Generel description

At low revs the dynamo does not turn fast enough to generate power, and in this state may draw power from the battery and act as a motor. To prevent this happening,
the power to the dynamo is cut until the speed builds up. In order for the dynamo to generate power, its field coils need to be fed from the battery, and the supply of this current is governed by the control box. At increased speed the dynamo will supply power to feed itself.
The voltage regulator/control box may or may not be adjustable, either way it will have been preset at the factory. We are usually limited to cleaning or replacing this
item. Control boxes which are adjustable often require a special tool, and the specifications of the individual unit will be needed before any work is carried out.
Later AC alternator systems will usually have the voltage regulator/control system built into the alternator itself. In this type of system - which is now the norm -
the regulator not only controls the amount of power, but also has the job of "rectifying" the AC alternating current produced by the generator into DC direct current which can
be used by the battery. The control circuits are not user-serviceable.
The field coils may, in fact, be fed through a tell-tale lamp fitted on the dashboard at low outputs, and failure of this bulb may result in failure of the entire charging system.
The electonics built into the alternator's control system may be damaged by the use of a Mig welder - if a surge protector is not fitted across the battery - it's safer to disconnect the battery.

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