keeping it pure


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Dogsled
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keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:19 pm



I read the 'electricity 101' sticky and don't want to sully it with a specific question that has me baffled about. I'm sittin at my workbench and there's 20' foot of snow between me and my bike that I have no intention of going out to.

We'll start with the bike info I know. I have a D&M volt meter on it and a Ken Hemings rebuilt alternator. I for some reason check my volt useage alot at a glance. I run on an average while cruising 12.6 to 13 'volts' as the meter reads. Occasional GPS, mp3 thru the radio and stock lighting...aka nothing over the top.
I need more front lighting so I want aux headlights I can turn on when it gets REAL dark.

I bought two 6" round 100watt halogen lights. Friend tells me, they're wide beam off road lights and gonna blind people....I understand all that but that's not my issue.

I know how to wire them using a relay and for wiring I just have a spool of heavy gauge that handle virtually everything

ISSUE; before I even hook these lights up, i'm at the bench with my digital meter, fully charged bike battery a soon to have lights. the question is, is there a way to hook these lights up on the bench, read the drain and know my bike can handle them. I don't know what 100 watt equates to (if anything) when it comes to adding to the system to see if it works.

What I want to know is can I hook up one light to the battery, take a tester and set it to what I don't know, and see how many volt draw it is using. Then add that times to to see if it is gonna put too much drain on my battery......what do I set the meter on and how do I wire it to get a drain reading?

I;ll save at least one post.'no i'm not buying ahigh output alternator"
my electrical skills all my life have been, I can add a 2' wire and end up with a short in the middle. I can wire a house and understand loads and resistance and all that, but put it in a car and it won't run.

I hope I explained what I want to check good enough.


"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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ct1500
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby ct1500 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:59 pm

First thing is to repair charging system if all you get is 12.6-13V running down the road, should be at a very minimum 13.5V. Recheck with known good DMM connected directly at battery while idling and 2k RPM with OEM electrical load no fans running.
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Dogsled
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:08 pm

Three alternators and i've never had any different reading than what I stated and other than total failure my meter on a good alt. has read this. It might have hit 13.5 on occasion, I was speaking of 'general' riding readings...............BUT a well charged battery is gonna read low on input, isn't......this is in general, average use. Why should I need that high of 13.5, open at 70 mph and just cruising. I would assume my load would be red light to red light in traffic with alot of drain.....where am I wrong here?
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:34 pm

Dogsled wrote:I read the 'electricity 101' sticky and don't want to sully it with a specific question that has me baffled about. I'm sittin at my workbench and there's 20' foot of snow between me and my bike that I have no intention of going out to.

We'll start with the bike info I know. I have a D&M volt meter on it and a Ken Hemings rebuilt alternator. I for some reason check my volt useage alot at a glance. I run on an average while cruising 12.6 to 13 'volts' as the meter reads. Occasional GPS, mp3 thru the radio and stock lighting...aka nothing over the top.
I need more front lighting so I want aux headlights I can turn on when it gets REAL dark.

I bought two 6" round 100watt halogen lights. Friend tells me, they're wide beam off road lights and gonna blind people....I understand all that but that's not my issue.

I know how to wire them using a relay and for wiring I just have a spool of heavy gauge that handle virtually everything

ISSUE; before I even hook these lights up, i'm at the bench with my digital meter, fully charged bike battery a soon to have lights. the question is, is there a way to hook these lights up on the bench, read the drain and know my bike can handle them. I don't know what 100 watt equates to (if anything) when it comes to adding to the system to see if it works.

What I want to know is can I hook up one light to the battery, take a tester and set it to what I don't know, and see how many volt draw it is using. Then add that times to to see if it is gonna put too much drain on my battery......what do I set the meter on and how do I wire it to get a drain reading?

I;ll save at least one post.'no i'm not buying ahigh output alternator"
my electrical skills all my life have been, I can add a 2' wire and end up with a short in the middle. I can wire a house and understand loads and resistance and all that, but put it in a car and it won't run.

I hope I explained what I want to check good enough.


You can know that 100 watts equates to 8.3 amps at 12 volts, or 7.24 amps at 13.8 volts. But that doesn't tell you if your system has the excess capacity to handle them.

Your bike, when cruising with a charged battery, should be reading 13.8 volts, or thereabouts. You're nowhere near that, so the very first thing you need to do is figure out what the problem there is.

