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Old 03-13-2019, 04:49 PM   #61
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Amptech builds a small frame in 140A based on a Delco 10DN, but has beefed up diodes, windings, and better bearings. It's wired for external regulation. I have one, if you can use the 120A, it'll be easier on the alternator. I would NOT use the 614 with ANY alternator without a temp sensor. I had an OEM Delco 21SI (I think) connected to a Balmar reg. Smoked it. Literally. In short order, batteries were at 70% SOC. Full fielded for a bit. No temp sensor. Dumb.

WRT the batt temp sensors, if you port the alternator output to the house (biggest?) bank, it should be representative enough to work. It uses the temperature to calculate the charging voltage as relates to temp of the battery. That calculation is based on the Slope (SLP) setting in the regulator programming. That value can be obscure, so do your due diligence in determining the correct setting, as a wrong setting can lead to chronic over/under charge problems that you'll blame on something else. Get the temperature compensated float voltages from the battery mfr. and confer with Balmar to determine the correct SLP setting. It is poorly documented, so worth the time to talk to Balmar's tech support. They are very helpful.


I don't know the characteristics of the thermistor that is the battery temp sensor, I suppose you could reverse-engineer one, but I think a case could be made for using a single Balmar sensor on the biggest bank since that one will set the control pace anyway. Ask Balmar, they have answers, I have some experience, shaded by opinion.


There was another post weeks ago WRT the FFA setting. Very helpful. Mine was dropping back to absorb with any significant inverter load. Adjusting the setting allows the alternator to increase the field without kicking up to absorb voltage. Ahhh, that's what was happening.



As others have said, the Balmar regulators are excellent, but using a "standard" preset program for your battery type is foolish. Gather all the information, create a table of your customized settings, including SLP, and then step through the whole programming sequence, advanced included. If you're paying someone else to do the install, ask to see their programming parameter table. If you get a blank look, you may not have the right installer.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:33 AM   #62
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Balmar MC-614 Regulator Settings

Great advice.
I will do the alt temps for sure. And Balmar batt temp.
Sounds like I will be doing a lot more homework too.
Displaying the depth of my ignorance....the diodes are not part of the regulator then?
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:22 AM   #63
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Great post, Maerin! Also good advice from the man, CMS. Have you looked at his alternator mentioned in his post which he modifies for the Balmar MC-614? It's a one stop shop with expertise and warranty.

KS, I have an extra Balmar alternator temp sensor new in bag that I'll find and send you gratis. Somehow I double ordered it.

Send me a PM or email with your mailing address.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:47 AM   #64
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Great advice.
I will do the alt temps for sure. And Balmar batt temp.
Sounds like I will be doing a lot more homework too.
Displaying the depth of my ignorance....the diodes are not part of the regulator then?

The diodes are part of the alternator. They convert the A/C power created by the alternator into DC. If you want a really high output alternator, look at Zena alternators. The higher amp units utilize an external rectifier that mounts separate from the alternator. This keeps the diodes cooler since they're not subject to the heat created by the windings. I also use a 250 cfm 12V blower that ducts outside air to the back of the alternators and the battery box. It helps. My Zena alternator can crank at full field (about 200A into the bank) and stays at temps under 90C. Helps keep the batteries happier since they live in the hostile environment of the engine room. Heat is the enemy.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:55 AM   #65
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Still searching for reasonable and readily available alternators to replace my two 10si models to go with Balmar set-up - Not going for the Balmar alts.
Found a local shop with good reputation, in business a long time.
They suggest a stock Denso model that should fit my mounts and gave me a core to try. Will update on that fitment. not sure of amperage, but they think around 100 max. Idle not so much.... my 10si (two) each put out 72 amps max - idle rate unknown.

online, Mechman tech said that if they modify their S model 170 amp for external regulator, there will be no warranty. so I think they are out of favor.


With regard to Battery temp sensors feeding Balmar regulators, are they all the same? I presume a bi-metal strip feeding two wires. Is Balmar worth the $47 vs $20? I will need three, I think ---Port Start, Stbd Start, and House bank- so not a huge deal either way. I am curious though.

Have you looked here? Alternators & Regulators


Also the Balmar temp sensors are not just basic thermistors. They are precision calibrated to the regulator and are proprietary devices that can not be mixed and matched with other brands. The alternator MC-TS-A and battery temp sensors MC-TS-B are interchangeable (could be swapped) but only for use on a Balmar regulator.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:07 AM   #66
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Thank you CMS.
Can you send that link again?
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:09 AM   #67
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Nevermind it wirks fine!
Thank you
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:14 AM   #68
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Ah, so MaineSail, Marinesail, and CMS are all Rod Collins?
Well, he was in the Federal Witness Protection program, but that's blown now....
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:53 PM   #69
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Hear is something I just learned about. An Alternator Service Disconnect. I have one but a recent post on Marine How To explained that I should change the way it is wired.
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:15 AM   #70
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This is a good thread, and I am about to re-program my 612 again, this time getting everything right! I just discovered the reason I was getting a 'ping-pong' charge rate. In the Short Prog mode I had inadvertently changed the AL2 parameter to 'b2' (second battery bank) from 'AL2' (second alternator). So when the second alt reached 52C it was stopping charging.

Now I have that sorted I have a question about the Slope Voltage Correction (SLP) parameter. The manual indicates a range of 0-8.3 mV/C. Is this actually 0-8.3 mV per volt per C?

I have Odyssey batteries which say temperature correction is +/- 24 mV per 12V battery per C. So do I use '2' as the value for SLP?
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