Next Step Alternator Regulator

Installation and Operating Instructions Ample Power Models NEXT-32N July 25, 2000

Mounting the Regulator
The regulator is protected against ambient humidity, but must be mounted in a dry location free of moisture, dust and other environmental insults. The regulator will operate in temperatures to 70 C (158 F).

NOTE: On gasoline engines DO NOT connect at the spark coil . . . connect at the ignition switch.

Wiring Diagram
The wiring diagram above is the only way to wire the Next Step Regulator. Do not wire in any other way, such as combining ground wires or battery positive wires. Use fuses where shown. Failure to do so may result in fire.

(required – connect this wire first) . . . the reference ground for the regulator. All battery voltages are referenced to this wire. , (required) . . . the return line for the field current. Amperage draw on this wire is rated at 15 Amps maximum.

Signal Names and Functions
Battery voltage set-points are specified for a 32 volt system.

(required) . . . the wire driven to ground by the regulator to make the alternator charge. Voltage at this point depends on how much current is being produced by the alternator, and varies from zero to battery voltage.
NEG.DIST., (required) . . . the ground line for the field current.

(optional) . . . a grounding signal that is asserted after 30 seconds and when the regulator detects that the house battery is being charged.. Maximum load is 0.75 Amps.

WARNING: Do NOT jumper this wire to the GROUND tab. Absence or loss of this connection will damage the regulator.

(required) . . . a positive voltage that turns on the regulator. Typically it is connected to the ignition switch or oil pressure switch. Typical draw is 0.03 Amps. 1

(optional) . . . if connected to battery voltage, the regulator is locked at battery gassing voltage, typically 36.8 V. Used to prevent higher voltages when halogen lights are

used. The first activation and then removal of the LOCK signal causes the regulator to go to the float set-point. The second cycle causes the regulator to go to the absorption setpoint. This cyclic behavior repeats.

(required) . . . the sense wire for battery voltage. Any erroneous voltage drop in this wire from the battery can cause overcharge.
T- (BLK),

Absorption voltage can be adjusted by turning the small screw on the potentiometer behind the hole in the cover marked ABSORPTION VOLTAGE. The potentiometer is 20 turns. Turn in small increments and wait at least 3 seconds for the adjustment to take effect. Do not adjust the potentiometer unless the green LED is on continuously.

Absorption Time Adjustment
How long the regulator stays in absorption state is factory set at one hour. It can be changed from 0 to 255 minutes by turning the potentiometer behind the hole in the cover labeled TIME. To make this adjustment convenient, a multi-meter can be used. Place the positive lead in the TIME TEST POINT located within the regulator cover, and the negative lead on ground. Time is read on the multimeter voltage scale where every 0.02 Volts is equal to 1 minute of absorption time. Factory setting is 1.18 Volts.

(optional) . . . ground side of the temperature sensor which is supplied with the regulator.
T+ (RED),

(optional) . . . positive side of the temperature sensor. Voltage at T+ (RED) is 2.98V at @ 25 C (77 F), and varies plus and minus with temperature at the rate of 0.01V per degree C.
ABS, (optional) . . . a positive voltage at ABS will lock the reg-

What You Should See
When the regulator is first turned on, the red LED will glow for 5 to 8 seconds before extinguishing. The alternator should start to charge after the red LED goes off. Then the green LED will start to flash status information. For example: 2 seconds on, 1 second off, (bulk charge).

ulator at the absorption set-point. Typically used with the Ample Power Energy Monitor/Controller.

(optional) . . . a ground going signal that provides troubleshooting information identical to the Red Error LED . . . see the Error Indicator section. Maximum current permitted from this output is 0.75 Amps.

Alternator Requirements
The alternator must be an externally regulated model with one brush connected to battery positive and the other brush fitted with a connection to make the field connection, (N-type). Be advised that alternators not hot rated for continuous operation at high current and temperature may fail when driven by the regulator.

State Indicator
The green LED shows at which set-point the regulator is presently operating. Status is shown by flashing the green LED with On and Off time in seconds as shown below. Table 1. Green Status LED
Status Bulk Charge Absorption Charge Absorption Charge & OK to Adjust Step to Float Float Charge Gas Lock ABS Hold On 2 1 continuous 3 2 3 1 Off 1 1 N/A 3 2 1 3

First, look at the Signal Names and Functions section above and make sure that all required wires are in place and properly connected. We have found that moving a wire such as BAT.VOLTS or GROUND a few feet away from a good Battery Positive or Negative Distribution could result in undesirable regulation due to voltage spikes in the system. To help diagnose voltage set-points, remove the T+ (RED) connection to prevent a faulty temperature sensor from affecting the system. Second, if the problem still exists, obtain a copy of the Next Step Troubleshooting Guide which is available from the following sources: Regulator Service Center Web:

Error Indicator
Abnormal conditions are reported with the Red LED, and the external lamp/alarm, if wired. Errors are identified by On and Off times of the Red LED as shown below. Table 2. Red Error LED
Error Can’t turn field off Can’t turn field on Bat. Volts disconnected Over Temperature Voltage Runaway Bad Temperature Sensor On 1 1 3 3 6 6 Off 1 3 1 3 3 6

E-mail: Phone: (206) 789-4743 or Fax: (206) 789-9003 The troubleshooting guide was designed to help isolate a majority of the installation problems. Fill out the Troubleshooting Guide to determine if all measurements meet the specified requirements. Finally, if you are unable to remedy the problem, contact the regulator service center with the Next Step Troubleshooting Guide completed for referencing.

Voltage Adjustment
The factory setting is 38.4 Volts. The float voltage is 2.7 Volts less than the absorption set-point. Before adjusting absorption voltage disconnect the T+ (RED) connection from the regulator.

Ample Power products are manufactured by Ample Technology, 2442 NW Market St., #43, Seattle, WA 98107 – USA Visit