Jumpy ammeter needle

Jumpy ammeter needle

<HTML>I have had this situation for some time now.  At start up, the ammeter needle shows a positive charge, and at idle speed the needle is rock steady.  At higher rpm, the needle begins to dance.  All this is with no load on.  When items are turned on, there seems to be no noticeable change in the dance of the ammeter needle.  I can hear a whine in the intercom that changes with the rpm so I assume that the alternator is producing it.  My mechanic has checked this problem out many times and it just hangs around.  Could it be there is a loose connection at the alternator, a bad overvoltage sensor, or worn out voltage regulator?  While it seems that the electrical system is not affected, it does produce some level of distrust.</HTML>

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Re: Jumpy ammeter needle

<HTML>Sometimes it is just hit and miss to find this kind of problem.  I've heard that this can be cause by a hi resistance in the field circuit among otheer things. Many times changing out the master switch can help as it gets carboned up over time.
www.aeroelectric.com has a web site and a maillist. He could give you more places to hunt. Good luck</HTML>

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Re: Jumpy ammeter needle

<HTML>I'm sorry not to have it available, but there is an older service letter/bulletin Cessna produced about this. If memory serves, it corrects a poor ground caused by a faulty Master switch.  Contact your Cessna Service center.</HTML>

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<HTML>Thanks for the info.  I replaced the master switch some time ago.  I guess we'll just have to go wire by wire and look for a bad ground or something.</HTML>

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<HTML>I had this problem with my c-210 and fixed it by replacing the voltage regulator with a brand that George Horn recomended. I can't remember the brand though. If George can't help, I'll check my plane. It solved my problem.</HTML>

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