The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => Lucas, Electrical, Ignition => Topic started by: wortluck on 18.06. 2017 21:52

Title: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 18.06. 2017 21:52
I love my bike, but the f*&^%%g electrics are driving me mad - this mad *pull hair out*

When it's stationary with the engine off, the lights and horn work - sometimes.  Occasionally, I switch the lights on and the headlamp takes a few seconds to come on - then main beam doesn't work.  Sometimes the horn and brake light work but the lights don't.  When all is on (when it decides to), I fire her up and a nice charge goes through the ammeter and all is well - until I rev her a bit then the ammeter goes dead (but the lights still work going brighter the higher the engine revs and much dimmer at tickover).  The battery seems ok as everything works well when it works well.  Have checked as much as I can and have put an extra earth in between the headlamp cowl and frame.  Just can't figure where I should be looking.  Have ordered another ammeter as the Wassell item I had previously fell apart - could this be the problem??

Help, or I'll have to pay a clever person to sort it out for me.

Yours Very Angry
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 18.06. 2017 22:45

 Initially it sounds like loose connections, until  i arrive here;
Quote
...... I fire her up and a nice charge goes through the ammeter and all is well - until I rev her a bit then the ammeter goes dead (but the lights still work going brighter the higher the engine revs and much dimmer at tickover)......

.... depending which way it goes makes me wonder if the ammeter is wired backwards, and what do you mean by 'dead' ? If 'dead' is in the middle that's close to normal with lights on at revs, and if genny is charging properly.

 
Quote
... and have put an extra earth in between the headlamp cowl and frame...

 Waste of time I say, better to run it straight to the battery as with all earth wires.

 Is it +ve or-ve earth ?


Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: a10gf on 18.06. 2017 22:56
Got a multimeter to do some measurements ?

About the ammeter, you could short the 2 connections (you'll only lose the meter readout) and see if it makes any difference (probably not, but good for the elimination method), if everything works then it was the ammeter, if same problems then it's not caused by ammeter.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: beezermacc on 18.06. 2017 23:10
In a situation like this, i.e. where everything seems utterly unpredictable I recommend a complete rebuild of the electrical system which shouldn't be as arduous as it sounds. The key is to treat the charging system and lighting system as different systems and not introduce them to each other until each works perfectly independently. First of all disconnect the lead which links the ammeter to the lighting switch - this divorces the two systems. Now build the charging system so that it works properly. Once you have achieved this, build the lighting system, but power it directly off the battery, putting power into the lighting switch via the pole which would normally be connected to the ammeter. The horn and rear brake are usually wired independently so you can forget about those until everything else works. When the charging system works and the lighting system works connect the two together via the link lead off the ammeter. That's what I do anyway.....

Yours, Very Calm! *whistle* this calm
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Greybeard on 18.06. 2017 23:30
Might this problem be down to a dodgy light switch?. Try contact cleaner on the back of the switch.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: bobandbec on 19.06. 2017 00:14
New loom would be my easy way out.
My A65 had unsolvable problems (for me!). A gentleman on ebay does looms made up with all connections and labelled to show what each connection is. Even I was able to wire it in. Touch wood no problems since. Shouldn't have said that should I.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 19.06. 2017 00:28
sounds like some connection problems to me -  i'm assuming the vibration of the engine rattles things around. have a nice cup of tea (or stronger) and get systematic:
Quote
the ammeter goes dead
I don't really know what that means, but as its sounds like it charging ok then as a10gf says I'd short out the ammeter until other problems resolved. I'd start with wanting the lights and horn reliably working.
as Dutch says run that extra earth lead from the bulb's wiring (not the cowl) back to the battery earth (not the frame). and a separate wire from the battery earth to the frame.
then just wiggle around those awful lucas connectors and find one that stops the lights or horn from going. I hate those connectors as you can't see what's going on in them and they corrode and they break wires.
as greybeard says fill the light switch up with contact cleaner and operate it 100 times, also wiggle the wires going into it as those screws can losen. tho as the horn fails i'd assume its more likely earthing, as the horn live runs direct from the battery (doesn't go thru the ammeter) and earths via switch to bars.
its very unlikley but wires can break internally (this happened to a local club members' A65). agains, wiggle them. they are much more likely to corrode near the exposed ends and different metals of the connectors.
the good things about electricity is there's not that much that can actually go wrong, even when Joseph Lucas was involved (excluding magnetos that is).
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Rex on 19.06. 2017 10:44
Nothing wrong with dear old Joe...more like the 50 years and 50 bodgers who've been involved since it was manufactured. ;)
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: cyclobutch on 19.06. 2017 12:23
Yeah, I must admit that I’m pretty hopeless (with electrics), but found mine very easy to deal with. Mine’s magneto ignition, and with the std 6v dynamo. I did have both of those units refurbed professionally whilst I was putting the bike back on the road. I just bought a cheap loom off ebay – and there isn’t really much to it. I re-soldered all of the crimped connectors at the outset. I’ve just got a cheap pattern matchbox style light/horn switch on the left bar, a cheapy ammeter from somewhere, and a cheap brake light switch (Bantam type?), and I swapped out the dodgy looking mechanical VR for a solid state unit. And it just works.

