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Old 29-09-2018, 10:09   #1
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Balmar MC-614 Field Wire to Alternator

Hey Guys,

I am connecting my Balmar MC-614 to my alternator in my 2008 Dodge Sprinter (I figured you guys would know more about this than Sprinter forums) to charge my LiFePO4 pack (acting as house and starter battery). Everything with the unit seems to be okay except for my field wire. Here is how everything is connected (minus field wire):

Black Ground Wire ----> Chassis ground (battery neg post is connected to vehicle chassis)
Red Power Wire ----> Positive of battery
Brown Ignition Wire ----> Sprinter auxiliary ignition terminal post under drivers seat
Alt Temp Sensor ----> Alternator casing
Battery Temp Sensor ----> Negative post of battery
Positive Battery Sense Wire ----> Positive post of battery

At this point the unit turns on, the display is cycling through the settings, and I can program it.

Blue Field Wire
The alternator has internal regulator which is connected to a 2 pin connector on the vehicle. I disconnected this connector, and was able to add terminals to the back of the 2 brushes. The brush terminals are connected as follows

Brush terminal 1 ----> Chassis ground
Brush terminal 2 ----> Blue Field wire

So I close the vehicle ignition switch and turn on the unit. Now, the display is flashing "888" and after about 5-8 secs the 10A fuse connected to the regulator 12V power line blows...

I thought maybe something weird is going on and I didn't bypass the internal regulator properly. So I took the field wire and connected it directly to vehicle chassis ground (because that is what essentially what it should connected to right?) and same thing. 10A fuse blown.

PS. Have not cranked the engine yet

Help?!

Thanks,

Luke
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Old 29-09-2018, 10:19   #2
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Re: Balmar MC-614 Field Wire to Alternator

Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeGirard View Post
Hey Guys,

I am connecting my Balmar MC-614 to my alternator in my 2008 Dodge Sprinter (I figured you guys would know more about this than Sprinter forums) to charge my LiFePO4 pack (acting as house and starter battery). Everything with the unit seems to be okay except for my field wire. Here is how everything is connected (minus field wire):

Black Ground Wire ----> Chassis ground (battery neg post is connected to vehicle chassis)
Red Power Wire ----> Positive of battery
Brown Ignition Wire ----> Sprinter auxiliary ignition terminal post under drivers seat
Alt Temp Sensor ----> Alternator casing
Battery Temp Sensor ----> Negative post of battery
Positive Battery Sense Wire ----> Positive post of battery

At this point the unit turns on, the display is cycling through the settings, and I can program it.

Blue Field Wire
The alternator has internal regulator which is connected to a 2 pin connector on the vehicle. I disconnected this connector, and was able to add terminals to the back of the 2 brushes. The brush terminals are connected as follows

Brush terminal 1 ----> Chassis ground
Brush terminal 2 ----> Blue Field wire

So I close the vehicle ignition switch and turn on the unit. Now, the display is flashing "888" and after about 5-8 secs the 10A fuse connected to the regulator 12V power line blows...

I thought maybe something weird is going on and I didn't bypass the internal regulator properly. So I took the field wire and connected it directly to vehicle chassis ground (because that is what essentially what it should connected to right?) and same thing. 10A fuse blown.

PS. Have not cranked the engine yet

Help?!

Thanks,

Luke

The field wire will be outputting something between 0 and 12V depending on how much output is called for. Don't ground it. That will be a dead short for it as an output.


The problem is probably that the internal regulator is still connected to the brushes, so it's still in the circuit. I can't tell for certain from your description, but you need to disconnect the regulator from both the vehicle side of things, and from the brushes. That circuit will have an unknown impact when connected to the internal regulator.



Another possibility is that you have the two brush wires reversed. If possible, reconnect the internal regulator, and measure to see which brush is ground and which is +V. Then connect the Balmar accordingly.
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Old 29-09-2018, 11:10   #3
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Re: Balmar MC-614 Field Wire to Alternator

You are shorting the regulator please don't continue to do this........



It would appear that you've tapped into the alternator brushes incorrectly. The blue field wire should never be grounded it is essentially 12V positive. In some alts it can be very difficult to isolate the brushes so you may want to take it to a professional for the conversion to ER.
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Old 30-09-2018, 10:30   #4
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Re: Balmar MC-614 Field Wire to Alternator

Normally you should have 2-3 ohms if you measure the feild wire connection point to ground on the alt. As the feild wire is 12v and will suck 4-6 amps to power the alt. (12v / 4a= 3ohm. High School physics)

If you connect to ground you have dead short and will blow fuses. Stop doing this...

Sounds like yours is shorted. Measure your feild post to ground. With reg disconnected.

I have installed many mc614 but I always get an alt shop to mod the alt.
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Old 30-09-2018, 10:48   #5
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Re: Balmar MC-614 Field Wire to Alternator

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
Normally you should have 2-3 ohms if you measure the feild wire connection point to ground on the alt. As the feild wire is 12v and will suck 4-6 amps to power the alt. (12v / 4a= 3ohm. High School physics)

If you connect to ground you have dead short and will blow fuses. Stop doing this...

Sounds like yours is shorted. Measure your feild post to ground. With reg disconnected.

I have installed many mc614 but I always get an alt shop to mod the alt.

Right. There is probably a low impedance path to ground back through the internal regulator which (I think) is still connected to the brushes. In fact, it probably directly grounds one of the brushes, and if you happened to pick that one to connect the Balmar field wire (50/50 chance)... Well, now you know what will happen....
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:42   #6
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Re: Balmar MC-614 Field Wire to Alternator

Hey guys,

Thanks for the help! I got it working now. One of the brushes was already being grounded just by bolting the brush holder/internal reg to the alternator (there was an internal connection between the brush and where it bolts to the alt). Which is the brush I had the field wire going to. I overlooked this.

Switch the field wire to the other brush. Runs great now.

Thanks,

Luke
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