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Old 28-08-2009, 21:39   #16
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I told the yard to order the best today--Balmar and the altmount.com bracket.
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Old 28-08-2009, 21:59   #17
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Any alternator

Any alternator can be easily and cheaply converted to external regulation by a competent alternator shop. RoyM The cost of things do not necessarily mean they are better. Balmar alternators are at the top of the heap in price, but every single Balmar alternator is made by someone else and relabeled by Balmar. They do not make alternators. Check out the warranties on the Balmars, and read some forums and see how reliable they really are. A lady friend of recently paid over 500 bucks for an 80 amp alternator from Yanmar. Good quality stuff, right. It is a Hitachi, sold by every auto supply in the country. Exact same thing. I recently purchased a Hitachi from a major chain auto supply. 70 amp, 70 bucks. A Hitachi, same as the Yanmar brand. Two major differences in them.
The first is the Yanmar cost over 500 more. The second is the Yanmar is warrantied for one year, the auto supply one for life. If you have the desire to throw money away, go ahead. But don't encourage others to do so.
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Old 28-08-2009, 22:07   #18
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Originally Posted by Nice N Easy View Post
Any alternator can be easily and cheaply converted to external regulation by a competent alternator shop. RoyM The cost of things do not necessarily mean they are better. Balmar alternators are at the top of the heap in price, but every single Balmar alternator is made by someone else and relabeled by Balmar. They do not make alternators. Check out the warranties on the Balmars, and read some forums and see how reliable they really are. A lady friend of recently paid over 500 bucks for an 80 amp alternator from Yanmar. Good quality stuff, right. It is a Hitachi, sold by every auto supply in the country. Exact same thing. I recently purchased a Hitachi from a major chain auto supply. 70 amp, 70 bucks. A Hitachi, same as the Yanmar brand. Two major differences in them.
The first is the Yanmar cost over 500 more. The second is the Yanmar is warrantied for one year, the auto supply one for life. If you have the desire to throw money away, go ahead. But don't encourage others to do so.

I agree with you. last boat I bought came with a Balmar, and I will never have another one in any boat I own. Their regulators are a different story.

Which auto supply sold you the Hitachi alternator?
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Old 28-08-2009, 22:12   #19
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I ran several searches but failed to find a 24v 140amp or thereabouts size alt.

The Ample Power was more than I would pay for the Balmar. Also, it is easy to find 12v alternators made by a variety of manufacturers but less so for the 24v. If you have a link to a high output 24 alt maker, please send it.
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Old 28-08-2009, 22:21   #20
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I googled "24v alternator" and the first thing that came up was Mastervolt. They have a 150 amp:

http://www.nauticexpo.com/prod/maste...060-56107.html
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Old 28-08-2009, 22:27   #21
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Mitsubishi also makes high output 24v alternators:

Mitsubishi Alternator 24V-22004/107-089 (08) - Dah Kee Co., Ltd.
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Old 28-08-2009, 23:13   #22
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go to the dealer to get an alternator for you car....it will run you the same as a balmar........go to the auto parts store and get the same alternator,and it will cost you about 1/7 the cost.....me? i have always rebuilt my own for about 15 bucks...but now with the life time warranty..its not worth doing that anymore
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Old 29-08-2009, 09:59   #23
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Again, if you have the experience, resources and capacity, do it yourself, should you feel the need. If you don't, then purchase something with a good track record and that gives you peace of mind. Having it valued by others certainly doesn't hurt. Balmar isn't the only good unit out there. If you don't have the time or inclination, but you do have the resources, then buy something that works for you. If you don't have the experience, but want to feel you have made a good decision, buy something recommended by those you trust. And, contrary to what some may say, the best generally does cost more than the next-to-next best. Cruisers Forum is just that, a forum of ideas and experiences, and yes, at times, a venue for some folks to rant and posture because it feels so good. Can't tell the difference sometimes? Then just continue your research until you feel confident about your decision. Then make your decision, pay for it, and either live with it or change your mind. No one here has the full and complete story (except me, of course.....).
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Old 29-08-2009, 11:21   #24
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Amptech is worth looking at. I have installed and set up many of them with good results. Their web site has a table showing outputs at various temperatures for the different types and sizes. IMHO there is sometimes a difference between auto and marine units e.g. stator and rotor windings are heavier, insulation is heavier, etc.
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Old 31-08-2009, 06:38   #25
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Zena Alternators

Caelestis,

Over the past winter, I installed a Zena alternator on my boat. The beauty behind these alternators is that they are designed for welding purposes. They are very rugged and are a fraction of the cost of what you would pay for a balmar. I bought the 250 amp model which comes with the rectifiying unit detached and with its own fan. This allows the alternator to run more efficiently, hence more power. The 250amp cost around $1000 and comes with a three year warranty unlike balmar.
As far as the regulator goes, I ended up using the balmar 612 regulator (being 24v sys you will need the 24v regulator, 624). This is a good regulator and if you wire it correctly you can arrange it to where you can turn your alternator on and off and either put out 100% or 50% output. I wired it up for this purpose because if I am going to motor/sail for a long time then I want the 50% output and if I need all the horsepower at my prop for an emergency situation, I simply turn the alternator off.
If you need more information on how you properly (key word) wire this let me know and I will tell you.
Also, if you are using wet cell batteries, multiply your bank by .25 and add around 10 and that should give you a rough idea of what size alternator you need. Wetcells as a general rule will accept to about .25 of their total Ah rating. The addition of 10 is a fudge factor number that I have found to work.
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Old 01-09-2009, 13:48   #26
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I'm going with C.E. Niehoff. 400A and $1K less than a 300A Balmar. If it's good enough for fire trucks and MilSpec applications, it's good enough for me.

Their smallest is 145A.
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Old 01-09-2009, 14:08   #27
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Since it seems that Balmar don't actually make their own alternators, who makes their regulators? The Balmar and Xantrex are exactly the same with different labelling, so who's the manufacturer?
If it's not Balmar, what exactly do they make?
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Old 01-09-2009, 14:32   #28
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Thanks, solar is the next move (2 210w Kyocera panels and an Outback MPPT controller).

Are the truck alternators 24v? I will run a search.
Consider getting 2 200W Kyoceras....you'll never see the difference.
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Old 01-09-2009, 14:52   #29
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From what I've found the actual makers are (in no particular order)Zena( I think), Niehoff, PennTex, Delco, Prestolite (they make Leece Neville), Hitachi, Bosch and some off label Chinese brands like Lucky.
Only a few are brushless.
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Old 01-09-2009, 15:23   #30
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After much homework on this (thanks to the fine people responding to this post) I found the Prestolite/Leece Neville 140amp alternator at $464, and it is the identical part to the 97series 140 amp Balmar (at $1,028). Starters, Alternators, DC Motors, Commercial Truck Parts Distributors - Your Starting & Charging Specialists Elreg Distributors Ltd.
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