Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-10-17, 06:52 AM   #1
tommywpg
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Testing a vintage NOS generator lights set.



http://imgur.com/a/1T7wB

A friend of mine is interested in buying a 6volt generator light set from me. I need to make sure it all works before giving it to him. I tried it this morning but results were inconclusive. I own a multimeter but really don't know much about using it. We can get into that later.

Here are my questions and details as I understand them.

It uses a single wire to the head lamp. A second single wire goes to the rear light. The generator grounds using a pointed screw into the frame. Upon visual inspection, the filament in the head lamp bulb looks broken. I tried the rear light on the generator by just holding the gen against the tire by hand but the rear light remained unlit.

I don't know where to test the generator with both probes as the gen only has one contact.

Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Thank.
tommywpg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 07:17 AM   #2
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Bikes:
Posts: 6,590
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 323 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommywpg View Post

I don't know where to test the generator with both probes as the gen only has one contact.
The second contact is provided by the screw that makes contact with the bike frame (these units assumed an all-metal bike frame), so putting one probe anywhere on the metal case and clamp of the generator and the second on either wire to the lights will work.

But the real test is whether it lights up the lamps adequately. Replace the burned out bulbs and see how well it works.
prathmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 09:46 AM   #3
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
Posts: 17,316
Mentioned: 201 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 750 Post(s)
Okay, so there's one wire coming out of the headlight, and one wire coming out of the tail light? Test each by running a 6 v current from the wire to the mounting hole. If the bulb doesn't light up, take it out and test it separately. If it's burned out, replace (replacement bulbs are another story. Anyone know a good source?).

To test the dynamo, set your multimeter for 6 or 12 v alternating current. Use the wire for one terminal, the mounting hole (where it attaches to the frame) for the other. When you spin the little wheel, the meter should jump.
__________________
I put new leather on ruined saddles like Brooks, etc. You can reach me by private message.
rhm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 09:53 AM   #4
tommywpg
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
The second contact is provided by the screw that makes contact with the bike frame (these units assumed an all-metal bike frame), so putting one probe anywhere on the metal case and clamp of the generator and the second on either wire to the lights will work.

But the real test is whether it lights up the lamps adequately. Replace the burned out bulbs and see how well it works.
I would prefer to test the generator before buying bulbs, but thanks.
tommywpg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 10:19 AM   #5
wschruba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 906
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
If it's burned out, replace (replacement bulbs are another story. Anyone know a good source?).
Some older organs used low voltage/wattage lamps in various places (mostly on push buttons). Call a long-time repairman that services Wulitzer/Hammond/Allen, etc...

While they (the technicians) are uncommon now, they may have a supply of old stock. Expect to pay dearly, though...
wschruba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 10:20 AM   #6
wschruba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 906
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 252 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommywpg View Post
I would prefer to test the generator before buying bulbs, but thanks.
Check out Peter White's test rig...that should give you a good idea for how to test the generator itself (using the multimeter, natch. Set it for 6/12v if it has the option, or 10's of volts, if it does not).
wschruba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 11:22 AM   #7
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
Posts: 17,316
Mentioned: 201 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 750 Post(s)
You can actually test the bulb and the dynamo at the same time. Hold the side of the bulb base against the dynamo base, and connect the dynamo terminal to a wire to the center contact of the bulb. Spin the little wheel. If you're doing it right, and the bulb is good, it will light up. The problem with this plan is that if the bulb doesn't light up, you won't be sure you were doing it right.
__________________
I put new leather on ruined saddles like Brooks, etc. You can reach me by private message.
rhm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 12:11 PM   #8
tommywpg
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
Check out Peter White's test rig...that should give you a good idea for how to test the generator itself (using the multimeter, natch. Set it for 6/12v if it has the option, or 10's of volts, if it does not).
Will do thanks.
tommywpg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 08:03 PM   #9
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Near Sublimity Orygun
Bikes: Still have a few left!
Posts: 3,933
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
My commuting days ended in 2006, but I always bought my bulbs from Radio Shack. Believe they are still around. Don
ollo_ollo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 08:18 PM   #10
thumpism
Bikes are okay, I guess.
 