As people are saying here, the amount of issues you have it might well be best to start again. 
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Greybeard on 19.06. 2017 15:39
Yup, I got a ready made loom that included earth returns, new, (pattern) light & dip switches and ammeter all from from Draganfly. Solid state DVR2 regulator. High capacity battery. Still on 6v lectrics.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 19.06. 2017 19:30
 I'll second GB's suggestion of lightswitch; I'd forgotten mine did similar-ish a couple of years ago....the replacement switch connections are slightly different, but it works.

 Another thing I just remembered that's also often overlooked is the earthing of the genny/dynamo. As standard it relies on a good contact between its' body and the crankcase cradle, but if that is not clean/or a bit corroded, may not do its stuff properly.
 The body of mine is missing some of the original plating and prone to corrosion, so I've added a wire to the internal earth screw where the field and brush tails join, and run it straight to the battery, with a connection to the engine case somewhere along the line....

 
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Topdad on 20.06. 2017 12:27
 I have been very fortunate with electrics  in that I watched and helped  a family friend rewire my first bike many yrs ago , he incorporated more earth points as is now recommended and my present system was made up using those same techniques in 2001 when first on the road again since zero problems .I bought all my wire from a local auto elec  who once I explained what I was up to became even more helpful and even gave me enough  plastic sheath  for  the bike not original but it works and looks neat and tidy . Most important is time and a wiring diagram and you can do it for believe me I'm not a  great sparky.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 22.06. 2017 20:10
Thanks everyone for your suggestions, would have replied sooner but the post notifications aren't arriving in my email as they should  *angry*  Will try the Notify me of replies box again.

Ok - bike is +ive earth.  What I mean is the ammeter shows the correct charge when the bike is started and no lights on (just above halfway).  With the lights on, the ammeter dips initially then returns to roughly halfway. When it's revved, the ammeter returns to the centre and will not move under charge and no lights, horn, brake light work. 

I know there is charge in the battery and that it's functioning correctly because, occasionally, everything works.  Sometimes nothing comes on and then, miraculously, after a few seconds, everything comes on again.

The bike had a brand new loom on rebuild.

I think I've got to pull it apart a bit to see if I can identify the problem - as most of you suggest.  It's just a bit of a tits up as I don't have an obvious starting point.

Thanks again folks - suggestions, advice and knowledge always welcome!!!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: beezermacc on 22.06. 2017 20:56
Starting point would be to isolate the lights from the charging system and get the charging system working reliably, IMHO
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 23.06. 2017 19:30
Update.....!!

Looked at the bike today and electrics were completely dead.  Disconnected ammeter and joined all ammeter wires together.  After a while tinkering, all the lights came back on, although I'm not sure why??  Fitted new ammeter and lights were still working - then everything went off again!!  Watched ammeter carefully and it fluttered slightly back and forth then all the lights came back on again.  Shorted out system deliberately to see if everything would come back on - ammeter did the same thing before lights came back on.  Started the engine and ammeter showed excellent charge, ran the engine for a minute then revved it hard.  Ammeter stopped showing a charge and wouldn't move either way even when lights were switched on and off.  Lights, horn and brake light all worked - brighter at high revs and dimmer at low revs.  Stopped engine, switched lights on and ammeter shows discharge as you'd expect, returning to middle when lights switched off.

One question arises from this is about the regulator, which is a modern 6v item.  Is there a switch inside the regulator which stops the charge to the battery if it goes too high or when the battery is fully charged?  Could the regulator be faulty in some way which could be part of the problems I'm experiencing?

Cheers all
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: chaterlea25 on 23.06. 2017 21:00
Hi,
Quote
Is there a switch inside the regulator which stops the charge to the battery if it goes too high or when the battery is fully charged?

Yes, thats how it works, switching on and off the dynamo output as required

John
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 23.06. 2017 21:48
Sorry, yeah, was probably a stupid question now I know the answer - 'regulator' probably gives the strongest clue!

In my defence, I'm struggling with the weirdness of what's been happening with the electrics ever since the rebuild was completed - it's been a combination of oddities that's left me baffled.

Anyhow, as of tonight, everything seems to be working. Will post again when I come across the next problem.

Thanks again for your input.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 23.06. 2017 21:54
i keep thinking earthing problem, or at least some connection problem. not much affects both charging and lights/horn. did you run additional earthing wires from headlamp earth to battery to frame?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 23.06. 2017 22:43
I've got two additional earths so far but I'll try different combinations to see if it'll make a difference - it's a real b*&^%$d trying to work out!! *work*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 24.06. 2017 11:30
Switched on the headlamp this morning, did not come on.  Waited about 15 seconds, ammeter wavered a bit, then a click and everything came on - what was the click???
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: KiwiGF on 24.06. 2017 11:51
Switched on the headlamp this morning, did not come on.  Waited about 15 seconds, ammeter wavered a bit, then a click and everything came on - what was the click???

Non standard relay???? (Sometimes fitted to make the headlight brighter)
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 24.06. 2017 12:16
No relays mate, all electrics are standard apart from the regulator - could the 'click' be coming from there and would it affect the lights???
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 24.06. 2017 12:27
any chance the click was a tiny spark? if you are 6v there's a few amps being drawn.
there's no way a regulator can affect your lights, unless everything is mis-wired. you could disconnect it and get the lights reliable on the battery to be sure.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: dave55 on 24.06. 2017 13:11
Broken terminal, wire , connector arcing across maybe?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Rex on 24.06. 2017 17:50
I would say the "click" was the switch contacts finally making and bringing the light on by completing the circuit.
Check for something sticking in the switch.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 24.06. 2017 18:00
Once again, thanks everyone.

