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Old 22-10-2015, 14:17   #1
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No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

Pulled a real dumb mistake, and hooked up the start battery on my N. Lights generator backwards: red to neg on battery. Attempted to start the generator for a few minutes, obviously with no luck.

After correcting the error, it started right up. I know, huh!!

But, since then, it doesn't put out a charge to the starting battery. There is a DC 15a breaker, but it didn't trip, and seems ok.

Did I kill my $350 DC voltage regulator? Anyway to test it with the generator stuffing in the bilge providing very little room to reach the regulator?


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Old 22-10-2015, 14:31   #2
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

I would guess that you fried the regulator.

I'm not %100 sure how that generator operates, but I'm guessing AC comes out of the stator and is rectified (the device everyone calls a regulator) to DC. This is the most common charging circuit seen on smaller generators. Although many marine generators actually have a small alternator and belts.

If you have the first system, start the unit, then disconnect the positive from the battery terminal. Use a multimeter to measure the voltage between the positive and negative wires. It should be 14-15v. Guessing you are going to see a very low voltage. If so, she be good and fookered!

If you have the second system, then you can leave the positive connected and just use the multimeter across the battery terminals. You are looking for 14.2V. Lower and she be fookered!
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Old 22-10-2015, 14:40   #3
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

Wait.. One more thing... LOOK REALLY HARD for another fuse. It would seem strange that they wouldn't have a fuse on the charging system somewhere.

It would suck to replace the regulator and later discover its a fuse..

Finally.. Maybe call Northern Lights and ask what could be damaged. They might have some insight.
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Old 23-10-2015, 06:52   #4
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

Northern Lights

Voltage Regulator ManualsTechnical Information | Northern Lights Marine Generators

Contacts:
Email: info@northern-lights.com
Tel: 1.800.762.0165
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Old 23-10-2015, 08:25   #5
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

Could you tell us what model of generator you have and where your boat is are presently . ?
I have a long experience whith trouble shooting my own Northern Lights M673 4.5 KW generator
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Old 23-10-2015, 09:28   #6
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Wait.. One more thing... LOOK REALLY HARD for another fuse. It would seem strange that they wouldn't have a fuse on the charging system somewhere.

It would suck to replace the regulator and later discover its a fuse..

Finally.. Maybe call Northern Lights and ask what could be damaged. They might have some insight.

My kid got confused by the black and yellow cables on our last boat and hooked it up backwards.
Thankfully there was a fuseable link in a wire that blew instead of expensive electronics, the link wasn't immediately obvious, I noticed it on the schematic
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Old 24-10-2015, 04:21   #7
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GALAWA View Post
Could you tell us what model of generator you have and where your boat is are presently . ?
I have a long experience whith trouble shooting my own Northern Lights M673 4.5 KW generator
M643K, almost the same as the 673.

Boat is in Myrtle Beach.
thanks
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Old 24-10-2015, 09:22   #8
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Re: No Lights/Lugger genset DC voltage regulator. Did I kill it?

My NL M673 generator has 2 alternators.
The main alternator generating 110V or 230 V AC which is of no concern in your case
and a small alternator with built in rectifying diodes and regulator which supply some 14 V DC to charge the generator' s starter battery.

When the generator is running , and nothing else charges the starter battery, test the voltage on the starter battery which may be more easily accessible than the innards of the generator:
If you find some 14 V: Then your alternator is effectively charging.
If you find the same voltage as when the generator is not running, say 12.3 vollts, then your alternator is not charging.
Before you despair, do creep down below and make sure that the regulator is Inside the alternator and not outside. Test the output voltage on the connection points of the alternator itself.
If you find zero volts, gen running, the regulator, and possibly the rectifying diodes are dead.
If you find 14 V good news: Your alternator is OK but the connection to the starter battery is severed somewhere , most probably by a burnt fuse.

For my NL gen, I found spare parts at a competitive price from
Robert Murphy
800-768-0742 Toll-Free
225-706-8471 Direct
225-928-1913 Office
225-926-9336 Fax
CAGE: 0XGS5
www.dieselpartsdirect.com

They also mailed NL wiring diagrams to me but, although signedby NL, they contained substantial wiring errors.

Good luck
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