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Dry Battery

Old 01-09-22, 12:32 PM
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SturmeyArcher22
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Dry Battery

Hello, I have 1948 mens Raleigh Superbe Dawn Tourist I believe. The dry battery is gone, but all the wiring and lights are still on the bike. How do I bypass the dry battery holder, do I disconnect the two wires that are attached to the dry battery cover, and connect them to see if I can generate power?
Thanks for any advice, I am totally a newbie when it comes to this. Years ago, a family I worked for asked me to take two old bikes to our town dump to get rid of. I thought at the time the bikes looked cool, and took them home and saved them. Just recently I bought out the men's bike with the idea of making it ridable. The other bike is identical to the mens bike but is a womens. Both bikes are in very good shape, and from all appearances are in original condition. Again, thank you for reading this. It is my first post, but as I dive into the project will most likely not be my last post.
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Old 01-09-22, 06:14 PM
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I do not recall how many posts you have to make before you can post photos, but it is a small number but larger than one. In other words I won't ask you to post any photos because you can't yet.

But if you provided dimensions of the battery holder you might be able to guess what size battery it is. And if there are any bulbs, they might list the volts and amps or wattage on the bulbs.

This might help on batteries.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battery_sizes
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Old 01-09-22, 09:10 PM
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It would be cool to find replacement LED bulbs and a more modern battery. What brand are the bikes?
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Old 01-10-22, 05:17 AM
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One of these?
Sturmey-Archer Heritage :: History
or these?
Sturmey-Archer Heritage :: History

Either way, I think the lights should work without batteries installed. You may need to try all positions of the headlight switch. Or you could try installing 3 C cells.
This company sells parts for LED conversions: REFLECTALITE LIGHT BULB FINDER I have used their "Nicelite" replacement bulbs for battery lamps and seen a big improvement, but not the dynamo stuff. I made my own for that.
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Old 01-10-22, 09:34 AM
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The battery holder has DYNO LUXE painted on it. The holder with cover measures approx. 8.5 inches long, and has a 1 5/8 ID opening at the top. I guess I assume that I need a battery in the holder to allow the electric current that is being charged to continue to the headlight? From what I have read, these charging systems are 6 volt. Is here a way of testing to see when the rear wheel is spinning is electric current being produced?
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Old 01-10-22, 09:47 AM
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Since you can't post pictures until you have 10 posts, here are two versions of the bike – woman's 1959 and men's undated bike.





You can see the battery pack located below the seat. I couldn't be sure how many D cells would fit in that tube but that will determine the voltage you need to supply to the light if you wish to retain the old incandescent bulb type. It's probably a screw base bulb. If it were the bayonet type without screws, you could just put in a replacement LED bulb which will work on voltages from 5 to 24 volt for about $8 from a US seller on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/224590569022
You can get one in 3, 4.5, or 6V versions from an overseas seller for $3. https://www.ebay.com/itm/324511600424
This would allow you to use the original battery pack as is with the right voltage bulb. Screw base bulbs are much harder to find. Obviously with the “universal voltage” bulb listed first, you could run it on two 18650 li-ion batteries in series. I'm not sure where you can get a battery pack for that but you can buy a pack that holds four 18650 batteries and delivers 8.4V.

The dimensions for a standard D cell battery are 1+3/8 diameter and the length is 2.5 inches so this is probably 4.5V since 3 D cells would be 7.5 inches long.

Last edited by VegasTriker; 01-10-22 at 09:58 AM. Reason: battery size added
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Old 01-10-22, 11:46 AM
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My mistake, D batteries, not C.


I notice that SturmeyArcher22 has not actually said that there is a Dynohub on the bike, but I think we have assumed that there is. Assuming there is one, a good page on the device is here.


The way the system works is that the battery and the dynamo are alternative power sources for the lamps. Normally you would use the dynamo, and switch over when moving slowly or stopped. In the first variant linked above, there is a three-position switch in the headlamp. With the second, switchover is automatic but at some cost in efficiency and brightness. The semiconductor rectifiers of the time were poor by modern standards. In the first system the dynamo is linked to the headlamp, then on to the rear lamp and batteries. With the second it should be dynamo->battery->headlamp->rear. Either way, the lamps should work with no batteries inserted.


