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We get to Chicago - Sort of...


The run to Michigan City, and then to Hammond was uneventful. I installed the battery disconnect on Bank 1, and the voltage on the bank stayed consistent. Success! Ordered a 100A Balmar alternator, and regulator/charge controller and had it shipped downriver to Ottawa.


While in Hammond, we rented a car and spent a day provisioning, loading up on stuff from Home Depot and Meijer. That adventure will be documented on a future You Tube episode.


We headed to Chicago and picked up a mooring ball at Monroe Marina. Started the generator to charge up bank 2 and run the A/C as it was miserably hot. The generator started, but there was no output. Hooked up my trusty Klein multimeter, and the output from the generator winding was 3 volts. An hour of various strategies later, it was clear that it couldn't be repaired without help from the manufacturer so we went back to Hammond the following morning.


Waited all weekend for Monday... Called Next Gen and they indicated that it was probably the capacitor that had died, they are overnighting us one. At the same time we got in the repair queue for Crowley's Yacht Service up the Calumet River in case the generator end is shot. Tomorrow we're renting a car again, and will drive to Ottawa and pick up the Balmar alternator.


So as usual we have a plan "A", plan "B", and plan "C":


Plan A is that the capacitor fixes the generator. We'll head South with the strategy being to start the boat on Bank 1, then switch to Bank 2 which will run us at a slight state of discharge, then towards the end of the run switch to Bank 1, and start the genset to charge Bank 2 before we anchor. Install the Balmar alternator once we have all the bits from Amazon.


Plan B is that the capacitor doesn't fix the generator. Order the generator end, and have Crowley's fix the generator and install the Balmar so it's all done and we are patched up and whole again.


Plan C is that the generator is fixed, and we stay here and install the Balmar ourselves, as we don't want to be in the situation we found ourselves in last Friday. We discovered that in two hours of running with the stock alternator we can bring bank 2 from 11.4 to 12.1 volts, if we turn off the radar, chartplotter, and both VHF radios relying on the handheld VHF.


In any case we're adding a fourth 55 AH AGM to the house bank, as 3 55 AH AGM's will run the refrigeration for approximately 12 hours before the inverter gives up and the main fridge goes off line. This will be easier with a rental car tomorrow.


As long as we are on the river by the end of October we should be OK. Stay tuned.

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