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Hey british bike lovers!
I was gifted a stock 1972 BSA Thunderbolt A65T last year by my grandpa who has had it since 82. It had sat in his air-conditioned, heated, garage under a cover for years. It has given me some grief with starting reliably, but it usually does. I’ll preface this by letting you know that I am in no way an electrician. I am a 16 year old kid who loves motorcycles. I live in Illinois, and got my motorcycle license last fall, but have been riding all kinds of bikes since I was little.
Last fall, I was charging the battery and accidentally turned the voltage on the charger too high, arced the charger through the frame, and fried my zener diode. I got a Podtronics solid state regulator/ rectifier and put it in. It had been overvolting and burning bulbs after I fried the zener diode. I wired up my solid state unit, but much to my dismay, it is still overvolting. I had to buy a new battery because it had been overcharging and boiled the acid out of the old one. I have no clue how to test certain things as I don’t have a lot of experience, and really need some help. I love being a part of the community, and everyone has been so helpful in my experiences so far. Any advice or questions for a young BSA owner in need?

p.s. It is 12v - positive earth - Lucas torture


- Calvin, 16yo, 1972 BSA A65T
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sometimes you can get away with simply refilling a boiled dry battery just with water and try and see if it will take a charge ...often they do sometimes not , worth a go. As long as there was SOME acid left you might be surprised

I let my 6v battery acid level go WAY down and though that's it its toast but NO ...that was 4 years ago... admittedly the 6v doesn't rely on battery for starting


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tell us more , how and where did you hook up the pod Tronics ?

It's not uncommon to hook something up backwards
but without a picture , it's only a guess as to where to start troubleshooting
I could tell you how to hook up the potronics , if you want to go that route
But I'd rather hear how you hooked it up first

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Calcro: What is the voltage you are getting at the battery? Have you tried a new battery with the Podtronics unit?

Gordo


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Originally Posted by quinten
tell us more , how and where did you hook up the pod Tronics ?

It's not uncommon to hook something up backwards
but without a picture , it's only a guess as to where to start troubleshooting
I could tell you how to hook up the potronics , if you want to go that route
But I'd rather hear how you hooked it up first

Also has the old rectifier and zener diode been removed from the bike (or circuit) and any unused wires (ie those going to the old zener have been isolated or removed to prevent them shorting on the frame or tinware?


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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Yes, I have a new battery in it with the Podtronics unit, and at idle it stays around 15v and jumps to 17v.


- Calvin, 16yo, 1972 BSA A65T
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I will show pictures today, thank you!


- Calvin, 16yo, 1972 BSA A65T
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Yes, all extra wires were removed and/ or isolated. Does the Podtronics unit need to be isolated or bolted to frame?


- Calvin, 16yo, 1972 BSA A65T
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as a guess ,
you may have added the Podtronics , rightly or wrongly
but ...without disconnecting
the old finned voltage rectifier ?
( the old finned rectifier makes its positive ground connection by its mounting stud )

1.the new Pod can sit in exact circuit wiring position as the old rectifier
( with rectifier disabled or removed )

the new Pod does both rectifying ( ac to dc ) and voltage regulator ( to battery safe dc voltage )
so:

2. old rectifier , gone or out of circuit
3. zener gone , or out of circuit

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Are you using a digital multi meter or an analogue one, digital ones can be affected by the emf from the ignition. Also are you measuring the AC into the POD or the DC at the battery.

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by the way it is DAMN GOOD to have a young fella taking an interest in BSA ! Keeps all of us cranky old curmudgeons using our brains ,,,good on ya !


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
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Digital meter at the battery.


- Calvin, 16yo, 1972 BSA A65T
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If you don't know how to show pictures here, the best method is to download them to a free picture service like postimage and share the link in your post on this forum. Try to answer all the questions no matter how trivial they look to you, it'll help with diagnosing your problem.

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Originally Posted by Calcro
Does the podtronics unit need to be isolated or bolted to frame?
Believe it's isolated unto itself, so bolting it to the frame is just for holding it in place.


