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Banishing the Prince of Darkness
#816210 07/14/20 8:44 pm
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The '69 Thunderbolt project is moving along nicely. I can actually see the end of the tunnel. I had a few front wheel parts go missing, replacements are on the way. Now that I have all the electrical components my thoughts are on wiring.

I've had some training in electronics but never pursued professionally. The first thing I noticed when reviewing the factory schematic was the single fuse. That means that a short anywhere in the system takes out everything.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

* I kept the original factory stator and replaced rectifier, regulator, zener diode with a Tympanium regulator.
* I am converting to (-) Negative frame ground.
* The points and coils have been replaced with a PowerArc electronic ignition.
* I'm using a Lucas reflector with a LED for headlight.
* I'm probably going to add a handlebar kill switch.

The schematic I was running through my head had to get tossed as I considered the Amp gauge. It's clear that charge input and load are on one side and battery on the other. So this is what I've come up with. My goal here is to upgrade/simplify charging system, add electronic ignition, and establish separate fused circuits.

For those of you with more experience with bike electrics... Will this work?
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816229 07/14/20 10:38 pm
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OR DOES IT MEAN A SHOT ANYWERE SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN? IF YOU REMOVE THE FUSE I BELIEVE THERE IS NO POWERE ANYWHERE.


I APOLOGIZE FOR THE USE OF CAPS. I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH MY RIGHT HAND SO USING THE SHIFT KEY IS BEYOND MY CAPABILITES.

The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (numbers matching, very correct, very nice condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
1967 BSA A65 West Coast Hornet (under restoration)
1975 Norton Commando Roadster (2100 miles)
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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Spitfire Ken #816230 07/14/20 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Spitfire Ken
OR DOES IT MEAN A SHOT ANYWERE SHUT EVERYTHING DOWN? IF YOU REMOVE THE FUSE I BELIEVE THERE IS NO POWERE ANYWHERE.


Well Dang! I'm not ready to shoot it yet!! If I get to that point there are a lot of places where a shot would only wound it, shot placement would be important. As would caliber.
As for removing the fuse, yea, you are right. Not sure why one would do that unless troubleshooting, but yes removing the fuse from the holder does tend to cut power to the system.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816234 07/14/20 11:36 pm
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1. Your wiring diagram will not shut off a running engine ... only unhook the battery .
2. The new voltage regulator is not fused from the battery ...

Last edited by quinten; 07/14/20 11:37 pm.
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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816237 07/15/20 12:20 am
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If you look at the original diagram, the fuse is to protect the battery from an overload, in or out. Not likely current in as the generator does not have enough capacity. Even with the fuse blown the generator is still providing power to everything.
You would like to have the lights work if something else blows a fuse. The original horn is high current. I would put it on its own fuse and the brake light with the head/tail light fuse.
You might want to look into using circuit breakers instead of fuses. They are resettable so you do need to carry spares and you can keep resetting it until you find the problem, usually a wire chafed through.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
quinten #816239 07/15/20 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by quinten
1. Your wiring diagram will not shut off a running engine ... only unhook the battery .
2. The new voltage regulator is not fused from the battery ...

The PowerArc specs call for 12 V + Fused 4 Amp at the coil. There is a separate 12V + that feeds the electronic module, that is the intended ignition kill switch.. The kill switch won't kill anything else, but will de-energize the ignition module. So I was going to use that same 4 A to power the module through a kill switch on the handlebar. I don't see how the engine can continue to run with no spark.

The Tympanium wiring diagram does not specify a fuse. That would require an in-line fuse of,,,,,, what 10 Amp?

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816243 07/15/20 1:13 am
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Quinten: I can see where it would be better to kill the 4 Amp feeding the coil as well.

DMadigan: Thanks. Yea, I'm starting to see the wisdom of a master fuse/breaker at the battery. Makes sense.

I picked up on the high current need of the horn when getting the 50yo beast to work. I noticed on the factory schematic that the horn feeds off the battery/rectifier by connecting right at the amp meter. . I have a fourth fuse available on the block I can dedicate to the horn.

