Monthly Archives: May 2018

More generator issues

Checked the output of the generator with nothing connected.


With no load it was causing the capacitor to saturate at about 46 Volts. Not so good!


Also, the main voltage regulator chip had vibrated loose and fractured off. I made a bracket to secure it to the board better.


Bolted down securely, and relocated the capacitor; however with only the rectifier in place I’m reading a fairly significant AC component on my multimeter. I’m going to hook my oscilloscope up to it and see what the output looks like. I have a feeling possibly one (or more) of the diodes have failed.

House renovation

Took some time out whilst my parents came to visit and fixed a few things up around the house.

red shutters

First, the shutters were painted a real deep red (called “Old Mahogany”). This is a significant improvement over the battleship gray that they were; now the house is all reds, oranges and browns and it all comes together nicely.


Next up, the flower bed out the side of the house was completely redone and some plants were added to the front of the house in pots.


Finally, some vegetables were put in pots. Tomatoes, squash, blackberries, some herbs, eggplant and cucumbers.

Summertime beckons!


I had originally clamped the new exhaust pipe by cutting a couple slits in the end of the pipe, pushing it over the outlet of the muffler and clamping it down with a Jubilee clip. This proved unsatisfactory as the Jubilee clip could not be adequately tightened without slipping. They are ultimately not designed to be done up very very tight anyway, so I decided a U-clamp would be a better option. I went to the local hardware store and had a rummage around. I discovered a 3/4″ wire rope clamp, which had a decent clamping surface.


It’s a little oversized, but it has clamped the pipe very effectively. I also polished the pipe up, which came up really nicely.

diodes and coil

Next up was to pull the generator winding out and build up a bridge rectifier. I wanted to get the most out of the coil, so some modification was required. It was wound with one side to ground.

bridge rect

I de-soldered the end of the wire to ground and built a bridge rectifier so the device could use both sides of the wave output.


Tucked in a capacitor.

generator fitted

Fitted everything back in and connected it up in a testing fashion.


Hooked up an LED on the low beam light, as it’s more efficient and will not drain the battery so much. The color temperature is also acceptable, at a moderately warm 2700K.

voltage regulator

Began work on building a voltage regulator. Built it up on breadboard first and tested with a 12V supply to check it regulated correctly down to the 6V required by the system.

breadboard regulator/charger

Translated the regulator and charger circuit to Veroboard, attempting to keep it as compact as possible.

warning light

I had wanted to have a no-charge warning light, so decided the best way to do that was to have a comparator circuit. Compare the voltage coming in to that of the battery (across a voltage drop, in this case a diode) and illuminate a light when the input was less than that of the output.


The switches I had purchased were set up that the on/off rocker was green with a green LED and the on/off/on rocker was red with no illumination. The front panels were printed with I O II style lettering to show the positions. I took the on/off switch apart and fitted a red LED inside.

new faces

I reassembled the switches after having sanded the old labeling off and adding some new, more appropriate symbols.

lamp test

Testing showed the lamp illuminated adequately.

live test

Hooked the breadboard up to the bike and ran the engine to test operation. That proved successful.

comparator circuit

Completed build of the comparator circuit on the Veroboard.

bench test

Final bench test, under full load of the regulator and warning light circuits.

handlebars bare

Took a break from electronics at this point to clean up the handlebars, which were very rusty and flaking paint that was applied badly in the past (not by me!). Sanded the handlebars back to bare metal.

painted handlebars

Masked up and painted the handlebars gloss black to match the fenders.

handlebars reassembled

Reassembled, the finish is acceptable.

back to wiring up

Resumed wiring up the switches to the lights (with a set of diodes for the rear light so as not to back-feed the front lights.

first test

First test, on battery. Main beam at that point did not have a light bulb, the original was 12V.

wiring diagram

So now, it’s a bicycle, with a wiring diagram. The colors of the wires did not match as I had bought a trailer harness with a nice detachable plug for the back and the wires coming off the switch were all different colors.

leather bag

I fitted everything into the little leather satchel below the seat.

wired up

I need to finish up and cover this up with some looming tape or some other covering but for now it’s tidy.


All set up, neat and tidy.