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Old 01-24-2021, 07:35 PM   #1
41panelmark
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Default ballast resistor/circuit breaker questions.

1940 set up, the small object is the ballast resistor and the large one is the circuit breaker.

I would like to double check my knowledge of the following.

The ballast resistor function?

The circuit breaker function?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:51 PM   #2
mcgarrett
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Default Re: ballast resistor/circuit breaker questions.

Ballast resistor reduces current to 4 volts to the points to prevent them from burning out too quickly. The circuit breaker protects the wiring harness in case of a short circuit - the grandfather of the fuse box!
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:21 PM   #3
JSeery
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Default Re: ballast resistor/circuit breaker questions.

Ballast resistor is to reduces the voltage/current to the original coil. The Ford coil was designed to operate on the lower voltage. One advantage is the resistance of a ballast resistor changes as it heats up, so there is more voltage at startup. Then the resistor heats up and reduces the voltage/current to the circuit.

The circuit breaker protects the lighting circuits. In the years prior to the introduction of the circuit breaker a fuse was used. Part of the advantage to using a circuit breaker is that the circuit can rest with a minor overload. When a fuse blows that is it until you replace the fuse. A circuit breaker trips when it overheats, once it cools down it will reset.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:26 PM   #4
19Fordy
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Default Re: ballast resistor/circuit breaker questions.

Mr. Seery, THANKS for that crystal clear operational description.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:19 AM   #5
JayChicago
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Default Re: ballast resistor/circuit breaker questions.

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X 2 That was an excellent explanation.
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