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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scooter update- Electrons are loose!

This isn't good news, the battery's deader a giant squid washed up on a Australian beach right now. Seems my last "improvement" did in fact have a shortcoming… I'm pretty certain I bragged last week about finally getting my headlights and relays working in such a way that they were powered straight off the battery and the AC feed wire that normally powers the lights had been capped off. After that mod, the LED voltmeter on the dash began only showing a "charged" green indicator light occasionally and instead was only showing the lesser voltage, amber lights.

I did take a digital voltmeter to the battery when I discovered this apparent voltage shortfall and the fancy digital instrument read that I always had more than 12 volts across the battery when the engine was running. It moved from 12.48 volts at idle to ~12.78 volts when the engine was revved up. So, I was certain that my charging system was still working and sufficient to keep my battery charged.

Not so! Dammitall! I took a errand run at lunch today and coming out of the store, the starter button didn't do a dang thing towards causing internal combustion to take place. Nothing! So, I popped the scoot up on to its centerstand and used the kickstarter and with a couple kicks hyrodocarbon fuels were being converted into energy and I could return to work. It’s a bit of a pain to use the kickstarter since you can't just reach back while on the wheels to use the kickstarter lever. You must use the centerstand to get it out of the way of the lever. I guess it’s a real good thing that I installed that (formerly optional) bit of equipment the last time I had the belt cover off.

So either my digital voltmeter lies and is inaccurate or some other portion of the charging system has failed. Or, I need to find another way to re-introduce the AC power that has been capped off back into the charging system. Time to go talk to my electrical engineer buddy, Loc!

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