Friday, October 20, 2017

Full Wave Bridge Rectifier

Full Wave Bridge Rectifier

Cooper, a sailor friend of mine, sold me all his sailing gear after he sold his 41' Beaneteau "Why Knot" cruising vessel. Health concerns required a way to rid himself of all the gear as he was selling his home and downsizing to a big 5th wheel RV.  I had U-Haul drop off a shipping container at his property in Canyon Lake, Texas and he loaded up all the gear and about 9 days later I rented a U-haul van here in Seattle and emptied the container. I stored the stuff in two different small storage spaces, one at our condo building and one at our marina. The majority of the gear would not be of use to us except the dingy, outboard motors and some hardware/miscellaneous stuff. It has taken awhile to sort through the gear. I donated some dock gear and lines to the Center For Wooden Boats, some to Goodwill, Gave some hardware to my favorite R2AK team. Left several boxes at the recycle Shillshole marina for first come first serve sailors. Sold some stuff on Ebay, and left several things at a Pouslbo consignment store. I am now down to sorting through the small stuff when I have a moment.
Since my most recent projects include upgrading the VHF, AIS and other electronics I am wiring the components to the electrical panel and so I took time to sort through all the 12 volt electrical gear and get rid of stuff I do not want to store. My full intent is to never again store or keep stuff that does not have immediate use. Cruisers often haul around 100's of pounds of spares, stuff they "might" need etc. Since we will no longer be away for months or years at a time I am training myself to ditch that mentality and go light. There were some electronics parts in the box, the kind of stuff only people who had the skills to open up an electronic device and know how to identify defective parts and how to replace them. One of these parts, a Full Wave Bridge Rectifier, caught my attention. It is rated at 400V and 8A. I just had to call Cooper and find out what in the world he had this onboard for. I put it in my pocket and carried it home. I searched the internet and found:

"a full wave rectifier circuit produces an output voltage or current which is purely DC or has some specified DC component. Full wave rectifiers have some fundamental advantages over their half wave rectifier counterparts. The average (DC) output voltage is higher than for half wave, the output of the full wave rectifier has much less ripple than that of the half wave rectifier producing a smoother output waveform. In a Full Wave Bridge Rectifier circuit two diodes are now used, one for each half of the cycle. A multiple winding transformer is used whose secondary winding is split equally into two halves with a common centre tapped connection, (C). This configuration results in each diode conducting in turn when its anode terminal is positive with respect to the transformer centre point C producing an output during both half-cycles, twice that for the half wave rectifier so it is 100% efficient as shown below.

Full Wave Rectifier Circuit

  1. 1.
    put (something) right; correct.
    "mistakes made now cannot be rectified later"
    synonyms:correctright, put right, put to rights, sort out, deal with, amendremedyrepairfix, make good, resolvesettle
    informalpatch up
    "Perry is willing to do anything to rectify the situation with his estranged grandfather"
  2. 2.
    convert (alternating current) to direct current.

    bridge rectifier is an arrangement of four or more diodes in a bridge circuit configuration which provides the same output polarity for either input polarity. It is used for converting an alternating current (AC) input into a direct current (DC) output.
    "rectified AC power systems"

After thinking this for awhile I decided to give 'ole Cooper a call. When he answered the phone I knew something was not right. His speech was slow and deliberate. He had recently had his second stroke and was in a rehab center relearning how to walk. I was determined to keep the conversation positive and upbeat. I told him why I called and wondered why on earth did he need a Full Wave Rectifier in his kit. He said he didn't know, that was something the previous owner left behind on the boat. I spoke to him fifteen minutes or so and made jokes about the rectifier, I made him laugh, we laughed together. I told him to bust his ass on the rehab and get back to as near normal as fast as he could and to follow all the Dr's orders on the rehab. In other words walk, walk, walk. I told him I would call often to check on him. I now keep the Full Wave Rectifier in my pocket to remind me of him and several other things that go along with this in life. 

I'm not sure if many of us remember 2016, but for many of us it was kind of a crazy year and we looked forward to 2017. After incredible storms, fires, and political/social mayhem across the planet I think our world is in desperate need of a Full Wave Bridge Rectifier. I'm going to keep this thing in my pocket and every chance I get I'm going to look for places to insert this device Bridge Rectify, Bridge Rectify, Bridge Rectify.  Electronically all you have to do is find the right place in the circuit to wire in the bridge rectifier, Socially you just keep on being nice, building bridges and rectify, rectify, rectify everywhere, and of course it has to be Full Wave!