Author Topic: Charging issue  (Read 996 times)

Offline wortluck

  • Valued Contributor
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 470
  • Karma: 2
  • Just ride!
Charging issue
« on: 20.05. 2018 19:24 »
I know there's tons out there on this, and I've had a look for an answer but can't find much for this specific problem. 

Battery is good and all electrics work ok.  Bike was charging fine then stopped showing a charge (ammeter is new).  Tried it again today and it worked normally, for a while, then stopped showing a charge again.  Ammeter shows discharge with lights on.  So, dynamo is functioning, ammeter is functioning, could it be the regulator.  I have a DVR2 and all wires seem to be good as are earths.  Have cleaned the commutator and brushes thoroughly.  At a bit of a loss.

One other thing, is it fairly straightforward to replace a side trip meter shaft - mine broke!!

Online Rex

  • Valued Contributor
  • ****
  • Join Date: Apr 2017
  • Posts: 479
  • Karma: 1
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #1 on: 20.05. 2018 20:24 »
May be a silly question, but what makes you think that the charging system isn't working as it should be?

Online bsa-bill

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2006
  • Posts: 5362
  • Karma: 61
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #2 on: 20.05. 2018 20:33 »
to Clarify what REX said

If working properly the regulator will show a discharge (On the Ammeter) when power is drawn from the battery then when the battery is charged sufficiently the regulator will cut out (showing no charge on the ammeter)
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline RogerSB

  • 1960 Golden Flash, Plymouth, Devon, England
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2017
  • Posts: 682
  • Karma: 9
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #3 on: 20.05. 2018 20:42 »
Have you cleaned and checked the F and D connections on the dynamo (see photo).  The F (field) and D (dynamo) wires go to F and D on your DVR2.

Edit: You may need a good handful of revs before the DVR2 cuts in and shows a charge on the ammeter.

1960 Golden Flash

Online morris

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 1535
  • Karma: 22
  • Antwerp, Belgium
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #4 on: 20.05. 2018 21:26 »
How’s the battery voltage behaving? Is it going down rapidly?
In the end that’ll tell you more about the charge it’s getting.

One other thing, is it fairly straightforward to replace a side trip meter shaft - mine broke!!
The trip meter shaft is a short piece of shaft poking out of the speedometer housing. The long shaft which you pull and turn slides over it and there’s a small spring pin holding both together. Big chance it’s just the pin that broke.
The short shaft has some kind of little gear inside the speedometer which, when pulled, connects to another gear to turn the trip meter to zero. Could be that the little gear came loose. If that’s the case, the speedometer has to be opened.
Both cases are not that complicated to repair.
'58 BSA A 10 SA
'52 BSA A 10 Plunger
'55 MORRIS ISIS
The world looks better from a motorbike
Belgium

Offline wortluck

  • Valued Contributor
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 470
  • Karma: 2
  • Just ride!
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #5 on: 20.05. 2018 21:59 »
Thanks fellas - here's what I know.

When the lights are off, the ammeter will normally show a small charge then settle in the central position fairly quickly.  When the lights are on, the ammeter will (normally) show a discharge at tickover then rise above the central position when revved (charging I guess).  At present, the ammeter continues to show a discharge even when revved.  I guess what you're all saying is that if the battery is fully charged, the ammeter will show a discharge as the regulator is detecting a fully charged battery and won't put charge into it.  Only when the battery becomes sufficiently low will the regulator kick in and show a charge.

This does make complete sense, but is different to what's been happening up until now.  Even on a long run, when I've turned the lights on, the ammeter shows a discharge at tickover and a charge when revved (lights brightening on revving).  Perhaps the Westco battery is pants (I've had intermittent problems with Wescos before).  By the way, I did do a 190m run on it yesterday so perhaps the battery has decided to become fully charged for a while??

Cheers for the reset shaft info.  Mine was corroded badly around where the hole is for the extension.  When I got back yesterday and tried to reset it, the end basically crumbled.  Have spotted a stainless shaft on Ebay for a tenner which looks right.

Let me know if I've got this right.  Lights are bright, by the way, which supports your comments.

Online KiwiGF

  • Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one. It was the project from HELL (but I learned a lot....)
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 1405
  • Karma: 12
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #6 on: 20.05. 2018 22:02 »
I know there's tons out there on this, and I've had a look for an answer but can't find much for this specific problem. 

Battery is good and all electrics work ok.  Bike was charging fine then stopped showing a charge (ammeter is new).  Tried it again today and it worked normally, for a while, then stopped showing a charge again.  Ammeter shows discharge with lights on.  So, dynamo is functioning, ammeter is functioning, could it be the regulator.  I have a DVR2 and all wires seem to be good as are earths.  Have cleaned the commutator and brushes thoroughly.  At a bit of a loss.

One other thing, is it fairly straightforward to replace a side trip meter shaft - mine broke!!

