Low Voltage Appliances and TOOLS

Virtually all household appliances and workshop tools are available in the low voltage, i.e.: 12-36 volt DC power range. With the ever-increasing demand for camping and leisure equipment, manufacturers and importers are beginning to cater to and cash in on this enormous market potential.

As a result of this upsurge, particularly with regards to recreational vehicles (four wheel drives), campervans and caravans, there is now an impressive array of 12 volt appliances and accessories ranging from fridges, radios and colour televisions through to heavy duty drills and winches.

These are all readily available throughout Australia at caravan, camping and recreational vehicle suppliers, so it is pointless listing them in any further detail here.

We have, however, listed below items of a more specialized nature which are somewhat difficult to obtain through ordinary retail outlets.

12 Volt Heavy-duty Fencing Tool: This unit is basically a heavy-duty drill capable of driving a soil auger of 3" to 7" diameter, and to 1" wood auger. It is two-speed plus reverse and available from : BISHOP ENGINEERING, 46 Buffalo Road, Gladesville, N.S.W. 2111. Write and ask for a brochure.

12 Volt 10mm Drill : We have had difficulty in locating 12 volt workshop drills within a reasonable price range, so are including details of the Bullcraft 10mm drill manufactured in Japan. At this stage, it is not being imported in bulk, so we have made special arrangements for small orders to be purchased direct from the export agents in Japan.

At the date of publication of this manual the drills were priced at ¥6,820 (Yen) each. This is about $30.00 Australian. At this price the minimum order is 6 drills.

A number of accessories are available including sanders, drill stands, jig saws, bilge pumps etc. If you prefer to buy them individually, or in bulk, then the price will vary, that is higher for individual drills, lower for bulk orders. In any event write first to confirm price and availability. Write an ordinary letter in English and send by airmail to: Mr Y (A.J. ) NAKAYAMA, SHOE1 INDUSTRY CO. LTD, P.O. BOX Minami #49, Osaka, Japan. Mr Nakayama will write back to you in English confirming prices and availability and other information you might require. He will be quoting prices in Japanese Yen so you take the letter to your local post office and ask for an International Money Order, show them the company name and amount, then the post office will write out a Money Order and give it to you. Post this by airmail to Mr Nakayama together with a letter specifying what you want. {Note: It is not necessary to show the post office the letter - it just makes it easier for them to understand what you want.)

Rather than buy an International Money Order you may go to the bank and ask for a bank draft or an International Bank Cheque as it is sometimes called. Depending on the bank, this is sometimes a dollar or two cheaper than the post office.

Small orders up to six drills will arrive through the mail, and the post office will give you a card specifying the amount of import duty and sales tax to pay. You then pay the post office that amount and collect the goods. It may sound involved, but it is quite straightforward and doesn't require any effort other than writing a couple of letters and going to the post office twice.

18- 36 Volt Welder: It probably appears superfluous and unnecessary to include details on low voltage DC welders when you can easily weld direct off you car alternator. However, for various reasons some people prefer to weld direct off the batteries instead of connecting up their alternators. A small compact unit weighing only 1 kg and small enough to fit in a car toolbox has been designed specifically for this purpose. It is called the XP Welder. It is a very simple, easy to use device which has a small inbuilt oscillating arrangement to control the amperage from the car batteries, and will run a very neat weld using standard 12,14 and 16 gauge rods (i.e.: welding rods up to 2.5mm). It works very well with 2.00mm welding rods using two 12 volt car batteries connected in series to give 24 volts.

They are available from PARA POWER TOOLS, 280 Parramatta Road, Granville, N.S.W. 2142. At the time of researching this project their stocks were limited and it was unlikely that they would be restocking.

If you are not able to purchase them direct from Para Power Tools, write to: XP WILDER COMPANY, Essex Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 1SZ, England, and ask for the name of the importers or distributors nearest to where you live.

Using an Old Car Generator as an Electric Motor

Old car generators are in plentiful supply and easily acquired for five dollars each or less. Generators are no longer used on cars, having been replaced by the more efficient and reliable alternators. As a result there is little or no demand for generators and most people clearing out their sheds are quite happy to give them away.

Generators can be used in a similar manner to alternators for power output, but lack the overall efficiency and and reliability. They do however make excellent fast running low power consumption electric motors. There are two ways to connect them:

1. Fast running - light power consumption: Connect the positive "+" lead from a 12 volt battery to the large terminal "D" on the back of the generator. Connect another lead from the negative battery terminal to anywhere on the generator casing. The generator will spin very fast in an anti-clockwise direction. It has low power consumption (about 12 amps) but although it spins fast it has no real driving power. It is however very useful for running small fans and other appliances not requiring much power. (Note: For a generator to operate in this manner the brushes, commutator and all connections must be clean and in good condition. )

Notes on cleaning Generators

(b) Rear section holding rear bronze bush and brushes slides out, and generator casing slips forward off front bracket.

(c) Clean the commutator with a petrol rag or very fine emery paper. Undercut the insulators between the segments to a depth of 1 - 2mm using a broken off hacksaw blade ground down to the width of the insulators.

(d) Clean or replace brushes, ensuring that they slide up and down OK, and ride evenly on the commutator.

(e) Replace rear bronze bush if worn and ensure bush and front bearing allow easy unrestricted rotation.

(f) Oil at regular intervals through rear oil hole if used for long periods.

2. Greater driving force - slower speed, less power consumption: The drive power of the generator can be increased (but speed is substantially reduced) by connecting both terminals together and then connecting to the positive terminal of the battery (see diagram).

