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Charging Difficulties.
#803749 04/02/20 6:04 pm
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I have a difficulty with my favorite bike that I’d like to discuss with some of the guys in the know of charging systems if I could?
I’ve been running a Sparx 3 phase 220watt stator kit for past 15 years (negative earth) and quite pleased with it. But during my spring go over of the bike a late model A65 (totally custom) I found it not charging anymore. Only getting 1.6 volts out of the rectifier/regulator.
Checking across the leads from the alternator I’m reading 22.4 volts ac at idle and 40 plus at around 3k. I’m not sure if that’s good or not. I don’t have another one I can check and can’t find any specs anywhere. Also I don’t have a way to check ac amps on the alternator.
I checked the rectifier/regulator leads for going to ground and they are not. Did a diode test on the rectifier and the power can only travel though the proper way as it should. Don’t know how or if there is a way to check regulator part? With the bike running it seems to be putting out almost 20 amps dc from the rec/reg but only 1.6 volts dc. I have another used rec/reg that was supposed to be good; it tested out like the one on the bike. And when I put it on the bike I got the exact same readings.
Looking for ideas, specs, tests, etc.
Thanks in advance


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Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803757 04/02/20 7:08 pm
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Does it still use a zener diode? If so, that's what regulates the voltage and may be bad. If you're using new style reg that wouldn't be the case. I measure voltage across battery checking for voltage. I have found bad battery can cause low voltage reading.

Last edited by Beach; 04/02/20 7:12 pm.

Bill
1974 Norton Commando
1966 Lightning
1965 Lightning Rocket
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Re: Charging Difficulties.
Beach #803761 04/02/20 7:47 pm
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Hi Bill, No zenor, it’s all modern electrics 3 phase rectifier/regulator and new lithium 12 volt motorcycle battery. I’m running off battery with charging system disconnected from battery for tests. I’m leaning towards alternator but would really like to know for sure, they aren’t cheap and that’s if you can find one. I’d like to find out what kind of AC volts should be coming out of it.


Nothing ticks you off more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong!

Tim Kirby

Small print Disclaimer: I am not responsible for spelling, grammar or political correctness. Actually I'm not very responsible at all!
Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803766 04/02/20 8:23 pm
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Have you checked voltage across battery while running. Maybe regulator needs a load. I may have 3 phase stator you could use to check.

Last edited by Beach; 04/02/20 8:23 pm.

Bill
1974 Norton Commando
1966 Lightning
1965 Lightning Rocket
1966 Norton Atlas
1967 Norton Atlas
1948 Panhead
Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803768 04/02/20 8:24 pm
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I suspect your problem is related to using a regulator/rectifier intended for normal lead-acid batteries, however, Lithium batteries require a special regulator/rectifier which works differently. Its possible you may have damaged the Lithium battery through unintentionally overcharging.

See This Forum Post for details about the pitfalls of using standard regulator/rectifiers with Lithium batteries.

On a plus note, I think your alternator output sounds about right and the regulator/rectifier seems functional. Hopefully, others will chime in with better knowledge than I have.

Last edited by gunner; 04/02/20 8:28 pm.

1968 A65 Firebird
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Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803795 04/02/20 10:54 pm
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The correct way to test AC volts from the alternator is to connect a 1-ohm load resistor (should be rated at least 100W) across the leads, in parallel with your meter. However, if you're getting 20-40V from the alternator, I would say the alternator is ok.

I'm not sure, as was mentioned above, if you need a load on the regulator to test, but if you can beg or borrow any 12V lead-acid battery, even a larger one like a lawn tractor battery, hook it up and see what's what. However, at first take, it sounds like your regulator is bad.

As a side note, I see no benefit whatsoever in using a lithium battery in this application. Lithium batteries are great for deep-cycle applications like powering an electric motor, where you want a maximum of amp-hours in a minimum of size and weight, and good longevity through many discharges and charges. But as a starting battery in a gas engine, as I said, there is no benefit.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803799 04/02/20 11:34 pm
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If the regulator is bad, these work very well and will handle the current.

https://www.eBay.com.au/itm/Auto-Car-Voltage-Regulator-Rectifier-Fit-Honda-CBR900-VT1000F-SC36-VT125-VT250/174230609735?hash=item2890f41f47:g:8BQAAOSwLydeezRC

Plus this lead
https://www.eBay.com.au/itm/5-Pin-Regulator-Rectifier-Connector-for-Honda-CB-VT-CBR-250-400-500-600-900/153141711633?hash=item23a7f51311:g:bb8AAOSw8AtbdXaJ

I know the lithium battery is small and light but as stated really you should restrict he charge voltage to around 14.2v
Most of these standard regulators work at around 14.4-14.6v..There are a few around for the purpose but expensive.

