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Re: 12V source for lighting

   >In reality, it is the other way around. The voltage regulator is built into
   >the ALTERNATOR. Hence the voltage at the ALTERNATOR TERMINALS is probably
   >the most steady point in the whole car, the voltage at the battery terminals
   >will fluctuate depending on the voltage drop in the cable from the engine
   >compartment to the battery. Its probably very low, <0.2 volts typically,
   >unless the battery is very low and being charged with a high current.

   Hmmmm, not sure that's correct Al.......  The voltage regulator will vary the
   voltage to the battery based on the demand of the field wire.....  If the
   voltage regulator is triggered to "charge" it will kick ~14.0 volts, in open
   mode the thing will run from 12.0 to 14.O depending on load.....  The battery
   is a capacitor by definition, and when relays are hooked to the battery (up
   rf) you have less of a current fluctuation than if you put it at the voltage
   regulator......   I'm sure there are more scientific electrical nerds that
   can explain this bettrn me, have at it

The "system" *DEPENDS* on the battery to filter the voltage surges, which
can easily be in the multiple *HUNDREDS* of volts without the battery
there to suck up all those excited electrons. Without the battery in place
to smooth out those voltage transients, you start frying electronics in
very short order . . .