder how much power it pulls long term seeing how the battery is always on.

Even better would be if the bluetooth would reach say into my house then I could connect my phone and see the battery level and know not to start it as its would be too low.

This makes me think of a device I put on my dad's plow truck last fall called the "battery brain" and what it does is kills all power to truck via relay after voltage drops below a set level, then you can hit a button on the dash / device that flips the relay back on.
My dad's plow truck sits quite a bit and must have a parasitic drain some where.

Here is their site: Battery Brain UK. Innovative product to make sure your never left flat!
I purchased one off of eBay supposedly used, but was new.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here's one of the FAQs:

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can this product drain the car battery overnight?

A: The short answer is “no,…never”. The BatteryMole® Monitor turns itself off approximately 30 minutes after the engine is shut off. The amount of power consumed before shutting itself off is trivial and may be even less than the power consumed by such things as your car’s alarm system After turning itself off, the power consumed by the BatteryMole® Monitor is approximately nothing.

Here's a link to the user guide:
BatteryMole User Manual
 

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So, is the device you got for sale or a beta. Do you have any working links to these BatteryMole devices, the ones at the beginning of this thread seem broken?

OK, guessing just googled Battery Mole, is there any plans where they could also monitor thru the OBD2 or additionally OBD2/Battery?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It's my understanding the device is considered a prototype at the present time.

Here's a link to the Amazon page. Not sure what's up with the links in the first part of the thread.
Robot Check

Here's a link to 4 peaks:
4peaks-tech.com

Edit: tried to do this from my iPad. Hope it works.
 
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