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Old 11-25-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
JohnHupp
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Default Saturn alternators: 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire?

This is a question out of left field. I want to do a boys project where they would use a bicycle-driven regulator alternator to provide 12V DC (14V is probably fine) to hobby motors. I see a design at scienceshareware.com that specifies a 63-Amp 1-Wire GM Alternator (model 80500, by Allstar). The alternator is self-exciting: it's supposed to cut in at a certain trigger RPM and not require a battery input, which sounds good for keeping the design simple. (Though the boys would initially have to hit about 23mph to trigger the alternator.)

Apart from keeping a battery out of the recipe, I'd like it if I could shop for cheaper alternators. Anyone know how widespread the 1-wire design is across the Saturn lines, or GM in general?
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn alternators: 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire?

The self exciting alternator is not used in the original design of any car or truck. They all require power to the regulator to excite the field. The 1 wire modification is used for converting old generator powered equipment to an alternator. As you will find out, you have to wind them up to a pretty good RPM to get them going and they have a tendency to not excite at all when they feel like it. The best one is Lester 7117.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn alternators: 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire?

Thanks, OldNuc. For my project, it looks then like the way to go may be to use a 3-wire alternator (much cheaper), supply 12V to the field terminal, run the alternator output to the hobby motors, and leave the remote voltage sensing terminal disconnected.

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Old 11-25-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn alternators: 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire?

Yes, it will default to internal output sensing if the external sense termainal is open circuit. Place a 10 ohm 10 watt resistor in the excitation line or a 194 bulb and you can start it off with a push button to a couple of 6V dry cells wired in series. Once its excited it will self excite.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn alternators: 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Yes, it will default to internal output sensing if the external sense terminal is open circuit. Place a 10 ohm 10 watt resistor in the excitation line or a 194 bulb and you can start it off with a push button to a couple of 6V dry cells wired in series. Once its excited it will self excite.
I just bought a Visteon 7127-3 (Delco 10SI type) alternator. I was going to connect the excitation line straight to 12v dc from an old computer power supply and just turn that on before a boy is ready to pedal. Do I create a short circuit in the field without the inline 10 ohm 10 watt resistor, or is that to purposely lower the field voltage from 12V?
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn alternators: 1-wire, 2-wire, 3-wire?

Use a 194 bulb and socket and the dry cells. As the field builds the bulb will go out. Wired to 12V will fry the regulator sooner or later. Not to mention what it will do to a switching power supply. The bulb or resistor limit the current into or out of the field.
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