The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => Lucas, Electrical, Ignition => Topic started by: tiggy on 19.07. 2014 17:33

Title: Charging problem
Post by: tiggy on 19.07. 2014 17:33
Hi, the last issue to complete on a long term restoration of a '58 A10 running standard 6v positive earth lucas system. I have left this to the end as I have had a few goes at it without success but now need to hopefully get to the bottom of it with some advice.
Story so far:
Original dynamo completely rebuilt by a specialist and sent back to be re-tested. Definitely putting out a charge.
New wiring loom, circuit/connections tested numerous times, lost count but could be making the same mistake each time!
New regulator- wassel tried  first. I guessed this to be the problem so changed it for a new DVR2 regulator. Still not showing a positive reading or cancelling out the drain on the ammeter. i.e. -4 showing with lights on and does not move when the engine is fired up.
New lucas ammeter. Only shows negative reading.
I have put a multimeter on the terminal of the ammeter that the "A" (F,A,D,E.)wire goes to and get a voltage reading, with the engine running, but nothing from the other terminal.
Is the charge going to one terminal and being lost in the ammeter?
Any ideas of any tests I can do on the the "new" lucas ammeter or any other recommended tests?
Any thoughts gratefully received as I have completely run out of ideas.
Thanks
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 19.07. 2014 17:42
The ammeter should have almost nil resistance across its two terminals, so the voltage should read the same on each terminal.

Measure the resistance from one ammeter terminal to the other, with nothing else connected to the ammeter.  Ammeter can fail and go open circuit. That gives it infinite resistance.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Rgs-Bill on 19.07. 2014 18:21
Try taking the  (make sure it is fused)    A- wire off the ammeter and run directly to the negative side of battery,  (use a suitable jumper wire if needed)(make sure of good ground) and start the bike and see if your digital meter is giving you readings.  DVR-2 regulators have wrong way round hook up protection supposedly, but it is possible the DVR-2 is the culprit. And if you get good readings, then check the ammeter like previous person said, and make sure you did not have wrong way around on the ammeter the first time around.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: tiggy on 19.07. 2014 18:55
Thanks for the replies. Reading across the terminals of the ammeter when it is isolated is 00.1 OHMS.
Previously tried reversing the wires to the ammeter and got +4 instead of -4 when lights on and still nothing the other side with the engine running.
I haven't tried running a wire from the "A' straight to the negative battery terminal but will give it a go and respond in a day or two.
Cheers
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 19.07. 2014 23:49

 While you're at it, maybe connect the multi-meter 'amps' function in line and see what it says...?

 Also if it still doesn't work, yo could try reconnecting the mechanical reg., and leave the cover off as per a recent similar topic.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: trevinoz on 20.07. 2014 00:22
Tiggy,
 You should have a voltage at "A" as it is connected directly to the battery via the ammeter.
"D" is the terminal which should have the generator output voltage with the engine running.
Do the generator test with the regulator disconnected, bridge the "D" & "F" terminals and see what is there and what polarity.

Trev.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 20.07. 2014 03:33

 Maybe needs re-polarizing?
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: BSA_54A10 on 20.07. 2014 04:05
And just to make sure.
If the battery is fully charged the generator out put will be 0 or very near to it.
That is what the regulator is there to do, match supply to demand.
I oft have owners complaining that their charging system is not working because the ammeter shows 0 when they start their bike which had been sittng for months with a battery tender attached.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: tiggy on 20.07. 2014 10:44
Lots of things to try out thanks, but first a straight forward question for those of you lucky enough to have a charging system that works as it should.
What ammeter reading do you get with lights on, engine running, and a fully charged battery? Should the needle cancel out back to zero or stay negative until the battery drains a little?
I am seeing -4, the bike is only run for a couple of minutes to avoid overheating as it is off the road.
Cheers.
p.s. looked at the old mechanical regulator that came with the bike. Don't know if it works as last on the bike before the dynamo was rebuilt. Looks good inside but the outer case is chrome not black as most you see and knocked about a bit. Looks like it was mounted outside the tool box. Date stamped 5-54.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 20.07. 2014 12:53
With engine idling, ammeter should read zero.

Switch on the headlight, still at idle and the ammeter should show a substantial discharge.

Rev it up from idle, still with headlight on and the ammeter reading should climb to zero (if the  battery is fully charged) or go past zero into the "charge" side (if the battery is low).

A "charge" indication, while you ride the bike, will eventually fall to zero or near zero, as the battery becomes charged.

That's what an ammeter does.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Greybeard on 20.07. 2014 12:53
tiggy,
My ammeter shows a slight positive charge with headlight on. I also have a multi-colour charge indicator LED device mounted to show through the edge of the transparent ammeter case and that shows green when riding with lights on so confirming the charging state. I have a new battery that has not been allowed to fully discharge yet and a good dynamo.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 29.06. 2016 19:17

 The other day I picked up a used -8 < 0> +8 Ammeter at a local swap, so the first thing I did was dissect it to see why it might work *eek*, but it also need a bit of an internal clean anyway so I'm off the hook.

