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Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

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  • Anthony M Iacono
    Thank you Tom, As a bit more info; I ve been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a
    Message 1 of 25 , May 2, 2013
    Thank you Tom,
    As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

    Tony
    From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
    Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
    Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
    To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
    Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

     

    Hi, Tony

    An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

    The problem is likely one of three things:
    1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
    2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
    3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
    In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

    If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

    -tk

    On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
     

    Looking for some insight; 

    Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
    It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
    I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
    This is what I have: 
    Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
    Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
    Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
    The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
    Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
    Tony/Affinity 26







    --
    Tom Keffer
    keffer@...
    +1 541-386-8891 (h)
    +1 541-490-9507 (c)
    Skype: tkeffer

  • Richard Greene
    I think every cruising boat needs an amp meter. I have a Link 2000 (which hasn t been sold for a number of years) and its a great help. But all you really need
    Message 2 of 25 , May 2, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      I think every cruising boat needs an amp meter. I have a Link 2000 (which hasn't been sold for a number of years) and its a great help. But all you really need is a single amp meter on the house bank. Its a constant reminder of how much power you're consuming and you'll pretty soon learn the electrical load of each component. 
      I often look over at the Link, see the negative amps, and realize I've left something on. Plus, it shows if the alternator output is where it should be.
      Dick Greene
      Maine Sail
       

      To: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com
      CC: wstellin@...
      From: wcassady@...
      Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 14:34:08 -0400
      Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] New control panel for VELOCITY

       
      That is some beautiful work.

      On 5/2/2013 1:29 PM, William Stellin wrote:
       
      I mounted mine on the same bulkhead but just outside the locker behind the cabin door.  It leaves the hanging locker space free, gives it good ventilation, and is easy to service if need be.
      Bill 

      Sent from my iPad

      On May 2, 2013, at 12:57 PM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

       
      Nice work, as always. I notice you have a Xanteax inverter/charger. Would you share where you mounted it? 
      Tony Affinity #26


      From: Tom Keffer <tkeffer@...>
      Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Thu, 02 May 2013 16:33:37 -0000
      To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [j4x-owners-group] New control pan! el for VELOCITY

       

      I built and installed a new control panel for Velocity.


      Write up here .

      -tk


    • Thomas Keffer
      If you re on the hook a lot, then it s entirely possible your alternator isn t fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field
      Message 3 of 25 , May 2, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

        -tk


        On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
         
        [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]

        Thank you Tom,
        As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

        Tony
        From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
        Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
        To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

         

        Hi, Tony

        An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

        The problem is likely one of three things:
        1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
        2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
        3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
        In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

        If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

        -tk

        On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
         

        Looking for some insight; 

        Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
        It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
        I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
        This is what I have: 
        Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
        Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
        Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
        The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
        Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
        Tony/Affinity 26







        --
        Tom Keffer
        keffer@...
        +1 541-386-8891 (h)
        +1 541-490-9507 (c)
        Skype: tkeffer




        --
        Tom Keffer
        keffer@...
        +1 541-386-8891 (h)
        +1 541-490-9507 (c)
        Skype: tkeffer
      • Robert Thuss
        I m no expert, but it sounds like the batteries are getting sulfated due to insufficient charging. The alternator will never get them to a full charge, so if
        Message 4 of 25 , May 2, 2013
        • 0 Attachment

          I’m no expert, but it sounds like the batteries are getting sulfated due to insufficient charging. The alternator will never get them to a full charge, so if you never get a  shore power charge then they will sulfate and die early. Nigel Calder has a pretty good article (this month either in SAIL or CRUSING WORLD) about crash-testing batteries. Finally, I have found no batteries perform like Lifeline AGM batteries; they are worth the money. Hope this helps – Robert

            

           

          From: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anthony M Iacono
          Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 4:05 PM
          To: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42 [2 Attachments]

           

           

          [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]

          Thank you Tom,

          As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

           

          Tony

          From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
          Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
          Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
          To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

           

           

          Hi, Tony

           

          An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

           

          The problem is likely one of three things:

          1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
          2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
          3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.