Using LED bulb replacements with a dynamo requires a bit of care. The ones linked above will not work as direct replacements because the dynamo generates AC and the seller states that the bulb is polarised. Almost any bulb replacement requires an additional regulator, because the dynamo wants to make increasing power with speed. For the same reason, only the correct incandescent bulb will work well as it needs to balance the dynamo characteristic. (But almost any low-voltage bulb can be used to verify operation.) The site I linked above has everything needed, at a price. If you know a bit of electrical theory it is easy and cheaper to make up something from generic parts.
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Old 01-10-22, 03:47 PM
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I did not realize that there were dynohubs in the system to generate power. The photo of a womens frame version looks like a dynohub in the rear hub. That does not look like a drum brake, as drum brakes would have a torque arm to the chainstay and I do not see a torque arm in the photo. It also looks like rim brake behind the bottom bracket.

Welcome to the world of rod brakes. Be careful you do not have a brake lever pulled and go backwards, sometimes a brake pad will slide out of the holder if you do that. You can accidently do that if you stop on a steep uphill. I have no clue how easy or hard it would be to find replacement brake pads.

If that is a dynohub and battery system, the battery case would be to hold a battery that can operate it when stopped and also to prevent the bulbs from burning out when you go down a hill and run the alternator faster than the bulb was designed for.

Maybe you could use three NiMH rechargeable AA batteries in series in the battery case using AA to D size battery adapters. Then when the dynohub charges up the system, the batteries can accept a charge.

And then use regular bulbs. Assuming that there are bulbs still in the lights, write down any specifications on those bulbs if you take them out. If you try LEDs instead of bulbs, if a bulb does not work, the polarity might be reversed, you could switch the wires to the bulb and see if that fixes it or not. Plain bulbs work with either polarity but some flashlight LED bulbs only work one way.

I assume that the frame is not grounded here, but that is a possibility and if so, that could complicate things if polarity needs to be reversed for an LED bulb.

Interesting project.

If you have not figured it out yet, almost all the nuts and bolts will use Whitworth wrench sizes, not metric and not SAE. So, an adjustable wrench is likely your best bet. When I sold my vintage British motorcycles, I threw in my two Whitworth wrenches in the deal, no longer have them.
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Old 01-10-22, 04:44 PM
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Yes, the step-through bike in the picture looks to have a S-A combined gear and generator hub (model FG? Nice if a 4-speed!) And I second the rod-brake warning.

This site has some relevant stuff: https://hadland.wordpress.com/2012/0...y-archer-hubs/
Look for the "GH6 Dynohub" item: that and the next 3 look very useful.

SturmeyArcher22 - you can upload pictures to your Gallery with fewer than 10 posts, and one of us can add them to the thread. May be a rare case of non-drive-side picture being preferred. You might link to this thread from your one in C&V, as some people there are probably familiar with these lighting systems.
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Old 01-10-22, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gilesa View Post
...
This site has some relevant stuff: https://hadland.wordpress.com/2012/0...y-archer-hubs/
Look for the "GH6 Dynohub" item: that and the next 3 look very useful.
.....
the document called sadbu has info on the dry battery unit:




which certainly looks like 3 plain carbon-zinc cells connected in series. No doubt there is a rectifier wired in there too, to only deliver DC to the cells.
No idea how the system switches from the AC dynamo to the DC battery. Not sure how they avoid overcharging the battery either... other than knowing that the output of a SA dyno-hub is pretty weak to start with.
If someone was going to update this, I think nicad or nimh cells would do a better job, although I think I'd go with 4 or 5 cells instead of 3, depending on the bulb being used.

I've got a scan of a 1947 catalog that mentions the dry battery unit too...







Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-10-22, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
...


...
Steve in Peoria
This indicates that there are two versions of that battery pack, one for the GH6 dynohub and one for the AG or FG which I assume is not a dynohub.

We still do not know if the bikes the OP has dynohubs.

