Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mounting a Changeover Switch on a Generator Frame

Over the last month or so I've been intermittently working on adding a changeover switch to my grandmothers generator.  This will allow the battery to switched between a solar charger or the starter motor of the generator, and although it's not complete, it's 90% there and the interesting work work is all done.  Before I wrap things up you can catch up on my efforts so far in these couple of posts.

13/10/2014 Blade Switch Modification

24/10/2014 Blade Switch Modification - Part 2

The generator is a small backup unit to power fridges in the event of a power outage.  It's mounted on a steel frame with wheels that allows it to be easily moved.  Mounting the changeover switch on the frame is the easiest option that gives the best result.  The image below shows the general arrangement of the frame.  The switch is going to be mounted just above the electrical generator, in the image this is where the black and red cables are coming from.  It needs to connect to the battery in the black case on the ground, the solar charger mounted on the roof (cabling above to the right and not in frame), and the starter motor.   The starter motor connection point can be seen to the left near the yellow oil fill point on the motor.  Unfortunately I didn't have the cabling or the time to install it today, but it's a trivial task I'll complete in the near future.

Generator Frame Layout

This is the part of the project that really annoyed me.  Making a bracket to hold the switch.  I don't have the metal fabrication tools that are needed to do a professional job.  As usual I went to my fall back plan of finding a metal plate from the local hardware and making it do what I needed it to.

The plate below is just a standard joining plate used in the building industry.  I added five small holes to it.  The two on the left allow a saddle clamp to attach the plate to round tube on the frame, the bottom two holes allow metal screws to connect it to a rectangular tube, and the centre hole is the mounting point for the switch.  Two of these plates are needed, one for each side of the switch.

Mounting Plate

The mounted switch can be seen in the highlighted section of the image below.  It's mounted on the left to keep it away from the motor exhaust.  I need to make a couple of cables to connect everything together, but the hard part is over.  I could have done things better, but when you're building something in one place and installing it in another, it makes things a little difficult.

By the way, if Santa happens to read this I could really do with a water jet cutter, press brake, and a milling machine.  Yeah, I'm aware how much that would cost, and yes it's a want not a need, but I've been reasonably good.

Mounted Switch

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