6V AC balanced lighting system
Post Reply    Forum -> Not-So-Modern
Author Message
Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:36 pm quote
Hey everyone. So here is the gig. I've got a 1962 Allstate that has a 6V AC system with three bulbs. Two tail bulbs (one is the brake bulb) at 3w, and a headlamp with 22/22w bulb.

My understanding is it's a balanced system and self regulating. So basically there needs to be a 25w to 50w draw on the system. More than that and kaboom, out go the lights. Less than that, no lights.

I've checked all the impedance of the wiring and all is good. It looks like I can find replacement bulbs (headlamp not yet) but it'd be awesome to have a little more brightness to this little machine. So here is my question:

Is there a way to go with 6v or 12v LED lights that will draw enough wattage so it can still mimick the resistance of the incandescence bulbs? Has anybody done this with any success? I don't want to solder resistors on the bulbs, etc. I'm hoping to just buy plug-n-play bulbs. There's got to be a solution with plug-n-play bulbs, and have the system much brighter.

OR, am I delusional in a "everyone will have flying cars" sort of way.

Any help in understanding this would be appreciated Than!
Ossessionato
05 Stella, '62 VBB, 76 Sprint V, 63 GL
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 2150
Location: Chicago. Well, Evanston, but that's almost Chicago
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:52 pm quote
You may not be full-on flying cars, but I think you're close.

You could look for a bright LED headlight that draws 25w at 6v, and while I know that people obviously ran the balanced systems for years, but unless you're a restoration purist, I'd either just install a 6v regulator or upgrade the damn thing to 12v.
Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:38 pm quote
Thanks Chandlerman. Yeah, I'm going to hunt around for the equivalent LED bulbs. I figured I'd hit the hive-mind of MV/NSM before I spend time searching and looking - looking and searching for the proper bulbs. I'm open to putting any kind of bulb in there that'll fit and do the job of balancing out the system. Plug and play. Because in the future I will change the electrical system. This is temporary (one month to two years temporary)

Future plans go like this:

1) Get it running as - which it is, except for the lighting.
2) Put a Vespa front end on it, or hub and weld a shock bracket onto fork.
3) Upgrade power plant. Not sure what to do here yet, 177 with 4sp for 8" tires.
4) 12v upgrade and CDI

3 & 4 will probably happen simultaneously.
Addicted
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 589
Location: california
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:55 pm quote
gascoot' - I have a 12v system - points/ condenser/ no battery.
Frankly no idea what they used or how they modified to create 12v.
rear lights are a danger.
Additionally - sidecar has /tail/brake/running lights tapped in to system.

That said - decided to do a little testing.
There are a class of LED automotive type bulbs that are AC.
As you probably know - most LED's are DC only.
So I bought a whack - and received about 6 different packages this week (according to my lovely wife) while I was traveling.

In Chandlerman's neighborhood this weekend - but back to LA next week where I am looking forward to 'sperimenting.
Happy to share my results - crash and burn or not - with you.
Sites that sold my AC bulbs had some 6V versions as well if you plan to stick with 6V.

At some point soon, will also have my flywheel off and will look to the crowd to learn more about how the builders converted to 12V/no battery with my system - if that holds interest to you as well.

-CM

IMG_0349.JPG

Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:01 pm quote
Cool, thanks CM!
Hooked
1955 Allstate 1958 lambretta 1965 Allstate 1968 sprint
Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 367
Location: Central california
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:21 pm quote
6volt balanced system
Well gascooter I have a 1965 Allstate, my guess is that yours and mine would be the same. Could be wrong, but I have 10watt brake pedal bulb, 5watt running light, I donít have a pilot bulb, but if it did it would be a 3watt, and a 25watt head light.
I bought all new bulbs and the voltage when I started the scooter at idle was correct. Around 6-7volt...when I revved the engine a bit the voltage went through the roof. Kaboom all the bulbs. Iíved Narrowed it to the lighting coil. I bought a new lighting coil just have not put it in yet. Bought all the bulbs at scooters west. I bought three of everything except for the lighting coil.
I have not seen a A/C LED...
Not sure what it would do in a balanced electrical system. There has been a lot of posts about this topic. Anyway let us know. Scott
Addicted
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 589
Location: california
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:46 pm quote
Scott - will do.

