[DML] Re: Why Volts gage not Amps?
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[DML] Re: Why Volts gage not Amps?

Two reasons. (and I'm guessin' on #2)

Firstly, the battery voltage, not current is what is regulated. 
Current varies by what you have turned on, but the regulator is
supposed to keep the voltage about constant, so the voltmeter needle
should pretty much stay in one spot all the time, making a change more

Secondly, a voltmeter is slightly cheaper than an ampmeter, which
needs a precision resistor.

You are correct about the value of knowing the output of the
alternator.  It's kinda useful to know, though most people without
electrical backgrounds might not know what to make of it. 

For your other question, for the battery voltage to go too high, the
alternator regulation has to fail.  Hardly ever happens like that. 
Usually the output fails to zero, not to overvoltage.  "Overvoltage"
is only a few tenths of volts, hard to see on a guage.  If you find
yourself replacing batteries too often, overvoltage might be slowly
cooking them.  Hardly ever happens.

Rick Gendreau

--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "daviddelorean" <daviddelorean@...> wrote:
> Just out of curiosity, why do DMCs (and most cars) have a gage that 
> measures the 'volts' of the electric system and not the 'amps'? As I 
> understand it, volts is the resistance in the loop, bascially how fast 
> the electrons are traveling thru the loop. Amps is the actual amount of 
> power in the loop.  So wouldn't it be better to know the actual output 
> of the alternator?
> Also, in what instance would there be too high voltage in the system? 
> Obviously if your alternator died the volts would drop below 12, but in 
> what case would they go too high?

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