Taking a short interlude from the water maker to go back the alternator saga!
The phone rang early on Monday morning, more precisely it went to the voice-mail at 5.40am. And by 6.40am, I was on the road already returning my call! I then discovered later I was speaking with Rob the support gentleman for Electromaax.
His clarifications got me on the right track to start the morning. This coupled with the quick response from Alexandre at Lagoon about the “magic box” and we were set. By now you might be as intrigued as I was with the specific “magic box”! In other words what is it? For us lagoon owners, we all know that we can’t use the windlass without the engine on. This circuitry makes sure we don’t forget this fact and kills the battery in the process, clever buggers those French builder! As we used to say : “En France on n’a pas de petrole mais on a des idees!” (translate: We don’t have oil wells in France but we have ideas!) It is indeed no wonder most Charter Companies choose Lagoons.
As for myself I love working on the 380 because, it is so easy to take apart, and the constructors have left behind messenger lines plus we have room to work. Here are two examples.
Yes that is the master bedroom, propane line crossing.
It kept me awake for nothing, of course they left tubing and messenger line. Thank you.
Now for the installation, is it a simple plug and play?
The Electromaax Alternators bolted on perfectly with the 3YM30. All the sheave and fitting were high precision and made it look like I knew what I was doing, but that’s only the mechanic part. Now let’s talk electricity, the only system that I haven’t wrapped my head around yet. Now I may share with you that electricity scares me to death, its invisible tasteless and if you get in contact Bang! That has scared me since I was a child. Well that’ until today for now it is no more…. I conquered my fear!
I must thank Rob, first and foremost for his patience and expertise. He answered every question I had on the setup, in a clear and comprehensible way. Not an easy feast for any engineer mind normally.
Once you understand the concept, it’s easy super easy. Unfortunately for him, I have never spent time on the university bench to qualify as an electrical engineer. So the learning curve was a little more steep, to be polite. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the concept and have all the tools on board. (To the point that it is taking a lot of space *V* would tell you) If you are not ready to invest some serious time and effort, call your local boat electrician and be done with it. And in 6 months time, when it doesn’t work in Tana Island you will spend some lovely days exchanging e-mail with somebody half way around the globe.
In conclusion if you are system oriented, it’s not difficult. If you think it’s a 5 minutes job, sorry but it’s not.
Now, what do you need to do to get ready?
- Take apart half of the boat paneling to gain access for running the wires.
- Run 2 lines from each alternator back to the isolator 25 feet for the Starboard 10 feet for the Port 16 gauge cable with fuse on the feed line.
- Remove the safe guard over the alternator belt.
- Replace the isolator. You may need to re-drill the hole on the cable terminal.
- Remove the Hitachi, attention they have a special diode and PTC attached to the B+ (fragile and needed for future re-install)
- Install the Electromaax (that the easy part)
- Then connect the small red cable attached to the B+ from the factory to one of your wire, this is the sensor one.
- The small black comings out of the plug without the diode become your feed, to the second wire you just run.
- The grey goes to your Tachometer, same plug type.
- Plug-in the two prone plug
- The main Feed goes on the B+
- Tension your belt, intimidating but actually easy.
- Ground cable goes on the side of the body, you provide the bolt.
- On the Port side you put the red cable for the magic box to the D+, the Black with the ground
- Install a negative wire from isolator to one of the battery negative
- Install the 10 cables onto the Sterling Isolator, after you take half of the harness apart to trace them to the source.
- Go and buy some stock in the brand of Zap strap you plan on using.
- Zap the day light out of this contraption.
- Now you know where the dividend come from.
I told you it’s easy, but not quick if you want to do it well. I finally was smiling, beaming and proud one more system conquer. Now some of you may think, I have forgotten to do some comparative testing. Not even a chance, for the result we will have to be patient. My mind and body are shutting down I need to recharge…