For all who "need" an alternator on your Model T to power a GPS, Cellphone, laptop computer, foot warmer and halogen headlights here is something you might like?
I am sure you can figure out were to buy it?
Ron the Coilman
What a fun project! I think I would like one for my generator and VR.
Too new to be listed I presume?
Danged, I just finished an era correct finger jointed angled dash panel box only big enough to house a "magno-meter". Had I only known...well, could always be a rev. 2! All I have to do is find another old premium wood cigar box and soak it apart and start again! Cutting the finger joints with a sharp 1/4" chisel is slower than watching paint dry!
These meters look great and with the source will work great!
I wonder if since they are not actual Ford issued equipment during the T era but just engineered to look "period" correct that perhaps they should be offered without Ford script. Ford licensing adds at least 10% in actual price increase going directly to Ford but we also have to add a bit more than that to cover the administrative costs in collecting those royalties and making separate payment to Ford. I would appreciate any feedback on what you guys would want. It will cost a bit more for the non script meter if I offer a script version too but it does look more Model T when the Script is on there. I cold also offer it with Ford Script only to minimize costs. The more versions there are the higher the cost. The pricing on this meter will be inline with pricing on the ammeter since it uses many of the same parts and the costs are comparable.
A wise industrialist who had already made millions once said to me as advice..."Don't be a grocery store...variation costs and strangles a business!" I've followed that thought to this day and if I can't bolt something up, or add a sticker...then...not available!
It's your business to do as you want...but from my point of view, do what you want! If past work is a clue, it will be a very nice 6 or 12 v meter for anything. Does adding the 'Ford' crunch your potential market? Can't imagine it would add to it!
You have also been around long enough and product known well enough that you could go scriptless...and maybe every now and then offer a special 'subscribed' offering where you run off 'x' but only after receiving orders for 'x' at 'y' price.
Just my own .02
My suggestion: Offer only the Ford script version.
Since it's electrical, I think you should use the Tesla car T symbol or similar..
After all, Elon Musk named his Model S with the Model T in mind.
It might be too subtle to use a mottle T.
For use in a T it would be nice to have the Ford script, but a voltmeter can hardly be considered "original". The market for the none scrip version is much greater, could be used on almost any car. The administration costs are real. If FMC think you are cheating. they have an army of lawyers who have nothing better to do than annoy you.
On balance as a a manufacturer of meters, I would not bother with the script.
If a T owner really wants Ford on the meter, let him paint it on....
In the true spirit of Henry Ford, I would avoid paying royalties, so no script needed - the customers can use their imagination
Besides, you should be proud of your company name - you can add it on in the Ford script style
This solves a problem for many hobbyists who have Model A and Model T's equipped with 6 volt alternators. It has never been easy to find a 6V voltmeter. Making them fit properly in the original ammeter hole and matching the original typeface and design just makes this a fabulous idea.
I don't have any Model T's with a charging system, but if I did each of them would get one of these.
Well done John!!!
Could your new meters be used with 6 or 12 volt batteries on an engine using a T generator, set either for 6 or 12 vdc amperage settings ?-
Not sure what you are asking. Ammeters are zero center meters while these voltmeters are expanded scale Voltmeters. Too many differences internal to make one size fits all. Did I answer your question?
As long as these volt meters are accurate within the mid range they should be an improvement on any car.
I don't really understand why they would only useful on a car with an alternator. No matter if you have an alternator, generator, mag charger or no charger, the bottom line in an auto electrical system is, what is the condition/charge of the battery. It does not really matter or tell you a lot by just knowing what the charge rate is. The voltage will tell what the battery condition is.
As a direct replacement for the ammeter I wonder how it could be wired in? If a car was ran on the battery it would be easy to just connect to line to the ignition system. However when ran on mag power it may take a separate switch just to provide power to the volt meter so that the battery could be monitored. Or, maybe just wire in on the battery side of the switch and when the battery voltage wanted to be checked, just momentarily switch from mag to bat.
By exchanging the T amp meter for a volt meter you will eliminate one weakness in the T electrical system.
The only time my ever died was on a freeway in San Jose when the amp wire came loose on the meter.
If a volt meter wire comes off only the meter quits working.
My '26 has a 12 volt alternator, directional lights, a heater with fan and stop lights.
all he lights & heater do not come through the amp meter. The meter is marginal for so much load.
