I have shorted out 12 volt cutout from Fun Projects. I'm not sure what went wrong to damage it, but from reading online either the MOSFET transistor or the Schottky diode was destroyed (whichever one was soldered directly to the circuit board).
Anyone ever work on one of these before?
Talk to John Regan.
He not only works on them...he makes them!
He's a good guy. He'll answer questions.
For the record we repair any VR for flat rate of $20 including return shipping. The only caveat is that we don't offer that rate if the unit has been opened up. We will still repair it and we are not blood thirsty but we likely cannot be of much help then in determining what actually happened. If a unit is determined to be beyond repair we give you all of your $20 back unless you also want the unit back in which case we only keep out return shipping cost which is currently $4. If a unit tests OK when sent to us then you get all of your money back except return shipping cost. For those who have not already done so please don't open up the unit since there are no user repairable parts inside and if you let us look at it first, we can be of help in determining what happened. The main problem is that generators are almost 100 years old and as such have been taken apart and put back together again probably 5 or 6 times since new - what are the odds that all 6 people knew what they were doing? This is by no means the only issue but it is the main issue. Generator shops typically kill more of our VR's than anything so don't give a VR to a generator shop along with your generator since you will get it back blown up almost every time. All of our VR's are final tested on real generators before being bagged up. Installing a good VR onto a questionable generator results in a questionable VR. We simply do not support field level repairs since it is just way too time consuming and the results can vary widely because there are so many variables. This is not about questioning the skill of any customer but rather that we simply don't have the resources to spend on this from our end. We instead offer a "cheap" repair/return of the unit which is quick.
Chris - I sent essentially this same info to you this morning when I got your email.
Sounds like you need to BCM it! In my aviation logistics field that means Beyond Capability of Maintenance. Translated further it means "send it back to the manufacturer". I mean, I know some of those tiny electrical components are wicked cheap, but $20? Even us humble T folks should be able to swing that! Although admittedly it sounds like you have perhaps opened the VR already . . .
John when you say "we" does that mean you have somebody working for you or with you? Or, as I think would be way funnier, are you saying "we" like the royal "we"? =)
I am not completely alone but in truth the term "we" is a carry over from previous business when I had a business partner and we made telephone systems. When making a statement of company policy I tend to use the term "we" which means that we officially do something and would expect the practice to continue regardless of who is running the show. I use a lot of subcontractors who are all local and some are part of the family. We found that it is way cheaper to fix them cheap and be done with it rather than answer a ton of questions and spend lots of time on the phone only to have a customer simply reinstall their self -"repaired??" unit back on a problem car and blow it up again. We can often tell by what we see whether the car might have the battery in backwards, generator set way too high, wrong battery voltage, and even certain generator problems. If the customer does believe us that the unit is not really a field serviceable item and just sends it to us, we can usually clear up what is going on pretty quick. When the unit is already in pieces - not so much we can help with other than maybe an opinion. We don't really get that many returned that are blown. Most of the time the customer simply wants to make totally sure that the VR is still OK after they witnessed something going on that was a problem. If good (they usually are) that is only a $4 round trip and we do jump on repairs as a same day in/out deal unless there is something really strange going on and we need to talk to the customer and can't reach him.
My Daughter-in-law Angela built most of the VR printed wiring subassemblies. My Father-in-law Don does the final assembly and live test on generator followed by cover weldment and final packing. All metal parts are made by John and Mark who are laser cutting experts with their own business in Chicago land. Sherry does all of the order filling and packing but both she and Angela build and rivet coils, press bearings together, inventory both parts and finished goods and they both just "love" to glue up coil boxes and smell the tar in the shop on "coil day" (they get that day off typically and Renee goes shopping).
John, just for the record - what are the shipping cost outside the US (i.e.Europe)? I doubt it can be done for 4 $ :-)
I have a unit I may want you to take a look on and fix. A bad connection at the ammeter disconnected the cord from the generator frying up the VR.
Thanks for the info and reply. I'm not looking for a "cheaper than you" repair, but was trying to get it turned around quick so I can get back on the road. I see that the Schottky diode or MOSFET transistor is burned up completely on one side. I've ordered a new one but will send this one in for repair and see if you might know what went wrong. I'll even reassemble it before I send it! Thanks again, Chris
The postal rates seem to have jumped recently and there really is no set "stable" rate that I can use for all non - USA shipments. You can go to www.usps.com and look up the First Class International rate for your country and figure the package at about 8 ounces or so. If you have a friend coming to Hershey or Chickasha then have them drop the thing off to me at Chickasha or to Don Lang at Hershey and that will reduce the cost for one leg of the trip. I would suggest that you get the thing to me and then I can send you a paypal invoice for the total of repair/return shipping or just shipping depending on what I find. The hard part is that I cannot tell you without testing it whether it is beyond repair or not but if it got hooked up to a battery backwards and left to burn - well......
Usually they are repairable.
Don't reassemble it - please. Just put all parts in a bag as is and send it along. If you know why it failed and have cleared the issue then proceed with your new one. If you are under the impression that the VR failed and everything in your car is OK then you very well may end up with 2 blown regulators for repair. They are not really fragile in normal service but there are things for which it can only defend itself by going into "failed safe mode" which is what I would have tested for as a first step.
Another good reason for me to go to Hershey with the rest of the danes going over every year ;-)
I know exactly what went wrong.It worked like a charm, but then I had to do some work with the ignition key and took out the panel. That made the one wire to the ammeter go loose so that the generator lost contact to the battery.
Bad craftmanship on my behalf ;-)
One of our club members had the 1926 style ammeter totally short out and set all the wiring afire.
I rebuilt the ignition switch, replaced the ammeter and added a new set of wires to the terminal block for the project. All tested fine and passed inspection.
The T had a recently rebuilt generator and one of John Regan's modern diode cutouts installed.
That diode regulator is an excellent insurance policy to save a much more expensive generator replacement.
I suggested that the generator should be removed and tested, just to be sure the heavy current flow did not damage the cutout or the generator. Neither the generator nor the cutout was damaged and they still work as advertised.
John told me that he had a fuse kit that would have prevented all the damage I repaired, had one been installed. I just installed one on my T today to avoid the same situation.
That fuse kit only cost me $8.16 with shipping. The wire replacement on that other T cost about $150 and the new "old style" used ammeter was another $50.
John has a better new ammeter, but the guy liked original stuff, even if it is not as safe or reliable.