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There are a lot of threads about voltmeters that read incorrectly or batteries that are being overcharged by the regulator. There is a common denominator and a fix.

The voltmeter isn't connected to the battery, it's connected to the electrical system. System and battery values are different due to connections and line loss. The older the bike, the more prone it is to have a wider variance between system and battery. Some as much as 1.5 volts. It's okay if you're smart enough to add 1.5 volts to the voltmeter reading, but there is downside. It causes the regulator to overcharge the battery.

The regulator sees the same voltage as the meter. 1.5 volts less than actual battery voltage. So it kicks the voltage from a nominal 14.x to 15 volts or better. And that's too high. Most charging systems are regulated to 14.2-14.4.

Here's the fix.

Break the ignition wire to the regulator, use it to close a relay that provides power from the battery to the regulator. Now the regulator sees actual battery voltage and regulates correctly. The nice thing is, you've also provided a tap so the voltmeter reads the actual battery voltage as well.

 

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This would be exactly how the regulator in an external alternator conversion is hooked up on our 1200's.
 

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So what happens if you just unplug that meter. I just sent mine to someone (for cost of shipping only) who PM'd me an hour after I posted that I was replacing it with an analog meter. My battery is still reading 13.7-13.9V.
 

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JerryH wrote:
So what happens if you just unplug that meter.
Now you have an ugly hole that needs to filled. Maybe a clock from an interstate?
 

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Actually on the LTD, the voltmeter is/was just to the right of the stereo, which I also gave away, even though it didn't work, or at least I couldn't make it work. The voltmeter looked like part of the stereo when it was in place. Now I have a long rectangular opening to fill, and plan on just covering it with a plastic or aluminum plate, which I may someday use as a switch panel. I plan to mount a round analog meter down on the left side of the fairing, where the controls, schrader valve, and digital display for the no longer there on board air compressor system are, by using a blank Interstate panel.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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glhonda wrote:
JerryH wrote:
So what happens if you just unplug that meter.
Now you have an ugly hole that needs to filled. Maybe a clock from an interstate?
Mike,,, Mike, Mike..... Now you should know good and well that there wasn't enough voltage there to run a clock!! :shock: After all... Didn't the meter read the low voltage there??!!!!:cool:
 

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This thing has enough voltage (and amperage) to run a zillion clocks. How many clocks do you think could be run on about 20 amps, about what is left over after everything else on the bike has enough power? BTW, it was the meter that was wrong. My trusty AWS meter shows normal voltage.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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JerryH wrote:
How many clocks do you think could be run on about 20 amps, about what is left over after everything else on the bike has enough power?

1, if it's drawing 20 amps....... :blackstuff::cool::coollep::coollep:
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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glhonda wrote:
Now you have an ugly hole that needs to filled. Maybe a clock from an interstate?
The Interstate didn't have a clock...

Go sit in the corner young man!
 

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My 1981 Interstate had an analog dash below the windshield and had an analog meter ther. My 1982 Interstate Had a digital meter along with the radio displays. Doug
 
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