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Old 03-05-2013, 12:45 AM   #16
Plaka
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Joined: Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdcamp View Post
The alternator on my R80RT '86 is the original one,

I have no idea how much juice I am producing at the moment.

What sort of options (affordable) are there to improve the amount of light I produce?
Reflecting further on it the cheap way to get light and heat without modifying the bike would be to run dead loss off a second battery. A set of decent driving lights (maybe Hella 500 series) have 55watt halogen bulbs and give the bike the total rally look. So 9.2 amp draw for the lights. Add a vest at maybe 36 watts so 3 amps for the vest. if you want light and heat for 4 hours of commuting per day you have a 12 amp draw for 4 hours so you need at least a 48 amp-hour deep cycle battery.

This is a nice one and the price is right:

http://www.batterystuff.com/batterie...500-45977.html

Totally sealed, deep cycle type and the Chinese need the money. I doubt you'll beat $100 for a new battery.

So you could get into the whole show for $150 plus the vest.

The battery is fairly small but heavy (up to 35 lbs perhaps) so it rides behind you on the seat. Milk crate if you have to (blowing your rally bike image).

You charge it daily.

A side benefit is you are pulling the power from house current, not your bikes engine. You have maximum power out of your engine for hauling butt 'cause you're late to work.

if your commute is shorter than 4 hrs/day then smaller battery, just do the numbers.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:21 PM   #17
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaka View Post
Temperatures of 365F have no affect on copper. I say this because that is the median melting point of common electrical solder. When I want to soften hard copper (typically hard copper tubing) I heat it to dull cherry red and let it cool in air. Gets nice and soft. To harden it again it has to be reheated and then quenched to temper it. I've never had this work too well. The structure of the metal has changed and it resists changing back unless things are just right. Same problems with phosphor bronze.

Vibration is another story and when wires are vibrated they do indeed harden, and break. Often vibration in a wire matters most at the endpoints of the wire where it is restrained by some connection.

Oxidation (and sulfation and a few other things) happens at terminals, thus on the older bike they need cleaning. The corrosion conducts poorly and when working w/ only 12VDC, it matters. My landlord once was having trouble starting his van. Clearly not enough juice to the starter. He had a freshly charged battery and the battery terminals looked ok. I took the terminals off and cleaned them to bright shiny lead. The problem vanished. I was surprised, I was suspecting the problem was something really bad looking at the started end of things. it was acrtually a very thin oxide layer at the battery. I certainly didn't suspect it just looking at it.

The brushes on the alternator arc to the slip rings all the time. if all is in good shape like you say, the arcing is minimized. But it's still there. You get an oxide layer on the rings. There is also an almost imperceptible oil mist in the the front compartment and on the later models with ventilated front covers, a lot of dirt. Heavy black deposits are coked on oil. In any event, polishing the rings with 1200 grit cloth restores things. However it is not overly long lasting. I check it yearly when I am in the front cover for general inspection. I need all the power I can get.

I run a pair of relays on the headlight bulb and a third for the horns. Each of these is an independent fused circuit from the battery built with heavy gauge marine wire.

I was suspecting heat problems from the big bulb, especially with the RS headlight glass. So I took measures up front. Glad to hear I wasn't wasting my time. I still need to clean up the connection board, it's just stuffed to one side of the headlight shell wrapped in rubber.


(psst...higher wattage bulbs, not higher voltage. Below)
Vibration? No. Wires get hard from being over loaded.

Brushes arching? Nothings perfect. I don't see dirty slip rings and I have looked at a LOT of them. I am sure it happens but . . . . I have put a lot of miles on my own bikes and serviced bikes getting tons more and I have never had to clean slip rings. The only time I ever found slightly dirty slip rings is the two times I diagnosed the slip ring being machined off center thusly allowing the brushes to bounce. Fix the cause, not the symptoms.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #18
tofgasp
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Did you just tried to wash the inside of the glass and the reflector (carefully) ? You should be really surprised of the amount of loss that 27 years of dust can create.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:54 AM   #19
Rucksta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
If you go with a higher wattage headlight (and even if you don't) one way to make it brighter is wire in a relay. Normally all the headlight current goes through the light switch, which, for one, is hard on the switch, and secondly limits the current.
+1 on this.
One of the cheapeast and most effective ways to improve lighting.
The older your wiring the bigger the gains.
2 relays fed by a direct fused link to the battery each triggered by the Hi/Lo switch.
Std relay can stay in place.
Using an additional bulb socket and jumper wires with spade connectors installation requires no cutting of the existing loom
and is easily rolled back to standard or bypassed in the event of failure.

