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Old 17-02-2019, 06:54   #1
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Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

Iíve got a ample power sarV3 onboard now that has been working flawlessly for 10 years. Until the last week.

I had wired the current regulator to control the parallel solenoid, and it has. But now itís leaving the parallel energized when the house voltage is low, and overnight with no charge sources. So itís time to retire it before it fails completely.

Now for the real question. To replace it, I already know Iím going to add a blue seas ACR. But what regulator?

My two choices (I think) are the ubiquitous Balmar 614 or the Mark Grasser R210a.

Opinions are welcomed on either of these. Or other suggestions that may be ďbetterĒ.

Our house bank is 440Ah of fla and the alternator is an 80 amp small frame Balmar.

Thanks

Matt.
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Old 17-02-2019, 06:59   #2
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

Are you sure its not just the solenoid malfunctioning?
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:05   #3
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

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Are you sure its not just the solenoid malfunctioning?


Very. The regulator is powering the solenoid even though the battery sense wire is registering 12.15 volts. Iíve power cycled the regulator several times and it keeps paralleling as soon as itís powered on.
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:11   #4
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

The Balmar is certainly the mainstream VR, and I thought unique in its user-custom setpoints and flexible derating abilities.

But perhaps MG's does all that too? They certainly have a great rep as a company, and perhaps better longevity / warranty policy, I know the Balmars aren't stellar in that regard.
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:22   #5
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

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The Balmar is certainly the mainstream VR, and I thought unique in its user-custom setpoints and flexible derating abilities.

But perhaps MG's does all that too? They certainly have a great rep as a company, and perhaps better longevity / warranty policy, I know the Balmars aren't stellar in that regard.


Youíre correct, from what Iíve been able to tell. The Grasser regulator does not have the same adjustability as the Balmar. But......weíve been just fine with the ample power regulator for years without any real adjustability, and when comparing the Grasser regulator to our existing regulator the Grasser unit includes alternator temp sensing as well as battery temp sensing standard.
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:58   #6
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

I just went with the Balmar MC with Duo combiner instead of the blue seas. Easy install and very customizable. I used to have the blue seas on a previous boat but decided to go with the duo as it also monitors battery temp and adjusts accordingly and will shut down in a thermal runaway, prob overkill but one less thing to worry about and hopefully get a slightly longer service life out of my banks.
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Old 17-02-2019, 08:12   #7
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

I **really** like setpoint adjustability for future proofing, I like to plan as if such infrastructure will last much longer than any consumable bank,

gives me the freedom to choose a different chemistry,

say I see a great deal on a big Sonnenschein GEL bank next replacement time, or

even LFP, or something else that might come along ten years later.

So, personally all my charge sources allow for user-custom profiles.

Another approach, a Sterling BB DC-DC charger could front-end my House bank, in which case any old dumb charge sources would do, including cheap stock internal VRs on the alternators.

Eliminates the VSR as well.
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Old 17-02-2019, 08:18   #8
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

Something is going on here....

First, VSR Alternator Regulator

Now, Welcome To Wakespeed Offshore

Bill
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Old 17-02-2019, 09:40   #9
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

Yes excellent projects by a Al a forum member, **lots** of promise, great project for those wanting to pioneer the leading edge stuff.

And maybe for everyone perfectly rock solid! But early days. . .
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Old 17-02-2019, 09:50   #10
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

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Yes excellent projects by a Al a forum member, **lots** of promise, great project for those wanting to pioneer the leading edge stuff.

And maybe for everyone perfectly rock solid! But early days. . .
I 2nd his stuff. I have a number of his Regs and am waiting on and looking forward to some of his other projects.
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Old 17-02-2019, 09:55   #11
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

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Something is going on here....

First, VSR Alternator Regulator

Now, Welcome To Wakespeed Offshore

Bill
This looks interesting. Seems to hit all the important points for me. Specific program for carbon foam, temp sensors and reasonable price.
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Old 17-02-2019, 11:05   #12
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
Something is going on here....

First, VSR Alternator Regulator

Now, Welcome To Wakespeed Offshore

Bill


That looks really promising. Iíll need to read up on it some more from home. Then decide how much of a project I want to make this.

Our batteries are just now hitting the 10 year mark, so Iím confident that Iíve been able to manage their health well enough with the less customizable technology. Although Iíve thought about LifePo4 on this boat, it would represent a large percentage of the value of the boat, likely never going to happen.
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Old 17-02-2019, 11:13   #13
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

I'd go with Grasser
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Old 17-02-2019, 11:15   #14
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

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I'd go with Grasser


Any particular reason? Or just prefer to support the small business?
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Old 17-02-2019, 14:02   #15
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Re: Alternator regulators Balmar or Mark Grasser

One vote for Balmar - they have EXCELLENT customer service. They helped me track down voltage regulator problem and really know their stuff...
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