Author Topic: wassell voltage regulator  (Read 3762 times)

Offline Derby Rob

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wassell voltage regulator
« on: 08.03. 2014 19:41 »
well after finishing the restoration of my 61 swingarm a7 last october (2013) ,ive not had many rides yet due to the weather,but managed to have clocked up around 350 miles as of this march.most of the riding has been around 40 to 50 mph due to running in a rebuilt engine and the fact i have an open face helmet and have found 50 mph more than enough for a "born again biker".on country roads
 i all ways rode with head light off until my last few trips ,when i thought it might be safer to run with my headlamp on,worked great for a while until i noticed that the battery had gone flat one day?.
so my next ride i tried without my headlamp on (fitted with an halogen bulb) every thing fine ammeter showing + ,but when i put the head lamp on ammeter showed - when running at low speeds.
checked out dynamo output,wiring etc...all ok.
i have not done any calculations ,but i thought the dynamo would be able to run the headlamp and put a little charge in the battery,but it seems not to be able to to this so my next step was to look a belt drive system for the dynamo which looks like it runs the dynamo up to 20% faster .
But before i ordered one i thought i would check out comments on the forum,and it seems my wassell voltage regulator was not the best item for the job, most of you seem to like the DVR2,a little pricey i thought ,but cheaper than a belt conversion i thought !
Ordered one that night,came within a few days and fitted it to day.WOW ! what a change ran bike at a fast tick over ,headlamp on and still with a flat battery.....bright light and the ammeter needle way in the + side .
Not yet had a run out but first thoughts are that the wassell reg was utter shite.
Note to self.....must read more comments on here before buying!
61 BSA A7,yamaha rd500 ,suzuki ts250er,suzuki x7,1958 francis barnett cruiser 80

Offline muskrat

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #1 on: 08.03. 2014 20:25 »
Good onya Rob. The big W strikes again. Lucas stuff was built to a price (that BSA would pay). This W stuff is built to a price too, but most of it is profit. So we spend our hard earned on new period stuff that's crap and then throw it away. Spending more hard earned on the new whizz bang items that work twice as good and twice as quick.
Did you rip the guts out of the w unit to hide the new DVR2 inside. Gotta get some use out of it.
Cheers
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Australia
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Online beezermacc

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #2 on: 10.03. 2014 09:15 »
Two of my bikes have Wassell regulators and  a number of my friends use them too and we don't have any problems. However, we all have otherwise bog-standard electrics, i.e. 6v and no halogens and the wiring unaltered from original spec. I'm not suggesting that the Wassell regulator is comparable in quality to more expensive regulators, I'm just describing an environment in which they seem to work fine. At night the lights I have are adequate for the speeds I travel. I find that some expect bright headlights even if they've got dirty or flaky headlight reflectors. The old electro-mechanical regulators like the MCR2 and RB108 would allow the voltage of the battery to rise upwards of 7.5v however the Wassell regulator seems to hold the voltage down to a much lower voltage, maybe 6.0 - 6.5 (I haven't done a test recently so I can't remember exactly). Consequently, if you have a brand new battery the Wassell regulator does not deliver a charge and, for the first few miles, you will see a slight discharge on the ammeter until the battery has slipped below the Wassell regulator threshold. Regarding the general standard of Wassell parts (and I know this is another topic but I am just replying to the previous post) I think it is very important that dealers and traders send stuff back which is obviously of dubious quality. Wassell have never quibbled with anything I have sent back to them. They can't sell 'crap' if people won't buy 'crap'.
Priory Magnetos Ltd - A10 spares, magneto and dynamo refurbs. www.priorymagnetos.co.uk

Offline Derby Rob

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #3 on: 10.03. 2014 17:00 »
hi,beezermac
                       the bike is standard 6 volt electrics apart from the halogen headlamp,do you run with your headlamp on in the day time? if so do you bikes show plus on the ammeter when running around 40 mph?
I don`t remember the headlamp wattage i have,but it was obtained from some body call goff ? i think from a link i found on this site ,so i assume suitable for the job.
I am i not trying to pull wassell down , the reg just did not seem up the job when running with the headlamp on,i would of thought modern solid state electronics would either work or not work at all.
If any one else has a wassell reg and an halogen bulb i would like to know if they got it to work ok , if so maybe i have a faulty one. 
61 BSA A7,yamaha rd500 ,suzuki ts250er,suzuki x7,1958 francis barnett cruiser 80

Offline Dynamo Regulators Mike

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #4 on: 10.03. 2014 20:52 »
I wouldn't describe the Wassell regulator as cheap crap, but only out of politeness on a widely read forum.  ;)

But a regulator that only gives perhaps 6.5 V max is simply not doing the job it needs to. And this low figure concurs with 2 units I purchased when they appeared on the market. 7.2 V is usually held to be the ideal charging voltage.

I recently had an enquirer who had been through 4 (yes four) of these units without seeing adequate charge on what proved to be an otherwise good standard system on his AJS. After this he received a refund. With a DVR2 fitted the system charged perfectly. It speaks volumes to me that his supplier, well known to his marque, was apparently content to keep supplying units in attempting to get one that worked.

