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How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

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How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Osmerus on Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:04 pm

Hello all FBOC Members

Can anybody explain to me in very simple language the correct way to connect a modern solid state bridge rectifier into the "Rectifier" Lighting Circuit of my 1956 Falcon 74. The engine unit is a Villiers 8E. My new home made wiring circuit works well when powered by the battery but I am getting no charge from the alternator with the engine running at the moment.

I have connected the Bridge Rectifier I purchased as follows -

Working clockwise around the terminals:

The + terminal to Earth (at 12 o'clock)
The next terminal (at 3 o'clock) to Terminal No 2 on the Lighting Switch
The next terminal (at 6 o'clock) to The Ammeter
The next terminal (at 9 o'clock) to The Alternator /Generator Lead from the Engine Unit

I suspect this is all wrong so please could anybody explain how I should have connected this up. The bike is looking very nice and I only hope that the connections I have used hasn't fried any components.

Looking forward to hearing from anybody who has resolved this issue.

Kind regards

Osmerus

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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:44 am

Osmerus,
solid state rectifiers don't work to a fixed layout of terminals. They are marked as follows:

The positive output terminal on the rectifier is marked '+', and should go to the positive terminal of the battery;

The negative output terminal on the rectifier is marked '-', and should go to the negative terminal of the battery;

The two input terminals, which take the alternating current from the generator, are either marked with a symbol like this ~, or they are marked 'AC', or sometimes have no markings at all! It doesn't matter which way round you connect them to an AC supply: they will automatically sort it out internally.

This link shows you a picture of a rectifier, with the symbols marked. They all have the plus and minus signs on the output terminals (so if your rectifier has two terminals with no markings on them, they will be the AC input terminals);

http://ram-e-shop.com/oscmax/catalog/images/thumbs/Bridg_35A.JPG

An old copy of 'The Book of the Villiers Engine' shows the Falcon as using a positive earth system, so connecting the '+' terminal of the rectifier to the frame would be correct on your bike, and the '-' terminal should be connected to the ammeter with the purple wire.

I cannot work out how the innards of the original rectifier are arranged, but the connections from the three lighting coils make sense. Normal running, the single coil feeds power through the small pin on the two-pin plug and socket / dark green wire to the rectifier, to trickle charge the battery. When you switch the headlamp on, the extra pair of coils feed power through the large pin / yellow wire to Terminal 1 on the lighting switch, then through the switch to Terminal 7, from there through the light green wire to the rectifier to provide the extra power required.

So (if it was my bike) what I would do would be to take out the old rectifier, and connect both the dark green and light green wires to ONE of the AC terminals of the rectifer, and the OTHER AC terminal to the frame.

HOWEVER, if I was you I would give your post a day or so, in the hope that someone who has actually done the job would come back and say "I did such and such - and it worked."

An ounce of experience is worth a pound of theory, any day!

But, if you can't get any more info from anyone else, I hope this helps.

With best regards,

Jack
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How to connect a bridge rectifier

Post  MoscowFlyer on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:15 pm

Hi, these bridge rectifiers seem to be causing some confusion, if you put rectifier into the SEARCH facility on the Bike Help page, you will get all past posts referring to this subject, then you will get a better idea of how these things work. I don't think you should send any wires direct to the battery, the current needs to pass though the ammeter first, so you can see it charging. My bike has one of the bridge type rectifiers, and only three of the four terminals are used, it works fine, but my bike is not a Falcon 74. Mike
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How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Osmerus on Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:41 pm

First of all many thanks to everybody for responding so quickly to my enquiry. At the same time that I contacted the online forum I got in touch with Paul Goff to explore if I really needed one of his more expensive Rectifier / Voltage Regulator Units (A Reg 6) rather than the ordinary Bridge Rectifier. He referred my enquiry to Alan Osborn who knows more about Villiers Lighting Units than he does. Before the end of the evening Alan had got back to me with a diagram showing that I only need to use one Diode within the Bridge Rectifier Unit as the original Westinghouse Selenium Rectifier was really no more than a Diode.

Given my elementary understanding of electricity I think that if I do the modification he suggests I will only have a “Half Wave Rectifier” rather than the “Full Wave Rectifier” which was the purpose of the Bridge Rectifier Unit I had originally purchased. It is unlikely that my bike will ever need working lights except for the MOT test. I do however use a quartz halogen bulb in the side light housing as this is a useful daytime riding light.

