aboard

Author Topic: Auxiliary Lights & Alternator Output  (Read 419 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Superchuck

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
  • Karma: 0
on: October 30, 2018, 12:48:31 pm
I now find myself with a perfectly working Enfield AVL, which is slowly becoming my daily driver. 

My commute is 30 miles each direction, mostly highway.  Since it's becoming winter, I find I want auxiliary lights for visibility on the road (so others can see me). 

I already have a blaring emgo shorty exhaust and a hi-lighter yellow helmet...  But I live in Maryland and our cagers are terrifying. 

I found this older post which outlines some theory and synopsis of the AVL alternator output:  https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,25281.msg296603.html#msg296603

The last post in that thread summarizes that the wiring harness should be capable of about 20A.  I have a 15A main fuse, and a 15A TCI fuse (both blade-style).  Please correct my electrical theory below... I am but a layperson:

Since my wiring harness is 15A at 12V, that means it tops out at 180 watts of draw before things start to blow.  I have a 12v 7ah AGM aftermarket battery and I strictly kick-start.

It is stated in that above post that the AVL alternator appears to be capable of 220 watts.  In this other thread, the alternator is said to output 196 watts per an AVL Electra service manual (unsure which one):  https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php/topic,5855.msg66922.html#msg66922

I want to tally up all my electrical draw to see if I have ample room to add some auxiliary lights (without nearing the max of my 180w harness).  What all should go into this tally?

- Headlight bulb - 60w
- Brake Light - 27w (1157 bulb) - Running light is only 8.3w  - (Do I need to add both, or does the running light turn off when the brake light is on?)
- Turn signals - 10w each bulb, 20w at a time when active

So far, that all totals 115.3w or 107w if we can discount the tail running light.

How much wattage is needed to keep a charge on the battery, and how much wattage does the bike take to maintain its running activity - (is that just TCI and Coil, or is there more?).

Help me classic motorworks forum, you're my only hope!

Chuck


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 02:54:44 pm
My old Electra-X (AVL) shop manual also states an alternator output of 196W, but this is, I suspect, the MAXIMUM output.

The brake light will only be used intermittently, I take it.

The tail running light will be on when the headlamp or pilot lights are on (as will the speedometer and ammeter light), so don't discount it. Running with no lights on (I think US models can be made to do this) will see most of the alternator output converted to heat by the reg/rectifier unit.

If you want to reduce the power drain on your system, eg to add day-running lights as an extra precaution against the cagers, you can covert tungsten filament bulbs to LED, assuming LEDs are legal where you are.

A.


Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


Superchuck

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
  • Karma: 0
Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 03:45:13 pm
Thank you Adrian,

I replaced my speedo and ammeter light with LED's, so that is negligible.  Let's call it 5 watts to be super conservative.

I no longer have the tiger-eye pilot lights since I relocated my front turn signals to those locations.

I would like to replace my tail light bulb with an LED, but I need to find something small enough to fit my aftermarket light fixture.  (it's currently using a 1157 with a shortened bulb portion).

My turn signals are LED, but after many attempts at LED flasher units, etc, I opted for the inline resistors which add additional load to the stock (heat-triggered) flasher unit.  Looking at it now, these are the resistors I am using.  They say 50w, which sounds high to me:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L4V9ECY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

^My turn signals work, but this is a less-than-elegant solution.  However, it's only an intermittent load on my electrics, much like the brake light.

I ordered 4 of those ebay chinese non-heat sink LED H4 bulbs that I found discussed on a few other threads.  I bought 4 for $11 USD shipped.  3 of them burned out immediately.  I'm not surprised, but others on here said they worked great for them.  Luck of the draw I guess.  I am hoping my 4th bulb is a winner, but not counting on it.  If it works, that's my solution, but not holding my breath.

Does the coil and tci and bike in general really not take up any wattage, and it's only the lights I need to tally up?

Thanks!
Chuck


heloego

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,010
  • Karma: 0
Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 05:35:30 pm
   I think I was the OP about the cheap Chinese LEDs. "Cheap" well describes them. After 4 times replacing them I've decided to go with something a bit more expensive next time. Seems they all blow the Low Beam almost immediately. Nothing to do with the lack of a heat sink. Rather very poor quality soldered connections. Not worth attempting a repair.


   Take a look at Superbright LEDs for a replacement 1157 tail light.   This may work: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake-turn/1157-led-bulb-dual-function-19-led-forward-firing-cluster-bay15d-retrofit-car-classic-car-bulbs/508/.

   

'18 Bonneville T-100, Blue/White
'12 C5 Classic
'06 Electra X AVL w/32mm Mikuni and Gold Star system.


Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #4 on: October 31, 2018, 06:27:59 am
I don't know how what the supply of H4 halogen bulb replacements is like in the USA, in the UK we have several suppliers who claim to have a fit-for-purpose item.

http://www.norbsa02.freeuk.com/goffyWhyNotLEDs.htm

https://www.classiccarleds.co.uk/collections/headlight-led-bulbs/products/latest-3000k-warm-white-led-headlight-h4-motorcycle-hi-lo-beam-conversion-9-32v

Or this one, scroll down for the 6th(!) generation H4 replacement.

http://www.dynamoregulatorconversions.com/led-headlamp-bulbs-shop.php

Just be aware BEFORE you order that they're bulkier than a normal H4 bulb (not as bad as some of the early versions) which **can** cause problems in the RE casquette housing, so check carefully for speedometer clearance. Good excuse to replace the casquette with a proper headlamp, but that's another issue.

A.
 
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


Superchuck

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
  • Karma: 0
Reply #5 on: October 31, 2018, 01:58:44 pm
These are both great suggestions.  I've ordered the tail light bulb and will look deeper into those headlight options. 

From everything I have read in the past on this forum, the general consensus is that the wiring on these bikes is not very capable, and it seems like these answers echo those sentiments (aka just reduce your current load, then add more from there). 

I am still interested in mathing-it-out a bit in case anyone can clue me in.  My ammeter reads a positive charge at all times, and most of my riding is 55-60 mph in 5th gear.  In theory this would yield a healthy alternator output. 

On other forums (non-enfields), I have heard it suggested that you can bog your battery with additional accessories (heated grips, etc) as long as you turn them off 20 minutes before stopping, so that your battery can recharge.  Now I'm not going to go throwing heated grips on this thing, but if I were to add two 18watt LED clusters, is there anything I should worry about besides battery wear?



Adrian II

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Karma: 0
  • Sharing my ignorance with anyone who needs it
Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 07:33:55 am
As I have mentioned before these bikes are now often more than ten years old, so watch out for degradation of the wiring insulation, corroded terminals, reg/rectifier performance, etc.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


Superchuck

  • Grand Gearhead
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
  • Karma: 0
Reply #7 on: November 01, 2018, 08:16:35 am
Agreed, and that's a really good point.

I've had 3 years of intermittent wiring troubles, and recently replaced my RR unit which so far seems to have been the culprit (many blown lights, some fried wires/connectors).  But all is good now.  (knock on wood)

I really am a novice, but I familiarized myself with the wiring on my bike thanks mainly to the help I received on here. 

I haven't done a full replacement of the harness, but I've repaired portions of it as needed.  I guess I was hoping that there was more capacity for auxiliary draw. 

It makes sense that with the limited production of these AVL's, and the fact that most enthusiasts stick with a traditional minimalist setup, added to the fact that the electrics are probably the weakest point on these bikes, I am probably safer not adding more.

Hopefully I can get one of those LED headlights to work, and I'll plan on adding additional draw only up to what the stock halogens would be. 

I love this bike, but it was never designed to be a modern highway commuter.  (it is my first and only motorcycle, and i got it in Jan. 2011)  It keeps up well enough on the interstate, but I feel like I'm on borrowed time until a big breakdown.  Luckily the wife decided recently that she'd like to learn to ride, so I may pick up a modern small/mid displacement bike in the next year, and that would probably be more suited for my daily commuting purposes.

Can't beat the grin factor of the Enfield though.  I just feel like I'll be underwhelmed by anything else.


Bilgemaster

  • Just some guy
  • Grease Monkey
  • ****
  • Posts: 454
  • Karma: 0
  • 2005 Bullet 500ES in "Mean Green" Military Trim
Reply #8 on: November 11, 2018, 08:49:16 pm
[...Snip!]  I already have a blaring emgo shorty exhaust and a hi-lighter yellow helmet...  But I live in Maryland and our cagers are terrifying. [Snip!...]


It's true what you say about the cockeyed drivers hereabouts, Chuck. You just can't help but notice that whole sudden change in "mood" approaching DC's Vortex of Duh  from anywhere else. After so many uneventful hours of dull travel from Ohio, New England or wherever, suddenly you're swept up in some friggin' white knuckled Battle of Britain: the now typically unsignaled lane changes become "twitchier", more frequent and usually utterly pointless, brake lights ahead flash more merrily as a result, and passing becomes far more frequent on the right than left...Do you live south of Baltimore City proper? 'Cause heading southbound on 95 I usually notice this "mood swing" really commences the intenses around the aptly named "Skaggsville" exit. I suspect the cause of this whole "DC Meanies" phenomenon may be akin to those behavioral experiments where they shove too damned many rats in a cage 'til they start attacking and eating each other. Folks just be like wigged out here, but not in the same way as, say, those other famed paragons of fine and well ordered driving, your "Boston Massholes," where it's at least a sort of sporting  wheeled chaos, which even has its own guidebook called Wild in the Streets. Then again, both of these fine locales' driving idiosyncrasies pale in comparison to The Dreamstate Wheeled Bizarroworld that is rural Romania.



"Playing the back 95 through Skaggsville"
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 08:01:50 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.