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Have you got a manual? If not, get one.

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Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
Originally Posted by Calcro
Does the podtronics unit need to be isolated or bolted to frame?
Believe it's isolated unto itself, so bolting it to the frame is just for holding it in place.

yes , to what Huge said .
Nylon tie or Bolt the PoD ... where it will fit ... and easily integrate with the harness .
( under the battery carrier ? )
( oily frame guys can offer the better options )
( Triumph and bsa , at this time , are using the same frame with different engine mounts )

The POD-case is isolated from polarity , the same unit will work positive or negative ground .
( polarity is only conveyed through the output wires )

the POD and other brands of Black Box rectifier-regulators
make some small heat that needs to be dissipated ( for the longevity of the circuit components )
and prove to be more reliable if mounted where they can be exposed to some kind of Cooling stream of air .
whatever you do ,
dont wrap in bubble wrap or closed cell foam , thinking you are giving it an easier life ,
... you will overheat the poor thing

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I mounted the modern unit on my Trident to the same frame lug where the original rectifier went. I was a bit leery of having it under the seat, but it feels cool after every ride when I check the oil.
All the ones I put on OIF went under the battery box.
I really can't think of any reason why yours would deliver too much voltage. I had one Sparx unit which would give 16V, but I always assumed that it was defective.
Unless it was connected in reverse at some time, red to positive, black to negative, regardless of "ground." They are best connected directly to the battery.


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Anything electrical works best at cooler (or temps around 20°c) than at roasty hot temps. If you can’t mount it in a position of air flow then you aught to mount it to a metal surface, a block of aluminium would be better as a sandwich but might be overboard.

My pre oif is bolted to my tool box, that’s a 3 phase pod and has worked perfectly since 2008.

The other is a 3 phase Boyer powerbox and fitted to my oif 71. I mounted this to my mudguard (spot welded some penny washers for support before sending it in for chrome)

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

Pretty well hidden with the side covers on, there’s a lot of finning on these and it should get reasonable air flow in that position.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
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Originally Posted by Calcro
Digital meter at the battery.

Then you should be reading 14.5V or so, get hold of a cheap analogue meter and try that to see if it reads differently. If it is really 17V, and the boiled battery suggests that, then you need a replacement POD.

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https://postimg.cc/gallery/zfJJp3R
I have the yellow(to alternator wires) connected to the old rectifier wires, and the positive dn negative wires spliced in along corresponding lines. Let me know if you need more detailed pictures, I know these aren’t the best


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I’d have a look at where all those red wires go to. Your pod says Taiwan, so it’s likely to be a pod copy and not a proper Podtronics reg/Rec.

What looks like some grotty wires and possibly unrequired connections in there.

The best ground on a bike is the battery positive connection (for a positive “earth” bike). Secondary to this is a single point ground, so pick a point on the frame where all the red wires terminate to, a bolt or a stud mounted to a part of the frame/bracket (I used the old regulator mounting point for mine) and each red wire connects to that. Then 1 wire of suitable gauge (17amp handling or greater) back to the battery. I have used this as my fuse carrying wire (since plenty of these come as a red wire and you can get blade fuse versions)

You can then put a brown/blue stripe wire from the battery to the T1 position on the switch.

For the regulator/rectifier, shorten any wires and replace any aged terminals (do this bit anywhere on the bike), connect the red back to the battery, preferably using a fuse carrying wire again.

The black wire can go straight to the battery negative.

This will give you direct charging to the battery bypassing any dodgy wiring connections which could otherwise cause overcharging issues. It is also fused incase the reg rec goes nuts and wants to provide too much power back to the battery. (Proving the right size fuse is used).


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Quote
The black wire can go straight to the battery negative.

