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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So I've modified my lights on my 2000 V-Star to include lights in the saddle bags... signal lights and brake/running lights. Unfortunately the brake/running lights on the bags are 2 wire LED lights, so this means I had to get a little complicated with wiring up these lights in order to work as both running lights and brake lights. I used an LED dimmer and 2 relays to switch the positive and negative sources (I had to relay the negative because the dimmer uses the negative connection to dim the lights). The entire system works fine but I do have a side effect... .the main brake/tail light on the bike dims a bit in time with the signal lights. It's as though there's a deep power draw on the system so the tail light dims as the right or left signal lights turn off and on. The signal lights are in no way connected to the double relay set up, they are directly to the stock signal light relay. Also, if I completely disconnect the lights in the bags, the tail light still dims in time with the signal lights, so I have a feeling this is being caused by the relays somehow. I have no tested what happens if I completely disconnect the relays, I will try that later and see, but I am positive that if I disconnect the relays, it will stop doing it.

Also, the tail light is the only light that dims... the passing lamps and headlight do not dim at all. The tail light dims whether it's running light or brake.

Is there something I need to add to my wiring either on the relays or to the tail light to balance out the power and stop the dimming? It's not a huge deal, but I would be happier if the tail light stayed constant. And I don't understand why the relays would have this effect, the tail light and stock signal lights don't run through them at all.

Thanks in advance!
Dan
 

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Greatest Member Ever
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Whoa Dan... I'm not even gonna try and say I could follow anything you just said, (Which is probably why no one else has responded either). That said, I will say this: You started with something that should have been very simple and you seriously overcomplicated it. Your OEM electrical system was designed to handle all the oem equipment, and then some extra things. But it kinda sounds like you got your bike set up to be a pimped out Christmas Tree... and it was never designed to handle that kinda load. Or... The aftermarket lighting is made in China and therefore you gotta expect problems. I don't know one way or another. But if you tapped your power for these extras from an existing system (ie: taillight fuse), then you are over taxing the fused system, and need to pull the power directly from the main fuse and put the circuit on it's own fused system.

I don't know for sure, but I do know that the V-Star can only handle so much before it's over taxed...
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #3
Whoa Dan... I'm not even gonna try and say I could follow anything you just said, (Which is probably why no one else has responded either). That said, I will say this: You started with something that should have been very simple and you seriously overcomplicated it. Your OEM electrical system was designed to handle all the oem equipment, and then some extra things. But it kinda sounds like you got your bike set up to be a pimped out Christmas Tree... and it was never designed to handle that kinda load. Or... The aftermarket lighting is made in China and therefore you gotta expect problems. I don't know one way or another. But if you tapped your power for these extras from an existing system (ie: taillight fuse), then you are over taxing the fused system, and need to pull the power directly from the main fuse and put the circuit on it's own fused system.

I don't know for sure, but I do know that the V-Star can only handle so much before it's over taxed...
Good morning :) Actually, the system overall uses less wattage because the headlight and passing lamps are LED (Cyclops - high quality US product) as well as the tail light, which is a US made product as well, very popular LED upgrade for Vstars. I've also removed some of the older underlighting from the previous owner, the alarm etc. So I've actually reduced to the power draw quite a bit from stock. It's definitely not over taxing of the system.

The relay system is entirely on it's own fuse direct to battery. The relays are from the local Napa shop, and I know it's not the saddlebag LEDs (which are from China) because the dimming happens even when the bag lights are completely disconnected.

And yes, it's a bit complicated, but it was the only way to get it to work as the tiny eagle LEDs I used don't have a 3 wire configuration allowing for both running and brake lights on the same LED. It's not that crazy mind you, relay systems are a common part of any vehicle with an electrical system. The pain in the ass is the fact that the dimmer piece uses ground, so I might look around for a dimmer that can use a common ground.

I felt the V-Star's visibility at night left a lot to be desired, especially here in Quebec where signal lights are almost never used and stop lights/signs are taken as suggestions. I've been rear ended many times (that's why I keep a truck step attached to my hitch at all times) so some degree of Christmas lighting is a must ;)

Dan

Dan
 

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Lead Astronaut
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I just disconnected the positive open relay completely and the tail light is still blinking. Now I'm really baffled...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I am starting to think that the LED tail light may have been doing this all along and I never noticed until I started working on my signal lights so I happen to be looking at the back of the bike while testing the signal lights. I completely disconnected the entire relay system and it's still doing this, so looks like it was like this all along. So sending an email to the manufacturer to see what they say. Later this week I'll try removing the LED and putting in the stock halogen to see if it stops.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just an update on this... with the bike completely back to stock and running a regular filament bulb, it still dims with the signal lights. If I remove the signal light bulbs and the signal relay starts that fast clicking that it does, the bulb dims in time with that fast clicking. Could the relay be dying on me and drawing too much power? It's the original one from 2000.

Dan
 

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It sound like there is too much resistance in the circuit. Kind of like when you hook a trailer to a car and the lights flash real quick. the fix there was to install a heavy duty flasher,
 

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Hey Dan... I just reread your OP. Got a fresh take on the matter. When this dimming occurs, is it doing it only when the engine is not running, or is it doing all the time? Running or not?

When I'm working on a customers bike doing electrical lighting work, I always attach a 2 amp charger to the battery cuz I know I might drain the customers battery by having the key on without the alternator spinning to recharge.

What kinda shape is your battery in? Does this problem happen if the bike is running too?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Jack, it does it both when the bike is off, idle and revving. The battery is brand spanking new from November and is maintained with a smart tender. It's also important to note that only the tail light dims, no other lights such as the headlight do it. I even removed the fuse for the headlight and passing lamps and the tail light still flickered.

This morning I am going to hit up the local Napa store and going to try bypassing the turn signal relay with an electro-mechanical relay, which is also useful if I change to LED and not worry about fiddling with resistors. I actually read about it here and it's an easy 5 minute swap:

http://www.650ccnd.com/mods/flasher.htm

If this doesn't work, my next course of action will probably be ignore it lol!

Dan
 

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When my Xs battery starts to run down...

It starts doing all kinds of killer oriental things....

(sorry about the metaphor.) Charge it, keep it charged.
 
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