Battery charging

NvilleXS

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First I really appreacite the help I've received on the forum. When I bought my bike it had no starter, no key, no fuse box. The wiring was a mess, so I'm trying to reverse engineer it so to speak from the wiring diagram. The bike is a 400F. I'm learning by doing and reading on the forum, I haven't had any training in any of this.

Here's my first question, there is red wire going from the battery to the fuse box. Does power go out and come into recharge the battery on that wire? I know the battery is DC power so I didn't think the power could go both ways (out and in) on a single wire.

Next question, when power leaves the rectifier its now DC and it goes to the fuse box. So what happens in the fuse box with the power from the rectifer? Does it let this power out into general use for the bike? It hasn't been regulated yet so this seems like it could be a problem. Does it let the power go directly to the battery? Seems like it would destroy the battery at high RPM when the stator is putting out a lot of power and it hasn't been regulated yet. Does the power go directly to the regulator? If so then this would appear to be a closed loop because I don't see how power gets from the regulator back into the battery for charging purposes.
 
Are you chasing a specific gremlin or is your battery done for?

The voltage first has to have a safety gate. That's why the first stop is the fuse. An overload of power will put too much heat energy into the wires, caused by their own internal resistance multiplied by the power going over them. Basically electrical "friction" becomes heat. If you don't use the power, it will melt the wires.

That is why the rectifier is fed to the fuse first. A surge is a surge. Too much surge, regardless of how well the rectifier outputs it will result in a failed component. What would you rather burn out, a little fuse or a 40 dollar hard to track down ebay reg/rectifier? the fuse, of course. So it's fuse first, to conserve parts in the event of a power surge/short. Then it goes to the regulator (I'm taking your word on this, haven't messed with my charging system in over a year) to measure how much out put to return to the battery and how much to simply dump to ground. My understanding of that aspect is foggy at best.

Good luck

Drewcifer
 
Here's my first question, there is red wire going from the battery to the fuse box. Does power go out and come into recharge the battery on that wire? I know the battery is DC power so I didn't think the power could go both ways (out and in) on a single wire.

I love this topic, (out of necessity) On this site, with a couple searches, you will find out that you can reduce your battery down to a cigarette pack, and also another thread where you can use a Capacitor to store enough energy for the brake lights. To the question. The battery is just a Storage device. It stores energy for the next time you need to start up the bike. Since our bikes need the Field coil to be charged to 12 volts (roughly) ((less than 7 volts will not support the engine for any sort of forward motion.)) 12 volts for the electro-magnetic s to work. So Once you get the engine running, the spinning magnetic and field coil creates just enough energy which happens to be A/C (Alternating Current) So that brings us to the AC to DC part of the the equation. When you look at the different wire diagrams, my bike is a 400SH, and has a diode under the seat pan, and the rectifier. What do they have in common? Diodes. The secret of the diode, (I found it on this website) It does not allow energy to reverse path backwards. So the AC Alternating current means that energy is flipping forward, and backward umpteen times in a second (long forgotten the number of times it switches directions in a time frame)

so how does the rectifier / voltage regulator deal with that? The Stator has 3 white wires coming out, to the Rectifier, the one wire on the 81, the white wire Tee's off and connects up to the Wire to the Headlight, to give the head light the extra juice. The Rectifier allows the 3 wires to allow 14 volts of electricity to the system, so it just keeps pumping the juice into the rectifier/Voltage regulator, one keeps it from going over 14.5 voltage regulator. , the other keeps the power up to 14.5 via the 3 paths of alternating electricity. so once your throttle hits 2500 rpm or more, and everything is in working order, The juice/ is at 14.2 or so, which means the wire is 2 way as far as your question.

previous to your starting the bike. the battery should be near 12 volts/high 11s, then once you kick it over, should still be a 12 volts or so, then once you hit 2500 rpms and more, the stator, rectifier, Voltage reg, are working to allow 14.5 (or so)

Next question, when power leaves the rectifier its now DC and it goes to the fuse box. So what happens in the fuse box with the power from the rectifier? Does it let this power out into general use for the bike?

Yes, absolutely, you hit the brakes, Lights turn on, the Headlight High beam or low beam. Remember that the fuse box contains fuses that only allow certain amount of amps though it. Which is suppose to leave the most power for what it needs, and still permit some power to get to the brakes/ lights/Coil etc...