To clarify, not using your volt meter as a replacement in the ammeter dash position, mounted to the dash, will the volt meter work equally well with a generator as well as an alternator ?
" set either for 6 or 12 vdc amperage settings ?-"
Sorry not being specific....
Meant to say generator on 6V battery set for 4-5 amp charge, and generator on 12V battery set for 2-3 amp charge.
You don't set alternators to any amperage charge. Alternators charge to whatever the maximum rated amperage is if needed, and the amperage tapers down to zero when full charge is reached. This is why an alternator equipped car does not need an ammeter - it doesn't tell you what you need to know.
Now a voltmeter might be interesting on a generator equipped car, and useful too.
The voltmeter is NOT a direct replacement for the ammeter as far as wiring. The two leads to the ammeter would be joined on ONE post of the volt meter. The other post of the volt meter would be wired to ground.
If you wanted to add a volt meter with an existing ammeter, one post of the volt meter would be attached to ONE post of the ammeter. The other post of the volt meter would still go to ground. The other post of the ammeter would remain unchanged.
Here's a picture for the electrically challenged.
The problem with your Replacement and Addition drawings is that the volt meter would be "on" all the time. The volt meter does not take much power but I don't think it would be best to have it connected all the time.
Maybe this would be an idea:
Of course this would feed AC MAG voltage to the DC volt meter when running on MAG. I don't know if that would hurt anything??
Jim is correct that unless your car has a master disconnect switch, voltmeters do draw a wee bit of current. Nothing compared to modern cars but still when you consider that often a T sits for a long time, you would want to be sure and address that issue.
True but what better way to monitor the state of the battery when parked? A few milliamps wouldn't make much difference over a few months. I would hope that most folks disconnected the battery when in long term storage. Or have a trickle charger on it.
1. What is the current draw of the new meters?
2. What happens to a 6v DC meter when you hit it with 20+vac?
Script or no I want one
Another option would be to wire the + volt meter post to the generator post. There's no current draw there unless a cutout is stuck.
Buy one and I will connect it up to 20VAC and let you know . How long do you want me to hook your meter up to that source? You realize that you will be operating the thing at 3 times its normal voltage and banging it back and forth at whatever frequency is coming from your magneto since you haven't said what RPM and an AC applied to a DC movement is going to drive the movement back and forth at the AC rate. It probably won't keep up but it will try - for awhile.
Does it come in the smaller 26-27 size, too?
I know what it will do. I was hoping the answer would benefit Jim (and others).
I bet these would sell too.
Thanks Ken, taking orders ??? Have the "improved" dash plate ???
I just went and measured the meters I have and the 6V meter draws 2 mA at 6V while the 12V units draw 2.7 mA at 12V. This is not a specification for all of the meters but they shouldn't be radically different but just some normal production distribution variation. I wish making new products only involved a few hours on photoshop ha ha.
I have found that a worn engine will slowly crank over with only 3.2 volts measured at the starter terminal.
That meter will also be very useful to show the battery and cables condition, but could peg at the low end, if a switch is not in the circuit.
"A few hours on Photoshop ..." - I think the one above took 8 seconds to make !!
You just need a 3D printer John
I once spent a half hour taking an ex-wife of a friend out of his daughter's graduation photo. I replaced her with a pine tree! His mother liked it so much she framed it and put it up on the wall !! Gotta love Photoshop!
Dang Garnet, I toiled for nearly 15 seconds with MS Paint. Don't cut the hard work short.
OK they are up on www.funprojects.com but I have very limited product at the moment and I don't have the product page created with nice shiny pictures but I will try to get more meters built first. Very busy time for us right now. Basically the meters are simply listed in the product list at this point.
5016-6V is the 6V scaled unit
5016-12V is the 12V scaled unit
Thanks for all the feedback.
Why would one want a voltmeter instead of an ammeter? Use a 30 amp alternator and a 30 amp ammeter.
You must have missed the recent thread, Ken, in which gens, alts, voltmeters and ammeters were discussed. I suspect that thread inspired these voltmeters.
A volt meter will tell you more about the condition of the battery then a ammeter. It will tell if a battery is fully charged, 6.3/12.6 volts after it has set a day or so. It will also tell you if your charging system is keeping up with the load or not when running. If the voltage when running is more then 6.3/12.6 volts, you are good. And if less, you know that the charging system is not keeping up with the demand.
A voltmeter would also be very handy on a car without a charging system. It will tell you the % of battery charge.