Once you have it at 13.8 volts, hook up your 100 watts of lights, and see if the bike can keep the voltage at 13.8 volts. If it can, you have enough capacity for the lights. If the voltage drops when you hook up the lights, you haven't got enough capacity (remember, two turbines hooked up to one line, not enough water current to drive them both, so water pressure drops).

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Dusty Boots
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dusty Boots » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:46 pm

IMHO, you will deplete your battery and be stranded if you add and run those two 100W aux lights for very long, even when running at cruising speeds

1st off, your alternator is marginal, with just 12.6-13 volt while cruising along. It should be pumping out a minimum of 13.2+ volt @ 1500 RPM. A fully charged battery should read 12.6 V at rest. (for a comparison, my Compu-fire pumps out 14.2V at idle {~700 RPM})

Your 2 x 100W aux driving lamps will pull 16.6 amps (200W/12V=16.6A) which will quickly overwhelm any 'extra' juice your alternator is pumping out (a healthy OEM alternator pumps out 45A @ 5000 RPM) with what you are now running. (in addition to the bike's electrical demands just to run, including all of it's stock lights/bulbs etc.)

If you want to run anything with a high current draw such as those aux driving lamps, you will have to upgrade your alternator .... unless you install either some good quality LED driving lamps (expect to pay $200+ for anything that will project use beam of light down the road), or remove those 100w bulbs install some PIAA H3 XTreme White Plus 35W = 70W bulbs, (do a Google search for a better price!) as they draw just 35W, yet have the output equal to a 70W bulb. This will reduce your amperage draw from 16.6 amps down to 5.83 amps, which a healthy OEM alternator will be able to handle.
Make sure you read how to wire them up so that they are triggered by a 30/40amp relay, fed off of the 5A Acc fuse terminals in the bike's fuse panel.

I have a Compu-Fire alternator to power all my added electrical add ons, including my 50W aux driving lamps.




I installed my own custom aux wiring harness hooked up to the battery, independent of the bike's OEM harness, so if anything goes wrong, it does not affect the OEM Harness. I added two 6 position fuse panels, both activated by their own 40 A relay, which are triggered from the 5A Acc fuse terminals.



Sounds complicated, :roll: but it isn't really if you read this article over a few times before starting. ;)


Dusty

Dogsled
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:35 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Dogsled wrote:I read the 'electricity 101' sticky and don't want to sully it with a specific question that has me baffled about. I'm sittin at my workbench and there's 20' foot of snow between me and my bike that I have no intention of going out to.

We'll start with the bike info I know. I have a D&M volt meter on it and a Ken Hemings rebuilt alternator. I for some reason check my volt useage alot at a glance. I run on an average while cruising 12.6 to 13 'volts' as the meter reads. Occasional GPS, mp3 thru the radio and stock lighting...aka nothing over the top.
I need more front lighting so I want aux headlights I can turn on when it gets REAL dark.

I bought two 6" round 100watt halogen lights. Friend tells me, they're wide beam off road lights and gonna blind people....I understand all that but that's not my issue.

I know how to wire them using a relay and for wiring I just have a spool of heavy gauge that handle virtually everything

ISSUE; before I even hook these lights up, i'm at the bench with my digital meter, fully charged bike battery a soon to have lights. the question is, is there a way to hook these lights up on the bench, read the drain and know my bike can handle them. I don't know what 100 watt equates to (if anything) when it comes to adding to the system to see if it works.

What I want to know is can I hook up one light to the battery, take a tester and set it to what I don't know, and see how many volt draw it is using. Then add that times to to see if it is gonna put too much drain on my battery......what do I set the meter on and how do I wire it to get a drain reading?

I;ll save at least one post.'no i'm not buying ahigh output alternator"
my electrical skills all my life have been, I can add a 2' wire and end up with a short in the middle. I can wire a house and understand loads and resistance and all that, but put it in a car and it won't run.

I hope I explained what I want to check good enough.


You can know that 100 watts equates to 8.3 amps at 12 volts, or 7.24 amps at 13.8 volts. But that doesn't tell you if your system has the excess capacity to handle them.

Your bike, when cruising with a charged battery, should be reading 13.8 volts, or thereabouts. You're nowhere near that, so the very first thing you need to do is figure out what the problem there is.

Once you have it at 13.8 volts, hook up your 100 watts of lights, and see if the bike can keep the voltage at 13.8 volts. If it can, you have enough capacity for the lights. If the voltage drops when you hook up the lights, you haven't got enough capacity (remember, two turbines hooked up to one line, not enough water current to drive them both, so water pressure drops).




