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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

12volt Tiny Tim


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  #1  
Old 10-28-2018, 09:08:17 PM
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Tim B Tim B is offline
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Default 12volt Tiny Tim

I just got my little gen running today and it seems to be putting out too much voltage. Almost 18 volts! The cutout wants to shut down the ignition coil as it running because of the high output. I cant find a schematic on it to see if there is suppose to be a resistor or not on the field winding. I did find that someone was inside rewiring a few things, which is why it wouldn't propel itself when I got it. Anyway, if anyone has a reason for the high output, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:53:45 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Since no one else has responded I’ll give this a shot. Do you have some pics of the electrical assembly so that we can maybe try to reverse engineer what it’s supposed to be doing? Another thought: is maybe 18v low voltage on a 24 or 32 volt set?

I’d suspect there is supposed to be a resistor or some kind of mechanical regulator (maybe just a relay and resistor) but i don’t really know what you have.

Bill
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:10:46 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Thanks you for the replay Bill. The gen is rated for 300 watt. So I connected a 300 watt 12 volt heater to it and it ran at around 12.1 volts. The cut out does have a 12v stamped on it. The field winding connects to a ground on the switch mounting screw.
I am going to install a variable resister to this wire and try and sort things out. I should of took some picture of it while I had it apart. Neat little booger. The armature is the crankshaft! The armature shaft protrudes through the crankcase and there is a cast counter weight crank pin that clamps to the end where the connecting rod mounts.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:27:23 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

That does sound like an interesting little set! You really need to post some pics. You know how we all love pics on here

Seems like it’s running high voltage when open circuit which probably means it’s running full field or something close to that. Most likely you’re correct and the unit has no active regulation. Try a resistor, but something else to think about is if this is a DC gen which I think it probably is, voltage regulation may be accomplished by varying the RPM of the engine. See if there is provision for something like a current actuated droop governor.

Fixed speed is a requirement for AC sets, DC sets can have variable speed.

Bill
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:06:10 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Some of these (like my 6 volt one) do not have a governor or throttle. Instead they run at rated power until the battery voltage comes up to the set point, at which time the ignition is grounded. If you ran it without a battery, it would run up to speed and immediately shut down. Don't know if yours is this type, but it's somethjng to look into.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:21:56 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

I have tried running the speed down, but that just seems to lose engine power but did lever off on the voltage a smidge. I haven't messed w/ it since Sunday. Trying to get things ready for winter. Maybe this weekend I'll get back to it. Also I see no sort of governor or speed limiter.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:37:37 PM
Zephyr7 Zephyr7 is offline
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

It may Rely on load to bring the voltage down as mentioned by Vanman. In a charging application this is kinda what you want, since it’s a bit of current limiting, but it’s rising up too high for a 12v charging application.

If you have no other options you could build up a simple shunt regulator for it, but that’s a horribly inefficient way to do things.

Bill
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:26:27 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Messed with the toy tonight and it is really a Neanderthal piece of equipment. The only control it has is a reverse relay and a ignition relay for when the load drops it shuts off. No governor at all, just a manual speed control and a needle valve. I temporarily installed a variable resistor on field and ran a load. I also messed with the throttle. This might all be okay for charging a battery, but I cant trust it to run any electronics such as fridge or furnace in camper. I wanted to use this to charge my battery while at shows. I guess I'll just have to unhook battery to camper while charging.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:37:32 AM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

You might be able to buy a solar regulator (used to charge batteries from solar panels) to get this working. Solar regulators are designed to accept a really wide input voltage range due to the way the solar cells work with varying light and load levels. I think your widely varying generator output would be a good fit for one of those regulators.

Bill
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:48:57 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

You have to realize that these little generators are not intended to operate without a battery. They operate at constant current, charging the battery and running any loads until the setpoint voltage is reached, then they shut down. As long as the battery is not too small, it will be fully charged when the set shuts down.

