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Author Topic: Battery Shack alternator  (Read 3349 times)

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agbenoit

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Battery Shack alternator
« on: April 08, 2004, 11:41:37 AM »

Hi,
 
 Following a suggestion on this board and considerable shopping, I called the Battery Shack in Marathon, FL (http://www.thebatteryshack.com/).  Billy there sent me an alternator right out.  It arrived promptly, but was accompanied by zero documentation.
 
 According to Billy on the phone and the company's website, the unit is wired with a multi-step internal regulator.  There are two wires to connect: a positive output and an AC tap for the tach.  He said I don't need any other wires, even though my current Motorola also has a wire running to the ignition via the harness and a second wire running to the postive post on the solenoid.  Billy says the unit will turn itself on if I give the engine a good rev shortly after starting.  He also said that a local auto electric shop could readily rewire it for an external regulator is I later decided I wanted one.
 
 The price was good and the unit looks like it will fit, but I'm not impressed with the technical support so far.
 
 Does anyone have one of these things installed?  Does it actually work?
 
 Thanks,
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jentine

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2004, 07:31:13 PM »

I have had one installed for several years with no problems.  Just do what Billy said.  Install it and run the engine.  The only problem I had was the need for a different bracket.  He mailed it to me and it was up and running in no time.  100 amps for a little over $200.
 How much techinical support is necessary for two bolts, two wires and a continuous belt?  I have been very pleased with the Battery Shack.
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agbenoit

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2004, 07:51:08 PM »

Great!  Did your tach need any adjustment?
 
 Thanks, Jim.
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Stu Jackson

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2004, 09:15:10 PM »

Tony
 
 What you may not know is that Jim also uses a powerful solar panel system.  He has been very active and helpful with his input on this board over the years.
 
 See:  http://c34.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=search&s=329609511&reqWords=solar+panel
 
 If you've read the recent Batteries thread (http://c34.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=329609511&f=829605811&m=936606927) you'll see that, without a solar system, and IF you depend only on alternator charging, you may be somewhat disappointed with an internally regulated alternator regulator.
 
 As we've said many times, the electrical "stuff" on a boat is a SYSTEM, and depending on how you use, or plan to use it, is your choice.
 
 C34 Electrical Systems: http://c34.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=search&s=329609511&reqWords=c34+electrical+system
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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jentine

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2004, 12:18:45 PM »

Tony, the only problem with the tach is that when the engine is started, the tach has no reading.  When the RPM's exceed 800 it finds itself and comes on.  I usually give the throttle a quick shot to engage the tach.  It is not even a minor inconvenience.
 
 One time, there was not enough solar to maintain the charge in my batteries, so when I returned to the boat, I had to start the engine to charge the batteries.  I agree with Stu in that a system relying on alternator recharging is imcomplete without a multi-stage regulator such as the Balmar or a similar system.
 
 Jim
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Stu Jackson

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2004, 03:03:13 PM »

TACH & ENGINE START
 
 Jim
 
 A couple of ideas for you:
 
 1.  Up the throttle a bit so that when the engine starts it's just beyond 800 rpms, say 1000 or 1100.  Kicks the tach on right away, then back off the throttle
 
 2.   This avoids a slow start and then having to goose a cold engine.
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

agbenoit

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2004, 08:17:14 PM »

Thanks for the info.  I like the simplicity of the Battery Shack model, but I'm tempted to return it and invest in a Balmar and an external regulator.
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Stu Jackson

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2004, 11:06:39 PM »

C34 Electrical Systems
 
 Alternators
 
 Tony
 
 Whoa!  Don't just return it and get a Balmar because of what you've read here.  While I assume that you've read the referenced material, why not consider keeping the battery shack and simply gttting a local auto store or mechanic setup the alternator you already have in your hot little hand for an external regulator?  Save the shipping back and the Balmar alternator is $100 more that what you got!  Think about it.  
 
 Or wire it in, see if it works for you and add the regulator later.  Do what Jim did and get solar.
 
 All sorts of ideas.
 
 But convince me why you need to return it, first  :)
 
 If you've read the references Balmar requires some minor grinding of the bracket, too.
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

agbenoit

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2004, 05:51:40 AM »

Stu,
 
 Here's my thinking: Before I ordered the BS alternator, I was on the fence.  About the Balmar, I liked the high output at low rpm, the (presumed) wide availability of parts, extensive documentation, and the dealer support (Jackrabbit was already answering questions and sending me tech docs and I hadn't even bought anything).  I didn't like the price, the need to refit the mounting brackets, and the need to adjust the tach.
 
