Author Topic: Battery or earthing problem?  (Read 14147 times)

Offline Hubie

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Battery or earthing problem?
« on: 03.04. 2010 09:41 »
Hi all,

As electrics are my biggest weakness, I'll pose a question here.  yesterday while riding to work my lights stopped working, or so I thought, they were just very very dim.  As I returned to the bike at the end of my shift I had full power to the lights again, but only for a short time.  I cannot find an earthing problem so far but am wondering if something is responding poorly to heat or it's that the battery is no good.  The generator seems to be working fine and the batter will operate the horn or the lights only for a short time without the bike running before losing power.  If I leave the bike again for a while and come back to it, same thing happens.

Any ideas?

Cheers,

Hubie.
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #1 on: 03.04. 2010 13:14 »
Gday Hubie,
                Do the lights brighten with revs ? If yes gen OK battery sus. Often a flat battery when let sit for a few hours will give a bit more for a short while.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR, '76 XT500, '77 AG175 '83 CB1100F, '81 CB900F project.
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7

Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #2 on: 04.04. 2010 00:08 »
Thanks mate,

That's what seems to be happening.  I'm on the hunt for a new 6V battery now!
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

Offline trevinoz

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #3 on: 04.04. 2010 00:17 »
Hubie,
            Does seem like a crook battery but why did your lights dim while you were riding?
Did this happen when your revs dropped when you stopped or did it happen at speed?
Trev.

Offline Josh Cox

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #4 on: 04.04. 2010 03:47 »
Hubie,

Do you own a multimeter / voltmeter ? ( check the voltage level of the battery with the engine off then again with it on, both with and without light turned on, tell us what voltage you see on the meter ).

Which regulator do you have ?, the original coil type or the far superior digital type ( Manortec for me ) ?.

Do not rush out and buy a battery, more info is needed to give you the help you need.

Do you have fuses ?.
Black 1953 Golden Flash Plunger

Offline wilko

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #5 on: 05.04. 2010 02:52 »
What's your ammeter telling you? I.ve found no matter how stuffed your battery is the dyno will still put something out.

Online RichardL

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #6 on: 05.04. 2010 04:30 »
Further to Josh's comments, I agree, don't just install a new battery without knowing to a certainty that your regulator is in good repair and good adjustment. Very possibly, your regulator is not in good repair or adjustment and that is what took out your battery. Putting in a new battery, in that case, just means killing another battery. After going through three batteries I changed to a Manortec DVR2 and haven't destroyed another battery since.

Richard L.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #7 on: 05.04. 2010 06:18 »
Thanks for the help chums,

I have tested the output of the regulator and seems to be working fine.  The lights go brighter when the engine is revved but they lose any potency within about 10 seconds whether the engine is running or not.  Give it a while and I get another ten seconds of life out of them.  It seems the battery is not holding charge.  I will check the output with the engine off and then running and report back.

Cheers,

Dave.
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #8 on: 05.04. 2010 06:52 »
Have done all the checking I can.  The output of the generator through the reg is fine, right up to 11 volts when revved.  Low at idle like any item of this type but above that and it's going very nicely.  Battery recieves charge under revvs but does not hold it and the voltage with the lights on drops down to 0 in a hurry with the generator output still fine.  I think the battery is the problem folks.  It is on trickle charge at the moment to see how it goes but I am not hopeful it will help.

Cheers,

Dave.
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

Offline Josh Cox

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #9 on: 05.04. 2010 07:47 »
Hubie,

Suggest you take your old battery or plastic battery box with you to the battery shop when you go and get yourself a new age maintenance free battery, it does not need to be a motorcycle battery unless you have one of Steves "old man"  *smile* electric starters, get the highest capacity battery you can, you'll be pleasantly suprised what new batteries can provide.

Good luck.
Black 1953 Golden Flash Plunger

Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #10 on: 05.04. 2010 09:00 »
Battery out of the circuit, no lights at all.

Still have power coming out of the regulator but no lights.

Dave.
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

Offline Josh Cox

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #11 on: 05.04. 2010 09:55 »
What regulator do you have ?, pop the cover off and have a look,

If it is an old coil and contact type it should work at revs without the battery in the circuit.

If it is a new solid state microchip type, it will need the battery power to get it started, you should be able to remove/disconnect the battery once its going at revs (to do this suggest just disconnecting the + wire), when you stop reving the generator stops producing power out and as the battery is no longer in the circuit the regulator will have no power and turn off, like this one:






No offence to the die hards, if it is an old coil type, replace it with a manortec or similar, second what manosound said.

Black 1953 Golden Flash Plunger

Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #12 on: 05.04. 2010 11:32 »
It is a much more modern type regulator but I can't see the brand on it.  Has a computer chip styled heat sink on it.  After a battery charge, lights seem to be okay.  Will go for a ride tonight and see what happens...
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #13 on: 06.04. 2010 06:55 »
I charged the battery last night and rode to work and back.  Had no dramas at all, so I will have to check the voltage at the battery to see if it is holding, holding steady at 6.4 volts last night and tonight.

Cheers,

Dave
1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
2007 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse get's the cheese!

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #14 on: 06.04. 2010 20:04 »
G'day Dave,
                is most of your riding at night (shift worker) ? If so and most of the time your head light, tail light and break light are on the genny may be struggling to keep up. Starting with a fully charged battery, after 1 trip it's say 5% down, after 20 trips it's flat.
It may be worth converting to 12 volt with a dvr2 reg.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR, '76 XT500, '77 AG175 '83 CB1100F, '81 CB900F project.
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7