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Old 8th June 2018, 18:01   #1
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Wink DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

This is one of the oldest mods in the book which now seems to have gone out of fashion due to increasing electrical dependence and is only seen done in survivalist builds.

Anyways the reason for me opting for the same is due to my stock battery crapping out and today being one of those rainy days I thought of going with the more economical(Under Rs.100/-) and permanent route i.e capacitors.

Requirements:
  • 4700uF 50V Capacitor.
  • Wire and Clips matching your stock harness.
  • Soldering Kit.
  • Heat-shrink sleeve.

Procedure:

Determine the polarity(either one or both of the poles would be marked, look for it) of the capacitor and go ahead with the wire coding, soldering and insulation bits, and you'll end up with something like this.

DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor-dsc00081.jpg

Now go ahead and scrap your battery and also get rid of any defunct parts such as the battery clamp which would cease to serve any purpose going forward and connect the capacitor to the exact same poles that connect to the battery i.e (+=+) and (-=-).

DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor-dsc00088.jpg

Secure the capacitor so that it doesn't move around and break contact or short out.

DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor-dsc00085.jpg

Fine Tuning:

Raise the idle(mine was set very low from factory) a bit to make sure that the lights stop flickering and the horn works fine at idle, and you're done.

Cheers.
A.P.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 8th June 2018 at 18:07.
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Old 11th June 2018, 08:30   #2
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Default re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Excellent DIY.

Perhaps, you could have started with a problem statement & then the solution. Many of us are aware about the issue & can relate to it whereas those who would land on this thread mayn't understand/co-relate.

Possible pointer thread (Why does my bike need a battery to run while kick-starting?)
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Old 11th June 2018, 09:03   #3
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Default re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

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Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Excellent DIY.

Perhaps, you could have started with a problem statement & then the solution. Many of us are aware about the issue & can relate to it whereas those who would land on this thread mayn't understand/co-relate.

Possible pointer thread (Why does my bike need a battery to run while kick-starting?)
Thank you Sir.

You're absolutely right about the title, many miss this thread due to not being able to relate with the title when in fact this is something of a mandate for anyone who runs any motorcycle even those running on a DC powered ignition as a capacitor when connected parallel with the battery would enable a motorcycle to be push/kick started even when the battery dies unexpectedly which is a boon especially for motorcycles like the Royal Enfield's that fail to run without a functioning battery.

The reason for me still sticking to the conventional title is due to Google directing search queries to international websites that quote exorbitant prices for the same.

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When in fact the same can be made for peanuts as an individual 4700uF capacitor costs around 50/- from a reputed manufacturer, so when connected parallel, for 200/- you get a total capacity of 18800uF.

There are even Indian suppliers who sell RR units for the Royal Enfield with an inbuilt capacitor for a premium.

Though coming to think of it, I would post a detailed explanation about the same in the thread provided for everyone's better understanding.
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Old 11th June 2018, 18:24   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Thank you Sir.



When in fact the same can be made for peanuts as an individual 4700uF capacitor costs around 50/- from a reputed manufacturer, so when connected parallel, for 200/- you get a total capacity of 18800uF.

There are even Indian suppliers who sell RR units for the Royal Enfield with an inbuilt capacitor for a premium.

Though coming to think of it, I would post a detailed explanation about the same in the thread provided for everyone's better understanding.
A really useful DIY thread. Especially for me with a 2005 RE TB which mostly lies idle and end up with low or dead battery. The cost of replacing the battery is almost waste for my usage pattern. My bike does not need a battery to start anyways.

Will this , either the single capacitor or the parallel setup help out?

What would you recommend if I want my Headlights and Roots Windtone horns to work once I start the bike?
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Old 11th June 2018, 19:32   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

On topic I remember watching a car run by bunch of super capacitors (capacitors with much slower discharged rate compared to regular ones).

Super capacitors pmade packed to form a battery.



A DIY how to make one.
https://www.edgefx.in/rechargeable-s...citor-battery/
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Old 11th June 2018, 21:21   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

How much charge would this capacitor hold, in terms of usage of pilot lamp / horn / indicators when the engine is not running ?
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Old 12th June 2018, 08:33   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami.n View Post
A really useful DIY thread. Especially for me with a 2005 RE TB which mostly lies idle and end up with low or dead battery. The cost of replacing the battery is almost waste for my usage pattern. My bike does not need a battery to start anyways.

Will this , either the single capacitor or the parallel setup help out?