The installation can be done for around $20.00

Halogen lighting operating at lower than optimal voltage runs hotter than it does at correct voltage.
It's related to the efficiency of the metal halide exchange in the gas envelope.
Not my explaination but it sounded plausable when demonstrated.

I run a 120/90 in the G/S nacell with a generic plasic lense/ reflector (cheap & lightwieght)
No problems with heat though I do not run hi beam at slow speed in the bush due to reduced alternator output at low RPM.

There are kits available.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:19 AM   #20
Bluethumb
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Good sources for said kits?
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #21
baldwithglasses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucksta View Post
2 relays fed by a direct fused link to the battery each triggered by the Hi/Lo switch.
Std relay can stay in place.
Using an additional bulb socket and jumper wires with spade connectors installation requires no cutting of the existing loom
Can you cobble up a rudimentary wiring diagram for this process? I have a hard time envisioning how this hooks into the stock harness.

I think it's a great idea; I just can't figure out how to implement it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:46 AM   #22
Stan_R80/7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofgasp View Post
Did you just tried to wash the inside of the glass and the reflector (carefully) ? You should be really surprised of the amount of loss that 27 years of dust can create.
+1

The first thing I would do is carefully clean the reflector and lens along with a new H4 bulb. These H4 bulbs will dim over time. The light output can be significantly improved with a clean reflector and lens. Good luck!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:48 AM   #23
Pharoah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldwithglasses View Post
Can you cobble up a rudimentary wiring diagram for this process? I have a hard time envisioning how this hooks into the stock harness.

I think it's a great idea; I just can't figure out how to implement it.
+1

I think I understand it but a diagram would help.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:17 AM   #24
supershaft
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IMO, relays are for when you need need them. Otherwise they are just another component to fail. If I had a bad connection at the light switch or bad wires, I would fix the wires and light switch and leave the extra relay and extra wires out of it. The system normally works fine. At least with anywhere close to normal loads.

Low voltage makes everything run hot.

supershaft screwed with this post 03-07-2013 at 11:54 AM
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:15 PM   #25
Plaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharoah View Post
+1

I think I understand it but a diagram would help.
I can give you a verbal.

The relay has a a set of contacts in it attached to a pivoting metal plate with a spring. The current you are going to control goes through the contacts. it also has a coil with a metal core. When you apply a small current to the coil it becomes an electromagnet, sucks on the metal plate and closes the main contacts. So the relay has 4 terminals, two for the contacts and two for the coil.

You unplug the socket from the back of the bulb. As it stands, when you hit your headlight switch you are sending current to that socket. Three terminals there, one for + to the high beam, one for + to the low beam and the third is - to ground. What you do is redirect this current to the coils on two relays. Just stuff a spade terminal in the headlight socket, the big ones are close to the size of the ones on the bulb..

So + from the high beam on the socket to one relay coil and + from the low beam on the socket to the other relay coil. The - from the socket goes to the remaining coil terminal on both relays and then on to a frame ground.

Now your headlight switch is activating the relay coils rather than the bulb. Hit the switch and you can hear the relays click as their terminals close.

Next take two fat wires off the battery + , add a fuse to each and run them to the relay contact terminals, one wire to each relay. Some people use one wire and fuse and split it out to both relays. Same difference. I like two wires and I'll explain why another time. Now you have juice going to the relays contacts.

From the remaining relay contact terminal on each relay run a wire to a new bulb socket in the headlight. What you are doing is switching the hot (+) line to the headlight socket using the relay contacts.

