Cheap home made generator

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. jwar

    jwar Monkey+

    Two questions:

    First, I must be missing something, because I can't find the plans. Can you please direct me?
    Second, and this might sound dumb, but there you have it: Would this system work if EMP went off? (I'm thinking of the alternator part, and any voltage regulator - since I haven't been able to find the plans I don't know if there are any electronics in it).
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    J, That thread was started in 05, and if there ever was a link (I don't remember either) it is long gone. The direct answer to the EMP question is "it depends" on whether the VR is solid state or relay. If solid state it may be vulnerable, if relay, it will not be affected.
 likes this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ghrit makes valid points here.... The EMP question is very variable, in that it depends on many factors, that are beyond your control. Like Distance, Yield, Type, Hight of detonation, Your terrain, amount of local shielding if any, and a few more esoteric items. Mostly the alternator windings will survive, and more than likely the Rectifier Diodes will survive. Voltage Regulators will be a BIG Maybe. VRs can be replaced with resistors, to get them to make power, in a pinch. Electronic Ignitions will be another BIG Maybe. Spark Coils, and Points, type Ignition Systems will survive. Anything with a Chips, CPUs, PC Boards, etc, will be a BIG, BIG, Maybe. Most liquid Batteries will Survive. Fuses and protection devices will Fail, and need to be replaced. Thermal Circuit Beakers will need to be reset. Magnetic Circuit Breakers will be a BIG Maybe. Tubes will work, IF the filaments do NOT burn Open.
    So you can see, Older Technology will mostly still function, where newer Technology will be mostly a BIG Maybe, or toast, as the individual case maybe be. What smart Prep'ers are doing is stockpiling PCBs and components for their Major Electronics, (Computers, Radios, Voltage Regulators, etc) in EMP Proof enclosures, and then bury those under a foot, or more, of good solid earth, to be used AFTER, to get those things running again. ..... YMMV....
  4. naiamoon

    naiamoon Monkey++

    how do you know when the batteries are fully charged? does the alternator register this and cut of the charge?
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Most alternators have a Regulated Output with a setpoint of about 14.1 Vdc. This causes the battery to slowly charge up to that Set Voltage, and then float at that voltage, once the setpoint is reached. This means that the Charge Current will be highest, when the Battery voltage is much lower. (Like 12.2 Vdc) As the Battery charges, it's voltage will rise, toward the Charger Voltage (14.1 Vdc) and the Charging Current will slowly drop, less and less, the closer the Battery Voltage gets to the Set Voltage. When that point is reached, the Charging Current will be 0 Amps. ..... YMMV.....
  6. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+++

    For"maintaining"a bank of batteries a wind turbine can easily be built out of an 18v cordless drill.It will put out about 14v@5amps,and needs very little in the way of mods done.
  7. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+++

    Unless you are talking riding mower,it's much easier to mod a three wheeled edger into a gen set.
    With abit more modding you could even add an automotive A/C system for either cooling a room,or food cooler.Not a simple mod but doable.
    3cyl likes this.
  8. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver Ham Extra Class

    I did this project a few weeks ago.
    Here is my finished battery charger.

    This was with the first set of battery cables that was replaced with a better set.



    My new set of battery cables, made with softer more ply-able 2 ga copper wire and better clamps.

    A 94 amp GM alternator, and a 6 HP Chinese Honda Clone.


    My mobile battery bank and charger.

    My homemade brackets.
    arleigh, Dunerunner, Duck and 7 others like this.
  9. onegeorgian

    onegeorgian Monkey++

    That looks really good!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Agreed! RR, that looks like a sweet rig to "get 'er done"!
  11. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Great looking wagon rig there Rockyriver.

    Having built alternators for 17 years I was surprised it took so long for solid state regulators and diodes to come up. You don't need an EMP event to kill a diode. One screw-up while wiring the thing up (reverse polarity) and your diodes are shot. Same thing happens if they get too hot. In GM alternators they're easily swapped out, but only if you have replacements on hand. There are no outward signs when a diode is open, and without test equipment this could get frustrating in a hurry.

