Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Vintage Electrical Equipment > Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants
Forgot Password? Join Us!

Notices

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants Antique Generators, Light Plants, Typically 24, 32 or 48 volt although some are 110 volt. DC Lamps, Motors and appliances.

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants

Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?


this thread has 6 replies and has been viewed 897 times

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-16-2016, 03:04:56 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alturas, California
Posts: 809
Thanks: 27
Thanked 335 Times in 191 Posts
Default Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

I'd like to verify my understanding of operating a standard Delco Light 850, so could anyone with a restored unit confirm the following?

Starting: Lift the starting lever and hold while the engine builds up speed. Operate choke as necessary until engine fires. Once running, release the lever and the unit will continue running (tab in switch stays up via electromagnet).

Stopping: Done by the plant itself if I understand it. That is, when the battery voltage equals the generator output, the voltage traveling through the starting switch coil opposes the electromagnetic pull of the starting tab. At that point the tab drops, killing the ignition and stopping the engine.

I have a copy of the original setup/operation instructions but to my surprise NOWHERE does it explain how the plant stops! It tells you how to start it, but that's it. I want to make sure, as I'm going to wind a replacement starting switch coil.....then I'll know how to test it.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-18-2016, 04:14:40 PM
Tim B's Avatar
Tim B Tim B is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Rivesville, West Virginia
Posts: 923
Thanks: 2,150
Thanked 804 Times in 315 Posts
Default Re: Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

George, its been a few years now, but I believe I just opened the choke all the way and it leaned out enough and shut down.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-19-2016, 12:13:38 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alturas, California
Posts: 809
Thanks: 27
Thanked 335 Times in 191 Posts
Default Re: Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

You know Tim, I'm beginning to think you're right.

I read......somewhere......that the Delco Light generators ran until the battery current equaled the generator output, at which point the two starting switch coils cancelled each other out and dropped the ignition tab stopping the engine. I wish I could find that information now, because I think the author was dead wrong........or he was talking about a different model.

The two coils inside the starting switch are nothing more than a reverse current relay....a cutout relay.....that prevents current from the battery flowing through the generator when the unit is not running. Otherwise the batteries would "motor" the generator until they were exhausted.

I dug in to all of this because my inner coil, the one with the fine winding, would NOT hold the starting tab up. It tests GOOD at 300 ohms, but exerts almost no electromagnetic pull at all. I've gone to the trouble of winding a new coil using the same size wire (37 gauge) and will swap it with the one in the switch after testing it first to make sure it's a magnet ! If THAT doesn't work I'll have to start looking elsewhere.

Last edited by George Andreasen; 05-20-2016 at 11:53:42 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-19-2016, 08:23:13 PM
Tim B's Avatar
Tim B Tim B is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Rivesville, West Virginia
Posts: 923
Thanks: 2,150
Thanked 804 Times in 315 Posts
Default Re: Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

George, what batteries are you using to start this? Did you check the voltage coming out? Are you sure your getting up to speed for the holding circuit? Ive got a lot going on right now... ( kid sports, scouts birthday, ....) As soon as I can, I'll do some test w/ mine and let you know. My tank was leaking and I resealed it and I have been wanting to put it back together anyway. Tim

I forgot to add: Ive always just ran (3) 12volt batteries in a series and it and the other light plants also.

Last edited by Tim B; 05-19-2016 at 08:44:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-20-2016, 12:04:09 AM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alturas, California
Posts: 809
Thanks: 27
Thanked 335 Times in 191 Posts
Default Re: Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

I'm using four brand new 8 volt golf cart batteries in series. I tried the original coil (on the bench with the iron core in it) by using two jumper wires directly from the batteries and it wouldn't even attract a screwdriver tip...no pull at all, yet that coil tests good at 300 ohms! That's why I'm not worried about the holding voltage yet.....the thing doesn't even act like an electromagnet at this point! However, your point about not getting up to speed might be correct. The engine runs but seems to have a difficult time running evenly, and this might be a simple as needing new rings (I've already lapped the valves). So, yeah, if you can meter the holding voltage for me I'd REALLY appreciate it. Each clue gets me closer to a fix.

Tonight I just finished winding a replacement coil with 2500 turns of 37 gauge wire, ending up at around 325 ohms. Had a little trouble getting it off my winding form but it finally let go. I've soldered two pieces of braided copper for the lead outs and used shrink tube over them, then epoxied them for strength. The final step (tomorrow) will be to give it a coat or two of insulating lacquer, then test it as I outlined above. All of my grade school science tells me it should make an effective electromagnet, but.......?? We'll see!

If it works, I'm thinking of coming up with a more streamlined method of making these coils and offering them to other Delco Light owners with the same problem.

Last edited by George Andreasen; 05-20-2016 at 11:55:51 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-30-2016, 02:49:40 PM
FDChief FDChief is offline
Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Fountain City, Indiana, USA
Posts: 60
Thanks: 4
Thanked 23 Times in 11 Posts
Default Re: Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

George
Did the new coil work?
Opening the choke lever is how most of the 850's were stopped.
The 850 with the watt hour meter had an ignition shorting circuit built in the watt hour meter.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-30-2016, 03:10:16 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
Registered-III
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alturas, California
Posts: 809
Thanks: 27
Thanked 335 Times in 191 Posts
Default Re: Starting/stopping a Delco Light 850?

Yep, new coil worked beautifully.......in fact the relay closes with authority now! I made a second, higher quality coil and sent it to a member for him to test. He's experiencing some medical issues right now so I have yet to get an "independent test". I'm pretty sure it's fine though, so I'm in a position to wind them as required by other Delco 850 owners.

Since my original ignition coil was shot, I used a modern coil in its place. I also wired a hidden toggle switch in the primary of my ignition so I can shut it down at will.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
My Delco Light 850!! Ford57 Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants 2 08-09-2015 10:20:26 PM
Delco Light Plant 850: Start and stopping switch not working Jan-Willem Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants 5 07-26-2013 09:38:42 PM
Delco Light 4B3 Mike Schweikert Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants 1 11-28-2010 06:59:34 PM
Identifying Delco-Light light plant WesPete66 Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants 6 10-20-2010 06:41:59 AM
delco light brian baker Antique Engine Archives 1 06-02-2004 11:20:19 PM


Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:08:28 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!


All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277