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Old 17-09-2014, 15:10   #1
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Posts: 307
Fun with alternators and regulators...

Thought I would post this to share the wealth...

I have a Beta 105 with a 12 and 24v alternator and regulator setup. The system is new only 100 hrs of service. Last month while underway the tach started to drop off once in a while. This was followed by a intermittent voltage alarm. The instrument panel and Beta panel both showing correct voltage.

This is more or less where things go sideways. I'm a engineer on commercial vessels and have a lot of experience on large systems but not much on small stuff. As per normal for me I went into troubleshooting mode and Contacted both Beta and Balmar to see if this was a issue they had sen before, my instinct at this time told me it was a GF or voltage drop issue. Both responded quickly and let me know that yes they had seen issues before with this setup in particular when AGM batteries are used. Low and behold I had just installed AGM batteries and changed the reg parameters accordingly.

Continuing to dig my hole I began to verify wiring per Beta's instructions, the entire package was setup and delivered so on instal on my end it was pretty basic. One of the things Beta said to verify was that the Tach is being fed from the Balmar reg, this checked out. The alarm feed was also correct coming from the reg.

A few more shovel fulls...

I turned to the balmar manual to start through their troubleshooting sequence. This is where the 1st red flag appeared. I realized that I had the reg display on short display so no alarm codes would be displayed, the next flag was a voltage drop in the reg supply pos.

And the last shovel full was giving the wire a tug and having the crispy end appear not before it arced or some other nasty and the reg began to display EFA which I have learned means " go to store and buy a new regulator". (It actually means lost RAM connectivity, but basically the same)

I shut everything down and got under the engine to "check the alternator connections". That part comes up later, and found the nut on pos stud had loosened.

Soooo long story slightly longer, I know better than this and of course the first thing to always do when a electrical issue presents is "shut everything off and verify connections and look for obvious issues". Stick to KISS on troubleshooting!!!

Balmar was great and able replace the damaged stud, they said a drop of red loctite is the way to go on the stud nuts. Fortunately for me I live a ferry ride and 30min drive from them.

Not a cheep screwup so hopefully it will help someone else....

Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Cruisingscotts is offline   Reply With Quote

alternator, fun, regulator

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