It hasn't been regulated yet so this seems like it could be a problem. Does it let the power go directly to the battery? Seems like it would destroy the battery at high RPM when the stator is putting out a lot of power and it hasn't been regulated yet.

Not true my friend, power leaves the stator, it goes to an diode and the recitfier. and its at its most powerful, unless there is a failure with any of the above devices. ((So yes it lets the power go directly to the battery via red wire, via ignition relay))

Does the power go directly to the regulator? If so then this would appear to be a closed loop because I don't see how power gets from the regulator back into the battery for charging purposes.

The Regulator goes to the field coil. The first test we try to remember to tell people to do is the magnetic test. hold something that is attrative to magnetic near the stator, and power on the system. something like a wrench, or feeler gauges will slap the side of the motor, and not hurt anything. So the Mechanical Voltage Regulator (VR) Powers up from the battery, if the energy is less than 14.5 it send current to the field coil, and the field coil excites the stator, the starts pumping more power (2500 rpms or greater) to a grand value of 14.5, (unless something is broken) So on bikes that haven't been converted to kick only, The circuit from stator to all the fuses, relays, lights, and ignition is hot (There is nothing protecting the battery from the system.) As long as the system is keeping the volts under 14.5, the battery will be charged, and not getting hot enough to boil out the electrolytes. The battery is there to provide the needed incidental powers that could drop the bike under the 7 volts. For instances, your in town (anytown)and you start the bike and due to noise ordinances, or whatever reason, you don't rev you engine to charging mode, You pull out of your parking spot, and pull up to the very first traffic light, 20 feet from where you started, (5 metes) Your still not charging, your bike is going to use battery power for brake lights/Headlights. then if you turn on your turn signal. so the battery is there help out till your able to hit it. (light turning green) My bike (my Wife has had this bike since 1996) till she garaged it in 2003 she had 2 batteries she would alternate them daily, cause the stator wires were shot. she didn't know, her friends at the time didnt know/wanna help her fix it. For what she did one days of traveling, with the potential of being stranded was always something that could happen to her.

Does the power go directly to the regulator? If so then this would appear to be a closed loop because I don't see how power gets from the regulator back into the battery for charging purposes.

Closed Loop? Yup, The loop is closed where the battery is connected to the Ground on the engine. Just like you car, The alternator/stator generates just enough juice (power) to maintain 14 volts. anything that uses the power has to open a switch, and that will all the amps to do what it was designed to do, High beam/ turn signal, (Car radio) the used Amps/Volts retire to the ground system, allowing the loop to be complete. So you need to loop just so that there is movement of electricity, (does that make sense?) Other wise think of and double AA battery for your Television remote control. with out the + side hitting the piece of metal, and the spring hitting the - side, there is no loop, so a AA battery is potential energy, just waiting for you to plug it somewhere, (unless its dead) so our bikes are the same. Since our bikes are 30 years older, and counting, the same failure is happening to everyone, (with exceptions)

Did that answer your questions? happy riding, (its winter, 1 Degrees F here this AM, planning my repair jobs still):bike:
 

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I love this topic, ... The circuit from stator to all the fuses, relays, lights, and ignition is hot (There is nothing protecting the battery from the system.) As long as the system is keeping the volts under 14.5, the battery will be charged, and not getting hot enough to boil out the electrolytes. The battery is there to provide the needed incidental powers that could drop the bike under the 7 volts. ... :bike:
Thanks Toby, I love this topic too (although I still have trouble keeping track of it all). The portion I quote above appears to address a problem I have with my Maxim. Several cells on the battery lose their electrolyte quite quickly and have to be topped up regularly.

That means the system is feeding too much lightning :eek: into and through the battery causing the water to vaporize?
If so, it is occurring in spite of the fact that my bike runs 100% of the time with full high beam headlight and taillight.

So does this mean the system produces 14.5 plus what the lights use up, plus the further excess which boils the water?
Is there a way to dial it down? Or is there a component which is supposed to dump any excess above 14.5 and which is now failing to do this?
Thanks.
 
Thanks Toby, I love this topic too (although I still have trouble keeping track of it all). The portion I quote above appears to address a problem I have with my Maxim. Several cells on the battery lose their electrolyte quite quickly and have to be topped up regularly.

That means the system is feeding too much lightning :eek: into and through the battery causing the water to vaporize?
If so, it is occurring in spite of the fact that my bike runs 100% of the time with full high beam headlight and taillight.

