Battery Warning - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2006, 7:17 pm Thread Starter
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Angry Battery Warning

(I posted this in the GT Forum here , but thought I'd try it here also. I hope that isn't a bad thing! Please let me know if that is a no-no!)

As I was riding to work this a.m. it got a little chilly for the gear I was wearing, so I decided to try out the heated features. Grips and seat to low. Five minutes later, ahhhh, that is kind of nice...and then it happened:

1 minute after that the red triangle/exclamation point comes on and the battery symbol is displayed. I immediately started "load shedding" by turning off the seat and grips. I also turned off my gps/XM radio etc. (These are not through the bike, but directly to the battery.) These dont' pull much in the amp department, but I wanted all the electrons I could muster to make sure I could get to work in order to get to an important meeting. This afternoon the bike starts fine but the message remains. I have had no time to look this up yet, but assume it means the alternator is not charging.

I wondered if any of you wonderful and knowledgeable sorts have seen this before. (Oh yea, the wire from this to that came loose on mine...blah....blah...)

I am assuming for now that I'm running off Battery power only, and will try to get home and check alternator output, but wondered if the bike stared this kind of thing as a latched or hard fault and needed a reset? I have the maint. DVD, but haven't had a chance to even break it open yet!!!

I'll check this when/if I get home and see what the collective wisdom may be. I am a mechanic for a living, so I should be able to troubleshoot this easily enough, but thought I'd see what Y'all might have seen prior to this before I dive into it.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2006, 6:04 am
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I don't have a GT wiring diagram, but the battery/ignition light warning is usually driven directly from one phase of the alternator, before the regulator, but with a simple electronic voltage inverter. Sometimes this inverter is part of the alternator regulator unit, sometimes it's a separate small box in the instrument cluster. So when the alternator is stationary the light is on, and when it rotates the alternator voltage turns it off.

If this is the case, then either the circuit driving the warning is faulty, or the alternator is producing no output. You have to find out if your alternator is able to match the load. You probably know how to do this - With the bike left a few minutes the battery voltage should settle to about 12 volts, after starting and running you should see about 14.5 volts and the same with all the lights/grips on at about 4Krpm.

The order of possible failures to look at (generic, not GT specific!) is usually the following with associated wiring:

Any fuses in the alternator control circuit.
Any electronic 'inversion unit' if not integral with alternator controller (check input voltage present when alternator is running)
The alternator control regulator itself.
The rectifier diode stack (may be integral)
Alternator brushes
Alternator is actually rotating.

I don't know if the GT has something else electronically clever, but usually battery charge warning is deliberately kept very simple.

Hope this helps - VOX



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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2006, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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Battery Warning

I posted this in the other GT forum:

Quote:
When I cranked it up this afternoon, I checked against the office building windows and the low beam was on. good sign, as to me, that means the bike was over 12.5 volts...maybe. I assume that is how the initial "light coming on after start" feature works! I checked when I got home and the light got brighter as I revved the motor. Another "phew!"

I put it on the charger and it was charged in a very short while. Voltage at rest was 13.2. On but not started = 12.8 ish (I didn't write anything down) and after start (about a 1.5 drop) it was rock steady at 14.1! The message remains, but at least I know the bike is charging/running right. It must be a sense wire of some sort! This should be fun!
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I don't have a GT wiring diagram, but the battery/ignition light warning is usually driven directly from one phase of the alternator, before the regulator, but with a simple electronic voltage inverter. Sometimes this inverter is part of the alternator regulator unit, sometimes it's a separate small box in the instrument cluster. So when the alternator is stationary the light is on, and when it rotates the alternator voltage turns it off.

If this is the case, then either the circuit driving the warning is faulty, or the alternator is producing no output. You have to find out if your alternator is able to match the load. You probably know how to do this - With the bike left a few minutes the battery voltage should settle to about 12 volts, after starting and running you should see about 14.5 volts and the same with all the lights/grips on at about 4Krpm.

The order of possible failures to look at (generic, not GT specific!) is usually the following with associated wiring:
Quote:
Any fuses in the alternator control circuit.
CANBUS...This is what kept me away from these new bikes for some time! No fuses!!! The above addresses this one.

Quote:
Any electronic 'inversion unit' if not integral with alternator controller (check input voltage present when alternator is running)
The "exciter" voltage I am assuming is good, as the alternator is putting out.

Quote:
The alternator control regulator itself.
Seems fine as the voltage was rock solid while loads (small) were applied. When I have time, I'll load it up heavily and see what happens.

Quote:
The rectifier diode stack (may be integral)
I'm sure it is integral, and this may still be a problem. This will be hard to isloate!

Quote:
Alternator brushes
I hope it is too new for this one! I'll know more when I load it up and see how it does. (short of tearing it apart, which with a new bike and warranty I doubt I'll do)

Quote:
Alternator is actually rotating.
Above.

Quote:
I don't know if the GT has something else electronically clever, but usually battery charge warning is deliberately kept very simple.
I think it has many very clever little things to it!!! This was my only real issue with buying one of these new bikes. If an aircraft manufacturer (Airbus) can't really get these kinds of things working, I have my doubts how perfect a motorcycle manufacturer can get it early in the game!

Quote:
Hope this helps - VOX
It certainly does, and I very much appreciate your help! It is nice to see a great mechanically minded (and obviously experienced) fella is out there offering up help! Your suggestions were right on and I'll let you know what I find, when I get time to play with it. I think the idea of one phase being bad might be the direction I will follow. I need to see what the manual says about what exactly drives the warning circuit.

For now, I'm confident the battery is charging, so I'll treat it as an indication problem instead of worrying the bike will die at any minute or not start when it is parked. Keep your fingers crossed that I'm right so far!!!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2006, 1:57 pm
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As often happens, as you make the control and monitoring more sophistocated, this becomes more unreliable than the basics needed to run the bike. I have an older '97RS so all I have to cope with is the EFI and simple ABS (which is enough).

If one of the diode phases goes down you won't get the full output current, so with just about every load connected, if you still get 14.1 volts it does sound ok, the monitoring isn't telling the truth and the bike will keep running. I'm totally ignorant on canbus. Perhaps it does latch a fault, even if it was just a momentary overload. Most things are reset by disconnecting the battery for half an hour. I had a bike once that had the charge warning light also connected to a dip stick in the battery acid. That gave it 2 functions, alternator broken or low battery electrolyte.

I gather the problem Airbus has/had, was they offered so many options to all their customers - some wanting everything, that they didn't have a common manufacturing template for the wiring. They thought they could just drop in the extra goodies after the main airframe looms had been installed - but with all the fly by wire stuff inter connected and hydraulics installed they had to pull a lot out to get access.



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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 2006, 11:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
As often happens, as you make the control and monitoring more sophistocated, this becomes more unreliable than the basics needed to run the bike.
"The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

-- Scotty, Star Trek III, The Search for Spock

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:50 pm
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I think it's all a clever marketing ploy to lock you into stuff with so many intellectual property rights, that you the owner will never sort out the problems, they the manufacturer hold all the Aces on information which they restrict to dealerships signing no disclosure agreements and charge you a lot of money because you have nowhere else to go.

One day you, will never own your own bike, you will just lease it, because there'll be nothing on it you can fix or service yourself.



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