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Flickering Alt Light

 
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h&jeuropa



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 375

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Flickering Alt Light Reply with quote

The alt light (it’s a LED, not incandescent) on my Rotax 914 (over 900 hours) has started to flicker even when at cruise (5000 rpm). It has often flickered when at low rpm and it always turns full on when the engine is not running. I have two Hall amp sensors but I can only display one at a time. At cruise, the amps being delivered by the Rotax system are about 8 to 10 which I what I expect given the loads turned on. At cruise the amps measured at the battery are roughly 0, the indication will vary a little from +1 or 2 to – 1 or 2 which I take to be instrument error. The bus voltage is around 13.3 prior to engine start. After start it slowly climbs to about 14.4 after 20-30 minutes of cruise.

The aircraft is wired in accordance with AeroElectric Z-16. The battery is an EarthX ETX680 and its monitoring circuit does not show any problem. I switched from lead acid to EarthX ETX36 in 2014 and in March 2017 changed to ETX 680C. I’ve only had this problem recently. Everything was normal at first after installing the ETX680C.

In 2014 I added external diodes to supplement the original Ducatti (PN 343620) regulator/rectifier and a few months later I replaced that Ducatti R/R as the alt light was illuminating while operation seemed normal. The replacement was the later model Ducatti (PN 362001) but I left the diodes in place.

I discovered (I think during 2017) that the Rotax system was not delivering a high enough voltage to keep the EarthX fully charged. I added a diode in series in the C lead to boost the voltage. While troubleshooting the charging problem I changed back to the original Ducatti which has operated fine until the recent flickering issue.

I can’t decide if I have a battery problem or a Rotax/Ducatti problem.

Jim Butcher
Europa XS


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kenryan



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 271

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject: Flickering Alt Light Reply with quote

One thing to check would be the regulator-rectifier connector. There have been reports of bad connections and even connector melt downs associated with poor installation and/or inadequate strain relief at that point.

On Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 7:58 AM, h&amp;jeuropa <butcher43(at)att.net (butcher43(at)att.net)> wrote:
Quote:
--> RotaxEngines-List message posted by: "h&amp;jeuropa" <butcher43(at)att.net (butcher43(at)att.net)>

The alt light (it’s a LED, not incandescent) on my Rotax 914 (over 900 hours) has started to flicker even when at cruise (5000 rpm).  It has often flickered when at low rpm and it always turns full on when the engine is not running.  I have two Hall amp sensors but I can only display one at a time.  At cruise, the amps being delivered by the Rotax system are about 8 to 10 which I what I expect given the loads turned on.  At cruise the amps measured at the battery are roughly 0, the indication will vary a little from +1 or 2 to – 1 or 2 which I take to be instrument error.   The bus voltage is around 13.3 prior to engine start.  After start it slowly climbs to about 14.4 after 20-30 minutes of cruise.   

The aircraft is wired in accordance with AeroElectric Z-16.  The battery is an EarthX ETX680 and its monitoring circuit does not show any problem.   I switched from lead acid to EarthX ETX36 in 2014 and in March 2017 changed to ETX 680C.  I’ve only had this problem recently. Everything was normal at first after installing the ETX680C.

In 2014 I added external diodes to supplement the original Ducatti (PN 343620) regulator/rectifier and a few months later I replaced that Ducatti R/R as the alt light was illuminating while operation seemed normal.   The replacement was the later model Ducatti (PN 362001) but I left the diodes in place.

I discovered (I think during 2017) that the Rotax system was not delivering a high enough voltage to keep the EarthX fully charged.  I added a diode in series in the C lead to boost the voltage.  While troubleshooting the charging problem I changed back to the original Ducatti which has operated fine until the recent flickering issue.

I can’t decide if I have a battery problem or a Rotax/Ducatti problem.   

Jim Butcher
Europa XS




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Roger Lee



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 1451
Location: Tucson, Az.

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 5:22 am    Post subject: Re: Flickering Alt Light Reply with quote

Most times this is just a poor ground or lose wire especially since you have done the other things. That said you may want to double check your work connections.

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