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Old 08-20-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
jedijunk OP
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Honda XR400R rectifier installation

Hey guys, I tried to answer this just lurking/searching but could use a bit more guidance. I'm adding a Baja Designs rectifier to my XR400R so I can add a 15watt LED trail light. I'm not planning on upgrading the stator or adding other components at this time.

1) Where is the best place to tap into the wiring harness to install the rectifier? My understanding is that this Baja Designs unit is a regulator/rectifier combo, so do I just replace the stock Honda regulator under the gas tank with this unit? Or do I put the Baja unit somewhere before or after that? I've seen pictures of guys putting aftermarket rectifiers under their seat, but for all I know the unit is actually wired in somewhere up near the front of the bike. I just don't want to have to completely unwrap my whole wiring harness if I can get an idea of where the best place to tap in is.
2) Is there significant potential of harm in trying to run this LED light without a capacitor or battery to buffer it? I heard that some LED drivers are "picky" about their DC voltage source. I don't have a capacitor or battery and don't mind trying it without either if there's not a significant risk of damaging the LED driver with the output of the Baja rectifier.

Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:36 AM   #2
RideFreak
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The regulator/rectifier connects to the two wires coming up from the stator in place of the current AC regulator, the other 2 wires connecting up to the AC regulator (going into the harness) connect to the reg/rect outputs. You'll probably want a battery or capacitor in parallel with the reg/rect output. The DC coming out of the regulator is all over the place, the battery or cap will smoothen it out allot. I went with the cap, much lighter than a battery. Unlike headlights, most LEDs used for a tail lights don't use drivers, they're just simple cheap LEDs like what's sold a radioshack. You can try it w/o the cap or battery and it should work but the DC you end up with isn't usable for much else like a GPS or some other load you might want to add later. I want to add this will convert the entire lighting system over to DC so you'll see the additional flicker of unsmoothed (noisy) DC at the headlight also which is another reason to throw a cap in there.

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Old 08-22-2014, 12:22 AM   #3
jedijunk OP
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And now a capacitor question :-)

Ok, I installed the rectifier in place of the stock regulator and tried the LED lighting. It works, but it pulses on and off. I couldn't find a small 12vdc battery locally (living in Cambodia) but found a run capacitor epoxy-sealed in a rectangular (?!?) plastic enclosure stamped "MF Cap, 10MFD, WV.400VAC". Sound OK?

I'm going to try installing that in parallel with the rectifiers outputs. It was only $1.50 so I'm thinking the quality is a bit suspect. I'll use eye protection when I try to start the bike just in case...

Thanks for your help so far!
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:25 AM   #4
RideFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedijunk View Post
Ok, I installed the rectifier in place of the stock regulator and tried the LED lighting. It works, but it pulses on and off. I couldn't find a small 12vdc battery locally (living in Cambodia) but found a run capacitor epoxy-sealed in a rectangular (?!?) plastic enclosure stamped "MF Cap, 10MFD, WV.400VAC". Sound OK?

I'm going to try installing that in parallel with the rectifiers outputs. It was only $1.50 so I'm thinking the quality is a bit suspect. I'll use eye protection when I try to start the bike just in case...

Thanks for your help so far!

That cap is a little small (10,000~40,000mf @ 40VDC is usually what folks run for a cap). If you're using LED and it's pulsing real bad a small battery is your best bet.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:47 AM   #5
MartiniUp
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You guys who understand electricity impress me greatly. There is no living creature of any form on earth that understands it less that I.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #6
LtsGoRyd
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Me toooooooooo Martini

Uhh, I think we'd be neck n neck on who's the most lost there. I generally enjoy being lost......but not with electricity...........things can go wrong faster than my reaction time
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
RideFreak
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Unfortunately I have work with it every day, anything from 24v doc to 15kv ac. I prefer 12v dc when possible.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
jedijunk OP
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Thumb Follow-up

Ok, for the sake of future readers: I got the rectifier installed, a 10,000mf capacitor in parallel on the output, which then was wired back in to the lighting circuit of the wiring harness (at the original connector for the regulator under the gas tank).

