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Flat Battery....a ghost in my electrics⁷
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Sponge
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April 23, 2021 - 2:30 pm
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Another impressive bit of kit. These things also look nice on a wall. 

I have 3 intelli-chargers and Harold Wilson. Of them all the only ones that will fully charge a Mottobatt isHarold. The Mottobatt charger works ....up to a point .. but only Harold reaches the parts other chargers do not reach. 

Strength and honour.

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Number6
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April 23, 2021 - 10:22 pm
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Coincidentally, I've discovered I've got an issue with the Ural's battery. Wouldn't turn the engine over today. But it was on a charge only last weekend not that long ago. I got out my old 'non-intelligent' charger and stuck that on. It's got an Ammeter on it which is dead handy. Now if there was no juice to run the starter then current should be up near max., but no, only showing 0.6 - 0.7A. Definitely not right. Also Volts went straight up to 13.4, also fishy.

After half an hour it was then able to start. But I think the battery's lost capacity and it's on its death bed. It's an AGM. I can't seem to get a wet type to fit the Ural, so another AGM it will have to be. On order.

Mike H --

Murphy's 4th law of motion states that any small object that is accidentally dropped will immediately hide itself under a larger object.

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Sponge
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April 23, 2021 - 10:53 pm
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That's interesting. Its almost as though these AGM batteries have a memory like the LiOn batts in mobile phones etc that start to play up if you either don't fully charge them or let them go flat with a, even negligible, load  on.  Your issue sounds a lot like mine with the AGMs out of the D7 .

I have 2 x AGM 12V batts. Although the voltage comes up nicely on a traditional charge, neither will hold above 9 volts when on a load ( such as a small lightbulb ) 24 hrs after a charge. Conversely the 6V  lead-acid batt on the A10 gets abused on a regular basis, discharged, charged, left flat for days on end, freezing weather, heatwaves etc and it behaves impeccably.   

I like AGM batteries but I am thinking there must be lots that I do not know about them. Learning some pretty expensive lessons here.

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cocorico
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April 24, 2021 - 7:46 am
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There is some ** Please log in to view ** here, including differences between Wet, AGM and Gel batteries, which may be useful to know.

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cocorico
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April 27, 2021 - 4:22 pm
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As it happens, I was testing a 6V battery , long unused, today. Electrolyte was OK, so I stuck it on my 'intelligent' charger, only to get a red light. Thinking on this topic, I stuck it on a very old 'Home' charger - instant fizz from the cells, but voltage all over the shop. Nothing ventured, I flipped the voltage to 12V for a couple of minutes, then back to 6V for an hour or so. Voltage seems OK, so back on clever clogs, which went almost immediately to green. Will see what happens. I do know that if your plates have sulphated, sometimes you can 'reclaim' them with a kick up the Rs (ie a bit of overvoltage) - don't know about Gel or AGMs though.

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Sponge
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April 27, 2021 - 10:43 pm
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It certainly seems that a spell on the steam charger provides a kick up the Rs for a AGM batt and brings the volts up to an acceptable level but on mh batteries...just as soon as you attach a load the bottom drops out of the batt once more. 

The PP12 capacitor is my last ditch effort...after that its all going back to WIPAC and AC lighting. 

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Number6
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April 28, 2021 - 1:25 pm
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cocorico said
There is some ** Please log in to view ** here, including differences between Wet, AGM and Gel batteries, which may be useful to know.  

That is interesting thanks.

Like the blurb I was reading on Tayna site, AGM are supposed to be superior to 'wet'. Certainly it seems 'wet' are fast disappearing.

Note however on the comparison 'pie chart' on that page, 'Cycle Life' is low, pretty sure I read this somewhere else too. That is to say, it will take so many cycles of discharge and recharge then that's all folks.

Right I've just seen a figure of "300+ cycles" for AGM, provided "discharged to a rate of no less than 60%". Ural's original is over 4 years old now, and it's quite conceivable that it's had an average of more than 75 cold starts per year. (?)

Mike H --

Murphy's 4th law of motion states that any small object that is accidentally dropped will immediately hide itself under a larger object.

