All of that seems to be in order. The ground was on the intake manifold, but I moved it to the alternator bracket suspecting that was the culprit, but no dice.
I've heard of a diode or 10 watt resistor put in line with the exciter wire, seeing as I don't have a dummy gen light, I have the gauge.
I've seen 50 million ways to wire one up, and none of them seem to work on the old alternator or the new one. They all tested good at O'Reilly's, but that machine didn't tell me any sort of output voltage, just a "passed" symbol on the screen.
edit: I have battery voltage (12.2) at the exciter wire.