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Old 29-04-2016, 23:25   #1
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Alternator drawing power

why would my alternator be drawing power from my batteries rather than charging them. I am running an external Balmar regulator, ARS 5 and a BM1 monitor. The alternator is getting very hot.

I have changed the alternator and it is doing the same! So it is not the alternator, but something up the line, where shall I look first?
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Old 29-04-2016, 23:31   #2
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Re: Alternator drawing power

I've just had a similar problem. Turned out to be a faulty voltage regulator in the alternator itself.
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Old 30-04-2016, 01:20   #3
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Re: Alternator drawing power

Hi,

Thanks for your response. Here's the thing, neither of my alternators have internal regulators and I fitted a new balmar ARS 5 in 2013. It was all working fine until recently.

I have done the checks on the Balmar and the only worrying thing is that the Blue cable is reading 12.7 when power on, but engine off and 12.8V when engine running at 1400 Revs, whereas the manual says it should read between 5V & 11V.

Jeez I would be miffed if I have to buy another regulator after such a short space of time! I bought a new one in 2013, boat went on the hard mid way though 2014 and only just gone back in the water!

anyone else got some ideas.
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Old 30-04-2016, 04:34   #4
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Re: Alternator drawing power

Well a little update,

I took a look at the Balmar ars5 again, pulled off the ford connector thing, not too difficult and ran some more tests from the Balmar guide. Put "ford" style connector back on, did more tests.


Then needed to take "ford" styler connector off again! Huh! Easier said then done. Pulled and pulled and wriggled and wriggled, but no luck, so got a pair of pliers to it.........oops! Pulled out the black wire. Bugga!


Took an engineer friend over an hour, with a dental hook to get that sucker out of the plastic casing! But thankfully he did, then he soldered it back into the spade, replaced into the plastic holder and we did another test. It said all was good! So we replaced the connector on the Balmar ARS 5 and heh presto, we are now charging instead of drawing.


Trouble is, we are not really sure that we have "solved " the problem! Maybe the connector was not on tight enough, had vibrated? Loose? Have to say I am not convinced.


But for the time being it is "fixed"


Has anyone else had this issue?


Should I get a spare Balmar ARS 5 they are about US$300 a pop, plus extortionate postage to Malaysia!


Thanks for "listening" ! I am doing this solo at the moment, and it gets tough sometimes as all you solos will know!
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Old 30-04-2016, 11:23   #5
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Re: Alternator drawing power

if the balmar regular is off there should be no field voltage or current and the alt wouldn't be hot. your problem is likely in the regulartor. or ignition circuit keeping it on.

measure the ignition voltage with key off and make sure it's 0v. measure the field output voltage it should be 0v.

also measure the battery pos cable for any current and see if it's coming in that way.

you'll need a multimeter with clamp to test stuff. there is no point looking at your problem without one.
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Old 30-04-2016, 17:44   #6
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Re: Alternator drawing power

Thanks for your reply,

I am not sure I know what you mean when you say a multi-meter with a clamp! I certainly don't have one with a clamp and as I am nowhere near anywhere that would sell such a beast, I do not have that option,

I will test as you suggest though,
Thanks
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Old 01-05-2016, 00:22   #7
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Re: Alternator drawing power

the clamp is to measure current... you could use a reg ammemter but then wires need to be disconnected and it's a lot harder.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:47   #8
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Re: Alternator drawing power

oh, ok I see, well I think it is impossible to get one of those here, but thanks anyway.
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