[DML] LEDs for Delorean
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[DML] LEDs for Delorean

An after thought to those people I sent the LED list.  There are two things 
not mentioned in the email.

1.0  My car has a DMC-1 gas gauge corrector.  It takes its power supply from 
the warning light on the dash.  Apparently the requirement is about the 
amount of current that LED draws, as the Warning LED is always on, whether 
or not you're about to be walking.  Three solutions:

    1.1  Leave the incandescent in there.  It will always be on a very 
slight amount (not visible) and light up on a low tank.

    1.2  Figure out how to power the gauge  corrector differently

    1.3  Live with the Warning light on all of the time.

2.0  Alternator light.  John Hervey and I have had many discussions about 
this one.  The alternator may or may not be self starting (not a lot of 
residual magnetism in the assembly.  My car, with the factory Motorola 
alternator seems to start alright with a LED indicator.  No other problems. 
John says that his replacement, high current alternators need the 
incandescent to work correctly.  I doubt that, but can only argue 
theoretically, as I don't have a car with one of his bigger Berthas 

    Here's the theory:  the alternator uses rectified current to power the 
regulator and field, once it has started to generate power.  The warning 
light acts as the current source to get the alternator started.  Remember 
the Chrysler ads from the late '50's or early 60's with someone starting the 
car and removing the battery (after the alternator gets going) and driving 
from Detroit to some other destination?  Guess I've dated myself.  Well 
anyway, the Alt warning light only goes on when the alternator isn't (before 
the engine starts, but the "ignition circuit" is powered or when the 
alternator fails and becomes a load for the lamp as its supplying all of the 
current to the regulator that it can.  Oh, BTW why are there two sets of 
diodes in an alternator, six big ones for the full wave bridge to rectify 
the alternator's output and a three puny ones for a half-wave rectifier to 
supply the regulator.

Al Roberts


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