Saved by small engine mode

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  • joe_db
    Afourian MVP
    • May 2009
    • 4542

    Saved by small engine mode

    On the way home from Rock Hall the engine started to produce a horrible squealing noise
    I quick disconnect of the field wire showed why, it was the alternator belt slipping.
    I didn't want to have no charging, so I dove into the Balmar manual and it turns out if you short the alternator temp sensor terminals together the regulator limits the field to 50% power. They call this "small engine mode". It worked a treat to keep the belt from slipping the rest of the way home. I still got about 12 amps charging and the voltage gradually crept up to over 14.
    Now to check the belt - I swear it doesn't have 40 hours on it I also like this field limit mode enough to put in a switch for it.
    Joe Della Barba
    Coquina
    C&C 35 MK I
    Maryland USA
  • hanleyclifford
    Afourian MVP
    • Mar 2010
    • 7020

    #2
    You didn't say what size Balmar you have. The larger ones ( have a 110 amp) like a dual belt system.

    Comment

    • joe_db
      Afourian MVP
      • May 2009
      • 4542

      #3
      I have the 65 amp small Balmar.
      Joe Della Barba
      Coquina
      C&C 35 MK I
      Maryland USA

      Comment

      • hanleyclifford
        Afourian MVP
        • Mar 2010
        • 7020

        #4
        I remember reading something by Don Moyer to the effect that 55 amps is about all you can get from the accessory drive arrangement without getting problems like you experienced. You could mitigate the problem by charging at a lower voltage, say 13.7 or so. I wanted to run a big inverter so I changed to a front crankshaft syle dual belt drive. There is a thread here showing some pictures.

        Comment

        • joe_db
          Afourian MVP
          • May 2009
          • 4542

          #5
          Originally posted by hanleyclifford View Post
          I remember reading something by Don Moyer to the effect that 55 amps is about all you can get from the accessory drive arrangement without getting problems like you experienced. You could mitigate the problem by charging at a lower voltage, say 13.7 or so. I wanted to run a big inverter so I changed to a front crankshaft syle dual belt drive. There is a thread here showing some pictures.
          Better is to turn down the max field strength I think from full to maybe 70%. That way I still get to the charge voltage I need eventually. My batteries would die quickly if charged to 13.7 volts.
          Joe Della Barba
          Coquina
          C&C 35 MK I
          Maryland USA

          Comment

          • hanleyclifford
            Afourian MVP
            • Mar 2010
            • 7020

            #6
            Originally posted by joe_db View Post
            Better is to turn down the max field strength I think from full to maybe 70%. That way I still get to the charge voltage I need eventually. My batteries would die quickly if charged to 13.7 volts.
            How would you go about turning down the max field strength?

            Comment

            • joe_db
              Afourian MVP
              • May 2009
              • 4542

              #7
              Originally posted by hanleyclifford View Post
              How would you go about turning down the max field strength?
              It is one of the regulator settings. It works in reduction, so 30% reduction would be 70% of max field and so on. I might start with 10% and see if that does it and work my way down.
              Attached Files
              Joe Della Barba
              Coquina
              C&C 35 MK I
              Maryland USA

              Comment

              • joe_db
                Afourian MVP
                • May 2009
                • 4542

                #8
                The Small Engine Mode:
                Additional Regulator Features
                Small Engine Mode
                In situations where additional power is needed for propulsion, the ARS-5 provides the option to manually
                reduce regulator field output by approximately one half. This option, called Small Engine Mode, can be
                accessed by creating a direct pathway between the positive and negative Alternator Temperature Sensor
                terminals. This can be done by splicing into the positive and negative wires of the Alternator Temperature
                Sensor cable (MC-TS-A) with a switched wire. With the switch in the OFF position, the Alternator #1
                Temperature Sensor will work normally. With the switch in the ON position, the regulator will reduce field
                output by approximately 50%.
                To enable the Small Engine Mode:
                1. If the Alternator Temperature Sensor cable is being used, replace the female terminal connectors on the
                cable with Multi-Stack Connectors (Ancor Part # 230612).
                2. Install a standard ON/OFF switch in a location that’s easily reached from the helm.
                3. Run wires from the switch back to the positive and negative terminals of the Alternator Temperature Sensor terminals.
                4. Add appropriate connectors to the switched wires and connect to the positive and negative terminal connections
                Joe Della Barba
                Coquina
                C&C 35 MK I
                Maryland USA

                Comment

                • hanleyclifford
                  Afourian MVP
                  • Mar 2010
                  • 7020

                  #9
                  What sort of regulator do you have?

                  Comment

                  • joe_db
                    Afourian MVP
                    • May 2009
                    • 4542

                    #10
                    It is a Balmar ARS-5. It has alternator and battery temperature sensors.
                    Regulator, ARS Multi-Stage, 12v, w/o Harness Part Number with Harness: ARS-5-H Click Here to learn more about Balmar’s Multi-Stage Regulation Technology.

                    Joe Della Barba
                    Coquina
                    C&C 35 MK I
                    Maryland USA

                    Comment

                    • joe_db
                      Afourian MVP
                      • May 2009
                      • 4542

                      #11
                      I found out why the belt slips, it is wet! The water pump is leaking and spraying water around
                      Joe Della Barba
                      Coquina
                      C&C 35 MK I
                      Maryland USA

                      Comment

                      • sastanley
                        Afourian MVP
                        • Sep 2008
                        • 7035

                        #12
                        Gosh darnitt, Joe! stupid water pump.
                        -Shawn
                        "Holiday" - '89 Alura 35 #109
                        "Twice Around" - '77 C-30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold - SOLD! (no longer a two boat owner!!)
                        sigpic

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                        • joe_db
                          Afourian MVP
                          • May 2009
                          • 4542

                          #13
                          New water pump - no more leaks
                          No more belt slipping
                          Well I thought no more slipping
                          After a couple days on the hook of everyone charging computers and so on, the alternator was putting 54 amps into the battery plus the running loads. so probably 60-65 amps total. That is a new record, never seen that much. Sure enough in about 10 minutes the belt was squealing away and it was back to small engine mode.
                          I really will have to turn down max field current, I think I'll try 80% and see how that works. Something to think on for big lithium batteries, you are only going to charge them so fast.
                          Joe Della Barba
                          Coquina
                          C&C 35 MK I
                          Maryland USA

                          Comment

                          • Dave Neptune
                            Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
                            • Jan 2007
                            • 5099

                            #14
                            Just curious

                            Joe, that is taking well over a full HP which is a big load depending on the RPM's. At what RPM were you getting al of that amperage? It would require a really "snug" belt tension especially at low RPM's.

                            Dave Neptune

                            Comment

                            • joe_db
                              Afourian MVP
                              • May 2009
                              • 4542

                              #15
                              I didn't check the minimum RPM to be able to do that, but I was cruising at maybe 2200 or so. Cutting the field to 50% (small engine mode) gained me 100 RPM too.
                              Joe Della Barba
                              Coquina
                              C&C 35 MK I
                              Maryland USA

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