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  1. #1
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    Default Help Installing My Sterling Alternator To Battery Charger

    Hello,

    I have the task of installing my Sterling Pro Alt C 80amp alternator to battery charger (the link takes you to the instruction manual). Fortunately I can use all the current cables so it should be straightforward, but there are a few things puzzling me.

    Currently I have a crappy alternator regulator and my Turkish electrician by-passed the internal regulator of the alternator to be wired to the external regulator. My first question is: can I just snip this wire to return the alternator back to its original state, or will I have to open up the alternator and rewire something? Here is a pic of the current alternator in situ which shows the by-pass on the top left of the alt and the pink wire that I mention below down the bottom-right of the alt:



    Next, there appears to be some over-kill in my current wiring via the diode. I think an additional terminal has been used in order to cater for the wires that wouldn't fit on the diode. Do you think that is correct looking at this picture? The wires on the top terminal go to the alt and the diode, which is clearer in the schematic that I include, below.



    Then I have additional cables that run from the diode and go to my mains battery charger, and there is a tiny pink wire that runs from the terminal to the alternator. You can just make out the thin pink cable in both the above images. Here is a schematic of what I can currently see:



    The idea of the new unit is that I get rid of the diode, so my questions are:

    1. As above (can I snip those wires on the alt to return it to the original state)
    2. Is the top terminal just a terminal or is it doing anything else?
    3. Where do the yellow/green mains battery charger cables go?
    4. What is the thin pink cable? Is it a 'common negative'?

    Any help gratefully received, thanks.
    Last edited by demonboy; 15-03-11 at 09:31.
    Latest video: http://bit.ly/ftb_106

  2. #2
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    Are you sure that schematics is right? It looks like the diode is being bypassed for the engine battery. The thin pink wire is most likely a sense wire for the current alternator, it looks too small to be the negative - and would be shorting the circuit if it was.

  3. #3
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    Revised post:-

    The small pink wire I think must be a sensing wire.

    Are those two terminals on the extra terminal block connected to each other or not? Hopefully not!

    You need the alternator to be machine sensed. It looks as though it has been converted to battery sensing in order to overcome the volts drop across the diodes.

    It should be sufficient to connect it to the alternator output but it might be better to return the alternator entirely to its original configuration.
    No reason though why it should not use an external regulator if the original is defunct and has been removed or disconnected.

    The alternator must be working correctly before installing the AB charger

    Reference to the instructions for the AB charger at http://www.sterling-power.com/images...%20Control.pdf should help.

    Read and study before starting the installation.

    I am not sure I am making sense of your wiring of the diode splitter but no matter you will not need it. With the AB charger it is redundant and can be discarded. Disconnect it and remove it entirely

    If the alternator is performing correctly with the external regulator then retain that.

    Take the main +ve output from the alternator to the connection shown on the AB charger.

    Connect the AB charger outputs directly to the two batteries as shown..

    Note a small negative connection is also needed from the alternator to the AB charger.

    Thats all as far as the AB charger is concerned Simplicity of installation is one of its virtues.

    I guess you are indicating that you have a mains charger with dual outputs. Connect one to each battery and connect the negative to the common negative busbar.


    The black wire on the W terminal is the signal to the rev counter hopefully?

    The other smallish red wire is the connection to the warning light ???
    Last edited by VicS; 15-03-11 at 10:13.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. Some further comments following on from your instructions:

    1. Pink wire. I guess it must be a sensing wire so when I disconnect the diode, which is where it is currently attached, where does it go after that? From the alternator to where?

    2. What do you mean by machine-sensing the alternator? Both alternators (installed and spare) were serviced in Turkey. Does that count? After motoring some 2,000 miles would it be prudent to get them serviced again?

    3. The external regulator is being decommissioned because it is rubbish. Indeed this is why the Sterling is being installed, as a replacement.

