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PD: Primary Drive Make your own Generator


BigEd

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Dear Stu,
Please check your conversation mail. (Envelope at top right of screen.)
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
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Stu I think you have it it was a bad new chain that stuffed my rollers as an aside I seem to recall that Reynolds at that time also had welded seam rollers something to do with the rise of triplex chains for car timing chains.
 

JustPlainBill0

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Non-VOC Member
I came across an article discussing using a stepper motor as a generator: https://www.applied-motion.com/news/2015/06/using-step-motor-generator . It starts out innocently enough...somebody wanted to use a stepper motor to charge a 12 volt battery. It quickly "degenerated" into hi tech model building that left me scratching my head. But there may be something there that someone pretty technical who understands this stuff (Vic?) and wants to estimate output against motor RPM, could use to his advantage.
At a more plebian level, there's a pretty good YouTube video on the subject here: https://youtu.be/lAvCYuNxGS8
 

ray schriever

New Website User
VOC Member
If these are brushed ac motors I suspect the brushes are set in the neutral plane. If they are dc brushed motors with a nominated DOR then their brushes would be offset opposite to the DOR to counter for armature reaction. If they are reversible dc motors they would be neutral again. So, if set as a generature the motors armature reaction would be opposite to that of a motor. Without the offset as a generator, voltage and therefore current would not be optimal? Just saying
 

JustPlainBill0

Website User
Non-VOC Member
If these are brushed ac motors I suspect the brushes are set in the neutral plane. If they are dc brushed motors with a nominated DOR then their brushes would be offset opposite to the DOR to counter for armature reaction. If they are reversible dc motors they would be neutral again. So, if set as a generature the motors armature reaction would be opposite to that of a motor. Without the offset as a generator, voltage and therefore current would not be optimal? Just saying
Ray, I don't have an answer about brushes, but stepper motors are brushless and when used as "generators" (alternators) produce alternating current which has to be rectified (more magic) to become direct current as we need. To operate as motors, they most often use DC -- though some run on AC.
 
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timetraveller

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VOC Member
Thanks Bill. For those who are not sure, that is a Walkernator, developed by Dick Sherwin and myself. One thing that is going to emerge from the tests with motors being used as generators is whether there is going to be sufficient heat generated to cause troubles. Many car alternators contain a fan to keep it cool. The one illustrated does not but they do have quite large holes in their casing. It was intended for use on 2CV Citroens where it is mounted directly on to the exhaust manifold, about as hot a place as one could find. They have never given trouble but the new Nippon Denso ones now being used do have a fan built in. One thing to note in the various videos showing stepper motors used as generators is the very small amount of current being generator. The experiments currently underway with various motors are going to let us know whether this is a route worth exploring and as such I admire the effort being put in.
 

