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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired a new Li motorcycle battery made by EarthX and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with these. They have an internal processor that supposedly protects the cells from overcharging, among other things. I have been reading over all the previous posts here on HT regarding using Li batteries and I am aware of their sensitivity to excess voltage. EarthX claims that their batteries will not be damaged by charging voltages up to 15V. I am currently running a modern silicon bridge rectifier with the original voltage regulator but I plan on swapping then out for on of SparkMoto's R/R units. I should also mention that I am not running a electric starter, kick only; and I have all the electrics, battery included in a tray I built under the seat.

I say "acquired" because I was not in the market for a new battery but have gonr through four YUSA 4ah AGM batteries in the last year and the dealer was reluctant about giving me another one on warranty. Instead they gave me a credit toward this earthX which is the smallest 12ah battery they carry. They insisted it was because the charging amperage is too high on a cb350. This makes sense, I read somewhere on this site that you should never charge a battery with more than 10% of its amperage thus charging current for a 12ah battery should never exceed 1.2a. I selected the YUASA battery for its size not really knowing how well it would work.

So, since the charging discussions and battery debates never get old, any thoughts?

If noting else I will post my experience with this battery here for future reference by all.
 

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your Yuasa 4AH kept dying because it wasn't powerful enough to run the bike.
how many AH is the LI one?

I don't know that brand so will be interested to hear how it works
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The EarthX is 12ah.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So just as an update, I have been running this setup (SparkMoto's R/R and EarthX 12ah Li battery) for a few weeks now and it seems to working good. I realize now that I had been running with a weak spark for a while due to the undersized battery. I still need to top off the battery on the trickle charger after riding but it is better. previously with the stock regulator and radioshack rectifier my battery would be around 25% after riding now it is around 50%.
 

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I have a CB360, but the alternator and regulator and rectifier are the same as a CB350. With the Sparckmoto RR on my bike, the bike's battery stays at 100% on rides. Your system has an issue if it cannot put out enough to keep the battery fully charged.

While these charging systems are weak in general, they are large enough that if you are over 3000 RPM, the alternator should put out 100% of the current needed to run the bike. At 5000 RPM, their should be a net gain.

Do you have any loads on the system other than stock lighting and coils?

Do you have the yellow and white wire from the alternator jumper together to maintain full alternator output?

Do you keep the RPM above 3000 except for idling or very slow traffic?

something is wrong if the battery loses charge on a normal ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, nothing beyond stock drawing current. I do have the yellow and white wires connected bypassing the headlight switch cutout.

Sounds like I need to go though my wiring and make sure everything is connected properly otherwise.

I have tested my stator before and the voltage reading are within the normal ranges listed elsewhere in this site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went back and tested my charging system and here is what I found:

I have continuity between the Yellow and White wires (headlight switch jump)
AC Voltage between the Pink and Yellow wires 19.5 @ 1250 rpm - 64.5 @ 5000 rpm
DC voltage at the battery with the alternator re-connected is 13.0 @ 1250 rpm - 13.1
after a short ride I have 13.0 voltage at the battery, engine not running.
when I connect it to the charger is begins charging at 50% :confused:

AC voltage seems a little low, but seem to have ample DC voltage.

Is it possible that I am not getting enough Amps from the alternator despite having 13V? Or is the battery suspect?

I do have another alternator maybe I will swap them out and see what I get.
 

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If you have a stock regulator/rectifier, you should have 15.0 volts +/- 0.5 volts. At 5000 RPM, design is 14.8 volts...This assumes a charged battery.

Here's the info from the manual...:

Alternator output CB350.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am using the sparkmoto R/R and a lithium battery. I would imagine that throws the numbers off a bit.
MY gut feeling is that I need to try out a different battery and see how that compares.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
so i tried out a spare alternator coil and the AC voltage across the pink and yellow wire were about the same, slightly lower. 16V @ 1200RPM to 62V at 5000RPM VS 19V @ 1200 rpm - 64V @ 5000 rpm.