    4. So now the mains charger is directly connected to the batteries as opposed to the diode. The new AB is also connected to the batteries. That means the mains charger and the AB may be connected to the same terminal, yes? The AB has a built-in diode, or some circuit that negates the need for one, so would it be safe to wire the two together?
    Latest video: http://bit.ly/ftb_106

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonboy View Post
    1. Pink wire. I guess it must be a sensing wire so when I disconnect the diode, which is where it is currently attached, where does it go after that? From the alternator to where?
    Is this wire not going to the external regulator that is being deomissioned? If so it will get decomissioned with it

    Quote Originally Posted by demonboy View Post
    2. What do you mean by machine-sensing the alternator? Both alternators (installed and spare) were serviced in Turkey. Does that count? After motoring some 2,000 miles would it be prudent to get them serviced again?
    I wouldn't, if it aint broke dont fix it. Machine sensing is the 'normal' method alternators use to regulate their output, putting a diode in the way drops the voltage, so the sense wire needs to on the battery side of the diode so it is sensing the real voltage - your new toy manages all this now.


    Quote Originally Posted by demonboy View Post
    4. So now the mains charger is directly connected to the batteries as opposed to the diode. The new AB is also connected to the batteries. That means the mains charger and the AB may be connected to the same terminal, yes? The AB has a built-in diode, or some circuit that negates the need for one, so would it be safe to wire the two together?
    Yes

  6. #6
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    Excellent stuff. I think I am ready to attempt this job and blow my system up

    Of course I have simplified the schematic as the diode does not go directly to the batteries; instead it goes to a switching unit (1-2-ALL), which is another thing altogether. Not entirely sure that was ever wired correctly but that's another thread.

    Thank you both for your input.
    Latest video: http://bit.ly/ftb_106

  7. #7
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    Sorry, I forgot to ask one final question: what is 'common negative'? The instructions say "ensure all negs are common". Does this mean the house and starter batteries are all connected directly via one negative between them and the AB unit?
    Latest video: http://bit.ly/ftb_106

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonboy View Post
    Of course I have simplified the schematic as the diode does not go directly to the batteries; instead it goes to a switching unit (1-2-ALL), which is another thing altogether. Not entirely sure that was ever wired correctly but that's another thread
    This could be scewing up the whole the setup, the whole point of the diode is to isolate the batteries from each other, if they're going through a 1-2-ALL switch, you're just paralleing them again. With this kind of setup (diode or alternator charger) you would normal have seperate isolation switches for each battery.

    Common negative means that they're all connected together.

  9. #9
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    1. If the pink wire is a sensing wire then I think it could be connected to the alternator main +ve output terminal instead of to the diode. (I'd like to see some agreement from other forumites though esp from someone like Halycon)

    2. Mostly alternators are "machine sensed". They sense the volts within themselves in order to produce the correct volts at the output.
    When you fit diode splitters, because they introduce a voltage drop it is desirable to modify the alternator to sense the volts at the battery. It then maintains the correct volts at the battery despite the effects of the diode splitter
    I'd not like to comment on the advisability of servicing the alternators. Your call, but is a good opportunity to do so perhaps and convert back to machine sensing at the same time

    3. The Sterling AB charger does not replace the alternator's own regulator. Your alternator and existing regulator must be fully functioning before fitting it.
    It is not a regulator. It is in effect a split charging device that uses advanced electronic jiggery pokery to produce enhanced charging of the domestic battery at the same time as normal charging of the starter battery.

    4. The mains charger should be wired to the battery. If its a dual output, which is what your diagram appears to show, then one output to one battery and the other output to the other battery. There is no indication in the instructions that this should not be done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonboy View Post
    Excellent stuff. I think I am ready to attempt this job and blow my system up

    Of course I have simplified the schematic as the diode does not go directly to the batteries; instead it goes to a switching unit (1-2-ALL), which is another thing altogether. Not entirely sure that was ever wired correctly but that's another thread.

    Thank you both for your input.

    Oh dear! That put a different complexion on the whole thing

    Lets see how this is wired. You don't want a switch that will connect both batteries together when you have an AB charger. In fact its not even really appropriate to use with a diode splitter.


    You need to sort out the whole shooting match.

    Have we been over this before?

    You also need to show us how it really is all wired, not miss bits out.

    If your system is such that it relies on a 1,2, both, off switch you will either have to separate engine electrics from domestic electrics OR perhaps use one of Sterlings Digital advanced alternator regulators rather than the AB charger

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