Spent all afternoon putting in earths and checking stuff.  Seems the 'click' is most likely a short as the headlamp bulb/connector appears to be the culprit here.  For example, when only the low or main beam are working, the headlamp connector gets hot as do the wires.  When they are both working, the connector does not get hot.  Seems to me a problem with the connector/bulb set up so I'll replace both.  If this does not work, the next port of call will be the switch, although this seems to work fine when the lights decide to come on.  Incidentally, since putting on the extra earths, the headlamp going out doesn't seem to affect the rear, speedo and running lights or the horn, which it did before.
I hate the bulb connector as they seem really idiot about face.  Is there a better set up out there that actually means the bulb gets a proper contact from the connector rather than screw it on and hope for the best!!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Bsareg on 24.06. 2017 19:21
Don't  quite understand how both high and low beam can be on together ???
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 24.06. 2017 20:50
Sometimes high beam works and sometimes low beam (one or the other).  'When they're both working' means when I can get both. *smile*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: KiwiGF on 24.06. 2017 22:50
Once again, thanks everyone.

Spent all afternoon putting in earths and checking stuff.  Seems the 'click' is most likely a short as the headlamp bulb/connector appears to be the culprit here.  For example, when only the low or main beam are working, the headlamp connector gets hot as do the wires.  When they are both working, the connector does not get hot.  Seems to me a problem with the connector/bulb set up so I'll replace both.  If this does not work, the next port of call will be the switch, although this seems to work fine when the lights decide to come on.  Incidentally, since putting on the extra earths, the headlamp going out doesn't seem to affect the rear, speedo and running lights or the horn, which it did before.
I hate the bulb connector as they seem really idiot about face.  Is there a better set up out there that actually means the bulb gets a proper contact from the connector rather than screw it on and hope for the best!!

Any chance of a pic of your bulb holder/connector? It might be the same type as on both my bikes, and on both of those I had to solder the earth connector to the main body of the holder to ensure I got a good earth for the bulb......a bad connection there may also cause heat?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 25.06. 2017 00:00
I hear what you're saying, so I added an extra earth from the connector earth back to the battery - no difference.  I'm replacing both the connector and the bulb to eliminate them both from the issue (I'll still attach the extra earth to the new connector though).  The bulb terminals are a bit knackered so may not help the situation.  Can't believe that such a simple system can throw up such problems - I've spend hours trying to sort it!! 

Feeling more mellow now after a few Strongbows (hic)
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Rex on 25.06. 2017 12:49
When the ciders have worn off you could clean the holder's terminals, clean and/or resolder the bulb/lamp terminals and take some emery to the lamp/bulb body to ensure a good clean contact.
Sometimes the holder terminals' springiness has worn off so a slight bend may be required.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 25.06. 2017 13:04

 Just outta curiosity, what type of headlight/bulb holder is it...maybe BPF ?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 25.06. 2017 13:20
Yeah, its 6v BPF on a standard 7 inch headlamp.  Personally, I think the connector arrangement is absolutely s**t and was looking to see if there's an upgrade to, say, a two/three pin halogen.  If anyone has any ideas of a 'diy' solution in this regard, I'd be happy to hear it - don't really want to pay a fortune out for a fancy system.  I did read somewhere that, for the 12v conversions, there was an adapter you could use which would allow use of a three pin halogen bulb.  Another fella on this topic used a spring type arrangement to keep the bulb firmly in place when doing his own modification.

Anyway, I have a damaged spare headlamp and will soon have a spare connector - going to try a few things to see what works!! *work*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 25.06. 2017 13:39

 I run a 'motorcycle specific' Hella reflector for H4/ Pt43 (I think), and inserts are available in 6V probably from 'Goffy', I'll dig out a number later. Not cheap though (Au $100+) but should be cheaper in UK/Eu.
 Narva also do them a bit cheaper, and I have one of those on the Gutzzi, but the Hella has a better spread
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 25.06. 2017 13:57
Cheers duTch, if you find time to post a few pictures of your arrangement that'd be sound
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 25.06. 2017 20:58
Ok, getting there.

Got all lights on today so took it for a run.  Ammeter showing really good charge with and without lights on.  After two miles, ammeter stops showing anything even with lights on.  However, lights still work but it seems they are powered direct from the dynamo rather than the battery because, on tickover, the lights are barely on and the horn just emits a buzzing sound. At slightly higher revs, lights are bright and horn works fine.  Turn off engine and electrics are dead for a few seconds then all come on - obviously powered by the battery.

In summary 1.  Engine off - all lights on and ammeter showing discharge.  2.  Start engine and ammeter shows charge with lights on and off.  3.  After short distance, ammeter shows nothing (in middle) regardless of whether lights on or off.  Lights work (from dynamo?).  4.  Stop engine - no lights for a few seconds then all come on.  This cycle is then repeated.

Question:  Is this normal or should the lights work from the battery with engine running when the regulator decides the battery has had enough charge and switches off the charging circuit.  If this is not normal, could someone tell me what the *&^% is going on please.

