I have a really interesting item. A Colpin Model 26, Type GX Magneto Recharger for "Ford and Forson". It has 4 glass jars underneath with electrodes in each. The directions on the inside of the lid call for:
1. Lift entire unit out of case and remove chemicals, fuse and all packing material.
2. Hold Unit with left hand and unscrew jars. Set unit to one side, being careful not to bend plates. Under no circumstances must they touch eachother.
3. Empty 1/4 of the chemical in top each of the four glass jars (to make this device a success, use only Colpin Chemicals). Fill glass jars to within one inch of top with pure distilled water (battery acid will ruin the electrodes). Stir thoroughly with a clean stick...etc.
4. Connect attaching plug to light Socket (D.C.). Now connect the test clips together (-) negative and (+) positive wires. Now close the charge switch...etc.
Question. Is anyone familiar with this product and the theory behind its' use? I assume that the chemicals and distilled water in the four jars are for making a crude battery. Does anyone think this can be made to work after 80 plus years? If so, it would sure be useful. Does anyone know what chemical(s) may have been provided by Colpin for mixing in with the distilled water and how much may have been used? In the 4th step it says to connect to a DC light socket. In this day of A.C electric current, what woould be the equivalent today for a D.C. source.
Thank you for any help.
Jim... very nice, wow as a tool collector it is a very nice unit. I would put that in my office and continue to use my Growler for recharging the magnets.
My best guess is that these are Edison Cells filled with 1/4 or 25% high grade caustic soda and 75% water. You can google it. You probably can get what you need from a chem supply store.
If you choose to go cheaper, then you can probably convert them to lead acid with no difficulty at all. In order to make a 2.5 volt lead acid battery all you need is lead foil and chemical paper (wax covered paper "I think"). start with a lead electrode at the center and the lead foil and place the lead foil over the paper and roll it into a large cylinder. Just like a "Little Debbie" snack cake. Then add an electrode at the end. Submerse it all in electrolyte "sulfuric acid" from autozone and "wolla" you have four authentic period correct batteries as well... you can google that as well.
Use a automotive light bulb to check how they are doing... or an LED bulb. Positive electrode will be in the middle "I think". test with meter...
Jim, These jars are NOT a battery--they have aluminum plates and are what used to be called slop-jar rectifiers. Look at the schematic on the last picture you posted. The directions say connect to any light socket! Probably dangerous as I don't see a transformer in the equipment to isolate the powere line. The chemicals are borax and distilled water. Don't distroy this rare antique. The 4 jars are the 4 diodes of a bridge rectifier. The foreward drop of these diodes is dependent on load and is much greater than the present day silicon diode which is about 0.7 volt.
McColpin also made electroplating equipment and eventually becane McColpin-Christie and then just Christie and mace large mag-amp regulated power supplies in mid '50s. I lost track of them about 1960. Art in Pahrump
Thanks everyone. I wish I could use it but, it sounds too dangerous to try and use for its' intended purpose, plus, there are safer ways to do the same thing these days. You must agree, though, that it is an interesting item, not seen very often. I've had it for about eight years and have been cleaning out my shop of unused items and old dignostic tools to make more room, so, I think it will be going on ebay tonight and go to someone who can appreciate it. Thanks again. Jim
Jim-You are correct about not seen very often. I haven't seen one of those since 1940. At that time I was in the 9th grade and couldn't afford my own car. I have no idea what it is worth, but hope you get a good price for it. Have so much old test equipment and electronic gear setting around now that I have no room for it. Art in Pahrump.
Thanks Art. I have no idea either on what it might be worth, but the instruction sheet inside the lid indicates that, when new, in 1925, this tool sold for $57.50. I don't know how much that translates to in today's dollars, but in 1925, when a new car could be bought for $300.00, a house could be purchased for $7,800.00 and the average man's weekly salary was $25.35, it was pretty pricey by today's standards. As for it's worth as is, I'll let the bidders sort it out on ebay. Thanks again for your advice. Jim
Colpin Magnet Recharger is on ebay if you'd like to check it out: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/wseBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110340106079&sspage name=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&viewitem= Jim
I've got a couple of those, not in that nice of condition. Pretty interesting piece. I also have a couple Stahl Magfixers. They will "Burn shorts off mag coils," also. Cool old stuff.