What would you recommend if I want my Headlights and Roots Windtone horns to work once I start the bike?
It would make sense to opt for capacitors even if connected parallel(as a backup in case battery dies unexpectedly) with the battery or used as a stand alone unit.

For the motorcycle to run you'd only need one capacitor, but since you have a few more accessories you would need do a couple of trial and error runs before finalizing on a setup, my best bet would be that you'd need so more than 4~6 capacitors in parallel as even international kits recommended for high-displacement motorcycles have a maximum capacity of around 15,000uF, and 4 capacitors in parallel gives you more than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
How much charge would this capacitor hold, in terms of usage of pilot lamp / horn / indicators when the engine is not running ?
With one capacitor it is just enough for the Neutral light to blink, capacitors have a very fast discharge rate. The idea is similar to using RAM for ROM, the rate of transfer is faster but once the power supply dies it goes along with it.

The need for a capacitor is to ensure current flow in the absence or failure of a battery, though super capacitors are a different story and hard to source as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saargoga View Post
On topic I remember watching a car run by bunch of super capacitors (capacitors with much slower discharged rate compared to regular ones).
Did consider the same initially but due to lack of availability and higher prices quoted online I decided to take a hit and opt for the regular capacitors, especially since my motorcycle lacks a self starter.

I remember reading about a guy who ran off super capacitors on his truck for close to 3 years(and counting), they hold enough charge to crank the motor as long as the truck starts in one go, he later on added a mini battery pack just in case the truck needed a second crank to fire up.
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Old 12th June 2018, 10:51   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami.n View Post
A really useful DIY thread...

Will this , either the single capacitor or the parallel setup help out?
What would you recommend if I want my Headlights and Roots Windtone horns to work once I start the bike?
You will need to calculate the amount of maximum current draw and also sustained draw of lights as they will be used at times.

For Example a typical horn take about 35w
Typical bullet halogen headlight about 55-60W
Blinkers about 5w each so one side 10w
Parking lamp about 5w
Break light about 5w

Approximately 120w@12v=10Amp just for sustenance.

Converting that to capacitor storage in Farads. 1Farad = 1 Amp/sec per Volt. So for and Mh conversion 60(1min)x60(1hour)=3600Mh (capacity) and 3600/12v = around 300F capacitor minimum.

I think I have done proper compute please correct me if wrong.

I also found a link.
https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/sup...citor-12v.html

@ashwinprakas I found allibaba link for super caps maybe it is interesting for you. Though I understand that your setup works for you.

Further I found a pune based company involved in manufacture of SC which they also happen to use for electric battery supplement in electric vehicles.
http://www.capacitorsite.com/project_5.html

Here them folks starting an safari from their pack




Update: I see that the alibaba link was for 2.7v and as soon as I saw the one from 12v the prices are probihitive as ashwin stated previously.Updated the link for 12v

Last edited by saargoga : 12th June 2018 at 10:55. Reason: Updating information.
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Old 12th June 2018, 15:43   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
It would make sense to opt for capacitors even if connected parallel(as a backup in case battery dies unexpectedly) with the battery or used as a stand alone unit.

For the motorcycle to run you'd only need one capacitor, but since you have a few more accessories you would need do a couple of trial and error runs before finalizing on a setup, my best bet would be that you'd need so more than 4~6 capacitors in parallel as even international kits recommended for high-displacement motorcycles have a maximum capacity of around 15,000uF, and 4 capacitors in parallel gives you more than that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by saargoga View Post
You will need to calculate the amount of maximum current draw and also sustained draw of lights as they will be used at times.

For Example a typical horn take about 35w
Typical bullet halogen headlight about 55-60W
Blinkers about 5w each so one side 10w
Parking lamp about 5w
Break light about 5w

Approximately 120w@12v=10Amp just for sustenance.

Converting that to capacitor storage in Farads. 1Farad = 1 Amp/sec per Volt. So for and Mh conversion 60(1min)x60(1hour)=3600Mh (capacity) and 3600/12v = around 300F capacitor minimum.

I think I have done proper compute please correct me if wrong.
Thanks to both of you for answering my query. So going by both your suggestions, I could get some 6 capacitors of the same 4700 mentioned and connect them in parallel. This would enable me to use my HL, Horns and indicators once the bike is started. The roughly 2k Rupees for a new battery is saved by this 300rs solution.
Great :-)
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Old 12th June 2018, 20:07   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saargoga View Post
You will need to calculate the amount of maximum current draw and also sustained draw of lights as they will be used at times.

