Author Topic: Battery issue?  (Read 3072 times)

Online BSA500

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Battery issue?
« on: 20.01. 2014 09:09 »
I am using the A7 daily for work(have done for the last three years) and a year or so ago had the dynamo upgraded to 12 volt and fitted a dvr2 regulator.
Everything has been fine and dandy charge balances really quickly and well with lights on. Now have noticed the battery going flat a lot more which suggests its on its way out. The strange thing is the ammeter reading, with lights on again the needle comes up well and if the battery's low the lights brighten which suggests the dynamo/reg is doing its stuff. But the needle only just gets above the centre mark on the ammeter and with lights off the same, it doesn't move into the positive charge section. My question is, is this a sign that the battery is not taking a charge so the ammeter doesn't move up or something much worse(hope not) I will put the battery on charge tonight and see how we go but any suggestions on how to test the battery for 'life' would be great.
Andy

Online bsa-bill

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #1 on: 20.01. 2014 09:27 »
Andy do you have electronic ignition?, I have read that some of them do leak to earth when not in use.

I have binned  a few batteries (some fairly new) over the last few years, I'm afraid there is a lot of rubbish  batteries out there and the symptoms are just as you describe - the battery just stops accepting the charge.

I bought three of the Burlen type last year and they seem to be much better, I bought three as I have twelve volt on the RGF and six volt on the Flash, haveing the three batteries allows for some swapping around if ever needed, so far they have been just fine keeping there charge even after not being used for quite some time.
They are a funny shape (tapered) but not a problem as you can mount them upside down if needed (sealed)
All the best - Bill
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Online BSA500

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #2 on: 20.01. 2014 09:47 »
Just standard ignition but heavy use esp now with dark mornings and nights and stuck in traffic. Even with the 12 volt dynamo and DVR2 its a lot for it to keep up with. Battery is more than a year old but I will put it on charge tonight and see how well it fares. I don't mind it being a dead battery they are easier to replace than regs or dynamo's.

Online KiwiGF

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #3 on: 20.01. 2014 09:56 »
hi bsa500, what are the symptons of the battery going flat? does it get so flat it cannot power the lights without the engine running? I ask as the electronic regulators (I think) do limit the rate at which they charge so the battery does not get damaged from charging too fast, my ammeter only moves slightly into the positive when either the lights are on or not, but even thought it appears to be hardly charging it does not go flat to the point ofmnot being to power the lights with engine off.

My lights get brighter when blipping the throttle, that seems to be normal behaviour, as the voltage does rise when the dynamo spins fast enough to charge the battery and power the lights. On tickover the battery is discharging and powering the lights.
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Online BSA500

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #4 on: 20.01. 2014 10:39 »
At the moment they dim to nothing with ticking over or engine off. It will gather some charge when left sitting for a afew hours but that's short lived. It all seems like the battery has given up. I can't remember where I bought it prob ebay :(
I have noticed that the ammeter since using the 12 volt/dvr setup doesn't go much above the pos side but like you say was keeping a good charge. Its prob a combo of heavy use/cold days have killed the battery.

Offline Dynamo Regulators Mike

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #5 on: 20.01. 2014 11:15 »
There are a couple of quick checks you might do to diagnose further.

First is to check the voltage across the battery with enough revs for normal charging. This should be about 14.2 V. If it is about 14.2 say +/- 0.2 V then the regulator is controlling the dynamo OK.

(I assume the ammeter is working normally, e.g. showing suitable discharge current with lights on and engine off)

If there is little current showing on the ammeter, but the battery is low, it is probably safe to say the battery has gone high resistance. This probably means it is unserviceable, but a boost charge (using a higher voltage to drive more current through) off the bike may revive it to some extent.

Normal topping up charge with a good battery and a DVR2 will usually be less than 1 Amp so will hardly show on the ammeter. But at start-up it is likely you will see a few amps charge for the first few minutes perhaps, to make up for any discharge since last run.
Mike Hutchings
A10, B50, T800; 1,2,3 (& DVR2)
Director, DRL www.dynamoregulators.com

Online BSA500

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #6 on: 21.01. 2014 08:42 »
Well charged the battery all last night and no improvement had a bright light for all of 10 secs before it faded before my eyes. New battery then any recommendations ?. This will be in daily use in all weathers. I have seen a nice Varta 10 amp are they still good?

