Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-08-2019, 18:47   #16
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Boat: Heritage West Indies 36
Posts: 760
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

What about this as a way to inexpensively increase the charging voltage of a fixed-voltage automotive alternator?

http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/alt_mod.html
__________________

DefinitelyMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 19:03   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 5,545
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

I was so poor once that I couldn't afford a new voltage regulator for my Volvo. I had a wire to the field with me inside and I would connect the battery straight to the field of the alternator until the volts got to high. 18v was my limit, the headlights were really bright.
__________________

Ecos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 19:13   #18
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jacksonville/ out cruising
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 31,044
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

If you have a decently large bank, you need to thermally protect any small frame alternator if you go to an external reg with dual voltage set points.
Even a quality, purpose built alternator will likely be damaged if itís not thermally protected
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 21:09   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,178
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefinitelyMe View Post
What about this as a way to inexpensively increase the charging voltage of a fixed-voltage automotive alternator?

http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/alt_mod.html
You could fake out the regulator as described in the link, or just buy an inexpensive regulator with adjustable voltage, but it still wont charge as effectively as a smart regulator because proper charging involves controlling more parameters than just voltage.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 21:10   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,178
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecos View Post
I was so poor once that I couldn't afford a new voltage regulator for my Volvo. I had a wire to the field with me inside and I would connect the battery straight to the field of the alternator until the volts got to high. 18v was my limit, the headlights were really bright.
Good skill to have for when the regulator fails!
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 10:54   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Got it.
Yeah, that appears to be just an automative style regulator (fixed voltage set point) regardless of how its mounted.

OP:

You can replace same with same easily and inexpensively, but a good external regulator will do a better job of charging your batteries. Unfortunaltely, at about 10x the cost.

How do you use your boat? If its just for trips of a few days and then back on shore power for a while then the less sophisticated and less expensive regulator may meet your needs.

Having a spare aboard is a good idea too.
We are currently cruising full time in the Sea of Cortez. We are anchored the majority of the time and our solar panels handle the majority of our charging needs.

The battery bank is a 470aH bank of 4 6V golf cart batteries with a separate start bank charged by an ACR off the house bank.

For solar we have 360 watts available that keeps the batteries topped off. We try to sail pretty much whever we can but we end up using the motor occasionally.

The regulator is definitely a fixed point external one and i have been debating on replacing the alternator with a higher current one with a higher current one with a multi stage regulator.

I'm currently in Mexico so it can be difficult to get parts and need to make a trip back to the States in about a month and will get the appropriate materials if we change then.
felizcortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 11:43   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,178
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by felizcortez View Post
We are currently cruising full time in the Sea of Cortez. We are anchored the majority of the time and our solar panels handle the majority of our charging needs.

The battery bank is a 470aH bank of 4 6V golf cart batteries with a separate start bank charged by an ACR off the house bank.

For solar we have 360 watts available that keeps the batteries topped off. We try to sail pretty much whever we can but we end up using the motor occasionally.

The regulator is definitely a fixed point external one and i have been debating on replacing the alternator with a higher current one with a higher current one with a multi stage regulator.

I'm currently in Mexico so it can be difficult to get parts and need to make a trip back to the States in about a month and will get the appropriate materials if we change then.
For extended cruising a good quality multistage regulator would be a better solution, but with a good solar you can obvioustly get by until you can make a trip to the States.

Regulators are small so you can easily bring one back in your luggage.

I do suggest keeping the automotive style regulator as a backup. Its a good thing to have when the smart one fails.

With a good sized solar install a higher output alternator may not be that useful because the solar will most of the time keep the batteries at a relatively high SOC. So most of the time that extra alternator capacity wont get used.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 12:18   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
For extended cruising a good quality multistage regulator would be a better solution, but with a good solar you can obvioustly get by until you can make a trip to the States.

Regulators are small so you can easily bring one back in your luggage.

I do suggest keeping the automotive style regulator as a backup. Its a good thing to have when the smart one fails.

With a good sized solar install a higher output alternator may not be that useful because the solar will most of the time keep the batteries at a relatively high SOC. So most of the time that extra alternator capacity wont get used.
so you're saying to add an external regulator to my existing Motorola alternator? Do you have any particular model you would recommend?we normally don't draw the bank down more than 50 or 60 amp hours in a night so we typically at a high state of charge even when we drive down at night
felizcortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 14:36   #24
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Coast USA
Boat: Boatless at the moment
Posts: 571
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

If your confident that your use pattern with solar keeps you fairly well charged and you run your engine infrequently, keep your system simple. Spending almost $400 on a regulator to "properly charge" $400 worth of golf cart batteries doesn't seem to be a very good value proposition to me.

