Author Topic: Battery or earthing problem?  (Read 15192 times)

Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #120 on: 08.07. 2010 14:25 »
On the way home tonight with full load at 50mph ammeter was at about plus 2 so I have turned the reg screw in a bit so that I will be in the plus at about 35mph.  Very happy with a reg I can adjust and thanks to all.

Cheers,
Dave
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1959 BSA Golden Flash
1956 Royal Enfield Super Meteor
1955 Royal Enfield 350 Bullet
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Online groily

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #121 on: 08.07. 2010 15:21 »
Sounds good Hubie - but be careful not to set it too high! It's tempting . . .
The battery's state of charge will in considerable measure determine the ammeter reading, as the regulator will want to get the system voltage up to the prescribed level and hold it there. If it's less than fully charged, the dynamo will be briefly asked to work hard to get the battery up to spec. Ideally, you only want a small steady charge with a fully charged battery regardless of whether the lights are on or not, when rolling along. What you don't want to do is overfeed the dynamo's field coil to obtain a larger than needed output, as that's how armatures get fried. Changing the regulator setting changes the amount of time the contacts are open, and therefore the amount of time the armature's output - D - is being fed directly back into the field coil - F (as well as to the ammeter/battery etc of course). All the regulator does is interrupt the connection between the dynamo's output (D) and the field input (F). At rest the two are connected, in fact they are always connected except when the regulator is in regulating mode with the contacts trembling. The shorter the time the points are open as opposed to closed, the more output from D is fed into F and vice versa. While the field coil is quite tough, the armature is more vulnerable.
You've got a safe 60Watts continous power at 6v, your electrical loads with tail, head and speedo are going to require a lot of that (I forget what bulbs you've got but let's say that's about 42watts). 42 Watts at 6 volts requires the dynamo to deliver 7 amps; the battery will also need its usual trickle to keep things in shape, so that's 8-ish amps say, compared to a 10 amp maximum load (which is fine). If you find that with a fully charged battery, all loads on and at road-going speeds, you're getting a charge of more than an amp or two shown on the ammeter, then I'd back the reg off a bit to calm the dynamo down. Some Haynes manuals, and also the Lucas Service sheets, contain quite detailed guidance on this stuff. Correct setting is critical to the management of the field. Poor management of the field is the primary reason why dynamos have got such a lousy reputation over the years - and it's usually not the dynamo's fault. It chucks out according to what's chucked in. Too little and the lights start to fade and the battery isn't maintained; too much, and the armature is overworked and the battery may also be overcharged, with consequent water-loss and shortened life.
You'll always get a temporary surge in charging after you've been sitting at a traffic light on tickover for a few minutes or something with the lights all on, that's normal as the battery gets a necessary boost to compensate for the drain while you were sitting there, but the boost should be short term.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #122 on: 08.07. 2010 21:48 »
Thanks Groily,

My only concern is that when I have all the lights on, for the meter to show a positive charge, say about 1-2 amps (battery fully charged) the bike needs to be running at about 50mph.  Without lights on and the meter is right up at 6-8 amps.  I have the service sheet downloaded for the mcr2 reg so I need to learn how to adjust it properly, but I don't think I should be seeing a negative reading with the lights all on at low speeds.

To add to this, I rode to work in the dark this morning (just under 6 miles) and my battery was 6.92 volts before leaving and 6.88 after arriving.

Cheers,

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

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Online groily

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #123 on: 08.07. 2010 22:48 »
I am worrying a bit for you here Hubie. Needlessly I hope, but not sure.
If you're showing a 6 to 8 amp charge with a fully charged battery under no load - ie lights off - that's truly way too high. To trickle charge a good, charged, battery, you should be seeing an amp or so under those circs.
But on reasonable gearing, you should also see the ammeter around zero at about 35mph or so, which is what you're aiming at.
When the regulator is regulating, engine rpm become largely irrelevant - you shouldn't see the charge increase with revs once the regulator has kicked in, usually around the 1800 rpm mark- that's what the regulator is there to manage. The dynamo runs unregulated from the point  just above tick-over at which the cut-in connects armature and battery (D and A) and then is regulated (by switching the direct D to F connection on and off to control the input to the field from the D side) from the point at which the dynamo would otherwise try to increase the system voltage above the correct level. From the point it starts regulating, the charge shown on the ammeter should not increase with revs as the battery doesn't need it.
Are you sure the main light switch and dipswitch are working right? And the brake light's not stuck on? If both headlamp filaments were coming on at the same time, the dynamo would be asked to produce more than it ought to to get to 0 on the ammeter, in fact you'd have big trouble balancing the full electrical load at low rpm because the load would exceed the rated capacity of the generator; then, if you played with the regulator in search of extra, it would overcharge the battery with all loads off as the field would be being overfed. Which would be bad for the armature.
I dunno quite what's going on there, but something isn't quite right yet by the sound of it. I'd try to set it to balance on the ammeter at about 35 in top (ie needle on 0) unless you're on way-out gearing, when I'd say go for 40. You probably need to get a meter on the A line from the regulator with the engine running at enough revs for the regulator points to be trembling, see what it says and compare to the service sheets. But you definitely don't want the charge right up at the positive end of the scale. Because however much it tells you 'boy, does this thing charge well' it will probably harm the armature and wreck the battery over time.
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Offline trevinoz