DC voltage at the battery is in the range of 13.0 - 13.1 throughout the rev range. Is this normal for the Sparckmoto R/R?

I dont believe there is any problem with the alternator. I am wondering if perhaps the battery is damaged and not actually providing 12ah. so the rate of discharge is slowly outpacing the available charging current under normal operating conditions.

EDIT
note to self: connect green wire to battery (-) to very that I have a good ground connection.
 

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In a properly functioning system, the battery does not supply any amps above idle. All current comes from the alternator. The DC voltage should never exceed around 13.4 volts as the regulator grounds excess current. A good ground is needed for reference as well as a 12v reference (black wire on r/r).
Sparckmoto is see signed around a 13.4 volt setting, but can vary a couple of tenths. This is to prevent overcharging the lithium batteries. I have my black wire hooked to the original regulator's chassis black wire. Mine has a .8 voltage drop. So 13 volts looks like 12.2 at the sense wire. So mine regulates to 14.2 volts. I have a conventional lead acid battery so I like the closer to 14.5 volts that is best for them.

Batteries are for starting and for short idle times when the alternator output is low. The battery is then charged whenever the RPM is above 2500 to 3000 RPM and up

Sent from planet Earth using mysterious electronic devices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have my black wire connected the same way.
When you say voltage drop is that difference between what is measured from the black wire and the voltage measured at the battery? Is a .8V drop typical?

Just to add to my understanding of how the R/R is working: The Sense wire is looking a reference voltage and this determines what voltage it regulates to?

Thanks,
-Dan
 
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More specifically, the voltage on the "sense" wire "tells" the R/R what the voltage going into the battery is.... When the voltage on the sense wire exceeds the preset limit of the R/R (13.4V), it causes the excess to be shunted momentarily (until it drops below the preset) to ground where it is dissapated as heat....In the case discussed (with .08V drop) the sense wire is showing less than actual battery voltage so until the (rectifier output/battery recharging) input voltage reaches .08V above the 13.4V (or an actual 14.2 @the battery) it sense wire isn't "telling" the regulator to shunt.....OR, said another way, The R/R always triggers the shunt at the preset 13.4V (+ or -), but if the voltage to it is diminshed (by .08V) it doesn't "read" 13.4V until the battery voltage is actually 14.2V.......

Does that help clarify the situation?.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok yes, so this R/R is by design set to 13.4V. that is a constant. the variable is the voltage at the sense wire which may or may not (voltage drop) accurately reflect the battery voltage. The regulator allows input voltage to pass through until it detects 13.4V at the sense wire. Got it. Thanks!
 

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I have my black wire connected the same way.
When you say voltage drop is that difference between what is measured from the black wire and the voltage measured at the battery? Is a .8V drop typical?

Just to add to my understanding of how the R/R is working: The Sense wire is looking a reference voltage and this determines what voltage it regulates to?

Thanks,
-Dan
I don't think the drop is normal. It was why my stock regulator was allowing 15.7 volts, a bit over the spec. At some point I will be replacing all the connector on the bike. As I have been doing this, lights are getting brighter and everything works more reliably. I have a whole lot of connectors and the crimping tool from VintageConnections.com . As I work on the bike, I replace the old, corroded connectors with fresh. The black wire comes from the ignition switch. The switch, while still working, has a bit of that drop built in due to wear. I have taken the switch apart and cleaned the contacts, but they are fairly worn. New switches are available, so that is on my things to do list.

Once the wiring is up to par, I may need to add a resistor to the black sense wire to keep the voltage at the point I want it.

Next time the tank is off, I will be refreshing all the ground connections.
 

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Is a .8V drop typical?
If you're speaking generally about old wiring (and connections) on old vehicles... I once measured 10.8V at the fuel pump on a car, lol.

We would probably all benefit from shiny new wires/connections throughout ALL our various vehicles. Corroded wires/terminals don't flow (electricity) nearly as well as new ones do; their resistance is higher.