          In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

           

          If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

           

          -tk

          On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:

           

          Looking for some insight; 

           

          Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.

          It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.

          I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?

          This is what I have: 

          Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps

          Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 

          Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)

          The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 

          Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 

          Tony/Affinity 26

           

           

           

           



           

          --

          Tom Keffer

          keffer@...
          +1 541-386-8891 (h)
          +1 541-490-9507 (c)

          Skype: tkeffer

          The information contained in this communication is confidential, may be privileged and is intended for the exclusive use of the above named addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are expressly prohibited from copying, distributing, disseminating, or in any other way using any information contained within this communication. If you have received this communication in error please contact the sender by telephone or by response via mail.

          We have taken precautions to minimize the risk of transmitting software viruses, but we advise you to carry out your own virus checks on any attachment to this message. We cannot accept liability for any loss or damage caused by software viruses.

        • tony@shanomet.com
          Thanks Tom. Could be short runtime but I assume a hour 2 Times a day should be enough. It was when I first got the boat. On the other hand I do have a lot
          Message 5 of 25 , May 2, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            Thanks Tom. Could be short runtime but I assume a hour 2 Times a day should be enough. It was when I first got the boat.  On the other hand I do have a lot more things on the boat that power now. 

            You mentioned setting, I wonder if there is an amount of output from the alternator which is "within range". Does anyone have any ideas on where I may be able to find out that information? 

            I recognize I am quite sophomoric when it comes to electrical issues. Its a result of never fully paying attention when my father tried desperately to teach me. Now I wish that I had.

            Tony
            Sent from my iPhone

            On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...> wrote:

             

            If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

            -tk


            On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
             
            [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]

            Thank you Tom,
            As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

            Tony
            From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
            Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
            Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
            To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
            Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

             

            Hi, Tony

            An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

            The problem is likely one of three things:
            1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
            2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
            3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
            In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

            If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

            -tk

            On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
             

            Looking for some insight; 

            Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
            It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
            I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
            This is what I have: 
            Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
            Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
            Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
            The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
            Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
            Tony/Affinity 26







            --
            Tom Keffer
            keffer@...
            +1 541-386-8891 (h)
            +1 541-490-9507 (c)
            Skype: tkeffer




            --
            Tom Keffer
            keffer@...
            +1 541-386-8891 (h)
            +1 541-490-9507 (c)
            Skype: tkeffer

          • tony@shanomet.com
            It does. Thank you Robert. Tonu Sent from my iPhone ... It does. Thank you Robert. Tonu Sent from my iPhone On May 2, 2013, at 4:23 PM, Robert Thuss
            Message 6 of 25 , May 2, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              It does. Thank you Robert. Tonu

              Sent from my iPhone

              On May 2, 2013, at 4:23 PM, Robert Thuss <Robert.Thuss@...> wrote:

               

              I’m no expert, but it sounds like the batteries are getting sulfated due to insufficient charging. The alternator will never get them to a full charge, so if you never get a  shore power charge then they will sulfate and die early. Nigel Calder has a pretty good article (this month either in SAIL or CRUSING WORLD) about crash-testing batteries. Finally, I have found no batteries perform like Lifeline AGM batteries; they are worth the money. Hope this helps – Robert

                

               

              From: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anthony M Iacono
              Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 4:05 PM
              To: j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42 [2 Attachments]

               

               

              [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]

              Thank you Tom,

              As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

               

              Tony

              From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
              Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
              To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

               

               

              Hi, Tony

               

              An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

               

              The problem is likely one of three things:

              1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
              2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
              3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.

              In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

               

              If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

               

              -tk

              On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:

               

              Looking for some insight; 

               

              Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.

              It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.

              I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?