I'd suggest wiring the alternator Bat + terminal directly to the house bank with appropriate sized cable but 2 gauge at a minimum. You can replace your existing voltage regulator with this model, it's plug and play for your current set up. https://www.motorcityreman.com/moproe8rad.html . It's adjustable and I'd set it to 14.6vdc at the house bank.

I believe that your alternator is rated at 51A, I'm in the minority on this site but I believe that alternator doesn't produce excessive wattage to over heat. That exact same case was designed to produce up to 110A by Prestolite so it's already derated. Keep it simple.

The answer to your question are external voltage regulators interchangeable, the answer is not necessarily. There are two types, A and B. You have a B type which mean the field wire gets is power controlled from the + side of your DC system. An A type controls the flow of power to the field/rotor by the - side of the DC circuit. But most of the regulators chatted up on this site are B type so you could interchange a Balmar, Ample Power, Transpo with your Motorola if you desire.
kenbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 18:16   #25
Registered User
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 8,461
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

The alternator output to the cockpit ammeter is worrisome. I believe it is a fire hazard. Didn't MainSail have a right up about that?
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2019, 19:53   #26
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,178
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by felizcortez View Post
so you're saying to add an external regulator to my existing Motorola alternator? Do you have any particular model you would recommend?we normally don't draw the bank down more than 50 or 60 amp hours in a night so we typically at a high state of charge even when we drive down at night
Yes, it would replace the current regulator.

Balmar is the most common on boats. Sterling makes a good one. There a number of other brand too. I have NextStep (Ample Power) regulators which are good, but no longer in business.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2019, 04:35   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,178
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbo View Post
If your confident that your use pattern with solar keeps you fairly well charged and you run your engine infrequently, keep your system simple. Spending almost $400 on a regulator to "properly charge" $400 worth of golf cart batteries doesn't seem to be a very good value proposition to me.

I'd suggest wiring the alternator Bat + terminal directly to the house bank with appropriate sized cable but 2 gauge at a minimum. You can replace your existing voltage regulator with this model, it's plug and play for your current set up. https://www.motorcityreman.com/moproe8rad.html . It's adjustable and I'd set it to 14.6vdc at the house bank.

I believe that your alternator is rated at 51A, I'm in the minority on this site but I believe that alternator doesn't produce excessive wattage to over heat. That exact same case was designed to produce up to 110A by Prestolite so it's already derated. Keep it simple.

The answer to your question are external voltage regulators interchangeable, the answer is not necessarily. There are two types, A and B. You have a B type which mean the field wire gets is power controlled from the + side of your DC system. An A type controls the flow of power to the field/rotor by the - side of the DC circuit. But most of the regulators chatted up on this site are B type so you could interchange a Balmar, Ample Power, Transpo with your Motorola if you desire.
And thats another perspective to consider. If your system has been working for you until you had an issue with the regulator, then why change?

A multistage regulator is technically better, but if you plan to stick with relatively inexpesive FLA batteries then may not be worth the expense.

All other factors being equal, technically better charging should extend the life of your batteries vs just voltage limited charging, but thats more of a financial factor for more expensive banks.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2019, 10:15   #28
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

Does anyone know where I can get the corresponding wjring harness for this external regulator. I want to replace the other end that goes to the engine.

https://www.motorcityreman.com/moproe8rad.html
felizcortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2019, 21:11   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Re: External regulators are they interchangeable?

I tackled this project today in La Paz. I ran 1/0 gauge form the alternator to the starter. The cable run is the same length going to the starter as it is to the battery bank. Also based on the lug sizes I could find in town and wire sizes this was my primary option. Voltage drop is minimal. Almost no drop from the alternator to the batteries. I have the new regulator set to 14.45V at the batteries. Should I change this or is this a good value to start with?

I tracked down the issue in the old charging circuit as well. The original cable coming off the alternator went through a wiring harness where the pin was very corroded. It broke off when I separated the connector to clean it. Corrosion and poor design were the culprits here. Pic of the wiring harness is below.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20191205_135354752_MP.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	419.0 KB
ID:	204448  
__________________

felizcortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
regulator

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are oil filters interchangeable if they fit? US1Fountain Engines and Propulsion Systems 25 14-10-2018 23:14
Will they or Won't they move on? What would you do? TacomaSailor General Sailing Forum 7 02-11-2013 13:48
Is this what They Mean when They Say to Taper the Hole ? off-the-grid Construction, Maintenance & Refit 11 18-05-2010 15:29
They never got over Herreschoff did they? 44'cruisingcat Multihull Sailboats 7 13-11-2007 19:56

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:51.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.