Just FYI - SoCal turned me on to the Trailtech AC voltage regulator.
You can dial a max between 12 and 16V.
It goes inline on the stator power outlet - and bleeds off anything over what ever max you set - to avoid frying stuff like bulbs (or in my case - digital speedos...)

https://www.amazon.com/Trail-Tech-7003-AC01-Universal-Regulator/dp/B00FMVWPKK/ref=asc_df_B00FMVWPKK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241973068692&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12437702730488370097&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1016367&hvtargid=pla-494074596478&psc=1

They are about $20. Lot's been written on here on these as well.
Hooked
1955 Allstate 1958 lambretta 1965 Allstate 1968 sprint
Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 367
Location: Central california
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:00 pm quote
6 volt system
Thanks charlieman for the info. That really does help. I failed to mention how many bulbs I blew up before I decided the lighting coil was producing too much voltage. I still will change the lighting coil, but I will also add the regulator just Incase. Thanks scott
Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:04 pm quote
Thanks Scott. I'm sure we've got the same system. Let me know how it goes with the new lighting coil.

And I'm going to experiment, but CM might get to it first! Either way, it'd be cool to be able to use LEDs in these load balanced systems.

And CM, I'm not installing a regulator - I'll go to regular bulbs first. Why? because at some point it's going to get revamped anyway, so this is just experimentation while I ride the scooter around until the timing is right and I feel ballsy enough to start making it a little more badass.
Hooked
1955 Allstate 1958 lambretta 1965 Allstate 1968 sprint
Joined: 20 Jul 2017
Posts: 367
Location: Central california
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:18 pm quote
6volt
I noticed our bulbs wattages were off a bit. I printed from scooterhelp.com...the schematics and wiring diagram. Just an FYI.
Spent 1/2 a day with lucky bear and MJrally today. MJ was making his way back home to San Diego.
Also Jeff said he was on his way back to your neck of the woods to visit family in about three weeks. If you still need the paint by then say something and jeff and I will go get it and he can bring it to you. It would be best to have a part with the color you want to match. It would be best to match the color of the faded part. Scott
Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:27 pm quote
Re: 6volt
Sjanuary wrote:
If you still need the paint by then say something and jeff and I will go get it and he can bring it to you. It would be best to have a part with the color you want to match. It would be best to match the color of the faded part. Scott
Thanks Scott. Sounds like a fun day! I'll see what Ron, our local paint expert can do. If it doesn't work out I'll drop the glovebox in the mail pronto. Thanks man - I sure appreciate it!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 50s x2 78 P200 84 Cosa 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special + projects
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 7058
Location: seattle/athens
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:39 am quote
charlieman22 wrote:
Scott - will do.

Just FYI - SoCal turned me on to the Trailtech AC voltage regulator.
You can dial a max between 12 and 16V.
It goes inline on the stator power outlet - and bleeds off anything over what ever max you set - to avoid frying stuff like bulbs (or in my case - digital speedos...)

https://www.amazon.com/Trail-Tech-7003-AC01-Universal-Regulator/dp/B00FMVWPKK/ref=asc_df_B00FMVWPKK/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241973068692&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12437702730488370097&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1016367&hvtargid=pla-494074596478&psc=1

They are about $20. Lot's been written on here on these as well.
+1

I use these on most of my USA scoots and they seem to solve the problem nicely. There's also a model w/ built in rectifier if you want to go DC for your LED upgrade.


Here's where I mounted the plain one in my similar AllState. Unless you pull the tank, you wouldn't even know it's there.
Ossessionato
05 Stella, '62 VBB, 76 Sprint V, 63 GL
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 2150
Location: Chicago. Well, Evanston, but that's almost Chicago
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:01 am quote
Now that the lighting seems solved-ish, what're you thinking for the top end?