For Example a typical horn take about 35w
Typical bullet halogen headlight about 55-60W
Blinkers about 5w each so one side 10w
Parking lamp about 5w
Break light about 5w

Approximately 120w@12v=10Amp just for sustenance.

Converting that to capacitor storage in Farads. 1Farad = 1 Amp/sec per Volt. So for and Mh conversion 60(1min)x60(1hour)=3600Mh (capacity) and 3600/12v = around 300F capacitor minimum.

I think I have done proper compute please correct me if wrong.

I also found a link.
https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/sup...citor-12v.html

@ashwinprakas I found allibaba link for super caps maybe it is interesting for you. Though I understand that your setup works for you.

Further I found a pune based company involved in manufacture of SC which they also happen to use for electric battery supplement in electric vehicles.
http://www.capacitorsite.com/project_5.html

Update: I see that the alibaba link was for 2.7v and as soon as I saw the one from 12v the prices are probihitive as ashwin stated previously.Updated the link for 12v
Thank you, I was absolutely clueless about calculating requirement, after a while would consider upgrading to multiple capacitors or super capacitors based on price and availability.

Though based on your calculation the requirement for the given case is 300 Farad's, whereas the capacitor I've used is only good for 0.0047 Farad's being a 4700 Microfarad capacitor, so if my math is right I'd need around 64,000 capacitors, luckily everything works fine in my case with an exception of the 2.5amp aftermarket horn which is a bit hesitant to honk at crawling pace when the HL's and Indicators+Buzzer's are turned on simultaneously.
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Old 12th June 2018, 20:45   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
Though based on your calculation... luckily everything works fine in my case with an exception of the 2.5amp aftermarket horn which is a bit hesitant to honk at crawling pace when the HL's and Indicators+Buzzer's are turned on simultaneously.
I think higher Farad's are useful only if the required power draw from bikes components at any given time will outpace the electricity generation. As in the case of your horns at 2.5Ah I think you bike will come with 5Ah battery?


I am not sure in mr swamy's case if it will be same may be he can experiment with a few capacitors first before going higher capacity.
As consider ing your setup just works. Also it would be better to replace parking bulbs and pilot lamps and parking lamp with LED. But then I do not know how will LED behave with only rectified alternator current.
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Old 13th June 2018, 07:59   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

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Originally Posted by saargoga View Post
I think higher Farad's are useful only if the required power draw from bikes components at any given time will outpace the electricity generation. As in the case of your horns at 2.5Ah I think you bike will come with 5Ah battery?
The bike comes with a 2.5ah battery in stock form, I believe its the puniest ever made and doesn't last as long as the conventional 5~9ah ones i.e 1.5 years compared to 3 years.

Only reason for replacing the stock horns was due to inaudibility on the greater highways which myself and my co-rider regarded to be a risk factor especially during our GQ run where the only person who was able to hear my stock horn was my co-rider who was riding along at speeds of 100~120 kmph.

Have ordered a Hella horn which costs around 150/- and is said to be of 1.5ah and of a higher pitch, lets see how it turns out to be.

Quote:
I am not sure in mr swamy's case if it will be same may be he can experiment with a few capacitors first before going higher capacity.
As consider ing your setup just works. Also it would be better to replace parking bulbs and pilot lamps and parking lamp with LED. But then I do not know how will LED behave with only rectified alternator current.
Led's strictly for the Indicators on any motorcycle, you can swap the pilots and brake lights if your headlights are DC powered else they'll crap out. My brake bulb was changed to LED in spite of me telling my friend that the park circuit is AC and as expected the park function blew out.

LED's aren't designed to run on an AC circuit.
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Old 13th June 2018, 12:29   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
The bike comes with a 2.5ah battery in stock form, ...
...

Have ordered a Hella horn which costs around 150/- and is said to be of 1.5ah and of a higher pitch, lets see how it turns out to be.
...
LED's aren't designed to run on an AC circuit.
2.5 I cannot imagine anything else but a moped with that battery . But I do like the utility and value of your bike.

Do post the update of that horn I was meaning to upgrade one in Dad's Aviator.


Rectifier's are per-installed for AC -DC conversions esp in bullets are they not? not sure about yours bike but I do know for fact that some Honda automatics also have AC still people fit LED's so they must be using rectifiers?


