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Old 16-02-2012, 23:18   #1
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My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work . Am I going blind ?

I have purchased a second hand Balmar alternator and 612 regulator.
I connected everything as I figured out is should be, but didnt get it to charge. Blamed the Alternator and left in for repair up the islands.

Mounted a small serviced spare internal regulated alternator on, and traveled down the islands. Now at anchor the windgenerator doesnt manage to keep me and my batteries happy.... So I Dig in the bilge and take up the alternator that I used on the boat before I started thinking about the fancy Balmar....

But I cant get the old Bosch 65-85A to work anymore. I took it up to the alternator guy and he tested it with good result.
So.... The small alternator is connected with D+ to a light that is connected to the swith positive. And the light goes of when I start up the engine. The bigger alternator also have the D+ terminal, but connected the same the light doesnt go off. I had a sensing wire on the alternator before but when I connect the sensing wire, the whole instrument panel lit up. Because it get fed from the sensing wire. Did the relay I used on the sensing wire Could the bosch be opposite like ground on the D+ terminal? It worked when the guy benched it........ Does it need to be excited?

Im just to tired of all this changing and testing that I belive I does something totally wrong but im starting to go blind.

Can i test it by connecting power to D+ and see if it gives output or should I do something smarter?

Its a bosch ca244IR - ST
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Old 17-02-2012, 03:09   #2
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Hi from new member i may be able to help , your alternator has four terninals, w . d+ battery + and battery - once both bettery terminals are fitted the d+ is negative, when the alternator is at rest all that i am sure you already know, but this alternator needs to be run up to say 1.500 revs to start is if the batteries are low, so just give the engine a few revs for 30 seconds and i think it will be ok the lamp will then go out when the d + goes to positive ie two positives cant light a lamp
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Old 17-02-2012, 04:31   #3
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

The Balmar website has some pretty good troubleshooting instructions.
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:20   #4
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Quote:
Hi from new member i may be able to help , your alternator has four terninals, w . d+ battery + and battery - once both bettery terminals are fitted the d+ is negative, when the alternator is at rest all that i am sure you already know, but this alternator needs to be run up to say 1.500 revs to start is if the batteries are low, so just give the engine a few revs for 30 seconds and i think it will be ok the lamp will then go out when the d + goes to positive ie two positives cant light a lamp
Thank you Ken moxon, this is how its connected. I dont have a minus connector but connect the minus to the housing.

Before the light usually came off after 5 second or a small rev. But now i ran it for maybe 30 seconds im not shure. But the light didnt go off.
Going to short the wire between positive and d+ to give it a push....

I belive this alternator senses trough the positive connector.
Im going to try again this weekend.

Then Im going to first try with the balmar regulator. So Im going to post the result over the weekend.

I have modified a internal regulator and solder cables out from the two brushes. Im going to post how I belive this should be connected. Please correct me if its wrong.

The inner brush is the Field, and Goes to the field on the balmar regulator.

The Outer brush goes to ground on the housing and from housing to the regulator. The regulator have to ground but they are both connected together in both ends. (is this ok?)

The W connector goes to the balmar regulator marked stator (im really unsure as I dont understand what the stator is) Im my head i feel like the outer brush is the stator, but I get confused over the names and terminology in english.


Please confirm or correct me.

Thanks alot!
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Old 17-02-2012, 08:52   #5
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Hi from ken moxon sorry for delay i could not log on ( finger problem) so your alternator is not isolated earth ie you have to earth it through the case,thats ok
now what is strange is that you say you use w terninal for the regulator, this trerminal as you may know, is for the rev counter it gives the signal to it, it must not have a live to it, now regarding the brushes when the unit is running one brush will give say 7 volts and the other 14.2 or so the lower one we can call the negative you can use this to regulate if you like by the way the stator is the outside bit that you can see, the other bit that rushes round is the rotor sorry if you already know this, the slip rings on the rotor are connected to the windings of the rotor, make sure you have continuity ie the rings are connected to the winding you will see that the rings are isolated from each other

i will have drawings or your alternator i will look them out for you, as you say try this but be carefull just flash between the positive and the d+ be quick you should find it powers up then, if so its a wireing problem

regards ken moxon all will be ok in the end
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Old 18-02-2012, 10:46   #6
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

