We just got a KR Wilson battery/magneto charger. It's 220 AC 60 cycle. I only see two wires, hot and common(?). Back in 1926 was 220 split 110/110 or was it one wire? The illustration(s) in the Oct 1926 Service B. only show 2 wires.
My question is; if it is 220 single wire is there a converter that can be used to take the two 110 wires and convert to single wire? I am thinking that if I just tie the two wires together some smoke might get out somewhere!
I would be very leery of hooking up something that old without having it carefully inspected by someone who has a background in power devices like that. There are many devices that sell on ebay and at swap meets that are not isolated and downright dangerous to use without the addition of an isolation transformer. Often the insulation in a device was never very good to start with and by now is pretty much gone. Be careful and get someone local to help before you attempt to power it up.
Thanks for the heads up. Good ideas, I was thinking along those lines RE having it checked out.
IF you weren't so far away I would just say "bring it over" but Portland is a pretty long hike from St. Charles, IL. You probably have already done this or started but if not, search for all the info you can get on this device like wiring diagram(s) manuals, "how to" postings on forums...start gathering all of that so that when you do find someone that can decipher that stuff you will have what he needs to check it out. The internet is a great source for info on just about anything. Before the internet, researching an old device was a long project and many long distance phone calls but one can find a years worth of research in probably less than 30 minutes now with many old magazines and books totally up on line to be read. Take lots of pictures of it from many angles so that you can send info to those who might help.
I have stated the internet search, so far zilch. I am in early stages here so will use my noodle and imagination to figure different approaches to the matter. I have done the mtfca KR Wilson battery magneto charger, it was just a quick search but will try changing/dropping words etc.
Did you go to the KR Wilson website/forum?
220V is just two wires, but I would certainly add a ground to it! Your house power (normally;talking single phased) comes in on three wires, two 'hots" and a neutral. You get 110vac from one hot and the neutral, you get 220vac from two hots. Most breaker boxes are set up so every other breaker is an alternate hot, so two together is a 220vac circuit. A house clothes dryer, for instance, will have a three or, more commonly, 4 wire plug; two hots, one neutral, and ground is the 4th wire. At the dryer usually the timer, lights etc. are hooked to one hot & the neutral--voila, 110vac for them. The drying coils are connected to two hots, so they have 220vac to provide more heat.
This is a VERY BASIC description, and 110vac can kill you just as easily as 220vac, so be careful!! It's also maybe only true in the USA & Canada; other countries do do other things, for instance the plug voltage in England is 220vac. Now some places may show 115vac & 230vac or 120vac & 240vac; as I understand it, this has to do with how the single phase is taken off the three phase & the transformers used to provide "line power" as opposed to "transmission power" & I may have some terminology wrong--I am just an amateur, but have wired housed and one electrical distribution system--but I avoid 440vac--that's for the pros!!
You could: (if comfortable with electricity)
1. Connect a 220 plug to the KW unit and use either a 220 single phase shop plug for a welder or possible a dryer or air conditioner plug - if 220vac. Remember on some 220 wiring the third prong is a neutral wire - not a ground.
2. Search an electrical supply company (i.e. Digikey) for a step up transformer rated for the amperage of the Charger. Step up from 110vac house hold to 220vac.
3. Ask a friend who has a 220 volt welder to help with the powerplug?
4. Clean it up and just use it for a curio to start a conversation.
IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH HIGH VOLTAGE ASK A CERTIFIED ELECTRICIAN.
The things I am worried about have nothing to do with how to wire the plug to apply power to anything this old. My concern has to do with the various internal parts of the device itself having possibly deteriorated such that there might be shorts or near shorts internal. Old insulation materials weren't expected to last 90+ years or more. I have personally witnessed someone powering up an old radio by putting a new plug on old wires and plugging it in only to have the power transformer immediately starting to smoke. When I work on something very old I not only check it out with leakage testing devices but also power the thing up slowly with a variac (variable AC power transformer) to be able to see what current the device draws before applying more power which is then applied slowly.
