Primer on electrical systems

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Chisenhallw, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

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    Is there a good book out there that could serve as an introduction to electrical systems? Thanks for your recommendations.
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  2. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    There are many books avail and I'd recommend buy as many as you can afford. Most basically cover the same material but one can cover a certain section in more detail depending how far you want to dive in. Not saying it's the best but for your library I would include. "How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical System." Written by Tracy Martin, published by Motorbooks. IMO it's a good start. Others specialize more in ignition systems, some instrumentation, others more EFI etc. No one $25 book is going to make you an auto elec tech but Martins is a decent basic starter manual for us electron impaired types. Buying even a few books and some basic elect test tools(you don't need a pro $300 Fluke DMM for 12V car/bike repairs) and will be cheaper than paying shop time.
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  3. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

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    A basic starter manual is all I'm looking for. I appreciate the recommendation! Anybody else got any more?
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  4. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    look for a class at the local community college? a beginning electrical course that teaches ohms law & meter use would be good if you don't know that stuff already. when you plug a meter into a circuit, numbers will appear on the screen... they can be deceptive if you don't have the exposure to interpret them. usually these courses will have an associated lab where you get to build and test circuits. ya, they aren't automotive circuits, but learning the theory & application is really the cornerstone if you hope to be good at it. there is nothing like building circuits along side someone that knows the purpose of the project. also, many colleges offer these kinds of skills as an "audit" which means you don't have to make a grade or take the tests, etc (and of course, you don't get a grade or college credits).

    CCs and Vocational schools also offer automotive and aviation programs that have courses that cover the stuff you really want, but usually there is a basic electricity prerequisite requirement... look around.
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  5. ST-DocLizard1

    ST-DocLizard1 Serial Monogamist

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    Haynes has good manual on Motorcycle Electrical Systems and there is another one by Tracy Martin covering repair and troubleshooting.

    Google is your friend.
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  6. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    It's highly dependant on what you're trying to do! If it'S just to know what it does , you can find all sorts of schematics on line. If you're trouble shooting your system , probably any of the motorcycle Manuel's will suffice, since all motorcycles are pretty close in designe and use.
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  7. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

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    Thanks for those! Google also produces a ton of results that can be hard to winnow through unless you know pretty closely what you're looking for. Better to go straight to the experts.
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  8. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I found "The 12 Volt Bible for Boats" by Brotherton to be a good primer on the basics of DC and how to troubleshoot. It contains a lot of marine related stuff, as the title would suggest, but it covers most topics in enough depth while remaining readable. All of the P=IV and V=IR stuff translates to anything that has a DC circuit.

    Ignition systems are another matter- and it wont cover those.
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  9. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    The haynes book is good.

    It also helps to look at books about DC systems. And read up on how to read wiring diagrams

    Get a decent digital multimeter and a test lamp. Then spend some quality time with your bike, your wiring diagram
    the haynes manual, the two test devices, clean and inspect your bikes electrical systems

    You will see how things work, are wired and get a chance to make sure everything is up to snuff.
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  10. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    and be aware that digital meters read different that analog meters when testing solid state devices... has to do with the way meters process numbers and the characteristics of the devices. the word 'transistor" is a contraction of "transforming resistor" if that's any help. what that means is, most manuals for older bikes have test numbers that come from an analog meter.... a digital will not read the same. this would be true for things like your CDI or transistor regulator. straight resistances like a coil of wire is the same though. good luck
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  11. Chisenhallw

    Chisenhallw Avowed Pussbag

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    :lurk
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  12. chammyman

    chammyman Been here awhile

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    Automobile electronics by Eric Chowanietz

    Cheap in paperback and 2nd hand. Used for most education in motor vehicle courses here in the uk
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  13. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    ...and does it have a "positive earth"? :rofl
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