Cheers
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 25.06. 2017 21:56
golly, time for some more cider?
it all sounds possibly normal until step 4.

that is, it could be after a couple of miles your battery is fully charged so nil current drawn. however even then at tick-over you'd expect it to draw a few amps (ammeter showing discharge) with the lights on as there is not enough being generated (by E3L) for the lights. keep in mind the horn does not go through the ammeter so no reading from that is normal.

step 4 is weird. i don't have a plausible theory.  unless maybe the regulator is malfunctioning is unique and strange ways. but even then the lights go directly from the battery (via switches) so that's very unlikely. what kind of regulator is it? do you know its history? If you short the ammeter does this still happen?  this is far-fetched but you could disconnect the regulator (all wires - and hence the generator too) and just get the lights/horn stable/reliable first.

does the tail-lamp act the same way as the headlamp?

re the headlamp bulb/connector - I managed to shoe-horn a H4 bulb into a BPF shell by removing the mounting tags on the bulb and using high-temp cable ties to secure it. then you can use a H4 connector. Dutch's H4 reflector makes much more sense than my hack. But I'd be anxious about adding extra watts (=amps) to a El3 generator - I went mad on this stuff here - https://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=11047 (https://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=11047) - and concluded decent LEDs is the only way to go. but you have other problems first!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: chaterlea25 on 25.06. 2017 22:25
Hi,
Have you tried another battery?
It looks like theres a bad connection either in the circuit or battery?
I have seen batteries that fail internally and give weird symptoms similar to yours!!

In my experience its nearly always the battery that goes to crap

John
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 25.06. 2017 23:01
Yeah, I'm on the cider again!!!

Regulator is a new, standard 6v item.  Can't remember offhand the type but it is the one for the bike.  Don't know if it's malfunctioning.  Have tried shorting the ammeter but same results.  Tail lamp goes out too.  It's almost as if the whole electrical system switches over from the battery to the dynamo once it's charged for a while.

Don't get me started on batteries.  First battery I had boiled over and sprayed acid all over my nice newly chromed silencer - had to get a new pair.  To avoid the same problem, I got a Westco sealed, glass mat battery - which failed.  Got a free replacement which is the one I have now.  It does seem to charge and hold charge, and operates the electrics well.  If it is faulty, it's a bloody weird fault.  I've run earths all over the place and I'm going to replace the headlamp connector and bulb next - just to see.

I presume disconnecting the regulator will allow me to test whether the lights, horn, etc work ok from the battery.  If they do, and I reconnect the regulator and the same problems occur, do I blame the regulator for the weird problems?  Incidentally, should the lights work from the battery when the bike is running, or is it normal for them to switch to the dynamo, or is this just weird.

Getting drunker *beer* *dunno2*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: trevinoz on 25.06. 2017 23:30
Have you got an inline fuse?
Sometimes the crappy plastic holders have a problem with the contacts receding into the ends causing intermittent open circuit.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Bsareg on 25.06. 2017 23:35
On a dynamo system the lights and hooter always work from the battery. The charging system is separate and only operates to keep the battery top up.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 25.06. 2017 23:54
ditto what Bsareg says (brave having 'reg' in your handle on a BSA site, Reg?)
Quote
If they do, and I reconnect the regulator and the same problems occur, do I blame the regulator for the weird problems?
if so you blame something in the charging system.
do you mean a solid state regulator OR a clicky-clackity lucas or modern-made old-style replacement?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 26.06. 2017 01:18
 
Quote
..... Regulator is a new, standard 6v item.  Can't remember offhand the type but it is the one for the bike.  ....

 That may be a clue  *ex* I  bought one of them RB 107/8 (replacement for and kind of MCR 2 copy).

 I discovered the cover is bullshit wrong, and too short.  Take the cover off  and run it and see what happens.
 Someone else had a similar issue (one of the BSA-Bills maybe ?)

 Edit: because the cover is (was) too short,  the 'live' Frame/tower inside was earthing out to the cover......

 Also if you have an alloy end cover on the Dynamo/Genny, check the 'D' & 'F' wires aren't shorting on the inside of the cover. ..that caused me similar battery issues ×3

 I found the Hella box right where I left it *smile*

 Extra Edit;
 
Quote
. Dutch's H4 reflector makes much more sense than my hack. But I'd be anxious about adding extra watts (=amps) to a El3 generator - 

 No extra Watts- a 35/35 W insert, I buy mine from Adelaide but also available from at least Goffy in UK Maybe Priory(?)
 
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 26.06. 2017 16:08
Regulator is from Dynamo Regulators DVR2 +ive earth 6v solid state - anyone had problems with these?

Will check the D and F wires on the dynamo.  No inline fuse on mine.

Thanks for all your contributions.  I've got tons to try and check out.  Will update when I finally find the answer.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Greybeard on 26.06. 2017 16:37
Regulator is from Dynamo Regulators DVR2 +ive earth 6v solid state - anyone had problems with these?nswer.
I have one; no problems with it. I understand they have a very good reputation.

Mike from Dynamo Regulators is a forum member.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: a101960 on 26.06. 2017 16:39
Quote
Regulator is from Dynamo Regulators DVR2 +ive earth 6v solid state - anyone had problems with these?
I have never had a problem, however just in case you were not aware, the same regulator regulates to both 6v and 12v. The white lead on the DVR2 has to be connected to regulate to 6v and unconnected to regulate to 12v. You probably already know this but I thought that it was worth mentioning. The DVR2 conections for + earth 6v should be:
Yellow lead to dynamo "D"
Green lead to dynamo "F"
Red lead to earth (bike frame)
Brown and White leads are connected together and go to the ammeter

Make sure that the earthing point is bright and clean and free from any dirt, rust or paint. Scrape and clean up with abrasive paper.

