What is typical regulator leakage current?

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SeaHag
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What is typical regulator leakage current?

#1

Post by SeaHag » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:12 pm

I have a brand new Midwest generator with built in regulator on the end, model 70-196. Before I connected my battery+ side to the regulator output post I checked for continuity to ground with a multi-meter. Yup it beeped. There's a path to ground, is that normal? Then checked leakage current between the battery plus and this regulator output post and it's sinking about .175 A (175mA) of current. Is this normal? Seems a little high to me. I've read anything above 50mA is bad and also heard others say 200mA is the limit. What is normal? So I guess a path to ground is normal at a regulator output? Of course you don't want any at all but I don't want to connect my battery+ to a ground short. The guy at the local bike shop said "I never measured it before but it should be ok". Don'tcha just love it?

1. Is this normal to have a path to ground at the regulator output post?
2. How much leakage current is acceptable/normal?
3. If you put an ampmeter between your Bat+ and regulator output post what does it read?

thanks



awander
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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#2

Post by awander » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:19 am

You may get false readings using a digital meter.

I think 175mA is way too high, though.

Cotten
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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#3

Post by Cotten » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:19 pm

SeaHag!

I am not familiar with Midwest's products any more,
but if you disconnect the ground strap, and can measure any current from frame to the negative post of the battery, you have a drain.

My preference is to use an old VU meter from a discarded cassette deck.

.....Cotten

SeaHag
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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#4

Post by SeaHag » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:00 am

I'm going to check out another regulator and see how they compare. What do you think about the idea of putting a 30 Amp relay inline with the charging wire from the regulator output to battery+? It would be off/open when the bike's off so no leak at all, then on when switched power is on so there can be a path for it to charge the battery.

I checked my car for grins just out of curiosity but it sparked and was off the scale. I guess that's because of the radio/clock etc. and all the things that keep running when a car's off.

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#5

Post by awander » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:36 pm

If you add that relay to disconnect the regulator, then the factory would recommend that you polarize the generator each time you start the bike.

If you really need to do this, then you could add the wiring and a momentary pushbutton switch to do teh polarization.

I still think a regulator that causes 175mA of leakage current has something wrong with it.

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#6

Post by john HD » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:26 pm

don't modify everything just for a bad regulator.

it probably has a bad diode in it. and i would venture a guess it is potted in epoxy and non repairable.

get a new one and forget about it!

john

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#7

Post by SeaHag » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:05 pm

"If you add that relay to disconnect the regulator, then the factory would recommend that you polarize the generator each time you start the bike."

Ah ya, I forgot about that. That's too bad. But don't you just do that once and then there's some residual magnetism that let's it start correctly from then on? I agree the regulator is probably bad but it's brand new. These Midwest ones are Tiawanese. I'm just wondering if it's foreign poor quality or somewhat close to normal. They sell those battery tender things for when you let your bike sit over the winter and I think it's because leakage is normal, but how much is normal? Does anyone out there have their negative battery cable off right now and can stick an ammeter in there and give me a number? I wonder how mine compares to others'. With the regulator disconnected I get .035 which I think I can live with. Add the regulator in and it jumps to around .175.


"don't modify everything just for a bad regulator.
it probably has a bad diode in it. and i would venture a guess it is potted in epoxy and non repairable.
get a new one and forget about it!"

But how do I know it's bad? how much is "bad"? If I get a new one and it does the same thing I wasted money. If I had a relay then I wouldn't have to buy one of those battery tenders when I let it sit.

"You may get false readings using a digital meter."

And why is that?

"My preference is to use an old VU meter from a discarded cassette deck."

That's a volt meter. How do you measure amps with that?

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#8

Post by awander » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:29 pm

The factory recommends re-polarizing the generator whenever you disconnect and reconnect any part of the charging system. This would include generator, battery, and regulator(or cutout relay).

In most cases, there will be no problem, as the residual magnetism stays in the generator pole pieces, but they recommend this procedure on the chance that the pole pieces may get wrongly magnetized during whatever work you are doing.

It is cheap insurance, 5 seconds with a jumper wire......

Cotten
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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#9

Post by Cotten » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:31 pm

Seahag!

With either a milliamp meter or a VU meter, I get no reading at all, if everything is in order.
Batteries lose their charge on their own.

