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Old 05-07-2016, 18:57   #1
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Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

I noticed via the Link20 that the alternator and the Balamr MC614 doesn't seem to be charging properly.

I expect a high amp output tapering off... but I observed and heard the engine slow and the link read 72 amps, quickly ramped down and then shows a neg 3 amps.... fans???

This is new.

I tightened the belt on the alternator yesterday and that seemed to result in charging... but today it went whacky again.

defective regulator?
defective temp sensors causing it to shut down?
defective alternator?
some of the above?
something else...

I'll call Balmar and see what they say. I could pull the alternator and have it tested in Newport.

Advice please.
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Old 05-07-2016, 22:37   #2
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

to test alt. remove regulator field wire from alt. connect alt field post to 12v. it will put out full amps. don't leave it on for long. if alt is not putting out full amps, probably is alt.

with regulator on. test voltage of battery sense wire, and field voltage. if battery is low and needs charging, feild voltage should be ~12v. if batteries are full it will be under 6v or so. basicily the reg changes the field voltage to adjust how much it charges. if batteries are low and field voltage is low, then reg is not driving the alt properly. or sensing wrong voltage.

the battery and alt temp readings scroll on the screen and you can read them. same with battery voltage and voltage it's trying to hit. BV and CV.

IE if BV is 12.5v and CV is 14.4v and field voltage is 6v something is wrong. as it should be trying to hit 14.4v and driving the field voltage higher.
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Old 05-07-2016, 23:07   #3
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

Were your batteries full from being plugged in before you started your engine?
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Old 06-07-2016, 00:10   #4
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

Before you do anything or run it more check all of your connections. The balmar alternators use a pretty small nut stud arrangement on the pos post if it comes loose you can cook the sensing connection and fry the regulator. They recommend Loctite on the threads. For troubleshooting make sure the reg is set to full display scroll as it comes default to the short menu, I can't remember all of what is left out but its quite a bit.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:19   #5
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

This morning after the 45 second period the regulator ramped up the alt to 72 amps which over a minute or two ramped down to about 40 and then the alternator went off line and added no amps. All that was there were the few loads reading on the Link20.

Connections at the back of the alt looked OK... did not re make them/clean them. 2nd attempt nothing at all for a few minutes then began a 79 amps and is ramping down again and hovering in the 40s. Seems normal.

Since alt was apparently kicking out a lot of amps... even for a few secs the firdt time but did not after several minutes.

Sounds intermittent and related to the Balmar. No? Worked fine for 15 minutes... and at 40 amps the alt went off line. Voltage reads 13.00 ramping down w/ reefer compressor and inverter on.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:37   #6
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

I am having exactly the same problem with 612 regulator. Called Balmar and they suggested testing at idle to prevent damage. Have 614 back up regulator I will swap the 612 with.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:18   #7
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

what is the state of charge of your batteries? do you have solar if so turn it off the solar will confuse your regulator and tell it your batteries are charged. No silly quote just good business!
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:33   #8
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

In my case, I do have solar but since I have a cat with identical installations I can say that's not my issue.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:04   #9
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

Ostinato
The MC612 to MC614 swap is not as straight forward as you might think.
I changed from the 612 to the 614 and the connections are not the same.
See the install instructions for details.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:15   #10
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

Do not discount the easy fix of checking and tightening all connections. I just had the exact problem with my Balmar 612. Two connections somehow got loose during rough seas.
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Old 06-07-2016, 14:49   #11
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

Same problem. Root cause was a faulty battery temperature sensor. Intermittent fault when the sensor would display an excessive temperature and this would cause the alternator to shut down. Once we disconnected the battery temperature sensor at the voltage regulator - problem solved. Very difficult fault to detect as you have to be looking at the regulator readout when it is displaying battery temperature and the spike occurs.
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Old 06-07-2016, 17:03   #12
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

I normally have the solar on... but I will def turn it off when I fire the engine as the voltage will be up in the day from solar.

I sense the temp sensor may be also the culprit.

This morning it worked fine...

Mystery
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Old 07-07-2016, 00:15   #13
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

I tried disconnecting the temperature sensor but no luck. I will do a little more trouble shooting today and report back.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:12   #14
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

What are your voltage settings on your solar and MC? If they are identical...
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Old 09-07-2016, 23:59   #15
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Re: Intermiitant charging Balmar MC614

After more trouble shooting I realized the problem with the 611 only showed up when the charge state had reached about 90% of the battery bank capacity. The codes on the 612 were nominal so I ended up changing it out with 614 and now all is well. I don't have a clue why the 612 started performing like that.
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