I have drawn diagram of the wiring harness I have made for my Francis Barnett Falcon 74 modified to show the suggestion from Alan Osborn which uses just one of the diodes within the Bridge Rectifier. However I am unable to attatch as the web-hosting service refuses to co-operate with my attempts to send it. I will do this modification in the next few days and I will let everybody else who has helped know the result. Here’s hoping!!

Kind regards

Osmerus
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:06 pm

Mike - you're dead right, about not connecting the output of the bridge rectifier direct to the battery, but sending it via the ammeter; my fault for the confusing way I worded that bit of my post! But, on a bike wired for positive earth operation, the '+' terminal of the bridge rec should go to the bike's frame, and the '-' terminal of the bridge rec to the ammeter.
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:17 pm

Osmerus wrote: (Paul Goff) referred my enquiry to Alan Osborn who knows more about Villiers Lighting Units than he does. Before the end of the evening Alan had got back to me with a diagram showing that I only need to use one Diode within the Bridge Rectifier Unit as the original Westinghouse Selenium Rectifier was really no more than a Diode.

Given my elementary understanding of electricity I think that if I do the modification he suggests I will only have a “Half Wave Rectifier” rather than the “Full Wave Rectifier” which was the purpose of the Bridge Rectifier Unit I had originally purchased.

I agree with you on that. Though it will certainly work using a single diode of the bridge as a half wave rectifier, you do lose half the output current available from the lighting coils, which seems a pity.

Osmerus wrote:I have drawn diagram of the wiring harness I have made for my Francis Barnett Falcon 74 modified to show the suggestion from Alan Osborn which uses just one of the diodes within the Bridge Rectifier. However I am unable to attatch as the web-hosting service refuses to co-operate with my attempts to send it.

One way of getting round this problem, if you have an account with Photobucket or Flickr, would be to post the diagram on there as a .jpg file, and then copy the link into a post on here.

HTH, and best regards,

Jack
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How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Osmerus on Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:31 am

Hello all the members who have helped me responding to my original query.

I believe the wiring solution I have used on my Falcon 74 appears to be giving all the correct signs if the ammeter is to be believed. I am unable to take the bike for an MOT Test before next week so there is still time to make any further amendment should anybody see an obvious error on my part. As well as thanking all of you I must record the help and advice I have recieved from Paul Goff, Alan Osborn and Peter Fielding.

I have managed to access my dormant Photobucket Account and hope the attached images will explain how I have wired the bridge rectifier using just one of the four diodes in this component.

Kind regards

Osmerus



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How to connect a bridge rectifier

Post  MoscowFlyer on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:02 pm

Hi S, I have fitted an in line fuse, on the live wire just where it leaves the battery, if you should ever get a dead short, you could end up with your wires melted or worse, whereas I will just get a blown fuse, it has happend to me on more than one occasion, I think it was a wire that had been rubbing, nothing more than that, you lose you lights and horn but the bike keeps going, you have to revert to hand signals for stopping.

I have also fitted an off/on switch in the same area, this stops the battery draining back into the system, when the bike is stood.

My bridge rectifier is wired differently to yours, but then my bike is the Model 75 which has negative earth whereas yours is positive. Mike
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:07 pm

RussianFlyer wrote:Hi S, I have fitted an in line fuse, on the live wire just where it leaves the battery, if you should ever get a dead short, you could end up with your wires melted or worse, whereas I will just get a blown fuse, it has happend to me on more than one occasion, I think it was a wire that had been rubbing, nothing more than that, you lose you lights and horn but the bike keeps going, you have to revert to hand signals for stopping.

Or you could fit a small multi-way fuse box, with one fuse for each of the three wires connected to the battery negative terminal (on Osmerus' bike, or the positive on yours). Even if the main fuse blew, you would still have a working horn and stoplight, and if you tied up the stoplight switch so as to keep it on, the stoplight would act as a 'get you home' tail light. Another bonus is that by using a small fuse box with more positions than you need, you can plug a few spare fuses into the spare holders.