              This is what I have: 

              Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps

              Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 

              Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)

              The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 

              Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 

              Tony/Affinity 26

               

               

               

               



               

              --

              Tom Keffer

              keffer@...
              +1 541-386-8891 (h)
              +1 541-490-9507 (c)

              Skype: tkeffer

              The information contained in this communication is confidential, may be privileged and is intended for the exclusive use of the above named addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are expressly prohibited from copying, distributing, disseminating, or in any other way using any information contained within this communication. If you have received this communication in error please contact the sender by telephone or by response via mail.

              We have taken precautions to minimize the risk of transmitting software viruses, but we advise you to carry out your own virus checks on any attachment to this message. We cannot accept liability for any loss or damage caused by software viruses.

            • William Stellin
              My inverter is an inverter only. It is about 12w by 15 long by 4 high. It is 2000 watt cont. power. The charger is in the aft deck locker mounted on the
              Message 7 of 25 , May 2, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                My inverter is an inverter only.  It is about 12w by 15 long by 4 high.  It is 2000 watt cont. power.
                The charger is in the aft deck locker mounted on the bulkhead for the aft cabin.  The inverter fits perfectly and unless the door is closed you never see it.
                I installed a third house battery in the aft stateroom hanging locker and it sits lower than the opening.  I also built a removable floor in the locker to conceal it and allow for items to be stowed there.
                It's a great spot for an extra battery because the cable runs are so short.

                Sent from my iPad

                On May 2, 2013, at 4:15 PM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

                 

                Mine is in the same place, I cant imagine it would fit behind the door it is so large. I'll have to look. T

                From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:37:03 -0700
                To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] New control panel for VELOCITY

                 

                Hi, Bill

                What kind of charger? I never thought to mount mine behind the door because it seems way too big.

                -tk


                On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM, William Stellin <wstellin@...> wrote:
                 

                I mounted mine on the same bulkhead but just outside the locker behind the cabin door.  It leaves the hanging locker space free, gives it good ventilation, and is easy to service if need be.
                Bill 

                Sent from my iPad

                On May 2, 2013, at 12:57 PM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

                 

                Nice work, as always. I notice you have a Xanteax inverter/charger. Would you share where you mounted it? 
                Tony Affinity #26


                From: Tom Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Thu, 02 May 2013 16:33:37 -0000
                To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: [j4x-owners-group] New control panel for VELOCITY

                 

                I built and installed a new control panel for Velocity.


                Write up here .

                -tk




                --
                Tom Keffer
                keffer@...
                +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                Skype: tkeffer

              • William Stellin
                If you have the stock alternator it has a built in regulator which is really meant for auto/industrial long continuous. use. In other words, it is not smart .
                Message 8 of 25 , May 2, 2013
                • 0 Attachment
                  If you have the stock alternator it has a built in regulator which is really meant for auto/industrial long continuous. use.
                  In other words, it is not "smart".  Consider a high amp alternator and a separate regulator which will fill the batteries very quickly.
                  A Link battery meter and a new alternator plus new regulator should end your woes.  That's all we have and we spent 8 years cruising with no problems.  Jaywalker was built in 1996 and we are only on our second set of batteries.  This set is 10 years old.
                  I keep them on a solar panel all winter.

                  Sent from my iPad

                  On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, "Thomas Keffer" <tkeffer@...> wrote:

                   

                  If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

                  -tk


                  On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                   
                  [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]

                  Thank you Tom,
                  As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

                  Tony
                  From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                  Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                  Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
                  To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                  Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                   

                  Hi, Tony

                  An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

                  The problem is likely one of three things:
                  1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
                  2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
                  3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
                  In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

                  If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

                  -tk

                  On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                   

                  Looking for some insight; 

                  Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
                  It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
                  I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
                  This is what I have: 
                  Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
                  Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
                  Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
                  The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
                  Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
                  Tony/Affinity 26







                  --
                  Tom Keffer
                  keffer@...
                  +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                  +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                  Skype: tkeffer




                  --
                  Tom Keffer
                  keffer@...
                  +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                  +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                  Skype: tkeffer

                • tony@shanomet.com
                  That clears up the mystery Bill. Thank you. I originally had my charger in that location but was concerned with the water that often times gets in the aft
                  Message 9 of 25 , May 2, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    That clears up the mystery Bill. Thank you. I originally had my charger in that location but was concerned with the water that often times gets in the aft storage area. I know, from reading your posting in years past, you successfully stopped that water egress. 

