Cruisers Forum
 


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 30-04-2021, 12:49   #1
Registered User
 
BigAl.NZ's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: Hood 38 - Wauquiez
Posts: 669
Wakespeed WS500

Whats the latest on this regulator guys. I saw it had some good reviews, and a previous post said product support was awsome, but most of that is now a year old.

I am looking at getting one to replace my MC614 which is causing an issue. I see the MC618 is due for release, but wanting to hear from anyone who has brought a WS500.

Looks like WS500 will work with Victron BMS too.

I know that the WS500 is supposed to "charge more intelligently" - does this mean I could expect longer battery life and less wear on the alternator?
BigAl.NZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2021, 13:32   #2
Registered User
 
JBPohle's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Sanford, FL
Boat: Fleming 55
Posts: 46
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Just installed two on our trawler. Still have excellent technical support. Integrated well with my REC QBMS and Victron system. I don’t think it coordinates with the Victron but it does receive and us the Voltage and Amperage Maximums from the REC BMS.
__________________
John
JBPohle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2021, 06:51   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
Scott Berg's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aboard
Boat: Seaton 60' Ketch
Posts: 1,327
Re: Wakespeed WS500

The best out there; uses both current and voltage in it's calculations. Best support is from Ocean Planet Energy in Maine... (usual disclaimer, we sell and install Balmar, Wakespeed, and other marine electrical products
__________________
Scott Berg
WAØLSS
SV CHARDONNAY
Scott Berg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2021, 08:00   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Seattle
Boat: Wauquiez Pretorien 35
Posts: 39
Re: Wakespeed WS500

I just finished installing one. Now that the kinks are worked out, it is working wonderfully. Being able to connect a PC over Putty to see what it is sensing and how it is responding has been very helpful for understanding how it works and getting it to perform as I want it to.

I did experience about a week and a half of very frustrating problems getting it working initially. Turned it it was 100% due to receiving a WS500 wiring harness for a P type alternator when I needed and ordered an N type harness. It was labeled as N, but it was actually a P type harness. Checking that was pretty far down the list of troubleshooting steps, after things like removing the alternator and taking it in for testing.

While this is unlikely to be a problem for others, it is very simple to check the harness pinout with a multimeter, so I'm going to leave this here in case it helps someone with a similar problem in the future. It was not an easy or obvious fault to discover or even to think I needed to check.

I started this journey thinking I would use a Balmar MC614. When I called them, Balmar was completely unhelpful with any suggestions to make it work with a Victron VE Bus BMS charge disconnect. The Victron charge disconnect is problematic in that it can only source a few milliamps of current. Balmar's response to my requests for help were to state that there are too many BMS vendors for them to do any testing or recommendations for a specific relay sensitive enough to actually work for shutting down the Balmar regulator in the case of a charge disconnect event. I can understand that response to a certain degree, but when your whole product line is all about integrating with other vendors' electronics, if you were going to only pick the top 1 - 3 BMS vendors to do testing and recommendations, I would think Victron would be one of them.

Wakespeed has a variety of settings files ready for use with different BMS manufacturers, and works great with the Victron charge disconnect including support to just drop the field to float rather than cutting the power to the regulator.
patja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 08:12   #5
DDW
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 25
Re: Wakespeed WS500

I've installed one this season on my trawler. The programmability and visibility are great, but I'm having one persistent issue: the regulator switches to float early apparently due to transients when a large house load switches off.

The scenario is, in the latter half of the Absorb phase, a house load such as the inverter or windlass comes on. This sags the voltage and over about 5 - 10 seconds the regulator increases the field to get back to regulated voltage. Then the load turns off. In an instant (between the 1 second Putty logs) the regulator switches to float. It may have been charging at 50 A @ 14.4V before this incident, now it is at 16 A @ 13.4V. This increases the tail of the Absorb phase by 3x or so. Nothing will get it to switch back to Absorb, other than sending it a $FRM:A command.

Has anyone else seen this issue?

I don't know what the code is doing, but it seems to have no filtering, or very little, for the switch from Absorb to Float. On AGM batteries, this filter could be 5 or 10 minutes without any problem for the batteries. Perhaps they are concerned in an LFP system, where the knee from Absorb is sharp and the BMS might disconnect.

I've tried contacting them by phone and email, no response.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 11:56   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 4,067
Re: Wakespeed WS500

One of the worst things I’ve ever programmed on a boat. If you think the balmar magnet is tricky. Just wait till you get to use the dos based text file programing of the wakespeed.

And after you program it. There is no way to check if it worked or not. Or to see the current settings in it.

The wakespeed has no way to trouble shoot it either. As you can not access anything with a voltmeter. Power, sense, field etc. And there is no screen to look at to see what it is doing. the balmar is easy to troubleshoot.

I would buy another balmar.

Wakespeed was bought out a few weeks back. Maybe they will figure out a programing and testing system going forward.
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 12:11   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 4,067
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Quote:
Originally Posted by patja View Post
. The Victron charge disconnect is problematic in that it can only source a few milliamps of current. Balmar's response to my requests for help were to state that there are too many BMS vendors for them to do any testing or recommendations for a specific relay sensitive enough to actually work for shutting down the Balmar regulator in the case of a charge disconnect event. .

You just use the victron battery protect 65 as a relay and cut the ign feed to the 614. It’s like $40 and The bp draws no current and is designed for the bms.
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 12:20   #8
DDW
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 25
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Not a great programming interface, but neither is the Balmar.

If you are willing to connect with a terminal emulator, you have real time visibility into pretty much everything. All the settings, status, actual voltages, target voltages, field drive, etc. More than the Balmar for sure. Also you can control it - I can get the regulator back to Absorb with serial commands, but it only stays there until the next transient event.

