Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-11-2009, 07:58   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego/Tempe
Boat: KP44 #279
Posts: 117
Alternator Regulators - Opinions ?

I've read the archives and the literature. I currently have a Balmar 120 amp alternator and MaxCharge 612 on my main engine. I've built a 12 V DC generator with a 150 Amp Zena welding generator and am looking for the best regulator to put on it. I have a 2 nd MaxCharge I could use, but I'm not entirerly happy with the performance of the one on my main engine. It seems to taper off charging early and the max amps I've seen out of it are around 75. ( I don't need an explanation of why this might be. Been though it all with Balmar).
If you have the best Reg., Please tell me why it's the best. I'd like something with programable bulk & Absorb. times & voltages, Batt temp compesation and hopefully Alt temp monitoring.
TIA
Dwain
__________________

__________________
dlentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 08:46   #2
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlentz View Post
I have a 2 nd MaxCharge I could use, but I'm not entirerly happy with the performance of the one on my main engine. It seems to taper off charging early and the max amps I've seen out of it are around 75.( I don't need an explanation of why this might be. Been though it all with Balmar).
Dwain
What did they tell you?
__________________

__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 08:55   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego/Tempe
Boat: KP44 #279
Posts: 117
They told me to move the voltage sense wire directly to the Bat, I did. They told me to reprogram the MC, I did. They told me my bat were full. They told me my 3 year old (never been cruised more than 2 weeks at a time) bat were shot.
Anyway, my question is/was not what should I do about that, but what would you use and why?
Dwain
__________________
dlentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 09:08   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
MC612. It's about the best one out there, IMHO. Got two myself. Installed a bunch of others.

If you're not seeing what you think you should, then:

- something's wrong with the regulator;
- something's wrong with the installation;
- something's wrong with your batteries (just, maybe, Balmar is right!); and/or
- something's wrong with your expectations.

By the way, your statement, "3 year old (never been cruised more than 2 weeks at a time) bat" has very little to do with the condition or real capacity of your batteries.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 09:25   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego/Tempe
Boat: KP44 #279
Posts: 117
Please guys, I'm not trashing Balmar! I'm not saying they're wrong! I'm saying I'm happy with the point I'm at with that situation. I understand my batteries and the condition they may or maynot be in!
Mr Bill,
Thanks for your response. (Although it was unsolicited on that subject!) Now, WHY do you believe the MC612 is the best? Please could you compare it to the Ample Power unit since you've installed "many"?
Dwain
__________________
dlentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 09:49   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Dwain,

The 612 has both battery and alternator temperature sensing, is well-built and well-tested in the field. They are pretty ubiquitous. The display tell's you what's going on, they're easy to program, etc., etc.

The Mastervolt and the two current Next Step regulators are fine, too. Neither has alternator temp sensing, though.

My suggestion is that you not overthink this.

Look at the various features each offers. Pick the one you like best. You're gonna do that anyway.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 10:26   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: M&M 52, Kiapa
Posts: 59
our experience from full-time cruising for 5 years...
Balmar is a great company. i love their alternators, but their regulators are not my favorite. we've had issues with "pulsation" and getting maximum output. our best experience has been with ample power. we're currently using a couple of SAR-v3, and love 'em. our last boat had the version they were making back in the late 90's... and it worked great as well.
__________________
kiapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 10:37   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 497
Images: 1
Had a Hehr Aqualine of unknown vintage on our last boat. Bought it used on eBay and it worked like a champ. Probably about 8 years old. Had all the usual niceties, way easier to program than a Balmar (pots on the board), easily adjust the amps out and was extremely reliable.

I have a Xantrex XAR now on the current boat, which I believe is what a Balmar ARS-5 is, it is identical to the ARS-5 externally. Who actually makes these, Balmar or Xantrex? Wish I had my old Hehr back, was very happy with it, will see how things go with the new one next summer.
__________________
jdoe71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 11:00   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: San Diego/Tempe
Boat: KP44 #279
Posts: 117
Thanks Bill,
I do like the features of the 612 (plus I already have one as a spare), but I was thinking (whoops), make that, concerned that thier charging profile was a bit conservative. I wish the AP SAR-v3 had alternator temp sensing, and wasn't $500 with sensors.
__________________
dlentz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 11:17   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Yep..can't get everything you want :-)

BTW, be sure to install the regulator OUTSIDE the engine compartment. They don't like a lot of heat. While there are some industrial-grade regulators which will take fairly high heat, the ones we're talking about do much better in lower ambient temp settings.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 21:10   #11
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 835
Quote:
...make that, concerned that thier charging profile was a bit conservative.
I assume that you know that you can reprogram the MC612 to change the charging profile as you see fit.

Charlie
__________________
Charlie Johnson
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2009, 21:22   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Home port is San Diego, California but currently cruising the East Coast of the USA.
Boat: Contest 48
Posts: 638
Images: 1
I installled a Hehr Powerline alternator on my Volvo MD40A with their Aqualine regulator. After about 3,000 hours of heavy use, the alternator needed to be rebuilt but the regulator continued to work fine.

I just installed an Aqua Marine Aqua Gen 12V generator (I could write a book about that installation) and I reinstalled my old Hehr Aqualine regulator on that. It still works great.

When I originally ordered the regulator, I also ordered the battery temperature sensor option. That was 13 years ago and I've yet to install it.

I looked closely at the Zena alternators. What do you think?

Fair winds and calm seas.
__________________
nhschneider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2009, 08:49   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: M&M 52, Kiapa
Posts: 59
dwain,
i believe the AP sar-V3 does have temp sensing... but why do you feel that is such an important feature? i've never used it, and have never had a problem with AP regulation.
__________________
kiapa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2011, 13:17   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Florida
Boat: Morgan 46
Posts: 4
Re: Alternator Regulators - Opinions?

After reading everything above for my research, even though its old, I'll throw another one in the pond to stir up the water for those researching. I don't much about it yet, but it's not CCS (cheap china Stuff), it's made in England and has a temp monitor for both Alternator and Battery and is under $200 --- A Sterling PDAR ProReg-D.
Advanced Alternator Regulator

Happy charging
__________________
Sailmel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2011, 14:46   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
Re: Alternator Regulators - Opinions?

I use generic automobile alternators. Have a potentiometer on the voltage sense lead. I adjust it as I like. I'm approximately one million times smarter than a smart charger. I even know the temperature. An alarm clock solved the short attention span problem on long motoring trips ... which are exceedingly rare.

One knob. One voltmeter. One ammeter. Trivial.
__________________

__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternator

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Island Trader 38 Opinions Deadcat7382 Monohull Sailboats 34 21-09-2014 15:19
Opinions on Rod Rigging ssanzone Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 14 16-10-2011 09:55
New Sailor Needs Opinions on a Boat Shallow Runner Monohull Sailboats 20 05-10-2011 18:27
Opinions On the Forfjord Safety Anchor ? ViribusUnitis Anchoring & Mooring 3 29-08-2011 14:10
Opinions on this boat appreciated parito Dollars & Cents 0 25-06-2011 10:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:21.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.