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Old 04-10-2011, 09:20 AM   #1
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Re: Propane/CO2 Alarms

.. interestingly enough, I had the same thought about a dual sensor as you have .. as the two gases act differently ..

.. on a pure guess, I would have to guess that the propane sensor can detect a very minute amount (was trying to read how many ppm, can't see where the manufacturer states it) ..

.. interesting device .. but, like you, I would like to know more about it's "phantom" draw .. I know most of the big "Hollywood" rigs around me remain on shore power when they are home/sitting because they are always "on" keeping things charges and little clocks from flashing ..

.. side note .. my 45' sailboat was like that as well, even when she was on the hard, she was plugged up to maintain the systems, allowing her to sit completely "dead" was a bad, bad thing .. the previous owner had let her sit for five years before I got her .. had to replace just about everything, after I got her pumped out (yeesh) .. it's one of the reasons I put a solar panel on her so I could live without shore power for extended times and not have to run the gennie ..

.. back on topic .. give a shout if you dig up any more poop on it ..
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
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Re: Propane/CO2 Alarms

We have a propane detector that came in a pop-up camper. The unit must be mounted near the floor. I would suspect CO2 is heavy and sinks, also, but CO detectors are usually mounted up high. Our CO detector is on the ceiling.

edit: I see the device in the link detects CO, not CO2. Nevermind.

The draw is minimal when boondocking. I haven't measured it, but I am sure it is less than leaving a light on. Now an RV furnace is quite another story . . . If you get a third night out of a single battery , you are doing well.

*********
By the way, A Kill-A-Watt is for measuring plug-in AC devices, not 12 volts DC. If you put a Kill-A-Watt on your shoreline and measured the bus with everything but the detector switched off, you would be adding converter losses and battery charging current to the measurement, giving an improperly high reading.

There are two proper ways to measure DC current. High current draws, like an engine starter motor or a high-wattage inverter input, can be tested with a portable ammeter whose jaws clamp around the wire and sense the magnetic field the current is creating. Normal current draws, like lights, radios, and propane detectors are done by disconnecting one wire and inserting an ammeter in series so current to the device flows through it.

The easiest way is insert a meter is to remove a fuse, and put the leads of the (fused) ammeter across the contacts of the fuse holder. All the current in the circuit flows through a "shunt" inside the ammeter, allowing the meter to take a sample of the flow to measure.

Permanently installed battery monitors for off-grid or boondocking power systems, like the Bogart Tri-metric, use an external high-current shunt at the battery, and low-current wiring takes samples to the meter from the external shunt.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:21 AM   #3
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Re: Propane/CO2 Alarms

Specs are here

http://www.mtiindustries.com/re6.htm
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: Propane/CO2 Alarms

Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa

.. good find .. thanks ..
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Re: Propane/CO Alarms

If you are that concerned with energy use, why don't you just use a detector that uses a battery rather than being hard wired.

The battery is changed once a year. Smoke detector units should be changed out every ten years. CO/LP units should be changed out every 5 years.

My battery operated First Alert Smoke/CO. I bought it at either Lowe's or home depot. My wireless security system also has a smoke detector. Don't put the smoke detector too close to the galley as cooking can set one off (mine will if I don't turn the vent fan on)).
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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Re: Propane/CO Alarms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla
... It seems that battery-operated propane detectors do not exist. Does this sound right to you?
I think you can buy propane detectors at Lowes/Home Depot that are battery operated. I know that I have looked in the past (while down in Corpus Christi) but not since we have been back in NM. I think we will be stopping in at the Home Depot in Albuquerque this Sat and will look. We have to get the insulation up in ABQ (70+ miles away) because the nearest one is staffed by morons who don't stock the size we need nor can they order it in. Ditto Lowes. I hate this state. I've spent most of my life listening to all the cliches about "dumb" southerners and the "cars up on jacks"/"hillbilly mansions" crap. NM has all that beat. We have run into more folks unable to read out here than any place we have even been.


And there is no such thing as a light breeze. It's either 45 mph and up or (rarely) dead still. I hate this state... and the wind really does make me sick (fungus spores in the dust apparently). Rant over... for now.
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