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Thread: VOLTMETER - The Importance Of Having An On-Board Voltmeter

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Nope, that is not what I stated. When the voltage is fluctuating during a start, taking a voltage reading with a plain DMM might not provide you with the value of interest.

    Anyway, does it start easily or not? That is a better indication. I do not need to measure the voltage drop on my battery as it starts as easily now as it did when I picked it up when it was new 7 years ago. A simple audible test...no DMM needed.
    Seems to start fine, even when it's sat for 2 days like over the Xmas trip to Rocky Point this year. Usually on a tender or being ridden daily during trips.

    Thanks for the reply sir
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

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  2. #32
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I think most are looking for a "good idea" on how their battery is performing. The digital voltage indicators show that. Even though I have a couple of these-



    https://simpsonelectric.com/products.../260-8-260-8p/

    I am fine with a "basic" digital. Sure the starting sound/speed of turnover is a good indicator but 3 to four years is about all the grace I will give a power-sports battery.

    I hear of long term success like a friend of mine, 13 years on a Yamaha ATV, but believe its an anomaly. I did suggest he have it bronzed when it finally did give up.

    Probably among the least long term reliable are the batteries in lawn equipment.

    Seven years reminds me of thin ice.

    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose". MI5
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  3. #33
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Seven years reminds me of thin ice.

    OM
    9 full years out of a conventional lead acid battery on my R100 GS and it never saw any charger/maintainer except during winter storage.

    Cars, 14 and 16 years out of a conventional lead acid battery. Now these AGM batteries that I have in two vehicles are still in the "probationary" phase.

    And none of them have left me stranded. Now the oilhead starter is another matter.

    OM, you live in MA, not AZ where ultra-hot 100F temps kills batteries.

    I wonder how many know what the mirror on an analogue meter is for.

  4. #34
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownie0486 View Post
    Usually on a tender...
    The trouble with using a "battery maintainer" on a daily basis is it gives the owner of the vehicle a false sense of security with respect battery condition. Why, because on a battery that is normally weak due to old age, the charger/maintainer gives it that extra oooomph to get the motorcycle going. Then you are overnighting at a motel without the battery maintainer, and it won't start the following morning. Obviously battery capacity is way down and/or it is self-discharging far too quickly.

    I'd use one if I was parked for more than a month. Disconnecting the charger/maintainer and after the surface charge bled off, I'd see 12.9V. Three weeks later, I'd see 12.8V. There was no point in keeping the charger/maintainer hooked up all the time.

  5. #35
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post

    I wonder how many know what the mirror on an analogue meter is for.
    I generally don't get in that deep.

    The "sweep" of the meter is so instantaneous it allows to look at voltage changes unlike the time I find it takes for a digital meter to "settle in".

    I even have the custom Codura case!

    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose". MI5
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  6. #36
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    I generally don't get in that deep.

    The "sweep" of the meter is so instantaneous it allows to look at voltage changes unlike the time I find it takes for a digital meter to "settle in".

    OM
    The mirror? Think of it as the rear and front sights on a handgun. So that when you are looking at the needle and the reflection in the mirror, they line up and then you can look at the value.

    And there is plenty of lag and oscillation in the needle as well for changes in reading.

  7. #37
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    The mirror? Think of it as the rear and front sights on a handgun. So that when you are looking at the needle and the reflection in the mirror, they line up and then you can look at the value.

    And there is plenty of lag and oscillation in the needle as well for changes in reading.
    I probably should have said I donít need that functionality often. Sometimes it gets fussy with electronics repairs but very tough with SMT populated boards.
    At least you can see the sweep meter move which allows the ďnextĒ step.
    I usually get by.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose". MI5
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  8. #38
    Registered User rogerc60's Avatar
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    If your digital meter has a manual range function, you can get behavior similar to that sweeping analog needle by putting the digital meter on fixed range before starting your test. Some digital meters also have an analog-like bar graph readout below the numbers that simulates the analog needle. Very useful.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    The trouble with using a "battery maintainer" on a daily basis is it gives the owner of the vehicle a false sense of security with respect battery condition. Why, because on a battery that is normally weak due to old age, the charger/maintainer gives it that extra oooomph to get the motorcycle going. Then you are overnighting at a motel without the battery maintainer, and it won't start the following morning. Obviously battery capacity is way down and/or it is self-discharging far too quickly.

    I'd use one if I was parked for more than a month. Disconnecting the charger/maintainer and after the surface charge bled off, I'd see 12.9V. Three weeks later, I'd see 12.8V. There was no point in keeping the charger/maintainer hooked up all the time.
    So I took it off the tender 5 hours ago. Turning the key on the meter read 12.5, turned the key off went to 12.6. What's that telling you where yours reads .3-.4 volts higher?
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  10. #40
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownie0486 View Post
    So I took it off the tender 5 hours ago. Turning the key on the meter read 12.5, turned the key off went to 12.6. What's that telling you where yours reads .3-.4 volts higher?
    Turning the key to ON puts a load on the battery and a drop of 0.1V is absolutely nothing to worry about.

    Depends on your battery type? Do you have a GEL or AGM battery? Or is it just a flooded lead acid battery. 12.6V to 12.65V open circuit (no load) is normal for a flooded lead acid battery.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Turning the key to ON puts a load on the battery and a drop of 0.1V is absolutely nothing to worry about.

    Depends on your battery type? Do you have a GEL or AGM battery? Or is it just a flooded lead acid battery. 12.6V to 12.65V open circuit (no load) is normal for a flooded lead acid battery.
    Flooded lead acid type. So the 12.4 turning the key on, and 12.5 with key off suggests the battery is up to snuff for the trip this summer, IYO?

    thanks
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  12. #42
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownie0486 View Post
    Flooded lead acid type. So the 12.4 turning the key on, and 12.5 with key off suggests the battery is up to snuff for the trip this summer, IYO?
    That is not a real test. I was just explaining why you get a voltage drop when turning the key ON and obviously there must be some kind of load which is normal.

    A real battery test is a load test and capacity test. You can do a load test. Head over to Harbor Freight and buy a load tester. I have both the fixed 100A and the variable 500A carbon pile load testers. For a real capacity test, the equipment is too costly and very time consuming. We had a Megger Programma Torkel 860 in the lab...$$$ not meant for home use.

    Look if it starts likety-split like when it was new, why worry.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    That is not a real test. I was just explaining why you get a voltage drop when turning the key ON and obviously there must be some kind of load which is normal.

    A real battery test is a load test and capacity test. You can do a load test. Head over to Harbor Freight and buy a load tester. I have both the fixed 100A and the variable 500A carbon pile load testers. For a real capacity test, the equipment is too costly and very time consuming. We had a Megger Programma Torkel 860 in the lab...$$$ not meant for home use.

    Look if it starts likety-split like when it was new, why worry.
    thanks
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  14. #44
    Ute's Chauffeur cruisincruzan's Avatar
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    On my RT, donít know how to rotate and make the pic smaller
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  15. #45
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Picture is fine. They just render properly if the picture was taken in portrait mode (horizontal) if taken with an iPhone.
    OM
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