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Old 24-09-2011, 03:32   #1
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I Was Mapping My Charging System and Found 'this' Mystery Piece

Hi all, I'm steadily working on mapping my electrical system for an overhaul this winter. As we went through we found this blue item that I'm guessing is part of the old ProMariner battery charger but I'm not sure.

The engine is a VP MD17c with a Powerline 120 heavy duty alternator.

questions:
1. What is this blue box?
2 Any ideas on what circumstance could yield such dramatic results? It was this way when the PO bought the boat and is listed on his survey.
3. I found a west marine combiner. Am I correct this would negate the need of an echo charger? It is a higher capacity than the alternator.
4. I believe the non blue item to be my regulator but it has no markings. Any idea if this is a Hehr regulator?

Photos hopefully attached. SC
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Old 24-09-2011, 04:09   #2
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Re: Mapping chrging system and found this mystery piece

looks like a Balmar alternator regulator to me

Dave
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Old 24-09-2011, 06:34   #3
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Re: Mapping chrging system and found this mystery piece

It is an alternator regulator. The cloudy epoxy facing isn't unusual at all, but the burn mark on the top should be investigated. Does it work?

I can't tell what the fourth pic is - it looks like a shunt or fuse or just a terminal post. Is a battery monitor or ammeter hooked to it?

Hehr alternator regulators look similar to the one you have, only they are red in color.

The combiner will work just fine in lieu of an echo charger.

Mark
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Old 24-09-2011, 09:53   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj
It is an alternator regulator. The cloudy epoxy facing isn't unusual at all, but the burn mark on the top should be investigated. Does it work?

I can't tell what the fourth pic is - it looks like a shunt or fuse or just a terminal post. Is a battery monitor or ammeter hooked to it?

Hehr alternator regulators look similar to the one you have, only they are red in color.

The combiner will work just fine in lieu of an echo charger.

Mark
Thank you both. I don't know yet if it works. We are meter testing everything today. I wanted to look at any manuals so I knew specifically what I am looking at. It does have an anmeter. The anmeter reads zero (was told it had been disconnected with alternator upgrade) and there is an analog voltage tester on the panel.

We've had power issues where it appeared we were using a lot more power than was being replaced when the motor was running. I'm trying to go through each part and verify that it functions and is wired properly with fuses and goes where we want it to go. Currently alternator output goes to both on the isolator switch. Would a blown diode do this to the regulator? (and yes it's being moved after mapping is complete) SC
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Old 24-09-2011, 10:10   #5
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Re: Mapping Charging System and Found 'this' Mystery Piece

The last item looks like a solenoid switch. Where do the small wires run to?
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Old 24-09-2011, 10:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey
The last item looks like a solenoid switch. Where do the small wires run to?
If I recall correctly to the regulator. Headed back his afternoon and will confirm. Left late and didn't bring anything home. SC
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Old 25-09-2011, 18:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey
The last item looks like a solenoid switch. Where do the small wires run to?
Ok map in hand the little wires go to a battery combiner.

An update this regulator is a belmar ARS 3. Did some voltage tests on it and the alternator. I think these readings show the regulator is toast but would appreciate a sanity check. I do plan to write belmar tomorrow as well.

All readings on the regulator were as expected except:

Red- power
Blue field
Brown ignition

Ignition on:
Brown 0v expecting 12v
Blue 0 v expecting 7-12v

Engine running:
Blue 0v expecting 3-12v

General tests on the alternator appeared fine but I didn't isolate it from the regulator.
SC
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Old 25-09-2011, 18:32   #8
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Re: I Was Mapping My Charging System and Found 'this' Mystery Piece

Quote:
I think these readings show the regulator is toast
A common state for Balmar regulators AFAIK

DAve
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Old 25-09-2011, 19:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow

A common state for Balmar regulators AFAIK

DAve
Perhaps. I have no experience with them. At one time I recall reading they were a decent product. Who qualifies as decent these days if Balmar doesn't?
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Old 25-09-2011, 19:44   #10
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Re: I Was Mapping My Charging System and Found 'this' Mystery Piece

my direct experience with their regulators is that they are very sensitive to rough treatment and seem to be unable to withstand shorts,load dumping and other transient behaviour. I curently am using sterling, but cant really draw any conclusions as to its suitability.

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Old 26-09-2011, 11:25   #11
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Does anyone have experience with the Hehr aquiline regulators? Or other suggestions? I'm concerned over the Balmar reported failures. SC
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Old 26-09-2011, 11:59   #12
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Re: I Was Mapping My Charging System and Found 'this' Mystery Piece

My balmar has worked fine for about 5 years now, but I mounted it outside the hot engine compartment. Yours might be working if you had 12v on the brown wire--check it again with the engine running, as some go through an oil pressure switch. If its still zero, that's a wiring problem you have to solve before the regulator can work. You can also jump a wire from a 12v source to the brown terminal to check the regulator.
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Old 26-09-2011, 12:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe
My balmar has worked fine for about 5 years now, but I mounted it outside the hot engine compartment. Yours might be working if you had 12v on the brown wire--check it again with the engine running, as some go through an oil pressure switch. If its still zero, that's a wiring problem you have to solve before the regulator can work. You can also jump a wire from a 12v source to the brown terminal to check the regulator.
We tried he jumping to no avail. We used the recommended 1400 rpm from Balmar's troubleshooting suggestions.
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Old 26-09-2011, 12:54   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe
My balmar has worked fine for about 5 years now, but I mounted it outside the hot engine compartment. Yours might be working if you had 12v on the brown wire--check it again with the engine running, as some go through an oil pressure switch. If its still zero, that's a wiring problem you have to solve before the regulator can work. You can also jump a wire from a 12v source to the brown terminal to check the regulator.
Just got off the phone with Balmar (nice experience) and they confirmed the regulator is done. He estimated the life expectancy to be about 10 years on a regulator. He recommended a 614 or ARS 5 with the emergency kit as backup to hold us over to get into a port or back to the dock. They no longer sell the 612 which I had read about had a lot of early failures.
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