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Old 16-07-2012, 11:09   #76
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Interesting stuff. Thanks, Lloyd.

BTW, do you have any direct measurement data on the magnitude & timing of voltage spikes in a typical small/medium diesel starting and stopping circuit?

The two clapper-type solenoids typically found on a small diesel are:
(1) the starting solenoid; and (2) the stop solenoid.

Any idea what the voltage spikes might look like for a typical start/stop?

Bill
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Old 16-07-2012, 11:32   #77
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Interesting stuff. Thanks, Lloyd.

BTW, do you have any direct measurement data on the magnitude & timing of voltage spikes in a typical small/medium diesel starting and stopping circuit?

The two clapper-type solenoids typically found on a small diesel are:
(1) the starting solenoid; and (2) the stop solenoid.

Any idea what the voltage spikes might look like for a typical start/stop?

Bill
The back EMF is dependent on the inductance of the coil, as well as the saturation point. A coil energized for a short term usually doesn't reach full saturation, ie a simple starter relay. But a coil used to hold a device open or closed until deenergized will reach full saturation, and the back EMF will be large. This voltage is usually greater than 750 volts and can be as large as 3000 volts in a 28-volt circuit. I don't have the math at hand.

While it only last until full decay, a continual back EMF applied across other electronic devices on the same bus, will eventually fail, even though they have their own protective circuitry.


Lloyd

Another little white paper
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Old 16-07-2012, 13:34   #78
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Thanks, again, Lloyd. That second paper from Cessna and from a fellow ham (Mike, WA7ARK) was very instructive. He did on a Cessna what I've wanted to do on my boat, but haven't had the time or energy :-)

I gather that the Cessna he tested had a 12-volt system ("14.2 volts on the bus"). Therefore, his measurements of 400-volt 2 millisecond transients generated by the starter motor and other loads might be rather directly indicative of what you could expect on a small 12VDC yacht.

This voltage, of course, is enough to promote arcing and eventual deterioration of the contacts, as well as direct/indirect damage to solid state devices on the bus.

I've seen damaged main switches which had large resistances between the contacts. Also, numerous start switches which were iffy. It seems likely that both were the result of arcing plus surface corrosion in the marine environment. No doubt start solenoids are damaged by the same effects.

Thanks again,

Bill
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Old 16-07-2012, 19:43   #79
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Thanks, again, Lloyd. That second paper from Cessna and from a fellow ham (Mike, WA7ARK) was very instructive. He did on a Cessna what I've wanted to do on my boat, but haven't had the time or energy :-)

I gather that the Cessna he tested had a 12-volt system ("14.2 volts on the bus"). Therefore, his measurements of 400-volt 2 millisecond transients generated by the starter motor and other loads might be rather directly indicative of what you could expect on a small 12VDC yacht.

This voltage, of course, is enough to promote arcing and eventual deterioration of the contacts, as well as direct/indirect damage to solid state devices on the bus.

I've seen damaged main switches which had large resistances between the contacts. Also, numerous start switches which were iffy. It seems likely that both were the result of arcing plus surface corrosion in the marine environment. No doubt start solenoids are damaged by the same effects.

Thanks again,

Bill
WA6CCA
Hi Bill,

Yes most small aircraft are 12 volt nominal, so simple relays that are only energized for 1-10 sec.'s I think we can infer from that paper.

The bigger issue is the energize to run solenoid on most diesels. They are energized the whole time the engine is running. So they are at full saturation. Now if you take power for a solid state device from the same bus bar the bats don't have a chance to absorb the back emf(voltage spike).

So in the case of a Balmar installed, the continued spikes are much like a rope chaffing, it will eventually break. So a diode shunt is in order when ever a back emf may be encountered, located at the offending device.

Lloyd
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Old 16-07-2012, 20:14   #80
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
The back EMF is dependent on the inductance of the coil, as well as the saturation point. A coil energized for a short term usually doesn't reach full saturation, ie a simple starter relay. But a coil used to hold a device open or closed until deenergized will reach full saturation, and the back EMF will be large. This voltage is usually greater than 750 volts and can be as large as 3000 volts in a 28-volt circuit. I don't have the math at hand.

While it only last until full decay, a continual back EMF applied across other electronic devices on the same bus, will eventually fail, even though they have their own protective circuitry.


Lloyd

Another little white paper
LLoyd,

With properly wired systems I have not been able to measure these transients across a battery. Have you? A battery or bank of them works great as a filter. I did have a customer go through three depth sounders because they pulled power right off the glow plug solenoid and ran the neg back to the engine. A long way from the battery bank. Re-wired the depth circuit appropriately to the DC panel and DC panel neg bus and he never again had a failure.

I have a job next week on a boat that is started 40-50 times per day and they are chewing through LED nav lights and VHF radios like a hot knife through butter. Should be interesting.

Bill,

I recently had a brand new 614 with a bad reed switch. Could not be programmed and I've never had one like that before. As always Rick & Dale took very good care of me and sent me a replacement quickly. The replacement worked fine. I have had a few failures of Balmar regs over the years but they always stand behind the product and that is why I continue to use them. Most of the failures I've seen could be attributed to heat but a couple were not in a hot location and were just random.

Was on a boat Wed with a very old ARS-1 still going and mounted inside the engine bay.. Tomorrow I am moving an ARS-5 out of an engine bay because the install was pretty poorly done and it reaches over 140F where the reg is mounted. It is in a Tartan 4100 and mounted directly over the Westerbeke engine. The previous ARS-4 failed in this location and no one told the owner it should not be mounted there. The boat yard just put the ARS-5 back where the ARS-4 had been.

Back when that ARS-1 was mounted the manual was unclear on engine room temps but even today there are many installers, DIY's and yards who still ignore the manual and install them in engine spaces and some last for years and years there and others don't. The fact that the harness is only 54" does not help much. Rick recently told me that they are actively discussing a longer harness. Extending them is not difficult but having one ready to go and only needing to be cut shorter would be great.

I've installed Xantrex, Sterling, Ample & Balmar. Balmar is the one I use the most of and their support is top notch. Despite the Xantrex XAR being basically a Balmar reg I have a tough time buying one over Balmar when Balmar is such good a company to deal with and Xantrex....well......

Every product line can have some failures but it is how the company stands behind the product that matters and Balmar does a great job.
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Old 16-07-2012, 20:35   #81
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

I mounted my 612 on the nav station wall with the other electronics. I had to extend the wires abut 8 feet to get it remote from the engine room. I like seein it at a glance and knowing what's up. Its nice being able to sit in a nice seat to attend it instead of the hot engine room.
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Old 16-07-2012, 20:40   #82
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
LLoyd,

With properly wired systems I have not been able to measure these transients across a battery. Have you? A battery or bank of them works great as a filter.
That depends, an FLA has a a fairly high internal resistance depending on the state of charge, an AGM, or Gell will do better. But if you have a long cable between bat and bus then the spike is going to hit harder, no matter the bat type. If everything is connected at the bats then they will absorb up to their internal resistance, based on ohms law. So voltage, current, and saturation all factor in.

A snubber is cheap insurance, especially if the start/stop circuit is on the same bat bank also running solid state electronics.


Quote:
I did have a customer go through three depth sounders because they pulled power right off the glow plug solenoid and ran the neg back to the engine. A long way from the battery bank. Re-wired the depth circuit appropriately to the DC panel and DC panel neg bus and he never again had a failure.

I have a job next week on a boat that is started 40-50 times per day and they are chewing through LED nav lights
Quote:
LED=light emitting diodes, ie: ss device
and VHF radios like a hot knife through butter. Should be interesting.
That's why I always use a dedicated start battery. But it doesn't end there, we have water pumps, hydraulic pumps, bow thrusters and various other devices that are inductive loads and capable of back EMF. That's why a power design should consider all of the systems onboard.