So far the step up transformer is the best idea. From what I can see this is 220V one line in (hot) then one line out (today's common), no ground. As my Dad told me, back in the day both wires were considered hot, one in, one out. If my understanding of what I am seeing is correct, you can't just hook up the 2 hot (110 each) wires to the leads which is what you would get if you use a drier or welder type plug there does not look to be a 3ed lead for common.
All this is subject to change as I do more research.
? If this is the KW charger that is being discussed, then additional caution is needed as it appears to be dual voltage. Additional information can be found in Model T Ford Service Bulletin Essentials - reprints - by Dan Post, 1997.
Yes this is the unit. We have the reprint, so that is our starting point. The units are not duel voltage they are ether 110 or 220 line voltage. Ours is the 220 60 cycle line voltage in unit. Like other items sold by Wilson and other suppliers, they came in several models depending on what your local power company supplied over the feed lines. I am sure each unit would be wired and setup to give the needed correct amps/voltage at the output leads.
The view you show is the magneto charging leads and box that holds the fuses to those leads and magnet polarity checker. We got the polarity checker but not the the leads.
The fuses for the battery charging are in the front panel and the leads to the batteries come out in a different location (bottom of unit). There are places for 3 fuses in the box on the front, left and right fuses are for battery charging and one or both are used depending on the number of batteries on the rack etc. To charge the magneto those fuses are removed and a higher value fuse is placed in the center holder for magneto charging.
That's is about all I have for now.
NO! for 220VAC only power you really need only the two 110V hot leads--but for safety, I would add a ground & as George pointed out, if you do use a three-wire plug, check to see if that third wire in the receptacle is neutral or ground--they aren't the same thing! The "U" shaped pin is normally ground, and "L" shaped pin, neutral--USUALLY! (What can confuse this issue is that in North America, at least, the neutral and ground are bonded together at the main power box ONLY--and no, I don't know the answer, just that is what the code requires.).
David do you have one of these? Do you have one that you can look at? Do you understand that things were wired different in 1926 then they are now?
The Europeans and other parts of the world still use the 220 Volts AC fed on one wire, not two wires of 110 volts AC each like we do.
I don't understand the ground/common hookup at the fuse box ether but that's how we do it.
No, I don't have one, but the 220VAC system we use today is basically the same one used back then-I have no idea how the Europeans do it, but I think their single phase two-wire system starts at 220VAC, whereas ours starts at 110VAC. yes, there are some differences from 1926 to today, but electrical properties have not changed. Back then there were locations that provided 220vac as the lowest voltage, as well as parts of the country using 50 cycle power, and even some cities providing DC power. I do agree that an inspection of the interior is a must before connecting it to anything. Their system of converting AC to DC may be different than today's common stuff (use of selenium rectifiers, for instance). I do have a battery charger from that time period, but I haven't looked inside it for 10 years, at least--the charger is 110vac though. As I recall it has a special Vacuum tube to do the rectifying. Now where did I store that dang'd thing?? Hmmm. . .
This gets interesting, as the Model T evolved so did electrical plugs. A review of 1920's electrical manufactures, the connecting plug of the day was a Benjamin screw plug. Used for both 110 and 220 volt connectors. It was a two wire device that connected the wall outlet to the electrical device needing power such as the Charger.
Dave, you might be thinking of the Tunger Bulb chargers. They have a big screw in glass bulb filled with argon gas which acts like a rectifier. I have two of them I use to charge my 6v batteries. One is a wall mount unit that has settings to charge up to six 6v batteries at once. PK
Pat, that sounds right, although my memory is dim!
George, you're right, I forgot about that; my 1923 Welte reproducing grand has a receptacle for the power cord that is two prongs horizontal to each other (--); took some searching to find a female cord end to match it.
In the early days, there were no "wall sockets", just the light bulb socket, so many adapters were designed to screw into the light socket. BTW, that's one design that is still with us today! Might not be for long though with the phase out of incandescent bulbs. What're folks going to use to keep their incubators warm & their plants in winter?? Plus, all those lights we use in winter to see after dark helped keep the house warm.
I don't know if these pics would help as it is a different brand and type, but may be similar.
A little, the voltage label gave me an idea!