                    Great idea for a 3rd house battery. 

                    Just FYI While we are on the subject of batteries. I placed a small motorcycle battery under the NAv table in the opening that would be in front of your knees if you were sitting down at the table.  That battery runs the masthead LED tricolor while at sea. It's  a dedicated battery, charges with the other batteries and does not draw down the house bank.

                    Tony
                    Sent from my iPhone

                    On May 2, 2013, at 4:46 PM, William Stellin <wstellin@...> wrote:

                     

                    My inverter is an inverter only.  It is about 12w by 15 long by 4 high.  It is 2000 watt cont. power.
                    The charger is in the aft deck locker mounted on the bulkhead for the aft cabin.  The inverter fits perfectly and unless the door is closed you never see it.
                    I installed a third house battery in the aft stateroom hanging locker and it sits lower than the opening.  I also built a removable floor in the locker to conceal it and allow for items to be stowed there.
                    It's a great spot for an extra battery because the cable runs are so short.

                    Sent from my iPad

                    On May 2, 2013, at 4:15 PM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

                     

                    Mine is in the same place, I cant imagine it would fit behind the door it is so large. I'll have to look. T

                    From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                    Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:37:03 -0700
                    To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                    Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] New control panel for VELOCITY

                     

                    Hi, Bill

                    What kind of charger? I never thought to mount mine behind the door because it seems way too big.

                    -tk


                    On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM, William Stellin <wstellin@...> wrote:
                     

                    I mounted mine on the same bulkhead but just outside the locker behind the cabin door.  It leaves the hanging locker space free, gives it good ventilation, and is easy to service if need be.
                    Bill 

                    Sent from my iPad

                    On May 2, 2013, at 12:57 PM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

                     

                    Nice work, as always. I notice you have a Xanteax inverter/charger. Would you share where you mounted it? 
                    Tony Affinity #26


                    From: Tom Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                    Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Thu, 02 May 2013 16:33:37 -0000
                    To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                    Subject: [j4x-owners-group] New control panel for VELOCITY

                     

                    I built and installed a new control panel for Velocity.


                    Write up here .

                    -tk




                    --
                    Tom Keffer
                    keffer@...
                    +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                    +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                    Skype: tkeffer

                  • tony@shanomet.com
                    Bill thank you, that s impressive longevity. About six or so years ago installed a belmar 14 V 100 amp alternator as well as a balmar MC 512 regulator after
                    Message 10 of 25 , May 2, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Bill thank you, that's impressive longevity. About six or so years ago installed a belmar 14 V 100 amp alternator as well as a balmar  MC 512 regulator after the engine above the muffler. I was told they are good products. I assume they're working but obviously I need to get then checked. Thanks 

                      Tony

                      On May 2, 2013, at 4:57 PM, William Stellin <wstellin@...> wrote:

                       

                      If you have the stock alternator it has a built in regulator which is really meant for auto/industrial long continuous. use.
                      In other words, it is not "smart".  Consider a high amp alternator and a separate regulator which will fill the batteries very quickly.
                      A Link battery meter and a new alternator plus new regulator should end your woes.  That's all we have and we spent 8 years cruising with no problems.  Jaywalker was built in 1996 and we are only on our second set of batteries.  This set is 10 years old.
                      I keep them on a solar panel all winter.

