FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: What wiring changes are required on my existing boat installation? A: other than running a wire to your alternator field terminal, you will need an ignition source to the ZM4 and a battery positive and earth.
Q: Will this unit work through a VSR (Voltage Sensitive relay)? A: Yes it is the preferred way to connect it
Q: Will this unit work through a diode splitter? A: Yes and the ZM4 can compensate for the typical voltage drop over a diode bank.
Q: Can I fit a ZM4 to an outboard motor? A: No for the ZM4 to work it must have a field control, an outboard motor does not have this function
Q: Can I fit a ZM4 to a solar panel or wind turbine? A: No for the ZM4 to work it must have a field control
Q: Can the ZM4 run two alternators? A: Yes but we suggest you have two connected to provide for redundancy
Q: What changes are required to my alternator? A: This does depend on your alternator type, some are easy to convert other are a bit more difficult
Q: Can I modify my own alternator? A: Yes, it is a matter of disabling the internal regulator and running a field wire to the earth side of the brush block. The ZM4 controls the earth side of the brushes
Q: Can the ZM4 run a positive switched alternator? A: Yes specifiy which unit you require when ordering, if you are unsure just ask us and tell us your alternator model
Q: Can you provide the modification required for my alternator? A: Yes call with the details first.
Q: Can you refurbish my alternator and convert it for an external regulator? A: Yes we do this on a regular basis for clients.
Q: Where is the knob for adjusting? A: After some initial testing we found it better to fine tune the settings with either a screwdriver or your fingers, a knob was found too cumbersome. If you really want a knob feel free to install one.
Q: I have been told that a smart regulator is hard on my alternator? A: The old adage, the harder you work something the faster it is going to wear out. Good regular maintenance must be adjusted accordingly. There are some dog alternators out there call and discuss your brand.
Q: Why does my voltage vary with lower engine rpm? A: It is a function of the alternator output being too low for that given rpm, so your battery capacity and or status is too low for the unit to be able to achieve the desired set voltage.
Q: Can I connect the V+ brush directly to the B+ terminal? A: Yes this will work fine and will not drain your battery as the ZM4 field circuit is disconnected during ignition off situations. this is particulary helpful if you
Q: Will the ZM4 work with every engine type.A: Please check with us first as we recently found a VOLVO engine installation had trouble with the electronic managment system. That said we have succesfully installed a ZM4 system on a twin engine VOLVO vessel previous to this most recent experience.