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Old 31-05-2013, 10:42   #16
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

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Surpise. A problem with xantrex........do they make.anything that works ?
Actually, they do! Or, at least, they bought a cool device from Heart Interface which they so far haven't screwed up (except for raising the price)....the EchoCharge. Great piece of gear.

And...believe it or not....the Xantrex XAR regulator is actually a Balmar product!

Tricky, tricky :-)

Bill
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:37   #17
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

Hmmm...I just installed a xantrex battery monitor and found my charge amps is never over 30 and charge voltage starts at 12.8...after about a 2 hour running the voltage goes up to about 14.0 and I will have added about 38 amp hours to my 400 amp hour battery bank.
I replaced the voltage reg 3 months ago due to another problem. Its a Balmar MC614H. I checked the above trouble shooting recommendations but no success.
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Old 10-08-2013, 17:56   #18
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

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Hmmm...I just installed a xantrex battery monitor and found my charge amps is never over 30 and charge voltage starts at 12.8...after about a 2 hour running the voltage goes up to about 14.0 and I will have added about 38 amp hours to my 400 amp hour battery bank.
I replaced the voltage reg 3 months ago due to another problem. Its a Balmar MC614H. I checked the above trouble shooting recommendations but no success.
Need more information--what alternator, do you have more than one battery bank, what does the long display on the regulator say when you are at 12.8v, and what is the alternator output voltage (between the alt ground and the alt output post) say when the battery is at 12.8v?
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Old 10-08-2013, 17:57   #19
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

Well I traced my wiring etc...the red voltage sense wire from my voltage regulator seems to be attached to the back of the alternator...I guess it is sensing start battery voltage? Can this be why it outputs only 30 amps max?
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Old 10-08-2013, 18:20   #20
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

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Need more information--what alternator, do you have more than one battery bank, what does the long display on the regulator say when you are at 12.8v, and what is the alternator output voltage (between the alt ground and the alt output post) say when the battery is at 12.8v?

Hmm well I've been anchoring out for last few weeks so havent had the batteries fully charged since my battery monitor install. I did run at 1400 RPM for like 3 hours and manually set the synchronize just to get the ball rolling.

I'll be in port on Monday so can plug into shore power then.

Did you see my above post...could that be my problem?

I see that I have a Balmar Digital Duo Charge...meant to top start battery then charge house? The alternator is a 110 amp 60 series.
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Old 10-08-2013, 18:54   #21
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

The Alternator output should go to House bank, along with regulator sense wire. The Duo Charge is supposed to go from the house battery bank to the start battery, to keep it charged. Also check that the Altenator wire is at least 6 or 8 gauge, with a 100 amp Alt.
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Old 10-08-2013, 19:13   #22
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

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Originally Posted by Eder View Post
Well I traced my wiring etc...the red voltage sense wire from my voltage regulator seems to be attached to the back of the alternator...I guess it is sensing start battery voltage? Can this be why it outputs only 30 amps max?
Most likely. The AO should go to the house bank and the regulator sense wire should go there also. The regulator installation manual says it can go either to the back of the alternator or to the house bank, but if you don't go to the house bank you'll find decreased charging because the sense is not sensing the battery bank. I did this for a year before i realized the importance of sensing the right point in the system thanks to one of Maine Sail's posts, and reading both the MC-612 display and my Link 2000 voltages. Made a BIG difference.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:35   #23
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

Your installation sounds like a classic case of voltage drop between the alternator and the battery. A good alternator installation for 100 amps will have at least a #4 wire from the alternator output to the house battery AND a separate heavy ground wire to the alternator case.

Connnecting the regulator sense wire (with a fuse) to the house battery will compensate for the voltage drop in the positive side of the circuit, but not the ground side.

Its likely that the battery monitor measures the net current into the house battery, and if your duo charge is putting amps into the start battery, that wouldn't show up (unless you have a dual battery monitor). A clamp-on DC ampmeter ($50 at Sears) will help you find both the voltage drops and current flows in your system.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:11   #24
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

Well I have a thick positive wire probably 7/8' thick outside insulation running from alternator to battery bank. I see a negative wire from alternator to starter case and smaller black going to voltage regulator.
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Old 11-08-2013, 16:40   #25
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Sounds good. Does the thick alt wire go to the house bank? If it goes to the start batt., then the duo charge will only pass 30 amps. Another point, what you see going into the bank, on your monitor, does not include any amps you are using to run the house loads.
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:12   #26
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

Well I installed the voltage sense cable back to house battery bank and am now charging at 14.4v for the 1st time. Only thing is I ran a 1/0 ground back to the battery bank and amps went from 20+ to about -7 amps!
I put the engine ground back on and charging at 20+ again.
Obv I did something silly but 2 hours later and a call to Balmar didn't help.
Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:23   #27
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

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Well I installed the voltage sense cable back to house battery bank and am now charging at 14.4v for the 1st time. Only thing is I ran a 1/0 ground back to the battery bank and amps went from 20+ to about -7 amps!
I put the engine ground back on and charging at 20+ again.
Obv I did something silly but 2 hours later and a call to Balmar didn't help.
Any ideas? Thanks!
What side of the ammeter's shunt did you run the ground wire off of? If it was the battery side then the ammetter will not see what is going into the battery.
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Old 12-08-2013, 17:39   #28
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Sorry , if you are seeing charging voltages of 14.4 at the battery , your are in or close to absorption mode, and the currents flowing will be much smaller then max. For bulk mode , you should be seeing under 13v

You have fairly charged batteries.

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Old 12-08-2013, 18:32   #29
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Re: New Balmar alternator problems

I agree withthe thread. If its not putting out, its pre-broken.

FYI, I found I can buy a rebuilt over the road truck alternator and an after-market charge regulator like a Balmar for a lot less than new. The rebuilts are load tested. They rebuilt my lightening zapped 24 Volt monster alt for 68 bucks. That included 14 diodes and a load test.

I use these guys but any place that looks like this with alternators and starters stacked to shoulder deep has to be good.

2121 Alpine NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544

(616) 363-9650
butchs2121@aol.com
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Old 12-08-2013, 18:50   #30
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All of your ground cables need to go to 1 side of the monitor shunt and only 1 cable goes from the shunt to the neg. terminal. What you did was jump the shunt by running the new ground. I have a 4 post 300 amp buss bar for my ground cables, then 1 cable from it to the neg. of the battery bank
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