Lotus Elan

12v workshop power supply

PostPost by: jono » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:53 am

For my rebuild I need a means of bench testing everything from a starter motor to a panel switch.

What is the best way to facilitiate this? Is there such a thing as a workshop transformer at reasonable cost which will turn window motors and other heavy items or is a car battery with trickle charger the best option?


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PostPost by: neilsjuke » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:19 am

I keep a car battery as a test supply / backup cold start and charge it with a solar panel it keeps it topped up and lets it rest at night yes you can buy a power station jump start type but the batteys in them are light in weight so will never be as good as a true car type . Maplins did have some solar 12v panels for ?9.99 .
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PostPost by: gerrym » Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:45 am

I find the most convenient power supply is a 14.4V (nominal) Ni-Cad battery that comes with my battery powered drill. These are very reasonably priced. Much smaller and handier that a lead acid battery, negligble channce of acid spills. Insulated crocodile clips provide the connection.

Consider a fuse to protect against short circuits whilst testing.

It should be good for all the loads except the starter motor (of course) and maybe the window motors


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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:26 pm

It won't run a starter motor but I use one of those small power supplies that just plug into the mains & are used for radios, walkmans etc.
They are available from most of the usual electronic sources & pump out a few amps (dependent on size) & on some you can select various voltages.
Mine is mounted on a piece of Aluminium sheet with connector sockets for all of the different test leads that can be bought.
A piece of kit along with a multimeter that I couldn't do without.

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PostPost by: Lincoln62 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:15 am

I use an old power supply out of a desktop computer. It was free and works great. I wouldn't try starting a car with it though.

Another good solution would be a portable jump start pack. They come with a trickle charger built in and can be left plugged in so the batteries last for donkey's years.

Apart from being able to jump start cars it can be handy to have a portable 12v power supply. You can use a trouble light out in the yard if you are working. I've even used mine when we have had a blackout, just plugged a few trouble lights in to light up the house.

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