So does this mean the system produces 14.5 plus what the lights use up, plus the further excess which boils the water?
Is there a way to dial it down? Or is there a component which is supposed to dump any excess above 14.5 and which is now failing to do this?
Thanks.

yep, its called the voltage regulator. this feeds the field coil and stops over charging. more than 14.5 v @ 3k on the battery and you start to boil the battery dry. unfortunately the solid state ones are not adjustable so only new one can cure it.
 
Voltage output as the manual states 14.5-15v I get 14.2- 14.75 with the small 1.2 battery and about 13.5v with the stock bike. The 1.2 battery has a max charging voltage of 15v and has 3+k miles on it. The stock one will take a lot more charging amps than the small one that is why I think the volts are less, also it has a lot more lights to keep lit than my stripped down bike.
 

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You know, I read about and talk to people who are afraid of electrical stuff. And I just don't understand the fear. I was once astounded to talk to a plumber who couldn't get his head around electricity. This confounded me as I was taught that electricity can basically be thought of like water, and wiring like household plumbing.

Electrons are like water.
Wires are like pipes.
Switches are like taps.
Batteries are like pressure tanks, or reservoirs.
Diodes are like check valves.
Voltage (V) is like water pressure (PSI)
Amperage (A) is like water flow (gallons per hour).
Wattage (W) is Voltage multiplied by Amperage = Power

Wiring diagrams are no more complicated than one of those "connect the dots" drawings found in a child's craft book, just with a bunch of symbols that are listed at the side. When I was less experienced, I found it helpful to print or photocopy diagrams and then use colouring pencils to colour the lines so they were easier to follow. Now I just use my finger or the mouse cursor. :p

Don't fear the electrons, respect them! :)

Dave
 
Thank you all for the nice replies. I'm not chancing any partical gremlin just yet. Just trying to build up some knowledge which is a blast to me. Of course it's only possible through the much appreciated teachers on this forum.
 
I've read this thread and some of it sounds ok, some was a bit hard to understand. Here's how your charging system works.
With a bike with a mechanical reg and seperate rec, when you turn the key on power flows from the battery to the regulator. The reg reads the voltage of this power. If the voltage is below 14.5 volts, the reg sends power out to the feild coil. This power flow creates a strong magnetic feild around the feild coil. This magnetic feild turns the rotor into a magnet. The rotor has negitive and positive poles.
Now when the engine starts these poles spin inside the stator. This excites the stator into producing electricity. This electricity is 3 phase AC. This electricity traveles out on the 3 white wires to the rectifier. The rectifier converts the AC to DC. This DC is sent out on thered wire to the battery and ground on the black.
Now as the engine runs this electricity from the rec charges the battery, when the battery reaches 14.5 volts the regulatror stop sending power to the feild coil. No power to the feild coil and no power out of the sataor and rec. Now as the voltage drops to below the 14.5 volts the regturns the power back on and the cycle repeats itself. It cycles on and off several hundred times a second to maintain 14.5 volts at the batytery.
The bikes with a solid state reg does the same but can cycle thousands of time a second. This does a better job of keeping the battry at 14.5 volts.
With the bike running and you turn on the signals, this causes a voltage drop at the battery, the reg sences this and ups the power flow through the feild coil to keep the battery at 14.5 volts. Same with turning on the headlight, blowing the horn, using the brakes. When you turn something off the opopsite happens. The reg sences the higher voltage at the battery and cuts current in the feild coil, dropping the charge rate.
Now to answer your questions.
#1 yes the red wire carries power out from the battery as well as power from the rect to charge the battery. When the voltage is lees than 14.5 volts power flows from the rect to the battery to charge the battery. If the battery has more voltage, like when you turn on the key but have not started the bike then power flows out from the battery.
#2 Yes, power from the rec is sent to where ever power is needed, If there is no need and the battery is charged then the reg cuts the power to the feild coil to keep the battery from over charging.
.#3 and #4 If you read my desription you will see that the output of the alternator is always regulated and is done by controlling the current in the feild coil.
Leo
 
More thanks.
How do you know if you have a mechanical reg?
Presumably, the alternative to a mechanical one is the solid state one referred to by Drewpy (above)?
What is a rect?
What (and where) is a field coil?
Sorry, but I literally know none of the tech language and am not familiar with any of the components' functions beyond simple analogies to things like plumbing valves.
 