I would not try disposable type batteries in it if there is a dynohub charging it, I would only use NiMH.

In my previous post I suggested AA NiMH batteries in D size adapters, I made that recommendation because AA NiMH are quite common and easy to buy.

But if it is not a dynohub system, I would expect that three D sized batteries might be perfect, disposables could be used.

***

Note to the OP - The tires, if they are labeled 26 X 1 3/8, they are not the common 26 inch tires that a lot of bike shops stock. So, do not just go into a store and buy some 26 inch tires. If they are that size, they would have a bead seat diameter of 590mm, more on tire sizes here:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

You probably could use inner tubes for 650b but you can't use 650b tires on that bike. You might have to buy tires on line to get the correct size.

Plastic stuff, like hand grips, etc., some 303 protectant might help rejuvenate the plastic somewhat.
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Old 01-10-22, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
This indicates that there are two versions of that battery pack, one for the GH6 dynohub and one for the AG or FG which I assume is not a dynohub.

We still do not know if the bikes the OP has dynohubs.

I would not try disposable type batteries in it if there is a dynohub charging it, I would only use NiMH.

In my previous post I suggested AA NiMH batteries in D size adapters, I made that recommendation because AA NiMH are quite common and easy to buy.

But if it is not a dynohub system, I would expect that three D sized batteries might be perfect, disposables could be used.
.
In case I haven't mentioned it, I know next to nothing about SA dyno-hubs, and essentially nothing about the standlight schemes that were in place so long ago. They are intriguing, though!

I've heard of other gadgets that would connect a battery pack to the lights when the AC was gone, so I'm not surprised that SA would have such a system too.
The use of the term "accumulator" does hint that they might have some rechargeable cells in some systems, although people used to say that carbon-zinc cells could be recharged too. Perhaps in a limited sense?

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has used one of these systems, just to see what it was like.

Back in the days of incandescent bulbs, I built a system that used a Schmidt dynamo to charge a 5 cell nicad battery, and then used that battery to deliver a regulated amount of power to the Lumotec headlight. It worked fine, as long as the bike didn't spend much time stopped. Running the light at full power when stopped used a lot of power, and there was precious little spare power when riding with the headlight on, so recharging the battery was a very slow process. In the winter, when the light might be used on both parts of my commute, it wasn't uncommon to completely drain the battery. It didn't take too long for me to come up with a very different approach to standlights.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-11-22, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
...
I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has used one of these systems, just to see what it was like.

Back in the days of incandescent bulbs, I built a system that used a Schmidt dynamo to charge a 5 cell nicad battery, and then used that battery to deliver a regulated amount of power to the Lumotec headlight. It worked fine, as long as the bike didn't spend much time stopped. Running the light at full power when stopped used a lot of power, and there was precious little spare power when riding with the headlight on, so recharging the battery was a very slow process. In the winter, when the light might be used on both parts of my commute, it wasn't uncommon to completely drain the battery. It didn't take too long for me to come up with a very different approach to standlights.

Steve in Peoria
I am clueless about those systems too. I worked in a bike shop in the 70s, we sold a few bikes with front Sturmy Archer dynohubs, but I can't really remember anything about them.

Maybe a decade or so ago, there was a guy on this forum that used four NiMH batteries in series and a rectifier and a USB plug as his USB charger with his dynohub. Basically the rectifier converted the AC to DC, charged up the batteries from that, and the batteries also buffered the voltage somewhat so that he said it worked as a USB charger. That could however push over 6 volts to a USB device, so not sure how well that worked out, I would not try it on any device I valued.

Thinking of that combo battery and USB thing, I built up a four AA cell NiMH battery charger by wiring in a rectifier and volt meter so I could plug that directly into my dynohub to charge the batteries. It worked the one time I tried it. But I decided after I made it that I should consider it emergency use only on a tour because all four AA or AAA batteries would have to be identical and start out with the same state of discharge to work well. I also did not have any overvoltage protection, so I would have to keep my eyes on the volt meter if I wanted to actually use it. I later bought a real USB charger that was designed to be powered by a dynohub and when I wanted to charge AA or AAA batteries, used a charger designed for that and was USB powered. I still carry my four cell emergency charger on bike tours, so if something in my regular system dies, I still can charge batteries when I am touring where there are no convenient plug ins.