 The reason I'm tempted to return the BS alternator immediately is that I am confident that I will get my money back now since haven't yet paid the credit card charge and I haven't so much as turned the nut on the output stud.  I thought about putting it in and seeing if I'm satisfied, but I'm less confident I'll be able to get my money back down the road if I don't like it.  I think you are right, though, that a local shop could refit this alternator for a regulator.  (Or I could send this one back and have the BS send me one already wired for an ext reg).
 
 I was planning to run the positive output directly to the house bank, not via the solenoid, so that the starting battery is isolated.  Thus, I'm thinking, full alternator output is going to the house bank even if I leave the starting battery switch on.  Will this alternator work properly in this arrangement?  I don't see why it wouldn't since the solenoid is simply wired to the house bank anyway.  But, based on my previous conversations, I don't feel like I can call the BS and discuss questions like this.  
 
 BTW, I am planning to get a solar panel eventually, though probably not three like Jim has.  In the meantime, the alternator will be my near exclusive means of charging since I almost never connect to shore power.
 
 Thanks for your thoughts and info.
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Stu Jackson

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2004, 07:34:52 AM »

Alternators
 
 Tony, you wrote: "alternator output is going to the house bank..."
 
 Without an external smart regulator, the deficiencies of an automotive regulator will become apparent:  it'll take you eons to get the bank charged, and only to less than 80%.
 
   Jim Moe's description in "Batteries" explains that drawback of automotive (internally) regulated alternators, as do just about every other reliable reference source, including this message board.  Without any other source of charging, as you mention, you need to REALLY depend on your alternator FOR ALL OF YOUR CHARGING.
 
 FWIW, and for others considering these steps, you're right, Battery Shack (not all BS :) ) does have externally regulated models.  If the BS you have in your hand looks like the Motorola, then you won't have to shave the bracket as you would if you got a Balmar.  
 
 Why spend the $$$?
 
 I suggest your best course of action is to replace the BS with an externally regulated BS model, get an external regulator and be happy with your system, especially if it's your only source of charging.
 
 Again, remember, you are designing (and installing) a SYSTEM, not just a piece of hardware.
 
 Stu
 
 PS  I just ordered an externally regulated alternator from Jim Moe's reference (see thread: "Batteries" noted above) for $120 + S/H.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

agbenoit

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2004, 08:00:25 AM »

Stu,
 
 The BS website suggests that the internal regulator in their alternators is more sophisticated than an automotive regulator, but I hear what you're saying.  Thanks.
 
 Tony
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Ray & Sandy Erps

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2004, 01:42:31 PM »

Stu,
 
 Has the new alternator arrived yet?  I've been sitting on the edge of my seat up here to find out how smoothly things went.
 
 Ray
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Ray & Sandy Erps,
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Stu Jackson

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2004, 09:12:07 PM »

Ray
 
 Alternator arrived within the last two days (we were skiing).  
 
 Does $140.05 with S&H sound OK compared to a Balmar at $399 plus tax.
 
 OK, it's rebuilt, which of us aren't (yet)?
 
 I'll discuss that with Jim Moe, but maybe I should just go read his material more closely, it was most likely there.
 
 The model # is right, it's got the right feet on it.
 
 More soon,
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Monty

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2004, 11:15:10 AM »

Question for Stu. All the prices I saw on the BS site were well over $200.00 and you said yours was $ 140.05 with S & H.Which one did you buy or was it a typo?
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Stu Jackson

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Battery Shack alternator
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2004, 04:59:17 PM »

ALTERNATOR PURCHASE
 
 Monty
 
 I did NOT buy a Battery Shack alternator.
 
 In the thread "Batteries," recently, Jim Moe made suggestion about Blue Circle.
 
 Please see:
 
 http://c34.infopop.cc/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=329609511&f=829605811&m=936606927
 
 On Saturday I purchased a Balmar 612H regulator (Boat Show price for top of the line at a lower price than Xantrex).  BTW, Balmar's OLD model 412 is no longer being made by Balmar, but is being sold as the Xantrex.  You need to check out the individual features of the units before you purchase any regulator - there are now many different models to choose from, depending on how you use your boat's electrical system.  
 
 The 612 (H is for with harness) has the alpha numeric display instead of the LEDs, and more user programmable stuff, which I eventually will either ignore or have lots of fun with.
 
 Because I'll be replacing my old alternator, removing the AutoMac, removing the old analog ammeter and voltmeter when installing my Link 2000, plus designing new a teak cover panel for my nav station (to cover all the old holes!), don't look for results here anytime soon.  :)
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
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