I've contacted D&M and they said their gauges are ACCURATE.....they have saved my skin twicw when the alts went bad and I saw the drop (luckily near home and external meter readings showed the same at the onboard reading I have never had any power issues and with 3 alternators never idled at 13.8......12.6 is average until the rpm goes up.

see that's where i'm having the problem, equating amps to volts.

My assumption on this 13.8 at cruising is that my bike is running totally on the alternator.....Now here is what I thought. My bike runs on the battery which is charged at 13.6.....as I ride the battery drains and the voltage regulator kicks in and feeds the battery til it gets up to 13.6 (which is more than I need to cruise at with generic electrical drop) So it's a constant drain/fill in a small window.

My D&M always varies up and down. I got no idea what the heck it's reading.....if I leave it idle in driveway to warm up it'll go to 11.5....I was assuming that was what the alt was putting out to keep the battery charged......Because i'm not assuming you're gonna tell me I should be pumping 13.6 into my battery at an idle with a battery that's fully charged and using only minimal voltage. That sounds to me like a regulator that reads no feedback as to what it's charging.....

What am I missing here........Lets include the 'voltage regulator' into this and then tell me the same thing in your original post as to what readings are supposed to be.

I saw all the equivenlant plumbing to electric pictures....one thing not included was for a 'LIVE system lke a running bike using and charging or a float in a toilet that has a floatbowl. These are what I could say would be 'dynamics' of a system in motion. Hook a meter up to a toilet bowl and see how use/replenish works in real life.
This is how I see it and this is what screws me up. I never see the battery or the meter as a pinpoint numberwith no variations.

Do you agree....if you disagree tell me where i'm wrong because it might be (MIGHT?) why I can't calculate add ons
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

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ct1500
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby ct1500 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:44 pm

A general rule of thumb for alternator based charging systems is 13.6-14.2V. Above 14.2 battery gassing starts and will boil your electrolyte out. Honda manual specs read 13.5V (too low my opinion) all the way to 15.5V :shock: which is contrary to every published informed article on motor vehicle based 12V charging systems. Likely a translation thing.
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Dogsled
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:27 pm

ct1500 wrote:A general rule of thumb for alternator based charging systems is 13.6-14.2V. Above 14.2 battery gassing starts and will boil your electrolyte out. Honda manual specs read 13.5V (too low my opinion) all the way to 15.5V :shock: which is contrary to every published informed article on motor vehicle based 12V charging systems. Likely a translation thing.





Somewhere in the 13's is where I go after i idle for a while..........i've gone down to 11.5 at a long idle.......once I get on and start riding I go to mid-13's and then even out at the high 12's.......constant......

How does all this relate to what the alternator needs to put into the battery.

If I have a fully charged battery my alternator is not gonna take effect til my battery drops............a running bike should never go above what the regulator max is............................should it??????????????????
Gimme a bobby pin for the plug socket to end this all.....:-)
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ct1500
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby ct1500 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:32 pm

A voltage regulator alternator equipped vehicle holds voltage at a constant pre set point in our ideal voltage range 13.6-14.2. The more important number here is the amperage or current being delivered to the battery via the field windings as controlled by the voltage regulator.

Voltage should always stay within a narrow range, unless like our 1500's which have an undersized OEM alternator and at idle with fans and brake lights on will show a discharge, (low voltage now because alternator cannot provide the amps the bikes electrical system is calling for) and hence starts drawing down reserve capacity of battery.

The voltage on your bike is all over the map and after 3 alternators needs to be investigated why.

Partially or fully charged battery does not make a big difference in voltage, more important is how many amps are being tossed into it (a large number for discharged).

Amount of voltage at a battery does not directly correspond to the amount of amps going in. (linear?)
This is what I do
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:54 pm

In my bikes defense, the original alternator went bad. I rebuilt it with brushes from an online store. The brushes wore out in a year and the Alt. was filled with powder. That was in 05 and I bought a Ken hemings rebuilt. I go on alot of off roads to fish and it gets real dusty but the gravel is the worst. Last year it went out again and I got another hemings after taking the old one apart and it was real dirty. I feel I got my use out of them.
From day one my D&M has given the readings I said and i've never had a problem with know when something is wrong. Maybe it isn't reading correctly but I know when I have problems because i'm used to what it tells me.
I took of at least 20 regular lights the original owner had around the bottom and rear. All I wanted to know is if it's possible to accurately read on the bench, how much a bulb is drawing and how to interpurate it to over-all draw. amps or volts....for some reason it gets cloudy when discussed too much. I'll just hook them up and if they run the battery dead i'll go with less wattage........ :lol:
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:59 pm