BUT the LED light I had installed was still strobing (not just flickering) like crazy. I decided it was acting like it was running on AC instead of DC, and I guessed that AC current was somehow bleeding back in to the lighting circuit through the ground wire. So I ran two new wires straight from the rectifier/capacitor combo outputs (under the seat) up to the handlebar switch for the lighting, effectively "floating" the ground and isolating the lights and horn circuits from the rest of the bike. Boom. Instantly steady light. All I have to do now is wire the taillight directly in to that circuit (at the same spot after the capacitor) and I'll be good to go.

To recap, I used the stock wiring harness to get AC power from the stator up to the regulator connector under the gas tank, ran two new wires from there to the inputs of the Baja Designs rectifier under the seat, and ran new wires from the output of that rectifier to a 10,000mf capacitor (also under the seat) and then more new wires on to the headlight and taillight.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:57 AM   #9
LtsGoRyd
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Calling RideFreak......

For some electrical wisdom.....Hey RF, I know this will be like calling your car mechanic from a pay phone and asking them to diagnose car noise with out the car at the shop, but.....figured I'd ask anyways, cause I can't seem to find an answer by myself.

So, 2 weeks ago, a friend of mine helped me install a new Ricky Stator and there adjustable rectifier/regulator and trail Tech Nickel Metal Hydride battery on my 2004 xr400. After install, headlight high and low was very bright 65watt high beam, horn was very defined, everything worked as it should....Took it out on 3 multiple hr rides, shutting bike off and on, no problems. Took it out 4th multiple hr dual sport ride, and somewhere in the 5th hr, I noticed my headlight wasn't as bright in high and low, and my horn, sounded like it did when I was running oem stator( very weak, barely could hear it, but good enough for inspection purposes). Got it home, no problem, and engine never changed in performance, still strong , no hesitations ect.

Next day fired it up, no problem, lights are still the same weak high and low like they were on oem stator, pushed my horn(while bike is running and not running) it's super loud( like ear piercing loud) and when I push the horn button it sends a surge off energy through my vapor in the form of RPMS on the computer display. So when I press my horn, it screams at me, and lites up my RPM computer display, (not the engine) just computer, with maximum RPM bar rating on computer screen.

I am very challenged by electricity and flow of current and don't understand how to use a volt meter. I've always been a mechanical learner, so understanding things I can't see can be very confusing to me. I've tried Mike at Ricky Stator to help me trouble shoot and he's been nice, but unsuccessful to help me get this mystery solved. 2 other details, I also have a pro cycle wiring harness and Baja designs headlight installed to bike to make things even more confusing to me, and I think I have exhausted my friend that helped me install all of this stuff. I know this is a long shot, but am hoping with the help of you and this site we can get this thing figured out. At this point if I had to pay someone to figure it out for me, I'd scrape the dough up and pay, but, believe it or not I don't have a competent shop anywhere close to me. So here I am with my fingers crossed and still trying to trouble shoot it in my head by myself......and I gota say.......................my head hurts.........................I'm going to go build a bicycle wheel for a customer, and hopefully my head will stop throbbing..............Thanks for reading this epic story of electric confusion.......joe
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Old Yesterday, 09:41 AM   #10
RideFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtsGoRyd View Post
For some electrical wisdom.....Hey RF, I know this will be like calling your car mechanic from a pay phone and asking them to diagnose car noise with out the car at the shop, but.....figured I'd ask anyways, cause I can't seem to find an answer by myself.

So, 2 weeks ago, a friend of mine helped me install a new Ricky Stator and there adjustable rectifier/regulator and trail Tech Nickel Metal Hydride battery on my 2004 xr400. After install, headlight high and low was very bright 65watt high beam, horn was very defined, everything worked as it should....Took it out on 3 multiple hr rides, shutting bike off and on, no problems. Took it out 4th multiple hr dual sport ride, and somewhere in the 5th hr, I noticed my headlight wasn't as bright in high and low, and my horn, sounded like it did when I was running oem stator( very weak, barely could hear it, but good enough for inspection purposes). Got it home, no problem, and engine never changed in performance, still strong , no hesitations ect.

Next day fired it up, no problem, lights are still the same weak high and low like they were on oem stator, pushed my horn(while bike is running and not running) it's super loud( like ear piercing loud) and when I push the horn button it sends a surge off energy through my vapor in the form of RPMS on the computer display. So when I press my horn, it screams at me, and lites up my RPM computer display, (not the engine) just computer, with maximum RPM bar rating on computer screen.