This will give you direct charging to the battery bypassing any dodgy wiring connections which could otherwise cause overcharging issues. It is also fused incase the reg rec goes nuts and wants to provide too much power back to the battery. (Proving the right size fuse is used).


no you cant wire to the directly to the battery , because its need fuse protection from
... the potential amp draw from the battery ...and specifically ... not the other way around ...

the stator output is self-limiting through the low resistance of any short ... it's a very limited inductive power source .
that has no wild to go wild with .
( the effective working power disappears with low and lower resistance )
This same principle is exploited in the Pods voltage regulation .
It's shorts portions of the hertz rate to limit voltage peaks .

this is why Lucas added rectified power to the fused side of the N/U wire .
( Lucas did know what they were doing ) , why would anyone use 2 fuses ... when one will the same job .
Lucas wasnt cheap or stupid
they were building to a price point , but were also devilishly efficient .

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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

yellow AC inputs look correct . ( has old finned rectifier been removed , its under the center of the coil tray , isnt it )
red output from POD goes to ANY red wire ( at or near the battery ) ( or the red from the base of the old rectifier )
i see red ground wire , but not where they go
... cant see where black output from pod is connected
the pod will sit at position 17 in the wiring diagram below
and can be wired as a direct replacement
( this eliminates part 24 , the zener ) ( and wired here the wiring is done )

[Linked Image from c2.staticflickr.com][/quote]

1.black wire from PoD can go to any N/U harness wire ( on the already fused side ) ( harness N/U near points 17, 18 , 24 or 22 )
( use the old rectifier wire at 17... it is available for use if POD is wired close by )

2.black from pod can also go directly to the negative battery post at ( 23 )... but now the wire isnt fused
( from possible high battery amperage )
and a 2nd unnecessary fuse becomes totally necessary .

the pod may be correctly wired already
In which case you need an open circuit battery level as a baseline ( battery at rest )
and then start reading battery levels at different RPMs , with and without the added headlight load .

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Hi Quinten, since you quoted me incorrectly, I’ve taken the liberty of correcting it for you…

Originally Posted by quinten
Quote
For the regulator/rectifier, shorten any wires and replace any aged terminals (do this bit anywhere on the bike), connect the red back to the battery, preferably using a fuse carrying wire again.

The black wire can go straight to the battery negative.

This will give you direct charging to the battery bypassing any dodgy wiring connections which could otherwise cause overcharging issues. It is also fused incase the reg rec goes nuts and wants to provide too much power back to the battery. (Proving the right size fuse is used).


no you cant wire to the directly to the battery , because its need fuse protection from
... the potential amp draw from the battery ...and specifically ... not the other way around ...

the stator output is self-limiting through the low resistance of any short ... it's a very limited inductive power source .
that has no wild to go wild with .
( the effective working power disappears with low and lower resistance )
This same principle is exploited in the Pods voltage regulation .
It's shorts portions of the hertz rate to limit voltage peaks .

this is why Lucas added rectified power to the fused side of the N/U wire .
( Lucas did know what they were doing ) , why would anyone use 2 fuses ... when one will the same job .
Lucas wasnt cheap or stupid
they were building to a price point , but were also devilishly efficient .

I never stated otherwise, that’s why I wrote the bit above …. Fuse the red wire before it goes back to the battery.

If it makes you sleep better at night, you could put an unfused wire going to the single point ground, but why?
One fuse would do the same job, but why? An electronic ignition would be best fused separately at around 3-5amps, yet the rest of the system, charging, light etc would be better suits when the numbers are combined at 15amp. 7amps would be fine to protect a lighting circuit alone from shorting out the rest of bike.

Lucas may have only fitted one fuse but pretty much every vehicle manufacture since has fitted a complete fuse box.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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https://postimg.cc/gallery/ZWNqdVw
here’s a quick little diagram I drew up since it’s hard to see under my seat. i have the old zener diode and rectifier off the bike, and the old positive and ignition wires that used to be attached to the rectifier are now attached to nothing, but insulated. I also included a picture of the bottom of the pod unit. Thank you for your help so far!


- Calvin, 16yo, 1972 BSA A65T
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