vibrac

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VOC Member
What could be nicer than one of these, It looks like it was made for the job, Sorry Norman, It was !.
Cheers Bill.
I agree Bill it fills the gap where the rear cylinder was on the twin its a nice functional piece of machinery I will say however it certainly looks better on a Comet than a twin and it copes with the variations in the Comet crankcase exterior variations that were produced over the years (in one of my installations I had to make a curved stud)
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bill, you are a tiny bit ironic about good looks of a car alternator on a classic ??
Myself not very knowledgeable about stepper motors or brushless to this day I hooked up a small stepper motor to my lathe , set 2000 rpm and got up to 60 V DC from it on rectifiers - but no usable power when connected to a 6 V 35 W bulb and no more voltage showing. It is sort of a short with that bulb. So I don´t see much use of a stepper for generator, so instead better get a brushless servo motor like these in my photos below.
I got the big , longer type these days, was express shipping from China at € 40.- -they would not do snail mail. So it is € 90.- plus taxes.
The performance was very impressive from the three phase rectifier, while still waiting for the bike regulator to arrive :
14 V on a 60 W quartz bulb at 1360 rpm - 1090 at crank speed
14 V on a 100 W quartz bulb at 1480 rpm - 1180 at crank speed
14 V at 120 W bulbs at 1580 rpm - 1265 crank speed
I blew two quartz, a 60 W plus a 100 W connected - but not safely, so both destroyed by unreliable contact and overvoltage.
I can only later tell higher power readings with the regulator, limiting voltage to 14 V at high revs, so for the while we have to wait for the next shipping.
That is a lot more electric power than I need , I´ll have a big magneto anyway.
When you look at the massive 15 mm shaft, 14 mm at the pulley drive fit, you can figure out what it does as a motor. I don´t care the least what this type does in this role but am only interested in generated power. So this is a good tell-tale for what to expect from any motor as a likely generator. The smaller shorter brushless below has a 8mm shaft, quite powerful , see numbers at the start of this thread. The new type is 14 mm shaft and almost excessive for my needs. For judging the "load" on the dynamo sprocket: Contrary to some comments this cannot possibly be much as I could easily hold the motor in the lathe in the right hand while getting the revs from the reflex digi tachometer in left hand with 120 W load. After all, 200 W is just a quarter of a hp at best, negligible.
Cooling might be a factor to keep in mind, but then , I guess power will be well below 300 W anyway, so only part of this will go up in heat. As no electronics are inbuilt in the motor 100 degrees should be no factor - unlike in the regulators in typical car alternators. There you waist part of the generated electric power for sustaining the magnetic field in the rotor. With a permanent brushless this is done away but you turn some of the power into heat in the motor coils and the simple regulator. Well, you can´t have it all, a simple brushless motor - or a brushed alternator with regulated field supply. This does not worry me much looking at modern motorcycles with mainly brushless type permanent magnet alternators, millions of them on the road. Generators behind covers mounted on the engine. So an air cooled small brushless on top of the gearbox with some temperture conductive contact should be allright, the Altons with identical tech are proven, with lower power when ungeared I guess. And they operate in all sorts of bikes from the timing gear drives, having certainly an easier life there compared to the triplex chain/ESA drama.
The new motor was skimmed in the lathe for 68 mm o.d. because I had the cases already done for common 68 mm motors. When you look closely 68 mm is the absolute minimum diameter with it as the 3 mm threads of the long bolts just started to get exposed. So I made new bolts with 6 mm nuts which were made to be heads of the bolts . These were loctited onto 3 mm rods with threads at both ends. One of the heads has to be filed flat to the front flange so as to clear the engine case. The new front flange was extended for two ball bearings - 15/32/11 mm - and suitable for an o-ring fit in the engine case bore.
Conclusion : These China brushless motors look all the way like great alternatives to the very expensive Altons - for those who love to do some machine jobs on the lathe and mill. Once this is done you need no longer worry about expensive repairs or replacements as you can get low price spares from China any day and have all components exactly to your liking when doing the job yourself. So I am looking forward to reading your stories here with experiments and real road reports.

Vic

stepper motor test:
P1070084.JPG


new longer brushless :

P1070040.JPG

rear end extension - for ignition pickup ?

P1070044.JPG

front end 14 mm pulley shaft

P1070048.JPG

turned down 68 mm , shortened rear cap, front twin ball bearing flange extension:

P1070075.JPG

P1070090.JPG

P1070058.JPG
 

Robert Watson

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I appreciate the Walkernator as being a very serviceable solution, albeit some what large and bulky.
I went at it a little more discreetly.
The alternator is a permanent magnet from a small John Deere tractor. It pivots on the through bolt for the footrests (the hole needed to be drilled out slightly and the battery tray mount shortened, I recall I made anew one) and the outer end is held by an automotive style slotted arm pivoting from the original generator hold down clamp. The jack shaft is a two piece part held together with a draw bolt in the outer end and suspended between two bearings, one in the opening which already exists and the other in a solid outer cover. As this seals up the primary I have a small breather fitted to the inspection cap. The pulleys are J section 6 rib poly V belt. The largest I could fit on the jack shaft and the smallest I could fit on the alternator. It has been running since 1992. It has had two major issues. Once due to pilot error - the screws holding the sprocket to the jack shaft were not installed correctly and even the lock wire couldn't hold them, This was on the original one piece jack shaft and disaster ensued. the other was that a wire fell off the regulator - twice. I run an 85W headlight and have switched most everything else to LED, and I also run a heated vest. It pretty much balances the load around 2K RPM.

