Adding an hour meter to a machine


Is it easy to add hour meters to machines such as rider mowers, log splitters, pressure washers? What's involved?
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Depends on what you want to meter -- if it's simply a "time the ignition is on" for a (system that has an ignition anyway) there are those available. If, otoh, you're trying to measure engine run time, many of them run off a tach and so need that as the input. If you don't have a electric start so no generator, therefore no 12V supply, I guess you can strap a sundial on... :)
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wrote:

I think they are called "elapsed time meters".
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Jim Yanik
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dean wrote:

Unless it has a diesel engine, it's exceptionally easy. Many places such as Northern Tool sell self contained hour meters that have an LCD display, internal battery and a sense wire that is simply wrapped a few times around the spark plug wire of the engine in question. The wire picks up the ignition pulses which indicate the engine is running and the hour meter should count. Some also function as a tachometer when the engine is running and hour meter when it's not. They run around $20-$30 or so.
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Great!
When the battery runs out, does it lose the time?
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dean wrote:

Probably varies from brand to brand. I expect most give a low batt warning and will hold the time for long enough to change the battery. Certainly wouldn't hurt to keep a paper maint log for the equipment and note run time at each servicing. The batteries on these things should last at least a year or more so just replacing during annual service isn't a bad idea either.
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wrote:

If the engine is NOT running,why use an hour meter? You want to know how many hours the motor RUNS,not how long it's been sitting there unused. ;-)

These days,the batteries last for years,in a digital clock or timer.
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Pete C. wrote:

That's kewl to know...everything I have _is_ diesel (except the Wisconsin engine in the manlift, but it's constant rpm so JLG just went w/ an elapsed time meter on it) so wasn't aware of the induction pickup ones but makes a lot of sense. Who knows, sometime I might have something else, too....
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