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How to Build a Voltage Regulator for $3

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 49 Custom, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. 49 Custom
    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 282

    49 Custom
    Member

    Radio Shack part numbers: 276-1363 or 276-1368 would work fine.

    As for converting an ammeter to a voltmeter, the simplest way to do it is to replace one for the other. Another way I have seen it done is to take a temp or oil pressure gauge and install it in place of the ammeter. An appropriate resistor needs to be used in series, and will vary depending upon your system.
     
  2. FORDY 6
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,485

    FORDY 6
    Member

    Great info...thanks.
     
  3. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    Just the information I need to install my '52 Olds gauge cluster! Thanks man... :cool:
     
  4. thistle
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 19

    thistle
    Member
    from Illinois

    Thanks for the post.... the '54 is now headed for a 12v system!
     
  5. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,074

    BigChief
    Member

    From what the parts description on the resto sites say it regulates voltage to 5volts. Dunno what a chopper circuit does but these things last a very long time and service an entire dashboard full of gauges....works for me.
     
  6. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,074

    BigChief
    Member

    They run 25-35 bucks at most restoration houses. Mac's, LMC truck and most every early Mustang resto house all have them. One part does the entire dash full of gauges.
     
  7. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Yeah, pretty sure they're choppers - work great for our old gauge conversion. Prolly pretty picky of me to use the true CVR, but as cheap as the CVR is, hard to pass up. ;)

    These are reliable - had several 60s-70s-80s-90s Fords over the years & never a problem with them.

    I wouldn't use them for anything sensitive, but I can't think of anything 6V that's sensitive! ;)
     
  8. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    shinysideup
    BANNED
    from ruskin, fl

    Great tech,thank you.
    Can this be used for the illumination in the guage cluster as well?
     
  9. 49 Custom
    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 282

    49 Custom
    Member

    There should be no reason why you couldn't use them, but since you are probably using your headlight switch to get power to your dash lights it may just be easier to use 12V bulbs!:p
     
  10. markjenks
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 384

    markjenks
    Member

    I just got my package from Hongkong for 10 of them for $4.
    Looks like the real deal to me.
    I'll try and get one tested today to see what they get for voltage converting.
     
  11. markjenks
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 384

    markjenks
    Member

    I just hooked them up to my 12v inverter that I used for testing 12v things. I didn't use any caps.

    14.85 in, and 5.85 out.

    So, not only do you have over 12 in, it brings it back to 6volts or slightly under, which is what you need.
     
  12. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,094

    Mart
    Member

    Nice, neat job.
    I used to make these up with a 2A 5V supply, using a piece of square tube as a heat sink. I figured the 2A would work three gauges. No capacitors. I couldn't find a 2A 6v version. They worked fine for me, and I supplied quite a few to others too. Like Ernie says, the gauges are not particularly fussy.
    Mart.
     
  13. petersont10
    Joined: Jun 8, 2008
    Posts: 7

    petersont10
    Member

    This is good stuff. Can i use something like this for 6V fully enclosed headlights? Im not sure what the amperage is, but i have found some stuff on the web suggesting anywhere from 3.2 to 7.6 amps.
     
  14. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Missed it the first time, good job!
     
  15. 40mercFlathead
    Joined: Apr 15, 2011
    Posts: 91

    40mercFlathead
    Member

    I have this voltage reducer or "IVR"

    It has a female and two male connectors. I'm using it for my 6 volt gauges in my 12v car. 40 Merc.

    I just don't know what wires go where and what side is 6v or 12 volt and where to run ground.

    Help appreciated. ImageUploadedByTJJ1322803189.596384.jpg ImageUploadedByTJJ1322803251.770590.jpg


    Sent from my iPhone using TJJ
     
  16. All that's in there is a bi-metal arm and a set of contacts so I don't think polarity matters.
     
  17. TWIN FIN
    Joined: Oct 12, 2012
    Posts: 7

    TWIN FIN
    Member

    Will this system work to convert the 5MF 6 volt radio to a 12 volt system?
    Thanks,
    Bruce
     
  18. forty1fordpickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 287

    forty1fordpickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This circuit with a NTE 130 in place of the 2N5881 will support 15 amps with a large heatsink. I am using this circuit to run a Southwind heater on 12V. It cost $14.00 for the parts. Find a true electronics parts store instead of Radioshack. I'm not saying Radioshack is NG, but they don't carry everything.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
    bct likes this.
  19. TWIN FIN
    Joined: Oct 12, 2012
    Posts: 7

    TWIN FIN
    Member

    Thanks for your help! This looks like a job for my son. I'm challenged when it comes to electrical stuff, he isn't.
    Thanks again

    Bruce
     
  20. jcs64
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 528

    jcs64
    Member

    the ford pc DOES NOT work on all gauges. I hooked one up to my 51 plym. gas gauge and when I powered it up the gauge would bounce back and forth like it was hooked to a turn signal flasher. After taking it apart I found out thats pretty much what it is. It works by pulsing the voltage instead of supplying the full steady 12v and like I found out, some gauges dont like that.

    This is the thread were I found out the Ford part wouldnt work:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=748701



    PS, i also made mine w/out the capacitors

    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  21. TWIN FIN
    Joined: Oct 12, 2012
    Posts: 7

    TWIN FIN
    Member

    Now, since my car has been converted to 12v should I have to worry whether or not my car is either positive or negative ground, or does it really matter when converting to 6v for just the radio.

    Bruce
     
  22. 49 Custom
    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 282

    49 Custom
    Member

    Because most early gauges are electro-mechanical, it should not matter (except for amp gauges, in which case they will move the needle the opposite way).
     
  23. frank rempel
    Joined: May 6, 2013
    Posts: 19

    frank rempel
    Member
    from kingman az

    Thanks much for the heads up.Even us old farts are not beyond learning.I have a beautiful 37 Mopar guage that I want to install in my next build.Again thanks Frank R
     
  24. 340HilbornDuster
    Joined: Nov 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,906

    340HilbornDuster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    49 Custom...

    Awesome tech!...thanks for sharing!

    Would you happen to know how to make an adjustable Voltage Regulator?
    12VDC to 1 - 5 VDC?........It's for a Fuel Pump controller that i need to fake the signal to.

    Mahalo
    Tommy
     
  25. 49 Custom
    Joined: Apr 17, 2009
    Posts: 282

    49 Custom
    Member

    340, look up the LM317 chip. A simple regulator is usually posted with its spec sheet.
     
  26. gotit
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 360

    gotit
    Member

    Can we get the pictures back by chance?
     
  27. What is the groved block in the picture on the top right?
     
  28. Sanford&Son
    Joined: Oct 13, 2006
    Posts: 409

    Sanford&Son
    Member
    from Visalia,Ca

    I have Aluminum SBC bell housing, Jim 559-280-1321 Visalia, Ca
     
  29. Ken Dale
    Joined: Apr 22, 2019
    Posts: 3

    Ken Dale

    I just read this as I am in the process of doing this to my 50 Caddy. I am not familiar with "heat sink paste" but am wondering if JB WELD would suffice? Why is attaching the VR to the heat sink by a screw good enough? Why the glue/paste?
     
  30. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 607

    Doublepumper
    Member

    You need the heat sink paste to help with component heat conductivity into a heat sink. JB weld is an epoxy glue and not suitable to use as a heat sink paste.
     

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