Who would like to beta test one of my new voltage regulators?

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MadScientistMat

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So, I just had the circuit boards arrive for my new voltage regulator project, and it's time to order parts for them. Who's interested in beta testing one?

Naturally, I'm testing the first on on my '66 Dart with a Denso alternator.

Here is what the first batch of regulators are. They are not OE looking and do not use OE connectors; I can supply them with either high end motorsport Amphenol AT connectors (and their matching wire-side connector with terminals) or 3/16" spade terminals. These require a dedicated ground wire, and the Amphenol version requires a connection to the battery as well. These are for dual field alternators, and have a trim pot terminal that adjusts with a jewler's screwdriver. Who would be interested, and which version would you want?

The plan is to start testing with a universal version and come up with plug and play or single field versions next.
 
I'm thinking you need someone in a HOT HOT climate, as well as someone in a humid, rainy, WET climate
 
Is it temperature compensated? I've wondered what the advantage to that feature is. I can watch my DD voltage start at 14.3v and drop to 13.8 after about 20 minutes of running.
 
If it will work on a 64 slant 6 Valiant with a factory Chrysler alternator, I'll try one.
 
Just have to ask...

Why are you recreating the wheel?

Did you use OEM schematic but with good components?
 
^^I can see why^^ He mentioned a direct battery connection, which implies a dedicated sense connection, thus right there bypassing harness voltage drop

Also "I would hope" these will be good quality, and YOU CAN NOT BUY good quality ECUs or VRs tht I know of, ANYWHERE (except NOS)
 
This project started when another Mopar owner told me that he'd had a recently bought voltage regulator die on him, and found it had been filled with sand under the potting compound instead of fully potted. I bought a cheap stock replacement regulator to inspect, and found there were a lot of shortcuts besides just filling them with sand - the temperature compensation was missing, the components had 5% tolerances (and these could stack up, so theoretically your charging voltage could be off by more than 5%!), and all around it was clear they had been trying to cut costs over building it soundly. I could tell that I could build a better regulator on my kitchen table. So I will.

The temperature dependent feature serves two purposes. One, batteries can't charge as fast or handle as much voltage when their temperature comes up. Two, it can reduce the odds of overcharging, although with lead-acid batteries the odds are pretty low you'll overcharge anyway.

Other than the direct battery measurement circuit, this is more or less the OEM design re-created with good quality parts that are widely available now, and quite likely a bit more current capacity for the field coil. I tested a more complex version that used a microcontroller, and found that unless you wanted to add features like a current meter and custom battery profiles, it wasn't really an improvement over the stock design.

The stock 1964 alternator isn't going to work, but you may want to check if someone's swapped in a later design. They could be using a dual field alternator with the second field terminal grounded.

I'll have some pictures together once I build up these circuit boards.
 
OK, I have parts on order for three Amphenol AT versions (although I'm claiming the first one) and three spade terminal versions. Let me know who's interested in which...
 
I was just thinking...

You could control the max charging current of the alternator by monitoring current flow to the car and modulating the field current accordingly while maintaining the charging voltage.

That way you could prevent a 60 amp alternator from frying a 40 amp cars wiring system?
 
This project started when another Mopar owner told me that he'd had a recently bought voltage regulator die on him, and found it had been filled with sand under the potting compound instead of fully potted. I bought a cheap stock replacement regulator to inspect, and found there were a lot of shortcuts besides just filling them with sand - the temperature compensation was missing, the components had 5% tolerances (and these could stack up, so theoretically your charging voltage could be off by more than 5%!), and all around it was clear they had been trying to cut costs over building it soundly. I could tell that I could build a better regulator on my kitchen table. So I will.

The temperature dependent feature serves two purposes. One, batteries can't charge as fast or handle as much voltage when their temperature comes up. Two, it can reduce the odds of overcharging, although with lead-acid batteries the odds are pretty low you'll overcharge anyway.

