You may be doing it the hard way on the regulator.
I also work in electgronics, including the 12v automotive level.
the delco 10/12 SI alts.. you can get them with reg modules that will top out as high as 14.7 cor common applications.. and for special applications I believe I have seen 15.1v regs.
At that point all it takes is a little creativeness witht he external sens line and a variable resistor and then a cheap mosfet or 55 driven timer circuit to deliver higher charge votlage. We are talking 5$ in parts.. not 30$
I hit the dump and find push lawnmowers that have bad wheels, beat decks, etc.. but a good engine.
have made a couple lawnmower battery chargers simply making a frame on the old mowers deck and some pullies and belting. looks kinda funny.. and the couple i built aren't osha certified due to open belts.. but they sure make a hack of a battery charger ont he cheap.. especially since a delco 10si is about 30$ from autozone!
One I made i left on the lawnmower deck wheels and all... was good to take to tractro shows.. push it over to people that needed a chargeup.
set a car battery on one side of the deck and add some wireing and it's a good jump / fast charge platform on the cheap... er.. cheaper.. that was back when the walmart 'yellow' grade of batteries' was still about 50$.. they have gone up quite abit now...
if you can get the engine cheap, you are most of the way there. I do see the 5-6ish hp chinese engines going from 89-99$ on sale now and then.
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