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Old 05-01-2014, 14:08   #16
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Re: Turning off ignition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
This is probably regulator brand/model dependent. ....What would make a regulator prematurely drop into float?
This applies to all charger/regulators and is well described by Maine Sail as the "Charging Gotcha".

Many people believe that their batteries are fully charged as soon as the controller says they are in “Float” mode. They may in fact be at 90% or less – that’s 20% down on your usable battery capacity!

This is a problem with all charging regulators because they don't know the capacity of the batteries, and they don’t know how much of the current they are supplying is actually going into the battery. They are all trying to charge the batteries without overcharging them, so most regulators will drop to Float after a set time, say 2 hours at the absorption voltage.

The diagnosis of the Charging Gotcha is simple, as soon as your charger drops to float check the charging current going into the batteries and then switch the charge source off any way you can, and then back on. This will force the charger back into boost mode at a voltage of about 14.4 volts. If the charge current goes up by a factor of 4 or 5 then the batteries still need charging.

The permanent cure for the Charging Gotcha is much more complicated. Search the Forum for more from Maine Sail on this.
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Old 05-01-2014, 14:36   #17
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Re: Turning off ignition?

Boat Hobbs meters are electric aren't they? Do remove power from the Hobbs with ignition off?
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Old 05-01-2014, 14:43   #18
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Re: Turning off ignition?

The other reason for turning off the ignition switch is if your alternator is not charging and you have a long way to motor.
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Old 05-01-2014, 14:55   #19
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Re: Turning off ignition?

A brief over simplified explanation if output is wired through ign switch alt sees voltage going down and ramps voltage up higher as it does connection is lost no reference voltage or battery now to absorb the high voltage,so now the surge has no place to go but back to the alternator overpowering the diodes/check valve burning them out!
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Old 05-01-2014, 15:21   #20
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Re: Turning off ignition?

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A brief over simplified explanation if output is wired through ign switch alt sees voltage going down and ramps voltage up higher ....!
Turning off the ignition removes the voltage that controls the regulator so the alternator can't work.

I have an external regulator and an Balmar alternator with an internal regulator. With a two way switch I can switch the ignition feed from the internal to the external regulator. This is Balmar's recommended installation.

I think the original post was probably from someone who had briefly turned off the ignition by mistake and was worried about the consequences of blown diodes. I think we have all done that at some stage.
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Old 05-01-2014, 15:29   #21
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Re: Turning off ignition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailinglegend View Post
This applies to all charger/regulators and is well described by Maine Sail as the "Charging Gotcha".

Many people believe that their batteries are fully charged as soon as the controller says they are in “Float” mode. They may in fact be at 90% or less – that’s 20% down on your usable battery capacity!

This is a problem with all charging regulators because they don't know the capacity of the batteries, and they don’t know how much of the current they are supplying is actually going into the battery. They are all trying to charge the batteries without overcharging them, so most regulators will drop to Float after a set time, say 2 hours at the absorption voltage.

The diagnosis of the Charging Gotcha is simple, as soon as your charger drops to float check the charging current going into the batteries and then switch the charge source off any way you can, and then back on. This will force the charger back into boost mode at a voltage of about 14.4 volts. If the charge current goes up by a factor of 4 or 5 then the batteries still need charging.

The permanent cure for the Charging Gotcha is much more complicated. Search the Forum for more from Maine Sail on this.
No standard automotive regulator has a float mode in fact they have no mode at all.

Dave
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Old 05-01-2014, 16:24   #22
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Re: Turning off ignition?

On most basic charge setups once the voltage regulator is excited it will charge until alternator has stopped turning
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Old 05-01-2014, 17:33   #23
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Re: Turning off ignition?

As someone mentioned, there are systems where the alternator output goes through the key switch. I haven't run across any in cruising boats, but I have seen several in runabouts and ski boats. This is perhaps the nexus of the fear.

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Old 05-01-2014, 17:42   #24
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Re: Turning off ignition?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
As someone mentioned, there are systems where the alternator output goes through the key switch. I haven't run across any in cruising boats, but I have seen several in runabouts and ski boats. This is perhaps the nexus of the fear.

Mark
Turning off the key on a Diesel engine does nothing ( unless you have a positive held stop solenoid ) , all it does is kill the instruments ( typically ). Any perusal of the circuit diagram will confirm that. ( and I've never ever seen an alternator output wired through a start key switch

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Old 05-01-2014, 17:51   #25
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Re: Turning off ignition?

well then they must not exist!

Mark
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Old 05-01-2014, 17:53   #26
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Re: Turning off ignition?

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well then they must not exist!

Mark
It's the benefit of omnipotence

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Old 05-01-2014, 17:57   #27
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Re: Turning off ignition?

I think you mean omniscience, but you already knew that…

Mark
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Old 05-01-2014, 18:03   #28
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Re: Turning off ignition?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I think you mean omniscience, but you already knew that…

Mark
Before you said it it. !!!
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:45   #29
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Re: Turning off ignition?

I can tell you for a fact they do exist several of my boats were wired as such you could bet money or an alternator if an amp-meter was present in the ign panel it was wired through the switch unless change by someone!
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:05   #30
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Re: Turning off Ignition?

Turning off our ignition switches stops our engines. And by design, that's pretty much the only option, from the bridge.

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