Magneto battery charger

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Mountainrider
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Magneto battery charger

Post by Mountainrider » Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:31 pm

Does it matter if the diode is before or after the the 1156 bulb? I made mine magneto, bulb, diode, then battery. Searching old threads it’s say magneto, diode, bulb, then battery.

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/494541.jpg

Been running it a year that way. No I’ll effects that I can tell.


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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Piewagon » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:03 am

HSBC2.jpg
The bulb and the diode are in series so that part doesn't matter but you MUST make sure the diode is correctly installed since the cathode end (striped "banded" end) must point to the battery positive connection. The anode end of that diode must be pointed at the magneto connection. If you want to see a simpler version of this same device, I make them up with a printed circuit board and all parts mounted such that you only have to slip the thing onto the 2 ends of the coil box connections at the bottom. These are the Magneto (MAG) and Battery (BAT) connections that are the bottom 2 connections of the 10 connections on the engine side of the coil box. I will attempt to attach a picture of the device all built and ready to install. You can put it on or take it off in a few minutes with no wiring alterations other than removing the outer thumb nut on each side, then slide the Printed Wiring Board in place and reinstall the thumb nuts. If there is no picture posted here then send me an email or PM and I will send you a picture of the device.


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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Loftfield » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:13 am

Query: My brass T's do not have starter or generator (Armstrong starter only) but I keep a lead/acid battery for starting. Will these devices keep that battery charged? Will the battery be over-charged?


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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Mountainrider » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:34 am

I have a 12 volt motorcycle battery install for my head lights and for hand crank starting. I only have to put in on the battery tender if it’s a long night drive. I am using LED bulbs.


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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Piewagon » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:30 am

Tom:
Yes they are actually designed for just that purpose. Choice of bulb can increase or decrease charge rate depending on the Amp-hour rating and voltage of the battery you use. Contact me via email for more info.

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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Fordwright » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:26 pm

For a considerable time, the charging rate was controlled by the operator, either by switching it on and off, or selecting between a high and low charge rate. Watching the brightness of the lights was about the only indication you had for the voltage of the battery. A simple regulator can be made using a resistor and a relay. While the ignition is switched on, a parallel switch can activate the regulator which has been adjusted to cut out charging once the battery voltage reaches full charge. Much simpler nowadays using off the shelf parts, but it's the owner's choice how authentic they want to keep their vehicle.

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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:17 am

Here's how I charge the battery in my 1915 runabout. If my memory of the dim and distant past is right, I learned it from John Regan.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG102.html
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Fordwright » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:09 pm

Piewagon wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:03 am
HSBC2.jpgThe bulb and the diode are in series so that part doesn't matter but you MUST make sure the diode is correctly installed since the cathode end (striped "banded" end) must point to the battery positive connection. The anode end of that diode must be pointed at the magneto connection. If you want to see a simpler version of this same device, I make them up with a printed circuit board and all parts mounted such that you only have to slip the thing onto the 2 ends of the coil box connections at the bottom. These are the Magneto (MAG) and Battery (BAT) connections that are the bottom 2 connections of the 10 connections on the engine side of the coil box. I will attempt to attach a picture of the device all built and ready to install. You can put it on or take it off in a few minutes with no wiring alterations other than removing the outer thumb nut on each side, then slide the Printed Wiring Board in place and reinstall the thumb nuts. If there is no picture posted here then send me an email or PM and I will send you a picture of the device.
An elegant and simple solution, but the charging current would double if you used a bridge rectifier.
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by BE_ZERO_BE » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:50 pm

A Bridge Rectifier will not directly replace the single diode in this type of charger.
One leg of the bridge will be a short to ground.
In order to use a bridge rectifier, the magneto output must be isolated by a one to one isolation transformer.
Then a bridge rectifier will give you full wave output.
I have this arrangement in my '16 T.
It works great.
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by SurfCityGene » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:30 pm

Bob, You want to show us how you hooked up that isolation transformer on that grounded leg? Sounds very interesting.
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by BE_ZERO_BE » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:14 pm

Here is a sketch of my setup.
 