I just unwrapped my 2011 Midwest catalog (the first I have unwrapped in years...) and see that indeed it is a knock-off of CycleElectric's ugly assembly. Another C note or so for a CE may have gotten you better electronics and hardware, including a protection circuit for the armature (but it still would be ugly on any vintage machine but a custom, for which "ugly" has become manditory!)

On the next page, Midwest lists a 53-601 regulator that may be the same endcap as the complete unit, maybe.

I suggest returning the whole assembly to your vendor, if you can.

....Cotten

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#10

Post by awander » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:39 pm

I second Cotten's advice; return it as defective and see if you can get one that works correctly. 175mA is way too much leakage. If you were talking microAmps, it might be ok.

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#11

Post by Frankenstein » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:47 am

I second John and Cotten. If it has any "leakage", the regulator is bad, And John has probably nailed the culprit, a bad reverse current diode.
As an aside, I don't believe your relay solution would require re-polarization each time you used it, it's action would mimic that of the cutout relay that all 32E's used for years.
DD

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#12

Post by awander » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:47 am

I don't believe your relay solution would require re-polarization each time you used it, it's action would mimic that of the cutout relay that all 32E's used for years.
Yeah, I've thought of that, as well, but the manual still recommends re-polarizing every time you disconnect anything in the charging circuit.

Doing a little research, it appears that the even when the cutout relay is open, the shunt(fine) winding connects the generator A terminal to ground. I am guessing that totally disconnecting the generator might cause a problem.

Reverse field polarity is something that very rarely happens, in my experience. I have many times started the bike up after disconnecting and reconnectng various parts of teh charging system with no problems.

SeaHag
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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#13

Post by SeaHag » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:26 pm

I second John and Cotten. If it has any "leakage", the regulator is bad,
Any? so .001Amp (1 milliamp) is bad? how about .001mA (1 microamp)? And how would you ever know how much if you use a tape deck VU meter? That's made to measure voltage not current. No offense but what have you got against using the proper tools? I'm losing roughly .2amps, the Battery Tender puts out 10amps. So it could easily replace what I'm losing as well as the generator while riding. .2amps is about 1/5th of an amp/hour so would be about 1 amp per 5 hours. If a motorcycle battery is 12Amphours (I can't find that info only Cold Cranking Amps) that would take about 60 hours to drain the battery at .2amps/hour. Obviously we want our batteries to last longer than that but while googling I see a lot of people saying their batteries go dead overnight. At least it's not that bad but worse than I'd like to see. The regulator is either bad or cheap quality and I don't want to buy another of the same kind. I'm getting the Cycle Electric Regulator and see how that goes. And return this one.
I don't believe your relay solution would require re-polarization each time you used it, it's action would mimic that of the cutout relay that all 32E's used for years.
I'm not familiar with that. What was the purpose of that cutout relay? Was it to eliminate battery drain?
And does anyone else have an amp reading from their bike, I'm curious how mine compares but I don't have another bike to check.

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#14

Post by john HD » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:48 pm

the cut out relay seperates the generator from the battery when it quits spinning.

otherwise when voltage is present a generator will try to motor.

john

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Re: What is typical regulator leakage current?

#15

Post by Cotten » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:06 pm

SeaHag wrote:
Any? so .001Amp (1 milliamp) is bad? how about .001mA (1 microamp)? And how would you ever know how much if you use a tape deck VU meter? That's made to measure voltage not current. No offense but what have you got against using the proper tools? ....I'm getting the Cycle Electric Regulator and see how that goes. And return this one.
No offense taken Seahag,

I certainly appreciate proper, fancy, and expensive tools!
But its a yes-there's-current, or no-there's-no-current diagnostic. Amps or volts is rhetorical.

You are getting down to Galvanic skin conduction levels if you get any lower. (My ex-wife beat a polygraph!)
At that point, corrosion at terminals should be suspect.

It is better to accidentally over-amp something that can can be tossed back to the dumpster from whence it came, without remorse, than to rely upon opening up a valued meter, and hope the fuse (or whatever) actually protected your investment.

There will many more cassette decks in the trash!
(Eight tracks are almost scarce enough to stash these days.)

And you better call Carl at CycleElectric 800-523-2645 before you assume that their unit will fit anything but their own, or maybe an OEM generator.

Good luck!

....Cotten

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