Power consumption is about 4 - 6 amps, which is very light when compared to the heavy current drawn by starter motors under load (100 - 245 amps). Note: When using generators in this manner do not overload them. If heat build-up in the field windings is excessive, reduce the load or allow them to cool down. (The field windings on generators are attached to the inside of the main casing, so by placing your hand on the casing any heat build-up is easily felt.)

Using Old Starter Motors as High Power Drive Units

Old starter motors, particularly those off early model cars with a separate solenoid switch, are the best to use and also the easiest to acquire for little or no outlay. (Similar to old generators, they are often classified as unwanted junk.)

Starter motors develop enormous torque and driving power. The actual power consumption is very heavy under full load, but decreases to an acceptable level under moderate loads. (About 50 amps with a light load.) Note: Starter motors are designed for only short runs under full load, and therefore the continuous running load should be reduced substantially to avoid overheating. It is advisable to remove the brush cover band to facilitate increased air circulation and more effective heat dissipation.

Power Connections: On starter motors with a separate solenoid, disregard the solenoid and connect the positive lead

UNDO THESE SCREWS AND THE ENTIRE ASSEMBLY SHOES OUT FOR CLEANING ANO REPLACEMENT OF BUSH ANO BRUSHES

UNDO THESE SCREWS AND THE ENTIRE ASSEMBLY SHOES OUT FOR CLEANING ANO REPLACEMENT OF BUSH ANO BRUSHES

CONNECT THESE TWO TERMINALS FOR RUNNING AS A LIGHT DUTY MOTOR

to the terminal on the end. The negative lead is earthed to any point on the casing of the starter motor.

On starter motors with the solenoid attached, connect the positive lead to the main starter motor terminal, then run a short light wire to the terminal on the solenoid. The negative lead is earthed to any point on the main casing. Machining Shaft for Fitting of V • Belt Pulley: Remove the pinion and spring etc. from the starter motor. (Take care in compressing and removing the spring - it is very powerful and can be dangerous. You are advised to follow procedures set out in the car workshop manual.)

The exposed shaft will be uneven and unsuitable for the fitting of a V-Belt pulley. The procedure for machining the shaft is as follows:

(a) Fill slots and build up shaft as required using your arc welding unit. Fit copper or steel clamps, and wrap a wet rag around the base of the shaft to dissipate heat and prevent excessive heat affecting the field winding insulation.

(b) After welding, remove the clamps and rag and hold the starter motor securely, e.g.: in a vice, then connect it to a battery and allow to run at full speed.

(c) Using either a high speed disc grinder or abrasive disc in drill running at high speed, move the abrasive disc slowly in against the spinning shaft. The abrasive disc turning against the spinning shaft will machine it down and centre it up perfectly. Finish off with Fine emery paper. The end result will be a perfectly round, perfectly centred, highly polished shaft of any diameter you desire.

All you need do now is fit a standard type V-Belt pulley and mount the starter motor securely, and you have a powerful low cost 12 volt electric motor suitable for a wide range of home and workshop applications. Note: Starter motors usually run on bronze bushes instead of ball bearings, so it is wise to oil them regularly - on a daily basis if using them for long periods under continuous running conditions.

Fitting of Drill Chuck. If you require a drill or drill chuck for using the standard type flexible drive attachments, simply cut a thread on the end of the starter motor shaft using a die with a thread size and pitch the same as the required drill chuck.

The standard Jacobs type drill chucks can be purchased from most hardware stores and all power tool suppliers. The specifications on the box will detail thread size and type. After cutting the thread on the shaft you simply screw the chuck assembly straight on to it.

You now have a heavy duty 12 volt 'drill' with enormous power, capable of the most arduous of tasks. It is advisable to bolt a handle on to the starter motor because the enormous starting power and torque will twist it out of your hands if the bit sticks or catches.

Use an alligator clip as the positive connection so that it can be easily flicked off to stop the drill instantly if need be, otherwise fit a trigger type switch, either to the positive or negative lead, preferably the positive — in fact it should be fitted to the positive lead because the negative lead is only an earth and if you happen to be drilling on the car body to which the battery is earthed, then the switch will be useless because the drill is earthing itself on the car.

Old starter motors fitted with a V-Belt pulley have endless applications both around the workshop and in the home, and are particularly useful in place of 240 volt induction motors. For example, in washing machines or work benches etc. Cogs or sprockets can be fitted in place of pulleys for heavy use such as winches etc.

The fitting of a Jacobs chuck opens the door to a wide assortment of uses - in fact any ordinary drill accessory such as grinding wheels, sanders, jig saw attachments, circular saws, bilge pumps, flexible drive lines, etc., can all be used, often with greater efficiency than in the conventional drills.

Fan Operated Room Heater

Room heaters can quite easily be assembled by coiling a thin piece of wire around in the shape of a spring, then connecting one end to the positive terminal and the other to the negative terminal of a 12 volt battery bank.

The wire will quickly heat up and glow red hot. Amperage draw is heavy until the wire glows red, then it drops and stabilizes at an acceptable level. .^rA "

For example, a thin strand of wire taken from a piece pfxtatlies line wire 60cm long will draw about 40 amps initially, then quickly drop to about 20 amps, asjhe wire glows red, and then remains at this level.

Attach a small fan blackrfo a light motor, e.g.: generator 'motor', and the soft current of air blowing through _arui-aeiess-rtiB~}ieated element provides warm air for home heating. Note: Heat output can be increased by using thicker wire. However, power consumption will rise accordingly.

Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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