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Author Topic: LED Brake Light and Flickers  (Read 1024 times)

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Offline alanB

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LED Brake Light and Flickers
« on: December 07, 2011, 06:34:05 pm »
One of the things that is irritating about the 610 is the rate at which it goes through flicker bulbs and rear light bulbs.  The vibration and shock from riding over rough terrain means virtually after every ride, at least one bulb is out  >:(

Those little 10W flicker bulbs cost R25 each from Midas and are a real pain to replace!  I usually end up crushing the thing before I get it in properly!  I must have replaced at least 8 bulbs so far, with no end in sight.

The rear light bulb also goes quite frequently

Another issue is the flicker lens covers are now falling off, probably due to being popped on and off too often as I replace bulbs.  You cant buy the lens cover separate and the entire little rubber flicker stalk with wires and all costs about R200 from Husky.  I've replaced one already...grrrr :xxbah:

After noticing that another flicker lens is missing after last weekends ride I decided to find a LED solution, because that should be cheaper in the long run




I phoned around looking for LED flicker units and all the prices were quite high about R550 for two  :o  I needed 4.  So that would be over R1000!

I didnt even bother phoning Full Throttle at first because their prices are usually 20-50% higher than everywhere else, but in the end called them and low and behold they actually were quite helpful, instead of the usual "what bike is it for" and then stunned silence when I tell them, they quickly cut in and said they had a whole range starting at R150 and it would be best if I came in and had a look for myself.

So I popped round at lunch time yesterday.  Didnt see anything for R150, but found almost exact no-name replicas of the Husky flickers for R219  :thumleft:

While I was handling all the merchandise I came accross something even better a TrickBitz rear integrated unit which combined the rear light, break light, and flickers into one slick little oval unit - all for R450  :thumleft:

So I walked out with LED flickers all round, and rear lights all for less than R700!



After taking the standard rear light off and looking at the available mounting I decided to use a small aluminium 30x30 square section to get the rear light unit to sit in the right spot.


I epoxied nuts to the inside (a bit of a weak point in the design because if the glue comes loose for some reason I'm not going to be able to get it off easy - I'll worry about that later in the unlikely event...)  


Fiddled about with some lugs etc to get all the connections to work and then mounted it all.  Looks quite neat IMO!





Hopefully this will be the end of the endless flicker and light bulb issue  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 07:02:34 pm by alanB »
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Offline Buks

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 07:47:21 am »
 :thumleft: Looks very neat Alan. I've only had to replace 1 Headlight bulb and 2 taillight bulbs in 10 000km! And it's dirt cheap too, R35 for headlight and something like R5 for taillight.
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Offline Rough Rider

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 08:47:01 am »
What did you do about the flicker relay?
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 11:36:25 am »
Am I right in saying that this is a unit with the integrated indicator flicker function and that the flickers you bought are for the front?
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Offline alanB

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 01:23:34 pm »
What did you do about the flicker relay?

I bought a 6.8 Ohm 25W resistor and a couple of diodes, still fiddling about with the best way to integrate them into the system  will show some photos when its done tonight.

It works, just need to mount it all neatly.
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Offline alanB

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 01:29:06 pm »
Am I right in saying that this is a unit with the integrated indicator flicker function and that the flickers you bought are for the front?

Correct.

The TrickBitz oval lamp thingy is essentially four different LED lights built into one unit:

Left Flicker
Right Flicker
Tail light
Brake Light

When you activate either flicker the left/right side LED's change colour from red to orange and flash (although the flashing function is not handled by this unit but by your bikes flasher relay - you need to add the right resistor in parallel because the LED resistance is a lot higher than a normal globe and wont let enough current to flow to activate the flasher relay).
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 01:58:58 pm »
I would have though a LED setup would have lower resistance and that is why you add resistors??? But then my physics classes were many decades ago  ???
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 02:00:04 pm by BiG DoM »
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Offline alanB

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 06:32:00 pm »
OK installed the resistor and diodes to get the flickers to flash normally.

Using Ohm's law you can calculate what resistance you need as follows:

The flasher relay needs the current of two normal flash bulbs which are 10W each, not the super low current flowing through a LED which has very high resistance.

So looking up Ohm's law on my iPhone's HP 48G I get

P = V^2/R

or R = V^2/P

The combined power draw of both normal flasher bulbs is 2 x 10W = 20W

So R= 12^2/20 = 7.2 ohms rated for at least 20W

I was warned my by partner who knows a lot more about electronics than I do that this would be a big sucker and probably quite pricey.

So I decided to only buy one instead of one per flicker circuit (left and right).  I would use diodes to stop the current from flowing from the left circuit to the right or visa versa.

Toddled off to the local electronics shop and bought a 6.8 ohm 25W resistor (the closest they had to my spec) for R26 odd and two 3A diodes 80 cents each.  :thumleft:

Made up a little circuit from it all as follows.  I included a circuit diagram in case anyone else wants to try this.  You can see the big resistor connected to the two diodes below the diagram, those wires are represented by the middle "T" section of the diagram.


Because the resistor would be getting hot I decided to mount it inside the aluminium section which could act as a nice big heat sink.  I was careful to ensure that the wires would stay away from the resistor so nothing would melt.

Heres a pic of it all assembled.


Works fine!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 07:20:50 pm by alanB »
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Offline alanB

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 07:58:22 pm »
I would have though a LED setup would have lower resistance and that is why you add resistors??? But then my physics classes were many decades ago  ???

No its actually the reverse.  LED's draw so little power because they have very high resistance and thus very little current flows through them P=V x I so low current = low power consumption.

Flasher relays work on current flowing through them, if its too low then they don't activate.

One solution is to add a parallel path to the LED that has much lower resistance than the LED (ideally the same resistance as the original bulbs) so that enough current flows down that path as well when the LED is on and thus activates the flasher relay.

Alternatively you can buy an electronic flasher relay which works on lower current.

Although the 610's alternator is quite strong, so there is more than enough power available, so the "wasteful" resistor approach is fine IMO.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 08:13:33 pm by alanB »
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 08:45:16 pm »
Cool thanks for the science lesson  :thumleft:  I have a few of those resistors from when I fitted LED flickers to my 1150 some few years back ... may well now have a use again for them  :biggrin:
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Offline Buks

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Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 09:13:35 pm »
 :peepwall: I see one techno 610 coming up soon......
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Offline spankme

Re: LED Brake Light and Flickers
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 09:33:56 am »
LED 20mA