One further point. If the battery is in good condition and fully charged do not expect to see a large indication on the ammeter. I have LED lamps fitted every where. Headlamp, side lamp, speedo, rev counter, and stop, and tail lamps. I rarely see much ammeter activity unless I blip the throttle. My set up is 12v negative earth with two cyclon batteries in series.
John
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 26.06. 2017 16:49
Cheers Greybeard, mine does seem ok.  Wonder if Mike can shed any light on this issue other than what's already been proffered?

Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: chaterlea25 on 26.06. 2017 18:55
Hi wortluck,
Try this (for a start off)
Connect a headlamp bulb directly across the battery?
Does it light instantly and stay fully bright for 20-30 minutes?

That will check the battery

John
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 26.06. 2017 19:13
Cheers chaterlea25, will try that too!!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 01.07. 2017 15:32
Ok, latest is as follows.

I've changed the headlamp connector and bulb - just in case - but no difference. 

Checked dynamo connections (inc. unwanted earths) and earthing points - all are correctly connected and clean.

Checked headlamp switch - operation seems normal.

I'm thinking now it may be the battery because I just can't think of anything else.  However, when the lights come on, they seem to be pretty bright for a longish period of time.

One other clue is the following.  Engine is started, ammeter seems to show quite a high charge rate.  Switch lights on and ammeter behaves as it should (although charge rate does seem higher than what a101960 seems to be saying).  Blip the throttle a couple of times and the headlamp goes very bright momentarily and that's when the ammeter stops showing anything and I have no direct battery power to anything - lights just run direct from the dynamo, i.e., nothing at tickover and normal at higher revs.

I'm struggling to think of anything else other than the battery.  Is it possible that by blipping the throttle it sends too much power to the battery and it shuts down temporarily (maybe a loose connection inside?).  Then, after a while, the problem goes away (cools perhaps) and battery power returns.

If it is the battery, then it'll be the fourth item in three years.  I went for the Westco sealed glass mat item as it came recommended, but the first failed almost immediately (got a free replacement).  I'm seriously thinking of going for the Cyclons as I can't seem to find a battery to behave well.

Cheers again for your help!!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 01.07. 2017 15:55

 Total longshot, and way unlikely *dunno*, but that the battery and Regulator polarity are incompatible ( connection reversed)?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 01.07. 2017 16:13
Cheers duTch, how would I check that?  I know it's a long shot, but would anything work if polarities were reversed?  Charging does work sometimes, and lights work sometimes, both together sometimes!  For such a simple electrical setup, I'm running out of options as to what is the problem.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 01.07. 2017 17:35

 Dunno- I know nothing about electronic regs. apart from what I've read on the forum, that mainly being they are/can be polarity sensitive.
 I guess the only way is to check the specs on the reg, and make sure the battery matches it.... *dunno* partly why I like the mechanical regs. (which I erroneously thought you had, in spite of earlier info).

 Like I say, it's a long shot and no doubt already covered ..
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Bsareg on 01.07. 2017 18:46
Years ago , it was known for dynamos to reverse their residual magnetism , never seen an explanation why , but they did . Caused really weird  effects on amp meter and could flatten a battery or burn wires especially on cars .  Cure was to disconnect the dynamo from vehicle and flash field to whatever terminal on battery was live , just as you would do on a new dynamo . I've  not heard of this problem for years but might be worth a try
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: morris on 01.07. 2017 20:39
If it is the battery, then it'll be the fourth item in three years.  I went for the Westco sealed glass mat item as it came recommended, but the first failed almost immediately (got a free replacement).  I'm seriously thinking of going for the Cyclons as I can't seem to find a battery to behave well

When converting the SA to 12V I installed a Westco AGM 5AH that let go after only 4 months.
Replaced it with a Yuasa 7AH. After 3 years still going strong.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: muskrat on 01.07. 2017 21:34
Strange as I swear by the AGM's. Both my A's are converted to 12v through DVRII's for Boyer ignition. The cafe has a tiny 4 amp and the Plunger has two of the same. Both untouched for about 8 years. In my CB1100F (worked firebreather) I have a 14 amp that's lasted over 5 years. *dunno*
The only time I've had a flat battery is when the dynamo belt let go.
Cheers
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: morris on 01.07. 2017 22:01
Should have mentioned the Yuasa is also an AGM mounted on it's side.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 02.07. 2017 00:05
how's the cider going?

i don't understand battery faults, like internal shorts or breakages etc, so guessing here. if its feasible can you disconnect the regulator completely - at least the 2 wires to the generator and the one the battery live (btw are you pos or neg earth?).  then at least the battery and horn etc should behave normally under all circumstances.
then if still trouble could you borrow a battery or even use an old 3/4 dead one to test it out?
and sorry for asking the obvious - the generator D + F are connected the right way around?

PS - cyclons work for me. I've heard a theory that some new fancy batteries don't like cold weather charging - can't recall which ones
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 02.07. 2017 00:13

 Mike rounded me up while I was writing, but similar thought;

  When I had my previously mentioned battery issues, I bought the cheapest/most available/best fit lead acid battery I could and used that until I knew everything was ok again- still keep it charged for a spare and bench-testing stuff.