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #124 on: 08.07. 2010 23:01 »
Hubie,
             You need to set the regulator with a voltmeter, not by looking at the ammeter.
Typically, when owners do what you are doing, i.e. expect the ammeter to be always being well into positive territory, generators get burnt out!!! And batteries get fried!!
You haven't told us what wattage headlight you are running, if too high this will affect your charging rate.
When my bike is running and the battery is topped up, the ammeter sits on 0 and only occasionally flicks briefly to positive.
Trev.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #125 on: 09.07. 2010 00:06 »
Thanks Trev,

I have wound the adjusting screw back out, and will check the headlamp wattage.  I have the instructions for the reg and will have to learn how to properly set it up.  What does your ammeter show when your lights are on full?  What are the voltage readings I should be expecting?

Cheers,

Dave.
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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 #126 on: 09.07. 2010 01:08 »
Dave,
            I set the voltage with no load, i.e. battery isolated and all lights off, to 7.3V.
I find when I test on the bench that with a battery connected the voltage drops a little and when I add a headlight the voltage drops to around 6.7V. That is with around 2800 generator revs.
The book says to set the open circuit voltage higher, depending on ambient temperature but I find my method works and I don't get dried out batteries.
Keep trying Mate, you'll get there and will become the local expert!
Trev.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #127 on: 09.07. 2010 06:33 »
I'm getting there Trev,

It is easier to try setting these regs up with two people though.  I have reset it to the best of my ability with two hands. My globe by the way is a 35/35w halogen lamp.  When i run the motor with the lights on, the ammeter dips right into the negative.  Is it supposed to do this?

Cheers,

Dave.
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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 #128 on: 10.07. 2010 00:15 »
Dave,
          Your headlight will draw approx. 6 amps, tail 1 amp and speedo not much.
You can see that with this load your ammeter, which should be an 8 amp type, will almost full scale deflect in the negative direction until your generator cuts in and starts to supply the load. As the engine speed increases, the generator output increases until the generator takes the full load at which point the ammeter shows 0.
If the battery requires current, the ammeter will move into positive territory if the engine speed is high enough.
If your battery is fully charged and your output voltage is correct, the battery will not demand much from the generator so will not show much movement on the ammeter.
I would be happy if the measured voltage across the battery, with the lights on and the engine running at a speed high enough to balance the load, was around the 6.8 - 7 volt mark.
Trev.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #129 on: 10.07. 2010 01:41 »
Thanks a bunch Trev,

I think that's where I'm at now.

Cheers,

Dave.
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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 #130 on: 10.07. 2010 03:39 »
By the way, Dave,
                              I love those big Enfield twins!
a Connie or Interceptor would look good in my shed. If only there was room!
Trev.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #131 on: 10.07. 2010 08:22 »
This is mine, a '56 super meteor (the best of the twins) after I rebuilt the motor.

http://i360.photobucket.com/albums/oo50/aussieenfields/IMG_0045.jpg

Cheers,

Dave.
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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 #132 on: 10.07. 2010 22:10 »
What can I say?
Magnificent at least!
Trev.
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Online groily

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #133 on: 10.07. 2010 22:30 »
Thought my Connie cafe-racer was quite smart Hubie till I saw that! Very Nice One. And with an alternator of course. . . so none of these recent hassles! Vastly under-rated bikes, the big RE twins, but coming into their own a bit nowadays, deservedly.
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Offline Hubie

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Re: Battery or earthing problem?
« Reply #134 on: 11.07. 2010 01:34 »
Thanks boys,

She is a magnificent bike, I rewired it this past summer too.  They came out with 6 volt alternators but it had no alternator when i bought it.  I bought a special adapter plate and it runs a rotor and stator from an Interceptor, a simple solid state reg/rectifier and battery.  Unlike the old nickname they got too, mine is oil tight so not a 'royal oilfield'!

I have footage of this bike, my old bullet (I also built it, but was written off when i was t-boned last november) and a small video of the flash on youtube.  Type in hubie075 in the search field and you'll find all my videos.

Cheers,

Dave.
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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!