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now what is strange is that you say you use w terninal for the regulator, this trerminal as you may know, is for the rev counter it gives the signal to it, it must not have a live to it, now regarding the brushes when the unit is running one brush will give say 7 volts and the other 14.2 or so the lower one we can call the negative you can use this to regulate if you like by the way the stator is the outside bit that you can see, the other bit that rushes round is the rotor sorry if you already know this, the slip rings on the rotor are connected to the windings of the rotor, make sure you have continuity ie the rings are connected to the winding you will see that the rings are isolated from each other
Thank you, but i dont really understand the brushes. Is it correct that the inner one is what we normally call field? On my balmar its a own field connector. But now i got 2 wires coming out of the homebrew brush holder.
So the brush closest to the pulley is that the Field wire? And the other is what?

On the balmar regulator the revcounter is connected and I connect the one that says stator on the regulator to the w on the alternator. I belive thats correct.

If you could explain

Appreciate it, tomorrow its the day....
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Old 19-02-2012, 07:01   #7
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ken moxon.
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Old 19-02-2012, 12:27   #8
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Thank you for all the good explanation Ken moxon!

Still laughing, Im getting frustrated and really confused. Not the first time though

After a good start reading up on the balmar site and the bible in the ships library...
I sent the family on a dinghy ride to the local bar. And took of the small internal regulated alternator that is taking forever to charge. Then mounted the bosch with the internal regulator that is chopped so the leads inner and outer brush. Grounded the outer brush to the housing and connected the inner brush to the balmar 612 marked field. Didnt connect the d+ since its modded to an external field now. Skipped the w to the stator-tach cable for now.
Reeved up my old merc to be shure it would engage. And no higher then 12v output.
But the fuse on the balmar power cable blowed. Had one in spare and that blowed to.
Ehhh yes. Then I connected power to field. and the pulley was magnetic. Measured 4 ohms between field and ground. If I recall correct I had field to pluss started up but no more then 12v on the power output on the alternator.
Then I put on the standard regulator thats on the small regulator and d+ to the charging light. But no action that way either. Took a piece of wire and shorten between the d+ and battery terminal, and then high current passed because the strands started to glow and huge resistance on the alternator. Something happened....
The guy tested it the other day, and it gave out power. But not on the boat. hmm

Im reading and trying to understand p and n type of alternator. Booth alternators have normally an internal regulator that only connect to ground. So I guess that is n type. But now when I take the leads out do I make it a p type? well I do something wrong. Is it reverse from my other alternator?
When I dinghy back to the boat Im going to stop by a cruiser i belive has some expertise.....
I really dont understand why the alternator shop got it working and im not. And why does the fuse blow. Wind picked up so still 12v so ill try a bit more today.
If someone sees something that i dont please tell me im going crazy. But its a good training for changing alternators. Cant beat good old fun!
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Old 19-02-2012, 13:14   #9
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Flemming, Hi...
Alternators are very simple things. They are only a machine where a magnet flies past a coil. When the magnet passes the coil it makes electricity.

In truth there are many coils and many magnets inside, actually the magnets are electro-magnets.

The electro-magnets are called the "ROTOR" and it is a claw pole. Imagine your left hand is south magnet and your right hand north magnet. Now clasp your fingers together left and right and thats it.
The wires that take the power to make the magnets work are called the field wires. They use brushes to the commutator rings. The more electricity you give to the ROTOR the stronger its magnets will be, and the more your alternator will charge.

The ROTOR has an internal or external regulator, or none at all. Sometimes its just a lightbulb in series with the rotor to limit current.

The part that is the coil is on the outside, that is called a STATOR, actually it is many many coils. It is wound in something called three phase, dont worry about it, its just a way of packing more coils into the same area.

The stator coils will put out alternating current, that is because as one magnet of the rotor is coming near and making + the other magnet is going away and making -. Because its AC you need to rectify it. Rectifiers are simply electrical non return valves, arranged in such a way so that the 3 wires coming out of the stator bearing AC connect to the input side and it spits out DC on the output side. There are six diodes.

Finally there is the diode triplet. This is another small set of 3 diodes that can straighten out an ac ripple current and make a few volts out of it to FEED power TO the ROTOR via the FIELD wires and the REGULATOR.

So , you put in a little electricity, it makes magnets, add some power with a belt, and get more electricity out.