Value for money is a personal judgement I guess. But into the reckoning should come the time wasted and potential for unreliability or breakdown due to low battery or worse down the line. Some riders seem happy to take the time and trouble to 'top up' charge their battery between rides. If ridden reasonably frequently this really should not be necessary; it it what the regulator should do. And if the battery is never fully charged its life will be seriously reduced. More expense and trouble in replacements.

Quality and price don't always go together, but cheap is just that when it comes to  electronic equipment.
Mike Hutchings
A10, B50, T800; 1,2,3 (& DVR2)
Director, DRL www.dynamoregulators.com

Offline metalflake11

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #5 on: 10.03. 2014 23:35 »
 Solid state units are not that simple. I fitted a brand new, out of the box Boyer unit that would work perfectly for approx 20 minutes and then fail completely. After another 20-30 minutes it was fine again for another 20 minutes or so, ad nausium.  After checking and re-checking all other posibilities for the fault I sent it back to Boyer, and it was indeed faulty, and they replaced it F.O.C..... Problem solved.
    RE- W. My honest opinion is that certain firms, ( like W, not Boyer) get away with selling sub- standard goods because people buy bikes these days to do everything but ride them. If you sell shoddy parts that are only fit for a few thousand miles, that's good enough when the customer does only a few hundred a year.
 Everything from control cables to footpeg/kickstart rubbers, to regulators are not fit for purpose. I have to replace my footpeg rubbers every year these days because they are worn out....  WORN OUT!!!!..... They used to last for donkeys years. Not to mention at least 3 kickstart rubbers on a one kick bike....... crazy!
Most of the stuff is easy to make yourself, (cables etc) and rubbers are cheap enough, so no big deal.  BUT if you are buying stuff that is likely to leave you at the side of the road with no lights or no sparks, get your ideas of what is on the market from keen amatuers, and make your final decision on the advise of a independant professional.
Many on here will testify to the good work at S.R.M. And I fully concur with them. They are not a secret society and they will give sound advise to anyone. It was this site that brought the DVR2 to my attention, but it was their seal of approval that clinched the deal........ No surprise then, it's the best on the market, and has been faultless in performance......At least get advise from an independant professional and consider their opinion before you buy.
There's a reason this old saying has stood the test of time...... "Buy cheap, buy twice."
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Offline Topdad

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #6 on: 11.03. 2014 13:34 »
These last 4 posts have been very carefully thought out and shed light on what will be a very grey area for someone coming back to our bikes or indeed someone looking for a replacement reg unit. I bought an alternative from hawker elecs and its worked fine,9yrs and still okay, this was before i knew this forum existed if indeed it did ? All I remembered was that the mechanical units were the one thing that always gave me trouble back in my youth , hench the "upgrade " by fluke. Now I'd simply ask the forum or read posts like this one !
On the otherhand the only stuff that didn't work/fit during my rebuild was from the "w" comp ,local bike shop who refunded /replaced but it did stick in the mind and again thankfully I'd heard of SRM and as said often they do give incredable service and help!
Good posts with differing points of view/ experiences but offered helpfully and with the degree of give and take expected by friends ,sums up this forum wonderfully , long may it contiue, regards BobH
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Offline Beezageezauk

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #7 on: 11.03. 2014 19:49 »
Well guys,

I must hold my hands up to trying to run these bikes on the cheap and ended up buying 2 Wassell solid state regulators.  The first one wouldn't allow a charge at all and the second was allowing so much of a charge through it that it boiled a battery in no time.

I eventually ended up with a good one which has given me good service.  Ok...third time lucky you might say but the experience cost me a battery and a load of hassle.

The next time I needed a regulator I went for a  DVR2 which worked perfectly and has performed faultlessly for almost 2 years now.  It also has the advantage of being able to be changed from 6 volt to 12 volt and vice versa.

Quality isn't expensive.....it's PRICELESS!!

Beezageezauk.


Offline The Artful Bodger

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #8 on: 11.03. 2014 23:12 »
Same here, fitted a DVR2 (wired for 6V) a week ago and couldn't believe the difference over the "Power Box" reg. that was fitted to the bike when I bought it. I also was going to plump for the belt drive (still might one day when finances are a bit better) but decided to try the reg. first. As mentioned, not cheap, especially if you have a working solid state reg. fitted.
   However I do a lot of night riding to and from work, unfortunately seeing the rush hour traffic on my way in. The combination of the brake light and low revs while working my way through the traffic left me with a permanently flat battery. Coming home I kill the engine about 50 yards from my house to coast in silently for the sake of my neighbors, I used to "run out" of lights before I made my driveway. Now I can see my garage door before it run into it!
  A lot of my ride home is on main beam through the forest and my headlight is definitely brighter, I can even see where I'm going on dip beam now!
 Colin