My reasoning behind putting brake on a separate circuit from headlight was to hopefully have one even if the other fails. Heck, I have yet to determine if the 50yo horn button works, or the ignition switch. Front cable is new, hopefully that switch works. The headlight switch and rear brake switch check out with an ohm meter though.

And I need new indicator bulbs. I may go led if I can find a worthy replacement. I heard rumor of such but haven't located yet.

I may have to re-think the fuse block idea. It may be more efficient to use strategically located in-line mini fuses.

That may be the difference between the conceptual schematic and the reality of wiring components on the bike.

I need to have a bracket fabricated to mount the coil. And one to relocate the horn. Then sort out all the wiring, Build the loom and connections, and hook it all up.

A few front wheel parts went missing sometime during the project. Replacements are on the way from Baxter.

Yes, I can definitely see the end of the tunnel.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816244 07/15/20 1:23 am
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the ignition switch shown in your diagram
only de-couples the battery . .. is it only a lighting switch .? ... it's labeled ignition .
if this is switched off
and the bike is running it will continue to run ... unless the headlight draw or a horn beep
pulls voltage below ignition support .
.... or you use the secondary kill .
( it will work your way if used your way )


The voltage regulator needs protection from the battery... not the other way around .
the one fuse shown in the original stock diagram ... does this ... and more .
any after Market Custom wiring can have a different solution ... a regulator fuse
of 20 amps is suitable ( unless you like carrying extra fuses of various sizes around )
... you're protecting against a dead short in the regulator ... not a small overload .

One possible solution .
wire from regulator ... to fuse... to ammeter ... to batterry ... something like this .
The exact fuse wiring path depends on if youre running a dedicated fuse block or scattering fuses all over the bike .

( another thing , which it looks like you've picked up on
... is how much current is run through the ignition switch ... if you want to run a horn through a switch ,
The switch has to be capable ... or run just run a relay through the switch . )

Last edited by quinten; 07/15/20 1:47 am.
Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
quinten #816249 07/15/20 3:09 am
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Originally Posted by quinten
the ignition switch shown in your diagram
only de-couples the battery . .. is it only a lighting switch .? ... it's labeled ignition .
if this is switched off
and the bike is running it will continue to run ... unless the headlight draw or a horn beep
pulls voltage below ignition support .
.... or you use the secondary kill .
( it will work your way if used your way )


The voltage regulator needs protection from the battery... not the other way around .
the one fuse shown in the original stock diagram ... does this ... and more .
any after Market Custom wiring can have a different solution ... a regulator fuse
of 20 amps is suitable ( unless you like carrying extra fuses of various sizes around )
... you're protecting against a dead short in the regulator ... not a small overload .

One possible solution .
wire from regulator ... to fuse... to ammeter ... to batterry ... something like this .
The exact fuse wiring path depends on if youre running a dedicated fuse block or scattering fuses all over the bike .

( another thing , which it looks like you've picked up on
... is how much current is run through the ignition switch ... if you want to run a horn through a switch ,
The switch has to be capable ... or run just run a relay through the switch . )

I see your point. That's what I get for late night work and why I wanted more eyes on my schmatic.
The regulator output needs to feed at the ammeter, separated from the load.

I see your point on the horn as well. That's why the horn is isolated on the factory schematic. So if I'm reading the factory diagram correctly. The horn is always enabled even with the key off. Correct? That also keeps the wire runs short.

The fuse block is making less sense because of all the to and fro wiring it will require. I may go to fuse scattering. I will know more when time to actually wire the diagram.

Back to the drawing table.