Offline Duncan R

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #7 on: 21.01. 2014 09:28 »
I fitted a Varta,have had no issues with it seems to hold a charge OK. Most batteries are OK these days,I fitted a cheap Taiwanese battery to my BMW expecting it to last a year max,6 years later its still going.
cheers
 
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Online BSA500

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #8 on: 21.01. 2014 12:37 »
So am I just unlucky?

Offline Duncan R

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #9 on: 21.01. 2014 18:12 »
Maybe down to luck. I spent a lot of money on an Optimate battery years ago, I was dissapointed with its performance it really was no better than the std one it replaced despite costing twice as much. Then I have bought cheap no name batteries for my Japanese bikes and they have lasted very well. One make that is getting very good reviews is MOTOBATT maybe worth a look as you use your bike daily. From the reviews I have read,they hold a charge really well even when left idle for weeks on end.

Good luck
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Online morris

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #10 on: 21.01. 2014 22:17 »
So am I just unlucky?

Possible. Battery's are weird stuff. I replaced one in my car a couple of years ago, but after that couldn't even keep the lights on for 5 minutes without the engine running for the battery to go flat again. I replaced the alternator because I thought that was the culprit, but the symptoms remained. In the end it turned out the new battery was defect although it was from a reputable marque. They replaced it free of charge, but the sad part was that I binned a perfectly good alternator because of it....
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Offline Dean

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #11 on: 21.01. 2014 22:55 »
In my experience the Motobatt batteries are good. I bought a second hand Piaggio scooter 18 months ago to go on the back of the camper. It came with one of these batteries and I've no idea how old it is. The scooter goes months without use and then needs loads of goes on the starter motor to get it to start but the battery always has enough grunt after all this time to turn it over till it starts. I'll be getting these batteries for the A10s when then are up for new batteries
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Offline bikerbob

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #12 on: 22.01. 2014 09:31 »
You could buy one of those trickle chargers made by MOTOBATT I have one you get 2 adapters with it one is for connecting the battery with clips and the other one which is the one I use which connects permanently to the battery and has a small 2 pin plug on the end which you plug into the charger this hides behind the frame and I can connect the charger in a matter of seconds and it cuts out when the battery is charged. I believe that they do 2 types one that charges the battery up then cuts out and the other cuts out when the battery is charged but cuts back in when the battery voltage drops ideal if your bike is laid up over the winter both  are switchable for 6v or 12v.

Offline bikerbob

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #13 on: 22.01. 2014 09:46 »
Found this article on another site worth reading
here are several reason a new battery could prove out to be a "bad" battery:

- Someone could have removed the plug that blocks the battery vent letting out the gas that protects the battery from sulfating while it sits on the shelf. You have a new battery, but it is a "bad" battery.

- The lead structure that supports the plates and connects the cells together could have been damaged (broken) in transit or a cold solder joint develops in production. These high resistant internal connections will render a new battery a "bad" battery.

-The battery wasn't charged properly when it was put into service. If a battery isn't brought to a full charge when new, the plates will immediately begin to sulphate.

A lot of modern batteries feature a chemical process done during manufacture that allows the battery to be put into service with as little as 2 hours of charging time. In the past you had to charge a new battery at 1 ampere hour for each amp rating of the battery. So a 10 amp battery had to be charged for 10 hours before it was put into service.

Today, this type of battery with this feature, come 75% pre-charged and it only needs to be topped up to a full charge before being put into service. The shortcoming of this is the battery immediately begins to sulphate when you begin to add the acid and is rendered a "bad" battery in short order if you don't immediately charge the battery. After adding acid, and waiting the requisite 30 minutes, for the chemical action to subside you must charge the battery to a FULL charge. Even waiting 24 hours to charge one of these batteries can render them useless for use with an EI ignition.

-If the motorcycle's charging system cannot keep the battery fully charged, and the battery runs in a constant discharged state it will sulphate. This even though it appears that the battery is being charged. The reason you had to replace the old battery just might have been the charging system, not the battery.

Remember most of your past experience with batteries was with points. Points have no requirement as to the condition of the battery as long there is enough energy to produce a spark. All electronic ignitions have voltage requirements beyond what is required to run points.

Online BSA500

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Re: Battery issue?
« Reply #14 on: 22.01. 2014 11:36 »
Thanks for the replies. The charging system is excellent-rewound 12 volt dynamo and dvr2 reg. Has worked with no issues for a whole year so far. The bike is in daily use(5000 miles last year) and is running standard magneto so no current draw when parked up. It would not take any charge over a 10 hour charging session so it looks like its stuffed. The battery before this one was delivered with a dead cell and was replaced free of charge for the one I am using so who knows?