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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > kill a watt

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joe0508

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Posted: 03/03/12 09:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are their an easy to read kill a watt that i can use that is color coded.One that will have a needle that will move to green if good and red if bad.Instead of having to read numbers.


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tahiti16

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Posted: 03/03/12 10:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kill a watt measures amps used I don't think that is what you are asking about. More like a voltmeter and they do have a green good yellow and red bad areas.


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Kiwi_too

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Posted: 03/03/12 10:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kill A Watt measures volts, amps and watts.

I would not want one with a needle as they are more inaccurate. They are analog. The Kill A Watt is digital. I use a digital because it is more precise. I would recommend that you adjust to the digital display for that reason. When I walk by mine, I always note the voltage. If below 108 or above 129 I will take appropriate action. I use those thresholds because 105 & 132 is the danger points and I do not want to take action after electricity hits the danger points.

randco

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Posted: 03/04/12 04:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kiwi_too wrote:

Kill A Watt measures volts, amps and watts.

I would not want one with a needle as they are more inaccurate. They are analog. The Kill A Watt is digital. I use a digital because it is more precise. I would recommend that you adjust to the digital display for that reason. When I walk by mine, I always note the voltage. If below 108 or above 129 I will take appropriate action. I use those thresholds because 105 & 132 is the danger points and I do not want to take action after electricity hits the danger points.


I think that you would need to sit and watch the meter constantly. A severe voltage drop or spike can occur in an instant. You won't have to to "take appropriate action".

If you want to control under voltage and want surge protection use a Powermaster Autoformer voltage controller. Powermaster

In my opinion the Powermaster Autoformer is better built than the Hughes Autoformer.

ryanallie1

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Posted: 03/04/12 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi All.

I have a pretty good back ground in Electrail. And this is what we use.

"LINK"

This is a so called "Poor Mans Meter". We have used ours for quite a few years with no issues what so ever. Very easy to check from a distance, at a glance and tell what color reange it is in.

Its cheap and pretty darn accurite. You can take the cover off and adjust the Needle. What we have done, is check the incomming power with a Multi-Meter, then adjust the Needel to read the same, or as close to it as you can, since its an Anolog Meter.

There are more accurite Meters, "Digitals" that cosat a lot more.

We are not "obsessed" with the power as some are. It doesn't have to be 100% accurite to still be ok to use. This will give you a pretty darn good idea of the incomming power where ever you are staying.

We do check our Power Supply, before we ever plug our RV's into it.

We also do use a pretty good "Surge Protector" also. If all you want is the general information of what the power is, then this is more than good enought to use.

If you want dead on, exact power, then spend more and buy a dood Digital.

In the 45 years as RV'ers, we have never lost anything to Power Surges or Spikes or Lightning or anything else you can think of, in our RV's

Good Luck. Happy Travels. Dan & Jill


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wa_desert_rat

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Posted: 03/04/12 10:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Kill A Watt is a remarkable gadget; all the more so for its price. I used one to determine how much power our new 19" HDTV draws so I could decide what type of inverter I needed. Turns out that both the HDTV and the BluRay draw use than 30 watts of power so a cheap $29 plug-into-the-cigarette-lighter inverter does the trick just fine.

I used it to adjust our genset so the frequency was exactly at 60Hz (a KAW will give you the frequency of your alternating current power source).

No RV is complete without one!

Craig

wny_pat

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Posted: 03/04/12 10:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Think we need to pull out of the OP what he thinks a "kill a watt" is and what he wants to use it for. Otherwise, this thread could go on forever.


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jauguston

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Posted: 03/04/12 10:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A FWIW on adjusting cycles with a Kill-A-Watt meter. If your generator is a typical built in RV generator and not a inverter type the governor on the engine is not very precise in holding rpm. For that reason the cycles are directly related to rpm and will vary with load. If the generator is operating normally the cycles(rpm) should be set at 62 cycles not 60 cycles no load. This is a allowable variation. Again if the generator is operating properly with no problems as you add load the cycles (rpm) will drop until at full rated output the cycles should be about 58 cycles. Inverter type generators like our Onan QD 7500 or the portable Honda EU series and many other inverter portables control cycles electronically and will always be right on 60 cycles

Jim

* This post was edited 03/04/12 12:27pm by jauguston *


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Kiwi_too

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Posted: 03/04/12 12:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

randco wrote:

Kiwi_too wrote:

Kill A Watt measures volts, amps and watts.

I would not want one with a needle as they are more inaccurate. They are analog. The Kill A Watt is digital. I use a digital because it is more precise. I would recommend that you adjust to the digital display for that reason. When I walk by mine, I always note the voltage. If below 108 or above 129 I will take appropriate action. I use those thresholds because 105 & 132 is the danger points and I do not want to take action after electricity hits the danger points.


I think that you would need to sit and watch the meter constantly. A severe voltage drop or spike can occur in an instant. You won't have to to "take appropriate action".

If you want to control under voltage and want surge protection use a Powermaster Autoformer voltage controller. Powermaster

In my opinion the Powermaster Autoformer is better built than the Hughes Autoformer.


Agreed. Kill A Watt is not for constant monitoring and does nothing for spikes or brown outs. I do have a Hughes Autoformer for routine, unmanned, power regulation. This still has it's limits. I use a portable Surge Guard to test power at the pole, before connecting. After connecting, with autoformer in line, we double check the power on the Kill A Watt before turning on 120v systems. Then as we move about I simply glance at the Kill A Watt to confirm power is not dropping. If the power at start up or during periodic glances drops below 110 we look more often. Our Kill A Watt is by the mid entry door so it is in the path of most things, in or out of the coach.

wny_pat wrote:

Think we need to pull out of the OP what he thinks a "kill a watt" is and what he wants to use it for. Otherwise, this thread could go on forever.


Good question/response.

wa8yxm

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Posted: 03/04/12 03:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You want green and red.. Well the problem is the Kill-a-watt has no idea what is "Good" or "Bad" it is designed to measure volts, amps, the relationship between current and voltage (It is an angle, it gives you the cosine) Volt-amps, Watts (not the same thing) voltage and frequency.

But there what is "Good" or "Bad" depends on what you plug into it. So ther eis now way it can be pre-set to "Turn red" you got to read the numbers, AND know how to interpret the numbers.

I have taken electronics in college, I have passed the Amateur Radio Extra Class test (Which deals with all the things that meter measures) and **I** Can not tell you what is "Bad" save for voltage < 108 or more than 128 is not good.


Home is where I park it.
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