Thank you. I appreciate the constructive criticism. The drawing must wait for now. My grandson wants to play.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816250 07/15/20 4:11 am
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Yes, for some reason they wired the horn so it would work without the ignition being On. The relay was when two horns were used. Maybe the horn would have broken the ammeter. The current would have burned out the horn button. The same should have been done with the vertical split Lucas switches too.
Notice also the alternate wiring of the lighting switch for non-US models. I think this was for a requirement that the parking lights had to be left On whilst the bike is parked (maybe the reason for the light name?) on the roadside. Good way to run down your battery also.
You should move the ignition switch to the leg between the fuse block and the Tympanium/ammeter junction.
Presumably the coil grounds through the electronic ignition. Better to not run the coil through the kill switch. Less current through the switch and killing the power to the coil at the wrong time could make a spark at the wrong time in the compression phase.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816253 07/15/20 4:26 am
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I would go with a fuse block because its tidy. I have built bikes with fuses scattered around and 2 years from now, you may not remember whats what... or maybe thats just me

what you drew will work except the bit about the ignition circuit... that fuse will have to feed the kill switch, which feeds the electronic ignition. switch will be normally closed, push to open, or a modern rocker style

the amp meter is basically between the generator and the battery. be sure it is like the original type meter if you don't have an OEM. it is a "center null" type. if battery is the main source you read discharge, if generator is the main source it reads charge only when charging the battery (yes it might be a bit +)

sorry, not trying to be a joik, but I can't imagine the regulator needing protection from the battery. if one of the diodes breaks down and you have a short, the reg is forked anyway. what you need is protection for the wire. that is what fuses do... protect the wires. fuse the reg wire close to the main bus... the same as all other circuits. you want the least amount of unprotected wire

so, a short wire from battery to main fuse. then take that to the the bus (fuse block). then each circuit group has its own fuse from there

note that on the original wiring, power for the horn does not go through the main switch. you can do that, or run a relay that gets control power from the switched hot and horn power straight from the battery.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816256 07/15/20 6:18 am
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Mitch: My original plan WAS to run a fuse block off the battery. Then I had to consider the ammeter. As you mentioned the meter is between the rectifier output and the battery. But the factory design has almost all the load on the charging side of the meter. So i decided to basically emulate the original design, add a fuse block, and remove wires I don't need . I get that the meter is generally indicating a charge or discharge state. But I don' know what shifting all the load to the battery side would do to the overall function of the system. If no negative effect, then that would simplify things, I think.

Now, the one part of the factory circuit I don't understand is the function of the 2MC capacitor. Especially since I've done away with the rectifier and zener. Since the capacitance is on the same side of the meter as the battery; and going back to the discussion above about the high current requirements of the horn that is isolated from the rest of the circuit. Is that capacitance needed to jolt the horn? Or is capacitance in the circuit for another reason I'm not understanding.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816284 07/15/20 2:26 pm
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If you move the ign s/w to the vertical leg immediately below the T it will work.
However if you are trying to banish the Prince of Darkness , omit the ammeter, it is a potential fail point, they tend to be erratic at best, at worst they create a break with total failure, instead fit a voltage indicating LED, green for healthy, amber for not so healthy , red for discharge.
Another failure point is lighting load passing through the switch contacts, a relay for lights takes the heat out of the switch contacts, likewise a second main/dip relay takes the heat out of the crappy dip switch contacts.
If you fit a big horn or twins, this should be fed by a relay as well.
Use Japanese type bullets, they are neater, much more secure, more waterproof and much easier to feel good about.
If you ride at night fit you will be dissappointed with the LED in the Lucas reflector, the beam spread will be weird.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 07/15/20 2:28 pm.

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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816307 07/15/20 7:04 pm
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Quote
Now, the one part of the factory circuit I don't understand is the function of the 2MC capacitor.
its an optional part ... fitted for emergency start... dead battery

it will store some of the phased DC output ... and then release it as a lagging cycle .
( like a "tiny-tiny battery" that charges to the peak of each rectified-pulse and discharges between each-pulse )
manybe 20~30 Hertz at kickstart .
its primary purpose is delay the voltage-drop between the rectified-pulses
... Enough to support the ignition , at low rpm ,
with a bad or dead battery .

it can also smooth the wave output for some transistorized ignitions , once the bike is running .
( but not why bsa / triumph originally fitted them )

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
quinten #816311 07/15/20 7:39 pm
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I get that the meter is generally indicating a charge or discharge state. But I don' know what shifting all the load to the battery side would do to the overall function of the system. If no negative effect, then that would simplify things, I think.

you will lose the specific battery charge / discharge function.

and the ammeter will show ... total amperage used in real time ... coming from the regulator.
with the meter pegged more to plus .. with loads and RPM .

it the voltage regulator crapped out ... you would lose the current flow through meter .
and the meter would center-bounce .
the bike would continue to run off the battery ( till dead ) ...
The change from plus to neutral would be the indicator ... no minus function .

