Battery charging Alarm - driving me potty - Volvo 2030B

gregcope

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Hi,

When my 1996 Volvo Penta 2030B is warm the Battery Charge Alarm on the engine panel bleeps/lights up ...

Why is this driving me potty;

1. Replaced Alternator on advice from one engineer, reconditioned the old one - still bleeps
2. Replaced the warning block (£££) on the Cockpit Engine Panel - still bleeps
3. Cleaned all contacts - still bleeps
4. Replaced the Engine Wiring loom; ebay bargain - still bleeps
5. Removed Sterling Smart Regulator - still bleeps
6. Got an engineer round - did not bleep, until he left - still bleeps
7. Worked fine for a month
8. Removed / isolated Rev counter - still bleeps
9. Swore allot - still bleeps
10. Put the old, reconditioned, Alternator back on - still bleeps
11. Cleaned all the engine battery bolts/earths - still bleeps

The only things not changed so far are;
1. Main engine / Battery wiring / main isolator switch
2. Loom extension cable from Engine to Engine Panel in cockpit
3. Engine Panel wiring

When the panel bleeps the D+ terminal seems to drop for a half a second to c10v, then back upto 13v+. Another clue is the Rev Counter seems to fail at the same point (ie dial drops to 0 revs) and does not come back.

What would make it intermittently alarm and the rev counter fail? Which bit or wiring / gubbins is failing?

So. What is left to change/check? What would make that D+ terminal voltage drop on a new and separate re'coned alternator?

Other than that, the 22yr old Volvo Penta 2030B is in rude health.

Help? I will need therapy soon as well as an engineer.
 

philwebb

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Hi,

When my 1996 Volvo Penta 2030B is warm the Battery Charge Alarm on the engine panel bleeps/lights up ...

Why is this driving me potty;

1. Replaced Alternator on advice from one engineer, reconditioned the old one - still bleeps
2. Replaced the warning block (£££) on the Cockpit Engine Panel - still bleeps
3. Cleaned all contacts - still bleeps
4. Replaced the Engine Wiring loom; ebay bargain - still bleeps
5. Removed Sterling Smart Regulator - still bleeps
6. Got an engineer round - did not bleep, until he left - still bleeps
7. Worked fine for a month
8. Removed / isolated Rev counter - still bleeps
9. Swore allot - still bleeps
10. Put the old, reconditioned, Alternator back on - still bleeps
11. Cleaned all the engine battery bolts/earths - still bleeps

The only things not changed so far are;
1. Main engine / Battery wiring / main isolator switch
2. Loom extension cable from Engine to Engine Panel in cockpit
3. Engine Panel wiring

When the panel bleeps the D+ terminal seems to drop for a half a second to c10v, then back upto 13v+. Another clue is the Rev Counter seems to fail at the same point (ie dial drops to 0 revs) and does not come back.

What would make it intermittently alarm and the rev counter fail? Which bit or wiring / gubbins is failing?

So. What is left to change/check? What would make that D+ terminal voltage drop on a new and separate re'coned alternator?

Other than that, the 22yr old Volvo Penta 2030B is in rude health.

Help? I will need therapy soon as well as an engineer.
 

philwebb

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Hi Greg, have you looked at the plugs and sockets on the big extension cable from your panel to the box on the engine? Otherwise you will have to look at the circuit diagram and check continuity on the cable to the D+ connector up to the panel as it sounds like a poor connection somewhere. Is the ring terminal on the wire to the D+ connector loose on the wire?
 

Neeves

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You could simply disconnect the alarm at the dash board/instrument panel, leaving the warning lights. I think this might disconnect all alarms, cannot recall - so you would need to rely on visually watching the lights. The warning lights will still all flash.

This will give you some peace as you wade through the other options.

Jonathan
 

gregcope

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You could simply disconnect the alarm at the dash board/instrument panel, leaving the warning lights. I think this might disconnect all alarms, cannot recall - so you would need to rely on visually watching the lights. The warning lights will still all flash.

This will give you some peace as you wade through the other options.

Jonathan

Yes. That would reduce the tendency to go more potty. Thank you.
 

gregcope

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Hi Greg, have you looked at the plugs and sockets on the big extension cable from your panel to the box on the engine? Otherwise you will have to look at the circuit diagram and check continuity on the cable to the D+ connector up to the panel as it sounds like a poor connection somewhere. Is the ring terminal on the wire to the D+ connector loose on the wire?

With replacing the alternator, cleaning the rings, and replacing the loop, the D+ Connector is clean and tight!

Cleaned all the plugs/sockets on the big extension cable (using a file and drill bit), and all the spade connectors I can find on the engine panel.

Yes it sounds like a duff connection, either on the D+ or Rev counter cable, or earth. There is not much else to these engines.
 

gregcope

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So the only connections to the D+ pin is a Brown wire to the charge Alarm, and a Blue/Red wire, via a 33ohm Excitation resistor to the +ve side of the panel on/off switch. Going backwards from the switch this is a red wire, back down extension cable, to the main engine fuse, then back to battery via the main battery on/off/1/2 switch.

The W pin has a Grey / Black wire to the S+ connection on the back of the Tacho.

Could the excitation circuit be duff when warm? Does the alternator need this to be consistently powered when going?

The 33ohm Excitation resistor has been replaced with the loom, so it may be the Blue/Red, Red or Black circuit(s).

