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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

delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?


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  #1  
Old 11-22-2001, 02:26:53 AM
Rod
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Default delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

Hi. At the settlement where i volunteer, we have a 30's saw mill, which includes a delco 850 light plant. It is in great shape for a freebie and i just got it up and running this evening for the first time in god knows how long. Here's the problems. #1. I can only guess how it's SUPPOSED to be wired. Since i read NOT to run this without the batteries, i have made a special cord for 2-12 volt and 1 6 volt batteries in series. The thing whips over, but without knowing the proper wiring, i'm not keen on letting it charge. #2. Someone before me hand made the points, and the thing fires like a hit and miss... not much in the rpm department. Any idea's on where i can get new ones? does it have a condensor? #3. Where the heak does one find 32 volt light bulbs that AREN'T 8-12 bucks a pop? Bonus would be a manual, sales literature, or anything else that would go nice in our display. We are the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement of St Petersburg, Florida. We also sponsor the Florida Antique Power Club, of which i am a member, and i'm also a member of the Central Mass Steam Gas and Machinery Association.

Side note... I personally own a F-M zd "saltblock" lightplant in very good condition, and was wondering if there was a way to convert it to something a little more useful... like 12 volts vs 32. Anyone have a manual for this?

Thank you all for such a neat place to ask questions. If anyone would like to know our show dates, our address, or anything else, please feel free to e-me :-)
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Old 11-22-2001, 09:41:42 AM
Gus Simms
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Default Re: delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

Dr. Delco (Wayne Sphar) 4610 Jefferson Ave. Avella, PA 15312 He sells reprints of a whole bunch of Delco manuals including the 850. Last time I bought one it was 6 bucks including postage. Yes it does have a condensor inside the bottom of the coil. You can replace it with small 1 microfarad/200 volt capacitor from Radio shack. Take out the old condensor first. You can run 12 volt bulbs in series, but not much else. Keep your eyes open at flea markets and swap meets, I've found quite a few 32 volt bulbs, and a motor or two. Appliances, however, don't show up too often. The reason for this is that 32V appliances had a standard 2 prong plug that I assume some unsupecting person put into the 110v recepticle long after REA came to their farm or residence. I guess the reason the light bulbs survive is that there were more of them. Early on I blew a couple of them, thinking they were 110V. I have one of the old saltblock ZD generators too. Interesting, but not to beautiful.
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:08:50 PM
rod
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Default Re: delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

Gus, Thanks for the info. I tried the radio shac cap like you suggested... That was good for an hour or so of laughs. If i was trying to arc weld with the points, it might have actually worked. However, it did nothing for creating a spark at the plug. I reconnected the old condensor, (to remove it would have involved drilling rivets), and added 2-3 car condensors, and got enough spark to actually generate current for a short time. The points still ar
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:26:54 PM
rod
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Default Re: delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

(lock up...) The points are still arcing badly, but it fires enough to actually generate, and gobble MASSIVE amounts of fuel for what little it is doing.

If i can make it fire correctly, i imagine it might just charge batteries. The wiring seems to be ok, whereas the solonoid will energize when it spins fast enough, and shows a plus of 10 amps on the ammeter. It also seems that as soon as i engage the batteries, the points ark out until it slows enough to drop the charge, release the solenoid, and then regain speed.

IS there any place to get parts for this thing?

still looking for 32 volt bulb source, and it could use a spark plug.

Thanks again

Rod (pinellas pioneer settlement)
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Old 11-25-2001, 03:25:28 PM
Sherm W
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Default Re: delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

I had a good capacitor from the Delco 32 Volt coil and it measursed 0.5 microfarad. This is twice the value of a normal ignition capacitor and is required to control the arcing at 32 volts. Higher DC voltages inherently have a greater arcing characteristic and the capacitor has to be large enough to snuff the arc generated when the points open. In my Delco 600 there was also a 0.5 microfarad cacitor mounted in the breaker point box, so the total capacatince across the points is 1.0 microfarad. ON ac circuits, there is less of a tendency to arc because the voltage passes thru zero ever half cycle and that gap causes the arc to extinguish.On DC cicuits the same voltage as on an AC circuit will arc substantially more.Thats why your points are welding together.
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Old 11-25-2001, 08:54:15 PM
Joseph Turrisi
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Default Re: delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

Rod you should check out (homepower.com) they had do it yourself plans for an electronic ignition for single cly. engines.


www.homepower.com
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Old 11-26-2001, 09:14:39 AM
Gus Simms
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Default Re: delco 850-parts?/wiring?/bulbs?

I got the condensor fix from Wayne Spahr and have used it on a couple of my Delcos, no problems. Does your coil have a resistor unit on the top? The Delco coils should have one, as they are designed to run at about 6 volts on the coil side. If your running at 32 volts you'll probably burn it out. The proper feed is on the side of the resistance unit, not the top. The top lug feeds directly to the coil and by passes the resistance. If your coil is missing the resistor,isolate the ignition circuit and run it on 6 volts.
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