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NEXT STEP-12P & DUAL ALT. CONTR. DAC-12

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:52 am
by gbraddon
I live aboard my sailing catamaran currently at anchor in the US Virgin Islands, I am having charging/regulation problems and need advice. My set up is as follows: Yanmar 3YM30's X 2 w/Ample 105Ah HO alt. controlled by an Ample Dual Alternator Controller (DAC-12) and an Ample Next Step Regulator (NEXT-12P). Also in the system is a small Kubota Generator w/a competitive HO alternator which is controlled by the NEXT-12P regulator. Switching between generator charging and the boat alternators charging is controlled by A/B switches to the fields of each. When I want to run the generator while at anchor I put the A/B switches into the gen position before starting the generator and the same when I use the yanmar's to charge. The charging system is monitored by a Xantrex Link 2000 control panel w/ a Xantrex Inverter/Charger. I have a house battery bank of Gel Cell's rated at 600 Ah total. The entire system is just over 4 years old except the DAC-12 which I installed about 3 years ago. Everything has operated properly until a few months ago when I started having problems. The Problem: First thing that went wrong was my port alternator stopped charging and at the same time the tachometer & hour meter on the port Yanmar B-type starting panel failed to show the RPM/engine hrs. When I have both yanmars running I get an error message that flashes "can't turn field on" and only the starboard alternator charges. When I run only the starboard yanmar with the port shut down, I get a proper charge from the alternator but it seems to vary as to the amount of amps it will charge and the time to the float stage seems to be much shorter than previously when all was working properly, the state indicator flashes "bulk charge". When I run the generator the regulator won't turn on the alternator but I also have an issue with the low temp switch which controls the field turning on the alternator so this may not be a symtom of the regulator. Recently I had both Ample alternators serviced, replacing the bearings and the diodes thinking this may solve the problem. Nothing changed. I am currently tricking the alternators with a 40 watt light bulb in order to charge the batts, but this makes me the regulator. Any suggestions? (continued on next post)

Re: NEXT STEP-12P & DUAL ALT. CONTR. DAC-12

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:56 am
by gbraddon
(Con't from previous post)
By tricking the alternators to charge (all 3 individually) I can tell that they are all charging properly. I have run the troubleshooting guide with the following result: Ignition Off-Column A, row 1) 13.07v, 2)12.44v, 3) 0.5v, 4) 0.0v, 5) 13.07v, 6) 5.1v, 7) 0.0v, 8) not used, 9) 13.05v, 10) 0.0v, 11) 0.2v, 12) not used, 13) not used. Col B, Starboard motor, row 1) 13.07v, 2) 12.44v, 3) 11.60v, 4) 0.0v, 5) 12.66v, 6) 12.60v, 7) 0v, 8) n/a, 9) 13.02v, 10) 0.0v, 11) 3.03v, 12) n/a, 13) n/a. Col B, Port motor, row 1) 13.07v, 2) 12.56v, 3) 11.63v, 4) 0.0v, 5) 13.03v, 6) 5.71v, 7) 0v, 8) n/a, 9) 13.06v, 10) 0v, 11) 3.04v, 12) n/a, 13) n/a. Col C, Stbd motor, row 1) 13.10v, 2) 12.37v, 3) 12.33v, 4) 0.0v, 5) 12.82v, 6) 12.70v, 7) 0v, 8) n/a, 9) 13.09v, 10) 0v, 11) 3.05v, 12) n/a, 13) n/a. Col. C, Port motor, row 1) 13.07v, 2) 12.51v, 3) 11.63v, 4) 0.0v, 5) 13.04v, 6) 5.72v, 7) 0v, 8) n/a, 9) 13.07v, 10) 0v, 11) 3.04v, 12) n/a, 13) n/a. As you can see, there are readings that indicate problems. Is it possible to send both the DAC-12 and the NEXT-12P to you for testing and if needed, repair?

Re: NEXT STEP-12P & DUAL ALT. CONTR. DAC-12

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:49 am
by Coulomb
The field driver on the regulator is not functioning.

Yes, you can send both in for repair.

Send products for repair to:

Ample Power Company, LLC.
6315 Seaview Avenue, NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Re: NEXT STEP-12P & DUAL ALT. CONTR. DAC-12

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:33 pm
by gbraddon
Thanks so much for your rapid response to my problem. I'll get them into the mail tomorrow. Please advise as to payment methods-Thx Glenn Braddon