I'd connect it to a decent sized battery that is partially discharged, start it up, and monitor the voltage. The voltage will climb, over time, as the battery state of charge increases. The shut down relay should operate somewhat less than 15 volts. If it reaches 15 or more, I'd adjust it downwards some.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:51:08 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
I'd connect it to a decent sized battery that is partially discharged, start it up, and monitor the voltage. The voltage will climb, over time, as the battery state of charge increases. The shut down relay should operate somewhat less than 15 volts. If it reaches 15 or more, I'd adjust it downwards some.
14 volts would probably be better than 15. At 15v you’re likely to be boiling off electrolyte. 13.6-13.8v is the usual save range for aggressive charging of car batteries. Deep cycle batteries are better a little less. My datasheet for some VRLA batteries we use at work lists 13-13.5v for float charging.

Bill
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:48:08 PM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Yeah, 15 would be higher than optimum, but not harmful to a flooded battery for shorter periods. This assumes room temperature. The higher the temoerature, the lower the voltage. You'll notice that virtually all older battery electrical sysstems were based on 2-1/2 volts per cell.. 14.8 at room temp is typical absorption voltage for a flooded battery. 13.8 or somewhat less is more along the lines of float voltage. I would not use this generator with anything but a decent sized flooded battery.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:56:53 PM
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Arrow Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

The older systems ran higher voltage to help “equalize” the voltage between the different cells in the batteries. That’s not much of a deal these days, and is usually recommended AGAINST in the telecom industry these days (we telecom people are rather obsessive about battery tech since we have a LOT to maintain, they’re HUGE plants (expensive), and we get sued when stuff quits).

Anyway, battery specs are usually valid at 77*F. That’s pretty warm. Capacity drops off when it’s colder than that (compared to the data sheet numbers), and optimal charging voltages vary too. The datasheets for your batteries will give all the juicy info.

I get asked all the time why I spec insulation for interior walls for battery rooms in telecom/datacenter facility designs. The reason is we keep the battery room warmer around 77*F to maximize battery life and capacity, but the rest of the facility is kept at about 70*F. Generator rooms are usually heated by the block heaters on the gensets, so they stay around 50 or so in the winter (we don’t air condition the generators in the summer.

Bill
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:12:01 AM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

That sounds like a fun place to work! I'd imagine you are using some type of sealed / gel batteries for that service? I understand those do not tolerate overvoltage since you cannot replenish lost water. I've never really studied anything but flooded cell batteries. They're my favorite. Nice and old timey.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:32:26 AM
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Sealed lead acid (SLA) are frequently used in large UPS systems. Gel cells are sometimes found in the smaller units (they can’t leak, and those little UPS systems are not kind to the batteries so they tend to fail cracked open and bulging). I never spec gel cells, they are far to expensive and not that common in large sizes. I spec SLA batteries frequently for mid-size (for me, “midsize” is about 50-150kVA), short runtime (less than 15 minutes) and for cheap sites. SLA batteries are good for about 4-5 years when maintained properly.

For large UPS systems, and for DC plants (-48v in the telecom industry), I usually spec VRLA batteries. VRLA batteries are similar to flooded cells in many ways, but they are recombinant cells so they don’t have all the off gassing problems and you usually don’t need to add water over their life (lower maintenance). I use these for all of the better systems. For UPS service, which is a hard life, they are supposed to last 10-15 years. For DC plant service they can go longer (discharge currents are lower, usually). True flooded cells can have rated lives of over 50 years.

If you’re curious, lately I’ve been using these: http://www.cdtechno.com/product/vrla...te_max_fa.html
In UPS system designs. They are very compact so they need less floor space, the front access feature makes them SO UNBELIEVABLY EASIER TO WORK ON (sorry, I got excited , and they’re cheaper over their life since they last a little
Over twice as long as the SLA batteries in the same application.

I like to do some of my own maintenance periodically just to stay in practice, and to help me make my designs better. I’m a firm believer in requiring design engineers to work on the stuff they design.

Oh, regarding it being fun to work. Yeah, most of the time, but I’m always on call too so that part sucks.

Bill
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:39:42 PM
Gary L. Naylor Gary L. Naylor is offline
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

I just picked up one of these units and was wondering if any one has a manual for this unit?
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:30:13 PM
bartlett0815 bartlett0815 is offline
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Default Re: 12volt Tiny Tim

Gary,
That one looks very much like the one I got a few years ago and posted here. I was told it might be a Little Joe rather than a Tiny Tim, but I don't recall that I ever got a definitive answer. If you ever find a manual, please post it here. I'd be interested in seeing a manual myself.
Good luck,
Kevin in NC
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