ISOLATION TO BRIDGE.jpg
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Oldav8tor » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:16 pm

I bought the FP kit but never installed it. I run a 12 volt battery for starter and lights but also have a USB adapter that I use to power an old GPS that I use for a speedometer.

My question is, will this charger be safe to use with my USB adapter and GPS?
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Fordwright » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:25 pm

Oldav8tor wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:16 pm
I bought the FP kit but never installed it. I run a 12 volt battery for starter and lights but also have a USB adapter that I use to power an old GPS that I use for a speedometer.

My question is, will this charger be safe to use with my USB adapter and GPS?
To be on the safe side, make sure the USB circuit is connected to the battery at all times, and install some line filtering to protect against voltage spikes.

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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:25 pm

Let's see if I have this right. John's charger is essentially a half-wave rectifier so it will output pulsing DC at whatever voltage the magneto is putting out at the time.

I have a USB adapter in my Model T that was originally designed to be installed in a boat. I assume it drops the input voltage (12 in my case) to 5 volts. I use it to run my old Garmin GPS/Speedometer and occasionally charge a cellphone.

My concern is whether the USB adapter can deal with the higher voltage pulses from the magneto without failing.... I also wonder if the pulses will put noise on the line that might interfere with the GPS. Currently the GPS is unaffected by the magneto a foot or so away. Does anyone have any experience with something similar?
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Fordwright » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:44 pm

The model T flywheel magneto was never intended as a charging system for the battery. It puts out AC current at voltages between about 5 and 30 volts, depending on RPM and load. It's not particularly spiky power, but I doubt the power regulator in your USB socket would be able to handle such a range of voltages. That's why I suggested connecting it to the battery instead, which acts as bit of a ballast, keeping the voltage near the 12-14V range.

The Model T trembler coil ignition was designed to operate on a wide range of voltages on either AC or DC power, but the same can not be said for modern electronic devices.

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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:25 pm

Greg,
The USB adapter is connected to a 12 volt battery as is the starter, LED lights and battery post on the coil box. I just assumed if we used the above charging circuit to charge said battery that the higher magneto voltages would be added to the mix, albeit as pulsing half-wave DC.
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Fordwright » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:46 pm

Oldav8tor wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:25 pm
Greg,
The USB adapter is connected to a 12 volt battery as is the starter, LED lights and battery post on the coil box. I just assumed if we used the above charging circuit to charge said battery that the higher magneto voltages would be added to the mix, albeit as pulsing half-wave DC.
Well, that's good, because the raw DC rectified off the magneto would probably be too much for your USB adapter. Glad to hear you have a battery, but do yourself a favor and install a voltmeter and a charging switch. There's no regulator in that circuit, so you'll have to monitor it yourself and switch it off when the battery voltage gets too high (I'd guess at about 14.5V).


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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Piewagon » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:08 pm

What a lot of folks don't seem to understand is that the light bulb acts as a current limiter to prevent the charging current from getting large enough to overcharge a small battery or large enough to pull the magneto down so the car won't run on magneto. This device was written up many years ago in the MTFCA elecrical manual and it is essentially a copy of the way the phone company used to limit the current to a given phone that was powered through the phone line. They put bulbs in series at the central office and those bulbs would light up bright if there was a short on the line but otherwise simply limited the amount of current that was available to the consumer's telephone. Telephones operated on very large 48 volt storage batteries and for many years they were essentially just a larger version of the batteries that were being used in our cars. Those batteries typically last for more than 20 years unless there was some major calamity that drained them completely.

The typical cell phone has a small voltage battery in it that is often about 3V or so. It is charged from a 5V source in the USB which is a regulated drop from the cars 12V supply. That makes it all battery derived.

