The argument for Ammeters is ?

The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby grummy » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:53 pm

So, I would like to know exactly what makes the lowly Ammeter the gauge of choice on all the old Garden tractors (including our Case machines). I just never understood why they thought it valuable to have this dial tell me nothing more than what an idiot light told me, if you happened to be looking at it.... even an idiot light would catch your attention better than the Ammeter. Sadly, if you were not staring at the dumb thing with a fixed gaze when it started to tell you something, your stuck with absolutely no indication as to how long ago it broke, how broke it is, or how long you have until your tractor stalls out on the spot.

On this last project tractor, I put in a VOLTMETER. I love being able to see the voltage up there when its running (13-14v). If something fails, the gauge will likewise indicate such, but at least give me the additional information as to how long one might have until things die completely. I'd bet that if you killed off your headlights, you could run quite a while, perhaps all the way down to 8 volts before the tractor fails to keep the sparklers hot.

Ideally, I think the best option would be an idiot light to let you know something has gone south on you, AND the voltmeter, that will allow you to watch exactly how many volts are left in your battery rather than just the vague reference that your battery is discharging.
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The argument for Ammeters is ?

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Re: The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby 224-79 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:34 am

Grummy

I've pondered this point for the last 6 Months that I've been tinkering on my 224-79. LOL

I've got a 2" Hole in my Dash. Ammeter ? Voltmeter ? Hourmeter ? Tachometer ? Haven't Decided Yet. :)

Having run my tractor for the last 20 years without a charging system , My Mechanic ( one of many ) told me my Stator was shot and it would be $450.00 to Replace it, I kept the battery charged and disconnected my Melted Headlights. LOL

A fully charged 425 CCA will run my tractor for about 4 hrs with the headlight on and by then the lights are mighty dim . Shut the headlights off and it will run fine for many hrs ,but will not start without a boost. :) That's why I have a small Booster Pack. LOL

A fully charged 425 CCA with the headlights disconnected will run my tractor most of the summer , depending on the amount of starts , and how poorly my tractor was running at the time :) I would use my tractor 10 to 15 times throughout the summer for a total of 25 Hrs . If the battery has enough juice to start the tractor, it will run for many hrs.

I've never had the engine die from lack of Battery Power. The lowest I can remember was 9.25 and by then the engine would not turn over fast enough to start.

I've got a 20 Amp meter that I will likely install ,rather than buying another Instrument.

Other than the Hr meter , the others have very little usefullness.

I replaced my $13.50 Rectifier and it's charging as intended again LOL

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Re: The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby AlanH » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:05 pm

I know this thread is dated, but I think grummy will be interested in this. You were looking for a voltmeter application for your tractor. I use this product on my motorcycle to monitor my charging system.... [click the pic for link]

Image


I think that both a voltmeter and the ammeter are critical. The Ammeter tells you system status, but the voltmeter, especially this one, gives you immediate charging feedback. It's color coded, so green = good, but flashing green = overcharging (regulator bad), yellow = marginal (low charging but still charging, system drain) red = poor (not charging, but still over 12V) flashing red = DANGER!! Will Robinson!!! (very bad system drain, no charge situation)

Plus it's LED, so little to no charging system impact and a small hole to drill instead of a 2-1/4" hole in your dash for a gauge. The control box mounts inside the dash tower, the only thing visible from the seat is the little light. Another great feature, if you have a steady green for a while it dims out, so as to not be a distraction, but if it goes to yellow or red it gets bright again.

HTH
'70 Wheel Horse Charger 12 Was Dad's, he got it when I was about 6mo's old
'72 John Deere 112 Electric Lift Current Hybrid RF Project
'72 Case 222 for an upcoming 4WD tractor project
'02 Crafstman LT1000 repowered with a 22 HP Opposed Briggs
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Re: The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby 3427 Ingersoll » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:07 pm

Alan,
Thanks for participating in the group and for the info.

Dan
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Ronald Reagan
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Re: The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby grummy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:13 am

Awesome little unit Alan.... thanks for sharing it ! This would be a good addition to an ammeter only tractor, and the price is also such that it is easy to accommodate. I think I might get one for my step van, where I am always monitoring voltage because of lighting and furnace use while parked. The units amp draw is small enough to leave on all the time without it draining the battery unnecessarily. Just one more thing I can add to the list of why I am broke !
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Re: The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby Bob MacGregor » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:16 pm

I'm for voltmeters in place of ammeters on Case/Ingersoll tractors. 3000 and 4000 series Ingersoll tractors have neither, but a charge indicator light, the sensor for which has a high failure rate. Of all these tractors, the ones with electric PTO clutches should have a voltmeter of some sort. Charging system malfunctions are easier diagnosed with a voltmeter and a voltmeter provides constant electrical system monitoring.
Actually the ammeters used on Case/Ingersoll tractors is a voltmeter which is calibrated to read the voltage drop across the resistor that is installed inside the meter. The voltage drop across this resistor varys based on power usage and supply in the electrical system during operation. When an ammeter craps out it is either the internal resistor or the voltmeter that has failed.
Bob MacGregor in CT :lol:
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Re: The argument for Ammeters is ?

Postby AlanH » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:14 pm

grummy wrote:Awesome little unit Alan.... thanks for sharing it ! This would be a good addition to an ammeter only tractor, and the price is also such that it is easy to accommodate. I think I might get one for my step van, where I am always monitoring voltage because of lighting and furnace use while parked. The units amp draw is small enough to leave on all the time without it draining the battery unnecessarily. Just one more thing I can add to the list of why I am broke !

Glad I could help. ;)
'70 Wheel Horse Charger 12 Was Dad's, he got it when I was about 6mo's old
'72 John Deere 112 Electric Lift Current Hybrid RF Project
'72 Case 222 for an upcoming 4WD tractor project
'02 Crafstman LT1000 repowered with a 22 HP Opposed Briggs
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