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Old 08-09-2018, 11:51   #1
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Alternator not regulating charge

My alternator is putting out 14.8 volts, non-stop. It has ceased to regulate its charge level. I have an external regulator. My working theory is that the regulator is somehow not functioning, but as usual, my knowledge of how these things work is near zero.

The regulator has four wires that run between it and the alternator. Black and Red, which seems to be positive and negative since thatís where they go on the alternator. Then there is a white and a blue which goes to a plug in the back of the alternator.

So far, all connections seem sound.

Thoughts?

Here are pics of the regulator and the alternator. The regulator is:
Transpo Series #911-04. 14 volt, 5 amp field.

I canít see any marking on the alternator. Seems to be a standard 55 amp output.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:12   #2
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Alternator not regulating charge

Your regulator has failed I believe. I thought though they mostly failed to an open circuit, (no charge)
You have as I see it two choices, another regulator or an internal regulated alternator.
Some like Mark Grassers has a little bus bar that in the event of a failed external regulator the bus bar can be connected and that enables the internal regulator.
However I know nothing about yours.

Man that thing is in there tight isnít it?
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:19   #3
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

If money is tight, I think you could go to the old fashioned contact point external regulator for $20 or so?
Check first, but I think you can.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:34   #4
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

If you have FLA batteries just go wth it that’s what I have mine at all the time

But I would follow that blue wire, jump around the harness on it
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:52   #5
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Regulators do fail, and it sounds like your just did, although I am with the PP- they mostly fail open circuit.


Balmar regulators aren't perfect and some do fail like everything electronic, but they do a good job and can be purchased for about $300.


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Old 08-09-2018, 12:54   #6
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Dump your regulator and start a new batch.
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Old 08-09-2018, 13:15   #7
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Thanks for all the quick responses guys. Iím going to display my ignorance (a pretty common thing, I know ).

A64: When you say "old fashioned contact point external regulatorĒ, can you explain a bit more. How would that work? How do I know if it would work with my alternator?

SB: When you say ďgo with itĒ, I assume you donít mean just leave the alternator pumping at 14.8 v all the time? I do have LFA batts, but I wouldnít want to leave it running at full bore for more than an hour.

Can you explain your blue wire thoughts? Like I say, the connections seem fine. But Iím sure I must be missing something.

djmarchand: Yes, a Balmar replacement regulator is possible Ö but Iíd love to be able to solve this one without having to spend more money if I can.

Ken: "a new batchĒ? Youíre gonna have to translate this for me.
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Old 08-09-2018, 13:26   #8
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

I also suspect your controller has failed. Have you followed the stet by step of the makers trouble shooting? If you have none, download the pdf for a Balmar 614. It’s pretty good and mostly universal. I have two Balmar 624 external regulators, love them. I have had only one failure in ten years and that was a direct lightning strike.

http://www.balmar.net/wp-content/upl...ion-Manual.pdf
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Old 08-09-2018, 13:44   #9
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Is that a 3 stage reg? It's probably not and it's normal to stay at 14v.

If it was not regulating. It would be at over 20v. If it's holding a voltage. It is regulating.

I would start by cleaning all the connections. It may aciunt for it being a little too high.

But you probably want to buy a good adjustable reg like a balmar mc614

The blue wire is the controlling wire. At 12v the alt will be maxed at. As batteries get fuller. The voltage on the blue wire will drop. 12, 10, 8, 6v. Etc. This means it is regulating. If it did not drop. And stayed at 12v+. The battery voltage would just keep climbing until they blew up.
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Old 08-09-2018, 13:49   #10
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I also suspect your controller has failed. Have you followed the stet by step of the makers trouble shooting? If you have none, download the pdf for a Balmar 614. Itís pretty good and mostly universal. I have two Balmar 624 external regulators, love them. I have had only one failure in ten years and that was a direct lightning strike.

http://www.balmar.net/wp-content/upl...ion-Manual.pdf
Thanks for this. Unfortunately Iíve got no documentation for this Tempo regulator, and canít find anything online that looks like mine. But this Balmar one looks helpful. Iíll trace things through now that I know what to start looking for.

Iím not sure how old my regulator is. Itís worked for the last seven years Iíve had the boat. Never been an issue, so I never thought about it. And I donít know why it stopped working now.

I actually discovered this about two months ago as we were headed out. Itís kinda funny, but I guess I donít really need an alternator. We managed for the last two months with just solar and wind, with the occasional boost from the portable gas generator. But Iíd rather get this sortedÖ
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Old 08-09-2018, 14:02   #11
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

A lot of the tempo regulators I found on the internet had a potentiometer on a wire for adjusting output voltage.
Look for one.
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Old 08-09-2018, 14:04   #12
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Mike,

Your regulator is fine and working properly. That model of Transpo regulator is just like an internal voltage regulator. It allows the alternator to put out as much current as possible until the vSet is reached, in your case that's 14.8v. Then is just tapers the field current to hold that voltage indefinitely. With FLA batteries that's OK, just add water when necessary.

Very common regulator in HD trucks and it looks loke you have a truck alternator as well. That's a 4" J mount you have. It ain't broke don't fix it!

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Old 08-09-2018, 14:09   #13
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
A lot of the tempo regulators I found on the internet had a potentiometer on a wire for adjusting output voltage.
Look for one.
A64 is correct, that model, the 911-04 has a potentiometer to adjust the vSet. Seems like yours is set to 14.8 which is fine depending on your brand of FLA battery.
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Old 08-09-2018, 14:14   #14
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Alternator not regulating charge

Back in the day, all alternators were externally regulated, Little black boxes mounted to the firewall of a car, had a set of contact points in them.
Looked like this. Ought to get you to 14 V continuous like a car.
However I donít know how to wire one to your alternator, best check that first.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...T21FPRJGDM4YS6
Cheap, but work, just isnít digital accurate, three stage charging etc.
Just hold set voltage, nothing more.

I have a Balmar 614 myself and an older Mark Grasser reg as a spare, they were for their expense, an exceptional value, but I see he has his new regulators out and I canít get a price on his web site, it may not work with Apple
If I were you, maybe give Mark a call on Mon, he is a straight forward guy, whatever he says is worth listening to.
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Old 08-09-2018, 15:38   #15
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Re: Alternator not regulating charge

[QUOTE=Mike OReilly;2716225]
SB: When you say ďgo with itĒ, I assume you donít mean just leave the alternator pumping at 14.8 v all the time? I do have LFA batts, but I wouldnít want to leave it running at full bore for more than an hour.

I did mean that. I have my alternator set to stay at 14.8v for 6 hours. Been that way for years and never hurt the batteries. Before I changed to the 6 hours I had it at 1 hour, batteries neve4 really got charged if I motored a l9ng time.

Iíve watched my battery acceptance for years now. From -80ah n the morning it will take 5-6 motors of motoring to really get charged. The only down side is you may have to water the batteries more often (I use about 2 cups for m6 4 every 1.5 months)

But if you have a sealed start battery etc you need to isolate that or it will cook
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