These units come in 3 sizes...

200 watt units (which is what I have)

300 watt units are the same as mine but the regulator uses all three coil outputs. whilst mine only uses 2 of the three available.

400 watt units which use the 3 outputs and the alternator has stronger magnets.

I have run this for about 100K miles (yes 100,000 miles).

The belt drive has had the belt replaced once or twice and I carry a spare although it has never failed on the road. I don't crank it up too tight and it stakes the shock out of the permanent magnet system. I have never had it "eat" the rollers on the primary chain.

It was a bit of a PITA to make and install, but has been VERY reliable.






20190702_072936.jpg
 

oexing

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VOC Member
Robert,
great reading. I guess the small belt drive type is a permanent magnet alternator. So you don´t have the triplex shock drama reaching the rotor via the belt at all. I absolutely don´t see the magnet "shock" symptom from the alternator magnets, definitely , my motors have 8 poles and I can tell by holding the motor in one hand in tests. They feel all smooth, and we are talking about some mere quarter of one hp and at speeds high enough !! This argument is OWT - old wifes tales.

Vic
 

Robert Watson

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If you grab one of the permanent magnet types that is gear driven you can see the shock comes from the magnets passing the coils for sure.........The Kubota (and old style Alton i think) gear driven replacements do have some substantial shock value (Physical, not electrical) when driven by a gear train or direct connected. This unit is bigger in dia and therefore does not requires such strong magnets and spins somewhat freely by hand. the belt seems to take care of any slight shock loading.
 

timetraveller

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That is looking good Vic. It will be interesting to see it working on a complete bike. One query. You mention one end being machined for an ignition pick up. On twins the generator rotates at 1.25 times the engine speed On singles it is at engine speed. Do you intend to make some sort or reduction gear for twins to reduce the rotational speed?
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Norman,
that end is standard in that motor as its main purpose is most likely a servo motor with its magnetic hall sensor - that I removed, no use here. I just rememered someone asking for the Hegeler system and its generator at the mag position. Without any gearing up - that I´d hate to have there - with its own flaws - you would see twice the speed required to get my readings of course. I don´t plan to offer any sets, just messing around, mainly for own bikes - and discussions . But you are right, on a Comet this could be a great way having power plus electronic ignition from that end.
Forgot to mention: No need to reduce o.d. of the motor to the very end of the end cap to 68 mm, there is sufficient clearance to the engine case already. Just the drive end is critical, but 70 mm is doable on the engine case when you decide on that motor size. 68 mm are very common though.

Vic
 

JustPlainBill0

Website User
Non-VOC Member
Following your work closely (and enviously) Vic, If I had your skills I'd be copying your work. Failing that, I'm going a slightly different direction. I've purchased a China made 143 x 60 mm brush type, 87 watt permanent magnet motor ( eBay item number: 401766275363) hopefully to reduce the need for custom machining and not stray too far from original looks. For non-machinists, the 60 mm diameter body permits more flexibility in mounting and positioning the generator than possible with a 68 mm body. That is, one can use a conventional steel, "L" style front motor mount or a spindle motor mount somewhat resembling the Vincent part; both of which allow some up/down, fore/aft adjustments. I have not thought through oil sealing yet; love your O-ring solution. My plan is to arrive at an inexpensive, largely do-it-yourself generator for the unskilled; with the same advantages in finding replacement parts as for the China brushless motors.
 

oexing

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VOC Member
Instead of using a L-bracket I´d try to fix the cylindrical motor in the standard cradle by placing some sheet alu under it. The L-bracket seems to me vibration-sensitive, a bit too flexible on this application. To be open, meanwhile I got quite a collection of various motors for testing. Seems , the best bet is a 24 or 48 V motor to get a good voltage from low rpm and 14 V there.
There are a number of motors possibly suitable, a 57 o.d. mm is very common too. So, yes, some get some satisfaction from trying things in own workshops instead of just buying from well known sources.

