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Old 02-24-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
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Uses for Univolt?

Besides a boat anchor. I've purchased a new power converter and was wondering if there are any ideas for the use of the old in working condition Univolt? Does a battery need to be hooked up to it for it to work? Could it be employed for bench testing 12-volt items?
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:07 AM   #2
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No, a battery does not have to be hooked up to it, and yes it would make a good bench power supply. If it were me, I'd replace the filter capacitors (electrolitics) because if it is over 10 years old, they go bad and the ripple voltage will be high.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #3
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Univolt is one of the converters that needs a battery to work properly.

Battery acts as a filter to the DC.

Having said that there are items that could be powered by the Univolt without a battery but you need to be careful as they are not the best regulated supply.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:12 AM   #4
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those of us that fly r/c stuff usually have a 12 V. power supply for bench testing items. Also it's nice to have a bench setup to test items from your trailer, like when you remove a heater to rebuild it, test a fridge prior to installation, you pickin up what I;m puttin down?
you gonna stop by Casini this spring? sorry I missed you last time. out on the river.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #5
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So we have a 'no it doesn't need a battery' and a 'it needs a battery to work properly'

Doorgunner,

Sounds like your drift is that it would be useful to keep for bench testing. Now I just need to find out of it does or does not need a battery to work properly.

I would like to go to Casini again and would love to bring my project if I can get it to that point by then. The insulation is taking me about 10x as long as I thought.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #6
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Now I just need to find out of it does or does not need a battery to work properly.
Plug it in and test the output. If you have voltage, you don't need a battery.

The lower voltage others have stated without a battery is because of the filter problem I stated above.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
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Thanks Steve. IF I can find and identify these capacitors, where might I obtain new ones?
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #8
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I would just love to find a schematic of the UNIVOLT. I would like to replace the caps also. I want to parts in hand before I tear it down. Im getting noise in my radio. I know those filter caps are bad. ANY ONE HAVE A SCHEMATIC.??? HOOT I think any electronics supply house should have the caps. I have several here locally.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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Thanks Steve. IF I can find and identify these capacitors, where might I obtain new ones?
As I remember, they will be the big round ones, I think they are black, and they are mounted on the chasis sticking out the top. You should be able to get replacement at any old-timey electronics parts house. If you can find bigger ones, (in MFD=microfarad) all the better. They will be marked something like 10,000 microfarad at 25 volts DC.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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The original Univolt I have from my 69 Tradewind was strictly a Circuit Breaker, Transformer, Full-Wave Rectifier, Charging/Sensing Control Printed Circuit Board. and an SCR. The SCR was the charging current control device for the battery. There were no filter capacitors on this model. Maybe later models included filter capacitors but, to serve as a charger those would have had to have been larger (over 10,000 micro-Farad) capacitors.

I replaced my Univolt with a Intellipower.

I kept the old one as a spare battery charger and I use it in my electrical training classes as an unfiltered DC voltage source. It works great for demonstrating dc motors and to compare running lighting on dc or ac sources. Remember in older Airstreams they only served to run lighting, charge the battery and provide power to one or two dc outlets. It didn't need to be smooth filtered dc for electronic devices.

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Old 02-24-2011, 12:33 PM   #11
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I gave the old Univolt out of the Minuet to a fellow Ham operator. He rebuilt it for a bench supply.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #12
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Besides a boat anchor. I've purchased a new power converter and was wondering if there are any ideas for the use of the old in working condition Univolt? Does a battery need to be hooked up to it for it to work? Could it be employed for bench testing 12-volt items?
In my opinion, this is something that should be either sold or given to someone who wants to maintain the originality of an old Airstream. It could be refurbished.

Otherwise recycle it. The technology, design and age of components are old enough to be of little use in a modern environment.

If you want a bench supply you can get a good modern regulated one for very little investment.

Ken
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #13
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Be happy to give it away. Never known anybody to want one.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:24 PM   #14
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Boat anchor or paper weight. Either one is an excellent use for an old Univolt.
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