The small charger I pictured above uses a lamp as a current limiter and a single diode to provide some charging current to the 6V or 12V battery that the car might have in it. If you rarely drive at night this charger will charge your battery with a small current that is there the whole time the motor is running. I have had them on my brass cars and never had a battery go bad using only this small charger to put back the current taken from the battery by a motor that is in very good tune and fires right up on the first spin. Full wave will increase the efficiency but it really doesn't make enough MORE power that you might need to keep up with headlights and tail lights. LED's will reduce the needed charge amount but the starter will need that larger reserve of a full size battery. This small charger does not need any switch or fuse because the bulb serves as a fuse and the diode is super heavy duty for the amount of current taken.

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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Fordwright » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:57 pm

I was referring or course, to voltage, not current. The light bulb amounts to a resistor which provides a trickle current and varies widely, depending on the brightness of the bulb. For the first second or so, before the bulb heats up, resistance is very low, allowing higher current and not providing a voltage drop across the resistor (bulb). Since the magneto is capable of generating up to 30 volts, that's probably enough time to destroy the circuitry in the USB adapter.

If all you needed were a simple trickle-charger to keep up with the battery drain of a few lights while you're out on a few jaunts in your Model T, it might be fine. You may need to experiment with all sorts of bulbs to get the right amount of charging current, but a USB adapter needs a much more stable power source than such a system can provide.

I can't speak to the possible degradation effects that a half-wave rectifier might have on the flywheel magnets. It's possible that a constant DC drain could demagnetize the magnets.

For what it's worth, it's a much better idea to power devices such as a GPS from a rechargeable battery pack, than to expose sensitive electronics to the potentially erratic and dirty power that comes from such a setup.

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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:44 am

Being a near-total electronic dummy, I can't explain why anything works or doesn't. All I can do in this department is relate my own experience. John's plan with the diode and 1156 bulb keeps the little battery strapped in my frame rail charged to buzz the coils if I need it for starting. I don't think it has discharged my magnets, and so far the phone I charge off the battery hasn't been ruined. If there's a chance that a surge at startup could damage the phone, maybe I should flip on the switch only after the car is running.

IMG_2759 copy.JPG
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Re: Magneto battery charger

Post by Piewagon » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:07 am

Since cell phones are so common and recharging methods vary so much, the "generic" cell phone's needs with regard to charging are pretty well known and it is in ALL manufacturer's best interest that they all can be recharged in what are nearly "standard" ways. It is almost like plugging things into an AC socket. Plugs are fairly standard for each phone and it is important to understand that a CAR Battery is not just a source of power but is also literally a GIGANTIC filter capacitor. If you connect your charging device to the correct voltage and have that size battery in your car the amount of power you need to start the car coils buzzing is way more than you need to charge your phone in a reasonable time. The light bulb absorbs current spikes and unless the battery is defective it is highly unlikely that any noise will emit from the battery toward your phone while it is charging. The magneto provides enough excess power to be able to run this small charger and it just turns out that there is enough power to pretty much get by without any other charger so long as you don't have a huge high powered load on the battery at the same time like head light bulbs or 2 or more brake light bulbs. The brake light load really varies depending on where you drive. The good news is that brake light LED's are plentiful and you can pretty much hang those in triplicate and still not have much drain. Headlights really don' t have the right kind of reflectors for use with available LED's. Yes they can be bright but that is not the issue that is difficult. Whether your battery is 6V or 12V the charger will work with either but in truth you will get more charge current with 6V and also hold more discharge current in it too with a given size battery. Hook your charger source to the battery and don't worry about the charger creating noise. The frequency of the magneto is low (around 260 Hz at 50 MPH!) Easy for the battery to filter that but also easy for the current limiter bulb to soften any "spikes" that you might think are coming from the magneto toward the battery. Don't confuse ignition noise coming from your COILS as being caused by the magneto. Magneto is a source of power but the "NOISE" that makes digital meters go erratic is NOT from the magneto so much as it is from the coils.

Hope this helps.

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