Vic

57 mm motor:
DC motor 125 W
 

JustPlainBill0

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Non-VOC Member
There are gusseted L brackets available, but in general I agree they aren't so good for this purpose. This mount (next to the Vincent cradle):

DSCN8338.JPG

is for a 52mm spindle motor . That style is available in 57mm and other sizes, but the mounts tend to get wider as the bore diameter increases, so attachment to the engine case gets more difficult since you have to offset the mount (rearward) to center the motor in the engine case opening and you run out of room on the top of the case for the mount.

I'm acquiring a nice motor collection too Vic. While I was awaiting an answer regarding bearings used on the 60 mm China motor, I ordered a 100x52 mm 50 watt 24VDC brush motor that I will try with the spindle motor mount above. You can see I'm moving away from high output generators. My experience with the 12K rpm 200 watt motor at high RPM was not good. At 60 psi to the die grinder, and a 55 watt bulb, I recorded 60+ volts (upper limit of my meter) before the meter died and fried a couple of 12V sealed beam headlights along the way. My earlier test at 60 psi showed 18 volts with a 55 watt load.

Two things I learned using the air die grinder to test the generator: First you need to be pretty damn sure you know the relationship between air pressure to the die grinder and voltage output by the generator before seriously testing. I've been using a linear model: for example, if the motor needs 12VDC to spin 3000 RPM, I calculate that each additional volt will turn the motor an additional 250 rpm. And that when the motor is used as a generator, each additional 250 RPM will generate one more volt when turning the generator with a drill or die grinder. So to estimate generator speed, I measure the voltage produced by the air die grinder at a set air pressure and calculate motor speed by multiplying voltage times 250 for my estimate. That process can be repeated at different air pressure levels to the die grinder and you can determine approximate power output at different RPM and then at different road speeds. The purpose of this is not only academic, but it allows you to limit generator speed to real world levels during testing so you don't blow out your test equipment. Crude, but as a friend said "it's good enough for who it's for".

This leads to the second thing I learned: New carbon motor brushes for inexpensive China motors are made with barely concave surfaces that need to be "seated" to match the commutator shape before they deliver full power. Seating is done by running the motors with light or no load for a period of time?? to let them wear-in. If the brushes are not seated, power reading and generator performance will not be peak until they are. My failure to let the brushes seat probably accounts for the higher than expected power outputs that fried my test equipment. Lesson learned.
 

MartynG

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Norman,
that end is standard in that motor as its main purpose is most likely a servo motor with its magnetic hall sensor - that I removed, no use here. I just rememered someone asking for the Hegeler system and its generator at the mag position. Without any gearing up - that I´d hate to have there - with its own flaws - you would see twice the speed required to get my readings of course. I don´t plan to offer any sets, just messing around, mainly for own bikes - and discussions . But you are right, on a Comet this could be a great way having power plus electronic ignition from that end.
Forgot to mention: No need to reduce o.d. of the motor to the very end of the end cap to 68 mm, there is sufficient clearance to the engine case already. Just the drive end is critical, but 70 mm is doable on the engine case when you decide on that motor size. 68 mm are very common though.

Vic
The idea of a single unit as generator and ignition, especially on a Comet is not new. When I first took over the Comet I have it was fitted with one of these units, which I still have in my 'parts bin".
 

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Robert Watson

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The idea of a single unit as generator and ignition, especially on a Comet is not new. When I first took over the Comet I have it was fitted with one of these units, which I still have in my 'parts bin".

Gee Martyn. I posted up a while ago pictures of a DH3 I acquired, I couldn't figure out why there is a set of points in a generator. The cover says 6V 30W 1700 RPM. Look here, where you responded with a brochure...


Now I am going to have to delve deeper into the magic of Miller
 

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