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Tidy Electrics Box Wiring

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:50 am
by minetymenace
Following an abortive attempt to ride to Cassington last month, I was recovered home with my points sparking away so much that the engine wouldn’t run. The condenser was the obvious cause so the <12fs was laid up for a few days while a few microfarads were delivered by snail.

Some days past and a little green box containing a capacitor made by the Prince of Darkness himself (or more probably one of his Asian minions) dropped on my door mat. I dived into the birds nest to replace the condenser only to discover the real cause; one of the terminals on the ignition switch was hitting the points connection on the condenser, putting a direct short across the battery when the points closed. Easy fix with a spacer on the ignition switch, and was about to Google “Bower Bird” to see how it all went back together, and I had a thought……….don’t get too excited, this is not the scathingly brilliant idea you might assume, more of an Ann Elk brontosaurus theory.

It goes something like this: The Baldrick given the task of wiring the electrics box on oif singles must have had a plan, just maybe a cunning plan, but it seems his plan never made it to the shop floor let alone the owners of these machines. What if there was a way of laying out the electrics box wires so they were tidy? Well there is a way, and I photographed every step, and when I get a few minutes I’ll write up the way I think the designer intended the wiring to be done.

Re: Tidy Electrics Box Wiring

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:06 pm
by BasilF
Hoope you get a few minutes soon. Some of us are waiting expectantly!!!

Re: Tidy Electrics Box Wiring

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:29 pm
by minetymenace
Thanks for the tickle, I'll put some pictures up when the weather turns Currently frightening horses whenever I can..


Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:26 pm
by minetymenace
The traditional view of the electrics box on OIF machines is that it was a device that facilitated the removal of the lights (both front and rear) so that a machine might quickly be converted from road to track use. Questioning the merits and validity of this idea should be reserved until you run out of things to talk about. However, there are a few other advantages which are often overlooked:
a. The box is located in a sheltered position, shielded from the elements.
b. It acts as a junction box for four (the main, lighting, and two handlebar) looms.
c. Located above the engine, it should dry quickly if it gets wet.
d. Production is facilitated as the box becomes a sub-assembly that can be built independently from the rest of the bike.
There are a few other tell tales that indicate that the initial concept was altered during the design process (eg the casting marks on the inside of the box), but this is beyond the scope of the scribble.
This write-up assumes original +ve earth system is employed.

The box contains:
1. Ignition switch. A four position switch with three connections on the rear (Feed from the battery, output to the ignition circuit and output to the lighting circuit). The table below tries to show the connections and functions. (Shaded area means connected together in this switch position.)
2. Charging components. These components are always connected, irrespective of the ignition switch position
a. The bridge rectifier which converts the ac from the alternator into dc. Somewhat similar in appearance to Selenium bridges fitted up to the early 60’s and four silicone diodes are mounted on individual metal squares (to sink the heat) to make the bridge. If replaced with the ubiquitous modern potted block, go for the highest current rating you can (at least 50A) as the peak current through this device will be a lot more that you would logically think. They shouldn’t generate much heat if working correctly.
b. Zener diode. This is the only form of regulation and is as simple as it is inefficient, so it requires a heatsink. Bolted to the box with some special paste to aid heat transfer, it should not give any problems. It works by tending to decrease its resistance as the voltage increases. As the alternator spins faster, its output voltage increases. As the voltage increases, the Zener starts to conduct and the current flowing to ground causes the voltage to drop. The current is turned to heat and is wasted. The Zener has two connections; the body which bolts to the chassis and a 9.5mm spade.
c. Capacitor. An electrolytic capacitor is fitted across the supplies. If this capacitor is working correctly, it will provide a very small amount of energy storage enabling the electrical system to work without a battery. If you use the machine without a battery, but with the lights on, it is probably best to start the bike with the lights off. You will have no lights if the engine is not running.

3. Ignition components:
a. Coil. Generated the spark when the points open, should be marked “+” (goes to condenser and points) and “-“ (fed from the ignition circuit via the kill switch)
b. Condenser. Connected in parallel with the points, its function is to absorb the current flowing through the coil as the points open, until such time as the points open sufficiently for the voltage not to be able to jump the gap. Without it the points will arc as they open and soon burn out.

4. Indicator relay. This is a series thermal device that, a bi-metal strip is heated by the current passing through the indicator lamps and breaks the circuit, then cools down and makes the circuit, and so on. If you fit LED indicator lamps, the might not be sufficient current to heat the bi-metal strip and you indicators will not flash. You could put burden resistors in the circuit to make the original relay function properly, but this defeats the advantage of low current lamps, a solid state relay is one answer. Pattern replacements might be too tall to fit in the space provided.

5. Support hardware (mounted using 10.24 UNC set screws 3/4" will do for all, but I think the parts list suggests various lengths).
a. A moulded rubber housing that holds the indicator relay, condenser and capacitor. A drawing of this is available on this site here, including the necessary files to get one 3D printed if you cannot source a replacement.
b. A bracket to hold the coil.
c. A nine way lighting plug housing. The electric box has multiple lighting wires that pass through the box without being switched, they just go in and out.

6. Wires. BSA used wire colours to identify their function, the table below describes their function, where they travel from/to, their colour and their reference in the parts manual. The standard colours might not be readily available so if your machine has been rewired, alternative colours might have been used.
wiring table.JPG
The wire size used is 2mm2 or 14AWG, capable of carrying about 27A. When choosing wire sizes the following should be considered:
a. The current carrying capacity. 2mm2 is sufficient for most wires, however there are benefits to be had by using thicker wires for power (i.e. battery supply and ground, alternator, headlamp and horn)
b. Robustness. Small wires (say 1mm2) with thin wall insulation are all that is required and will be easier to route, make smaller bundles to tuck under the tank and provide less torsion resistance at the steering head joint.
c. Connectors. Small wires might break if you use the original bullet connections, modern connectors are waterproof, rely on the plug body to provide the mechanical strength and leave the mating surface to provide the electrical connection only. The 6.3mm spade connections in the electrical box are predominantly right angle, hence flag connectors are far more appropriate in most instances, however production costs and availability mean that these are seldom used and straight connections abound. Using all one size wire reduces the variety of connector sizes required. Fewer connectors increase the reliability, so hand made looms with splices within the looms are preferable to multiple wires rammed into a single crimp, but again this is a production cost thing. There should be an earth connection to the main body of the electrics box as it is insulated from the chassis by the AV mounts, the coil, Zener and original rectifier all use the body of the electrics box as a connection.

Re: Introduction

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:41 pm
by Ian Hingley
minetymenace wrote:... the table below describes ....
The table below my laptop has a cup of tea on it, but no wiring details!

Fantastic Introduction Gerry! Keep it coming



Re: Tidy Electrics Box Wiring

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:28 pm
by minetymenace
Yes just gettin onto the table...see above :thumb
also added the screw sizes.
Next the net list and terminations....

Re: Tidy Electrics Box Wiring

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:09 am
by minetymenace
Anyone spot the deliberate mistake in the table above? Fuse should be on the battery -ve NOT +ve...oops, I will correct it.