The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

WakeSpeed Pro Alternator Regulator Announced

As we hinted a few months ago, Wakespeed have announced a new alternator regulator, the WS500 Pro.

Here’s the scoop based on an in-depth email conversation I had with Al Thomason, chief designer at Wakespeed.

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Torsten Hansen

Thank you for the update, John. Bluetooth is a welcome addition and I can see that it would be useful for fine tuning white space programming. Al made the point that if you have two units, you should carry one of them as a lightning protected spare. Maybe the desire to have the latest and greatest will lead to lots of spares on cruising boats and that would be a good thing.

Speaking of white space, I would be really interested in an article about the nuts and bolts of configuring that.

Eric Klem

Hi John,

Did Al say anything about testing for RF immunity? I could see this thing being installed in some electrically noisy environments. From an ME’s point of view, we constantly get bugged by the EE’s to try to tighten up enclosures.


Matt Marsh

That’d be an interesting question. Very few companies are equipped to do full RF radiated and conducted immunity & emissions testing; they contract it out to the likes of Intertek and UL. And it’s expensive. The standard suite of CISPR11, FCC 47CFR Pt.15, IEC 61000-4 tests for a consumer electronics device *without any radios* runs about $15k. Add another $10k to $15k to that if electrical product safety testing is required as well. And pile on more costs if it includes a radio transmitter. Plus change orders, plus re-testing anything that doesn’t quite meet the specs and needs to be tweaked. Plus overhead, shipping, & travel. Pretty soon you’re looking at $30k to $50k of testing that’ll drag out for six months.

So it’s not really a huge surprise, to me, when relatively small specialist / niche companies simply don’t do this testing.

David Eberhard

Okay, Bluetooth sounds all well and dandy, but from an electronics Neanderthal. What is Ithing? I know what Android is, and I don’t think I have it since I have an iPhone. Will Ithing run on an iPhone? I’d be very happy to get away from dip switches, they drive me crazy.

Stein Varjord

Hi David,
Ithing could also be written i-thing, and means gadget types starting with an «i», like iPhone and iPad, the Apple IOS operating system. It’s perhaps a bit of a joke name.