Help! Weird Alternator Problem - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Maine Sail
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-16-2013
GrahamO's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portsmouth NH
Posts: 180
Thanks: 5
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 3
GrahamO is on a distinguished road
Help! Weird Alternator Problem

This has been an issue since I bought the boat and three yards have expensively failed to fix it. I have a Yanmar JH series engine with a large AMP alternator regulated by a Balmar Maxcharge MC-612 reg.

At tickover and during early running all is well. The system charges and the tachometer works normally. After a while the tachometer drops to zero and charging stops. It can be recovered by dropping to low revs but as I increase the revs the tach drops off again. The obvious candidate is belt slip but there is no sign of belt damage and the alt seems to be spinning OK so I am wondering if something else could cause the same symptoms before I invest in a belt doubling kit. One mechanic pointed out that there is not much contact area on the alt so the doubling kit might be the answer.

I am not too worried about losing the charge, the solar is keeping up fine. I AM worried about losing the belt / water pump - particularly as I am heading down the NY East River in a couple of days...... Is there any way of making an alternator freewheel? Then it can just act as a tensioner until I can get this sorted.

Anyway, thanks for any input!

Graham (enroute to The Bahamas)
__________________
Graham and Janaki
Bristol 38.8
Leela
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 11-16-2013
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 14,954
Thanks: 80
Thanked 217 Times in 209 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Re: Help! Weird Alternator Problem

Have you noticed if the Balmar is 'lit up' during the dead times? A bad connection on the power wire to the Balmar will give you this symptom.. something intermittent/vibration based??
__________________
Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 11-16-2013
GrahamO's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portsmouth NH
Posts: 180
Thanks: 5
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 3
GrahamO is on a distinguished road
Help! Weird Alternator Problem

Thanks Faster, I will check that one ASAP.
__________________
Graham and Janaki
Bristol 38.8
Leela
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 11-16-2013
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,811
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 10
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
Re: Help! Weird Alternator Problem

Yes, check especially the connections and the fuses/fuse holders on the front of the MC-612.

Note also that you can fit a simple on-off toggle switch to the MC-612 which will cut the alternator's output in half whenever desired.

You can also de-rate the alternator by any desired percentage by programming the MC-612. These mods are described in the Balmar manual.

Bill
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 11-16-2013
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,422
Thanks: 11
Thanked 126 Times in 94 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Re: Help! Weird Alternator Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrahamO View Post
This has been an issue since I bought the boat and three yards have expensively failed to fix it. I have a Yanmar JH series engine with a large AMP alternator regulated by a Balmar Maxcharge MC-612 reg.

At tickover and during early running all is well. The system charges and the tachometer works normally. After a while the tachometer drops to zero and charging stops. It can be recovered by dropping to low revs but as I increase the revs the tach drops off again. The obvious candidate is belt slip but there is no sign of belt damage and the alt seems to be spinning OK so I am wondering if something else could cause the same symptoms before I invest in a belt doubling kit. One mechanic pointed out that there is not much contact area on the alt so the doubling kit might be the answer.

I am not too worried about losing the charge, the solar is keeping up fine. I AM worried about losing the belt / water pump - particularly as I am heading down the NY East River in a couple of days...... Is there any way of making an alternator freewheel? Then it can just act as a tensioner until I can get this sorted.

Anyway, thanks for any input!

Graham (enroute to The Bahamas)
Beyond the other tips, turn off your solar, turn on some DC loads and let us know if this still happens....

Sounds to me like your solar controller has a higher absorption voltage than the reg thus it may be shutting it down when your are in the upper 90's SOC...

If that test works simply turn off solar if you want to keep the tach or up the voltage setting of the reg...

If this is happening in bulk mode then it is likely a bad reg or connection..
Faster likes this.
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.



Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-16-2013 at 09:57 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 11-17-2013
GrahamO's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portsmouth NH
Posts: 180
Thanks: 5
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 3
GrahamO is on a distinguished road
Help! Weird Alternator Problem

OK it is not the belt. No change in rotation, no noise, no extra heat. It did only happen when the battery was nearly charged so I have turned off the solar and put some load on. I will monitor and report back. Looks like I don't need a yard right now :-).

Thank you all so much for being there. This is our first BIG sailing adventure and we are learning as fast as we can but we are still a little anxious.

Graham
__________________
Graham and Janaki
Bristol 38.8
Leela
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 11-17-2013
GrahamO's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portsmouth NH
Posts: 180
Thanks: 5
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 3
GrahamO is on a distinguished road
Help! Weird Alternator Problem

Not a single hint of a problem since we turned off the solar. Thanks MainSail! I need to set both chargers up more precisely for the new batteries so I will fix it then. Right now turning off is just fine.

Graham
__________________
Graham and Janaki
Bristol 38.8
Leela
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Weird Charging Problem with Xantrex Charger Sailor-man Electrical Systems 6 06-20-2011 09:57 PM
Tach and alternator intermittent problem steveg353 Gear & Maintenance 2 04-20-2011 05:47 AM
Nissan alternator problem hlkaulfman Gear & Maintenance 12 12-29-2007 10:02 AM
Alternator problem (?) doctorcam Gear & Maintenance 30 10-25-2007 08:41 AM
Alternator Side Loading Problem Mithril Gear & Maintenance 5 06-24-2006 11:59 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:10 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.