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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, Folks -
I have a confession to make: I am electrically challenged (for those of you who haven't figured that out already). The last physics course I took was in high school, and all I remember was something about a "left-hand back-hand rule" for the flow of electrons. Somewhere.

Would anyone be willing to work with me on compiling a primer about the electronics and test equipment? We've got lots of great posts in the Verses about the r/r and stator, and a few more about the battery and why the voltage should be more than 12.0 volts... but I'm not seeing some basics such as "how to read your digital multimeter," "how to set your digital multimeter," "what do we mean by a 'ground' and what's its impact on our systems," "why remove the negative battery lead and not the postiive," etc.

It really may just be me, and if so, I apologize. But after getting totally confused about my digital multimeter and trying to get an "infinity" reading, I went out and bought an analog meter so that I could see what the digital one was referencing "in the real world" (kinda like a digital versus analog clock). I understood it once I could see it: 0.L, which is what my digital meter was reading at rest and when I was trying to test the stator to ground, equals infiinty on the analog - at rest, the analog meter sits at infinity, but I needed to actually see it to realize that my digital meter was working fine. I can take pics and post these for the other electrically challenged members of the Forum...if there is anyone else out there in my club. And if so, are there other things that you want to see that we could compile in one place? Finally, is there anyone that would be willing to work with me to set this up?

Thanks, everyone. You guys are great and patient - and once I understand this stuff, I hope to be able to return the favor to others who come along!!
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
Sounds like a great idea Cindy.
I just try to kinda figure the stuff out as I go.
I read most of the posts on how to get the stator readings then finally said to myself....
"Self, this has to be what they were talking about"
"Ya know Self, I think you're right. Let's just hope we don't see a puff of smoke when we do this !!" LOL
My digital meter also has the O.L., for which I have no clue what that means :confused:
 

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Premium Member
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3,505 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've been slogging along as I go, too, but the 0.L really frustrated me. And then I read these posts that say things like, "But be careful that you don't switch the wires because X will be destroyed." :eek: Like I say, all of that info may be in the Verses already, scattered about, but if we could consolidate it, it might save some of us newbies a couple of steps along the way (and a few bucks - the analog meter only cost $14, but it was all the other things at Home Despot that I just had to have that started to add up....).
 

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Premium Member
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508 Posts
All,
There are some very good basics online. If you search by basic dc circuits you will get a wealth of info. Teaching electronics over the net would be extremely hard without all parties being in the same book/page/paragraph.
I will try to help with any questions you have. Part of my past life was as a electronic/avionics tech for both the AF and Boeing Aerospace. It has been a while since I practiced electronics but the basics do not change.
Analog vs digital multimeter= unless you need accuracy buy what is easiest to use. Digitals are routinely considered as the more accurate but this does not always hold true as a cheap digitals are not necessarily better. Check the specs on the meter before you buy. An accuracy of 2-4% of reading is good enough for general mechanic work. Fluke is the gold standard for Digital MultiMeters (DMM) but you will pay the premium for them. Sears sells a good fair priced meter. Another good thing to have is a set of universal leads with quick clips or alligator clips--when working by yourself they act as a third hand. questions email me @ [email protected]. I'll get bach to you as soon as I can with an answer. I may need to call you for clarification so if you need a fast reply and you feel OK with it include your number, time zone, and times not to call.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi, Dennis -
Maybe we could get a couple of site references from you and post 'em somewhere in the Verses? It just seems like there are some fundamental questions that come up repeatedly in the Forum: how to test the stator; how to test the r/r; why they break down; why 12 volts on a 12v battery is a low charge; why "infinite" resistance is an open circuit and not a short one (if inifinity is a lot, how come I get an infinite reading on my ohmmeter when the leads are just sitting idle? It's counterintuitive to me that infinity should indicate an open circuit.). Shoot, even a list of "Electrical system FAQs" for the Verses might be all some of us need.

Hyperbuzzin' and I both seem to have bumped up against e- issues this past week, and while it seems we're both adept at the mechanical stuff (I've torn down racing bicycles, rebuilt 'em, jury-rigged 'em, built my own wheelsets....but bicycles have no electrical components), the what-fors and whys of the motos is a whole new territory. At least for me.