The ground terminal on the bulb socket goes to a frame ground.

Now you have routed power to the relay contacts and on to the bulb socket. Hit the light switch, relay contacts close, power goes to the bulb, it lights up.

There is a a tiny wiring diagram on the side of the relay. The contacts have two positions NO (normally open) and NC (normally closed). This allows you to use the relay to switch current on (what you are doing) or switch a current that is normally on, off. I am doing this with my ignition current using my low oil pressure sensor to control the relay coils. Oil pressure drops it kills the engine.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:21 PM   #26
Beemerboff
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Eastern Beaver sells reasonably priced upgraded headlight relays, and can incorporate the heat resistant bulb connecter if you plan on heavier / hotter bulbs.

There are bulbs around which claim to give more light - Plus 50 or whatever.
With some brands the only thing that is Plus 50 is the price, but the Phillips brand actually puts out more light too.

Nicoles Royal Enfield Electra has a 130 watt alternator, and it copes fine with a 55 watt headlight and and recharging the battery for the electric start, so the 280 watt alternator on the airhead shoulnt have much trouble with an extra 65 watts for a 120 watt lamp, or a auxiliary lamp, or 90 watts for a typical electric vest and 30watts for gloves, but would probably struggle with all three at the same time.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:57 AM   #27
Rucksta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaka View Post
I can give you a verbal.
That's pretty much how I did it - single wire 2.5mm multi strand.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:59 AM   #28
dm635
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I may just add a relay to the headlight after thinking about all the current going through the headlight switch.

I'm also thinking about adding an LED on each side of the plate for brake. Just to be seen. Napa sells a 2-3" round LED I'm thinking about. That should do it even though wont be that pretty. But I'd rather be seen.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:34 AM   #29
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm635 View Post
I may just add a relay to the headlight after thinking about all the current going through the headlight switch.

I'm also thinking about adding an LED on each side of the plate for brake. Just to be seen. Napa sells a 2-3" round LED I'm thinking about. That should do it even though wont be that pretty. But I'd rather be seen.
Don't blind everybody. It seems more and more people are running completely illegal lights.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #30
frozenpeas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaka View Post
I can give you a verbal.

The relay has a a set of contacts in it attached to a pivoting metal plate with a spring. The current you are going to control goes through the contacts. it also has a coil with a metal core. When you apply a small current to the coil it becomes an electromagnet, sucks on the metal plate and closes the main contacts. So the relay has 4 terminals, two for the contacts and two for the coil.

You unplug the socket from the back of the bulb. As it stands, when you hit your headlight switch you are sending current to that socket. Three terminals there, one for + to the high beam, one for + to the low beam and the third is - to ground. What you do is redirect this current to the coils on two relays. Just stuff a spade terminal in the headlight socket, the big ones are close to the size of the ones on the bulb..

So + from the high beam on the socket to one relay coil and + from the low beam on the socket to the other relay coil. The - from the socket goes to the remaining coil terminal on both relays and then on to a frame ground.

Now your headlight switch is activating the relay coils rather than the bulb. Hit the switch and you can hear the relays click as their terminals close.

Next take two fat wires off the battery + , add a fuse to each and run them to the relay contact terminals, one wire to each relay. Some people use one wire and fuse and split it out to both relays. Same difference. I like two wires and I'll explain why another time. Now you have juice going to the relays contacts.

From the remaining relay contact terminal on each relay run a wire to a new bulb socket in the headlight. What you are doing is switching the hot (+) line to the headlight socket using the relay contacts.

The ground terminal on the bulb socket goes to a frame ground.

Now you have routed power to the relay contacts and on to the bulb socket. Hit the light switch, relay contacts close, power goes to the bulb, it lights up.

There is a a tiny wiring diagram on the side of the relay. The contacts have two positions NO (normally open) and NC (normally closed). This allows you to use the relay to switch current on (what you are doing) or switch a current that is normally on, off. I am doing this with my ignition current using my low oil pressure sensor to control the relay coils. Oil pressure drops it kills the engine.
I appreciate that walk through. I will use it when I hook up my aux front end lighting.
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