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DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?


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Old 11-17-2017, 07:34:19 PM
OldJalopy OldJalopy is offline
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Default DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

Not sure where to post this question but can someone tell me how to determine the voltage of a generator? The generator on my Hercules RXC has no tag and I don't know what voltage it is.

ron
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:57:28 PM
Gary Barber
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Default Re: Voltage

I think the only way to determine voltage is to spin it up to 1800 or 3600 rpm and read output with volt meter (hopefully it is putting out) If you can see the rotor look for the number of poles if only 2 then it's 3600 rpm if 4 poles then 1800 rpm and on the slight chance you have 6 poles then it would be a 1200 rpm unit I don't think output voltage can be determined any other way You might try posting some pictures and possibly some "stackers" might recognize it Is there any kind of regulator in it ? Numbers on a regulator would help you to determine voltage Are the output wires hooked up in any kind of configuration?? that also would help but a 277/440 volt configuration could look like a 120/208 hookup How many wires are there in the output and hopefully they are numbered I am probably way off base here and there are only 2 wires coming out If there are only 2 wires and if I was a betting man I would lay down $20 on a 120 volt generator Gary
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:24:12 AM
OldJalopy OldJalopy is offline
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Default Re: Voltage

Thanks Gary. I should have mentioned this is either a six or twelve volt generator for a truck.

ron
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:51:45 AM
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Default Re: Voltage

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Old 11-18-2017, 12:45:01 PM
Gary Barber
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Default Re: DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

well this will be my last post I look like a real idiot
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:21:58 PM
Jack Innes Jack Innes is offline
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Default Re: DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

Gary,

Even an answer to a misinterpreted question is useful. I learned a bit about generators today from your information.

An idiot would not try to help at all.

Jack
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:18:30 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is online now
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Default Re: DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

Any idea on the year of the truck? Is it ex-military? Gary had the right ides, you need to make it generate to see if it puts out. If it is stuck or fried, I would consider switching to a conventional 12 volt system. There is another trick you can do - does your truck have lights? If so, take a headlamp and connect to a 6 volt lantern battery! If it lights bright, you have a 6 volt system. Lights dim, probably 12 volt. If it doesn't light, or barely turns the filament red, might be a 24 volt (military). This will work with a brake light bulb too.

Do you know the manufacturer? If so, the S/N, if on it, can possibly identify it for you. Most trucks used 6 volt systems into the late 1950s. I would say a truck built in the 1960s or later would probably be 12 volt.
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:23:19 PM
Jack Innes Jack Innes is offline
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Default Re: DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

Another test would be to connect a good 6 v battery to the starter & if it barely turns it is most likely 12 v. Similarly if a 12 V battery barely turns it could be 24 V
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:58:18 PM
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Default Re: DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

I like the idea of connecting a six volt source to one of the bulbs on the vehicle, but a lantern battery will not provide enough current to effectively light a headlamp. Maybe use a six volt battery charger.

Definitely keep it original if you can. It worked when it was made, and they haven't changed the principles of electricity. So modern electrons still work in old equipment.
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Old 11-18-2017, 05:03:24 PM
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Default Re: DC Generator Voltage 6 volts or 12 volts?

I guess my first question to you would be, what do you want the generator to be? In my experience voltage is determined by the regulator rather than the generator. I drove my '53 Ford pickup for years as a 12 volt system. I did all of the expected changes to the 6V components (gauges, lights, etc) and swapped in a 12 V wiper motor but I kept the 6V starter and generator. I changed to a 12V regulator and all was well with the world. The 12V battery spun the little six cylinder really nicely on 12V and the hybrid charging system had enough poop to keep the battery from going flat.

I know, this is a functional answer more than a definitive one. If you just want to know, "What is this thing" and no further details I would say that if the engine is older than say 1970 then it is probably six volts if it is in a civilian industrial application. Those stayed 6V long after cars went to 12V. If the engine is military, in a vehicle or something with special power needs then all bets are off.
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