RussianFlyer wrote: I have also fitted an off/on switch in the same area, this stops the battery draining back into the system, when the bike is stood.
Mike

I'm not sure I follow you on this, Mike. Surely the rectifier stops any current draining out of the battery once the engine has stopped? Until the generator output voltage rises to the battery terminal voltage plus 0.6 volts (for a silicon diode), the diode is reverse biased, and switches off, preventing all but a miniscule level of reverse current.

Best regards,
Jack
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Bridge Rectifier

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:48 am

I know the theory Jack. I will test it with my multimeter and see if I can trace the discharge. I fitted the switch initially for my trips abroad, it was to save time if I needed to carry out a repair on the electrics. Disconnecting the battery would mean, removing all my luggage, and also taking off the seat, then having to put it all on again, the switch would save all that trouble, at least that was the THEORY, see the photo below for the reality. Mike

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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:35 pm

heres one from daft questions corner! Smile

if one has wired up the bridge rectifier wrong, would it still all work, eg, the ammeter showing charge and discharge at the right times, emergency working, in fact everything working ect ect.

or would it only surface with a boiled battery or some other sign?

malc
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rectifier

Post  kerabo on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:38 pm

I would be supprised if it worked if you got it wrong. it will have diodes and they will only pass current one way. You do have a choice of Pos or Neg Earth though..

if anyone wants one cheaper than new I have an R reg 6 regulator and rectifier combined that has had little use I have gone 12v with a savage conversion.

Ken
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:57 pm

id be surprised too Ken, but you never know, and since all this knowledge was flying about i thought id ask.

mines wired positive earth, god knows what wire has gone where, i cant remember as ive been to bed since then, Laughing i also put one on that 81 i flogged off last year and that woked well also.

i think with hindsight i might have gone 12volt and reversed the polarity, but all seems well, the blighter charges good and even better on the emergency setting.

malc
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  kerabo on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:29 pm

So I assume your ok with the wiring. I have the diagram hat came with mine Ken g
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:44 pm

yes thanks Ken, ive got diagrams for the 87 and 81, the 87's been up and running i was meaning to book it in for mot this week, but when i put more petrol in sunday, the tanks sprung a leak Crying or Very sad

ah well, its in an out of sight place so hopefull we wont have to respray it, try some silver solder and petseal i spose.

malc
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tank

Post  kerabo on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:52 pm

I don't have to tell you to be carefull. I steamed cleaned mine but could still smell fumes so filled it with water to just below the leak then brazed it. I didn't know at the time but it should have a brace under the front. Ken
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:30 pm

Malfisher wrote:heres one from daft questions corner! Smile

if one has wired up the bridge rectifier wrong, would it still all work, eg, the ammeter showing charge and discharge at the right times, emergency working, in fact everything working ect ect.

or would it only surface with a boiled battery or some other sign?

malc

Malc - it depends what you mean by "wired it up wrong." As far as the AC terminals are concerned (either marked 'AC', or '~', or nothing at all!), you can put the generator output onto either of them, and the internal diodes will automatically route the current so that the terminal marked '+' will give a positive output, and the terminal marked '-' negative. You can then connect either the '+' or the '-' terminal to earth (the frame), without affecting either the rectifier or the generator.

The only thing you must ensure is that, if you connect the '+' terminal of the battery to earth, then you MUST also connect the '+' terminal of the rectifier to earth as well. Alternatively, if you have a negative earth bike, then you MUST connect the '-' terminals of both battery and rectifier to earth.

If you cross them over, so that you have one polarity of the rectifier connected to earth, and the opposite polarity of the battery connected to the battery, then your generator will be trying to reverse the polarity of the battery by forcing current through it the wrong way, and that can permanently wreck the battery.

Ref. the ammeter; the centre zero ammeters used on bikes are very forgiving. The two terminals on the back are marked '+' and '-'. One of the battery terminals will be connected to one of the ammeter terminals. As long as the polarities of those connected terminals are the same, the ammeter will read correctly. For example, on your positive earth bike, the negative terminal of the battery is connected to the negative terminal on the ammeter. If your bike was a negative earth system, then the positive terminal of the battery would be connected to the positive terminal on the ammeter.

Just to really make your head spin, when the ammeter is correctly wired up and the charging system is in order, the needle will go to the positive side of the meter scale when the battery is being charged, and to the negative side of the scale when it is being discharged, regardless of whether the bike is wired positive earth or negative earth! Rolling Eyes

Sorry about that. It would have been simpler if they'd marked ammeter scales 'Charge' and 'Discharge', rather than '+' and '-', but that's life!