But other than that, I just buy stuff and wire it together. Leave the hard core electronics to others.
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Old 01-11-22, 07:32 AM
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The AG and FG are Dynohubs (I have an AG), built into the same shell as 3 or 4-speed gears. So it seems likely that only the wiring was different.

> I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has used one of these systems, just to see what it was like.
Me too. These things are rare. They were only used on the top models and many were probably ruined by corroding batteries.
I ride most days in winter using a Dynohub, but no batteries. Now fitted with LEDs and a super-capacitor standlight.

After wasting time on the S-A Heritage website, it seems that the evolution was:
1937/9 ??: a small battery in the headlamp, manual switch-over.
1945: The tube holder, with sealed lead-acid accumulators. Switchover unknown.
1948?: Dry batteries in tube, manual
1951: "Filter switch unit", automatic switchover and a very small charging current: "depolarisation".

Some variants may have been available together, as the accumulators are mentioned in a 1950 advert.

Edit: Reading the fine print in Steve's post above, it seems the accumulators were not sealed: "dry form", but needed to be topped-up!
That sounds troublesome, and may explain the switch to dry cells.

Last edited by gilesa; 01-11-22 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-12-22, 09:39 AM
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If you want to restore, the Hadland site, the Sturmey-Archer Heritage site, the Sheldon Brown site and the book "The Hub of the Universe" will be good references.

If you want to actually ride the bike at night, replace the headlight with a Busch&Müller Classic T Senso Plus.
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Old 01-12-22, 12:01 PM
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Wow, so much information, I am glad it's winter and I have time to really dig into this. Once again, thanks for all
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Old 01-12-22, 12:08 PM
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I finally get to post a couple of pics of the 1948 Raleigh Superbe Dawn Tourist. At least I believe it is a Dawn Tourist.
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Old 01-12-22, 12:12 PM
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The rear hub shot. It might not show all that well, but it reads Dyno 3 Three in the diamond. And 48 below
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Old 01-12-22, 12:15 PM
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Another view, this bike also has its original Dunlop tires. I also have a matching ladies bike, but this one is still in my attic.
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Old 01-12-22, 02:32 PM
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Looks like you're missing your taillight lens.

Here's your hub:


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Old 01-12-22, 02:36 PM
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"48" is 1948, the year of production of the Sturmey hub.

There should be another number about where the red circle is indicating the month.


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Old 01-12-22, 04:18 PM
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That leather saddle is in amazing shape for that age. You might want to put a thin coat of Brooks Proofide on it before you do anything with it, both top and bottom. And wipe off the excess afterwards.

I think you will have to do some hand work on cleaning the rust off of the rims with some chrome polish. The rims are also the braking surface, so after you clean them up, do not leave any oily stuff on the rims.

Great that you kept those from the trash pile.
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Old 01-12-22, 04:23 PM
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Nickel metal hydride batteries did no exist when this bike was made. They were first introduced commercially in 1989. There were no rechargeable batteries back then except for lead acid batteries. They would not be interchangeable with standard 1.5V batteries unless you change the bulb in the headlight
I first came across NIMH batteries in the early 1990s when I was given a charger and a couple of batteries as a gift. I thought they were pretty worthless at the time because they wouldn't work in any flashlight I owned. The output is 1.2V DC and all of my (incandescent) flashlights required multiples of 1.5V. I tossed them out. Now I have at least a few things that are powered by them.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:42 PM
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TPS, thanks for the Hub diagram. I doubt I would dare to open it up though. And VegusTriker I would like to try and restore the lights as best I can. Tourist in MSN i plan to work on the chrome at some point, but dont know the best way to clean it.
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Old 01-12-22, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SturmeyArcher22 View Post
...It is my first post, but as I dive into the project will most likely not be my last post.
WOW... What nice bikes and what a wonderful project you have ahead of you... BRAVO... fun, Fun, FUN!
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