Other than the direct battery measurement circuit, this is more or less the OEM design re-created with good quality parts that are widely available now, and quite likely a bit more current capacity for the field coil. I tested a more complex version that used a microcontroller, and found that unless you wanted to add features like a current meter and custom battery profiles, it wasn't really an improvement over the stock design.

The stock 1964 alternator isn't going to work, but you may want to check if someone's swapped in a later design. They could be using a dual field alternator with the second field terminal grounded.

I'll have some pictures together once I build up these circuit boards.
I have upgraded to a square back alternator.
 
I was just thinking...

You could control the max charging current of the alternator by monitoring current flow to the car and modulating the field current accordingly while maintaining the charging voltage.

That way you could prevent a 60 amp alternator from frying a 40 amp cars wiring system?
I don't know how you'd do that. If the wiring is weak, and the load, fans, pump. stereo, or even just a very low battery in the winter with lights and heater, the voltage will sag if the current is limited, and the battery is low.

So far as myself, I don't have a Mopar that I can presently daily drive. The fall/ rain/ winter coming season is here, and the 74 is a "dry day only" car. The Dakota/ Cummins are both "in the computer" tho I guess I could wire one up in the Cummins truck
 
I was just thinking...

You could control the max charging current of the alternator by monitoring current flow to the car and modulating the field current accordingly while maintaining the charging voltage.

That way you could prevent a 60 amp alternator from frying a 40 amp cars wiring system?
It would be significantly cheaper to add heavier gauge wiring in the relevant spots than to add a clamp-on current probe and the extra parts needed for a smart regulator. Current monitoring would be more useful if you were trying to do some sort of optimal battery charging strategy, and at this point I'm not sure how much demand there would be for such a regulator.
 
Most of the clamp on meters you'll see are AC only, but DC probes that clamp on exist. I had considered a setup that used one, but it would probably have a $150 price tag for the system and I wasn't sure there would be much interest.
 
I don't have all the parts here yet, but I now have enough to put together a spade terminal version far enough that it should give you some idea of what it's going to look like. The prototypes will use clear silicone potting.

regulator bare PCB.jpg


regulator in case.jpg
 
Several people are interested; I'll have more details once I have the first one running on my own Dart.
 
I would be willing to test one for you. But it will need to handle ambient temperatures of as high as 125° F.
a 1971 Duster 318-4
 
Great! These are meant to go high enough that you could stick them in the radiator tank, not that you should, but I didn't cheap out with the components' temperature limits.
 
Great! These are meant to go high enough that you could stick them in the radiator tank, not that you should, but I didn't cheap out with the components' temperature limits.
When will one be available to test. What are the logistics for me to get one to test?
 
So, I just had the circuit boards arrive for my new voltage regulator project, and it's time to order parts for them. Who's interested in beta testing one?

Naturally, I'm testing the first on on my '66 Dart with a Denso alternator.

Here is what the first batch of regulators are. They are not OE looking and do not use OE connectors; I can supply them with either high end motorsport Amphenol AT connectors (and their matching wire-side connector with terminals) or 3/16" spade terminals. These require a dedicated ground wire, and the Amphenol version requires a connection to the battery as well. These are for dual field alternators, and have a trim pot terminal that adjusts with a jewler's screwdriver. Who would be interested, and which version would you want?

The plan is to start testing with a universal version and come up with plug and play or single field versions next.
I like to be in on that. Being a former microchip engineer I do have an interest in electronics, especially for Mopars. I have 2 Barracudas, 1 Dart and 1 Dodge van.
 
I can do some testing on the '79 Volare duster with Running MS II for Batch Fire EFI as well as Single Coil control. I Drive it a lot. Will there be a pigtail to go from the stock wiring to the amphenol connectors? I would like to not cut any of the stock wiring if possible.

I have other vehicles I can try it on too... '77D200, 78B150, 73 Cuda, ,79 Aspen, 69 /64 Darts, and the '62 Valiants.. of course, the pre-1970 cars use a different regulator connection.

Thanks, Greg
 
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