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Old 20-07-2011, 06:07   #31
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

Spoke with Dale at Balmar, nice guy. showed him the video (posted above). He said he never saw that happen, ever! He sent it to the engineers..they never saw that either! They suspect a stuck reed switch.. or a lightening strike (there wasn't one)

waiting for a call back today to see if they can replace it..
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Old 20-07-2011, 06:47   #32
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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He said he never saw that happen, ever! He sent it to the engineers..they never saw that either!


They never saw it; first time ever something was reported; must be freak unit; what did you do with it? ; impossible it got there by itself; something must've happened to it; that's not covered by warranty; okay, we'll send you another unit etc. etc.
ciao!
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Old 20-07-2011, 08:14   #33
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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what is the downside to using the yanmar alternator over the balmar, et al? You mention not doing it 'any favors'
If I remember correctly, that stock alternator was internally regulated. I had one one my previous boat, and couldn't wait to replace it with a Balmar. On the new boat, I insisted on a Balmar from the beginning.
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Old 20-07-2011, 15:11   #34
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As an aside I have always found it baffling that they have never brought put the remote display. I'm fed up peering in the bowels of the engine room to read the display. In my view Sterling Powers regulators are much better.

Dave
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Old 21-07-2011, 17:50   #35
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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If I remember correctly, that stock alternator was internally regulated. I had one one my previous boat, and couldn't wait to replace it with a Balmar. On the new boat, I insisted on a Balmar from the beginning.
But why? whats wrong with being internally regulated?
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Old 21-07-2011, 17:55   #36
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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Spoke with Dale at Balmar, nice guy. showed him the video (posted above). He said he never saw that happen, ever! He sent it to the engineers..they never saw that either! They suspect a stuck reed switch.. or a lightening strike (there wasn't one)

waiting for a call back today to see if they can replace it..
Apparently the 612 is NLA. They are shipping me out a 614.

Cautiously optimistic that this will be the last regulator I put in for a while. .. but will have the backup regulator not far away
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Old 21-07-2011, 17:59   #37
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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But why? whats wrong with being internally regulated?
Nothing if you want a basic regulator, and it has a decent absorption voltage setting. Some older ones have voltage settings that are too low and some are too high. The Yanmar's are generally ok voltage wise and put out around 14.3 - 14.4v..

You lack the "features" of a fancy regulator but they certainly will charge batteries.
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:07   #38
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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But why? whats wrong with being internally regulated?
Heat, to begin with.

And if you lose the regulator on one of those units, you've lost the whole thing.
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:17   #39
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

A well designed external device will give you ....maybe 85-90% (?) of your alternator's ability to charge for as a long a time as is adviseable, then back off some, then go to a floating charge. They do work everything pretty hard, belts, alternator, batteries and regulator. If you dont need it, the internal alternator/reg is usually a very reliable unit. There are internally regulated Motorolas up to 100 amps that are very reliable and might be a good compromise if they fit your engine. I've lost track of the basic type/ name though. They are older designs but still made I think.
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:20   #40
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

if memory serves, the stock internally regulated alternator that comes with Yanmars is built by Mitzubishi.

Trust me, it won't out-perform a Balmar.
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:23   #41
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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Heat, to begin with.

And if you lose the regulator on one of those units, you've lost the whole thing.
But you can drop it off at a mom and pop alternator shop and get a new regulator installed for about $50.00 - $75.00 and when the Balmar goes it's $300.00... By far the biggest problems I see with stock alternators is fried diodes from flipping the switch off. Next I would say heat because they have it connected to a massive bank and it's running at max capacity for hours on end..

Heat is an issue with many alternators including Balmar. This is why Balmar offers alt temp sensing. My issue with temp sensing the alternator is that you often will have less output than you did with the stock alternator because it cuts back the field voltage, which cuts the amp out which in turn cools the alt. But hey you won't cook it...

One problem is that many boaters are now using AGM batts and/or have HUGE gel or flooded banks that far exceed the capabilities of the alt they can install due to belt limitations.