The ammeter will show alternator / regulator output ... but not specifically to the battery .

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816316 07/15/20 8:47 pm
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The 2MC capacitor allows running without a battery, or starting with a dead battery. Can be another source of failure though, they tend to leak as they age.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #816354 07/16/20 2:16 am
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your diagram pretty closely follows the OEM general layout as far as where the meter goes. in that design, if the alternator is powering the systems, NONE of that current goes through the meter. it does not read the amps from the alternator. you will only see a (+) rate on the meter when the battery is taking a charge.... you only see the bit going to battery, not the total alternator output. on the other hand, when battery is providing some or all of the load, the meter will read (-).

shifting the loads to the battery side of the meter would only show how much current the alternator is making, and would never read a discharge from the battery. it would only read from zero to the (+) side of the meter because you are essentially putting the meter in the alternator lead. because the rectifier diodes will not allow current backwards, there is only one direction of flow. and BTW, that is the modern type of installation, it uses a meter that reads from 0 to 30A or 60A or whatever the alternator capacity is, and no ( - ) xx amps, only (+)... it is a different meter from a center null design this bike came with

as mentioned, doing away with that and installing a voltmeter is a good option, as is using relays to operate the lights and horn. obviously, install the volt meter in parallel (not series) with the bus so you can read system voltage

Last edited by Mitch; 07/16/20 2:18 am.
Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
gavin eisler #817573 07/27/20 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
If you move the ign s/w to the vertical leg immediately below the T it will work.
However if you are trying to banish the Prince of Darkness , omit the ammeter, it is a potential fail point, they tend to be erratic at best, at worst they create a break with total failure, instead fit a voltage indicating LED, green for healthy, amber for not so healthy , red for discharge.
Another failure point is lighting load passing through the switch contacts, a relay for lights takes the heat out of the switch contacts, likewise a second main/dip relay takes the heat out of the crappy dip switch contacts.
If you fit a big horn or twins, this should be fed by a relay as well.
Use Japanese type bullets, they are neater, much more secure, more waterproof and much easier to feel good about.
If you ride at night fit you will be dissappointed with the LED in the Lucas reflector, the beam spread will be weird.

I accept that the ammeter at 50 years old probably has a relatively high risk of failure.
As far as an LED voltage indicator, I'm not having any luck finding such a thing. Probably search term issues. Can you point me toward a source?
It seems like relays on everything would be overkill. I'm trying to find out how much current the PowerArc ignition draws. But other than ignition, the only draw is horn, and lights. And LED's don't require as much current as the original incandescent. Am I missing something.

I had seen complaints about the beam spread when using LED and reflector. The guys at The Bonneville Shop called the bulb pre-focused. I suppose implying it would work with the reflector. The truth of the matter is that in this point in the build I just want light up front. Even if the LED doesn't throw a good pattern, it fits, looks right and will probably be better than the incandescent it came with.

Searching for a good projection LED that looks reasonably good and FITS can be done during the long cold winter months.

Thanks Gavin for the advise.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #817574 07/27/20 1:08 am
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Here's another attempt at a wiring diagram. I've removed the ammeter, and corrected, I think, the previous errors.

Is the Tympanium smart enough to let me get by with this relatively simple schematic?

Thanks all for your advice.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Mitch #817575 07/27/20 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by Mitch
your diagram pretty closely follows the OEM general layout as far as where the meter goes. in that design, if the alternator is powering the systems, NONE of that current goes through the meter. it does not read the amps from the alternator. you will only see a (+) rate on the meter when the battery is taking a charge.... you only see the bit going to battery, not the total alternator output. on the other hand, when battery is providing some or all of the load, the meter will read (-).

shifting the loads to the battery side of the meter would only show how much current the alternator is making, and would never read a discharge from the battery. it would only read from zero to the (+) side of the meter because you are essentially putting the meter in the alternator lead. because the rectifier diodes will not allow current backwards, there is only one direction of flow. and BTW, that is the modern type of installation, it uses a meter that reads from 0 to 30A or 60A or whatever the alternator capacity is, and no ( - ) xx amps, only (+)... it is a different meter from a center null design this bike came with

as mentioned, doing away with that and installing a voltmeter is a good option, as is using relays to operate the lights and horn. obviously, install the volt meter in parallel (not series) with the bus so you can read system voltage

A voltmeter makes sense. Are meters available that fit the stock hole?