Regards,
 

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Just to take that a little further MDM, because of the way electricity and for that matter signal flow around the outside of the conductor and not down the center, you can have issues with corrosion under the jacket far from the ends of wire. If the jacket becomes cracked and water is allowed in to corrode it can cause a fairly large spike in resistance. In my work that adds up to more noise in a signal line but in electrics it creates a resistance that causes that drop.

With vintage bike electrics if a wire suspect to be bad you replace it. Same with my radio antenna cables I use at work, if the resistance is more than a few ohms off from new, it goes in the trash.

Funny thing is, dad had a late 90's jeep Grand Cherokee that would periodically eat fuel pumps. First 3 the dealer had installed under warranty before higher ranked tech came out and said the dealer wasn't going to replace the third until they could figure out why it was doing it. They tore that car apart looking for issues, I believe it was getting somewhere around 9 volts to the pump. Guy was about to run a completely separate wire when he found the problem, right under the right side dash there was a terminal plug block. The fuel pump wire passed through that and the terminals had somehow managed to work loose in the block and come partially out.

He pulled them out of the block stuck them together and soldered them right there. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I don't think the drop is normal. It was why my stock regulator was allowing 15.7 volts, a bit over the spec. At some point I will be replacing all the connector on the bike. As I have been doing this, lights are getting brighter and everything works more reliably. I have a whole lot of connectors and the crimping tool from VintageConnections.com . As I work on the bike, I replace the old, corroded connectors with fresh. The black wire comes from the ignition switch. The switch, while still working, has a bit of that drop built in due to wear. I have taken the switch apart and cleaned the contacts, but they are fairly worn. New switches are available, so that is on my things to do list.

Once the wiring is up to par, I may need to add a resistor to the black sense wire to keep the voltage at the point I want it.

Next time the tank is off, I will be refreshing all the ground connections.
That was going to be my next question-->Can I add a resistor to dial in the just the right voltage? I may go that route. The manufacturer lists the optimal charging voltage for this battery at 13.9V-14.6V. Which seems high for a Li but then again it was probably intended for use in systems designed for Lead Acid. The battery has a built in processor to monitor and deliver the appropriate current to the cells or the cut voltage to prevent damage.

EarthX ETX12A specs.JPG


The VinatgeConnections kit is definitely on my Christmas wish list. :D
 

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Funny thing is, dad had a late 90's jeep Grand Cherokee that would periodically eat fuel pumps. First 3 the dealer had installed under warranty before higher ranked tech came out and said the dealer wasn't going to replace the third until they could figure out why it was doing it. They tore that car apart looking for issues, I believe it was getting somewhere around 9 volts to the pump. Guy was about to run a completely separate wire when he found the problem, right under the right side dash there was a terminal plug block. The fuel pump wire passed through that and the terminals had somehow managed to work loose in the block and come partially out.

He pulled them out of the block stuck them together and soldered them right there. :D
That's kind of how I learned about voltage drops. One day I managed to buy a 1986 Buick T-Type (Regal) for $1000 because the owner hadn't been able to get it started in a YEAR. It had to be towed to my apartment. I had been reading on the GN/T-Type mailing list about hot-wiring the stock fuel pump, so I checked the voltage at the pump - zero, went to Radio Shack to get some wire and a relay (Note: Radio Shack relays aren't nearly as durable as Bosch). Came home and installed it. Ten minutes later I was doing an 80mph powerbrake burnout right below my kitchen window. I know I "probably" shouldn't have with a car that had set - but my (then) wife was at the sink doing dishes and I had been hearing her screaming about how I spent $1,000 on a car that wouldn't even run and probably never would since I wasn't a mechanic. She got the message, but I later wished that the window had been shut :rolleyes: . Anyway, it turned out to be a different issue that wasn't letting the pump run via the normal wiring path when the oil pressure came off zero like it was supposed to, but when that was corrected and I tested the regular wiring at the pump, it was still ridiculously low, so back on went the fuel pump "hotwire." (Best $1,000 I have ever spent, BtW.)

Err... Sorry, OP, for the off-topic post.

Regards,
 
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