The DOS batch file does confirm that the settings where accepted. There is an app from Offgrid systems that buries the serial under a GUI interface, menu driven, nice real time graphs of performance, etc. However they charge for it, and it really should have come with the unit. Shortly it should communicate with a Victon GX device and you will get real time monitoring through that.

I had a Balmar 614 in there originally, but it also switches to float, for the same reasons (varying house loads). However it has an excuse, the Balmar has to guess at battery charge. The Wakespeed has no excuse as it measures it directly, but appears they do not filter the transients for that transition.

I'm kinda wishing that Victron would get into this market, its another engineering driven company but it would integrate with their other stuff including their increasingly good VictronConnect app.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 12:24   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Nomadic
Posts: 473
Re: Wakespeed WS500

So a scripted Arduino meta-controller overseeing the Wakespeed logic, feeding CLI commends as needed..
PaulCrawhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 13:30   #10
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 1,383
Re: Wakespeed WS500

@smac999 #6
I couldn't disagree more! The WS500 is a piece of cake to program. Take the canned file, change the parameters that need changing, hook up a printer cable between the WS500 and your lap top, hit ENTER and its done in 20 seconds. You can even program the WS500 on your kitchen table.

After the program is loaded the text file pauses so you can check that all of the parameters are as you want them and, Bob's your uncle, you are done!

In the last 20+ years I have installed literally dozens of Balmar regulators. In my opinion, the WS500 is orders of magnitude better in controlling an alternator, especially in the demanding LFP battery arena.

@patja #4
About the time that you posted about a charge disconnect for the Balmar, Victron introduced the SolidSwitch 104. It receives the ATC signal from the BMS and if the signal is rescinded, the SS 104 opens cutting the switched B+ supply (brown wire) to the alternator regulator. https://www.victronenergy.com/access...olidswitch-104
__________________
Charlie Johnson
ABYC Master Technician
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 14:04   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 4,067
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDW View Post
Not a great programming interface, but neither is the Balmar.

If you are willing to connect with a terminal emulator, you have real time visibility into pretty much everything. All the settings, status, actual voltages, target voltages, field drive, etc. More than the Balmar for sure. Also you can control it - I can get the regulator back to Absorb with serial commands, but it only stays there until the next transient event.
. All of that is shown right on the balmar screen. As well as alt temp. Battery temp ect.

Quote:
The DOS batch file does confirm that the settings where accepted.
If you run the program with no regulator connected it also tells you it worked…. So it does not confirm anything.

I have a feeling the first one I programmed never programmed. But it said I did. Because the 2nd one I tryed to upgrade first. II could not update it untill I manually installed drivers. Then I could upgrade. Then program. I think the first one told me it programmed but it probably never did since it did not have the drivers. and there is no easy way to tell if it did or not.
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 14:05   #12
DDW
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 25
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
In the last 20+ years I have installed literally dozens of Balmar regulators. In my opinion, the WS500 is orders of magnitude better in controlling an alternator, especially in the demanding LFP battery arena.
It is certainly quicker to program, but you need the cable, a computer, and the willingness to diddle it a little. The magnet thing on the Balmar might be more approachable for some. I was hoping to avoid running the cable, setting up the TTY program on Windows emulation, etc., but once that investment is made it is more observable and more controllable than the Balmar.

The WS500 should be better for AGM as well, but so far it seems to have the same faults - tending to undercharge. The voltage, current, and temp regulation seem to be about the same as the Balmar, including the temperature hunts.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 14:28   #13
DDW
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 25
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
. All of that is shown right on the balmar screen. As well as alt temp. Battery temp ect.

If you run the program with no regulator connected it also tells you it worked…. So it does not confirm anything.
Not sure what version you are using, mine (2.4.3) does not do that. The batch file won't even run if not connected to a regulator, just quits immediately.

It is true that the Balmar will show you much of the same info - you just have to crawl into a baking hot engine room, bring your magnet, get it into Long Mode, remember the order that it cycles through, wait for it to come around....don't miss it because it only happens once! And I don't think it displays field drive in any mode. On the Wakespeed (once the above mentioned investment is made) everything the Balmar will give you - and more - is continuously logged every second, to be perused at your leisure in air conditioned comfort.

I'm quite familiar with the Balmar, I've owned many and currently own 3, two on the sailboat and the one I just removed from the trawler.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2022, 19:05   #14
DDW
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 25
Re: Wakespeed WS500

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDW View Post
Shortly it should communicate with a Victon GX device and you will get real time monitoring through that.
It appears that the late Beta software is available to do this now. GX version 2.90~12 and Wakespeed 2.5.0 I believe this only allows monitoring, not control - control is said to be in a future version.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2022, 06:28   #15
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 1,383
Re: Wakespeed WS500

@DDW#13
Quote:
...and the willingness to diddle it a little.
I don't understand. I literally put the WS500 on my dining room table, hooked up my Windows laptop and played with the various parameters in the canned programs for about ½ hour. There was nothing else to learn.

For the boat I was installing the regulator on (Victron LFP Smart batteries) I then changed bank size, delay time and how hot I was willing to allow the alternator to operate at and installed that custom program into the WS500. Total time to program and install, after the initial 30 minutes of self-education, was about 1.5 minutes.

Quote:
The WS500 should be better for AGM as well, but so far it seems to have the same faults - tending to undercharge. The voltage, current, and temp regulation seem to be about the same as the Balmar, including the temperature hunts.
Your experience with the WS500 is completely different than mine.
__________________
Charlie Johnson
ABYC Master Technician
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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


Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:38.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.