Automatic Chain Oiler - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Automatic Chain Oiler

I've been using Scott Oilers (and others) for years, but have never been completely satisfied with them. The quantities of oil dispensed was never consistent. It seemed that there was always too much or too little being dispensed. Additionally, the oils used, at least in the Scott Oilers, were pretty thin and therefore there was lots of fling-off. The rear wheels were always a mess.

To address some of these issues, I decided to make my own oiler:



90 weight hypoid gear is gravity fed to the chain through the solenoid.

A microcontroller monitors the ambient temperature and adjusts the time the solenoid is on to provide a single drop at the varying temperatures. A 4 position dip switch allows selection of the time period between drops. As configured now, there are selections of 1 through 10 minutes in one minute steps, and 15 through 30 minutes in 5 minute steps.

The oil reservoir is simply a 1/2" tube that runs to the solenoid:



It snakes up to where you see the capped end. After filling, the end of the tube is tucked under the plastic panel at the rear.

I'm still experimenting with time period intervals, but so far, 15 minute periods have worked well. The chain remains moist and there is virtually no fling-off.

As an aside, I've never used gear oil on my chains before. I'm really pleased with the performance of the gear oil. It seems to provide a cushioning effect with the chain going over the sprockets. It's both quieter and smoother than what I have been used to.

Ron :mrgreen:
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 01:56 PM
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Ron that is awesome, I wish I was that innovative. I have s Scott Eoiler it works much better than the older ones. There is still some fling but not as bad as the older ones.
Were did you get the parts to make yours?
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 03:23 PM
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Brilliant, but I'd like mo bettah pics of the solenoid and controller.
Put a Gold star on this guys collar!
What is the refill interval of you reservoir?
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 03:26 PM
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Very interesting.

Care to share what specific parts that you used?

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post #5 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 03:38 PM
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I was going to order a Scottoiler this week, but I love DIY stuff. Can you give some specs and a source on the solenoid you're using?

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post #6 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 04:19 PM
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sounds like a great winter project for me, looking forward to parts list and electrical schematics
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the kind words! Here's some more info.

The solenoid that I used is a bit of overkill for this application. It's got extra ports that I didn't need, so I blocked them off. I had a few of these left over from some portable emission analyzers we used to make.

I think any 12 volt solenoid would work. The one I used was intended for air or gasses as were just about all the ones I looked at. I wasn't sure if it would work with the 90 weight, but it does. I ran it for about 24 hours with 90 weight before I decided to use it. It's a fairly expensive solenoid, more so than necessary for this project.

Here's a closeup:



If I hadn't had these, I would have bought something much cheaper. I saw some 12 volt miniature solenoids at one of the surplus sites on line for about $3.00. I would have bought a couple of those if I didn't already have the one I'm using.

The rest of the unit, except the circuit board, is just Home Depot type stuff. A 1/2" reservoir tube is the upper part of the assembly. It is reduced down to 1/8" at the solenoid. An 1/8" tube goes from the solenoid to the chain. I had a Scott Oiler on the bike previously and just reused the tubing and dispenser nozzle.

I designed and made the circuit board and wrote the program for the microcontroller. All the parts on the board are standard electronic parts from Digikey.

Here's a picture of the (hand drawn) board taken while prototyping:



You can see there's really not much to it. Modern microcontrollers have really reduced parts counts. Much of what used to have to be done with hardware can now be done with software. The power supply portion is up at the top of the board. The microcontroller is the multi-pinned chip in the middle. To the right of that is the temperature sensor. Top right is the programming connector and bottom right is the dip switch. There is an LED to the left of the micro that was used during debugging.

Ron :mrgreen:
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post #8 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 06:07 PM
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"There's really not much to it" maybe for you. I have a hard time changing batteries. Man I wish I could do stuff like that.
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 07:40 PM
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I have to say, you keep coming up with some pretty impressive innovations!
Keep them coming.

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post #10 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 10:02 PM
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As the Scare Crow said, If I only had a brain! Dude wanna market a kit? it may be a wunnerful cottage industry.
Some of us are end users and not constructors of devices.
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