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i thought i would see if its ok the way i hooked it up. i want to see if my alternator is putting out the right voitage. here is what i did. i hooked positve sideof voitmeter to alternator .i then hooked a ground to neg side of voitmeter. i get reading at idle ..about 12.5 to 13.0 at 1500 rpms..about 14.0 to 14.3.i put me a single throw toggle switch where i can cut it off when i want to. the way you showed me with the picture seems to be the best way .if i do another poorboy i will do it your way. the way i got it hooked up won't hurt anything,will it? thanks hoghideman
 

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Yes and no; the positive should be at or closely after the battery to see what's getting to the battery your seeing what's coming out of the alternator and usually that's what gets to the battery but not always..bad connections, etc. can degrade the output
 

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I was getting at least a one volt drop running off the bike's aux box, so I ran the + wire straight to the battery, the ground off the harness. Still about .2v off but gives a more accurate reading.

I may be wrong but I don't think you're running the voltmeter off the alternator, otherwise you'd be showing anywhere from 16v to 60v AC.
 

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A simple way to install a voltmeter is to run the + side of the battery to a relay and then to the voltmeter and controlling the voltmeter relay from the AC terminal.
This way you have a true reading of the battery at all times and when the bikes is turned off the relay opens.
 

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All you really need to do is connect it to the accessory terminal so the meter is on when the key is on. You don't have to know exactly what the battery voltage is, just a reference to show if the charging system has a problem. For instance if you know it's charging when you install the meter and it shows 14 volts then if the meter goes down to 12 while running then something is wrong. Same as with an alternator light, if it's off it's charging, if it comes on it's not. All you really need to know.
 
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