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Sponge
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May 3, 2021 - 5:07 pm
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At last I have found the time and space to fit the PP12 capacitor in between a new EW Regulator and the wiring circuit. Hence no battery on the bike at all. I took my time, checked it all and did a proper job connecting it all up in accordance with the vendor instructions.

The bike fired up within a few kicks and to my surprise I immediately found that the horn and stop light both worked really well from tickover. At tickover the LED stop/tail light and parking lights are really good but it needs a good handfull of revs to get a good illum out of the headlight. At tickover the headlight is just a glowing ember but its there. 

This is a big improvement over the battery fragging behaviour of last month and I am very hopefull hat it will behave on a run when the weather improves once more. 

My inent is to purchase and fit a LED headlight bulb and then I reckon it will be fine all round.Fingers crossed and stand by for a day and night road rest. I wiil then produce a summary of the whole affair....it might be useful to somebody some day. 

Theory is that the regulator does nog put out enough volts to charge an AGM battery and so it drains it for some unexplained reason. I have learned that if you flatten an AGM batt you will never get it fully back up to its duty.....any thoughts guys ?

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Ringting
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May 4, 2021 - 9:51 pm
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Yes Sponge, I'd agree with that. Last year I bought a new Motobatt AGM for my triumph. Unfortunately I didn't realise that in my fiddling I'd left a relay energized. Over several days it completely flattened the battery. It has killed it. I've just ordered a new Powerline AGM from Tayna. I think, as long as I don't flatten it, it'll be alright.  We'll see!

D1, D14/4, Guzzi LeMans, Triumph Trident 900, Maserati 160 t4. Mk1 Mini Traveller, Berkeley T60.

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Sponge
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May 4, 2021 - 11:15 pm
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Cheers Ringting...I think that clinches it.......4 x AGM batts wrecked by being discharged flat. 

I have taken to withdrawing the fuses on my bikes until I can rig isolator switches. Long term is to revert back to lead acid wet batteries when the motobatts throw the towel in. 

With my bikes I cannot guarantee being able to maintain them above 50% continuously.......day and night riding....headlights on in traffic etc full charge and complete discharge is the norm.

More to follow when I have taken some pictures.

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Nick_S
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May 5, 2021 - 1:40 am
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Les, in my limited experience with Motobatts, (2002 Daytona 955i & 2013 Bonneville T100) unless they were kept on a battery tender over the winter period, they died within a few weeks & couldn’t be recovered by any means.

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Coddy
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May 5, 2021 - 2:57 am
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Hi guys

I know I new here, but I do have many years experience of using AGM/Gel batteries as I was, until recently, an engineer who repaired and serviced disability equipment including mobility scooters.

One of the most import things with these batteries is having the correct rated charger for the Ah capacity of the battery, overcharge them and it is a quick way of destroying them, the moment they start to swell it is a sure sign that it is down to a too higher charge for too long. Yes they have a limited life span even under ideal conditions and usage, I found 3 to 4yrs was the usual time limit.

I still have an electronic discharge meter which if the battery is fully charged can show what capacity it has, normally anything less than 30% of its capacity we would look to replace it. You can not "restore" these batteries and make them last.

Using a volt meter to test a battery will only tell you its holding voltage, as Sponge has discovered by connecting a load, i.e. a bulb, the capacity of the battery is so poor it can not hold the voltage, you need a load tester for this.

As for smart chargers they nearly all need a minimum voltage to trigger the electronic circuit to start charging, this also helped prevent issues if it was incorrectly connected to the battery i.e. +ve on -ve 

I know this might not help Sponge's problem but as a newcomer to bikes I was a little surprised that these batteries were being used on old machines where the technology was fairly basic to say the least.

Give me a wet vented battery any day for these old timers.

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Sponge
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May 5, 2021 - 4:37 pm
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Many thanks Coddy, your feedback kind of provides the misding piece in the jigsaw and confirms some lines of thought....so here goes..

1st regulator fried itself and the brand new AGM battery. I put that down to a duff regulator ( right or wrong ). 