The good news is that, if you connect the ammeter the wrong way round, nothing will blow up - all that will happen is that the needle will show a discharge when the battery is charging, and vice versa.

I hope this all makes sense, but please feel free to say so if anything is unclear.

Best regards,

Jack

MTA

PS - there is no such thing as a "daft question", Malc! I'm sure all of us would much rather somebody asked a question rather than risked blowing up a bike, or even a part of it, because they weren't sure.
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:34 pm

yes, youve got to be carefull Ken, we'll be using an iron as opposed to a flame, but filling the tank with water takes out one side of the fire triangle. its me own fault, i should have pressure tested it. the leaks have come from hairline cracks on the inside of the front brackets where they are welded to the tank. thats how come i never saw the leaks with just a couple of liters in for testing.

malc
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:40 pm

so basically Jack, if ive read your answer right, then the answer is yes, the thing could be wired up wrong, but not immediately manifest itself, thus seeming to be right, but cause a problem over the longer term such as wreck a battery?

malc
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:20 pm

No, Malc - if you got the rectifier / battery connected the wrong way round, it would show up immediately.

If you have a mains powered battery charger, fitted with a fuse, and you even flash the croc clips onto the battery the wrong way round, the fuse will blow. If you did that in a bike without a fuse in the battery circuit, at the very least I would expect one of the wires to melt - though it might be that there would be sufficient resistance in the ammeter to prevent the current rising to dangerous levels. Or, I suppose, you might just melt the winding inside the ammeter, and so break the circuit.

The dead giveaway would be that, as soon as you started the engine, the ammeter reading would slam across to one extreme or the other on the scale, and stay there. I doubt that the lights would work, either.
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:55 am

well, mine right then Jack, the electrics are all cock on. and the idea of a delayed consequence that i was wondering about is wrong, which is a good thing, i dont want no spoiled batteries!

malc
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Rifleman on Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:32 pm

It's not so much spoiled batteries, Malc, so much as the damage they can do if they blow. Even a titchy little 6 volt job can pump out a heck of a lot of current - even if only for a matter of seconds. I saw a scary photo in a car magazine years ago - the aftermath of a mechanic dropping a spanner, which landed right across the battery posts. The current had melted both the lead of the posts AND the steel of the spanner - and welded the two together!

Fortunately for the mechanic, the battery was one of the old vulcanised rubber types, and had bulged sufficiently to absorb some of the pressure, and the screw in filler plugs had blown out of the cells to release the rest. Heaven knows what the effect would be on a modern battery with a hard plastic case, especially if it was one of the sealed types! Shocked

Your best protection is to make sure that the non-earthed battery terminal has a decent insulating shroud on it, and, secondly, always fit at least one fuse, as close to that terminal as you can get it.

As Dixon of Dock Green would have said, "Mind how you go, Malc!"

Cheers,

Jack
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Battery

Post  piston 197 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:11 am

My friend Nick wanted a ride on a 1958 XLCH Harley i had ,so we swapped and i rode his 1938 Guzzi Saturno,i arrived back first and waited for him ,just as he was arriving a loud explosion came from the Harley.We thought it had back fired,but as he got off he felt a pain in his leg and frantically started to remove his trousers,the plastic hard cased battery had exploded the side off and coated his calf with acid. This was caused by the regulator points welding themselves shut.So yes batteries can explode ! JH
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

Post  Malfisher on Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:04 am

right, so the answer was no then! Laughing

mine is fused, i wouldnt consider it any other way

malc
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Brackets

Post  kerabo on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:59 pm

Malfisher wrote:yes, youve got to be carefull Ken, we'll be using an iron as opposed to a flame, but filling the tank with water takes out one side of the fire triangle. its me own fault, i should have pressure tested it. the leaks have come from hairline cracks on the inside of the front brackets where they are welded to the tank. thats how come i never saw the leaks with just a couple of liters in for testing.

malc

The falcon 87 Tank should have 2 studs at the front underside. There is a flat bar goes across them i dont have in but it should have. It would stop the tank flexiing i guess

Ken
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Re: How should I connect a Modern Bridge Rectifier to Rectifier Lighting Circuit

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