                      Sent from my iPad

                      On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, "Thomas Keffer" <tkeffer@...> wrote:

                       

                      If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

                      -tk


                      On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                       
                      [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]

                      Thank you Tom,
                      As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

                      Tony
                      From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                      Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                      Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
                      To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                      Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                       

                      Hi, Tony

                      An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

                      The problem is likely one of three things:
                      1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
                      2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
                      3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
                      In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

                      If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

                      -tk

                      On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                       

                      Looking for some insight; 

                      Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
                      It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
                      I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
                      This is what I have: 
                      Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
                      Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
                      Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
                      The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
                      Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
                      Tony/Affinity 26







                      --
                      Tom Keffer
                      keffer@...
                      +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                      +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                      Skype: tkeffer




                      --
                      Tom Keffer
                      keffer@...
                      +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                      +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                      Skype: tkeffer

                    • John Burnett
                      You won t get the batteries fully charged running the engine ( unless you run it a very long time or have lithium batteries). The alternator (MC-512 really)
                      Message 11 of 25 , May 2, 2013
                      • 0 Attachment
                        You won't get the batteries fully charged running the engine ( unless you run it a very long time or have lithium batteries).
                        The alternator (MC-512 really) will very the current to the batteries while it charges.   Also as the batteries "fill up"
                        less current is sent to them.  An ampmeter which computes amp hours left
                        will give you a better idea how the alternator is doing.  We have a link-2000 for the house banks and a link 10 for the engine.
                        They both compute amp hours, though not perfectly.

                        In recent years I give the batteries a vacation once a month.  We tie up to a dock and use shore power to get them
                        completely charged.   The alternative is running the engine or genset a very long time.  Not too pleasant.

                        I am putting 200 watts of solar on the bimini this spring.  We will see how many fewer hours we run the genset.

                        cheers,
                        John


                        From: "tony@..." <tony@...>
                        To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:31 PM
                        Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                         
                        Thanks Tom. Could be short runtime but I assume a hour 2 Times a day should be enough. It was when I first got the boat.  On the other hand I do have a lot more things on the boat that power now. 

                        You mentioned setting, I wonder if there is an amount of output from the alternator which is "within range". Does anyone have any ideas on where I may be able to find out that information? 

                        I recognize I am quite sophomoric when it comes to electrical issues. Its a result of never fully paying attention when my father tried desperately to teach me. Now I wish that I had.

                        Tony
                        Sent from my iPhone

                        On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...> wrote:

                         
                        If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

                        -tk


                        On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                         
                        [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]
                        Thank you Tom,
                        As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

                        Tony
                        From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                        Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
                        To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                         
                        Hi, Tony

                        An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

                        The problem is likely one of three things:
                        1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
                        2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
                        3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
                        In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

                        If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

                        -tk

                        On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                         
                        Looking for some insight; 

                        Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
                        It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
                        I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
                        This is what I have: 
                        Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
                        Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
                        Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
                        The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
                        Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
                        Tony/Affinity 26







                        --
                        Tom Keffer
                        keffer@...
                        +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                        +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                        Skype: tkeffer



                        --
                        Tom Keffer
                        keffer@...
                        +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                        +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                        Skype: tkeffer


                      • Anthony M Iacono
                        Thanks: I looked at the Link 2000 on line. It looks similar to what I have in attached photo, but provides more data. I assume you must have your
                        Message 12 of 25 , May 12, 2013
                        Thanks:
                        I looked at the Link 2000 on line. It looks "similar" to what I have in attached photo, but provides more data. I assume you must have your inverter/charger on to read the amp usage. I most often sail with it off. Is there a way or can you determine the amp hour use and battery state  with the inverter/charger in the off position?  Tony

                        From: John Burnett <jlb@...>
                        Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 18:07:45 -0700 (PDT)
                        To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                         

                        You won't get the batteries fully charged running the engine ( unless you run it a very long time or have lithium batteries).
                        The alternator (MC-512 really) will very the current to the batteries while it charges.   Also as the batteries "fill up"
                        less current is sent to them.  An ampmeter which computes amp hours left
                        will give you a better idea how the alternator is doing.  We have a link-2000 for the house banks and a link 10 for the engine.
                        They both compute amp hours, though not perfectly.

                        In recent years I give the batteries a vacation once a month.  We tie up to a dock and use shore power to get them
                        completely charged.   The alternative is running the engine or genset a very long time.  Not too pleasant.

