Running lights/blinkers


Running lights/blinkers

Postby Terry » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:22 pm

In case anyone needs to know, the front amber lights on an early model have two filaments, one for a running light and one for the blinker. The running light stays on constantly with the headlight as long as the ignition is on but the rear amber lights are single filament, blinker only lights and are off when not activated.
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Postby alimey4u2 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:36 pm

Don't tell my inspection station over here Terry, they haven't spotted it as yet... :lol:
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Postby Don #6141 » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:44 pm

One of these days I'm going to get around to converting them to LED's - I did it on the center brakelight on my car and it's easily twice as bright yet it never gets hot . . . . on a CBX the extra brightness would be welcome and so would the lower current draw

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Postby spencer » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:01 am

I converted a CBX tail light to LEDs. My intent was to make a tail light that would be so bright it would get anyone's attention. As it turned out, even though I used 60 ultra bright red LEDs, it is only a little brighter than stock. It could be made brighter, but the cost of 60 of those brighter leds would be too much. I am using the stock CBX tail light lens. If it had a clear red lens like modern LED tail lights in cars, it would be much brighter. It has eight white leds to illuminate the license plate. Even though it is not as bright as I had hoped, it is still bright, and I still like it. It's different, modern, and doesn't use much power.

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My tail light looks normal from the outside.

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This shows the LED pattern, with the white LEDs along the bottom.

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LED tail light normal operation

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LED tail light brakes on

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LED tail light circuit board
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Postby alimey4u2 » Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:15 am

Looks great to me Spencer... 8)
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Postby SteveG » Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:29 pm

Very nice and very interesting! And when are you putting them on the open market and for how much? That would also work in the 750/900/1100F and Gold Wing crowd, or?

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Postby spencer » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:45 am

I really have no plans, but I do have a few boards that I would sell. In the beginning, I thought I could make myself one, and maybe recoup some of my costs by selling to other people. This is actually the second iteration of the circuit board. The first worked, but was not capable of putting enough current through the LEDs to make them really bright. So, then the second version. Each version cost me my time to design it and $250 to have it made. (10 each) I probably spent $125 on components, although I still have enough for a couple more cards, and I could build them up. You also need a complete tail light assembly to cannibalize. I bought a few of them too. All of the resistors are small surface mount resistors. You can hardly see them in the picture. They are not fun to hand solder, but it can be done. You have to have a fine tweezer to hold them as you solder them. All the components on one board probably cost $50 - $60. There are 68 LEDs, 30+ resistors, and 30+ diodes, I think. I did not keep accurate track of what I spent. I really don't know what they are worth. I would sell a bare board for $25, and that is what they cost me. I think I have eight left. I could make a list of all the parts, and tell you where to get them. Or, I could sell some of my remaining parts. Like I said, probably $50 for all the parts on one board. You would also need a few standoffs, and odd hardware, but not much. Just to mount the board in the tail light housing. I have made a template to show where to drill holes in the tail light housing to mount the board. As I said, I probably have enough parts for a couple of boards. If someone wanted a board with all the components mounted, it would probably be around $125. All that soldering is not fun. I really have not thought too much about selling LED tail lights. This is all just off the top of my head. I don't have access to any other models' tail lights, so I don't know, but if they are the same as a CBX, then I guess it would work for them too. I had some other ideas for interesting tail lights, but it is just so expensive to try to develop something like that for a one-off project, so I have put them aside.

You may wonder about the peculiar pattern for the red LEDs. In the beginning, I thought it might be cool to have an X light up when you apply the brakes. Ordinarily, all the LEDs would be lit, but when you apply the brakes, only the ones forming the X would brighten. That is possible, but I did not do it in the one I put on my CBX because the facets molded into the stock lens mess up the light from the LEDs. If it were just transparent red plastic, like a car's LED tail light, the X would be easily seen. It could also be made so that ordinarily only an X is lit, but when you put the brakes on the whole thing lights up bright. Or any other combination. The LEDs are wired in groups, in order to make that X pattern possible. I like the way LEDs are instant on and instant off, as opposed to the gradual lighting and dimming of an incandescent bulb. I suppose you have noticed cars with LEDs, and they do get your attention a little better than bulbs.

If you want a bare board, to make your own, or whatever, let me know and we can work something out. I may not respond quickly. I am going to Mid Ohio this week, and may not have any internet access.