 Much as I like the one I've been using, it's a +/-30A so not so ideal, but this one's a clear plastic one, so I wired two LED's in series (red + green), and placed them how I guess GB did so they shine through the side, seems to work so far, but haven't road tested it yet. It's not a charge indicator like his, but I put the red on the discharge side, and green...guess where   *eek*.
 Theory is, if the needle glows red it's discharging, if it glows green= charging half red/green with lights on = all good

Pic 1 Placement of LED's (held in place with a slash out of a plastic drink bottle *smile*)
 "   2 Discharge City+tail light (both LED's)  ~ 0.5 A
 "   3       "       35/35W Head+Tail+City     ~ 7 A


Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Greybeard on 29.06. 2016 21:00
...I wired two LED's in series (red + green), and placed them how I guess GB did so they shine through the side, seems to work so far, but haven't road tested it yet. It's not a charge indicator like his, but I put the red on the discharge side, and green...guess where...

Great! Seems to work. Bit bright maybe. I guess you can increase the resistor values to make them dimmer.
The little gizmo I used was not very expensive and very compact but I admire your ingenuity.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 29.06. 2016 23:55
 
Quote
Great! Seems to work. Bit bright maybe. I guess you can increase the resistor values to make them dimmer.
The little gizmo I used was not very expensive and very compact but I admire your ingenuity.

 Thanks GB; it seems bright, but I'm working on the principle of map-reading lights being red, and supposedly less disturbing and hoping green may be same. Also those bright spots are pin-holes in the tin that I'll be motivated into patching *work*.
 No resistors- hard wired straight in (+ve) to keeper spring nut on back of the switch (-ve) into earth loom, but I'll see how it shapes up.
  I looked at your gizmo, enticing but exchange rate plus postage didn't excite me *eek*.

 Another reason for adding them in is so I'll hopefully see it and remember to turn the lights off (or should I call them 'darkness's') when I pull up when out and about *conf*


Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: chaterlea25 on 30.06. 2016 00:46
Hi,
Quote
No resistors- hard wired straight in (+ve) to keeper spring nut on back of the switch (-ve) into earth loom, but I'll see how it shapes up.

 *eek* *eek* *eek* *eek*

They wont last long like that  *ex* *ex* *ex*

They are diodes not bulbs so need resistors to limit the current through them

John
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Peter in Aus on 30.06. 2016 01:27
Your right there John 6V needs a 220 ohm 1/4 or 1/2 Watt resister and 12V a 560 ohm resister ;)
Peter
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 30.06. 2016 02:58
Quote
*eek* *eek* *eek* *eek*

They wont last long like that  *ex* *ex* *ex*

They are diodes not bulbs so need resistors to limit the current through them
and....
Quote
Your right there John 6V needs a 220 ohm 1/4 or 1/2 Watt resister and 12V a 560 ohm resister ;)

 Thanks for the tip- as they are two 3.2V diodes wired in series for 6V I figured they'd work ok  (3.2+3.2=6.4)*????*. I'm not sure of their max rating, I'll check up- but if they blow, I'll look into adding a resistor; should it be one resistor in parallel over the two in series?
  My bodgy Volt meter connected to battery shows ~7.0v-7.8 V whilst riding sometimes spikes to a bit over 8V (daytime- no lights, dunno about night/lights on, can't see it. I could turn the lights on in daylight to check it, but the daylight might leak in and contaminate the result *eek*- just jokin')

Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: KiwiGF on 30.06. 2016 07:43
Isn't 3.2v for LED diode the minimum volts needed to light the LED? If that 3.2v rating figure is what is called its "forward voltage"?

But maybe the LED you have have a resistor built into them *dunno*

From what I just googled  *work* an LED diode has very little resistance once it reaches its forward voltage so if you put a 3.2v LED across a 4v battery it would short out the battery and probably blow the LED, conversely if you put it across a 3v battery it would not light up at all.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: edboy on 30.06. 2016 22:12
curse modern technology.  left behind ages ago but now creeping up on the old bsa of all things. my old tip is to bypass the ameter and put the charge wire straight into the lighting switch. but how do i worry about charging ? you ask. well rev the old girl with all the lights switched on and see if the bulbs go bright. no brighty- no lighty.  when its dark and i need to know how my lights are charging i watch the speedo light bulb. if it goes very dim or out then i know i m in trouble.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: coater87 on 02.07. 2016 21:35
curse modern technology. no brighty- no lighty. 


 Quote of the year, right there. *ex*
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Triton Thrasher on 02.07. 2016 21:51
curse modern technology.  left behind ages ago but now creeping up on the old bsa of all things. my old tip is to bypass the ameter and put the charge wire straight into the lighting switch. but how do i worry about charging ? you ask. well rev the old girl with all the lights switched on and see if the bulbs go bright. no brighty- no lighty.  when its dark and i need to know how my lights are charging i watch the speedo light bulb. if it goes very dim or out then i know i m in trouble.

