Can My Chevy Alternator Run My Bicycle's Cigarette Lighter?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Hi. Has anyone tried to run a car alternator to satisfy their bike's electrical needs?

    I think it can be done in a way that the belt can be connected/disconnected "on the fly".

    I realize that dragging an alternator will cause major engine drag.

    Any ideas?
    __________________
    Honey, it's just a bicycle. and i REALLY need it to excercise, and to ride it to work.(hehe)
     
  2. Technocyclist

    Technocyclist Motorized Bicycle Senior Technologist

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    I think the major factor would be the weight. The alternator is too heavy, and you would not need that much electrical power on a bicycle. You can just use a dynamo hub, or attach a dynamo either to the chain or wheel for your electrical needs. :)

    Just carry a cigarette lighter or a match than a 1kg alternator on your bike for your cigarette lighter...
     
    #2 Technocyclist, Nov 6, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  3. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Techno, I'm being facetious/yanking your chain. rotfl

    What I'm thinking about using it for is to power up a REAL headlight, at the smallest a 12-volt tractor light, a tail light, maybe a brake light.
     
  4. Technocyclist

    Technocyclist Motorized Bicycle Senior Technologist

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    Oh...Ok...You can use 6-volt halogen bulbs or LEDs, or even HID lights. You can use a 12 volt wiper motor or an electric window motor to act as a dynamo, which is lighter. But you will also need a voltage regulator to prevent blowing up your bulbs. Have you tried using the white wire that comes out of the engine? I know some guys tried it to power a 6 volt headlight. But I do not know if it can damage the magneto...
     
  5. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Techno, I have rack mount engines, not a Happy Time, so no white wires from the mag.

    No LED flashlights for me. I want REAL candlepower with 35-55 watts.

    My eyes are 62 years old. I want to light up the night Wayyy in front of me.
     
    #5 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 6, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  6. Technocyclist

    Technocyclist Motorized Bicycle Senior Technologist

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    well, there's already a magnet running on the pullstart side. You can customize a coil to run over it. It will generate enough electricity depending on the number of winding and the thickness of wires. Installing an automotive alternator might be more simple, but it's heavy and there are wires there that are sticking out that you don't really need. You would also need a big pulley to drive the small pulley on the alternator to attain the right RPM. And I think you would loose some HP. There are some 6-volt halogen bulbs that are just as bright. I think 5 or 6 of these halogen bulbs would be sufficient. The brightness of the bulbs is not dependent entirely on voltage, but more on the type of bulbs you use.
     
  7. OSCAR383

    OSCAR383 New Member

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    I Think The Easier Would Be To Get A Dynamo Front Hub , You Can Even Get Them With Drum Brakes In Them To To Power Your Lighting Needs.
     
  8. Walter F.

    Walter F. New Member

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    From whom may I ask? Very Interesting. Happy Hills & Trails Walter F.
     
  9. OSCAR383

    OSCAR383 New Member

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  10. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Well guys, Ive got this alternator laying around, and a bunch of friction rollers. Like deacon recommended for friction drives, I could drill a pipe end, bolt it onto the alternator snout and start from there.

    I know there will be parasitic drag loss, but with dual engines I can afford to lose 1 hp if I have "on the fly" option.:bike2:
     
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    This looks interesting

    eBay Motors: New very small alternator mini generator (item 110309519505 end time Nov-18-08 04:02:17 PST)



    I bought one, but I haven't received it yet.

    I'll be asking the experts regarding the proper regulator to use, as the seller was only a little helpful. According to ebay description, the alternator is 2" diameter and 3" long.

    Quick measurements show that this tiny dynamo can easily be mounted UNDER the Staton friction drive housing in front of the roller, and run parallel to it.

    The Staton spindle will "grow a nose" and a pulley, and a short belt will link to the alternator and its pulley. Ratio might be 1:1.

    This is all off the top of my head. There is more than enough room under the Staton housing if the seller's dimensions are true. To disengage the alternator, you loosen the mounting bolts and remove the belt.

    Orrr, on my dual-engined bike, I simply raise my engine "on the fly" with my custom Hurst shift lever. Then the front engine AND alternator are disengaged from the tire.


    EPIPHANY!!!

    At night, when I'm riding with my 55-WATT headlight on and come to a stop, the engine's clutch disengages. The alternator stops spinning and making electricity, so the headlight draws power from a heavy SLA battery. HOWEVER, if I raise the engine and throttle it to keep the clutch engaged at a stop, the friction roller ANNND alternator pulley will be in motion, creating electricity to run the headlight without interruption!

    I don't need to install ANY battery on my bike!!!

    Well, maybe a tiny battery to keep the alternator excited.

    The rest of the installation should be academic and depend on the v-reg's hookup.