thumpism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Bikes: Waterford Paramount Touring, Bridgestone RB-T, Trek 510 city build, Giant CFM-2, Raleigh Sports 3-speeds in M23 L23 and L19, Schwinn Cimarron oddball build, Raleigh DL-1
Posts: 2,668
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 577 Post(s)
Most 6V/3W sets use a 2.5W front bulb and a .5W rear bulb; the headlight gets most of the juice. If the front burns out the rear will blow almost immediately from the resulting overload. To test just the generator with a meter I'd connect the + probe to the point where the wires normally connect and the - probe to the bracket of the generator (its ground when connected to the bike frame). Spinning the generator by hand might not give enough ooomph to provide output so you might need to hold it against a turning tire. Good luck!

Last edited by thumpism; 08-10-17 at 08:26 PM.
thumpism is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-17, 08:21 PM   #11
steelbikeguy
Senior Member
 
steelbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Peoria, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 906
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
.... If it's burned out, replace (replacement bulbs are another story. Anyone know a good source?).

....
If it is a flanged bulb, Peter White may still stock them.

At least one of my old generators uses a threaded bulb ("miniature Edison screw base", I think). No idea where you find these.... they were hard enough to find back 30 years ago. The best bet is a bulb designed for a flashlight. They were designed to produce a lot of light, but not for a long time. I think 100 hours was a typical advertised lifetime for the standard dynamo bulbs. If a bulb is designed to last longer, it won't operate as hot, which increase lifetime but greatly reduces the light output.


Steve in Peoria, with a few of the flanged bulbs in the parts box
steelbikeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-17, 09:11 AM   #12
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...
Posts: 17,316
Mentioned: 201 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 750 Post(s)
Yes, it is pretty easy to find bulbs that will fit those old dynamo light sets, and will light up when powered. Radio Shack sells them.

No, that is not good enough. The bulbs from Radio Shack are not optimized for this purpose and the light they emit is anemic. If you want a couple of those, I can send them for cost of shipping, which is more than they're worth.

I don't know exactly what you need, but a little internet research will tell you. There are definitely sellers who stock the bulbs you want. Perhaps even Peter White.
rhm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-17, 10:03 AM   #13
Cute Boy Horse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 404
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Assuming a standard 6V 3W dynamo, the front bulb should be 6V 2.4W and the rear 6V 0.6W. These are the highest ratings you can use. Go higher than this and the bulbs won't get hot enough to light up properly, if they're very oversized they'll fry your dynamo's windings.

Most dynamo lights I've seen use MES screw in bulbs, apart from surmey-archer bullet taillights that have a glass wedge fitting. You can't get those anymore.

Nowadays there's MES LED bulbs that are about a billion times brighter, but you have to be careful to choose one that's suitable for Dynamo operation. A wide voltage range (2-9v approx) and no polarity are critical, even then they'll still flash at low speeds.
Cute Boy Horse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-17, 12:15 PM   #14
Cute Boy Horse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 404
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
You could've learned that wasn't true just by reading any of the posts before your own.
Cute Boy Horse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-17, 02:35 PM   #15
jimmuller 
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
jimmuller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Boston-ish, MA
Bikes: '73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, '72 Peugeot UO-8, '82 Peugeot TH8, '87 Bianchi Brava, '76? Masi Grand Criterium, '87 Centurion Ironman Expert, '74 Motobecane Champion Team, '86 Gazelle champion mondial, '81? Grandis, '82? Tommasini
Posts: 11,792
Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 526 Post(s)
If the OP just wants to test the generator almost any small bulb will do. Either the generator puts out voltage or it doesn't. If you want a real light though a good B&M LED light is hard to beat.
__________________
Real cyclists use toe clips.
With great bikes comes great responsibility.
jimmuller
jimmuller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:18 AM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION