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Old 10-12-2015, 20:55   #1
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Balmar RS 5

So, I volunteered to help someone replace their Balmar RS 5. The unit is on it's way, and I will be heading to Panama on vacation, where I will be installing it. Looks like a plug and play, but is there any programming for the unit that is not easy to figure out? Or anything else that I might be missing?

I've never messed with one of these before, though I have installed a mppt charge controllers for a micro hydroelectric system. I'm assuming that my experience with hydro, cars and motorcycles will transfer. Am I being too optimistic?

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Old 11-12-2015, 06:01   #2
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Re: Balmar RS 5

Bsams,

I presume that you are speaking of the Balmar ARS 5, the multistage voltage regulator. This unit is easy to install and the enclosed instructions are easy to read and understand. I have a few thoughts to share which may remove some of the confusion that I had when I installed the first one of these.

First the wiring. These units are made to serve in many installations so do not be surprised if you do jot use all of the wires that are included in the unit. Your instalation my not need some of the functions of the unit so just tape up the end of the unused wire and secure it to the bundle and forget it.

Second, the programming. The unit comes with a small white handled screwdriver that has a magnet in the handle. The magnet is necessary for programming so make sure that you show it to the owner and tell him to keep it forever. The unit come with default settings which are ok for most boats with flooded lead acid batteries but you can fine tune its functions with the magnet.

Lastly, the unit has a LED display that gives coded information about the alternator output etc. If you can mount the unit so that this window is visible to the owner while the engine is running, that is preferable. This is a good unit and it is easy to install.

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Old 11-12-2015, 09:51   #3
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Re: Balmar RS 5

You can download and read the manual from Welcome to Balmar.

This info might be of interest to you. I know you're only doing an ARS5, but it will fill you in on the features, too.

Differences between Balmar MC-614 and ARS-5 Regulators

External regulation | SailboatOwners.com Forums

Why oh why....... | SailboatOwners.com Forums
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Old 12-12-2015, 14:53   #4
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Re: Balmar RS 5

Thanks, great advice. It came today and has thorough instructions, but I will also download the manual as well, just in case.

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Old 12-12-2015, 14:57   #5
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Re: Balmar RS 5

One thing to do for sure: make sure the sense wire runs to the battery bank and NOT just on the back of the alternator.

Alternators & Voltage Sensing (by Maine Sail):Alternators & Voltage Sensing - Why? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

These links come from here, which includes some more regulator discussions, if you're interested:

Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
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Old 12-12-2015, 16:41   #6
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Re: Balmar RS 5

Thanks, I will double check that. I am going to be replacing an ARS5, so I was thinking that I would just be unplugging the old one and plugging in the new. However, the more I read, the more I'm convinced that something was hooked up wrong. These seem to be a good product and it seems unlikely that one would fail within few short years

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Old 26-12-2015, 09:17   #7
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Re: Balmar RS 5

Success. Pretty simple installation and configuration. Really enjoyed our time in Panama, met some great cruisers.

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