Quote:
Bill,

I recently had a brand new 614 with a bad reed switch. Could not be programmed and I've never had one like that before. As always Rick & Dale took very good care of me and sent me a replacement quickly. The replacement worked fine. I have had a few failures of Balmar regs over the years but they always stand behind the product and that is why I continue to use them. Most of the failures I've seen could be attributed to heat but a couple were not in a hot location and were just random.

Was on a boat Wed with a very old ARS-1 still going and mounted inside the engine bay.. Tomorrow I am moving an ARS-5 out of an engine bay because the install was pretty poorly done and it reaches over 140F where the reg is mounted. It is in a Tartan 4100 and mounted directly over the Westerbeke engine. The previous ARS-4 failed in this location and no one told the owner it should not be mounted there. The boat yard just put the ARS-5 back where the ARS-4 had been.

Back when that ARS-1 was mounted the manual was unclear on engine room temps but even today there are many installers, DIY's and yards who still ignore the manual and install them in engine spaces and some last for years and years there and others don't. The fact that the harness is only 54" does not help much. Rick recently told me that they are actively discussing a longer harness. Extending them is not difficult but having one ready to go and only needing to be cut shorter would be great.

I've installed Xantrex, Sterling, Ample & Balmar. Balmar is the one I use the most of and their support is top notch. Despite the Xantrex XAR being basically a Balmar reg I have a tough time buying one over Balmar when Balmar is such good a company to deal with and Xantrex....well......

Every product line can have some failures but it is how the company stands behind the product that matters and Balmar does a great job.
My point exactly, a good manufacture stands behind your purchase investment.

Lloyd
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Old 19-01-2013, 11:44   #83
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Well, my ARS-5 has failed with 95.3 hours since new. While waiting for a replacement, I decided to rig up a "get you home" replacement. I bought a Mexican voltage regulator for a generic Ford vehicle for the grand sum of 90 pesos ($8). Dale at Balmar said that it would work by moving one wire. The attached photo shows how. Unplug the big molded plug from the Balmar regulator. Using a tiny screwdriver or paperclip, push out the female connector on the black wire. Make a short jumper to connect the black wire directly to the case of the Ford regulator. Plug the big molded connector into the Ford regulator. I'm now charging 30 amps at 14.3 volts from my Balmar 712 alternator. After taking this photo, I added some heat shrink to the jumper wire. I wouldn't recommend charging this way for a long period. When the batteries have taken a good charge, just unplug the jumper to disable the alternator. Pretty cheap and easy spare!
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Old 19-01-2013, 12:49   #84
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Good info! If you want to really charge, just hook up direct and watch it charge 100 amps for 10 mins or so. Unregulated! Or a big rheostat works too!
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Old 19-01-2013, 20:53   #85
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Saunter,

In my 12-07-12 post in this thread I related replacing my failed Xantrex (but Balmar written on the circuit board) regulator with a Ford external regulator to get me home. I did it with four individual jumpers between the (identical to yours) black connector and the Ford regulator; three to the pins on the Ford regulator and one to the regulator case. Your method is much cleaner and easier. You also got a better price on the regulator. My Ford regulator cost me $17.

On the metal case of the Ford regulator it says "short circuit protected". That gave me some confidence while I was hooking it up.

I later added a silicone diode (2N1004 I think) to the red wire to raise the charging voltage to 14.7 volts and put a few more amps into the batteries during our daily hour of engine run time for the engine drive fridge/freezer.

The set up got us from the Abacos back to New Bern, NC including a three day sail from the Abacos to Charleston.
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Old 20-01-2013, 02:55   #86
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

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(2N1004 I think)
I just found the jumper. The diode is a 1N5400.

Bill
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Old 20-01-2013, 05:53   #87
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Re: Balmar Regulator Failure

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Saunter.
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