Online groily

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #9 on: 13.03. 2014 22:18 »
Ha! The only PowerBox I ever had was fitted alongside elec ignition on an alternator bike (12v) - but died young and inexplicably. I didn't find the tech assist all that helpful at BB. So fitted a Podtronics reg/rect, which has been very good.
On dynamo bikes I haven't found anything that is as good as the DVR2, having tried quite a few of the options over the years. I think I've done a good 100,000km between them on my DVR-d bikes, a good half of them on my A. And zero failures, of them or of the dynamos. Helps me to remember, like Beezageeza, that price is no measure of value.
Bill

Offline duTch

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #10 on: 26.03. 2014 14:14 »

 Ok, seems there's a lot of bagging the mechanical regs, but has anyone done anything about adjusting them..?
 I bought a reg. online from UK supplier (forget who-but just random), no brand as such, is I believe a RB 107 copy (B.Macc, how different is a RB108?) and did a bench test long before I had the engine together and all seemed ok, but I may have fiddled with the cut-out air gap..?, also the bobbins are half cocked, but work ok.
  I have mentioned before, that the cover is too short and shorted the 'D' frame (blowing fuses), even with the original cover so I did some 'sculpting', and put a cereal packet insulator in the cover.
  So the other week, I decided I need a speedo light, but no holder for a bulb and decided a 6v bulb too hard might be easier to do LED.
 Also had noticed battery acid stains on my R/H muffler below the battery, at first though over filled, but maybe overcharging, so plugged a volt meter into the light switch >3< and it kindov sometimes got to ~9v, so figured it may need adjusting so I don't blow LEDs (or battery, or whatever)
 
To cut a potentially long story, and I have questions that may not be asked directly, but I played with the unit, as per Service Sheet 804A, and now it cuts in about the prescribed ~6.3, out at ~5ish and regulates at ~7.9, or what ever I choose to set it at....?
    S.S.804 says cardboard in the cutout points, but SS 804A doesn't, anybody know why..?
I used a analogue V. meter and a Digi. meter in parallel, analogue was fine, but digimeter went spazzo (infinite- 1.0)over ~8V..except for one time...? is that normal..?
 Also did lights on/off, much same results.

 Haven't road  tested yet, just did this yester/today, and now there's this wet stuff coming from the sky- not sure what it is, but the plants like it...!

 Bottom line is I had nothing to lose by playing with it, would've cost more to send back to UK than what it cost, and is kinda fun to see how simple they are, and what can be achieved. Any questions or criticism will be appreciated, but is late now so have to cut short.
  Can add photos later.

cheers, duTch
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 trevinoz

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #11 on: 26.03. 2014 22:05 »
Dutch,
              I guess that your regulator is one of the shoddy replica MCR2 pieces of crap that have been flogged off in recent years.
I have seen quite a few of them on my bench and they all needed to be adjusted and points cleaned to get them to work as intended.
They are poor imitations of Lucas regulators which are well made.
The mechanism is a copy of the RB107/108 which was also used in the late manufacture MCR2.
The cardboard between the points is to isolate the regulator from the battery, probably just as easy to remove the fuse.
The difference between the RB107 and RB108 is in the construction.
RB107 has a base mount with rubber bushes and an aluminium cover held with two screw clips accessed from the bottom.
The RB108 comes in at least three forms.
1. Aluminium cover with mounting feet c/w with rubber bushes and mechanism plate screwed to cover.
2. Aluminium cover as above with mechanism plate crimped to cover.
3. Aluminium cover with side rubber mounts with studs to mount in late toolbox.
Also, somewhere along the way two holes with rubber blanking plugs were added to the cover to allow access to the adjusting screws.
RB107 adjusters are the same as the MCR2, screws and locknuts, RB108 screws with springs.
Another issue that I have with some of the repo regulators is the adjusting screws have too coarse a thread which makes fine adjustments difficult.

Trev.

Offline duTch

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #12 on: 27.03. 2014 09:58 »

 Thanks Trev, very comprehensive- mine seems to be a bit of a hybrid, which I think I'd already decided as have one each of MCR1/2- made a note on it in nikko "RB 107 sort of"- has a clip on cover same as the old MCR2, but the cut-out and reg points on top of the bobbins, and adjusters on the back with the springs (as you say a small adjustment makes a lot of difference).
 Looks the same as in 804A.
   I may not have been clear re; cardboard in the cutout points- as the Service sheet 804A made no mention of it, I figured maybe not necessary on these ones- maybe I need to re-do it...?

 Cheers
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 duTch

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #13 on: 31.03. 2014 13:42 »
 Geez, I didn't mean to hijack this thread, but at least it's relevant.

 I re-did the adjustments, and now whilst riding @~70-80k/h the (analogue)V.meter connected to the battery reads a constant (far as the vibrations allow my eyes to see), just over 7 volts lights off, and just under 7V lights on..Engine off ~6.5ish volts

Is that about normal ?
 I remember a thread a while ago was about those figures(?).

 Previously when riding, volts varied about 6.5-8V, surged to ~8.5-9, but after about 90Km/h dropped off to ~4-5V, figured that weren't normal.
 I think I've won -for now...?? Comments?

cheers

 Have a comment about BigW H'bars - will put that elsewhere
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 trevinoz

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Re: wassell voltage regulator
« Reply #14 on: 31.03. 2014 22:06 »
Sounds good to me, Dutch.