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Old 09-17-2019, 06:25 PM   #6
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City: Chattanooga
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Dream Chaser
Vessel Model: 38' Marine Trader FB Aft Cabin
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 68
Problem Solved

After running all the tachometer connections and finding no apparent issues, I returned to the alternator and regulator to start looking at them again. I wondered if my initial check of the alternator was correctly accomplished and did I make certain inverter was off and the trickle charger I have on the start batteries was also off.

So I started the engine again to recheck and noticed that the LED display on the Balmar MC-612 was blank (the MC-612 turns out to be what I thought was a ARS-4, but still a Balmar charger/regulator).

I found a simple troubleshooting guide online and determined that there was no power from the field wire coming off the MC-612. I called Balmar and spoke with a tech who walked me through some more troubleshooting steps and we determined that there was no power to the Positive Sense Wire from the battery bank, a necessary source of power for the MC-612 to come on.

Following that wire I found out that when I installed two new batteries last week, I inadvertently disconnected the Positive Sense Wire and never hooked it back up (I honestly don't remember taking it off, but looking back, it was shortly after that I realized the Tachs stopped working).

Reattached the wire. Started the engine. 30 seconds later the MC-612 display came to life, batteries started charging and as I revved up the engine, the lower helm tach sprang to life. Went up the FB and viola, that tach was working also! Success.

I hate when I create my own problems. Boats can do that plenty without my help. that the tachs are working again, the lower helm and the FB tachs are about 300rpm apart. Any way to calibrate them?

Thanks to all who offered help. I've cleaned up my connections, increased the size of my ground wire from the alternator, and installed rubber boots over the connections that lacked them so hopefully as I go through I'm at least preventing myself from creating more issues in the future, but I'm not holding by breath. It's kinda what I do.

I highly recommend the Balmar line of products based on the excellent customer service considering I acquired the equipment and wasn't the original purchaser; and the fact that both the alternator and the MC-612 were installed more than 14 years ago and still working great (the tech told me the MC-612 was taken out of production in 2011 for an improved model).
Ragbagger turned stinkpotter.
"Shells sink, dreams float. Life is good on our boat."
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