My original VBB motor was a two port and I have a Pinasco 177 on that, which was the only 177 option at the time I built it. It's a solid top end, fairly bulletproof, and has a nice, wide power band.

I re-powered it for giggles with a spare LML that I converted to 8" with the SIP kit and a Malossi 166 w/ a 22t clutch. It's almost painful to ride, with a steep-but-narrow power band and short gearing. It'll pull wheelies, which was kind've my goal at the time, but it's still a bad design on my part.

I need to spend a little time & attention on the original motor and get it back in fighting trim, because I used to really enjoy riding it and now I hardly ever ride it.
Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:10 pm quote
I don't know about the top end yet Chandlerman. My brain can't handle too many things at once!

And I'm not ready to slap a regulator under the tank just yet. (Thanks for that though Voodoo!).

I've been doing the math on the amount of watts and ohms generated in the different configurations.

Each filiment in the headlamp is 22w so 22w/6v=4A or close enough
Resistance would be then 6v/4A=1.5 ohms or close enough for this discussion
So the taillight is 3w/6V=.5A 6v/.5A=12 ohms

If one headlight filiment is running and one tail light, it's 13.5 ohms of resistance. If all bulbs are lit it's 27 ohms of resistance.

So what is causing a system like this to blow bulbs? More than 27 ohms of resistance for the total system? More than 50w of draw?

I'm obviously not an electrician I can see if the wattage is low, the resistance or ohms are higher, which would be a problem with LEDs. Which is why I think some big ass, massive wattage (for LEDs) would make this closed system function. The quick search I did for LEDs that would fit the profile didn't cough up any viable solutions, like a 12v/48w bulb, or at least my limited understanding is starting to stumble around in the dark with it all.

So any electricians out there - can you shed some light on this perplexing issue? What exists in LED bulb form for a Plug -N- Play for these old closed systems without a regulator and essentially 4 bulbs? Two tail lights and a double filiment headlight.

Yes, I'm good at banging my head on the wall! Ha.

But hey, I did find a plug and play blinker relay for the P200 that works fantastic for all LEDs, or mixed LEDs and incandescent. So there is something to be said for persistence!
Hooked
GTS250ie ET4 VBA1T
Joined: 30 Jul 2008
Posts: 122
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:45 am quote
Hi Qascooter, I'll reluctantly throw in my thoughts which are based on general electrical knowledge with no experience on your model scooter. I have a VBA with more conventional wiring.
Assuming you wish to start with the original configuration before you try and move on, then these are my thoughts.
Firstly I can't see any way that your lighting coil could be generating too high a voltage providing you have the right load across it. If anything it would have less than the design output due to aging magnets. If it is the original coil the only way it would generate more volts is if someone wound more turns on it which I'm sure is not the case.
I'm not sure how much value there is in calculating globe resistances as the resistance rises as the globes heat up.
I don't know everything you have done but the way I would tackle your problem is to make sure you have the same wattage globes that the manufacturer originally specified. The other possibility might be that one of the switch contacts is not opening and therefore not adding the globes resistance to the circuit. If the globes aren't blowing instantly then checking that all globes are lighting would eliminate this. I am assuming the switches open the circuit when turned on.
Not sure how useful or accurate my comments are but hope they may help.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 50s x2 78 P200 84 Cosa 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special + projects
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 7058
Location: seattle/athens
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:09 am quote
Sorry QA, I don't think you'll find a PnP solution. I played with several LED combinations and they would work for a while because the LED is a diode, right, and can convert the AC to DC by itself. The problem seems to be that the AC slowly destroys the LED as somebody who also tried it posted here with the technical electrical reasons a couple of years ago. The special 'automotive' LEDs CM found might work, but aren't cars DC? Now I just use the regulator but wanna try the combo rectifier for LEDs. If you go that way I will be observing closely. If you do the 12V CDI upgrade, please let me know where to get an appropriate horn that'll look nice on an AllState or if the old one works OK(just might).