Thanks for any leads (no pun intended) you can provide in re: the web!!
 

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Premium Member
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I'll do some web work and get a message out with links.
 

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Search Goddess
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2,002 Posts
Being one that learned at an early age that you don't get the piece of bread out of the toaster with a table knife and you don't use a hammer to bend down the edge of a light bulb that broke off in the socket (First one you get zapped good and the second one will blow a fuse *L*) I tend to shy away from electrical stuffs!
However.. my husband is a wiring gadget rigging genius and is determined to teach me on my bike. He has walked me through doing tests and checking connections etc. Not my favorite thing, in fact I'd rather pull the engine then try and trace down an electrical problem!
So.. you aren't alone in feeling a little lost in the wiring etc..
I think you have a great idea here and am anxious to see what develops.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dianna said:
Being one that learned at an early age that you don't get the piece of bread out of the toaster with a table knife... QUOTE]

LOL. My sister and I joke that we grew up in the Safety Family, so I knew about the metal-in-the-toaster prohibition from, oh, probably birth.

Glad to know I'm not the only one. For now, the extent of electronic advice I can offer is, "Best results will be obtained in the 'on' position." :notworthy
 

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Search Goddess
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Oh I think there are others, we just happened to be the first to openly admit it here. I've heard some of the guys talk about "Elecmo" coming to visit them and botching up a horn or light install or two.
Elecmo and Mechmo, bad fellas to have hanging around in the garage when you are working on your bike! *L*
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
Dianna said:
Elecmo and Mechmo, bad fellas to have hanging around in the garage when you are working on your bike! *L*
I have no problems admitting my 'Mechmo' related incident.

First time I rebuilt the top end of my XR dualsport, I mistakenly used the wrong marks to set the timing. When I tried to kickstart the bike I heard a near heart stopping metal to metal sound accompanied by the sudden stop of the kickstarter.
The exhaust valves (the more expensive of the intake or exhaust) made destructive contact with the piston :doh:
Luckily the piston was OK, but the valves needed replaced, again !:loser1:
No Elecmo incidents on any of my vehicles, I learned how cautious ya need to be with electricity at a young age. Just wish my stator knew too !!

And Cindy, I too did extensive bicycle wrenching in my earlier years. Mostly with BMX type bikes and then some multi-speed bikes (3,5,10 & 18 speeds).
Used to hang out at a local bike shop just to get more info !! Then I had lost my drivers licence for about 12 years (No drunk driving or accidents, mostly no insurance/registration and some speeding, then driving w/o a licence) But then I came to have bikes with motors and the pedals ended up being a thing of the past !!
 

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Just to explain the infinite resistance reading or OL on the digital meters, the reason the meter reads infinity while idle is that there is nothing but air between the lead ends so there is so much resistance that it can't be measured. The same thing happens in an open circuit, the only thing connecting it is air and the resistance is so high it can't be measured. In essence, the leads just sitting there are measuring an open circuit since they are not connected to anything on one end other than open air. The same should happen with our stators. There should be no connection between the leads and ground that is measurable, hence infinity or OL. OL stands for overload on most meters. On some of the cheaper ones, the LEDs don't have the ability to make the L so they use a 1 instead. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
With the analog, I realized that I was reading infinity at rest and at ground. It was just bugging me that folks were suggesting my meter should read a number, and I was getting a letter (L). Kinda like, "On this multiple choice exam, do you select response 1, 2, 3, or 4?" Me: "Uh, my answer is the letter E." "Overload" - who knew!?!
 

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Welcome to the world of non standardized digital meter outputs.
 

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Crobin you could not have proposed a more perfect topic for me too. Argghhh, I'm probably more electrically deficient than you. I have tried to check something as seemingly simple as a battery voltage check only to find out by the smoking, crackling, and suddenly hot leads that I was not doing it right. Aaaayyyyyiiiieeee!!!!

I would just love to do some of the simple tests on my bike, ie. bike running while checking the charge on the battery, and checking the r/r leads (i understand the chart on how to test but after that I start scratching my head)

Please HELP us!!!!!!
 

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Uber Member
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i'll try and figure something out.....
 
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