Lithium batteries..Opinions/practical experience..??

byteofthecherry

Getting there...
Location
west somerset
Could the charging circut on a hima work or is it too 'crude'....I run three optimate chargers for various things at home including lead/acid and glass mat, so able to 'condtion' anything I have inc lith. on my latest charger(the other two are earlier models) any thoughts anyone..??
 
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Roy Gavin

Well travelled
In Oz we can buy SSB lithium batteries which they claim can be charged with any charger used for lead acid batteries.
Which means that the necessary additional circuitry is in the battery , not in some special charger.
Always puzzled me how a battery which needed a special charger could work on the same crude old charging systems on bikes which have been virtually unchanged since before the introduction of lithium batteries.
I assume similar batteries are for sale elsewhere, perhaps under a different brand name, and for me would be a safer bet that batteries which need a special charger, although it seems that most who try try the, batterers which need a special charger on the Hima claim to have no problems.
The Hima will take a 150x87x105 battery so finding one the right size is not a problem, but the LH positive might be.
I added a heavier earth strap at the same time, stock is unbelievably small!
 
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It'sNick

Well travelled
Location
PNW
I'm looking at converting to lithium as well, as my stock batt just died on me. Can I ask why y'all are changing the straps too? Would the OEM ones on there be insufficient for a lithium battery?
 

AK Mike

Well travelled
Location
Skagway, Alaska
I got the Antigravity ATZ-7 on the recommendation of a couple of YouTubers. Ever since I have gotten my Himmy, I have had a parasitic battery drain that I can't pin down. With the lithium battery, it would die much faster than a lead-acid since it has considerably less amp hours in reserve. But no problem, (one would think) since the Antigravity has that fancy little "re-start" feature that is supposed to only let the battery discharge to a certain level at which point it shuts down and theoretically leaves enough juice to restart the bike by pressing a button on the battery. Well... the ATZ-7 did not have enough left to start the Himmy. My guess is that the ATZ-10 might since it has more amp hours and I would go with that one over the 7, (and it should still fit in the battery box). I switched back to a lead-acid since I still have the battery drain and can't seem to locate it.
 
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It'sNick

Well travelled
Location
PNW
I got the Antigravity ATZ-7 on the recommendation of a couple of YouTubers. Ever since I have gotten my Himmy, I have had a parasitic battery drain that I can't pin down. With the lithium battery, it would die much faster than a lead-acid since it has considerably less amp hours in reserve. But no problem, (one would think) since the Antigravity has that fancy little "re-start" feature that is supposed to only let the battery discharge to a certain level at which point it shuts down and theoretically leaves enough juice to restart the bike by pressing a button on the battery. Well... the ATZ-7 did not have enough left to start the Himmy. My guess is that the ATZ-10 might since it has more amp hours and I would go with that one over the 7, (and it should still fit in the battery box). I switched back to a lead-acid since I still have the battery drain and can't seem to locate it.
Hmmmm... Maybe I'll stick with lead acid then. I'm assuming mine has a parasitic draw somewhere as well, no after market attachments, except for the tender pigtail.
 

Roy Gavin

Well travelled
I'm looking at converting to lithium as well, as my stock batt just died on me. Can I ask why y'all are changing the straps too? Would the OEM ones on there be insufficient for a lithium battery?
Back in the days of the old wet lead acid batteries which corroded at the terminals it was considered good practice to replace the straps regularly as the corrosion could creep along the straps internally, so some of us oldies are just in the habit of doing it.
The resistance of a cable varies with the size, so we would usually replace them with something thicker, in the belief that the reduced resistance would be better.
So when we see the tiny straps on the Hima our first reaction is to replace them with something heavier with less resistance , particularly if we are considering a more powerful battery.
Whether or not it is needed is a question I am not qualified to answer, but less resistance is usually a good thing.
Most pro electricians prefer to fit the largest capacity battery that can be fitted, just makes things easier all round so few would disagree with AK's advice to use the 10 over the 7 .
 

It'sNick

Well travelled
Location
PNW
Back in the days of the old wet lead acid batteries...
Well I'll definitely consider it. I just ordered a battery, should be here in a week. In the meantime I'll look into replacing the straps for something heavier. There's already so little room in there, I don't wanna go too thick! I ended up going for a battery same size as stock, but 160 CCA and 10.5 Ah. Whenever that one goes, I'll rethink going lithium, and having more room to work with!
 