    I can hardly wait to start this project.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    #11 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  12. UncleKudzu

    UncleKudzu New Member

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    some auto alternators (most?) need a battery to get a field current going, if i'm not mistaken. some old Chevy (Delco) alternators will generate directly without thee battery, though.
     
  13. UncleKudzu

    UncleKudzu New Member

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    also, the alternator generates AC current, IIRC. what would make the output DC? something to consider.

    maybe that windshield wiper motor idea would be the best all around solution?
     
  14. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Uncle, according to the seller, the alternator is single-phase and can be hooked up directly to the electrical equipment with diodes.

    I'll be doing more research to see what I can install in place of the 12-pound SLA battery.


    The seller mentioned that this alternator weighs less than 23 ounces, or 1 lb. 7 oz.(^), and my Chevy alternator weighs almost as much as my Mits engine.


    (Sigh) My hard head won't accept the windshield wiper motor, and is stuck on this overkilling 100-watt miniature alternator.
     
    #14 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  15. UncleKudzu

    UncleKudzu New Member

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    yeah, my info is based on trying to remember something i tried YEARS ago, but it might be relevant.

    i looked at that tractor alternator; that's interesting.

    also, small 12-volt SLA are made that might work. i recently saw some at a sporting goods chain that were for remote deer feed dispensers.
     
  16. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Uncle, I'm basing my info on what I learned from completely wiring my 1957 Chevy six years ago, and converting it to single-wire alternator. Its memory is a bit fuzzy, but retrievable..:D
     
  17. Motormac

    Motormac New Member

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    Output Power: 15-100W

    Output Voltage: 12- 48V


    5-7 heaven, this looks very interesting, please keep us updated on how this works out. I dont know a lot about AC/DC or voltage but isnt the voltage and wattage a little high?Will this not fry a small sla battery or blow bulbs?Ooops sorry i just read now that you will be asking the experts re the proper regulator to use.
     
    #17 Motormac, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  18. UncleKudzu

    UncleKudzu New Member

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    hmmm... something 1957 old may have been a generator, in which case you'd probably get straight DC. i dunno, though. might be something to look into. i think some of the old VW beetles had smallish generators instead of alternators...

    keep us posted on your lighting project!
     
  19. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    Uncle, I converted the Chevy from generator to single-wire alternator.

    Motormac, a voltage regulator should stabilize the voltage, although the seller recommended using two diodes.

    Everyone's opinions/suggestions are acceptable. Sometimes out of the mouths of innocent babes come bright ideas from outside the box. We are ALL ignorant in certain subjects, but we learn from researching or other people sharing their knowledge.

    And I SINCERELY mean this to all in a respectable manner.:bike2:

    When I go bowling with my 6-year-old nephew, I ask him for helpful hints. He bowls a helluva lot better than I do!
     
    #19 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 8, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  20. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Well-Known Member

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    eBay Motors: New Very Small Alternator Mini Generator 15-100Watts (item 110314123848 end time Nov-28-08 04:29:28 PST)


    Well the mini-alternators arrived yesterday. No instructions or diodes which I paid for. It has two identical 20-gauge leaving the alternator. The plastic pulley is part of the alternator housing, so the entire housing is part of the rotor, not stator.

    The 1/4" endplate is stationary with three mounting holes and the wires protrude from its center hole. This means a 2" elongated hole would need to be bored through the Staton aluminum housing instead of a 1/2" elongated hole. Scratch that mounting location. This puppy needs to sit atop the rear friction drive assembly on my girlie cruiser, and above the 5:1 output shaft of the Staton gearbox on "Mr. Hyde".(First, the outside-drive gearbox needs to be modified to CREATE a 5:1 output shaft, but that's another thread.)

    Since the alternator's maximum output occurs at 1,000 rpm, a gear reduction is needed to keep its revs down as the engine spins at 8000 rpm. Sooo, using a 1.25" pulley on the Staton's 5:1 output shaft and the alternator's 2" pulley would produce an 8:1 gear reduction to do the job.

    Now to find a pulley and belt to match.

    Since the gearbox's shaft doesn't spin when the engine idles, the bike would need a very strong but easily activated bikestand to prop the rear tire AND the rider off the ground and keep the alternator spinning at a standstill...or have a battery onboard.

    With friction drive, it becomes more complicated because of a lack of gear reduction. Because the 2" alternator pulley is part of the rotating alternator housing, it would have to be belted to a 1/4" pulley to attain 8:1 gear reduction.

    There is no such thing as a 1/4" pulley.

    Sooo TWO jackshafts and the proper pulley combination would need to be installed to create 8:1 reduction.

    Hmmm, not too simple as I presumed. Doable, but more involved.
    __________________
    Honey, it's just a bicycle. and i REALLY need it to excercise, and to ride it to work.(hehe)
     
    #20 5-7HEAVEN, Nov 20, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008

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