 It's a 6N6-1B-1  (6V/6Ah), but should be a similar in 12 V
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: trevinoz on 02.07. 2017 03:00
When this happens, the first thing you should do is check the battery voltage.
If this is OK, have a good ,long, hard look at the wire between the battery and the ammeter.
It seems as though your generator is working but the connection between the ammeter and the battery is going open circuit, or the connection between the battery and earth.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 02.07. 2017 09:48
Thanks again all, apologies in advance if I don't address your comments directly.

Re Trevinoz - I got out the old Westco battery today to see if it had any charge left in it - it did??!!  Charged it up (which it wouldn't do before) and then tested a bulb across it.  Bulb was very dim at first then, after about 10 seconds, came on brightly.  Apart from the charging/ammeter issue, this is exactly what's happening with the Westco on the bike.  My guess is the Westcos are s**t and I need to try another (decent) battery.  Incidentally, the lead/acid I had before these dumped battery acid over my r/h silencer and stripped the chrome from it - hence going for sealed items.  Will check connections between the battery and ammeter (which is new), but a new battery may be in order?  One other thing, is it possible for the dynamo to be over charging the battery?

Re Mike B - I'm spending more on cider than bits for the bike at the moment (hic)!  I'll try what you said - thanks. Bike is +ive earth and D/F are definitely the right way round.

Re Muskrat - What make are the AGMs you are using?  Also, is 4A enough.  I was advised to go with 13A although, from memory, this is more critical when on 6v rather than 12v.

Re Bsareg - don't know much about flashing the dynamo.  However, I don't have a flat battery nor burnt wires.

So, if I have a duff battery that works intermittently, would this cause the problems I'm having?  Could it be a faulty regulator?  Answers on a postcard please!

..... and thanks again for all the time you've put into this!! *beer*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 02.07. 2017 10:46
battery AH - 6v cyclons are 5Ah, two in parrellel = 10Ah. plenty unless you fit an electric leg.

flashing a dynamo is easy and has a bit of mad scientist fun quality to it. there's heaps of threads about it - here's one at random: https://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=6365.msg43899#msg43899 (https://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=6365.msg43899#msg43899). it is worth a thought if the bike has been off the road for a while.

Quote
is it possible for the dynamo to be over charging the battery?
only if your regulator is kaput - that's what they do...

...
Quote
Could it be a faulty regulator
a DVR2, right? well everything can break and i don't know how they behave when they do. they get good press around here and I've fitted two happily. Hence maybe take it (and E3L) out of circuit until all else is stable, flash the E3L and then if reintroducing the reg causes trouble then that's the culprit. But it would be low down on my list.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 02.07. 2017 10:55

 
Quote
  Also, is 4A enough. 

 In my uneducated opinion, it's enough for test purpose and a bit more....the more Ah there is available is just like more water in the tank for when when it doesn't rain for a while.... *conf*..(ok I guess some don't understand that... *eek*; just think conserve what you have...)
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 02.07. 2017 11:26
Cheers again folks, leave it with me and I'll get back to you with any more news - now where's that cider.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 02.07. 2017 18:58
Kept off the cider long enough to have a fiddle.  Disconnected regulator completely (all wires).  Turned lights on (they come on!) - ammeter shows discharge as you'd expect.  Started bike, obviously nothing showing on ammeter.  Revved engine a few times - LIGHTS GO OUT.  Turn engine off, wait about 15 seconds and lights come back on.  Surely this has to be a duff battery that's failing under vibration then, somehow, recovering to bring the lights back on?  I've ordered another battery to see if that behaves itself.  If not, I'm going to have to strip the loom back and investigate wire by wire.

What do you reckon?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 02.07. 2017 21:37
Quote
What do you reckon?
either battery or connections. what else is there in the circuit?
i reckon a new battery would cost less than the amount of cider this job is costing you. so get a new battery. and even tho others have good luck with fancy agms etc why not try a cyclon?

btw top marks for persistence. apparently pain makes us stronger  *conf*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 02.07. 2017 22:05
Cheers Mike, always determined to get to the bottom of a problem - although the result is that I'm blind drunk most of the time!

Both of the Westco AGMs have been unreliable so no more of them for me.

I'm intrigued to see what the new battery will do.  It's a bit of an experiment (not too expensive, I might add) but I want to check out a couple of things before going for the Cyclons.

Thanks for all your help and support.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 03.07. 2017 01:02

 Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that some lighting/charging circuits will function with the battery bypassed (?),  but I expect an electronic reg may need some power to excite it. ..is that possible/worth a try?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: groily on 03.07. 2017 07:16
Not wrong Dutch.
The charging side and lights should work with the engine runnning above dynamo cut-in speed with the battery disconnected/missing. The regulator doesn't need any more excitement than that!
Nothing will show on the ammeter, but the lights should come on and stay bright as the dynamo spins faster and the regulator regulates. A DVR2 should work with a flat battery.
If nothing happens (or weird things) then either the regulator is damaged or the wiring is faulty.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 03.07. 2017 16:25
Ok, groily has it for me.