GaleForceEight

Well travelled
Location
Southend on Sea
Thicker battery leads or earth straps will only allow for greater power draw without them overheating for example in the event of long cranking. What they won’t do is anything to alleviate parasitic power draw. Swapping in a battery with more amp hours doesn’t mean that the current draw is increased, merely that it has the capacity to operate for longer (for a similar demand) due to the increased AH capacity.

If the bike is functioning and starting normally, the standard leads should be fine. The quality of modern leads is of a standard now where they have a low enough resistance both in terms of corrosion and electrical conductivity (use of oxygen free copper) that fitting beefier straps isn’t really required. Unless your leads/straps are overheating in normal use there is no need to replace them - a corroded earth strap won’t be the cause of power drain but could cause problems during starting as the increased resistance causes temperature rise, which creates a ‘loop’ of ever increasing resistance (if that makes sense!)

Parasitic power draw means that an electrical component isn’t isolating correctly when the ignition switch is off; if your battery is draining it may be worth putting an ammeter across the system to find out what the total power draw is, and then possibly checking current draw across each system fuse to find out where the problem is. Checking each fuse in turn will identify how much of the total draw is attributable to each system, or whether it is all down to one component/system - which will give you a general idea of where to look for your culprit - then you can check all the parts of that system to identify which part of that system is the cause of your woes!

One thing that gets my panties in a bunch is garages these days that troubleshoot by changing components instead of identifying the root cause of the problem. I’ve had Boeing 737s swapped into outstations where been working because maintenance control know that I know certain systems that confuse the hell out of supposedly qualified engineers!

Hope that makes sense!
 
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It'sNick

Well travelled
Location
PNW
Cool, I'll just let it be, then. I'll set aside some time on one of my days off soon and check out what, if any, power draw issues there are.

Who know, I could be fine, and just had a dud battery.
 

Roy Gavin

Well travelled
Oxygen free copper would not make a measurable difference to the conductivity of a battery lead, , you are confusing it with snake oil regarding speaker leads, where it doesn't make any difference either!
Common copper cable is 99.99 free anyway, and has been for a long time
As the two position ignition switch serves as an isolator for the rest of the electrical system it would seem to be the first port on call when trying to track parasitic drain,
The quantities involved are probably going to need decent measuring equipment to detect, which few amateur's will have,
And if/when they do it will probably be a fraction of the amount a battery normally looses anyway,
In sixty years of mucking about with bikes I have never experienced it so I have no hands on experience.
Just the basic "mechanics" seems to work fine for me, large battery, good connections, low resistance cables, good earths and a decent bit of overcapacity everywhere seem to work well , and when something else fails the magic smoke usually leaves some sigh of its departure!
 

byteofthecherry

Getting there...
Location
west somerset
Well I've ordered one from Tayna batteries ..here in the uk..see how it goes..it was a good price..£49.99.00(it's on offer).so I can risk that...I'll keep the thread posted with whatever developments. I think it has the anti overcharge circutry built in......if anyone is interesthed the model is 'Exide ELTX9'
 

GaleForceEight

Well travelled
Location
Southend on Sea
Oxygen free copper would not make a measurable difference to the conductivity of a battery lead, , you are confusing it with snake oil regarding speaker leads, where it doesn't make any difference either!
Common copper cable is 99.99 free anyway, and has been for a long time
As the two position ignition switch serves as an isolator for the rest of the electrical system it would seem to be the first port on call when trying to track parasitic drain,
The quantities involved are probably going to need decent measuring equipment to detect, which few amateur's will have,
And if/when they do it will probably be a fraction of the amount a battery normally looses anyway,
In sixty years of mucking about with bikes I have never experienced it so I have no hands on experience.
Just the basic "mechanics" seems to work fine for me, large battery, good connections, low resistance cables, good earths and a decent bit of overcapacity everywhere seem to work well , and when something else fails the magic smoke usually leaves some sigh of its departure!
Oxygen free copper in things like microphone cables helps with the longevity of the cable especially in touring situations where cables tend to (although they shouldn't) get used and abused. The higher the purity of the copper, the less likely you are to get a fracture in the cable. Over a typical 20m run the sound quality of OFC over standard HQ copper is not going to be significantly different as there are other things in the equation which will be far more significant - so I understand exactly what you are saying about snake oil in that respect.
I did mention corrosion resistance and conductivity in the same sentence for a reason - fewer impurities means higher resistance to corrosion, both external corrosion and internal galvanic corrosion caused by impurities (of which your standard copper cable has between two and ten times the amount!) Corrosion will lead to higher resistance due to reduced cross sectional area in the wire, higher resistance of the remaining cross sectional area, and temperature rise. Also propensity to hardening and cracking which will again lead to higher resistance and temperature due to reduced cross sectional area. But I am sure you know all that already!!! I am also sure that in real terms that will not be part of a parasitic power draw (I think I said that in my first post!).
So while the copper composition may not be significant if you put two brand new cables next door to one another and tested them. Over time when one has degraded the other will still perform. If you don't believe me, I can live with that. Let's just say that there is a reason why oxygen free copper is used in the sealing of nuclear waste disposal containers, and not regular copper..... something to do with corrosion resistance I believe!!!

