Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

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FastEddieB
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Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:59 pm

My Sky Arrow has had recurring problems with charging over 10 years and about 470 hours. It was hard to tell whether it was due to bad/loose connections in the multi-pin connector or actual problems with the regulator itself.

The plane would often go for years with no problem, but it reared its ugly head again a few weeks ago - I started the plane up and the GEN light stayed on solid. Suspecting the plug, I found this:

Image

Cleaning up the spades and applying some Stabilant-22 worked, but the other day I saw the GEN light flicker on base, which it never does normally.

I knew RV owners have had their issues with the Ducati regulator, often blamed on it not cooling properly in its original location on RV12's. And the some had converted to a John Deere part to good effect.

In any case, I installed a John Deere ($23.10 from Amazon) today with the help of a friend. Here it is in place:

Image

We held out breaths but on startup everything looked good - no GEN light and good voltage:

Image

Note: My plane's voltmeter has always read about 1 volt high (1), but I tend to trust the bus voltage shown on my Garmin (2).

The complete story here if you're interested: http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?p=1141868

Of course, only an option if one is Experimental. Still, something to consider if you are and are having issues.
Fast Eddie B.
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FastEddieB
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:08 am

Got to the hangar and made a short flight yesterday.

Voltage readings (engine off):

Battery (Aerovoltz lithium iron) with Master Off: 13.25v
Battery with Master On: 13.11v
Garmin: 12.7v
Panel 12v outlet: 12.97v
Panel voltmeter: about 13.8v (a little parallax error in photo below)

Engine off:

Image


Went flying, and with just the strobes and landing light on, saw the voltage gradually go from about 13.7v to 14v (on the Garmin) where it seemed to level off:

Image

This is I think about .3v higher than the Ducati. Note the panel mounted voltmeter is consistently showing about 1v high.

I was a little surprised at the high resting voltage - I'm used to seeing about 12.7v on most lead-acid batteries. But the Aerovoltz data sheet says that higher voltage is typical, and the 14v charging rate is in the acceptable range:

Image

Anyway, so far, so good. If anything changes, I'll report back.
Fast Eddie B.
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ShawnM
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby ShawnM » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:04 pm

Certainly more affordable than the Silent-Hektik I went with. :mrgreen:

I do love the extra voltage I get though. 14.2 on average

Let's hope you get good results from it FastEddieB. It's certainly affordable.

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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:22 am

Since this got bumped...

Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since installing the John Deere.

Still performing solidly, cranking out a very steady 14v as shown on my Garmin.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby Wm.Ince » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:28 am

FastEddieB wrote:Since this got bumped...
Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since installing the John Deere.
Still performing solidly, cranking out a very steady 14v as shown on my Garmin.

Great.
Thanks for the update.
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MrMorden
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby MrMorden » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:30 pm

FastEddieB wrote:Since this got bumped...

Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since installing the John Deere.

Still performing solidly, cranking out a very steady 14v as shown on my Garmin.


Do you have a link or part number? These are cheap enough I might keep one in my field repair kit in case my Ducati snuffs it.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:28 pm

Fast Eddie B.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby MrMorden » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:10 pm

Ordered, less than $21. Thanks.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:09 am

If you decide to go that way, let me know, I’d be happy to help.

Refer to the linked Vans forum thread about how to reconcile 6 leads vs only 5 terminals.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby MrMorden » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:47 am

FastEddieB wrote:If you decide to go that way, let me know, I’d be happy to help.

Refer to the linked Vans forum thread about how to reconcile 6 leads vs only 5 terminals.


I looked through the linked info, seems straightforward. Thanks!
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:10 am

Quick question regarding the connections on this regulator:

Eddie, I notice you are using a two blade connector/splitter for the R and B+ wires. In my install I'm not sure if that will work well space-wise, so...

Is it possible to simply crimp the two wires to a single spade connector and then attach it to the B+ blade on the connector? Electrically this is the same, though you might need to use a connector that could accept a larger wire size, and I'd certain solder after crimping to insure a good bonded connection and use heat-shrink sleeve on it for support.

There might be some reason this is a no-no, though I can't think of what it might be. I admit to having fairly meager skills relating to electrons and their flow.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:22 pm

All sounds kosher to me.

The only thing is, I might forego the solder. I think I’ve read a solid crimped connection is as good or better, and that’s what you tend to find in aircraft. I think the idea is the solder makes the joint more brittle, and that itself can lead to failure.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:30 pm

FastEddieB wrote:All sounds kosher to me.

The only thing is, I might forego the solder. I think I’ve read a solid crimped connection is as good or better, and that’s what you tend to find in aircraft. I think the idea is the solder makes the joint more brittle, and that itself can lead to failure.


That's true, but in this case you are crimping one connector to two wires. In this case even if you twist the wires together first, I'm not sure how you'd ensure equal crimp on both wires without physically connecting them. I took the SportAir Workshops electrical course, and the instructor said there is no problem with soldered connections IF they are properly supported in a connector and/or with heat shrink.

Just my thinking, I could be wrong on that.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby drseti » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:39 pm

MrMorden wrote: I took the SportAir Workshops electrical course, and the instructor said there is no problem with soldered connections IF they are properly supported in a connector and/or with heat shrink.


True as far as that goes, but...

Note that the electrical system uses stranded wire. This is because stranded is more flexible (and less subject to breakage) than solid. If you solder the end of a stranded wire properly, some of the solder will wick up the wire, connecting the strands to each other. This effectively converts a stranded to a solid wire, compromising its flexibility and increasing its tendency to break when flexed. Yes, proper support of the wires can mitigate this, but in every Rotax installation I've seen, there is no physical support of the wires into the voltage regulator module, save for the block through which the crimp connectors pass. So, I would be hesitant to solder them.
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Re: Voltage Regulator - Ducati to John Deere

Postby ShawnM » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:58 pm

drseti wrote:
MrMorden wrote: I took the SportAir Workshops electrical course, and the instructor said there is no problem with soldered connections IF they are properly supported in a connector and/or with heat shrink.


True as far as that goes, but...

Note that the electrical system uses stranded wire. This is because stranded is more flexible (and less subject to breakage) than solid. If you solder the end of a stranded wire properly, some of the solder will wick up the wire, connecting the strands to each other. This effectively converts a stranded to a solid wire, compromising its flexibility and increasing its tendency to break when flexed. Yes, proper support of the wires can mitigate this, but in every Rotax installation I've seen, there is no physical support of the wires into the voltage regulator module, save for the block through which the crimp connectors pass. So, I would be hesitant to solder them.


I agree with FastEddieB and Paul, I would forgo the solder. It's really not a good idea for reasons stated.


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