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LED running lights

Discussion in 'Cal 1400 8V' started by Terry Asselstine, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    I need some help. I’ve just put a pair of LED running lights on my 2016 Audace. I found what I thought was the fog light plug under the left side cover at the steering head. I also found the GPS plug, green. There are three wires on the fog light plug. A green, which appears to be the hot, a blue - neutral and a green with a white stripe that I think is ground. My confusion is with one of the lights connected to the green and blue, it’s nice and steady. But when I double up with the second light, there is a flicker or quivering of both lights. This is the same whether the bike is running or just the key is in the on position. Does anyone have some insight about what’s going on?
     
  2. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    There is a relay for the fog lights, the main current doesn't flow through the switch. If you monitor the voltage at the coil of the relay, you may establish whether the control circuitry or the relay contacts are causing the flickering.
     
  3. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for your response. But I do not know how todo that or the solution if I did. It just strikes me as curious/tell tail that when just one light is connected, it works just fine when the key is on. It’s only when the second light is tied in that the flickering occurs.
     
  4. Paul Ash

    Paul Ash Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Connect the lights one at a time. Or rather connect the second light without the first one being connected. That way you can see if it’s the combined load of both lamps that causes the issue, or the second lamp is faulty.

    You know the first lamp is ok. If the second lamp has a fault then you’ll be able to isolate that and the bike maybe fine.
     
  5. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    I did try each individually and they are nice and steady. I had been just turning the key to the on position. With the lights quivering i thought to start the bike to see if it was different - no change. Like I said I don’t know much about electricity. But it seems to be something about the current draw. Each of these lights has a small circuit board and then, as was pointed out, there are The bikes electronics. The other curious thing I tried, the results were curious not what I did, was to use the green wire with the white stripe. So the live wire-green- was connected to both live wires from the lights. The neutral wire of one light was connected to the bikes blue wire (neutral ?) and the other light’s neutral was connected to the bikes green with white stripe. That was the wire I think is ground. When I turned the key to on, both lights came on nice and steady. But when I started the engine, the light connected to the green/ white stripe (Ground?), went out.
    I hope what I’ve tried gives enough clues to those with insights. The MG fog lights look like they are substantial. So the bikes wiring would seem to be capable of handling led running lights. I’m wondering if the bike doesn’t like the two electronic brains. One is fine but two are fighting. With the kids gone from home I thought I was through with settling disagreements.
     
  6. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    The green/white stripe wire is not ground; blue is ground.

    I'm suspecting you may not have a fog light relay installed. Try your running lights on orange/blue (+) and blue (-). You can find these both conveniently located at the GPS connector.
     
  7. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for trying to educate me kiwi Dave. The wire colours are all mixed up as far as I can tell. I decided since one of the lights was working with that fog light connector, to just run one light off it. So green was the live and blue the neutral. For the second light I tied into the headlight. The wire colours in there were different again. Blue was neutral for both the small running bulb and the main headlight bulb. Yellow was the live wire to the running bulb and black was the live wire to the headlight bulb. There was also a white wire from the headlight bulb. Everything now works off the ignition key, which was my goal. If I have done something egregious, please let me know.
     
  8. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    It would be interesting to try running both of the yellow that is the live wire for the small running bulb. Blue for the other connections.

    Shouldn't hurt the fuse that is protecting this circuit, and is a more logical place to add accessories without tying up the GPS circuit.
     
  9. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    Dave, I did run the second light off off the yellow wire. It is a heavier gauge-18? than the black to the main bulb-24? My rudimentary understanding and guessing said the yellow might carry the extra demand better. I wondered why a lighter gauge for the headlight bulb that has more demand? It may have made no difference. At the moment it works fine and I’m reluctant to explore beyond my tentative confidence.

    The GPS plug is untouched. The local BMW dealer has the male plug for this. #83300402344 for those not wanting to wade through a search where others have shared this part number.

    Thanks again
     
  10. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Have you measured the current flowing through each LED running light?
     
  11. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    Kiwi Dave, no I haven’t measured the current. Again, my understanding of electrical matters is limited. What should I be seeing? These are 30w led lights. Today I went for a ride and all is well as far as I can see. If I measure at the small running light, aren’t I just measuring what the particular circuit draws? Or do I find my way into the LED itself and measure in there? Again, what am I looking for?
     
  12. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Disconnect one lead of the LED and insert ammeter in series. Theoretically you should be drawing roughly 2.5 amps per 30W LED, but this sounds excessive to me. I'm curious to know what you find.
     
  13. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    I’m not sure if I did this right. I put the multimeter on 10a having read it would measure between that and 200m. I disconnected the hot wire and placed the probes between the separated wire. The meter read .51
     
  14. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    This indicated the total power drawn on the 12v supply is approximately 6 watts for each LED. Sounds reasonable.
     
  15. Terry Asselstine

    Terry Asselstine Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for your contributions Kiwi Dave. I now have a multimeter and have watched a couple of video introductions as to how to use these. Good for the old brain. I take it from your last comment that voltage divided by amps equals watts. One last question, voltage, amps and watts, how is proper wire size determined from these classifications and their numbers?
     
  16. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Watts = Voltage x Amps.
     

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