Dogsled wrote:In my bikes defense, the original alternator went bad. I rebuilt it with brushes from an online store. The brushes wore out in a year and the Alt. was filled with powder. That was in 05 and I bought a Ken hemings rebuilt. I go on alot of off roads to fish and it gets real dusty but the gravel is the worst. Last year it went out again and I got another hemings after taking the old one apart and it was real dirty. I feel I got my use out of them.
From day one my D&M has given the readings I said and i've never had a problem with know when something is wrong. Maybe it isn't reading correctly but I know when I have problems because i'm used to what it tells me.
I took of at least 20 regular lights the original owner had around the bottom and rear. All I wanted to know is if it's possible to accurately read on the bench, how much a bulb is drawing and how to interpurate it to over-all draw. amps or volts....for some reason it gets cloudy when discussed too much. I'll just hook them up and if they run the battery dead i'll go with less wattage........ :lol:


Measure the light bulb with an ohmmeter. Take that measurement, in ohms, and divide 13.8 (volts) by that number:

13.8 / ohms

The result is the number of amps that will be drawn by that light bulb. So if the light bulb measures at 4 ohms, 13.8/4 = 3.45, so the bulb will draw 3.45 amps. Multiply that number by 13.8, and you will have the power dissipation in watts. So 3.45 amps x 13.8 volts = 47.61 watts.

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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:15 am

Thanks Scott
i'll see what I can do with all this when I get the lights.
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby wing rider 2012 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:40 pm

First of all it isn't voltage that charges a battery, it's amperage, however you can not separate the two but these operate in a distinct mode. Voltage and amperage are inversely proportional to each other, the higher the voltage reading the less current flow and vise versa. If your bike is running and your seeing a 13.8 - 14.2 voltage reading then current demand is at a minimum, as current demand increases you will see a voltage drop on your voltmeter until the regulator equalizes current demand, this does not happen instantaneously, so you will see the voltage reading slowly increase until the current demand is met, then it will top out at the set voltage of the regulator, 13.8 - 14.2 volts . If you exceed the amperage capacity of the alternator/regulator then you will see a constant voltage drop on the voltmeter, this condition can cause damage to the regulator and the alternator. Under normal operation, the current demand is met by the alternator and your battery is nothing more than a storage reservoir, typically the bike only draws on the battery under starting conditions, then all current demand is handed off to the alternator. Once the current demand exceeds the alternator capacity or if the alternator/regulator is failing, the bike will start drawing from the battery also, which leads to a dead battery under operating conditions because the alternator is unable to keep up with demand, again, this shows up as a voltage drop on your meter.
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby PastoT » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:21 pm

Not to add to confustion but it sounds like there is a voltage drop somewhere resulting in you're low voltage reading, check all the battery connections (clean and tighten). Also check the power supply conntections to and from your alternator and the ground points, again clean and tighten them. I've actually had a battery wire from an alternator that showed 0 resistance without any current running through it that had a terribly high voltage drop across it once any current flow through it was initiated; thus the voltage to the battery and rest of the vehicle was low (that 1.8 volt drop cost me a battery atop buying an alternator thinking mine was shot). It must be very rare and I couldn't explain it then, but I just replaced the $4.99 cable and all was good.

Now about your 100 watt driving lights. I would seriously consider a set of LED based driving lights; they have extremely low current draw by comparison and you can get them with very high output. This would likely avert any battery voltage and current supply issue you might have. They are typically smaller also which allows you to mount them in more locations with less hassle. Not just LED bulbs but housing too as it will have a reflector designed for LED lights. These also do not heat up as much as a Halogen bulb.
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Dogsled
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:21 pm

Pasto,
Never feel yor input could add confusion to a confused situation :lol:

good input, thank you.....................
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby redial » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:02 am

You might find this item useful in your searching around for a solution. Mind you, you may have to swallow something, as it is Chinese origin.

http://www.tomtop.com/tirol-12v-digital-battery-alternator-tester-with-6-led-lights-display-k1027.html
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Re: keeping it pure

Postby Dogsled » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:41 am

Thanks redial, for under 8 bucks, it's a nice little unit to keep in the saddlebag.


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