How old is your DVR2? I’ve got a suspect one which barely lasted through the engine running in....in your case though it sounds more like the dynamo or wiring is at fault.

Edit: as posts crossed over.......is your dynamo not able to keep up with the lights eg it’s showing a discharge when the lights are on and engine is (say) over 2000 rpm?
New Zealand

1956 A10 Golden Flash EA7-168x, CA10 913x, left BSA together for Liverpool, 5th Dec 1955.

1949 B31 rigid “400cc hot rod” (favourite bike)

1949 C11 rigid, but why!!! (cos it was cheap)

1937 B21, missing parts so mission impossible?

1952 Armstrong Siddeley Whitley for rainy days (with wife).

GL1800 Goldwing not sure why, maybe cos it always starts

Offline wortluck

  • Valued Contributor
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 470
  • Karma: 2
  • Just ride!
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #7 on: 20.05. 2018 22:09 »
Thanks kiwgf.  DVR2 is 3.5 years old, but the dynamo did show a charge briefly today.  Re your comment about the lights on, yes, it normally does show an immediate discharge followed by an immediate charge when revved.  However, I get the point that if the battery is fully charged, the ammeter would show a discharge until the rego decides it's time to pump in more power.  With the lights off, by the way, the needle rests in the central position - again supporting the 'battery fully charged' scenario.

Online morris

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 1535
  • Karma: 22
  • Antwerp, Belgium
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #8 on: 20.05. 2018 22:15 »
Also had an issue with a Wesco.  After a complete charge to 12v, dropping rapidly to 10-11v. Changing it for a decent AGM cured that.
'58 BSA A 10 SA
'52 BSA A 10 Plunger
'55 MORRIS ISIS
The world looks better from a motorbike
Belgium

Offline wortluck

  • Valued Contributor
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 470
  • Karma: 2
  • Just ride!
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #9 on: 20.05. 2018 22:21 »
Thanks morris.  Personally I think Westcos are garbage.  I do have another AGM battery which has worked well in the past.  I keep it charged and in good shape so I think I'll put that on and see what happens.  I've never seen an intermittent problem with a battery before, let alone the previous three - really is bizarre.

Curiously, when I was pulling my hair out over charging and electrical issues before, it turned out it was the battery.  My advice was to always blame the battery first - not following my own advice, eh, bad show!

Offline duTch

  • Ricketty Rocketty Golden Flashback
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 4540
  • Karma: 41
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #10 on: 20.05. 2018 23:36 »
 
Quote
....I guess what you're all saying is that if the battery is fully charged, the ammeter will show a discharge as the regulator is detecting a fully charged battery and won't put charge into it.  Only when the battery becomes sufficiently low will the regulator kick in and show a charge.
.....

  Assuming the engine is running and lights on, that doesn't sound right. My understanding is that the reg detects a lack of charge level, so will then will allow the genny to charge the battery showing ' + charge' on the ammeter, and when fully charged the reg will shut down and the ammeter will return to '0', then when you pull up at the lights or whatever, the lights cause a '-/ discharge' and when the lights go green, and you roar away *smile*, the ammeter should show '+/ charge ' until the battery is charged and meter drops to '0' and the cycle continues......
 When the battery is fully charged, all your electrical requirements are effectively running from the generator,
 hence the floating 'discharge/ '0' /charge'.

 I found a really good Lucas mechanical reg. tutorial online a while ago that helps understand the principle, but is too large to attach- but doesn't explain DVR2 *conf*

 I agree with kiwigf that maybe check your wiring (again?)
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
Australia

Offline stanwhite

  • Moving Up
  • **
  • Join Date: May 2018
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 1
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #11 on: 21.05. 2018 01:02 »
Hi Wortluck,

                 Here's a rundown that may help...

The dynamo makes a VERY small amount of electricity when spinning if the "F" wire is not connected. When the "F" wire is connected, on a normal regulator setup, the "F" wire gets power from (via the regulator) the "D" wire.

The connectors at the dynamo end are not great, and rely upon the wiring being passed through the small ferrules, and bent back along the full length of the ferrule, which is tapered. When the ferrule is pushed into the hole in the dynamo, it locks. I had problems here, as well as a failed regulator.

So if the "F" wire is loose anywhere, (the green wire), the dynamo gets no field current, and no output results. The current flowing through this wire is not a lot, about 2 amps max on a 6V system. The original Lucas regulator switches this on and off RAPIDLY, and modern electronic regulators do the same. The "mark/space" ratio of this signal (how long it is on, compared to how long it is off) controls the dynamo output. Long "ons" and short "offs" result in the dynamo giving a high output, and vice versa.