Piaggio used a weird 'load balanced' system on most early bikes w/ no regulator where the correct bulbs would supply just the right load to accept the maximum WATTAGE output of the primitive stator. The voltage with no load is all over the place* but as long as there's not enough amps to blow the bulbs, you are fine. But usually when one goes there's too much power when you rev the motor and your remaining lites get nice and bright before they start blowing too. Piaggio saved a few hundred lira and you have an electrical puzzle. One of the cute features of this system is that on early smallframes, the brake lite is hooked into the ignition primary coil so if you blow the bulb you kill the motor when you use the rear brake. Cool!

Here's Hodge, who finally explained it to me so I understood: 6v electrical voodoo !!!


*if you doubt this, grab hold of that "6 volt" lead and rev the motor
Ossessionato
05 Stella, '62 VBB, 76 Sprint V, 63 GL
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 2150
Location: Chicago. Well, Evanston, but that's almost Chicago
Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:15 am quote
Following up on V oodoo's post, my VBB had the original 6v AC electrical system on it until I swapped the motor.

The voltage was all over the place and it blew bulbs right and left until I finally gave up and installed a regulator. No issues after that.

I've always assumed that regulators used to be much more expensive than they are today, and the "balanced system" was a cost-saving workaround. If they were actually a desirable design, though, we'd still see them today, since it eliminates a component from the design.
Addicted
Joined: 26 Jan 2019
Posts: 589
Location: california
Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:46 am quote
Hey guys.
I had read a number of the posts - re DC conversion/ LED headlight using local converter/ etc. so I am aware that people have kicked the tires pretty hard on this one. That said - thought I would see what current state of the art was.

The headlight is it's own challenge - conversion to DC, and appropriate focus of light for the reflector. There are now some kits that appear to have a proper single source of light with a hood/reflector on it which hold my interest.
However - none of these are AC compatible - and would need localized conversion to DC - which appears to be available for about $15.00
My plan was to look at that secondarily - after I addressed the running and tail lights (remember - I also have them on my sidecar).

So I searched out a PNP solution for the other lights.
Here are two links for AC compatible bulbs.
Both sites sell different options of base and double/single filament.
As my motor mount project has my motor lying prostrate on the work bench right now - I can't test yet...
No idea if they work - but they claim to be AC compatible - so I thought I would test and post.
10-18V AC with one.
12-24V AC with the other.

I will continue to use the trail tech regulator - because it can't be good for any kinda light to get spiked every time I juice the engine... and they are so cheap and simple to install.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NCOHKCZ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/boat-rv-bulbs/1157-led-bulb-dual-function-27-smd-led-tower-bay15d-bulb/2625/
Ossessionato
1976 Super (x 2), 1974 Primavera (x 2), 2006 Fly 150
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 4822
Location: So Cal
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:23 am quote
I stubbornly resisted installing a regulator in my non-battery scoots, thinking there was no reason why the lighting coils and the bulbs shouldnít all be able to get along and live in harmony. If they just have the right output and right resistance, and everything is all balanced out and all the components are in good shape, why shouldnít they be happy?

After blowing endless bulbs I came to the same conclusion as chandlerman ... get a regulator. The unregulated electrical system in these bikes was basically a cost saving measure. It works as long as everything is in good condition. But when one bulb blows, or a wire start to corrode or if there are spikes in voltage from extra RPMs, anarchy ensues. Bye bye Utopia.

The regulator is basically the sheriff - the Andy Griffith of the little electrical Mayberry that is your lighting system. A little law and order, smooths over problems, adds stability.

The Trail Tech is good for 12v systems. If you want 6v, this little Yamaha is xlnt and even simpler ... one wire.

https://www.treatland.tv/yamaha-FS1-6V-regulator-p/yamaha-fs1-6v-regulator.htm

No reason not to regulate. Youíll easily save $20 in blown bulbs. Easily. I havenít blown a bulb since.

