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Old 29-04-2011, 11:37   #1
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External Manual Regulator

Is it possible to buy an external, manually adjustable alternator regulator still? I used to have one of these from Lucas I think it was. There was a little adjustment screw so you could fine tune the max. bulk charge voltage. I also had a Spa Creek version on one boat. I'm not talking about the supposedly "smart" regulators, I'm talking about a dumb manual one.
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Old 29-04-2011, 11:46   #2
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Re: External manual regulator?

all it is is a variable resistor potentiometer,should be available at any radio shack store 0-100 ohms should doit.

same as a volume control on an old style radio,fitted in line on the field wire to the alternator,works by dropping the voltage sensed by the alternator,just be careful not to over cook the batteries.
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Old 29-04-2011, 12:42   #3
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Re: External manual regulator?

Here's a DIY regulator:
Self build adjustable alternator controler

The version atoll describes is not a regulator. His potentiometer fools the stock internal regulator, thus forcing the regulator to "overcharge".
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Old 29-04-2011, 12:46   #4
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Re: External manual regulator?

If you're going to boost the field voltage, you MUST use a wirewound control from the existing field wire to battery positive.
Monitor the battery voltage when you do this, and disconnect it one way or another from +12v when the engine is off so you don't discharge the battery.
A carbon potentiometer will not be able to take the current, it'll burn out.

Further, any control in series with the existing field wire will only DECREASE the charging current.
The point is to increase the field current, thereby increasing the magnetic field which increases the alternator's output.
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Old 29-04-2011, 16:43   #5
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Re: External manual regulator?

Has anybody tried one of these Transpo manual external regulators? They seem to be popular with people who want to drive big sound systems in cars.
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Old 02-05-2011, 18:51   #6
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Re: External Manual Regulator

Searching around using The Google I find that there are many older automotive alternators designed to hook up to separate regulators, so it would be simple and cheap to get a fairly high output alternator around 100 amps for around $100. Now if there was still a simple manually adjustable regulator you could have a pretty cheap charging system that could work with any type of batteries and could be manually adjusted for good charging characteristics. Plus, it would be relatively bulletproof and easy to fix or replace when it does break down. In researching this a bit I came across Maine Sail's Musings Regarding External Regulation, a good write up on his experiment using a dumb regulated alternator and cheapo WalMart batteries, with good success so far (I don't think I can link to this as it is on another forum). Thought it was worth mentioning.
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