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The Projects Forum Working on an electronics project and would like some suggestions, help or critiques? If you would like to comment or assist others with their projects, this is the place to do it.

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  #11  
Old 11-16-2011, 01:57 AM
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SgtWookie SgtWookie is offline
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OK, I think you were a bit too close to the board when you were taking those photos, as they are both out of focus. We need really clear, sharp photos of them in order to make out the details - I know that isn't easy to do. I usually have to take a dozen or so before I start getting some decent photos.

Lighting is almost always problematic. The best lighting you can get is outside on a cloudy-bright day; as the lighting is very even - no harsh shadows; but waiting for a cloudy day just isn't very practical.

Can you take some photos of the generator from the ends, and try to get some good details around the wiring?

There are two studs/bolts/terminals w/nuts sticking out on the brush end. Are they both insulated from the frame?
What connects to those studs/bolts/terminals?

I know this process is kind of a pain in the neck to go through, but the information is really needed as we can't have "hands-on" with it.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2011, 02:57 PM
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The older style Harley voltage regulator was really a 'cut-out' not a true regulator. It 'cut-out' the voltage to the field at a certain voltage setting.

When you "polarized" your generator, did you have the regulator connected? If so that will fry the regulator. The electronic style regulator CAN NOT be connected when polarizing the generator. Also was the reg, a Cycle Electric brand or a knock-off? The imported knock-offs are notorious for failing.
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Last edited by shortbus; 11-16-2011 at 03:05 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2011, 04:45 PM
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The generator appears to be some kind of a retrofit of an original Harley 10A generator with a longer, finned end cap for an internal regulator.

Here's what I'm talking about:
http://www.greatplainscycle.com/Gene...Generators.php

This looks just like the body of the generator:
http://www.greatplainscycle.com/Gene...rley12v65A.jpg
those didn't come with built-in regulators.

Example of an internally regulated Harley generator:
http://www.greatplainscycle.com/Gene.../Harley12v.jpg

These appear to be completely newly manufactured units. The original vintage generators were rated for 10A. They could output 20A-30A, but they would burn up. So, the regulators for those generators had to be designed so that the generator current output would not exceed that 10A limit.

If this custom motorcycle has more lighting & accessories than the original motorcycle did, or the current draw has been increased from stock (wouldn't be hard to do, even just changing headlamps to halogen would do that) then the generator would be in a constant overload condition.

This would generate additional heat in the regulator, because it would have more of a voltage drop across it.

Later model Harleys have the regulator positioned between the downtubes, in front of the engine. This avoids the problem of having the regulator enclosed in a unit that has no forced air cooling while the bike is idling and stopped. A linear regulator would be very hard-pressed to survive under such conditions; which is likely why he keeps going through regulators.

Another good reason would be the shorting of wires to ground. I already commented in reply #8 that the wiring insulation was damaged. I didn't comment on the crimp-on connectors, but I consider those type very unreliable. I would use solder-type terminals, and insulate the joint with two layers of heat shrink tubing.

This generator:
http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/i...49-9700_1_.jpg
looks practically identical for the body, except for lacking the finned end cap.
Those were for 1965-1969 Harley Sportster & 1965-1981 Harley Big Twin, but are out of stock at that vendor.

Here I'm getting much closer:
http://www.sportsterspecialty.com/so...end-cover.html

That's for Sportsters, '65-'77.
No fins on the end cap, which means those regulators would probably last a shorter length of time than the ones our OP has been buying.
Not cheap at $95/ea, either.

It might be one of these:
http://www.brucerossmeyerparts.com/C...zztidaa3389zz~
Even less cheap at $177.

Odd, these look like the same thing, but ~$160:
http://www.brucerossmeyerparts.com/C...ductId=7748559

If you really wanted to get away from the solid state stuff burning up, you might revert to the original electromechanical relay-type regulator:
http://www.brucerossmeyerparts.com/A...catalogId=1570

or else go with a solid-state regulator that you can mount in front of the engine as they did with the later models.

Whatever you do, you should check over your wiring harness very carefully, and repair any sections where the insulation looks worn/aged/cracked. As I mentioned before, I don't like those crimp-on splices and terminals; they just are not reliable when crimped. Solder and 2x shrink tubing works well. Be careful to not allow the wire to get too warm, as solder will tend to "wick" up in the wire; this will make it less flexible and more subject to breakage. Hemostats work well as a heat sink.
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2011, 08:56 PM
debe debe is offline
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If you want to build a Reg this is a rough drawing of a Bosch type reg which may work in this aplication. The Tip125 needs a small heat sink. The diode in the line from the Armature to the battery must be big enough to carry the Generators total output current. This i think is probably close to the original concept. The indicator lamp is optional.
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File Type: jpg GENERATOR REG.jpg (95.1 KB, 29 views)
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:10 PM
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Say Daryl,
Looks like you have the transistors drawn upside-down; the emitters for a PNP go towards the positive rail. If connected the way you have it drawn, the body diode in the TIP125 would conduct constantly from the armature output into the field winding; it probably wouldn't last more than a few moments.
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2011, 09:33 PM
GaryRobb GaryRobb is offline
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The generator is a knock off I believe it is a volt tech. The information you guys are posting is great. A friend at work saw what I was trying to do, a close up picture. He had his camera with him and here is the results. And thanks
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  #17  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:07 PM
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@SgtWookie - here is what he is using on the end bell of the generator;http://www.cycleelectricinc.com/ Or as he said a knock-off.

Until 1958 all the used was a mechanical cut-out on Harley engines.
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  #18  
Old 11-16-2011, 10:26 PM
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Starting from lower left, the black item is a resistor
To it's right (orange item) is a diode
To the right of that is another resistor oriented vertically
The tan item to the right is a capacitor.
back to the left, there is a missing transistor above the resistor
Above that there is a missing resistor or capacitor
The large round item on the left is likely a power diode
The rectangular item on the far right is either a MOSFET or a transistor.
Can you read the numbers on the face of it?
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2011, 11:03 PM
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Hi Sarge. Went & double checked the circuit & they are PNP transistors. This is the original. Can you see where I may have gone wrong?
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File Type: jpg REG Bosch 3.jpg (286.4 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg REG Bosch 5.jpg (267.2 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg REG Bosch 6.jpg (299.2 KB, 16 views)
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Last edited by debe; 11-16-2011 at 11:45 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2011, 11:34 PM
GaryRobb GaryRobb is offline
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Sgt. Can't read anything. I feel I should cut my loses and go with a cycle electric American made. The one I have is made in Korea ( I should say the three I have)
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