Cycle Electric low output generator

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1950bobber

Cycle Electric low output generator

#1

Post by 1950bobber » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:10 am

OK guys...I'd REALLY appreciate some help for a severely electrical-knowledge challenged member!

Question #1: Will the new style Cycle Electric low-ouput generator adequately charge a 7 Amp, 12 Volt battery...OR...is the aftermarket intended 5 Amp battery the only way to go with thislow-output type generator?

AND....

Question #2: Conversely, if you run an OEM HD 12 volt generator with a 5 Amp battery (the same 5 Amp battery currently being sold to go with the new CE Low-Output types) ....will this OEM battery "cook" this 5 amp low-out battery

A lesson in electrics would really help...Please!
Thanks..
Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"



Cotten
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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#2

Post by Cotten » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:23 pm

Jim!

They are available as low-voltage (not 'output') for batteries mounted within a hot oil tank. This reduces the boil-out problem to normal limits.
They will even keep a pair of 12n- 5.5a-3b batteries fully charged in tandem. Unlike a mechanical regulator that is set for a particular battery, solid state units will safely handle a range of battery volumes.
Your second question is unclear, as batteries don't cook batteries; bad batteries cook generators.
The CE standard generators are identical to the OEM two-brush generators, as much of them is still made upon the same machinery.
Please remember that CE offers their regulators as conventional little finned boxes as well as the promoted endmount combination with a hybrid generator.

....Cotten

1950bobber

Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#3

Post by 1950bobber » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:56 pm

Thanks Cotten! Here is my 2nd posed question....as the story evolved....
I took my '58 to a shop. My '58 runs an OEM, 12 volt HD generator. The mechanic thought I might have needed a battery, so he installed one of those 5 Amp units. When I got home, the bike would not restart only minutes after I arrived. Upon checking my battery, it was as dead an issue as real boobs on a hollywood celebrity! Now several things could have happen as you can imagine, but it brought an interesting issue up for me....can an OEM HD 12 Volt generator overcharge one of those small 5 Amp batteries, either in the short term usage OR the long????
At any rate...what's your opinion on my second question? Thanks AGAIN!

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#4

Post by King » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:21 pm

Jim

Thanks for opening this thread and I hope the electrical gurus respond and some of us electrical numb-nutz get schooled.
Cotton correctly explains that the low means voltage and that the Cycle Electric DVG5000L is specifically designed to be compatible with the small 5.5 amp battery that fits in the oil bag. I checked their web site, and CE rates their 65A 12V generator at 10 amps and capable of 20-30 amps. With the addition of the end cap regulator the 65A becomes either the DVG5000 or the DVG5000L (low out-put) but they do not state what the regulated volts or amps are for these models.
Thus I'm still in confusion and would like some electrical advice since I have nearly squirreled away enough coin for a 12V conversion. I plan to run a quartz halogen sealed beam headlight in the stock 7" housing, two "passing lights" for occasional use, and three dual filament tail lights so I don't get ass-ended on my way to Davenport.
My choice of generator will definitely be Cycle Electric. I'm open on regulators. Also I have the option of installing the battery in one of my trick (AKA Cheap) ammo box panniers so size restrictions are not an issue, I can easily use a small lawn mower unit. The question is what generator/regulator /battery combination would best deal with the anticipated load?

Thanks,

King

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#5

Post by fourthgear » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:16 am

I'm not going to profess being any kind of guru, but I do kinda know something about it and am going to try to answer some of your questions . First , you better have more out put voltage than your system is set up for from your charging system ( the system is your Gen. , regulator and its wiring ) The batt. being what the charging system is charging and trying to keep up with demand (load )on it ( lights , ign. ect. ) I'm going to use my system as an example because I keep good records of it, its 12V system with a CE Gen. & reg. , my batt. is a 10 amp. AGM . (I'm not going to get into the cold cranking amp thing because it a useless figure for non electric start motor to me) . If you have a 12V system in good order you should be charging your batt. from the system at over that 12 V. or your batt. will fail, be it a 12V or 6 V. its charging rate from the charging system should be over that 12 or 6V. My batt. just sitting there with nothing on and connected to the bike runs about 12.84 volts , at idle it has a volt reading @ 12.96 ( I have my idle set to just a slight flicker from the gen. light )and at 2000 rpms its @ 13.42 ( the 2000 rpms is probably the max output of my particular system ), of course turn lights on and that figure will go down but not below 12V.or you are over taxing the system. Your charging rate is determined by the voltage regulator , the electronic ones are much better at doing this then a mechanical and is limited by the max output of the Generator , batt. and or wiring. You have to remember that with generators you are charging the batt. and your are using that charge ,it is being replaced by the charging system and of course thats where amps come in at. I think its watts divided by volts give you amps ( for example 55watt. head light = 4.5 amps and thats constant , you add tail lights and you are real close to the max out put of a 5.5 amp batt. and don't forget the ign. system usage )and if you go above the gen. / batt. max amps , you will not be able to keep a charge on your batt.. I may have over simplified this and if some one else sees I miss spoke, please step up and correct me.

1950bobber

Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#6

Post by 1950bobber » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:46 am

Thanks Fouthgear, King and Cotten.....PLEASE....keep it coming, Guys...I'm 'a learnin, I'm 'a learnin!!!!!
Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#7

Post by Cotten » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:24 am

I'm electrically challenged too, so lets keep this simple:
There's only three parts to the 2-brush generator system; The generator that makes juice, the battery that stores juice, and the regulator that soaks off the extra juice that the battery doesn't need.
The most common non-mechanical reasons for a failure are a bad battery, or a bad connection in the system, such as a bad ground or shorted fuse holder.
Mechanical problems are usually oil in the generator, or burnt points in a mechanical regulator.
Solid state regulators have no points, but off-brand generic units can give it up for no reason.
So check the the battery load capacity when fully charged, then generator output, and if both of those are good, you must suspect wiring problems if not the regulator itself.