All that being said, itís hard to beat a battery. DC supplies nice, steady, constant & predictable voltage. The downside is you have to keep a battery charged, either by riding the scoot a lot or keeping it hooked up to a tender which is a PITA.
Molto Verboso
08 GTS 250, 79 P200E, 62 Allstate
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1216
Location: Florence, OR
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:46 am quote
Throwing in the towel
Thank you all. This information is invaluable! Regulator it is. Time to bring the sherrif. heh heh...

Actually, I've got some bulbs on order along with a new back rim so I'm just going to use those for the time being. My plan is to update the power plant so I'll probably be switching to 12DC soon enough.

The understanding of what's going on with the system really brings me to the conclusion that there really is no reason (besides puritanical) to leave the system the way it is. And I appreciate coming to that conclusion with y'alls help.

If I only would've listened early on in the thread. I could've been putting effort into how to update this VNB2 engine!
Hooked
GTS250ie ET4 VBA1T
Joined: 30 Jul 2008
Posts: 122
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:18 pm quote
I think you've made the right decision QA. For your info. I've run the Indian 12 volt conversion successfully for a couple of years now.
This was based on cost. If cost is not an issue I'm sure one of the more expensive options would probably be better as they have the advantage of advancing and retarding the timing.
The other reason I went with the Indian conversion was to retain the original flywheel.
The other options have lighter flywheels, which a lot of people like, but I prefer the greater reliability of the heavier flywheel.
Molto Verboso
Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 1220
Location: NC, USA
Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:56 am quote
A number of the no battery, balanced 6v ac older Vespas have more than one source (stator coils) for lights. One for headlamp, and two stators within one coil for the brake light and taillight.

These are three separate stator coils acting as individual power sources. The fact that the brake light coil stays shorted by the brake switch until operated without killing power from the other two verifies that. It's somewhat like having three batteries, one for each light.

The scooterhelp diagrams had me head-scratching until actually seeing those double output, two-in-one coils as installed. The diagram below shows one coil with two wires headed to brake and tail lights. It makes no electrical sense when tracing possible current flow and operation.

The picture of the stator coil near the top shows the two wires grounded under a screw. Those are the other ends of the blue and yellow coil wires. A stator coil with four wires, two grounded, with two separate outputs. The grounded ends are not shown on the diagram. Only two wires are shown connected to what appears to be one stator coil.

To regulate all bulbs on that system would require possibly three ac regulators. Two might work, with one tied to the headlamp and tailamp source wires, and another to the brake output. I've never tried it.

phpej6Mb4AM.jpg

VMA1.icon.jpg

Ossessionato
05 Stella, '62 VBB, 76 Sprint V, 63 GL
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 2150
Location: Chicago. Well, Evanston, but that's almost Chicago
Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:25 am quote
blackbart wrote:
It makes no electrical sense when tracing possible current flow and operation.
This is all that needs to be said about (im)balanced AC systems. Even if you regulated all three circuits, you'd still be money ahead over the cost of blown bulbs. Especially if you're not getting them with free shipping.

Once the brake/tail light coil failed on my VBB, I bonded them all together and ran it regulated. I never had issues with lighting after that, including a dim(mer) headlight.
Hooked
Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 401
Location: United Kingdom
Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:46 am quote
blackbart wrote:
The picture of the stator coil near the top shows the two wires grounded under a screw. Those are the other ends of the blue and yellow coil wires. A stator coil with four wires, two grounded, with two separate outputs. The grounded ends are not shown on the diagram. Only two wires are shown connected to what appears to be one stator coil.
The stator pictured is very different to the stator in the circuit diagram.
The stator in the picture has an internal HT coil whereas the the diagram is for the more usual energy transfer system with external HT coil. The top coil does consist of 2 separate coils, but one is for the horn/headlamp circuit and the other is extra windings for the LT coil.
The pilot/tail/brake light coil in the diagram is in fact a single winding, connected to yellow one end and blue the other. it is not connected to earth at the stator plate.
Rallies Europe 2016   vespa scooterwest scooter west Motorsport Scooters   Cool Ass scooter seat cover
Post Reply    Forum -> Not-So-Modern
[ Time: 0.4165s ][ Queries: 28 (0.2084s) ][ Debug on ]