New AGM batteries are fine until you hook them up to a modetn regulator.

New regulator and new AGM batty and it flattens the batty .......which gets so flat it cannot be recovered even with a Motobatt intelli-charger.

Install a cheapo AGM batty and that also gets 'fragged' and rendered unable to hold a charge. 

Add a PP12 capacitor and it appears to work just fine albeit without lights when the engine is not running........understood.

Thoughts: modern regulator is not compatible with AGM batty and either flattens it or frags it. For some reason it is not providing whatever the AGM needs...so the batty refuses the charge and it goes flat.

AGM batty not compatible with stop start day and night riding style with lights on and gets flat real fast....regulator unable to charge it...intellicharger unable to charge it result fragged dead batty. 

Regulator with old style wet lead acid battery and it charges, discharges and cycles fine. 

Intellicharger with old style lead acid battery and it charges and holds it charge fine.

D10 with original WIPAC electrics, rectifier and 6V AGM batty and it seems to be OK.......holds its charge and charges when engine running.

Make your own mind up but unless further information comes up I will not be using AGM batteries with a modern regulator any more. The jury is still out ref old style rectifiers with AGM batteries but I suspect there will be problems if the AGM battery is allowed to go flat. 

Of course I could be wrong about all of this and am happy to be persuaded otherwise but I cannot keep chucking money at AGM batteries and modern electrics when the old WIPAC and Lucas stuff seems to be streets ahead of the game. 

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Sponge
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May 8, 2021 - 9:11 am
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To close this saga down ....I am pretty confident to report that the PP12 capacitor is holding up fine and after a week of riding around, with and without, lights I am content that it is doing what I expected it to do. Under LED side lights / stop light etc everything is bright. Headlight is pretty dim until you crack on some serious revs so I will fit a LED BPF bulb when I can source one and I expect I will have a good illum up front. I am aware that there can be focus problems with LED headlights but apparently you can add shims or spacers to improve the beam. For me the headlight is more to warn approaching car drivers of my presence day and night.....if I am riding country lanes at night ( unlikely) I will be using a different bike. I just need it to be bright. 

I am now satisfied that AGM batteries are incompatible with modern regulators. I have, therefore, learned a quite expensive lesson...roughly £750 when you count the cost of the EW CGI system, the AGM batteries, regulators and capacitors, fried wires, fuses and wet batteries to replace the AGMs ....and the original WIPAC stuff, packed away carefully in a box,  still works fine.....what was I thinking ?

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Number6
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May 8, 2021 - 12:54 pm
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Fair enough - would have loved to have known what was going on tho unsure

Mike H --

Murphy's 4th law of motion states that any small object that is accidentally dropped will immediately hide itself under a larger object.

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Sponge
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May 8, 2021 - 1:23 pm
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Number6 said
Fair enough - would have loved to have known what was going on tho unsure  

I am pretty fed up with trying to figure it out. Just glad that my bike is rideable once more.....albeit with some limitations. 

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cocorico
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May 8, 2021 - 4:02 pm
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I tried (admittedly cheap) LED headlamp bulbs in a bike - not a Bantam - and found that they are «censored» for showing you the road ahead, but great for showing you up for other drivers. I tend not to use any bike when it gets dark these days.

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toppo46
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May 9, 2021 - 12:22 am
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Evening 

I agree with cocorico about the led headlight bulbs. I have fitted  an electrex world set up on my d10 brilliant bit of kit And the leds are very good for being seen but not so good for seeing in the dark.

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Number6
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May 9, 2021 - 5:07 pm
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Who was it wrote, "If I'm caught out after dark, it's a result of bad planning", or something very similar - I thought it was on this forum, but couldn't find it.

laugh

Mike H --

Murphy's 4th law of motion states that any small object that is accidentally dropped will immediately hide itself under a larger object.

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Sponge
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May 9, 2021 - 5:44 pm
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I used to have a sign on my office door it said ' Do not assume that a failure of planning on your part will constitute an emergency on my part' .    Used to brass a few people off but 'Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents ** Please log in to view ** Poor Performance' as they say in The Fleet.

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