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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

A Question on Delco Light 850 Operation...

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Old 11-01-2017, 10:53:07 AM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default A Question on Delco Light 850 Operation...

I've asked about this before, but never really got a concrete answer. My Delco Light 850 is completely overhauled, mechanically and electrically. I wound my own replacement inner coil for the starting switch and it seems to perform normally. It does NOT have the fancy starting switch with the meter and manual settings, so the operator can physically set the run just lift the starting tab, hold it until rpm's are up, release and away she goes.The manual I obtained only gives basic information about starting and running, but nothing about how the plant actually operates and shuts down.

My battery bank consists of four new 8 volt golf cart cells, and the coil is a modern 12 volt replacement with power through the original resistance unit and a toggle switch I installed to make sure the ignition is shut off. The points are in good shape with a modern capacitor across them. The mixer and fuel system is pulling fuel like it should.

Here's what's bugging me. I started it and it ran beautifully, with the meter showing a charge rate of about 10 amps. If I turn on my two 100 watt bulbs the charging rate increases properly. So far, so good. However, after running about 10-15 minutes it quits. Not having any other information, I created my own theory that the starting switch is basically a reverse current relay (a cutout) and senses that the batteries are charged, so it opens, killing the ignition. In order to prove this, I deliberately left my bulbs on for several hours, discharging the batteries. I then started it and it charged normally, but quit again after the same amount of time. I had to recharge the batteries with a 32 volt electric charger.

When it shut down the second time I was standing right next to it and I'm almost positive the engine quit and THEN the starting tab dropped....but I'm not absolutely sure and haven't repeated the test yet. So, it could be that some electrical fault is stopping ignition and dropping the tab, but again I'm not totally sure.

So, my question is, is the plant supposed to shut down by itself once the batteries are charged? Or is it possible that I have a bad (new) coil or other fault? I've tested the coil with a volt/ohm meter and the resistances are normal.

The reason for my quandary is that I can't see a fancy starting switch setup if the plant needs to be shut down manually. In other words, I need to know how Delco INTENDED the plant to stop!
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