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post #11 of 24 Old 02-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

OK.. Making progress. Going to use an ACR so one more question (at this point..) I currently have a dual battery shore charger, the output leads connect to the two banks via connections at the isolator that we're going to deep six. The charger is working fine.. should I just use one output and let the ACR look after things, or wire the two outputs to each bank for shore charging?

Intuitively I'm thinking the former (let the ACR do it's thing whether shore or alternator charging)

.. sorry 2 questions:

Any reason to distrust the offer of a 90A Leece Neville from Spider Marine for $200 vs Balmar/Electromaax at $550+

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)

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post #12 of 24 Old 02-26-2013
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

You're right, single charger output, let the ACR do the reserve charging.

Leece Neville makes Balmar alternators. Why pay more?

Stu Jackson, C34, 1986, M25 engine, Rocna 10 (22#)
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

Lets the ACR do the combining and isolating. You have a starting and house bank I am assuming here.

$200 for a new 90 amp Balmar alternor? That sounds to good to be true must be rebuilt even then it's cheap. You will still buy he external regulator them too?

I am Waiting for Maine Sail to weigh in on wether external Balmar Max regulator needed with the Electramax alternators with internal regulators..


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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
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6 It is a good idea to fit a "service disconnect" for the alt output in the engine room so when working on the engine the alt is not live....
Question if I may - is this a switch? Is there an alternative to this? There is a "slight" risk that this could be left off and then you start the engine and fry the alt.
Perhaps having a keyed switch that only turns on with the engine ignition key? I'm getting old ye know...
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post #15 of 24 Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
Question if I may - is this a switch? Is there an alternative to this? There is a "slight" risk that this could be left off and then you start the engine and fry the alt.
Perhaps having a keyed switch that only turns on with the engine ignition key? I'm getting old ye know...
Starting the engine with no load rarely leads to blown diodes because the regulator has time to sense there is no voltage/load. It is when the alt is pumping out fierce current and you suddenly cut the load where the diodes most often fry.

If you remember to turn off all battery switches when working on the engine then you should be able to remember to switch them all back on.

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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

Faster, the problem with a simple diode isolator is that is cuts the output voltage by about 1/2 volt. And unless a sense wire has been run to accomodate that...Sure, that would make your alternator "underperform" significantly.

It may or may not be worth putting any money into figuring out what was done to your alternator but one of the "twelve volt" books has over a hundred alternator diagrams in it, you should be able to find one for your Bosch, open it up, and see if anything is missing or altered internally. Or, just order a higher capacity one and make a clean start.

If you do keep it, be generous with a labelmaker and draw up a schematic once you figure it out.
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Faster, the problem with a simple diode isolator is that is cuts the output voltage by about 1/2 volt. And unless a sense wire has been run to accomodate that...Sure, that would make your alternator "underperform" significantly.

It may or may not be worth putting any money into figuring out what was done to your alternator but one of the "twelve volt" books has over a hundred alternator diagrams in it, you should be able to find one for your Bosch, open it up, and see if anything is missing or altered internally. Or, just order a higher capacity one and make a clean start.

If you do keep it, be generous with a labelmaker and draw up a schematic once you figure it out.
Thanks HS, the decision has been made, a clean start it will be- after all what's another boat buck here and there.....

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)
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post #18 of 24 Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

Excellent advice, and isolators for the most part are to be tossed in the trash. But just for the record there are some zero volt drop ones - Sterling makes some and I think ProMariner does as well, and I'm sure others. But in the end, Maine Sail's echo or batt-to-batt charger solution is great.

My boat came with a charging system that included a manual failover system that is basically just an adjustable pot that I can switch to in case the alternator regulator fails. As it turns out, I use it quite often, but not because of failure. I have it set for around 30 amps, and switch to it when upping anchor or maneuvering at low speed, when I don't want to load down the engine with the full 120 amps. Very handy.
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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

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Originally Posted by AlanF View Post
Excellent advice, and isolators for the most part are to be tossed in the trash. But just for the record there are some zero volt drop ones - Sterling makes some and I think ProMariner does as well, and I'm sure others. But in the end, Maine Sail's echo or batt-to-batt charger solution is great.
Both of those products are actually voltage sensitive relays not traditional diode isolators...

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Re: Alternator wiring issue...

Alan, I could sell you a zero voltage drop isolator for five bucks. It is called a KNIFE SWITCH.

But no one would call that an isolator, which is more properly called a diode isolator.

In order to avoid confusion about what an isolator is or isn't, i would suggest using whatever proper name it has and in the unlikely event that the merchant has tried to simply call it an "isolator"...don't use that term by itself.

Yandina/West Marine always called their product a COMBINER and that ensures there is no confusion over it. Similarly the Echo Charger has its own unique name.

Zero voltage drop isolator? How many knife switches do you want? (G)
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