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placid warrior 
Silver - Posts: 357
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Joined: November 06, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: February 02, 2005 at 8:55 PM / IP Logged  
not sure where to put this.  I know pretty much nothing about electronics so i was wondering If u guys could give me a hand.  How would i go about with capacitors/resistors or whatever i need, to create something that wont allow the curret to go past 12 volts but will still allow anything from 0-12 volts.  I ask for a couple of reasons...first is because i want to hook up some lights to the alternator so when i rev up the engine they wil glow brighter as the RPMs go up (is this fine? not doing with neons)  also have a problem with an experiment which works at 12 volts but will short or blow fuses at higher voltage.  Anyone able to help me out?  thanks for any help guys.
daniel2002p 
Silver - Posts: 524
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Joined: October 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: February 02, 2005 at 10:03 PM / IP Logged  
ok, first hooking lights up to the alternator is not a good idea and it will not work because your alternator gives out AC voltage and most electronics need DC that run on 12 volts.
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placid warrior 
Silver - Posts: 357
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Joined: November 06, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: February 02, 2005 at 11:49 PM / IP Logged  
ok, thanks for the heads up...i heard other people wanting to do it and it sounded like a good idea, but i guess not eh!  but i still require a unit for my other project though so i still need to make one only it doesnt matter if it works from 0-12 volts with this one...a constant 12 volts is all i need while the car is running, but i cant get that since the charging system boosts it up more...do i need to hook up a series of capacitors or can i fint just one that will work...is there a mathematical formula thats fairly easy so i can figure out what kind of capacitor I'll need.  It is just a capacitor that i need right?
xetmes 
Silver - Posts: 586
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Joined: May 18, 2003
Posted: February 03, 2005 at 12:16 PM / IP Logged  

capacitor is not really gonna help much for this purpose. If youwant to regulate a voltage below a level like 12V you can use a zener diode, or a unidirectional transient voltage suppressor (TVS), they are basically the same except a TVS can handle more power for a short duration than a zener can.

A zener diode will operate normally untill the threshold voltage is reached, it will then breakdown and will act as a short, so if you put this in parallel with you supply lines you need a resisance to reduce the curent to the zener to keep it from blowing up...

placid warrior 
Silver - Posts: 357
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Joined: November 06, 2004
Location: Canada
Posted: February 04, 2005 at 1:12 AM / IP Logged  
alright thanks...so whati understand is that i need a resistor and a zener diode, I think a salesman at a place like radioshack could give the the proper ones if i told him what sort of ratings im looking at i suppose, although i havent had much luck with them before.  basically i want a resistor that will block any current higher than ? and a zener diode to keep the voltage at 12ish volts?  or am i sounding like a complete idiot? thanks for helping out though

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