hmaynord wrote:OK. I agree the ammeter gives you better information. That just gets away from the point I’m trying to make.
As I’ve said, my goal is reliability. Here is my point: is that better information worth the costs? Those costs are (1) a longer charging circuit, which means some voltage loss when those amps reach the battery; and (2) more connections in that charging circuit, which means (a) more points of voltage loss, (b) when the alternator is outputting high amps, more points of heat generated, and (c) more points of possible failure.
So, for me, it’s an easy choice to go with the voltmeter, even though it will take me more time to realize the charging system has failed. That time is not critical, because I have the battery as a backup. It’s not the same as water temp and oil pressure, where I absolutely want to know those failures immediately.
I guess what I would like is a voltmeter that swings 90 degrees between 10 and 16, rather than 8-18. Then, a failure would be more obvious. I’d just have to get used to continual small movements of the needle being normal.
The statement on costs is incorrect.
1. The longer charging circuit is irrelevant if the wire is sized correctly.
2. Proper connections add negligible resistance to a circuit which causes negligible voltage loss and heat generation.
Even in a charging circuit with more resistance before the battery (longer piece of wire) the battery will fully charge. It only reduces the time for a full charge. IE, look at the puny (high resistance) wire used on the leads of a bench top battery charger.
With an ammeter, the gauge sits in the center on the 0 line. With a running engine in the daytime, no lights, fan, etc, a failed charging system will be visible immediately. Not so with a voltmeter. In fact, it is difficult to monitor charging with a voltmeter before its too late. U'll find out the next time u park and it won't start. Even an idiot light is better than a voltmeter for monitoring the charging system.
Been driving swepts daily for 40 yrs this coming April. NEVER had a an ammeter problem in ANY truck EVER!
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