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When did they stop using AMPS and switch to VOLTS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The37Kid, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    So the "Stuff" running through the wire is Volts AND Amps? Some people want to know how many Volts others are interested in Amps, that's it?
     
  2. chrisntx
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,791

    chrisntx
    Member
    from Texas .

    both run thru the wires, but amp gauges give you better information
     
  3. Bob, a volt meter is easier to hook up. that should help you decide.
     
  4. I like to live on the edge!:eek:
     
  5. "220, 221, what ever it takes"—Michael Keaton, mr mom
     
  6. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    When checking out a charging system at a shop, an ampmeter alone, won't tell enough. You need a voltmeter to tell what is going on.


    My gripe with aftermarket voltmeters for cars, is that the ones I saw when they came out, were so vague between 12 and 14 volts. You really could not tell much. I'd like to see a good gauge with a bigger sweep that is very accurate from 10 to 15 Volts.
     
  7. Don't you guys ever sleep? You are an Old School Hamber now:rolleyes:
     
  8. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    Let's say you have a 6 volt battery and hook a line up to it connected to nothing. It will not draw any amps but has 6 volt running through it. Now you add a light to it... Bam your drawing amps, to power the bulb.

    Hotroddons post is really nice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  9. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    What happens when that open wire hits a chassiss section over a cup of gasoline?
     
  10. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    Fire. :D

    A volt meter will tell you how many volts your battery is running at. An amp meter will tell you how much stuff you have on!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  11. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,243

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've always loved to read the answers when this subject comes up. Due to the education I had in the past, and the business I'm in, this electrical stuff is pretty much the core of my knowledge, and comes pretty easy for me.

    Did you realize that an ammeter can really be considered a voltmeter, because that is actually what it is reading? It reads the voltage drop across either an internal or external shunt. The voltage drop across the shunt varies with the current passing through it, and that voltage is what the makes the meter movement deflect. And to further confuse the issue, you could also argue that the same meter is an ammeter, because that voltage across the windings of the meter movement creates a current (amps, actually milli- or microamps) which creates a magnetic field blah blah blah..... ad nauseum.


    If you're confused by electrical terms and such, just forget that you ever read my post on this subject......
     
  12. Johnunit
    Joined: Dec 31, 2010
    Posts: 93

    Johnunit
    Member
    from Toronto

    Fire can happen either way, you'll just have more wattage (because amperage increased while voltage stayed the same, and voltage X amperage= wattage) to start a fire with if you have a traditionally wired ampmeter requires full amperage and a voltmeter has no minimum amperage requirement.
     
  13. The voltmeter is used now because it is a better indication of whether or not the battery is being recharged (which is all we really care about anyway, isn't it?). Battery maintenance used to be a much bigger problem, so the ammeter was used mainly to monitor the condition of the battery.

    And yes, a voltmeter is much safer to have in the dash...
     
  14. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    Your not helping Ebbsspeed :D
     
  15. Rockettruck
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 168

    Rockettruck
    Member

    Voltage is also known as electromotive FORCE (EMF), and the water pipe analogy is a good one... Voltage is also known as POTENTIAL...like a fully charged battery has "potential" just sitting there not hooked up to anything. Voltage never "flows"--it just "pushes" when you hook a circuit up or flip a switch to "on". Current is what flows (like a river) in a circuit when something is attached or a switch is turned on.

    Potential (EMF) is measured in "volts"--current is measured in "amps", like speed is measured in MPH or gas is measured in gallons.

    Voltmeters measure across a source (in parallel), ammeters measure in line (series) You are measuring two different things...

    Now are you really confused? :)

    Rockettruck
     
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    From a historical standpoint no Hot Rod built before 1964 would have a Voltmeter, correct?
     
  17. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    Sure he is, he add ed Mili and Microamps to the discussion, whatever they are. :confused:
     
  18. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    Jimmy2car
    Member
    from No. Cal

    No, my 39 Ford has a voltmeter, as original
     
  19. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    great thread Bob, but my head hurts now...
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  20. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381

    Cerberus
    Member

    One of the reasons I like having an amp gauge is that the gauge lets you know if there is a draw, when the key is out of the ignition switch. Don't like dead batteries. I was told by a dealership service manager that Mopar stopped installing amp gauges in the 70's because of under the dash fires.
     
  21. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    You're welcome Larry, I now know less about the topic than I did before I started it. Silly topic when I think about the fact I'll never get to the point of ever wiring my project. You can run a car WITHOUT an Amp ot Voltmeter can't you?
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  22. fatstax
    Joined: Sep 15, 2010
    Posts: 52

    fatstax
    Member
    from cobourg

    in the past an amp meter monitored the total draw your car had against the battery and your alternator/generator. the drawback is that your entire cars electrical system minus the starter ran thru a single wire attached to this gauge. considering it really means nothing how much amps you are drawing versus how much your car is charging must have led to the development of volt meters, which are far more accurate in telling you if the alternator is working or not. i had the amp gauge in tow mater kill my entire electrical system due to a bad connection. plus a volt gauge doesnt need a massiv wire to run it
     
  23. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    When I was young many years ago, I thought ampmeters were great because you could actually see something happening in the charging system...even tho I didn't really understand what that was. Now that I've read this thread, I think I will stick with a voltmeter instead...or an idiot light.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  24. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,043

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    An advantage of the larger wire for an ammeter is that the manufacturers could stuff more of that electric smoke in there and you really knew it when it came out. The smaller wires don't hold as much smoke and its a bitch to put it back in. :rolleyes: :D
     
  25. chrisntx
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 1,791

    chrisntx
    Member
    from Texas .

    no, its not
     
  26. stacks1938
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 165

    stacks1938
    Member

    No No, the voltage meter is not connected to the two wires like the amp meter. To conver to a voltage meter you remove the amp meter, join the two wires together, and then run a wire from that junction to the + side of the voltage meter and run a new wire from ground to the - side of the voltage meter.
     
  27. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    Smoke aside, There is one wire that carries all the "Stuff" inside the wire to all the other things on the car, a tree trunk if you will that is the same size wire as all the others, I never understood how this one can carry all the "Stuff". Are all the other wires grossly oversizes or is that trunk wire undersized? How hot do they all get? :rolleyes:
     
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,553

    The37Kid
    Member

    3Window Larry is in his back yard in Oklahoma looking North East at the fire in my garage.:eek:
     
  29. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN


    Depends on what is hooked up to it. Small wire hooked to the starter (heavy amp pull) will fry your wire. Small wire to a couple of taillights (1 taillight might pull 2-3 amps, depending on type ) are okay.

    Typically, in wire harnesses that I have installed, main wires are slightly larger.

    Don't burn down your garage please :eek: Good luck!!!
     
  30. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,174

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    Just get a supply of this stuff and you don't need to worry about it.


    [​IMG]
     

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