To test the setup just disconnect the regulator output leads (12v side) and connect to an old headlamp or similar whilst measuring
the voltage at the same time, with the 3# unit you should light the lamp at 1000rpm or so and as you rev the bike the
volts should go no further than 14.6v.That's good enough as a test for ok or not.

Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803804 04/03/20 12:30 am
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Thanks for all the info guys. Sorry I don't have time to post up much right now. I was starting to put the old battery and stuff back in to do some tests but got call from the garage for a plumbing difficulty in the house.


Nothing ticks you off more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong!

Tim Kirby

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Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803931 04/04/20 4:13 am
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Well, volts = amps x resistance

1.6v = 20 x 0.08 ohms.

Amps seems high for a bike alternator, resistance seems low for loss through a reg rectifier. Strange that it does it on two reg rectifier units though.


'51 C11 in a '54 C10L frame. Back on the road...
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Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #803937 04/04/20 5:58 am
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Are you testing alternator output between all pairs of wires? Should be equal between any two wires with a three phase. Really should be tested with a load, a headlight lamp will suffice. There are specs in the workshop manual, but these assume a load across the leads and the use of an analog voltmeter.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
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Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #804087 04/05/20 12:37 am
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I found out normal no load test of every pair of wires with the same result on all pairs ( difference can't be more them 20% between them ) means your alternator is good. Still your regulator can be bad.

Re: Charging Difficulties.
Adam M. #804101 04/05/20 1:31 am
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a no load voltage test will not confirm that a stator is good ,
only that it is not bad .

a load test is needed to confirm the the coils work under load .
its a stress test confirming normal raw ac output .
( are any of the coils failing under load ? ... you got-to load them to find out )

The easiest non calibrated test is to
hook up each of the 3 AC phase pair individually to a 100 watt headlight ...
per stator label ... each phase potentially has 1/3 0f the rated amperage ... somewhere around 73 watts
so if using a small wattage headlight , like 50 watts ... keep the rpms down .
and watch the results at the same rpms .

Re: Charging Difficulties.
quinten #804180 04/05/20 8:29 pm
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Thanks again guys for the ideas for testing. I haven’t had a chance to get back to it yet but it started raining so cleanup will wait and I’ll probably be going to the garage in a little bit and will have at the bike again. Just spent 2 days or so on a sewer clog, turned out to be right before the septic tank in the yard, Much Much fun! Be good to get back to the bike and I’ll probably handle it’s problems a little more mellow now after the past couple days.
Quinten I’m not sure how you mean to connect an old dc headlight to the ac wires, never tried that before. Do you mean across 2 of the leads then switch one lead to the other, like you do when testing with the meter, right?


Nothing ticks you off more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong!

Tim Kirby

Small print Disclaimer: I am not responsible for spelling, grammar or political correctness. Actually I'm not very responsible at all!
Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #804182 04/05/20 9:13 pm
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Quote
Quinten I’m not sure how you mean to connect an old dc headlight to the ac wires, never tried that before. Do you mean across 2 of the leads then switch one lead to the other, like you do when testing with the meter, right?

yes . with a 3-phase stator the color of the output wires can be ignored

and
Random numbers 1,2,3 can be asigned with pieces of tape
pair 1 and 2 can be tested
then pair 2 and 3
and then pair 1 and 3

Incandescent lights are not polarity or Hertz sensitive
they can work equally well on AC and DC ... until the AC hertz drops below the filament persistence level .
which means when used on AC , an incandescent bulb May Flicker at idle .

the test is for equal light at equal rpms for each phase .
i would not run the test for longer than needed to establish some real output .

Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #804196 04/06/20 12:13 am
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Much More Gooder Now Guys!! Thanks for all the support, ideas and help.
Putting out 13.4 at a little over idle to 14.5 volts when throttled up. Turns out it was a combination of regulator and then a broken wire on the switch where the regulator plugs in. It seemed to be making contact off and on with vibration. I could have very well done it taking things apart and I think sheer luck finding it. So put on a new wire with plugins and it’s all much more gooder now! And hope it stays that way, she’s my favorite. I’ll go back out after supper and button the primary all up while listening to the Sunday night oldies show on the radio. Maybe even fondle her with a rag or two if the music is right.
Thanks again guys!


Nothing ticks you off more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong!

Tim Kirby

Small print Disclaimer: I am not responsible for spelling, grammar or political correctness. Actually I'm not very responsible at all!
Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #804198 04/06/20 12:24 am
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Well done, Tim, enjoy!

Cheers,

Steve


'77 T140J
"Vintage Bike". What's in your garage?

"The paying customer is always right."

Fitting round pegs into square holes since 1961...
Re: Charging Difficulties.
breeze1954 #804215 04/06/20 4:57 am
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Go easy on the fondling, in many places it's illegal.


Moderated by  Jon W. Whitley 

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