IF you put the battery + and - direct onto the field wires, you will make a lot of power, and it will prove that the alternator is working. You will hear the engine strain, you might smell the belt smoking.

I you connect one of the field wires to the ground or frame of the alternator, and feed positive into the other, you will have a "P" alternator.
IF you do that, and turn the alternator by hand you will feel the magnets kick in and attract the stator, and you will find it hard to turn.

WARNING, If you leave power supplied TO the field, and the alternator is not turning and not ventilating itself, you will fry the rotor. Anything up to about a minute for testing is fine.

I dont now about your particular regulator and there are so many designs, BUT if you can understand the above, you will not be confused by the black magic of alternators. They are very simple.
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Old 19-02-2012, 14:34   #10
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Wrote a nice long explanation and lost it all due to 'database error'--aren't computers wonderful??

You are on the right track. It doesn't matter to the rotor which way the current goes through it. Your homebrew brush holder with one wire to battery and the other to ground gives you an unregulated alternator--the rotor getting magnetized is a sign that it is working. Four ohms is about right for the rotor resistance, and which should give a current of about 3-4 amps at full battery voltage--shouldn't have blown a properly wired external alternator. Make sure that there are no other connections to the brushes.

Your problem could be on the stator side, but the unit should have worked in the shop unless they did a wall job. Measure the W terminal with AC voltage meter--should jump up to 8 VAC or more when you energize field. If it does, your problems could be the rectifier diodes.
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Old 19-02-2012, 15:05   #11
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

flemming, I'm not sure but it sounds like one of your alternators was modified to use an external regulator--which means the different alternators could need to be hooked up differently.

In any case, if you are lucky you have only blown two fuses. It is possible to DESTROY an alternator by running it for less than one minute with the right wire disconnected, so I would urge you to make haste slowly.

Confirm the correct wiring for each alternator, confirm whether it was modified, make Real Damn Sure before you hook 'em up to test them. You will save time and money that way.

One thought is to ask the guy in the alternator shop if he could make a house call, come out to hook you up on his own time for a reasonable price. And if not, at least get all the wires clearly labelled, and then matched up to a diagram of what wires are on yur boat.

many marine alternators are set up in what is called a 'one wire' configuration, as opposed to '3-wire'. In a 1-wire installation the voltage sense lead does not go to the battery, it is tied back to the alternator output post making installation simple and operation crude. If that's how yours was done, that also typically means the alternator will not self-excite until the engine has been running, sometimes to 1500-2000 rpm, sometimes for a minute or three. Sometimes you have to goose the throttle to get those to turn on.

Sp unless you've got the time and patience to unravel the mess, get everything identified and sorted out...Might be cheaper, faster, safer, to have someone come on board and get you hooked up. Shouldn't take more than an hour unless there's some real holy mysetery there.
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Old 19-02-2012, 17:02   #12
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

sy_gilana thanks for taking your time to explain! To more I read to more I understand. I tought it was something simple like that. But when it was not working I belived I must have missed something. I will give it another go tomorrow.

and to donradcliffe, thank you for confirming. I will check the brush holder that its not touching ground somewhere. When the workshop tested it they just gave power to the brushes i guess.
When i gave positive to d+ i noticed heavy strain on the alternator. When I had the internal regulator on. the internal regulator have the brushes and its not connected to other then ground, then its just a n-type alternator? So how does the d+ terminal give power to the rotor? I guessing that it gave amps when I put full positive on it.

And finally to hellosailer, yes tomorrow morning I will announce on the local cruisernet I could need a second pair of eyes here....

Thank you all. Another day tomorrow
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Old 20-02-2012, 07:38   #13
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Hi from ken moxon well it sounds like you have a lot of advice all sounds good to me just one thing as we always say if it worked on the bench it must work on the boat so 90 percent its a boat problem ie those wires again,

regards ken moxon
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Old 20-02-2012, 13:43   #14
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

found the problem today i belive.....
When it was tested it was only tested with full field. But with the internal regulator on and the light connected to d+ it had 2V with ignition on. Started and still only 2V. So the guy says he is going to change the rectifier.
But now I found the book called "the motorboat electrical".

To be continiued.
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Old 21-02-2012, 00:57   #15
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Re: My alternator is tested but I cant get it to work. Am I going blind?

Hi from ken moxon thats good to know, 2 volts well there you go


have a good day,
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