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #817584 07/27/20 2:36 am
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I had seen complaints about the beam spread when using LED and reflector. The guys at The Bonneville Shop called the bulb pre-focused. I suppose implying it would work with the reflector. The truth of the matter is that in this point in the build I just want light up front. Even if the LED doesn't throw a good pattern, it fits, looks right and will probably be better than the incandescent it came with.

Searching for a good projection LED that looks reasonably good and FITS can be done during the long cold winter months.

What people fail to understand is how light leaves the headlamp
a tungsten element has a 360 deg beam spread so most of the light that is emitted from the front 1/2 goes strait out making a fairly broad beam spread.
The rear 1/2 of the element is reflected back from the reflector giving the strong directional beam that you actually use to ride with.
AFAIK no led has a better beam spread than 270 degrees but most are 180 or less and then there is the shadowing effect of the thick mounting & heat sinks.
I am yet to find a direct globe replacement that provides sifficient light in the right places to be able to ride at night at any speed faster than a brisk walking pace.
Mind you I am only looking at 6V systems, the 4 element 12V double dipper looks to be the best on paper.
However their 2 element 6V globe is a disaster.


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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #817595 07/27/20 5:16 am
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I haven't had the 'thrill' of riding at night with a BPF headlight in 40 years. My first Trident got replaced by an automotive sealed beam unit.
My current Trident has a Hella H4 unit. The reflector is matched to the H4 lamp and works well with a quality lamp. I have bought some off-brand lamps which produced odd light focus. I haven't tried an LED lamp on this bike, it's the only one which is still common positive. That light used to be on my A65. Lamps vibrated to death very quickly on that bike.
My T120 has an unknown headlight on it, probably Emgo shell with no holes for indicator lamps. It has the H4 socket, so I can only assume that the reflector is made for that lamp. I found a cheap LED lamp for it on eBay. Seems to put out decent light, but I've never ridden fast at night.
Guess it'll be dejavu when I get the A65 back on the road. It's getting the original BPF light back on it. But, it always was the dim bulb in my stable. laughing


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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #817609 07/27/20 8:47 am
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Voltage indicator LED is on this page , scroll down the link.
paul Goffs site should be on every Britbikers favourites.
http://www.norbsa02.freeuk.com/goffyelectrex.htm

Similar items can be found on eBay, i have no experience of these.


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56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
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Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #817636 07/27/20 2:39 pm
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Well now that's pretty dang cool! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I also found these Gammatronix LED Voltage Indicators on eBay. It's interesting how the Gammatronix unit has six display modes. There are different versions of green, yellow, red. Or it can be programmed off, yellow, red. I kinda like that. Then it would function like the Oil Pressure indicator. Normally off, where on indicates a problem.

I would have to give up one of the existing indicators. Hi Beam is more expendable than Oil Pressure. The hole in the shell will need to be enlarged a bit. That would be a useful indicator. The perfect solution would be a similar device that would fit the Ammeter hole.

Re: Banishing the Prince of Darkness
Tracey Spear #817728 07/28/20 3:27 am
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A while back I made a multi colour light to indicate oil pressure that also gave battery voltage level by turning white for two seconds every thirty seconds when the battery voltage was below 12.6 volts. Lucas switch (left), pressure transducer (middle) and light unit (right)
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
It was a direct replacement for the original light holder.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
I had flashing red for below minimum pressure, yellow for low pressure, green for good pressure, aqua for high pressure and blue for very high pressure.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
Then there was a big discussion on how many colours there should be and what pressures they change at. Nobody could agree so I left it on the bench.

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