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Old 06-11-2018, 07:41   #1
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Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

I have a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control installed on my boat and I would like to remove it and hook up the alternator the way it was originally done (bypassing this controller). I don’t think the W&P alt. controller even works (no sign of life- no lights, no movement of the voltmeter). I want to remove it permanently and use the spot to install my new solar controller.

I’m really not good with electrical stuff (I’m as thick as a whale omelet!), but I will have an electrician do this with me. I don’t know how competent he is, so I would like to go into this with some knowledge beforehand.
I believe the current from the alternator goes through the controller and then on to the batteries. There are a number of wires attached to the back. I need to know where they go when I remove the controller. Does anyone have any experience with removing one of these controllers? After removing it, I want to be certain that the internal regulator in the alternator is working and charging my batteries (and not over or undercharging).

The engine is a Yanmar 3GM30F with the stock alternator (50a?). I would like to connect it directly to the battery posts. I’m not worried about the alternator charging efficiency as my solar setup (when finished) will provide more power than I can use. I just want an alternator setup that is simple, secure and reliable.

I have been looking around on the net and it seems that Stu Jackson has experience with this controller. I’m hoping he’ll chime in…
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:52   #2
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
... I have been looking around on the net and it seems that Stu Jackson has experience with this controller. I’m hoping he’ll chime in…
Indeed.
And, here's the original manual ➥ http://svpegasus.org/wp-content/uplo...5-15-22-03.pdf

Weems & Plath bought out Spa Creek.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:59   #3
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

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Indeed.
And, here's the original manual ➥ http://svpegasus.org/wp-content/uplo...5-15-22-03.pdf

Weems & Plath bought out Spa Creek.
Thank you Gordon! I'll see if I can make sense of the manual. Sadly, the sparky doesn't read English...
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Old 06-11-2018, 18:30   #4
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

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Old 06-11-2018, 23:50   #5
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I have been looking around on the net and it seems that Stu Jackson has experience with this controller. I’m hoping he’ll chime in…

Chime!!!


KISS. and Plan Ahead.


Armed with the AutoMac manual (I haven't checked Gord's contribution against my own copy, but figure it's the same, for now, anyway...), TRY to NOT complicate matters.


1 --- The AM is an alternator regulator. That's all it is.
2 --- The meter is an ammeter, not a voltmeter. The last link below has a thread on how ammeters work.

3 --- None of us was born an electrician. Don't give up. You CAN learn this stuff. Don't need to be a rocket scientist. All you NEED to do is trace the wiring, physically, and draw a wiring diagram, Do NOT say "I can't do it." Say: "Yes I can, yes I can," repeat...
4 --- When I replaced my old OEM alternator and the AutoMac, this is what I did:

Alternator Regulator Wiring Diagrams - all three Alternator Regulator Wiring Diagrams (all three)
5 --- YOU have to decide where you want your AO (alternator output) to go. Try this:
OEM 1-2-B Switch Wiring History Alternator/Batteries & "The Basic" 1-2-B Switch BEST Wiring Diagrams
6 --- Once you do, then draw a diagram showing it so it is clear in your mind, and on paper.
7 --- Determine how your alternator will be regulated before you remove the AM. Does it have its own internal regulator ypassed with the AM or will you be buying an external regulator?
8 --- Figure these ?s out and get back to us and we can help you with the next step.


You are NOT the first to do this.


BTW, have you considered keeping the AM and learning how to use it properly?


I can help there, too.


Let us know.


I suggest you noodle around this link, might help you a lot:


Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:47   #6
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Chime!!!


KISS. and Plan Ahead.


Armed with the AutoMac manual (I haven't checked Gord's contribution against my own copy, but figure it's the same, for now, anyway...), TRY to NOT complicate matters.


1 --- The AM is an alternator regulator. That's all it is.
2 --- The meter is an ammeter, not a voltmeter. The last link below has a thread on how ammeters work.

3 --- None of us was born an electrician. Don't give up. You CAN learn this stuff. Don't need to be a rocket scientist. All you NEED to do is trace the wiring, physically, and draw a wiring diagram, Do NOT say "I can't do it." Say: "Yes I can, yes I can," repeat...
4 --- When I replaced my old OEM alternator and the AutoMac, this is what I did:

Alternator Regulator Wiring Diagrams - all three Alternator Regulator Wiring Diagrams (all three)
5 --- YOU have to decide where you want your AO (alternator output) to go. Try this:
OEM 1-2-B Switch Wiring History Alternator/Batteries & "The Basic" 1-2-B Switch BEST Wiring Diagrams
6 --- Once you do, then draw a diagram showing it so it is clear in your mind, and on paper.
7 --- Determine how your alternator will be regulated before you remove the AM. Does it have its own internal regulator ypassed with the AM or will you be buying an external regulator?
8 --- Figure these ?s out and get back to us and we can help you with the next step.


You are NOT the first to do this.


BTW, have you considered keeping the AM and learning how to use it properly?


I can help there, too.


Let us know.


