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Display Mesage #50631

The Great LED Conversion, Part 4 (basics complete, night test)
Written by CalvinFold on 10/19/2004 at 07:12 am

First off, a tip...don't spend alot of time tinkering with your lighting
and expect the battery to take it for long...disconnect the headlight!
Needless to say, scared myself silly when I was wouldn't
start. Just needed a charge, thankfully. ;-)

A quick night test shows, well, you can't miss me. I might even be
slightly annoying solo, less so in a pack of cars. When I put on the
brakes, only the truly asleep would not notice, though I think even the
nearby deceased might wake-up. ;-)

As one member dubbed it..."Electronic Countermeasures."

I must say, the 9 LED arrays in the back changes the whole look of
things back there.

LED turn signals came out good other parts of the conversion,
they don't "fill" the lense with a nice, even brightness like a bulb,
but their intensity is much more noticeable.

I also installed the LED version of the Turn Signal Conversion Kit from
E.C., and all I can say is that while it creates an interesting effect
when the turn signals are on, it's not as impressive as the bulb
version. The LED version simply has 4 high-intensity LEDs instead of the
bulb, and they don't over-power the lense very well. I'd stick with the
bulb version for those of you not doing an LED conversion.

The front turn signals are not as bad as I thought, though they could
still benefit from a re-positioning of the existing array and adding a
second array to each. The way the mirrors are angled and the way the
interal reflector is shaped makes the LED conversion more difficult.
But, I never found the front running lights and turn signals all that
noticeable anyway, so the intensity of the LEDs as turn signals was a
step up from stock. Running lights are no worse at night (which is to
say, not that great, but okay).

I will give some feedback on daytime noticeability once it stops

Couple of immediate nighttime benefits then:

--More noticeable...almost annoyingly so. Might have over-done it...but
hard to say. At the very least, maybe the cagers will go-away instead of
tailgating (I've been very annoyed at the increase in this "hobby"
loccally). I don't think it has anything to do with having nine arrays
as much as the arrays are MUCH more noticeable (and two each section for
6 total would have looked wierd).

--Lowered power consumption. I can tell since at idle the fog lights
don't cause an immediate jump into drainage (per the "voltage idiot
light" turning red). I'll have more tangible feedback as I ride to work
with the fog lights (possible as soon as Tuesday) or tow the trailer
(this weekend).

--Brighter headlight. Don't ask me to explain, I have no idea, but the
headlight is suddenly much whiter and brighter. Could it be that simply
lowering the power used in all the bulbs has given more power to the
headlight? Seems odd to me, but what do I know? *shrug*

Still have work to do, but the parts never came from E.C.:

--Replacing all the rectangular reflectors (two in the turn signals, one
in the running/brake bar) with the LED versions from E.C. Going to
convert the red ones in the turn signals to yellow and have them be
running and signal lights. Red one in the light bar will be running and
brake. Same for the center of the Uni-Go tail light.

--Front reflectors already are LED-ed, but will be adding the
running/turn circuit (currently turn-only).

--Voltage reduction circuit for fog lights

--New position relay (and pray it is broken and not the
auto-canceller...though the chance seems slim!)

So for the future:

--Second array each to the front running/turn signals.

--Re-wire rear lights. I used bullet connectors and end-to-end crimps
this time through but the harness is very bulky. Also ended-up with too
much wire I had to bundle-up back there. Crimped bullets also not as
secure as the Hitachi connectors I usually use, if I wiggle the harness
just right the power fluctuates (thankfully, once everything is secured
and doesn't move, it's not an issue). I used the bullets so I didn't
waste alot of Hitachi pins for this trial run. When I break-open the
lenses again to install the LED reflectors, I'll work on a re-wire to
tidy things up the second time through.

--Perhaps straighten-out the arrays. They didn't all line-up the way I
planned, mostly because where the wiring exits the back of each array
varies a bit. Likely I won't do this any time soon...pain in the arse
plus tough to do.

--Second, smaller arrays added to Uni-Go turn signals. Nightime
visibility increased with the LED conversion, but Diana says the damned
turn signals are still not that visible straight behind in the daytime
(which was the same problem with the stock bulbs). *drat* Will order
some of the 1" arrays and mount one right up behind the lense aimed
straight back. ;-P Thankfully, the "Ultimate Light Bar" on the Givi
Rack makes-up for this deficiency, she says.

Hope to get pics up as soon as I remove the duct-tape that is helping
hold the lenses in place while the gasket sealant dries, and the rain

Leland will get a chance to see the setup when we meet Saturday, so
perhaps he can give some motorcyclist-centric feedback in addition to
what Diana has given me in the "how well can cagers see me" feedback.


Long three days...gotta go to work tomorrow...

San Leandro, CA
1996 Honda Pacific Coast 800 ("Red Dwarf")
45,000+ miles || HRCA #HM729375
2002 Uni-Go Trailer ("Starbug 1") || Trailer #499
Tuesday, October 19, 2004 || 12:07 AM PST

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