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Battery manager and Balmar Smart Regulator

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:34 pm
by CThomas
I have an older Ample Power Battery Manager (1992 vintage). The system utilizes an "Alternator Current Sensor" Model 1008. Recently my alternator stopped charging. I consulted the Balmar regulator manual for instructions on trouble shooting the regulator and alternator. By running the tests they suggested, I came to the conclusion that the regulator was not working. I ordered a replacement regulator and when it arrived, it looked like it may have been a "used" unit because the resin that encapsulated the board was discolored. When I installed it, it did in work. Assuming that it was a used and defective regulator, I sent it back and ordered another from a different source. Strangely, the second unit also has discolored resin, unlike my original regulator that has resin that looks clear and like new. When the second one did not work either, I did not know if I had another bad regulator or something else was causing the problem, so I ran the trouble shooting tests a third time with the same results as before.

At that point, I analyzed the wiring again and found that the "brown" wire on the regulator harness, which is suppose to be connected to a 12 volt source such as the ignition switch or oil pressure sensor, was instead connected to a "red" wire from the Ample Power "Alternator Current Sensor" (ACS). When I tested that wire with the ignition both on and off, there was no current present. At that point, I separated the brown wire from the ACS and attached it to another 12 volt power source and "bingo", the regulator lit up as it is suppose to.

Question: If the red wire from the ACS used to supply power to the regulator when the ignition was on, what could have happened to make it fail? I have not had the time to trace all the wires from the ACS so I do not know its source of power or why it is connected to the regulator. Is the ACS subject to failure itself or should I be looking for some failure in powering it? Since the ACS is almost 20 years old, is the part still available? What function on the "Battery Manager" is supported by the ACS?

Re: Battery manager and Balmar Smart Regulator

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:17 am
by Coulomb
That wire connects to a source of ignition power, just like the regulator. An in-line fuse was specified. It's probably corroded or blown.

Re: Battery manager and Balmar Smart Regulator

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:33 pm
by CThomas
Thanks for the reply. While the response was not very detailed, it did point me in the right direction. When I returned to the boat, I noticed that where the wire from the ACS connected to the brown wire from the regulator with a butt connector the connection was such that some bare wire was showing. I then noticed the bare end of a small red wire sticking out of the wire harness. I had previously not paid any attention to this wire because there are several "unused" wires in that area left over from when the previous owners removed the original alternator. I put two and two together and determined that the unused bare red wire was from the ignition and was the source of power for both the ACS and regulator. It had apparently pulled out of the butt connector causing the regulator to quit working.

Final Question. Are replacement parts such as the ACS, battery temp sensor, and etc. still available for the Battery Manager II system?

Re: Battery manager and Balmar Smart Regulator

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:12 pm
by Coulomb
Battery temperature sensors are available. Maybe an ACS.