My lights do work straight from the dynamo when I have this problem and, yes, nothing shows on the ammeter.  This leads me to believe the battery gives up under charge and the bike behaves as if there is no battery - lights being controlled via the regulator.  The really odd thing about this problem was that the battery 'reactivates' after a period of between 5 and 20 seconds and illuminates the lights.  Looks like the DVR2 is behaving as it should and the wiring is correct - it was the intermittent fault I've had with both Westcos that put a spanner in the works.
I've got a new battery coming and will disconnect the regulator as before.  Starting and revving the bike with the new battery attached should see the lights come on (when switched on, of course) and stay on.  If they go out under revving it must either be wiring or another dodgy battery (I don't want to put the new battery under charge until I'm sure it'll support the electrics first). 
I suppose two things threw me on this issue.  The first were the intermittent faults on both batteries and the second was not understanding why the ammeter stopped showing charge/discharge when, later on, the battery appeared to be behaving normally.
Will update when the new battery is in place.
If this is the answer, then thanks to everyone for taking me through the journey!!! *thanks* It's been bugging me for ages.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 04.07. 2017 23:45
Ok, it looks like the battery!!  Put new item on today, disconnected regulator, lights come on straight away.  Fire bike up and rev, lights stay on.  Reconnect regulator, bike charges at normal rate (just above the ammeter centre) - rev and all stays on.

Tip: Don't buy a Westco or cheap lead acid - go for better quality and have fewer problems.

Cheers all - I'm madly drunk now - cider!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: mikeb on 05.07. 2017 02:11
i didn't know batteries could do such weird thing. well done on solving it - not straightforward at all.

cider well deserved!  *smiley4*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Angus on 05.07. 2017 17:44
I nearly jumped in earlier. I wanted to check out the Norton before buying proper batteries, so got 2 of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Powersonic-12v-6v-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Rechargeable-Battery-Leisure-Alarm-Volt/221844097101?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=520727784378&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Powersonic-12v-6v-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Rechargeable-Battery-Leisure-Alarm-Volt/221844097101?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=520727784378&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649) and althought still only doing little trips all with lights on they appear to be holding up well.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 05.07. 2017 17:44
Cheers Mike

For me, always blame the battery unless you have symptoms directly attributable to something else - I have never come across such oddities with any battery.  If you can buy, or keep, a battery you know is reliable somewhere in your garage, this will help diagnose the problem quickly without having to spend so much on cider (or batteries).

Should this (cheaper item) fail, I'll invest in Cyclons.  By the way, the cheapo battery was a 6v 8Ah sealed AGM unit probably used more in large electrical toys, alarm system backups, etc.  I was wary of trying these but the write up on this unit said it was ok for cyclical charging/motorcycles.  It only cost £14 so not much risk.  I'll bet you it lasts a damn sight longer than my £33 Westcos.  If it does prove to be durable, I'll happily put in a link to the merchant.  Incidentally, 8Ah seems ample to operate the electrics.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 05.07. 2017 17:46
Angus, mine were Powersonic too, only the 6v version.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Angus on 05.07. 2017 18:50
Mine are 6 volt 2 and the pair fit nicely in the Lucas battery box
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 05.07. 2017 19:54
I can see how a pair would fit into the battery box - wired in parallel to make twice the ampage I presume.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Angus on 06.07. 2017 09:06
Yes Wired in Parallel as the Notrun (opps  *evil*) is 6 volt negative earth, with a OLD mechanical regulator.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 08.07. 2017 23:47
Ok folks, looks like it was battery issues.  Took the old girl out for a 110m workout today and everything worked perfectly.  Ammeter showed normal charge until battery was full.  Switched lights on and ammeter remained in the middle until tickover when it dropped - battery took over.  Increase revs and ammeter returns to the middle.
If these Powersonics continue to be reliable then they may be worth getting.  They do look to be reasonable quality for the price.
One last thing on this topic.  Are there any problems with parallel wiring two batteries of different ampage?  For example, can I put an 8Ah and a 13Ah together?

Cheers all for your suggestions.  Was nice to be on the bike with all working as it should - could have ridden all day round the Yorkshire Dales!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 08.07. 2017 23:53
By the way, chaterlea25 (John) gets the prize for guessing it was the battery.  Prize is feeling really smug and generally pleased with yourself.  *smile*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Greybeard on 09.07. 2017 08:46
Ok folks, looks like it was battery issues.  Took the old girl out for a 110m workout today and everything worked perfectly....
... could have ridden all day round the Yorkshire Dales!
I'm thinking of doing the BSAOC West Yorkshire camp this year. Are you likely to be there?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 09.07. 2017 12:47
Very possibly Greybeard, where would I get details....?

Living near Wakefield there are loads of good rideouts nearby (Peaks, Yorks Dales and Moors).  Just watch out for the despicable hidden mobile speed camera nests if you're pottering about.  Saw one yesterday on the A59 near Bolton Abbey and the village of Draughton.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind coppers catching the nutters, but these units have no deterrent value (cos you don't know they're there), only punitive, cash raising value (I see it as more road tax).  Much prefer fixed cameras at dangerous spots.

Cheers
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Greybeard on 09.07. 2017 15:57
Quote from: Greybeard
I'm thinking of doing the BSAOC West Yorkshire camp this year. Are you likely to be there?
Very possibly Greybeard, where would I get details....?
See image. I presume you are not a BSAOC member. I don't think anyone would object to you tagging along if you tell them you are thinking of joining the club.

