Help! Electrical question! Please.........

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1950Bobber

Help! Electrical question! Please.........

#1

Post by 1950Bobber » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:08 pm

OK, gentlemen...so, I'm electrically challenged! I really could use some help on this one: I'm running a 12 voly gen and an electrical regulator on my '50 Bobber. I want to hook up an Ammeter in the circuit. Two posts on the Ammeter...

WHERE DO THE 2 POSTS HOOK UP TO?

Sounds dumb, huh? But I need the expertise of my fellow Pan-O-Philes...please!

Thanks.

Jim "1950 Bobber"



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Re: Help! Electrical question! Please.........

#2

Post by hjans » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:22 pm

1950Bobber wrote:OK, gentlemen...so, I'm electrically challenged! I really could use some help on this one: I'm running a 12 voly gen and an electrical regulator on my '50 Bobber. I want to hook up an Ammeter in the circuit. Two posts on the Ammeter...

WHERE DO THE 2 POSTS HOOK UP TO?

Sounds dumb, huh? But I need the expertise of my fellow Pan-O-Philes...please!

Thanks.

Jim "1950 Bobber"
Well Jim, i'd say just place it directly after the DC output of the regulator, sems to me the most logical place. It all depends on what you want to monitor : total current, charging current, current pulled out of the battery ........
My way you'l monitor the current from the generator into the rest of the total bike ( so including lights, horn, ignition, battery etc.)

Succes

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#3

Post by Robert Luland » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:31 pm

Jim, You would run your line thought the amp meter. Lets say you want to measure the currant that the generator is putting out. Output line to one stud and out to the regulator on the other one. Gen to + and - out. Its easy. If the meter works the wrong way switch the wires. If ya smell smoke? Well you know. Bob

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#4

Post by john HD » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:10 am

put in series with your battery positive wire.

that will give you a total reading of your charging circuit.

john

Electrical Dunce, here! A

1950 Bobber

#5

Post by Electrical Dunce, here! A » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:50 am

Three great answers and my appreciation to you gents for the help. I guess what's impoprtant to me is CHARGING (output) CURRENT. I would like to keep abreast of my generator's health on a prolonged road trip...to me, that's what I'd be doing by monitoring it's charging current since the draw is minimal (tail light and headlight, maybe a nightime running light when switched on).

Am I wrong with making this my priority when monitoring my electrical system based on the lack of real draw with the accessories I've identified?
And yes, my headlight/tail light can be run at my discretion via a toggle switch and minimal nightime riding.

Feedback? thanks..

Jim "1950 Bobber"

Electrical Dunce, here! A

1950 Bobber

#6

Post by Electrical Dunce, here! A » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:52 am

John HD....is this what you are advising? By "in line" with my Positive Battery cable, I'll measure CHARGING CURRENT?

Jim "1950 Bobber"

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#7

Post by wantapanrealbad » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:32 am

Isn't current, current? How can one portion of the system have a different current (flow) than the overall?

Joe G

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#8

Post by john HD » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:48 am

jim

yes, an ammeter installed in your positive wire will measure all of the current entering or leaving your battery. it will provide an overall view of the state of your charging system.

joe,

no, current is not current in this context. if the ammeter was installed in the output wire of the generator instead of the battery all you would know was if the generator was working. not if the battery was actually receiving current. it could be running the lamps and coil etc. and never reach the battery in enough of an amount to charge it.

simply put, if you had too large of a load your battery AND your generator would try to feed it at the same time. your battery will discharge until it was dead. unless you could see the negative swing on the ammeter you would never know it until it was too late.

john

Installing an AMMETER....

1950 Bobber

#9

Post by Installing an AMMETER.... » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:29 am

Thanks John...so, if I understand:

1) POSITIVE wire from the battery to one side of the Ammeter and then....

2) wire from the Ammeter's other terminal BACK "in line" to the OTHER SIDE of the POSITIVE wire.

Is this the "in line" your referring too? (See I told you I was an electrical Dunce!!!)...........

Jim "1950 Bobber"

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#10

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:40 am

Guys, listen to John, he is exactly correct in what he is suggesting.

Put the amp meter in "series" with the the positive wire coming from the battery to the everything else that uses power in the circuit. What this means is that all the power goes through the amp meter. Most of those meters are shunt wound which means that they act just like another piece of wire in the circuit; disconnect the positive lead from the battery and connect it to one post of the meter, connect the other post of the meter to where the battery lead used to connect. Turn on the ignition or lights or both, if the amp meter shows discharge you have it connected correctly, if not then reverse the connections.

John, I'm working on a modification of your brother's electronic regulator. My '34 VL also has a 32E genny but they came equipped with an amp meter instead of an idiot light. The original Delco relay only has 2 posts because it did not have to turn off the dash light when the generator started charging. The relay is mounted on the front of the battery box and is wired exactly as what we are talking about here, all the power goes through the amp meter first. I'll try to find a '34 wiring diagram and post it.

Kind of interesting, the '34 shop manual procedure for setting the timing tells you to watch the amp meter while adjusting the points. When the points are closed the meter will show discharge, when you rotate the timer until the points just begin to open the meter will drop to zero, kind of like having an on-board timing light.

mike

Got it NOW!!!

1950 Bobber

#11

Post by Got it NOW!!! » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:52 am

John HD and FlatHeadSix....I am eternally grateful...Thanks guys! ...And a thanks to all who have taken the time to respond...

Jim "1950 Bobber" :D

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#12

Post by mogman » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:32 am

Hello Jim, I agree with most that you need to put the meter in series with the battery, But I would put it in series with the neg. battery lead. You will be measuring the exact same conditions only if any of the wiring between the battery and the meter, say the terminals of the meter touches the frame you will not smoke any wiring. You could see three different conditions while driving down the road.
1- Neutral (no current either way) this would be ideal as it means your battery is charged and the generator is carrying the load.
2- Discharging, this means you have a generator/regulator problem.
3- Charging, this would be normal after just getting under way as the generator is “topping” off the charge in the battery, in reality there will always be some charging current going to the battery under normal conditions your meter may or may not be sensitive enough to see this. If you see a large amount of charging current for a long period this could indicate that your generator is over charging or your battery could be low on electrolyte or have other problems.
Hope this helps.
Craig

1950Bobber

OK, Is there a difference?

#13

Post by 1950Bobber » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:50 am

craig, ...you have me now!

OK everyone....IS there one method of installation (In line with the POSITIVE vs. inline with the NEGATIVE?) that negates the other...OR...Is one method CORRECT and the other INCORRECT?

This is a very informative thread, at least for me, so AND but, I'm hoping for some light shed on the differences in both these options, Negative inline vs Positive inline! An explanation of a point of view would help understand.

:?

Jim "1950 Bobber"

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#14

Post by mogman » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:21 am

Jim, any and all current flowing in or out of the battery flows equally on the positive and negative terminal, putting it on the positive terminal is not wrong and is the way it’s been done forever. Using the neg. terminal will not work on vehicles with electric start, but of course you would not replace the complete positive lead either as the meter would not be able to handle the current. Using the negative terminal is just allot safer as the noted lack of smoke if any of the meter wiring gets shorted to ground, also you would not need to run the wire from the battery to the meter then all the way back to the battery area( as you would using the positive lead so you could splice it into the original lead) any convenient “good” ground will do…
Craig

1950Bobber

Now I'm CLOSE!

#15

Post by 1950Bobber » Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:29 am

Thanks Craig...

Your response is again, much appreciated and the point of "ground-out" makes alot of sense and is well taken.

Jim "1950 Bobber"

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