I suggest you noodle around this link, might help you a lot:


Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
I was hoping you'd chime in Stu. Thanks! (And thanks for the kind words- I will try to get my head around this stuff)

Later today I'll go over your links to see if I can make sense of it all.

The reason I'm removing the W&P Alternator Control is that I believe it isn't working. I've checked the fuse and it's OK, no lights come on and the anmeter needle never moves.

From what I've read in your other posts in other forums on this controller, it seems it simply "fools" the internal alternator regulator to put out more amps. I have the stock (Hitachi? 50a?) Yanmar alternator on my 3GM30F. Can I safely assume the internal regulator is still there and working?

Following your advice on other forums, I'll wire the alternator directly to the battery and not the 1-2-all-off switch. I only have one battery (a 220ah stationary battery) which is wired to the battery selector switch (as battery no. 1). It only goes to the battery selector to give me a way to disconnect the battery in the event of a fire or for maintenance.

When I install the new 265w (30v) panel, I'll be making more power than I can use. I think I use about 30 to 40 ah a day, but the new Blue Sky 3000i solar controller will give me a better notion as it measures amps in and out). I'm not too worried about getting the most juice from the alternator.

I think I have the alternator wiring scheme in the Yanmar manual (on the boat) and perhaps that will help. I just don't know which wires were "diverted" to the W&P controller (besides the hot wires). I would like to make sure that all the alternator wires go to their proper places after uninstalling the controller, especially the one for regulating charge.

I'd like to keep things as simple as possible.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:48   #7
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

Oh, and if you have a copy of the manual, I'd appreciate it. The one Gordon kindly provided is so blurred that it's almost impossible to read.
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Old 07-11-2018, 16:45   #8
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

Had an AutoMAC and when I decided to take it out retained the amp meter to continue to measure the out put of the alternator. Always a good thing to know.
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Old 07-11-2018, 21:18   #9
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Re: Uninstalling a Weems and Plath AutoMAC alternator control – Help!

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Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
Oh, and if you have a copy of the manual, I'd appreciate it. The one Gordon kindly provided is so blurred that it's almost impossible to read.

Send me a pm with your email address. If I can find it I'll include a note I wrote to another skipper about how they work.


You have turned the rheostat, haven't you?


Thanks for your long reply, it's late here, I'll check back tomorrow.


Here's one:


C:\C\Stu Boat\Auto Mac\Automac Operating Description.DOC June 3, 2000 Updated: November 7, 2009
Here is the Automac manual and Aquavite’s wiring diagram link is found in Reply #23 at http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4623.15.html!
The trick with the Automac is to use it manually just like the three stage chargers do automatically. Start with the rheostat turned down and the switch off. When your engine starts, the alternator is going to want to put out as much as it can because it sees the batteries need to be charged (unless you’ve just disconnected your shorepower and the batteries are fully topped off.) Don’t turn the Automac on just yet; you don’t want to immediately load your alternator. In fact, the amperage output may be pretty high to begin with, all by itself. Wait until the amperage goes down a bit after you start the engine.
After the initial startup, say about five minutes, and only after you’re running the boat at cruising speed, start the Automac. The reason you want to wait until you’re motoring at cruising speed is simply to avoid having to constantly change the Automac settings, which change at different engine, and therefore, alternator RPMs.) Turn the switch on with the rheostat still turned all the way down. What you (personally – so much for “Auto…”) need to do is balance the voltage and the amperage. The volts should be on your electrical panel, or have a voltmeter connected to the batteries. Slowly turn the rheostat up until you get to 14.0 to 14.2 volts on the voltmeter. As you are doing this, both the voltage and amperage will be rising. Watch the amperage rise. Do the voltage adjustment first and watch the amps rise in this order for this reason: the Automac will automatically shut off if you exceed the preset (but adjustable) voltage setting. The adjustment on the Automac is most likely set for 14.2 or 14.4 volts. [The manual includes instructions as to how to adjust it. Don’t bother with this yet, and you may likely never have to.] So, the trick is to set the Automac based on voltage, with the resultant rise in amperage. Don’t set the amperage first, because the voltage rise may cut it out automatically.
So let’s say your batteries need to be charged. Run the Automac to maximize the charge amperage starting with the 14 point something voltage. You will see that the Automac raises the amperage once you reach that voltage. To see the effects, turn the AutoMac on and set it, then turn the switch off. You’ll see the amps drop and the voltage, too. Then switch it back on! What it is doing is “fooling” the alternator’s output signal and increasing the amperage. The trick to charging batteries is balance BOTH the voltage and amperage.
As the batteries get charged while you are motoring, the voltage will continue to rise because of the “inflated” amperage you are giving them thru the Automac. You’ll need to keep checking and slowly turn down the rheostat to keep the voltage near 14. This will reduce the amperage, too. Do it or else the Automac will turn itself off as the voltage rises above the preset 14.something volts. That’s why the three stage chargers are better because you don’t have to continually manage the charge.
Once you’re fully charged, don’t forget to turn the Automac switch off. It draws 2 amps whether the engine is on or off. Doesn’t matter what position the rheostat is in, but I got in the habit of turning it counterclockwise and off as a matter of habit. Have fun, any questions, let me know.
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