Thanks for your interest in my tail light.
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Postby Don » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:29 am

I bought one of Spencer's circuit boards and built a tail light of my own. He brought it to me at Mid-Ohio - It's very 'trick' and quite bright. I made a couple small changes to try and get it as bright as possible, yet keep it 100% reliable. The voltage on a CBX electrical system varies quite widely between engine idle and when it's running full song, so I added a couple of voltage regulators to keep the LED's at full bright when the voltage is low . . . . yet not have the higher voltage harm them. Not really a 'necessary' mod . . . . just something I wanted to do

Spencer invested lots of thought, knowledge and skill in his circuit boards and the result is a really nice, all LED light which is very distinctive - I think anyone following you for any time would recognize that something is . . . . different - Largely due to the instantaneous 'ON' that LED's give you and the very even, bright light across the entire lens. The slightly bluish glow of the license plate light is distinctive as well - It really brings the old girl into the 21st century

While it's probably not a project for anyone who doesn't have some experience with miniature soldering and a few decent tools, if you've messed around with electronic circuits much, it's probably something you could do. I would say that soldering the resistors on the board is the most difficult part - I had never done anything like that before and it was a bit of a challenge. You would definitely need a lighted magnifying glass . . . . I know I had to go buy one. If you look carefully at his picture of the finished board, you can b a r e l y see the resistors. On the upper right corner, under the 'TL2' you can see an LED. Directly below that LED and about a quarter inch to the right and left of center (the LED) you can barely make out two tiny squares (about an eighth of an inch square) with an even smaller silver square above and below them - Those are the resistors with their soldered mounting pads above and below . . . . you gotta solder on 30 of those tiny, tiny resistors, with a connection above and below each one - The rest is a piece of cake

If you think you can handle it, I'm sure Spencer will sell you a board. I bought all the necessary components on e-Bay for about $30 - Spencer charges $25 plus shipping for the board. The 'problem' he has with selling them completed is the labor - It takes quite some time and a steady hand to complete the assembly . . . . definitely not something I would want to sit around doing to make a few bucks - It's tedious, to say the least . . . . but well worth it in the end ;)

Stay tuned - We're working on some LED turn signals for this winter!! - They will be much easier to fabricate than the tail light

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Turn signals

Postby George R. Garrison #0857 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:58 am

Are the LED turnsignals perfected yet?

Can they operate operate in conjunction with the tail lite as in intergrated lighting?
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Re: Turn signals

Postby Don » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:43 am

George R. Garrison #0857 wrote:Are the LED turnsignals perfected yet?

Can they operate operate in conjunction with the tail lite as in intergrated lighting?

They're working their way through about version 3 as we speak - You gotta get everything ironed out very well before you have a run of 50 circuit boards manufactured because any changes after that would be expensive

Not sure what you mean by 'integrated lighting' though - You wouldn't want the amber turn signals to come on with the red brake light would you? Not even sure that would be legal

As things now stand, the front signals have an always on setting and then a brighter blinker, just like stock and the rear ones only have the blinker mode . . . . but the boards will be the same so if you had red rear lenses, you could operate them with the brake light just by adding a couple of diodes

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LED Turn Signals

Postby spencer » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:30 pm

Don and I have finally finished an LED turn signal conversion. Here is what it looks like.

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This is one of the four LED units. It has 12 half watt LEDs. The leads are color coded like Honda parts.

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The first thing you have to do is change to a flasher that will flash LEDs. Most flashers depend on a certain amount of current being used. If there is not enough load, they will not flash. I went through about 5 flashers before I found one that would work. Some that claimed they would flash LEDs would not, or they would not work below 12 volts. Sometimes the voltage on your CBX will be lower than 12 volts.

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Unplug the leads. Pull the lead protector, pointed out by the arrow, off. Save it to use later.

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Take the turn signal lens off and remove the two phillips head screws which hold the lamp socket clamp. Remove the clamp, and pull the entire socket, complete with the bulb, out. Remove the reflector.

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Thread the leads from the circuit board through the base of the signal. Use the two phillips head screws you just removed to hold the circuit board in. Plug the color coded leads in the proper places. Use the lead protector you removed earlier.

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These are the parts you will have left over. Save them in case you want to convert back to original incandescent lamps.

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Voila!
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Postby daves79x » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:50 am

Great job, Spencer!

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Postby EMS » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:11 am

:shock: Excellent :!:
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Postby steve murdoch icoa #5322 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:39 am

That worked out great, Spencer.
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Postby EMS » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:22 pm

So, Spencer! There are still some open questions:
1. How much for four?
2. How would I pay you? Paypal? Money order?
3. How long will it take you to get them done?
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