About lperkins

March 5, 2011
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  • Install a 6 volt alternator on your old car!

    The higher voltage became the standard because it makes the electrical devices running on the system more efficient. Amps are what requires the bigger wires, amps are also what turns into heat. 12v starter motors turn harder for their size and weight and require less cooling. 12v lights are brighter without the fixture having to be as heavy. The only reason anybody ever bothered with 6v systems was because that's what they could get out of a generator. Once diodes were invented alternators generate power much more efficiently, are cheaper to build, and require practically no maintenance. And because of their simpler construction and better efficiency they can produce much higher voltages. Before power inverters got cheap there were boxes you could hook to the externally-regulated alternator on your vehicle to kick it up to 120v so you could run your appliances off of it. 12v is a good tradeoff for a car electrical system between cranking and lighting power and the number of cells you have to stuff into the battery compartment.

    Get an externally-regulated alternator to skip the step of having to take it apart and bypass the internal regulator. Then either build or buy a regulator for 6v. They cost about $100.These days you can also get an internally regulated 6v alternator in positive or negative ground.

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