Led light effecting voltage - Page 2 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 03:08 PM
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So I checked the battery with my DVM and it was showing around 15.9 to 15.6 at the battery, the book says the regulator should kick it at 14-15 volts, also it gets pretty damn hot! is the regulator going bad? I've put over 2000 miles on it so far with it no issues, I never thought to check until I put the led headlight in, I put the halogen bulb back in also to see if that helps
That seems pretty high. The halogen bulb will help clamp the voltage down considering how much juice they draw.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 03:11 PM
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I don't know if Rick's regulator is a direct fit, but it sure looks like it. That is the safest bet, especially considering how expensive MC batteries have become.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 04:46 PM
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If you don't want to spend the dollars for a rec/reg a simple load resistor will restore current and voltage to acceptable levels. Large (physical size) resistors with a built in heat sink can be found in most electronic catalogs. An active ham operator here may be able to give you more info to locate one. Good luck.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 05:05 PM
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Thanks! Do you think as long as I don't let the battery run dry it should be ok? Also do you know if that Ricks MOSFET regulator is an exact replacement without having to do any wiring?
Good for you to check the battery voltage. I would be looking at the battery level after about every two hours of riding. You will find out if it is boiling off and how often it needs filling. The other issue is life of the other bulbs on the bike. I think the '78 has front running lights. The higher wattage light especially the tail light will have a reduced life span. Check with Rick's about your problem and for the MOS FET regulator. I have one on my '85 and the voltage is very consistent. I'm planning to run the stock regulator on my '81.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Matt78Gl1000 View Post
Thanks! Do you think as long as I don't let the battery run dry it should be ok? Also do you know if that Ricks MOSFET regulator is an exact replacement without having to do any wiring?
Good for you to check the battery voltage. I would be looking at the battery level after about every two hours of riding. You will find out if it is boiling off and how often it needs filling. The other issue is life of the other bulbs on the bike. I think the '78 has front running lights. The higher wattage light especially the tail light will have a reduced life span. Check with Rick's about your problem and for the MOS FET regulator. I have one on my '85 and the voltage is very consistent. I'm planning to run the stock regulator on my '81.
Ricks seems kinda expensive
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 PM
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I replaced the halogen when it blew out with a LED that I had.. no change in voltage.
I used a generic reg / rectifier earlier with a 'Shingdon" type that costs about 20 bucks.

https://www.banggood.com/Regulator-R...r_warehouse=CN

That is the one i used it mounts in the same position as the original but I made a metal bracket to help cool it. It comes with all the connectors needed but you will have to buy wire to attach the output to the battery along with terminals for the battery.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt78Gl1000 View Post
So I checked the battery with my DVM and it was showing around 15.9 to 15.6 at the battery, the book says the regulator should kick it at 14-15 volts, also it gets pretty damn hot! is the regulator going bad? I've put over 2000 miles on it so far with it no issues, I never thought to check until I put the led headlight in, I put the halogen bulb back in also to see if that helps
Stators put out FULL MAX power for the given RPM.
you replaced filament bulbs with LEDs which essentially removed "all" of the lamp load from the charging system.

The OEM regulator/rectifier unit is a Shunt to Ground type system, that means that it attempts to control the voltage by diverting the excess power to ground.

As mentioned, you have run into "Ohms Law".
All of the Watts of power the bulbs used to pull, are now being dumped into the Regulator, and it has to dissipate the heat load

Just for grins, lets say you off loaded 5 amps of lights for LEDs.
That 5 amps is now being shunted to ground by the regulator, and it now has to dump the heat thru the fins....

5 amps times 14 volts is 70 watts, no wonder the regulator is working overtime. I would advise that you find a Wire Wound resistor of about 3.0 ohms and hook it up to the lighting circuits to replace the load that used to be consumed by the bulbs.

that will reduce the amount of power the regulator has to handle.
I am surprised the regulator is still working, it will burn up soon if you don't help it out.

That wire wound resistor better be mounted in the air, clear of any plastics or wiring harness. It will get blisteringly hot. And it better be rated at 100 watts.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:43 AM
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My '78 Suzuki (or was it the '72 CL350, doesn't matter) had a 3 position headlight switch, High beam, Low Beam, Off. In the "off" position it also disconnected one of the three stator legs to reduce the alternator output so the regulator didn't have to work so hard.

A MOSFET Series-type regulator is highly recommended for the 4cyl wings. And with a REDUCED load (like converting to LED) they will actually run cooler instead of hotter.

In your case, excessively high voltage at battery, I'd be checking the grounds at the regulator. With a good DVM, measure voltage (engine running) between the green wires on the rec/rec and the battery neg terminal. Ideally should be 0 volts. If you find anything more than maybe 0.1 volts consider patching in another ground line between the green wires and a good ground on the bike, maybe directly to battery neg terminal. Any voltage found at the green wires of the regulator "fools" it into putting out a higher voltage to the battery.
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