When you run alts too long at max output they can eventually cook. I have a cooked 80A Hitachi on my bench that was connected to 600+ Ah's of Lifeline's. The owner replaced it with a Balmar but never connected the temp sensors and the Balmar also cooked. By the time I was called in he'd been through three alts in three years. On top of all this he had programmed his battery monitor incorrectly and when it read 50% SOC he was actually at 15%. The big problem we have now is that when his alt gets hot his 100A alternator is putting out less than 50A due to temp limiting..

The 80A Hitachi the owner did not want will cost me about $100.00 to have rebuilt and will make a nice upgrade for a guy with a 35A Hitachi and a basic bank of flooded batts..

The best feature for me about "high performance" alternators is the low RPM output is better than most stock alts. The best feature for me with external regulators is battery temperature compensation and the ability to charge GEL cells..
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Old 21-07-2011, 18:26   #42
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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Heat, to begin with.

And if you lose the regulator on one of those units, you've lost the whole thing.
so far external regulated hasn't been blowing wind up my skirt so far! 3 reuglators in 3 years

I would have to believe that Yanmar would put an alternator on that was halfway decent.

Will probably run with the Balmar, but was wondering what was so horrific with the stock alternator..other than lacking the fancy charging programs and being able to service/replace the regulator
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Old 21-07-2011, 19:01   #43
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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so far external regulated hasn't been blowing wind up my skirt so far! 3 reuglators in 3 years

I would have to believe that Yanmar would put an alternator on that was halfway decent.

Will probably run with the Balmar, but was wondering what was so horrific with the stock alternator..other than lacking the fancy charging programs and being able to service/replace the regulator
This little 35A Hitachi on a customers boat is nearly 30 years old. Other than doing some battery system re-wiring the thing is as it left the factory and still going strong and has never been in the shop. Owner sees no reason to upgrade and gets decent enough performance for his needs. The Yanmar/ Hitachi alts can be very reliable...


Was working on a boat today with a 33 year old Motorolla 51A alt. Replaced the Interstate batteries and the date codes were 6 years ago. Not bad life out of the batts for a dumb regulated and puny by today's standards stock alternator. I can hardly believe the thing even works cause it's so rusted, but it does..

Our own boat did a five year 24/7 live aboard cruise with a stock 50A Mitsubishi alternator on a Westebeke 44B. The engine had 2800 hours when I preemptively replaced the brushes and bearings, though it probably could have gone another 500-1000 hours.. It's still going strong and our battery life has been exemplary... It will get swapped out eventually but it does everything we need it to...
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Old 21-07-2011, 19:12   #44
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Re: Speaking of Balmar . . . Another Regulator Bites the Dust

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Will probably run with the Balmar, but was wondering what was so horrific with the stock alternator..other than lacking the fancy charging programs and being able to service/replace the regulator
Nothing horrific about it. But the Balmar outperformed it significantly. I think that the higher the amperage of the alternator, the more you want one that can handle the heat the way a Balmar can.

If you can get by with a 40 amp alternator, you don't need a Balmar. But at 90 amps and above, less expensive alternators will heat up so fast they will not deliver anywhere near their ratings.
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Old 21-07-2011, 19:45   #45
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

FWIW, my 7-year old 100A Balmar alternator w/Balmar MC-612H regulator delivers about 80A for hours on end when needed. My house bank consists of six T-105s in series/parallel, or 675AH total capacity. So, the Balmar package is charging at a rate of about 12% of house battery capacity.

Before I added the fifth and sixth T-105 and the house bank was 450A, the Balmar did the same thing....80A max for hours if needed. That was a rate of about 18% of house battery capacity.

Could use a larger alternator for sure, but would have to alter things on the 4-108 to mount a larger one and drive it with, e.g., a serpentine belt. In my case, it's unnecessary since most battery charging is done via my diesel generator and a Victron Multi-Plus battery charger, de-rated to 100A maximum (about 15% of house battery capacity).

Bill
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