The first thing to do is check the output of the dynamo, using a headlight bulb. A 12V bulb on a 6V system, and a 24V bulb on a 12 volt system. You join the "F" and "D" wires together, having removed them from the regulator. Individually insulate the REGULATOR "F" and "D" connections to prevent accidental connections while testing. Start the bike and run at a fast tickover, THEN connect the bulb between the joined "F" and "D" wires, and earth. The bulb should light, and quite brightly. Do not do this for long, stop the engine, because you are now giving the field coil of the dynamo more than it is used to, or wants... If this test fails, repeat at the dynamo itself. If OK, the wiring is faulty. If no good, then I am afraid the dynamo is dead  *angry*

The reason for not connecting the bulb before starting the engine is that it is a non-linear resistance. When off, it is very low, and "steals" the meagre amount of electricity that the dynamo is making, meaning that the field coil does not get energised. If you do connect the bulb before starting, you will find that it does not glow, and as you increase the revs, it will suddenly come on very bright, and could even burn out. (As the bulb warms up, its resistance increases, the demands it places on the dynamo reduce and this allows the field to get current, so the dynamo starts to produce a high output).

If the bulb reliably glows when connected, (and it will probably glow dim, even at tickover), the next test is done with another wire which is joined to the already joined "F" and "D" wires, and, with the engine already running at a fast tickover, put the other end of this wire onto the "A" terminal of the regulator. (Which must still have it's "normal" wire connected, and you now have "F", "D", and "A" all joined). You should then see a charge on the ammeter. Don't do this for long, and disconnect the wire to the "A" terminal BEFORE stopping the engine.

Start the engine and leave it running at TICKOVER with a bulb connected as above (and glowing dimly), and start pulling the wiring around. At this point, you may wish to have the seat off, and the headlight out... Again, don't do this for too long, although at tickover, the dynamo is getting almost its full rated field current. So it is getting "kicked" not killed...! If you don't find any loose connections, stop the engine and reconnect everything normally. If it does not now charge, it looks like the regulator.

Now...  Interpreting what the ammeter is telling you. Electricity flows through it in both directions, but not at once! If electricity is flowing from the battery, towards the bike's electrical system, (lights) the ammeter will show a discharge. If the electricity flows from the system (dynamo) towards the battery, the ammeter shows a charge. And if everything is working normally, the dynamo makes just the right amount to run the lights, plus some for the battery, a small amount if a charge is needed, and "next door to nothing" if the battery is fully charged.

The dynamo regulator responds very quickly to load changes. It works on voltage, and wants to see a certain voltage on the system. If that voltage is low (battery being drained by the lights) the regulator instructs the dynamo to generate more electricity. It does this by supplying more power to the dynamo "F" connection. So it won't wait for the lights to produce a discharge for a while, and then decide to charge the battery, it will immediately sense that the lights are taking power (and dropping the system voltage), and "up" it's output.

If you are seeing a discharge with the lights on, that stays that way for a while at a fast engine speed, and then suddenly see a small charge, the charging system has an intermittent fault. What has happened here is that the charging system has failed, the battery has started to run down, and suddenly the charging system has sprung back into life, detected a low battery voltage, and pumped in some charge. The system is sensitive, and will react to less than 1/10 of a volt.

If  (with the engine above tickover) you see a discharge with the lights on, and don't see a charge when they are off, the charging system has failed!

If all is working well, run at a "50mph in top" engine speed with the lights off. There may be a small charge. If you "whack" on the headlight, you will see a momentary discharge, and the needle will rapidly climb back up to the middle, if not go slightly into the charge side. This can be seen because when the bulb is off, it is cold, and has a very low resistance. At the instance of "switch on", it totally overloads the electrical system, (for a few thousands of a second, that bulb is possibly demanding 150 watts!!!) and although the regulator and dynamo have responded, they can't keep up. As the bulb warms up, the overload disappears, and all is well.

Dynamos....  Clean commutators, decent brushes (check that the copper "pigtails" are not loose in the carbon brush) and check all connections.

Regulators. Original Lucas, clean and adjust as per service instructions/Haynes manuals. Electronic regulators. Black art. If dead, replace!

Well, that was a "war and peace" of the charging system, hope it helps, I am gonna shut up now!

 Regards,

 Stan.

Offline duTch

  • Ricketty Rocketty Golden Flashback
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 4540
  • Karma: 41
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #12 on: 21.05. 2018 09:37 »

  epic    *eek*
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
Australia

Online muskrat

  • Global Moderator
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • **
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 8067
  • Karma: 106
  • Lake Conjola NSW Oz
    • Shoalhaven Classic Motorcycle Club Inc
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #13 on: 21.05. 2018 09:44 »
Another thunk. DVR2's are supplied either + or - earth. Would you have inadvertently flashed the dynamo to the other polarity causing the DVR2 to expire?
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR, '76 XT500, '77 AG175 '83 CB1100F, '81 CB900F project.
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7

Online Greybeard

  • Jack of all trades; master of none.
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 5795
  • Karma: 32
Re: Charging issue
« Reply #14 on: 21.05. 2018 09:45 »
Stanwhite, fantastically useful post. Well done!