Another pointer to the blue/red circuit / panel on/off switch and red wire(s) (back to to battery) is that the rev counter dies (dial goes to zero) when this starts to happen.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
 

capnsensible

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Have had this on a couple of volvo control panels and been caused by water getting into the alarm sounder. Just pull one of the leads off it! If the fault light still comes on, you got a problem. If not, bye bye beep.
Most recent experience of this was a few weeks ago. a following sea put water across the panel and shorted the alarm.
Hope its that simple for you!

I see Neeves has also mentioned this. :encouragement:
 

gregcope

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Have had this on a couple of volvo control panels and been caused by water getting into the alarm sounder. Just pull one of the leads off it! If the fault light still comes on, you got a problem. If not, bye bye beep.
Most recent experience of this was a few weeks ago. a following sea put water across the panel and shorted the alarm.
Hope its that simple for you!

I see Neeves has also mentioned this. :encouragement:

Are you suggesting this might be the cause of the issue OR a way to work around the bleeping (but not fix)?

Would that explain why it only happens when "warm" ie after about 15mins of use? If its that I might scream, as I have spent a minor fortune in £££ and time.
 

gregcope

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Are you suggesting this might be the cause of the issue OR a way to work around the bleeping (but not fix)?

Would that explain why it only happens when "warm" ie after about 15mins of use? If its that I might scream, as I have spent a minor fortune in £££ and time.

Also worth mentioning the voltage on the D+ terminal does vary when it has the issue (10v~14v) and the warning light does light.
 

capnsensible

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Are you suggesting this might be the cause of the issue OR a way to work around the bleeping (but not fix)?

Would that explain why it only happens when "warm" ie after about 15mins of use? If its that I might scream, as I have spent a minor fortune in £££ and time.

Twice I had following seas making the panel wet. The alarm sounder went off but the light stayed off. Two different boats. Dont think the quality of the audible alarm is good. Hope your snag is that simple too!
 

zubiedu

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Hi Greg,
I recently bought a HR36 with a VP MD22, serviced last week. I turned it on twice this week. Yesterday your beep appeared with the flashing battery light. I found your post. Today the same.
Which was three outcome in your case?
Thanks
 

TSB240

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I had a similar problem with our Md2010 control panel with an intermittent alarm. In our case it turned out that damp had entered the alarm light module that is in theory well sealed. This lead to corrosion of the various diodes that are designed to stop back feeds. Eventually the intermittent alarm became permanent. Expensive item to source and only available as a complete led replacement now.
 

gregcope

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Hi,

I replaced the alternator, engine loom, the interconnecting loom and the panel electrics but it still happened.

The common theme was batteries fully charged (as in not used in a while and trickle charged). Voltages often looked high (14.5v+) and low amps going into the batteries (0.7A) which implied they were fully charged.

In the end I have not fixed it. Just live with a bleep when the batteries are full. To combat this I run the fridge and radar for a bit to knock them off full charge.

I have spares if you want to try them; may fit your engine.

In your case are you sure your alternator and/or cabling is good? As yours could be a legitimate charging issue or alarm issue

I would expect, with engine running (ie above tickover; 1800rpm+) to see 14.5V+ at the back of the alternator and at the batteries at similar voltages.
 

zubiedu

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I had a similar problem with our Md2010 control panel with an intermittent alarm. In our case it turned out that damp had entered the alarm light module that is in theory well sealed. This lead to corrosion of the various diodes that are designed to stop back feeds. Eventually the intermittent alarm became permanent. Expensive item to source and only available as a complete led replacement now.
Thanks
 

powell789

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This too is driving me crazy. I have a catamaran with two Volvo Penta 39 HP engines. Any time I run these engines at idle, of when I use a power winch or power windlass, both of which are a heavy current drain, I get the loud battery alarm.

I would like to disable this alarm while not losing the alarms for engine oil pressure or engine overtemperature. Is there a way to fool, or block, the sensor for the battery alarm so that it never comes on?
 

Hoolie

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When we bought our boat there was a problem starting the engine when hot that the PO didn't tell us about. After a good run with everything hot I tracked the problem down to a defective crimp joint in the engine loom that as a far as I could see had been there from new 15 years previously. OK when cold it just went open circuit when hot. Problem sorted!
 

Birdseye

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Are you suggesting this might be the cause of the issue OR a way to work around the bleeping (but not fix)?

Would that explain why it only happens when "warm" ie after about 15mins of use? If its that I might scream, as I have spent a minor fortune in £££ and time.
Its an intermittent fault which sounds like an intermittent bad contact. Elsewhere I mentioned my own similar experience traced in the end to an overheating diode block and softening solder triggered by a hard working alternator and a Sterling charger all in a tight engine box. If it isnt that then there must be something else triggered by the warmth which in turn means it has to be on or near the engine - after all the instrument panel wont get warm will it? And a bad battery contact wont be affected by heat either.

But are you sure its heat and not that you have put the engine into use or its vibration?
 

halcyon

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When the panel bleeps the D+ terminal seems to drop for a half a second to c10v, then back upto 13v+. Another clue is the Rev Counter seems to fail at the same point (ie dial drops to 0 revs) and does not come back.

There is the fault, have you tried disconnecting W terminal on alternator ? as it is common to two alternators it is not inside. No rev counter would indicate no feed or no pulse, short or broken cable, dropping D+ voltage would indicate a phase lose. With no rev counter what is the output voltage ? one phase down would drop output voltage.

Brian
 
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