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  HDS: Battery Voltage v. Supply Voltage

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Author Topic:   HDS: Battery Voltage v. Supply Voltage
jimh posted 04-21-2012 10:32 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
The Lowrance HDS series of multi-function devices can be configured to display information as overlays on various screens. Typically information like depth, speed, or time are often configured to be displayed as overlays. It is also possible to display the battery voltage as an overlay.

The general method for displaying an overlay is to edit a PAGE to include the data. The data is selected from the available data shown in a lengthy hierarchical menu. A major group in the menu structure is "Battery," with sub-menus for battery voltage and battery current. However, this data source is from the connected NMEA-2000 network, and it can be configured to choose from various available data sources. For example, on my installation, "Battery Voltage" is configured to come from the EMM of the attached E-TEC outboard engine. The E-TEC EMM will measure the battery voltage (of its attached battery) and send the voltage as a data parameter on the NMEA-2000 network to the HDS. While this is interesting data, it is not necessarily the voltage of the battery that is attached to the HDS. On my boat, the HDS is running from the HOUSE battery, which is not connected to the E-TEC engine. To monitor this voltage, a separate data source is needed.

In the HDS menu structure of data sources, the "Other" menu provides an internal voltmeter measurement of the supply voltage connected to the HDS. This data source is called "Supply voltage". Selecting this source for the data overlay will give you the voltage of the battery to which the HDS is connected. A screen shot (below) shows the data source selection menu structure:

Screen shot of Lowrance HDS showing data overly configuration menu.
The data overlay edit menu provides this data selection menu. The supply voltage source is located under the "Other" sub-menu.

At the time I took the screen shot (above) showing the supply voltage to be 12.6-volts, the supply voltage measured 12.55-Volts on my Fluke Model 73 DMM. The Fluke Model 73 has a rated accuracy of 0.3-percent for DC Voltage. The variation between the Fluke and the HDS measurements was 0.05-Volts, which (for me) represents quite acceptable agreement.

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