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  1. #1
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    Default Magneto capacitor

    Is there an alternative to the capacitor needed in the no battery system?

  2. #2

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    If you are using an electronic regulator, you may be able to get away without it. You should ask the regulator mfg. The big capacitors are expensive, but the one HD used on the XLCH with the Bosch regulator was small, like a radio interference condenser on an old Delco alternator.

    Jim

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    Please note....

    A magneto is a completely differant animal to either a generator, an altanator or a dynamo,
    these 3 produce electricity to power lights, ignition systems,horn, signals, starter & CHARGE A BATTERY etc etc etc.

    A magneto is an sole standing ignition unit that produces its own power and only provides the spark plug with a spark to fire the motor up,.....made by fairbanks morse, morris magnetos and joe hunt
    please don't confuse the 3 main power providing units for one, as they are not magnetos

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    Quote Originally Posted by tzienlee View Post
    Please note...………………………….

    A magneto is a completely differant animal to either a generator, an altanator or a dynamo,
    these 3 produce electricity to power lights, ignition systems,horn, signals, starter & CHARGE A BATTERY etc etc etc.

    A magneto is an sole standing ignition unit that produces its own power and only provides the spark plug with a spark to fire the motor up,.....made by fairbanks morse, morris magnetos and joe hunt
    please don't confuse the 3 main power providing units for one, as they are not magnetos
    The question was about a capacitor to use in the generator system to smooth it out, when no battery is used. It has nothing to do with the magneto.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tzienlee View Post

    A magneto is an sole standing ignition unit that produces its own power and only provides the spark plug with a spark to fire the motor up,.....made by fairbanks morse, morris magnetos and joe hunt
    You forgot ...



    And ....


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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    The question was about a capacitor . It has nothing to do with the magneto.

    Jim
    So why the misleading post headline of ''MAGNETO CAPACITOR'' ??????? If he doesn't know what he wants he could fuck things up,....
    Last edited by tzienlee; 05-06-2020 at 7:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tzienlee View Post
    So why the misleading post headline of ''MAGNETO CAPACITOR'' ??????? If he doesn't now what he wants he could fuck things up,....
    Hey, I knew what he meant. (Although a different condenser for the mag itself did cross my mind. Some people used to add a big capacitor to the mag itself to theoretically make starting easier. )

    Jim

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    NEW "BIG BRASS CONDENSERS" NOW AVAILABLE

    When I was 16 in 1958, the first piece of "Speed equipment" I bought for my '51 Ford V8 was a dual point conversion setup. Because the second set of points took the space where the stock condenser was, the kit came with a "Big Brass Condenser" that mounted on the outside of the distributor. It didn't have the visual impact of a set of finned heads or a dual carb setup, but you could open the hood and there was something there to look at and impress your buddies.

    Ever since then, I've had a real liking for these "Big Brass Condensers", and even managed to obtain a couple over the years. Lately though, they have been increasingly difficult to find and quite expensive. Well, if you can't buy 'em, why not make your own? I have spent the last summer working with my neighbor, who is an electrical engineer, to do just that. I think we have come up with a unit that looks good, and more importantly, is quite a bit more reliable than what is currently available. We have extensively tested them, both on the road and in the shop. High temperature, vibration, and transient high voltage feedback seem to be the enemy of regular condensers, and we have addressed all three factors. These condensers are rated at 330 nano farads up to 630 Volts, and are good for up to 247 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of our initial units failed because of overheating problems, so we have stepped up to the highest temperature rating we could find. We have tested them in my powder coating oven at 300 degrees for 3 days and have not had any failures. I am currently running them on my cars with conventional ignition.

    Some of the components had to be purchased in quantity and I have a lot of time invested in this project. Therefore, I would like the opportunity to share these with members of the rodding community, and perhaps get a little of my initial investment back. If anyone is interested, please PM me, as I currently have an extra ten units that I would sell. I am asking $6o each, plus shipping. The only variance from the old time units is that the bottom of these are made to be removable, allowing the capacitor inside to be replaced, in the unlikely event one should fail.
    Last edited by Dragstews; 02-21-2019 at 3:22 PM.