If I had pics of them I would post them so you would see them. Your repair manual should show them.
Rect is short for rectifier.
In side the alternator is the feild coil, rotor and stator. Your repair manual shows where they are.
Reading your repair manual will explain a lot of these things.
Leo
 
More thanks.
How do you know if you have a mechanical reg?
Presumably, the alternative to a mechanical one is the solid state one referred to by Drewpy (above)?
What is a rect?
What (and where) is a field coil?
Sorry, but I literally know none of the tech language and am not familiar with any of the components' functions beyond simple analogies to things like plumbing valves.

My voltage Regulator, picked it up from Oriellys
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Brand Information
Mechanical units feature heavy gauge coils to resist heat and keep voltage levels consistent, bi-metal hinges for better temperature compensation, and long-lasting contacts of gold, platinum, silver alloy or tungsten for maximum voltage control. A heavy gauge, one piece drawn base is used where required. ((Pasted from oReilly auto web site)) Associated link to my story at that time http://www.xs400.com/forum/showpost.php?p=88162&postcount=72
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/BWD1/R296.oap?pt=02115&ppt=C0330

What is a rect?
Rect is your rectifier, its generally under your battery box, if you haven't chopped/Bob. Both devices are attached to the battery box, the Rectifer and the Voltage reg. In my photo above, I had just made a new fuse holder, and was able to fit it in sliding it down ontop of the plastic fender piece. Rect has the 3 white wires.

What (and where) is a field coil?
Field coil is the thing in there with the stator. as your sitting on your seat, looking to the left, the outer most metal part of the engine, is the cover, over the Field coil, and the stator. So if your doing the magnetic attraction test, the whole round end of it, under/behind the Yamaha sign. If you have time too look at some of Drewpies build/bike running, he was able to put a clear piece so you can see the back side of the field coil, (memory foggy right now, I know someone had a fabulous movie of the oil filled see though section. over the stator/Field coil.) All 5 wires go in to that zone
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:thumbsup: (It is winter time now, but it will be nice soon!!!!)
 
:hijack:Okay, the difference of the solid state VR verses the mechanical. does anyone have a part number for a Solid state voltage reg? I know I have supported the one I got, I want to believe there is a skinner one out there.
Tobie
 
My voltage Regulator, picked it up from Oriellys ....
Thanks. Is the unit in your first photo a mechanical or a solid state rect?
According to my manual's circuit diagram (page 6-32), my bike has a single unit (#7) labelled "Rectifier/Regulator".
The diagram shows it having 6 wires: 3 white wires out of one side, a ground, and a brown and a red out the other side. Unfortunately, no picture of it in the manual so I will have to make an educated guess once I get the seat off etc.
 
LR, yours is solid state. It is the aluminium box with fins on it, under the left trim piece. And as the manual says, it is both the rectifier and voltage regulator in one unit. Mine is 7 wires. Black, 3x White, Red, Green, and Brown.
 
Mine is mechanical. I got the Pigtail, then the pig tail was only 2 wire. So I realized that the ground was missing, so I ran a extra wire to the frame/bolt, and ran it to the black wire in the connector. I had ordered the connectors from MikesXS, and replaced my old connector. so I had plenty of blade/spade connectors replacements.

Thanks. Is the unit in your first photo a mechanical or a solid state rect?
According to my manual's circuit diagram (page 6-32), my bike has a single unit (#7) labelled "Rectifier/Regulator".
I bought a combo while trouble shooting. My unit is still in there, but voltage reg tested bad. So I bought that Oriellys part Mechanical Regulator.

The diagram shows it having 6 wires: 3 white wires out of one side, a ground, and a brown and a red out the other side. Unfortunately, no picture of it in the manual so I will have to make an educated guess once I get the seat off etc.

http://www.xs400.com/forum/showpost.php?p=88162&postcount=72
my post from then.

So my memory serves, the 3 white wires are direct from Rectifier to Stator, with a jumper between. Looks like I replaced some wire with a green, and blue, and a black. The colors must be close to what was there. So grand total is 6. your bike is a bit older than my little one. so the color change is expected. Someone will know. They all ways know. hope that helped.
Tobie

ps the 3 connector block is for the voltage regulator.

Added
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Picture of grounding of black wire
My description of the wire mod,
I Crimped and soldiered (is that a word) Green to green, the Blue pigtail to the Bikes Brown, then one of the screws that I used to secure the regulator, I attached a ground wire, and included that into the wiring harness. that was Black to Black. I tried to keep it simple.
 
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