    I was fortunate (?) to work on this junk when there were still plenty of generators in service. There are distinct advantages to generators:
    They can produce voltage without a power source. (You cannot induce voltage in an alternator without some voltage available no matter how fast you spin it.) Generators produce current at a far lower RPM than an alternator. There are no EMP sensitive parts, with external regulators being relay type, and you can use the generator as a motor. (possibly to start a small engine - Large generator/small engine) VW was the last big car company to abandon the generator. There are disadvantages to generators as well. No perfect world solution.

    While battery powered lighting would be nice, I'd keep stocking up on kerosene and mantles for the long haul.

  12. Kajungizmo

    Kajungizmo Monkey++

    Nice looking brackets.
  13. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver Ham Extra Class

    Here are the new double pulleys I installed to help prevent the belts from slipping when it was single.




  14. Cephus

    Cephus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I really like set up,what meter did ya use and if ya could a diagram of the wiring !! Thanks .
  15. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver Ham Extra Class

    Got the meter at Pep Boys, I would have to walk out to the garage to get the name. But I think it is a Sun-Pro. I guess you saw post #48 in this thread? If not that shows more pictures.

    Here is a link to learn and buy things you will need, if you can't build the parts yourself.
    Building your own generator.

    Here is the diagram of the wiring, I just ran a wire from the positive post on the back of the alternator to the meter, and then ran a ground wire to the meter from the alternator.

    Dunerunner likes this.
  16. Melbo, I liked your statement on the bottom of your post.... However, this does not seem true anymore. Alas with this Administration in office has since thrown all American rights to the side and with the blessing on our Congressman elected to do our bidding in the Congress. Obama is the first President I have known that can bypass all of the congress completely & pass laws & such that affects us... With the congress sitting there complaining that he can't do that, but not lifting a finger to do what is right. This forum WTSHTF is certainly good place to learn. With the new law just recently passed I might never get to talk to you again, might be wisked away to a military base without any counsel. He'll, I'll be a terrorist in a wheelchair. We're sunk. They're working on taking our guns so they can take over without a fight. Arrguuuuh!

    What type generator or alternator should I get. I know there are different types out there & what is the regulator part. Is this separate or built in. Can you tell me what is the ratio of the pulley from the motor to the generator while turning what RPM? Sorry for all the questions but I'm getting to order a pulley and want to make sure I can get one without costing a fortune running motor @high speed to turn Thanks
  17. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    Since I have just finished my own version of the fine alternator/ H Freight engine, I suggest you look at, V belts. I am using a single cogged AX belt to turtn the 92 amp GM alternator.. My old Dodge Cummins has the same type alternator and charges the two cranking batteries just fine.. I am using a bracket from - Emergency Preparedness - Survival Food and Supplies, with a 2" aluminum angle bolted to the edge of a 2X3 X1/4" aluminum base plate. I am installing all on a garden cart from Lowes, with two batteries and 5 gallon fuel can.

    Laus Deo
    Dunerunner, DarkLight and BTPost like this.
  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    @Rockyriver, i like the set up, but You need to add a hole in your base to drain and change your oil. I would also change out the drain plug for a magnetic one. Since you have mounted on plywood, a 3-4 inch hole saw from the bottom would work easily.:cool:
    Dunerunner likes this.
  19. overbore

    overbore Monkey++

    kellory, you just gave the "hole truth" :cool: about the oil drain hole. Since I am using an aluminum base plate, my drain hole is only 5/8". For others planning a parallel type, low cost unit, E-Buy:rolleyes: has alternators up to the 250 amp range but they require 8 groove pulleys and belts running your cost way up. My garden cart unit is now sitting next to the main generator with jumper cables under cover to start the NG unit if that battery goes dead.
    Laus Deo
  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Aluminum? I thought I was seeing woodgrain through paint. Still, a holesaw for metal would still work. I'd let you use mine, but I doubt your local...;)
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