[DML] Re: Alternator Light - question
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[DML] Re: Alternator Light - question

The dash light actually serves two purposes.

First is excitation, just as you explained.

The second is to alert you if alternator output drops below battery
voltage -- the alternator is failing to produce charging voltage. 

Not only the DeLorean is wired this way -- it's pretty common on most
cars (at least circa 1980's). You should always glance for the "ALT"
or "CHG" light to come on when the vehicle is first energized.

Bill Robertson

>--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "Tell you if you ask." <racuti1@...>
> It's not a "command signal" in the manner you imply. An alternator 
> requires an electrical current through the copper windings before it 
> will begin to output electricity. For instance, you couldn't just spin 
> the altnerator by hand to charge a dead battery. The windings need to 
> have a current passed through them first. The dummy light acts as a 
> resistive load that accomplishes that.
> You could just as easily install a small resistor in place of the dummy 
> light to achieve the same effect of "starting" the alternator. Speaking 
> of which, I know a lot of people have been replacing all of their dash, 
> door and marker lights with LED's. If you replace the alternator dummy 
> light with an LED, you'll need to install a resistor in-line with the 
> LED because an LED is not enough of a resistive load to charge the 
> alternator windings.
> I'm sure that this has been covered in the archives.
> Rich A.
> #5335

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