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    To bad Mallory doesnt makem no more.
    Should make th with screw off body.
    Hf stand offs would look pissa on top

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    That one does have removable caps. 60 bucks beats turning it yourself then hunting capacitors and producing a suitable insulating plug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmaineron View Post
    Is there an alternative to the capacitor needed in the no battery system?
    Hmmm...Why are you looking for an alternative to the batteryless capacitor? Are you running one now and don't want to have it in the system?

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    you have to have either a capacitor or a battery. My 2nd bike was a '59XLCH it came factory with a morris magnito. It had a 6volt 2 brush generator without a battery. You can look at a '59 scematic and no capacitor is shone. Later years had a capacitor in the system. If you rode the '59 at high speed with the lights on the headlight or tailight would burn out frequently. I went thru several bulbs. If you left the lights on during the day and didn't notice by nightfall one or both of the bulbs would be burnt out. On the job one day I ran into the older guy I grew up next door to. He was a electrical engineer. He explained that a capacitor or battery is a ballast for the charging system and without it at high rpms the generator runs wild and over charges. After talking to him I found out about the capacitor on later models and bought a battery eliminator unit (capacitor). I owned the bike for 7 years and never had any more than usual problems with bulbs.

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    I've never run OEM or aftermarket magnetos per se but I've converted the alternator (such as XS650, Honda CBs) to work as a magneto on old bikes with points which is why the condensor (capacitor) was needed.

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    This is just a fun project for me going in a completely different direction than what I would normally do. I asked the question because I was looking at a diagram and it shows the capacitor, which I have learned is nothing different than a condenser. Cept the condenser can be had for about 6 bucks and the capacitor is 35, so I had to ask the question. I also wasn't aware that the capacitor was also called the battery eliminator.
    My setup is going to be the magneto, a 65, 12 volt generator and regulator with the capacitor. Hopefully I'll see how she goes soon...

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    I understand why people want to run a capacitor but Ive never run one personally. I don't mind if my lights dim a little while I'm idling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XbrooklynX View Post
    I understand why people want to run a capacitor but Ive never run one personally. I don't mind if my lights dim a little while I'm idling.
    The problem is 2 fold. First, you cant just slap any old capacitor on there, there is all kinds of them at different ratings, and how long they hold a charge. I believe, not certain that they break down over time, or at least the old ones did. That is WHY there is a big difference in price. I have a box of them from another shop and they range in sizes and function. I have seen some for industrial applications the size of a Folgers coffee can to the size of your pinky nail.

    Secondly, Its ability to store power and how much. Not voltage, but if you look at a battery, they have an Amperes per hour rating. I often use special small gell cell type batteries because they can withstand repeated abuse a regular lead acid can not. These are the type for break away trailers and emergency lighting or road signs. They can take long durations as discharged and recover just fine where a lead acid battery would be killed the first time. 5 AH or 7 AH are typical. If you follow Ohms law this will tell you based on load how long it will produce power without a charge. So, Capacitors based on my understanding are similar but not as functional.

    So the end result is, I strongly suggest a small gell cell battery is more robust and better, they can be hidden easily but are safer. There is no reason you cant run both as well. (Not needed for a Magneto based bike) But here is a compelling reason. I have some race model bikes that run battery less, and on the street the headlights and tail lights go to ZERO to Flicker at Idle. This can be quite exciting in the mountains as you have to pull in the clutch to rev the engine to see where you are going on a steep downhill. Secondly, I have been rear ended by car BADLY! I have several friends who has as well. Car drivers ALWAYS say... "I never saw them!". So, while it may seem cool and hardcore, It aint no fun being a hood ornament. YRMV.

