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Old 29-08-2012, 14:44   #106
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Current in the big red cable with the plug out is 1.88 amps, so no real difference there.
it must be powering something else then,
if you can follow the thin red wire back and find out what it is suppling power to you might have found part of the problem.

at a guess it probably goes to the regulator for the balmar,and is unswitched @1.8 amps is 20watts so would account for the warm alternator and constant drain.

you counld also check the blue wire and see if there is voltage,there should be nothing with the ignition off.
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Old 29-08-2012, 14:57   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond

The blue wire reads 3.16 amps while the plug is in the alternator, and 1.52 amps when I unplugged it. (I always take a few readings to make sure I'm getting the reading fairly consistently.)
This a long way from zero!
The red wire does go into the same harness.

The 'brain', regulator? for the Balmar usually has red numbers on it's screen. It's showing nothing now, as though it's turned off.
I didn't notice when the readings stopped. It may have been when I disconnected the leads yesterday.
I reconnected the leads this morning and left them connected all day... they still are. How do I get the regulator to come back to work?

The intersting thing is that the alternator is cool now.
The regulator should only be on when your ignition is on. There should be a brown wire in the regulator harness that attaches to your ignition switch.

No chance you are leaving the ignition on?

It is physically impossible for a wire to have current in it if it is unplugged. If you are reading a current in the blue write while it is unplugged, something is wrong with the measurement technique.
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:00   #108
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
The regulator should only be on when your ignition is on. There should be a brown wire in the regulator harness that attaches to your ignition switch.

No chance you are leaving the ignition on?

It is physically impossible for a wire to have current in it if it is unplugged. If you are trading a current in the blue write while it is unplugged, something is wrong with the measurement technique.
Or that the engine shut off solenoid is on all the time.
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:26   #109
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Or that the engine shut off solenoid is on all the time.
It's not this one.
The solenoid isn't connected so I have to lift floor panels and manually cut it off. It's on the soon to be remedied list because the solenoid does work. It's just come adrift from it's chassis and been disconnected.
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Old 29-08-2012, 15:31   #110
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
It's not this one.
The solenoid isn't connected so I have to lift floor panels and manually cut it off. It's on the soon to be remedied list because the solenoid does work. It's just come adrift from it's chassis and been disconnected.
it looks like you have found the problem, you can double check by testing for voltage between neg lead and the terminal on the blue wire,there should be no voltage with the ignition off.
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:46   #111
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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it must be powering something else then,
if you can follow the thin red wire back and find out what it is suppling power to you might have found part of the problem.

at a guess it probably goes to the regulator for the balmar,and is unswitched @1.8 amps is 20watts so would account for the warm alternator and constant drain.

you counld also check the blue wire and see if there is voltage,there should be nothing with the ignition off.
I'll check these tomorrow.
It's been a long day but some good progress has been made
Right now it's a beautiful calm evening on the river, and this is not a bad drop of red
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:51   #112
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

+1 the learning curve gets easyier after the first year or so lol!
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:57   #113
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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The regulator should only be on when your ignition is on. There should be a brown wire in the regulator harness that attaches to your ignition switch.

No chance you are leaving the ignition on? The ignition switch is seriously dodgy. It's loose and it means the switch doesn't always go to the off position after starting. I will check the brown wire link up tomorrow.
I did turn the ignittion on, but without starting the engine and the regulator didn't come back on judging by the lack of life in its screen.

It is physically impossible for a wire to have current in it if it is unplugged. If you are reading a current in the blue write while it is unplugged, something is wrong with the measurement technique.
This has me confused too. That's why I mentioned taking all readings a number of times. I'm not sure about the technique. I just clamp the wire between the point where the jaws meet having hit zero first, and then clamp and hit hold. The white wire was very close. Could that have anything to do with it?
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Old 29-08-2012, 17:59   #114
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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+1 the learning curve gets easyier after the first year or so lol!
Thanks Alex. You're a great encouragement!
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Old 29-08-2012, 18:18   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond
This has me confused too. That's why I mentioned taking all readings a number of times. I'm not sure about the technique. I just clamp the wire between the point where the jaws meet having hit zero first, and then clamp and hit hold. The white wire was very close. Could that have anything to do with it?
The clamp doesn't squeeze the wire, it goes around it! Also, I find I need to make sure mine reads zero before I clamp anything. It has a zero button.

And make sure you're in DC amp mode, not AC. That's all I can think of.
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Old 29-08-2012, 18:36   #116
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Thanks Alex. You're a great encouragement!
And when this thread started you thought you were just gonna get some solar panel recommendations - LOL...

You are doing great and getting close.

I am looking forward to the conclusion.
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Old 30-08-2012, 01:35   #117
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
I'll check these tomorrow.
It's been a long day but some good progress has been made
Right now it's a beautiful calm evening on the river, and this is not a bad drop of red
FWIW, I am really enjoying this thread, all good info, someone else is doing the hard part - the learning curve - and I can just enjoy my own drop of red while waiting for all the issues to be resolved.

Thanks VV ; trust it will all be sorted soon.
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Old 30-08-2012, 05:26   #118
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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The clamp doesn't squeeze the wire, it goes around it! Also, I find I need to make sure mine reads zero before I clamp anything. It has a zero button.

And make sure you're in DC amp mode, not AC. That's all I can think of.
Ok. It's a brand new day. The mist on the river is rising and another coffee will get me going. Need the caffeine to keep me sharp today

I'll retake the readings. It will only effect the readings taken for the alternator connections because all the others came from the Xantrex.

I didn't really think I was a simpleton when I started this thread..... now I'm not so sure
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Old 30-08-2012, 05:32   #119
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

[QUOTE=Ex-Calif;1024856]And when this thread started you thought you were just gonna get some solar panel recommendations - LOL...I did indeed!

You are doing great and getting close.Thanks. The interest and support is terrific.

I am looking forward to the conclusion.You and me both![/QUOTE]

The reality is I'm still going to end up buying a bunch of panels and they will reduce or maybe come close to eliminating most of the generator time.
But I'm learning sooooo much about where the energy is going, which I thought I'd do later...
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Old 30-08-2012, 05:35   #120
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Re: Simple Solar For A Simpleton

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Ok. It's a brand new day. The mist on the river is rising and another coffee will get me going. Need the caffeine to keep me sharp today

I'll retake the readings. It will only effect the readings taken for the alternator connections because all the others came from the Xantrex.

I didn't really think I was a simpleton when I started this thread..... now I'm not so sure
i'm glassing up a new hatch in my workshop for the next 3 hours till i go to the boat later,will check the thread periodically.
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