I am very challenged by electricity and flow of current and don't understand how to use a volt meter. I've always been a mechanical learner, so understanding things I can't see can be very confusing to me. I've tried Mike at Ricky Stator to help me trouble shoot and he's been nice, but unsuccessful to help me get this mystery solved. 2 other details, I also have a pro cycle wiring harness and Baja designs headlight installed to bike to make things even more confusing to me, and I think I have exhausted my friend that helped me install all of this stuff. I know this is a long shot, but am hoping with the help of you and this site we can get this thing figured out. At this point if I had to pay someone to figure it out for me, I'd scrape the dough up and pay, but, believe it or not I don't have a competent shop anywhere close to me. So here I am with my fingers crossed and still trying to trouble shoot it in my head by myself......and I gota say.......................my head hurts.........................I'm going to go build a bicycle wheel for a customer, and hopefully my head will stop throbbing..............Thanks for reading this epic story of electric confusion.......joe
You're description doesn't really give much in the way of how you created the DC system, is it along side the existing AC? I'll assume it is: There's an issue where the grounds from the A/C & D/C need to be separate. Typically with a ricky stator, 2 of the outputs are connected up to the A/C inputs on the bike's existing electrical system. Those are grounded at various points in the system which is fine. The other 2 outputs are used to power a DC system through a voltage regulator/rectifier. When you add a rectifier and DC accessories/lights the ground for those needs to be run back to the (-) on the battery separately and not connected anywhere to the metal of the frame. There's is one exception, the reg/rect typically has a metal case, the excess DC is bled off to ground through the case, the regulator gets mounted somewhere, the case of the regulator needs to be connected to ground....When the 2 systems are not kept separate it causes weird interactions between the two.

If you really want to learn the ins & outs of the 2 different systems, read the XR650R Electricity thread. It's system is identical to the XR4.
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Old Yesterday, 10:35 AM   #11
LtsGoRyd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RideFreak View Post
You're description doesn't really give much in the way of how you created the DC system, is it along side the existing AC? I'll assume it is: There's an issue where the grounds from the A/C & D/C need to be separate. Typically with a ricky stator, 2 of the outputs are connected up to the A/C inputs on the bike's existing electrical system. Those are grounded at various points in the system which is fine. The other 2 outputs are used to power a DC system through a voltage regulator/rectifier. When you add a rectifier and DC accessories/lights the ground for those needs to be run back to the (-) on the battery separately and not connected anywhere to the metal of the frame. There's is one exception, the reg/rect typically has a metal case, the excess DC is bled off to ground through the case, the regulator gets mounted somewhere, the case of the regulator needs to be connected to ground....When the 2 systems are not kept separate it causes weird interactions between the two.

If you really want to learn the ins & outs of the 2 different systems, read the XR650R Electricity thread. It's system is identical to the XR4.
Thanks taking trying to help me out RF. I'd say it is running along side of the existing AC. 2 of the outputs are connected to AC inputs of bikes existing electrical system, the other two are "piggybacked" together to the regulator/rectifier, then to the positive lead on battery. I haven't done anything with the factory ground or the location of the factory ground on the bike. Looks like I've more reading to catch up on.

LtsGoRyd screwed with this post Yesterday at 10:49 AM
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Old Yesterday, 06:59 PM   #12
RideFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtsGoRyd View Post
Thanks taking trying to help me out RF. I'd say it is running along side of the existing AC. 2 of the outputs are connected to AC inputs of bikes existing electrical system, the other two are "piggybacked" together to the regulator/rectifier, then to the positive lead on battery. I haven't done anything with the factory ground or the location of the factory ground on the bike. Looks like I've more reading to catch up on.
I'd suggest leaving the factory wiring alone, run any dc grounds back to the battery (-), bolt the reg itself to something metal or bolt a wire to the reg housing and ground it to the frame.
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Old Today, 08:26 AM   #13
LtsGoRyd
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Thanks RF

...... I'll give it a shot, and I'll post back here as soon as I get a chance to hook it up. Probably want be until Sat or Sunday evening, but I'll let ya now. Thanks again for the trouble shooting with me and telling me about the xr650r electricity thread. I'm only on page 7, but it has already been an eye opener. I'm a little slow on the reading cause I'm having to read things multiple times . Be safe on the holiday weekend.
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