Balmar ARS-5 12 Volt Regulator

Priced: $339.99 Rated:   - 3 stars out of 5 by 3 reviews.
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Balmar ARS-5 12 Volt Regulator -
Easier than ever to program and operate. The NEW ARS-5 features an easy-to-read three-character alphanumeric LED display, replacing colorcoded lights used in earlier ARS models. Simply select one of five preset program choices based on battery type, and the belt size setting that matches your alternator's drive belt width and alternator output rating. Battery settings include standard and deep-cycle flooded, gel, AGM, and Optima programs. Five belt load management settings control horsepower load on drive belts. When used with MC-TS-A and MC-TS-B alternator and battery temperature sensors, the ARS-5 ensures even greater charging performance, as well as critical protection for your alternator and batteries. Controls a single alternator only.

ARS-5 Info Sheet

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Balmar ARS-5 12 Volt Regulator Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

"Must have" on live aboards

We lost two of the previous model regulators, most probably because they where installed very close to the engine. The instruction says that the regulator can operate safely in conditions typical of a marine engine compartment. However, this time I have installed the regulator outside the engine room away from the heat of the engine. In this way I have also easier access for programming and routine check of the operation. I love the belt load- and especially the small engine feature, allowing maximum charge from my 3/8" belt but minimum wear of the belt when little power is needed during generator bulk charging or at the beginning of longer engine runs. This is done by manually reducing charge by 50% with the flick of an optional and easy to install standard switch.
Michael Bauza at on 10/10/2011

Neat piece of gear

I fitted this advanced regulator in New Zealand after using up 8 alternators on a cruise from the Med. I had no problems after that. It gave me maximum charging from my standard alternator and this is important for a live aboard because you don't want to run the engine for hours each day. Take your time fitting and install in a dry location. The regulator is weather proof but your connections are NOT. Spade type terminals are subject to salt water corrosion.
Do not rely on standard alternator regulators for charging. Fine for a car but not on a sailing yacht. This little beauty does the trick.
Yachtsman at on 03/03/2011

Negative Reviews:

Nice when they work

The ARS-5 works great ... as long as it works. Mine lasted for almost 3 years, which is NOT long enough. Look at a previous reviewer who said he replaced 2 previous generation models (presumably ARS-4 from Balmar). The regulator LOOKS bullet proof, electronic components totally encased in some type of resin. It works great, but a 1 year warranty on a piece of kit this expensive is ridiculous. Think how long a regulator on cars alternator works ... I have had them last 10 years working adjacent to a hot engine !

I installed in a locker above engine room that is very dry (matches stored there for 3 years still light, and this in south Florida humidity). Additionally this regulator only supplies a voltage to the panel alternator light for about 1 second ... my Perkins M50 panel uses this signal to enable the starter relay ... once the alternator light goes out, starter will not start (as the engine should be running if the alternator is charging) ... makes sense. The Balmar technical people suggested I make my own rather complicated relay system to allow the Perkins circuit to get a 'clamped' signal so that I can operate the starter for more than 1 second ! They gave me a schematic diagram. I appreciate their technical help ... but can they really be serious, I am going to add a home made circuit to address a relatively common problem they could easily address with microprocessor/micro code/parameter by adding another level of possible failure to a not incredibly reliable regulator ???

These have a substantial retail price.
Allen at on 01/01/2013