....Cotten

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#8

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:00 am

Guys, all the answers are right on the money. An old timer explained it to me this way years ago in simple terms that even I could understand.

Electricity flows thru wires just like water or air thru a hose. The "pressure" is volts, the "flow' is amps. Comparing a charging system to the air system in your shop: generator = compressor, wires = hose, lights = air tools (load), battery = air tank. Both systems have a regulator which does the same thing for each. So, if you have a jitterbug sander that needs 9 cfm air flow and 90 psi to operate it you will need a tank that doesn't leak and is capable of holding more than 90 psi, a compressor that will deliver at least 9 cfm at something above 90 psi, and a hose of sufficient diameter to deliver the required flow at that pressure. Remember that you always have to have more pressure at the source than at the delivery end or nothing will flow. If the pressure gets too high something will blow and if the compressor can't deliver enough flow the tank will eventually empty.

Same thing with a charging system, in order to get electricity to flow from a generator to a battery the voltage produced at the generator has to be higher than it is in the battery. The battery has to be capable of storing the electricity (no shorts or open circuits, passes a load test). Finally, the load cannot be greater than the rated output capacity of the generator. Battery rating really has nothing to do with it, all a rating tells you is how long it will deliver a specified amount of electricity under static load before it drains. Compare it to the size of your air tank; a 100 gallon tank will run your sander a lot longer than a 20 gallon tank will before the compressor has to kick in to restore pressure and flow. On our old kick start bikes it really doesn't matter, big battery, little battery, its all the same to the generator as long as its a good battery. The real deciding factor is the load, you have to add up power consumption of all the lights you want to run and compare it to the rating of the generator. Fourthgear gave us the formula, if you know the Watt rating of each bulb add them all up and divide by system voltage. If your total load is something like 10 or 12 amps and your gennie is only rated at 7.5 it ain't gonna happen. When you turn on all the lights the first thing that happens is the battery will deliver whatever it has to give, then the regulator will call for more juice from the generator and then the generator will burn itself out trying to keep up with the overload.
I didn't mention anything about the regulator yet. The mechanical regulators had 3 coils, one is just a relay to disconnect the battery from the generator when you shut off the engine, one regulates voltage, the 3rd regulates current (amps). The voltage regulating coil keeps the voltage above battery voltage but below a maximum limit (more is not better in the case of voltage, if it goes too high you start popping filaments in the bulbs, think of the "pressure" analogy). The current regulating coil is kind of like the pressure switch on your air system, when the demand increases it tries to kick up the flow output, "more power" as Tim the Tool Man would say. Solid state regulators do a much better job because response time is much quicker and there are no moving parts.
I guess I said all this to emphasize that everything Cotten and Fourthgear said is absolutely true. My contribution to this is that you have to watch the load as carefully as the condition of the components. Your 10 cfm compressor will not run two 9 cfm sanders and your 7.5 amp generator will not light two 5 amp spotlights, its just that simple.

sorry I got so windy
mike

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#9

Post by King » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:33 pm

Cotten, Forthgear, and Mike

Many thanks for the excellent info. Now I"ll have to determine my load (watts) and come up with the specs for a system. In that regard does anyone know the load (watts) of a 12V ignition with electronic ignition and 2-3 ohm coil?

King

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#10

Post by fourthgear » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:12 pm

king
Without special equipment, you will have a hard time figuring that one out . Your ignition system will be more of a load as speed increases and of course your particular gearing . Electronic ign. systems tend to be a lower load than points , a Magneto will be less , I believe.
The condition of your connections and its wiring really play a big roll in all of this . You should check and clean all connections on a regular basis. I have seen many a corroded connections cause a great deal of electrical problems , not to mention wrong wire size( bigger is not always better ) and grounded connections and you can have a slight ground where some one did not get all the strands in the crimp on terminal and drain a batt. over night or insulation worn off the wire and only intermittently grounding when a hitting a bump.

FlatHeadSix
I don't think you can explain any thing electrical without a little wind . I think you did much better job of it than I did.

1950bobber
Yes , you can over charge a batt. and fry it . The thing is, if it did , I would think I would blame your regulator for not controlling charging rate( even surrounded by a hot oil tank , it will take some time to do it in, with a std. output reg. ). Did you recharge the batt. after wards with a trickle charger ? (like a batt. tender type ) Did it take a charge and keep it ? Was it fully charged when installed ?

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Re: Cycle Electric low output generator

#11

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:53 pm

You can get a pretty good estimate of load using a good digital multimeter and measuring the resistance (ohms) of all your load components. Use the actual operating voltage in your system, it should be higher than the battery rating; 12 volt systems average about 13.7, 6 volt systems should be about 7 volts.

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Sample ... mslaw.html

Most light bulbs will not have Watt values printed on them, it is more accurate to measure resistance anyway.
An example of what I was trying to say in the windy post last night is the original lighting systems on all the bikes that came with a 3 brush 32E. The CycleRay headlamp alone was rated at 35 Watts. If you put that in Ohm's Law: 35 divided by 7, the headlight will draw roughly 5 amps which already exceeds the output capability of the 32E. If you rode all night you had lights until the battery went dead, the system was never designed to operate the lights continuously and keep the battery charged.
Fourthgear is correct, a point/coil ignition will present a bigger load at higher rpm, solid state ignitions are significantly lower, and magnetos place NO load at all on the charging circuit. Resistance also increases with temperature, in the lights and the coil, but the difference shouldn't affect these calculations.

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