Turns out you are only about 6 miles away!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 11.07. 2017 22:52
Actually Greybeard, I'm only about 1m away from the Cross Keys pub - never knew they were there!

Just to confirm, had three batteries that all failed.  First was a cheap lead-acid which ruined my r/h silencer when it pumped battery acid all over it.  Next two were Westcos that both failed within weeks with the strange, intermittent fault which foxed me.  I now have a sealed unit Powersonic 8ah which is performing perfectly at present.  Thought I'd try a shot at getting something back from Westco/MK batteries to see if they'd replace the second failed battery - they did!  As of today, I have one lead acid and three Westcos sitting in my garage, three are scrap and the third (Westco) works well under test.  All batteries are less than 12 months old!!

To reduce the risk of vibration scrapping the batteries, I use about three layers of rubber all round the battery to protect it.  Should be getting a pile of stick on 'bumpons' soon which I'll use too.  As for the metal battery strap, not any more, it got lost after shaking itself free on a run and now decorates one of the rural, West Yorks roads.  I now use an old, black leather belt which gives far better anti-vibration properties!  BSAs - bloody hell!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Greybeard on 11.07. 2017 23:01
Actually Greybeard, I'm only about 1m away from the Cross Keys pub - never knew they were there!
No excuses then  *smile*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: Black Sheep on 11.07. 2017 23:02
With batteries wired in parallel, it's possible or likely that one will have a fractionally higher voltage across the terminals than the other. When that happens, you get a tiny current run through them which quietly discharges the batteries. Just something to consider.
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 11.07. 2017 23:07
You never know Greybeard, you never know!

Cheers Black Sheep, reckon I'll stick to the single battery and use the (working) Westco as backup.

Happy riding!!
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: dave55 on 12.07. 2017 07:29
And I live about a mile tother way  *smile*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 10.06. 2018 18:39

 Just curious if this is all well and ended well ?

 Also curious how the Lead acid battery 'dumped' acid, or was it just vapour from vented caps, or badly run (or no) vent hose (I had that and now run batteries with dedicated vent pipe to as far back as possible- in my case bottom of Plunger unit)
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 10.06. 2018 20:34
Cheers duTch

Turns out the problem was entirely with the batteries (Westcos), of which 3 (yes 3) all developed intermittent faults which would make it look as if the electrical problems were elsewhere (lights would take 10 secs to come on, sometimes not at all.  Ammeter was all over the shop!).  The latest, free Westco seems to be be better (No. 4) and has shown some reliability.  NB I only paid for one Westco, all the others were replacements within warranty!

As for the acid dump, it was actually no vent hose.  Battery was also duff and spat acid down the back of the oil tank and blew back across the silencer.  Later, I routed a vent hose to behind the gearbox where I attached the end to a small nasal spray container so any acid would be contained there.  It was a good plan as I found it half full of acid.  This was when I went for the 'glass mat' type of battery to eliminate the problem completely (created a whole new set of problems though).
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 10.06. 2018 23:53

 Good stuff, I'm sure we'll hear if it goes belly up (which it won't) *smile*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: RoyC on 14.06. 2018 13:42
One last thing on this topic.  Are there any problems with parallel wiring two batteries of different ampage?  For example, can I put an 8Ah and a 13Ah together?

It will give 12 volt output as long as the batteries are fully charged. This kind of a setup gives more battery backup time but has its own disadvantages. Since batteries are connected in parallel, charge gets transferred from the battery with higher charge to lower even when the difference is very small. This keeps happening as long as there is a difference and since this involves change of chemical energy to electrical and back to chemical again, there will be multistage losses which reduces the final battery backup time.

So, it gives 12 volt but if you are planning to use this setup to increase the battery backup, see that you use up the charge as soon as possible to minimise losses.

https://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/design-installation/ask-experts-batteries-series-parallel
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 14.06. 2018 15:57
Cheers RoyC.  Incidentally, I was from Stafford before moving to West Yorks - which bit of Stafford are you from?
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: duTch on 23.06. 2018 22:57

 
Quote
....One last thing on this topic.  Are there any problems with parallel wiring two batteries of different ampage?  For example, can I put an 8Ah and a 13Ah together?....

 I remembered you asked this...I've played around with solar panels a bit, so know enough to be more dangerous than the average bear *eek* but would say it may be successfully possible , but as Black-S says will try and balance each other, but I wonder if a couple of 'blocking diodes' wired the right way would stop that, only problem is it may stop them from charging, so a separate set of diodes would be needed- I guess they'd maybe be 'bypass doides'- but could get messy (but interesting)

 Probably easier to used the highest Amp-hour rated single battery you can find- and they're becoming scarcer in 6V .....  *conf2*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: wortluck on 24.06. 2018 00:22
Eh, too p****d to read this now.  Need to sleep before big ride out tomorrow. Adieu  *beer*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: berger on 24.06. 2018 00:45
I resemble that remark,  i'm dioded out, and know a little bit of this and a little bit of that to be dangerous most days, especialy when engageing mouth before brain cell *shh*
Title: Re: Elec-trick-al
Post by: RoyC on 24.06. 2018 06:38
Cheers RoyC.  Incidentally, I was from Stafford before moving to West Yorks - which bit of Stafford are you from?

Sorry, Off topic.

Hi Wortluck,
Just found this.
I have sent you an email.

Roy.