SIP Speedo solution – Scootronics Intelli-Converter | WORKSHOP
I love the SIP digital Speedos for Lambretta and Vespa. I also love the reliability of the Varitronic (Vespatronic Casatronic etc IDM-based) ignition systems. In over a decade of use I’ve never had a stator or coil fail. The problem is that the two things don’t always play nice together.
The feeble 12V power output of the IDM stator at low revs means that the speedo often cuts out and resets itself at tick-over depending on the lighting load on your scooter.
Now I also have a new love. The Intelli-Converter from electronics wizard Anthony Tambs is designed to offer people running full 12-volt AC (non-battery) ignition systems a clean, regulated 12-volt DC supply to power accessories like phone chargers and Sat-navs.
However, in the video below we’ll show you how the voltage-multiplying magic of the Intelli-Converter may also be used to power any SIP Speedo (Vespa or Lambretta) so that it doesn’t cut out at tick-over, even with the lights on and a brake light applied.
VIDEO | How to solve the SIP vs IDM issue using an Intelli-converter
What is an Intelli-Converter?
Devices that produce clean DC (Direct Current) outputs from an AC (Alternating Current) source are called rectifiers.
A simple rectifier box for scooterists known as the Mod Charger has proved extremely popular because it allows the use of sat navs and phone chargers on an AC system.
The Mod Charger is not magic though. If the voltage coming in is lower than 12Volts, then the DC voltage coming out is also less than 12Volts. On weak-output systems like those with basic 4-pole stators (Vespatronic, Varitronic, Parmakit, Casatronic, Pinasco Flytech, some Malossi and Polini etc etc) this means that the 12-Volt devices stop charging at low revs and only restart at high revs.
For a phone kept in a toolbox on a journey it’s no problem because most of the time while the revs are up it will be charging. For a SIP Speedo however, it is a problem if the voltage drops too low, even briefly.
The Intelli-Converter is a bit cleverer than that. Anthony’s unit also contains circuits to multiply the incoming AC voltage if it is below 12-Volts so that you get a steady 12-Volt DC output no matter what RPM the engine is running at. Usefully, there’s a green LED that flashes on the box to show you when a solid 12-Volt output is available.
Obviously there are limits to this magic. If the input drops below 6V AC then the output stops. Also, while the input voltage is low the total power output of the Intelli-Converter is reduced below its normal 25-Watt rating.
Finally, the Intelli-Converter cannot make something from nothing. If you have weak lights at tick-over on an IDM-based system and you connect an Intelli-Converter to the same supply then you are taking an extra load from the same system and the lights will be marginally dimmer at low revs.
However, if you simply want your SIP Speedo to stop re-setting itself, then that’s a small price to pay.
The future of Intelli-Converter
The problem with Anthony Tambs Scootronics business is that it’s not his full-time job. As such, he only has limited time to make a limited number of items. Currently he only sells the Intelli-Converter via Facebook for £30 + P&P. I fully expect him to sell out of these as soon as this article comes out.
Hopefully Anthony will soon be moving to external production of these in which case we’ve been so impressed that we plan to sell these via the SLUK Shop in the future.
Intelli-Converter is also evolving with another version coming soon (around 2 weeks from the publishing date) that not only offers regulated 12-Volt DC output for any AC or DC scooter, but also includes two 5-Volt USB ports allowing you to charge many devices without the need for special car charger leads.
Watch this space…