I think most bikes today have DC as my C5 is working perfectly fine with LED Pilots and one as parking bulb. The only thing I did was to cut off that stock adapter for BA's and put in ones from pulsar as LED's I got were not compatible on stock ones. I have been running on this set up for over few months now and nothing is causing any problems.

I also had downgraded my stock battery from 14 to 9 ah to a gel based one and have been using that one for about 3 years now no issues what so ever.
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Old 13th June 2018, 12:48   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by saargoga View Post
You will need to calculate the amount of maximum current draw and also sustained draw of lights as they will be used at times.

For Example a typical horn take about 35w
Typical bullet halogen headlight about 55-60W
Blinkers about 5w each so one side 10w
Parking lamp about 5w
Break light about 5w

Approximately 120w@12v=10Amp just for sustenance.

Converting that to capacitor storage in Farads. 1Farad = 1 Amp/sec per Volt. So for and Mh conversion 60(1min)x60(1hour)=3600Mh (capacity) and 3600/12v = around 300F capacitor minimum.

I think I have done proper compute please correct me if wrong.
Hey! You think ill be able to do this on my Honda Aviator too? The battery crapped out 2 years back. Since i use the vehicle mostly for grocery runs on weekends, didn't find it economical to replace with a new battery. I just use the kickstarter.

If someone could give me the specs and number of capacitors required for this it would be great!

TIA, Cheers!
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Old 13th June 2018, 16:15   #15
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Default Re: DIY: Eliminating Motorcycle Battery & Adding a Capacitor

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Originally Posted by saargoga View Post
2.5 I cannot imagine anything else but a moped with that battery . But I do like the utility and value of your bike.

Do post the update of that horn I was meaning to upgrade one in Dad's Aviator.
Bajaj could've scrapped the battery from factory but I guess there are norms requiring the brake lights to be powered even with the motor off, if not in India then at least in export markets.

Sure would, the shopkeeper promised to keep one for me by next week, I've seen a similar pieces on Amazon but that seems to be 2ah, not sure though, the prices go as low as 132/-.

Quote:
Rectifier's are per-installed for AC -DC conversions esp in bullets are they not? not sure about yours bike but I do know for fact that some Honda automatics also have AC still people fit LED's so they must be using rectifiers?
Anything with a battery comes with a rectifier for the obvious reason of charging the battery, only difference being the ignition and electrical. The Royal Enfield's(with a few exceptions) are part of a minority where everything i,e electrical's and ignition is DC. In such motorcycles and even on other motorcycles where only the electrical's are DC powered you can swap any bulb with a LED without a care in the world.

But for motorcycles like the CT100B, Activa and the likes the ignition is AC powered, some electrical's such as the horn, indicators, and brake function of brake light is DC powered whereas the headlight, instrument cluster and park function of the brake light is AC powered.

As for those who're into going for LED conversions on the latter, you'd have to splice a 12v DC supply from the ignition key wiring unless you have a complete lighting kit with provisions to be directly powered from the battery.

Quote:
I think most bikes today have DC as my C5 is working perfectly fine with LED Pilots and one as parking bulb. The only thing I did was to cut off that stock adapter for BA's and put in ones from pulsar as LED's I got were not compatible on stock ones. I have been running on this set up for over few months now and nothing is causing any problems.
Your motorcycle would run fine with a complete LED setup as everything is DC powered. You can even try the LED H4's sold on Aliexpress by CN Light, I believe some users have already tried it and posted good reviews here.
Quote:
I also had downgraded my stock battery from 14 to 9 ah to a gel based one and have been using that one for about 3 years now no issues what so ever.
14ah is overkill IMHO, especially on a motorcycle that comes with an auto-decompressor. The only reason why my P220 comes with a 9ah battery is to power the starter as the motorcycle lacks a decompressor. Coming to think of it, its funny to see a Royal Enfield sport an auto-decompressor whereas the so called modern Bajaj doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL_FWD View Post
Hey! You think ill be able to do this on my Honda Aviator too? The battery crapped out 2 years back. Since i use the vehicle mostly for grocery runs on weekends, didn't find it economical to replace with a new battery. I just use the kickstarter.

If someone could give me the specs and number of capacitors required for this it would be great!

TIA, Cheers!
Your current draw is similar to mine on the CT100B, so you'd be fine with a single capacitor setup like me. Though you'd have to bump up your idle like I did at least till the headlights stop flickering, plus it would also ensure that the engine doesn't stall when waiting in traffic, trust me its a pain to kick start a scooter on the go, especially with angry traffic behind you.
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