The production racers' trick was to bridge the ammeter terminals. The ammeter would still work, a bit, but if it's coil fractured it didn't isolate the battery.
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: Peter in Aus on 03.07. 2016 03:20
curse modern technology.  left behind ages ago but now creeping up on the old bsa of all things. my old tip is to bypass the ameter and put the charge wire straight into the lighting switch. but how do i worry about charging ? you ask. well rev the old girl with all the lights switched on and see if the bulbs go bright. no brighty- no lighty.  when its dark and i need to know how my lights are charging i watch the speedo light bulb. if it goes very dim or out then i know i m in trouble.

The production racers' trick was to bridge the ammeter terminals. The ammeter would still work, a bit, but if it's coil fractured it didn't isolate the battery.

That is not a bad idea, it has often worried me that the coil would become open circuit in the amp meter especially with these cheep amp meters coming out of India and gods knows where.
It could be catastrophic if it did, and  you are using AC generators "like me." *roll*
Peter
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: mikeb on 03.07. 2016 11:37
dutch - finally something on a BSA forum that I know about. your LEDs won't last long as they are. they need a current limiting resistor in one leg. also, as you have a red and a green they have different forward voltages so need different values. assuming you are 6v system then with max volts of 7.2V and 20mA per LED best idea would be  put a separate resistor in line with each one - a 220 Ohm series with the green and a 270 Ohm with the red. then put those in parallel, like the pic. if 12v system use 680 Ohm for both (or 560 Ohm for the green if you can find similar). all 1/4W.
but it is modern technology, an acetylene lamp would be more authentic

Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 03.07. 2016 20:16
 Thanks guys, a few things I can respond to there, but first- I forgot to say on the way back from the swappie when I picked up the S/H +/- 8A meter, I stopped in a the young fellas and forgot to turn off the lights, no big deal- figured it'll charge up on the rest of the trip (at dusk). That was not to be as I found out later, my trusty +/- 30A Fergie meter musta gone on strike at possible redundancy *eek*.
 I didn't realize until I went out for a test with the new setup, and couldn't get a charge. Ok it was in the daylight so I figured the daylight was pushing the Lucas-light back in *pull hair out*, but the LED's worked ok, and even came on with the brakes *conf*.
 So I stuffed around a bit and got the charge happening again and went out today with lights on and charging- the whole bit and yep the LED's failed fairly soon.

 I did figure out that the 5mm green LED could be a 3.2 or 3.5 V, but red ones are only rated for 1.7 / 2.1V. Only the green one blew, red still works from a 3V (2.98v) button battery.

 Mike, (and all) it should be obvious I only know enough to be dangerous...I had them in series (as in pic) but you suggest to run them in parallel?
  KiwiGF;
Quote
Isn't 3.2v for LED diode the minimum volts needed to light the LED? If that 3.2v rating figure is what is called its "forward voltage"?

But maybe the LED you have have a resistor built into them *dunno*

From what I just googled  *work* an LED diode has very little resistance once it reaches its forward voltage so if you put a 3.2v LED across a 4v battery it would short out the battery and probably blow the LED, conversely if you put it across a 3v battery it would not light up at all.


 The rated voltage is a 'typical voltage', but I think they fire up lower but they also have a 'VDD'-Maximum V that I haven't determined- others'll know.

  Edboy;
Quote
Quote from: edboy on 30.06. 2016 22:12

    curse modern technology.  left behind ages ago but now creeping up on the old bsa of all things. my old tip is to bypass the ameter and put the charge wire straight into the lighting switch. but how do i worry about charging ? you ask. well rev the old girl with all the lights switched on and see if the bulbs go bright. no brighty- no lighty.  when its dark and i need to know how my lights are charging i watch the speedo light bulb. if it goes very dim or out then i know i m in trouble.

 I don't disagree, but every now and then I make an attempt at being 'civilized', and this is one of those moments- it don't come easy *conf*
 TT
Quote
The production racers' trick was to bridge the ammeter terminals. The ammeter would still work, a bit, but if it's coil fractured it didn't isolate the battery.

  *dunno*
 So I don't know what I did to fix my charging issue, but I retuned the reg and it's within specs I think- maybe had a loose wire *dunno*


Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: mikeb on 03.07. 2016 21:30
dutch - leds have a forward voltage but require a certain current through them. the resistors act like a crude current limiter. they aren't like lightbulbs that have a voltage rating. if you put leds in series you still need a resistor but it would be smaller value with more current variability across the 6-7.2v range of your bike. either google it or just follow that pic (yes - in parallel)
Title: Re: Charging problem
Post by: duTch on 06.07. 2016 05:32

 I thought I had some of the recommended resistors but no-go, so went and bought some at Jaycar, and also a regulator that I thought might do the job.
  It's a LM 2936 2936 3.3, but I'll play worth the resistors first and see what damage I can do.

 On the other note, that's something crazy happening with the charge system;  it works and then doesn't and then does again. ..ammeter keeps goin' spazzo. Might put the old meter back in and see what it does, but being less sensitive may not say much.