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Dynamo overhaul.

Mark Fraser

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
The Dynamo on my bike still has the cut-out and the original miller reg. It can be tempermental. There seems to be plently of people that overhaul dynamo's but I am looking for recommendations for someone that can overhaul my dynamo and supply me with a solid state reg.

Don't really know anything about Alton's. Would this be a better option for my bitsa twin?
 

rapcom

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Solid State Regulators

I suggest that putting a solid state regulator inside a Miller case (or a Lucas one ) is a bad move. The early versions were known to get warm, sometimes to failure level, and the later versions are fitted with ribs or cooling fins to aid heat dissipation. Putting it in a case will cut it off from cooling airflow. Better to mount it in free air for longer life. Under the battery carrier or saddle will hide it, if you are bothered by looking non-standard.
 

Vic Youel

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
AO Regulator

Stuart now sells the AO regulator. I have two dynamo rebuilds from Stuart using the AO gadget in a Miller box. One at 12v and the other at 6v. Charges don't balance till 50 mph or so but they have both worked fine for a year or so.

Another good dynamo (and magneto) repairer is APL see http://www.aoservices.co.uk/supplier.htm who also supplies the AO V regulator.

APL and Stuart charge reasonable prices. APL is very quick and is doing a Lucas for me at the moment which needs a new bearing, field and armature for £100.



vic
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Altons

Since you asked...
I have an Alton. It's 12 volt, I think they all are. This was fine by me because i planned to fit an electric start, for which I'd need 12 volts. My first three-phase one failed, as apparently all three-phase ones did eventually. It was replaced FOC by a new one which was single-phase like the original. They are widely used in place of dynamos, on Vincents obviously, but also for example on Velos. They are a straight swap for a dynamo. I've had no problems in 7000 miles with the single phase, which balances a 55/60 watt headlamp at about 45 mph. The new one has a finned block regulator. Mine is fixed to the flat top of the dynamo clamp. It puts out up to 150 watts. Unregulated it kicks out 31 volts ac at tick-over. (An unregulated 12 volt Lucas pancake dynamo kicks out about 18 volts dc.)
The conclusion of Know Thy Beast is that the Miller dynamo is a well made piece of kit, at least as good as the Lucas, but that the Miller regulator is a disaster. I think the story that the milliampere was a unit introduced to measure the output of a Miller dynamo is apocryphal.
 

A_HRD

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Sean Hawker's Mags and Dynamos

Yes, I have used Sean Hawker's mags and dynamos for years on my Vincents. Back in the 90s he asked me to test his prototype electronic regulators on my Comet (6V) and Rapide (12V). They are encapsulated in Miller cases. I haven't managed to break them yet!

His website is: www.hawkerelectrical.co.uk

PB
Bristol, UK
 

Mark Fraser

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Yes, I have used Sean Hawker's mags and dynamos for years on my Vincents. Back in the 90s he asked me to test his prototype electronic regulators on my Comet (6V) and Rapide (12V). They are encapsulated in Miller cases. I haven't managed to break them yet!

His website is: www.hawkerelectrical.co.uk

PB
Bristol, UK


PB,
Thanks for the advice.
I don't really know too much about Dynamo's but Sean sounds like he really know's his stuff. It's good that he's developed his reg and it's been tried and tested. He will have to sort mine out now.
 

Mark Fraser

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
S/S miller reg base plates

PB,
Thanks for the advice.
I don't really know too much about Dynamo's but Sean sounds like he really know's his stuff. It's good that he's developed his reg and it's been tried and tested. He will have to sort mine out now.


He also sells well made S/S reg base plates for the miller reg box.
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Alton reliability

As far as I know, only the 3-phase Altons have given trouble. The single phase ones (the original model and the current one) are no bother.(*) I think the 3-phase might have been an attempt to get more oomph at low revs from a alternator small enough to go into a dynamo housing.
The dynamo is run over engine speed (engine sprocket / dynamo sprocket x rpm, hazy memory says 15% over) and at 30 mph that's only 1600 rpm. My Sunbeam S7, with 4 1/2" pancake dynamo is turning about 2300 at that speed. Presumably that's why the Alton has an epicyclic box, to overspeed it still further.
* Those who have heard me muttering about unreliable electrics should know that in every case to date except the three-phase referred to, the fundamental problem was allowing an electrical idiot to do the wiring. No prizes for guessing who THAT is, then.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
[QUOTEThe dynamo is run over engine speed (engine sprocket / dynamo sprocket x rpm, hazy memory says 15% over) and at 30 mph that's only 1600 rpm][/QUOTE]
On a Comet the Alton runs at engine speed.The 3 phase one I had originally ended up balancing the headlight load at 50mph.I had it on for only a year but I had bought it a year before the bike was on the road.The single phase one I have now is excellent and shows a charge when you blip the throttle.Also the regulator design has been changed and I have now bolted it under the battery platform.John
 

Mark Fraser

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
[QUOTEThe dynamo is run over engine speed (engine sprocket / dynamo sprocket x rpm, hazy memory says 15% over) and at 30 mph that's only 1600 rpm]
On a Comet the Alton runs at engine speed.The 3 phase one I had originally ended up balancing the headlight load at 50mph.I had it on for only a year but I had bought it a year before the bike was on the road.The single phase one I have now is excellent and shows a charge when you blip the throttle.Also the regulator design has been changed and I have now bolted it under the battery platform.John[/quote]

Too much info for me! I just want a unit to perform and engine speed on my 'rusty trusty' Comet was never a problem as it needs to be 'thrashed' to get any reasonable power from it.
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Altons and dynamo sprockets

My experience was funny in retrospect. I defended the three-phase Alton against what I thought was unfair criticism (it wouldn't balance a 1000 watt headlamp, coil ignition, a washing machine and a spin dryer until it was doing 50 mph) for about a year. Then in the space of about 3 days, mine failed too, eventually barely balancing the coil ignition, lights off.
The replacement single phase one however has thus far behaved perfectly, and as you say, responds to a blip of the throttle.
My regulator sits on an ally block secured to the top dynamo clamp via the 2 x tapped holes for the Miller regulator. (The underside of the battery carrier is where the ignition key sits.)
Like you, I just want something reliable. I've long passed the stage of believing any bike lighting system can come anywhere near the performance of modern car lights.
Incidentally, can anyone tell me how many teeth there ARE on a twin dynamo sprocket? There are 35 on the engine sprocket but the literature is silent about the dynamo drive.

[QUOTEThe dynamo is run over engine speed (engine sprocket / dynamo sprocket x rpm, hazy memory says 15% over) and at 30 mph that's only 1600 rpm]
On a Comet the Alton runs at engine speed.The 3 phase one I had originally ended up balancing the headlight load at 50mph.I had it on for only a year but I had bought it a year before the bike was on the road.The single phase one I have now is excellent and shows a charge when you blip the throttle.Also the regulator design has been changed and I have now bolted it under the battery platform.John[/quote]
 

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