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Display Mesage #49945

The Great LED Experiment, Part 1
Written by CalvinFold on 9/24/2004 at 01:05 am

Well, after watching other PCers run around in the rain, bright
sunlight, and places in between, I've decided to start playing with
brighter LED solutions for tail and brake bulbs. There has *got* to be a
way to make the bikes more visible in over bright, low-light,
low-contrast conditions (outright darkness is less of an issue).

So the "test dummy" is going to be my Uni-Go trailer. I already knew
it's lights suck in the daylight....barely see the brake light, and the
left and right turn signals are not very visible straight-back. I've
been wanting to fix that, plus reduce the load of the extra bulbs on the
PC's charging system (you'd be surprised how much power three extra
bulbs take...I certainly was).

The plan is to replace all the lights except the license plate light
with the Custom Dynamics 1.85 round arrays...

(Red and Amber Hardwire versions)

...which get high marks in reviews for viewing angle and insane
brightness. Looks like I can fit one each amber in the turn signals and
three (!) in the tail light. I could probably get away with two, but I'm
going for maximum impact to see how it works out.

I will be buying the hardwire versions so I can position the arrays any
way I like, in case I need to "fiddle" with the aim.

If this works out, the rear light bar on the bike is next. I estimate it
can handle at least 6 of these arrays (two in place of each bulb in the
back). If I use the hardwire I can then wire all three to be brake
lights...a nice addition.

I've already sacrificed a broken PC800 turn signal housing I had to see
if I can safely part the lense from the base, and it's not too hard. I
also have a surprise for you folks mentioning that using LEDs will "not
take advantage of the reflector." Got news for you, it's grey painted
plastic in there (at least on the '96). I've seen more relfectivity in
chrome-look spraypaint, very disappointing. No wonder the lights are so reflector, a simple bulb, and a wickedly carved plastic lense.

Also tried something else...removing the red "reflector" on the turn
signal. My idea is in adddition to the 1.85 LED array to use some of the
LED-lit reflectors that Electrical Connection sells. The front fender
ones that fit the PC800/Goldwing will also fit in this spot (snugly!) if
you pop-out the glued-in reflector (destroys it in the process). Will
see if EC can sell me ones without the "edging" so the fit will take
less modification, but then the reflector can also provide

Now this won't be a *cheap* project...Uni-go alone is quite a chunk of
change, but if it will improve the non-existant light visibility in poor
conditions, it'll be worth it.

I'll let you know how the Uni-Go install goes, will take photos before
and after.


San Leandro, CA
1996 Honda Pacific Coast 800 ("Red Dwarf")
45,000+ miles || HRCA #HM729375
2002 Uni-Go Trailer ("Starbug 1") || Trailer #499
Thursday, September 23, 2004 || 5:55 PM PST

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