6 volt indicator question

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iansoady
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6 volt indicator question

Post by iansoady »

A bit complicated so please bear with me. I'm trying to fit indicators to my 1952 Norton (6 volt negative earth system). To avoid overloading the fairly flimsy electrics I've gone for LED lamps and flasher unit from these people: http://www.dynamoregulatorconversions.c ... s-shop.php.

The problem I have is that unless the voltage supplied to the flasher unit is 6.4 volts or above it won't work. As most will know, that is about the maximum for a fully charged lead/acid battery. Even if there is enough in the battery to make the indicators work, as soon as I apply the brakes or switch the headlight on, the drain reduces the available voltage so the indicators stop working. Of course if the engine is running fast enough it will be supplying enough juice to make things work but not much help on a dark night when stationary.

I have returned the flasher unit for testing but I have a feeling that it may be a design fault rather than just this instance. Other suppliers stock flasher units but they all look exactly the same.

If the unit meets its spec, I have thought of including an AA battery in series with the feed to the flasher unit. The unit and bulbs should take a very small current so it should last quite well. I realise this is a bit of a bodge but can't think of anything else - unless anyone has a simple circuit diagram for a flasher unit tucked away somewhere?

Please don't tell me to convert to 12 volt although I know that would be easier......

Thanks in advance.......
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

Why don't you have a completely separate electrical circuit for the indicators running from a rechargeable battery, you're not going to be riding it for that long, and it saves pissing about with the original wiring.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by KungFooBob »

Convert the whole thing to 12v?
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by iansoady »

Thanks both. The only wiring I'll be modifying is that associated with the indicators (which is non-standard anyway) and as for 12 volt - I refer the honourable gentleman to my original query......
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

I didn't realise it already had wiring for indicators, simple answer fit indicators with bulbs rather than LEDs, you're creating your own problem.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by iansoady »

It does because I've fitted them. I have clear lensed indicators so they're not too obtrusive when not working so need amber bulbs to fit. Find them in 6 volt? No chance. Anyway, 18 watt (which I'd need to be visible) would again be putting a lot of load on a system whose dynamo puts out 45 watts on a good day.

Yes of course I'm creating my own problem but that's the only way to get what I want. I'd still like to know whether the AA battery idea would work as it's a way of using what I have already. The main problem is my believing what I was told by the supplier.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Rockburner »

iansoady wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:53 am It does because I've fitted them. I have clear lensed indicators so they're not too obtrusive when not working so need amber bulbs to fit. Find them in 6 volt? No chance. Anyway, 18 watt (which I'd need to be visible) would again be putting a lot of load on a system whose dynamo puts out 45 watts on a good day.

Yes of course I'm creating my own problem but that's the only way to get what I want. I'd still like to know whether the AA battery idea would work as it's a way of using what I have already. The main problem is my believing what I was told by the supplier.
I suppose you could try putting an AA in series, but if you do, make it a rechargable one, in case any of the charging current gets to it. The 'non-rechargables' (alkalines?) tend to get hot and bothered (terminally so) if you try to push current into them.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by JackyJoll »

Why is a so-called old bike specialist selling 6V parts that don’t work on a 6V bike?

Anyway, what about this?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2X-Motorcycl ... 635-2958-0

When I bought a super-cheap flasher Unit for my 12V system, it didn’t work until I adjusted the flash rate. It appeared to have a default setting of zero flashes per minute!
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by iansoady »

JackyJoll wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:42 pm Why is a so-called old bike specialist selling 6V parts that don’t work on a 6V bike?
Search me. I spoke to him on the phone and he didn't really seem to know what he was selling.
Anyway, what about this?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2X-Motorcycl ... 635-2958-0

When I bought a super-cheap flasher Unit for my 12V system, it didn’t work until I adjusted the flash rate. It appeared to have a default setting of zero flashes per minute!
Might be worth a try. I did get one of the round blue ones as shown below but that just seemed to be a beeper.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by iansoady »

Rockburner wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:34 pm
iansoady wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:53 am It does because I've fitted them. I have clear lensed indicators so they're not too obtrusive when not working so need amber bulbs to fit. Find them in 6 volt? No chance. Anyway, 18 watt (which I'd need to be visible) would again be putting a lot of load on a system whose dynamo puts out 45 watts on a good day.

Yes of course I'm creating my own problem but that's the only way to get what I want. I'd still like to know whether the AA battery idea would work as it's a way of using what I have already. The main problem is my believing what I was told by the supplier.
I suppose you could try putting an AA in series, but if you do, make it a rechargable one, in case any of the charging current gets to it. The 'non-rechargables' (alkalines?) tend to get hot and bothered (terminally so) if you try to push current into them.
Good point re charging current - I'll have to think about whether it could get to it.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Le_Fromage_Grande »

iansoady wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:53 am so need amber bulbs to fit. Find them in 6 volt?
Paint clear bulbs yellow, they'll give amber light
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by slowsider »

Re OP, LED brake light too?
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Cousin Jack »

Welcome to totally inadequate 6v electrics. My first bike was like that, and my second car. With headlights and wipers on braking would dim the lights.

The solution (and I know you don't like this) is 12 v and a modern dynamo or alternator. There is a reason the entire industry switched to 12 v.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Kneerly Down »

You could boost the voltage up to 12V just for the flasher/indicators

Imagine you can get one with pre-soldered leads or already in a case, but this kind of thing.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252478457621
It'll add a bit to the overall draw but probably on a couple of watts at most and probably still a fair bit less than using filament indicators.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

Cousin Jack wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:10 pm Welcome to totally inadequate 6v electrics. My first bike was like that, and my second car. With headlights and wipers on braking would dim the lights.

The solution (and I know you don't like this) is 12 v and a modern dynamo or alternator. There is a reason the entire industry switched to 12 v.
They're all going 48V now!

BTW I took the retrofitted (12V) indicators off the Bonnie. Waving your arms about to signal is all part of the authentic experience right? ;)
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by iansoady »

Thanks all. I've returned the flasher unit and await further information. I've also ordered a Chinese one which is cheap enough to waste (yet more) money.

I do accept that 12v would be "better" but after spending a lot of time getting the RB107 electro-mechanical regulator working well I'm determined to continue down that path if humanly possible. That step-up device may be an option.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Cousin Jack »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:08 am BTW I took the retrofitted (12V) indicators off the Bonnie. Waving your arms about to signal is all part of the authentic experience right? ;)
I hope you have taken the mirrors off too. Only Mods on scooters had mirrors, the recommended way of seeing what was behind was to look under your armpit. :D
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by Mr. Dazzle »

Cousin Jack wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:33 pm
Mr. Dazzle wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:08 am BTW I took the retrofitted (12V) indicators off the Bonnie. Waving your arms about to signal is all part of the authentic experience right? ;)
I hope you have taken the mirrors off too. Only Mods on scooters had mirrors, the recommended way of seeing what was behind was to look under your armpit. :D
Yeah I have :lol:

It had a bar end mirror on the right, that was a cheapo one which was a bit beat up and made it hard to get in the garage with my limited space. Not decided if I'm replacing it yet.
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Re: 6 volt indicator question

Post by JackyJoll »

Mr. Dazzle wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:08 am

BTW I took the retrofitted (12V) indicators off the Bonnie. Waving your arms about to signal is all part of the authentic experience right? ;)
Authentic, but not comfortable or convenient. Riding on the Queen’s Highway is easier with flashing indicators.