    ## Fun with capacitors. I have a few friends that like to race vintage, Triumphs BSA and Nortons and many of these run batteryless with the factory system. Lucas ET system. (ET Call home, the lights went out, Its called officially Energy Transfer, ET, But where it goes nobody knows!) So one year Kenny was running in a AHRMA MX and going off a table top jump his Trumpet revved when it cleared and went airborne. The Capacitor had enough of this BS and exploded. (They do this sometimes) and when it did 2 things happened. Of course power went out and he DNF'd and the whole track was covered with floating bits of paper and what looked like shredded tin foil which freaked ever one out. Bt it looked cool for the spectators! Sadly no one got it on film. As each cleared the jump it looked like floating christmas tinsel in the air.

    Secondly, When I was in the military a friend was quite a prankster. He LOVED capacitors and had a big collection. He would charge one up and walk around zap people with it and a piece of copper. Made me douche my supervisor with hot coffee one day when he caught my elbow, jangled my nerves and Ssgt got a bath in coffee. Got a few ladies on the ass and titties as well. One day he found a girl who actually enjoyed it so that was kinky. But what got him kicked out of the EMS dorm was he wired up a few urinals and toilet seats. On that base we had an older dorm and 2 community bathrooms per floor. You could hear the screams and curses quite well with the tile floors. Maybe your friends and coworkers might enjoy this as well. Let me know how it goes.

    Last fun story,, My FIL is a whiz with electronics. Ham radio as well as all kinds of stuff. So he has a machine shop setup up in the barn and built a setup to run a old school milling machine that runs 3 phase off a single phase 220/240v feed. (* You can do this) So besides the stepper motor, He setup a milk crate full of big capacitors and wired them up. So a bunch of us were in the shop and he was screwing around with it and had disconnected the power feed and was reaching into the milk crate with a wrench.

    You know when the spidey sense tingles and the hairs on your neck raise up, you dont know why but can sense disaster??

    Well, I am an idiot, and he is a bad ass in many ways, so you take your life in your hands questioning him so it took a lot, but I yelled "STOP!" and asked,,, " Whats the duration on those??" He looked at me like WTF do you know? And started to say some thing like STFU, when the wrench fell out of his hands and lightning came out of that box. Serious electrical storm. Every one just looked at me,, I decided it was good time to go back down to the house for more beer. We dont speak of that but its something that still makes me cringe.

    Eleck trickery can be interesting.

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  17. #17
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    The reason for large electrolytic capacitors ("condenser" is an archaic term only kept alive by points ignitions) is cost. Smaller sizes cost less and ceramic capacitors (like what's probably inside that nice brass shell) are affordable.

    Large capacitors like those in the phase converter DTIA describes would be too expensive to sell well in solid state. BTW VFDs offer variable speed control (extremely nice, especially for maintaining constant surface speed during deep lathe cuts) and are inexpensive online. Electrolytics can and do blow violently which is why the big ones are supposed to live in enclosures capable of containing failure. Hobby phase converter builders tend to fuck up in that respect.

    My horrible capacitor story is well remembered by older Keesler AFB students. A ground radar instructor failed to use a grounding stick

    http://www.tomwblack.com/phenix/4040...und_Sticks.pdf

    to ensure the caps he worked near were fully discharged. That mistake killed him in front of the class when he reached inside the unit. I was avionics so not my class, but the base got the message pronto!

    Motorcycle caps aren't a safety issue but sound practice for other electronics is to disconnect power, then turn on the machine to dump residual charge. This avoids equipment damage and is standard when working on computers.

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    Farm I have you topped on that.
    was working on a Henry #K Alpha rf deck, I modded it to have 4000 volts to the plates of 2 3-500Z
    and put 2 huge oil filled cans in there allso with the new transformer .
    thought I bled them off , friggen tossed , black mark on hand
    But I could pin a bird watt meter with a 5K slug and 200 watts of drive from my HF rig
    75 meter fun..........

  19. #19

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    Hi
    Are you still selling those caps? How close are they to the Mallory?

    Thanks

  20. #20

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    Hi DragStews!
    Do you have any of those capacitors still?

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