                        I am putting 200 watts of solar on the bimini this spring.  We will see how many fewer hours we run the genset.

                        cheers,
                        John


                        From: "tony@..." <tony@...>
                        To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:31 PM
                        Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                         
                        Thanks Tom. Could be short runtime but I assume a hour 2 Times a day should be enough. It was when I first got the boat.  On the other hand I do have a lot more things on the boat that power now. 

                        You mentioned setting, I wonder if there is an amount of output from the alternator which is "within range". Does anyone have any ideas on where I may be able to find out that information? 

                        I recognize I am quite sophomoric when it comes to electrical issues. Its a result of never fully paying attention when my father tried desperately to teach me. Now I wish that I had.

                        Tony
                        Sent from my iPhone

                        On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...> wrote:

                         
                        If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

                        -tk


                        On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                         
                        [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]
                        Thank you Tom,
                        As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

                        Tony
                        From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                        Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
                        To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                        Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                         
                        Hi, Tony

                        An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

                        The problem is likely one of three things:
                        1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
                        2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
                        3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
                        In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

                        If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

                        -tk

                        On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                         
                        Looking for some insight; 

                        Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
                        It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
                        I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
                        This is what I have: 
                        Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
                        Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
                        Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
                        The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
                        Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
                        Tony/Affinity 26







                        --
                        Tom Keffer
                        keffer@...
                        +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                        +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                        Skype: tkeffer



                        --
                        Tom Keffer
                        keffer@...
                        +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                        +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                        Skype: tkeffer


                      • William Stellin
                        With a link device you can see the battery state and amp usage no matter what is running or off. That is the beauty of the monitor. If you see amps going out
                        Message 13 of 25 , May 12, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          With a link device you can see the battery state and amp usage no matter what is running or off.
                          That is the beauty of the monitor.  If you see amps going out and you think everything is turned off, something is not.  It also monitors amps going in from chargers wind machines and solar panels.  I feel it is one of the most  necessary instruments on the boat.
                          Bill Stellin  #6

                          Sent from my iPad

                          On May 12, 2013, at 11:21 AM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

                           

                          Thanks:
                          I looked at the Link 2000 on line. It looks "similar" to what I have in attached photo, but provides more data. I assume you must have your inverter/charger on to read the amp usage. I most often sail with it off. Is there a way or can you determine the amp hour use and battery state  with the inverter/charger in the off position?  Tony

                          From: John Burnett <jlb@...>
                          Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                          Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 18:07:45 -0700 (PDT)
                          To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                           

                          You won't get the batteries fully charged running the engine ( unless you run it a very long time or have lithium batteries).
                          The alternator (MC-512 really) will very the current to the batteries while it charges.   Also as the batteries "fill up"
                          less current is sent to them.  An ampmeter which computes amp hours left
                          will give you a better idea how the alternator is doing.  We have a link-2000 for the house banks and a link 10 for the engine.
                          They both compute amp hours, though not perfectly.

                          In recent years I give the batteries a vacation once a month.  We tie up to a dock and use shore power to get them
                          completely charged.   The alternative is running the engine or genset a very long time.  Not too pleasant.

                          I am putting 200 watts of solar on the bimini this spring.  We will see how many fewer hours we run the genset.

                          cheers,
                          John


                          From: "tony@..." <tony@...>
                          To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:31 PM
                          Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                           
                          Thanks Tom. Could be short runtime but I assume a hour 2 Times a day should be enough. It was when I first got the boat.  On the other hand I do have a lot more things on the boat that power now. 

                          You mentioned setting, I wonder if there is an amount of output from the alternator which is "within range". Does anyone have any ideas on where I may be able to find out that information? 

                          I recognize I am quite sophomoric when it comes to electrical issues. Its a result of never fully paying attention when my father tried desperately to teach me. Now I wish that I had.

                          Tony
                          Sent from my iPhone

                          On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...> wrote:

                           
                          If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

                          -tk


                          On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                           
                          [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]
                          Thank you Tom,
                          As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

                          Tony
                          From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                          Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                          Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
                          To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                           
                          Hi, Tony

                          An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

                          The problem is likely one of three things:
                          1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
                          2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
                          3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
                          In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

                          If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

                          -tk

                          On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                           
                          Looking for some insight; 

                          Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
                          It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
                          I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
                          This is what I have: 
                          Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
                          Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
                          Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
                          The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
                          Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
                          Tony/Affinity 26







                          --
                          Tom Keffer
                          keffer@...
                          +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                          +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                          Skype: tkeffer



                          --
                          Tom Keffer
                          keffer@...
                          +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                          +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                          Skype: tkeffer


                        • tony@shanomet.com
                          Thank you Bill. Always Sage advise. Tony Sent from my iPhone
                          Message 14 of 25 , May 12, 2013
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Thank you Bill. Always Sage advise. Tony

                            Sent from my iPhone

                            On May 12, 2013, at 1:25 PM, William Stellin <wstellin@...> wrote:

                             

                            With a link device you can see the battery state and amp usage no matter what is running or off.
                            That is the beauty of the monitor.  If you see amps going out and you think everything is turned off, something is not.  It also monitors amps going in from chargers wind machines and solar panels.  I feel it is one of the most  necessary instruments on the boat.
                            Bill Stellin  #6

                            Sent from my iPad

                            On May 12, 2013, at 11:21 AM, "Anthony M Iacono" <tony@...> wrote:

                             

                            Thanks:
                            I looked at the Link 2000 on line. It looks "similar" to what I have in attached photo, but provides more data. I assume you must have your inverter/charger on to read the amp usage. I most often sail with it off. Is there a way or can you determine the amp hour use and battery state  with the inverter/charger in the off position?  Tony

                            From: John Burnett <jlb@...>
                            Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                            Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 18:07:45 -0700 (PDT)
                            To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                            Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                             

                            You won't get the batteries fully charged running the engine ( unless you run it a very long time or have lithium batteries).
                            The alternator (MC-512 really) will very the current to the batteries while it charges.   Also as the batteries "fill up"
                            less current is sent to them.  An ampmeter which computes amp hours left
                            will give you a better idea how the alternator is doing.  We have a link-2000 for the house banks and a link 10 for the engine.
                            They both compute amp hours, though not perfectly.

                            In recent years I give the batteries a vacation once a month.  We tie up to a dock and use shore power to get them
                            completely charged.   The alternative is running the engine or genset a very long time.  Not too pleasant.

                            I am putting 200 watts of solar on the bimini this spring.  We will see how many fewer hours we run the genset.

                            cheers,
                            John


                            From: "tony@..." <tony@...>
                            To: "j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com" <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Thursday, May 2, 2013 1:31 PM
                            Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                             
                            Thanks Tom. Could be short runtime but I assume a hour 2 Times a day should be enough. It was when I first got the boat.  On the other hand I do have a lot more things on the boat that power now. 

                            You mentioned setting, I wonder if there is an amount of output from the alternator which is "within range". Does anyone have any ideas on where I may be able to find out that information? 

                            I recognize I am quite sophomoric when it comes to electrical issues. Its a result of never fully paying attention when my father tried desperately to teach me. Now I wish that I had.

                            Tony
                            Sent from my iPhone

                            On May 2, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...> wrote:

                             
                            If you're on the hook a lot, then it's entirely possible your alternator isn't fully charging the battery. It could be a wrong setting, corrosion in the field line or, most likely, that it's just not getting enough run time!

                            -tk


                            On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                             
                            [Attachment(s) from Anthony M Iacono included below]
                            Thank you Tom,
                            As a bit more info; I've been having the problem since the time I rarely get a shore charge. The last 6 weeks in the islands I was anchoring a lot, then in Newport where I live, I'm on a ball. So mostly I use the alternator to charge. The batteires are in a series, the Charger/inverter is a "10" it takes up a lot of the closet. I'll have to see if it could be mounted behind the door. Thanks

                            Tony
                            From: Thomas Keffer <tkeffer@...>
                            Reply-To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                            Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 10:34:36 -0700
                            To: <j4x-owners-group@yahoogroups.com>
                            Subject: Re: [j4x-owners-group] electrical issues on J/42

                             
                            Hi, Tony

                            An ammeter / accurate voltmeter is essential for diagnosing these kinds of problems.

