Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

For all issues involving the Smart Alternator Regulators, V1, V2 and V3

Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby ggray on Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:47 pm

I have a catamaran, two engines each with Next Step regulator. One does not charge.
I will take the test measurements when I launch in a couple of weeks, but I did check a few things before I hauled that I hope will give a clue as to what my problem is.
The field voltage to the alternator (which has been tested OK) is around 5 v. The red led on the Next Step does not illuminate (except for a few seconds after start up). The green led flashes as it should--bulk charge. Shouldn't this indicate there is no problem with the regulator?
ggray
 
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby Coulomb on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:44 am

This could be an open in the field circuit. Maybe a loose wire, or a brush in the alternator that is broken or not making contact.

There is some troubleshooting information here:
http://www.amplepower.com/trouble/index.html
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby ggray on Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:54 am

I will go through the test procedure once I launch, but I won't have much time after launch before departure, so I'm trying to discover what I can now.

If the field circuit is open, won't that fry the regulator ? If this is not necessarily so, your thought about a loose wire might be on target. Last summer, sometimes it would charge, and some times it wouldn't. At the end of the season it stopped altogether. And am I correct in thinking that the "proper illumination" of the green led, and the lack of a trouble signal from the red led, does NOT tell me that the regulator is not fried ?

As far as a brush problem with the alternator, the alternator has just been bench tested, so I'm assuming it's not the problem. Could they miss something like that ?
ggray
 
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby Coulomb on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:38 am

The lack of a red LED is a good sign.

A competent alternator tester won't miss a bad brush connection, but without tear down, an inspection the brush could be barely long enough to work.

Did you re-connect the field wire to the right alternator terminal?

Post the test results when you do it.
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby ggray on Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:48 am

Ok, I rigged a water supply to run the engine. However, I had left the test table on the printer, so didn't realise there was a test #1. Also didn't realise the time factor of test 2C, and as my son was the one taking the measurements, not sure if 30 seconds had elapsed. So with that in mind, here are the results:

1 Not performed
2 12.81 12.81 12.68
3 0 12.69 12.54
4 0 0 0
5 12.81 12.81 12.71
6 .185 .180 .48
7 0 0 0
8 -- -- --
9 12.81 12.80 12.73
10 0 0 0
11 0 2.79 2.80
12 -- -- --
13 -- -- --

Obviously, I have a problem with the field.

The field was connected to the correct post. I assume the other is for a tachometer ?

I seem to have posted my question under the wrong heading...rookie error ! Thanks for answering anyway.
ggray
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby ggray on Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:49 am

Ok, I rigged a water supply to run the engine. However, I had left the test table on the printer, so didn't realise there was a test #1. Also didn't realise the time factor of test 2C, and as my son was the one taking the measurements, not sure if 30 seconds had elapsed. So with that in mind, here are the results:

1 Not performed
2 12.81 12.81 12.68
3 0 12.69 12.54
4 0 0 0
5 12.81 12.81 12.71
6 .185 .180 .48
7 0 0 0
8 -- -- --
9 12.81 12.80 12.73
10 0 0 0
11 0 2.79 2.80
12 -- -- --
13 -- -- --

Obviously, I have a problem with the field.

The field was connected to the correct post. I assume the other is for a tachometer ?

I seem to have posted my question under the wrong heading...rookie error ! Thanks for answering anyway.
ggray
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby Coulomb on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:55 am

The field may be shorted externally, but the regulator may be bad. Is it flashing a red LED?
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby ggray on Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:16 pm

My son said he saw it light a couple of times, but not repeatedly. Does that make sense? I've looked at it and not seen the red, only the green flashing properly.
ggray
 
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby Coulomb on Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:31 pm

It should indicate here that it can't turn on the field. It's possible to have an open circuit on the regulator such it sense the field output which subsequently doesn't make it to the outside. But then it would probably indicate that it couldn't turn the field off.

If you're confident the wiring is correct, then the regulator should come in for testing/repair.
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Re: Alternator not charging; Next Step regulator

Postby ggray on Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:23 am

Thanks; I'll play around with it a little more.
What could I expect the range of cost to be to repair something like this ?
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