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Monitoring a power suppy
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14939
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 15 9:53 pm    Post subject: Monitoring a power suppy  Reply with quote    

I want to use an occasional electricity supply at my field. I have mum's permission to use the external socket at the house (which formerly connected a caravan) providing her tenants are compensated for the power I use. The tenants are happy with that too.

How can I monitor how much I'm using so I can settle up with them? An Owl will only work on a single core cable, which I don't think my usual caravan hook-up lead is.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 15 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can buy 3pin watthour meters that will probably do the job.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=watt+meter&tag=mh0a9-21&index=aps&hvadid=5101097186&hvqmt=b&hvbmt=bb&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_6vizgvlhnq_b

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8423
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Make sure its one with a memory or it will loose it all if turned off / power cut / fuse trips.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14939
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's not a three pin socket, though. It's a round one, for a caravan. (I wish I knew the proper names for them)

stumbling goat



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1976

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Make a fly lead up, 3 pin plug at one end to go in to the socket, supply comes out to a round pin mains coupler, same at other end. Make sure you get the round pin mains couplers round the right way to be safe.

sg

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14939
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good plan. Would that be safe outdoors?

stumbling goat



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1976

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is the ordinary 3 pin plug going into a weatherproof external socket, one with a flap over the plug that allows the flex to come out via a notch, but covers the plug and socket?

sg

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14939
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's not a three pin socket, it's a round one. Like you get on campsites to hook up caravans. Ideally, I would like to connect it straight to my caravan and connect things to that as and when. But there is no 'ordinary' plug involved in that connection to plug the watt meter thingy into. It would help a lot if I knew what the round plug system was called!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33631
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i would think a good spark would be able to wire the meter into a exterior cable/plug system for a reasonable fee

bout 20 mins should do it ,

if you are not good with wires etc get a pro to do it cos outside and electric is potentially dangeroos.
i assume there is a rcd protecting the supply?

another issue is distance,the loss due to resistance in the wire is a function of distance and wire size,for machines using high current a caravan hook up cable might not be "fat"enough over a long distance

the cable that is intended for 110 v industrial concrete breakers etc etc is not cheap but it is very thick,flexible and good for long runs outside (tis similar to the yellow stuff for caravan hook ups but even thicker)

again a good spark should be able to check your intended tools ,the distances involved and suggest the correct wire.

it can be done but it is best to do it well and safely

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1473
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Good advice from dpack.

Alternative method......
Buy......
caravan socket to 3pin plug adapter
3pin to caravan socket adapter (opposite of above)
plug in electric moniter

Run your lead from socket to caravan. Plug all the adapters and monitor together and chuck under caravan out of rain (monitor is probably not waterproof) stick a bucket with a brick on over monitor for good measure.

This will probably be fine for occasional low power usage.

If you are going to use power tools or heaters best follow dpacks advice.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Would battery powered tools be a viable option? After catering for all the gadgets and wiring to run power that might pay for a charger and couple of batts.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8423
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can get a meter that is built into a 16 amp trailing plug & socket.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33631
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
Would battery powered tools be a viable option? After catering for all the gadgets and wiring to run power that might pay for a charger and couple of batts.


it might well be worth doing the alternative costings ,however plug in tools are cheap per unit output compared to battery ones.for instance my sds£600(+2 batteries) and an equivalent one with a wire about£200.

petrol is an alternative for strimmer/mower etc lights etc can be bright and low power with good led systems etc

i would be tempted to look at battery/petrol tools and use the power supply for a recharging "box" so avoiding trailing wires,240 volt in the rain etc etc

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14939
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I had orginally planned to manage without power. I have a petrol strimmer and was planning to buy a petrol mower. But I have less funds than I'd hoped, so will have to manage with a manual push mower this year. I have two, so it would be daft to buy a petrol one as well.

We also plan to camp there over the summer and let the kids run wild. I am generally ok with dry camping, but it will go a lot smoother with a fridge and a phone charger. Then I will be able to put the heated propagator in the greenhouse as well (the luxury!)

I have most of the components for the improv system, so it should be doable. I was just slightly dubious about all those things plugged into each other!

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 15 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/electric-coin-meter-/271824688921?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3f4a039719

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