                            The problem is likely one of three things:
                            1. A bad battery. Unlikely as you have replaced them so many times. 
                            2. Charging system not working properly. Seeing as how you have both a shore charger and an alternator, it's hard to see how both would go bad, but I suppose it's possible.
                            3. Equipment drawing more amps than you think. Logic would lead you to this conclusion. I have a pretty similar setup except for a B&G autopilot, and it draws 3.5 amps when the pilot is idling to about 7 when it's active. It's not clear from your letter whether you have one or two 88 Ah batteries, but either way, you should be good for 10+ hours.
                            In any case, it will be impossible to tell the difference between #2 and #3 without that ammeter!

                            If you don't want to do a full install of an ammeter, you could get a clip-on style. Sears offers some pretty inexpensive ones, like this.

                            -tk

                            On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM, Anthony M Iacono <tony@...> wrote:
                             
                            Looking for some insight; 

                            Over the past 4 seasons I've had to purchase new batteries three times. Each time I get Deka 700 MCA 505 CCA 88  amp hours at 20 hours Gel.
                            It seems they run out too quickly on passages, sometimes nice wind, sailing 4 or so hours and the 'low voltage' signal comes on the B&G. One passage in 2010 I only got 45 min of sailing in before the signal, and the batteries were a year old. I realize I should be conservative with the  'toys' that is a Furono Auto helm, a RayMarine (upgraded for a Northstar last year) at the helm and Nav Table and the B&G, plus radio.
                            I saw some conversation within our group awhle back about installing an amp meter. Good idea? Since I'm not strong on the subject, I have asked the Yard to check the output of the Alternator when the engine is running at about 1,500 RPM and to compare that to shore power charging to see of both are 'within specs' but I have no idea what in spec is?
                            This is what I have: 
                            Balmar alternator 14volts 100 Amps
                            Balmr MC 512 regulator programmed  to Gel 
                            Xantrex 10 (1000 watt 50 amp inverter charger  programmed to gel)
                            The batteirs are set so two are house one starter. 
                            Any thoughts on what I should do to test my system,  the value of an Amp meter, what I/the yard should look for. 
                            Tony/Affinity 26







                            --
                            Tom Keffer
                            keffer@...
                            +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                            +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                            Skype: tkeffer



                            --
                            Tom Keffer
                            keffer@...
                            +1 541-386-8891 (h)
                            +1 541-490-9507 (c)
                            Skype: tkeffer


                          • Frank Flannery
                            To clarify, the link 2000 (or 1000 etc) comes with a shunt that you install on the battery ground cable just before the battery. Some additional wires come
                            Message 15 of 25 , May 12, 2013
                            • 0 Attachment
                              To clarify, the link 2000 (or 1000 etc) comes with a shunt that you
                              install on the battery ground cable just before the battery. Some
                              additional wires come off this shunt and run to the monitor. It may
                              be advisable to buy the special wire bundle with the monitor if you
                              have a long run, as if you have two banks, it is something like 8
                              wires and they must be twisted together. For one bank, I think it is
                              still 6 wires. Somehow the shunt magically measures the amp usage. I
                              guess it probably isn't magic, but it works well.

                              Frank

                              On 5/12/13, William Stellin <wstellin@...> wrote:
                              > With a link device you can see the battery state and amp usage no matter
                              > what is running or off.
                              > That is the beauty of the monitor. If you see amps going out and you think
                              > everything is turned off, something is not. It also monitors amps going in
                              > from chargers wind machines and solar panels. I feel it is one of the most
                              > necessary instruments on the boat.
                              > Bill Stellin #6
                              >
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