All that covered, I agree that establishing whether the ignition switch is isolating properly is a good approach, I don't have the wiring diagram to hand, but as I recall there are a couple of hot circuits that have battery voltage irrespective of ignition switch position which would also be worth checking out but perhaps someone with access to the manual could check which those are!
 

GaleForceEight

Well travelled
Location
Southend on Sea
best schemas are in the owner's not the service manuals..here's mine, attached
Thank you sqeeezy. I've had a quick peek (small on my phone!) but a rough idea of where to look for parasite drain is as follows>

Fuse 1 covers a hot line to the 3 phase shunt on the magneto assembly.
Fuse 2 feeds the ignition switch contactor and the bat pos indicator on the instrument console.
Fuse 7 is a hot feed to the ECU positive 2 (pin 18, green wire)
Fuse 8 is a hot feed to the ECU positive 1 (pin 9, green/red wire)

If the ignition switch is making a clean break and is not finding an earth through the housing there, at least this will give people with parasitic power drain issues a head start on where to look.
 

AK Mike

Well travelled
Location
Skagway, Alaska
Yeah... Justin, (Karmakaze Moto) is a very nice guy in Anchorage (I communicated with him a couple times), and I'm glad that battery worked out for him. I replaced mine with exactly the same on his suggestion, but it didn't work out for me. Like I mentioned, that "re-start" feature does not leave enough juice in the ATZ-7 battery to start the Himalayan. Maybe Justin never encountered a discharge where he had to give it a try?... I don't know. But I can tell you that it did not work for me. But... I do "think" that if you get the ATZ-10 rather than the ATZ-7 that you will have enough amp hours to effectively use that restart feature. That's just a theory on my part since I haven't tried one and I instead went back to lead-acid.
 

AK Mike

Well travelled
Location
Skagway, Alaska
Thank you sqeeezy. I've had a quick peek (small on my phone!) but a rough idea of where to look for parasite drain is as follows>

Fuse 1 covers a hot line to the 3 phase shunt on the magneto assembly.
Fuse 2 feeds the ignition switch contactor and the bat pos indicator on the instrument console.
Fuse 7 is a hot feed to the ECU positive 2 (pin 18, green wire)
Fuse 8 is a hot feed to the ECU positive 1 (pin 9, green/red wire)

If the ignition switch is making a clean break and is not finding an earth through the housing there, at least this will give people with parasitic power drain issues a head start on where to look.
Thank you both for the ideas on where to look. I'll probably try to tinker with some of those ideas over the winter. Much appreciated.
 

sqeeezy

Well travelled
Location
Southern Spain
Thank you both for the ideas on where to look. I'll probably try to tinker with some of those ideas over the winter. Much appreciated.
First off, is your standby current the normal 3 or 4 mA that keeps the ECU candles lit?, or is it a larger, fault current? The standby current is a nuisance too if you live in the frozen North and can't ride your beast for long periods, but it's not a fault, it's a very small current that will take ~2000 hrs to flatten your battery. As @GaleForceEight says, the next step is isolate the fault by systematically pulling the fuses. BTW, I think it's a good idea to keep your battery clean as wet muck on the surface will leak the charge away as well. I don't have any trouble with that, as I've got a note from my Mum and don't have to go out in wet weather<irony> and here it doesn't rain enough normally.
The electric map is your friend, and the Himmie one is fairly easy to get your head round. I've been using the OEM battery since March 2019 and it's fine as the bike is my everday transport so doesn't stand idle more than a few days, except when the plague hits town, and I make sure she starts first press. Good luck.
 
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