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About LID

  • Rank
    Club Racer

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  • Location
    Connecticut USA and the Netherlands
  • In My Garage:
    1992 VFR
    1993 CBR1000

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  1. …now sure enough, the LED thing works. Here’s a picture of the regular taillight. Everybody knows what that looks like. …and a picture of the red LED, hotwired. It’s at least as bright as the stock taillight. …and both together. They don’t quite match, do they... It’s not just the colors are a little off. The 21st century LED doesn’t look right next to the incandescent bulbs. This may have been what JZH was hinting at a few weeks ago when we were discussing the aftermarket LED clear blinker replacements. I tried the white LED part of the bar too. I didn't get any pictures of that but imagine staring into a arc welder to get an idea. Youch. They're really bright. So my original idea is still workable: mounted inside the lens, red LED tail light and white LED for the brake. But what to do. I could disconnect the original bulbs and install the LED behind the lens. I’d have to do some surgery for that. Or I could forget the LED bar and replace the stock bulbs with new LED bulbs. They seem to be type 1157. Lots of options out there in LEDs, many with an LED star pattern. And then it seems I would have to at least replace the blinker bulbs with LEDs too. Type 1073. Also lots to choose from. Or yes, here's an idea, just leave the whole thing alone. It’s been good enough for 25 years. It’s classic. 🙂
  2. LED Brake Light In a weak moment I decided to spring all of $5 for an EBay 30 LED light bar. These are sold as license plate lights with Samsung 5630 LEDs. I’m not sure what that means but I think it means each individual LED is a Samsung 5630. Samsung is a reliable brand. Based on a glance at the overall cheapness of the bar, I wouldn’t be surprised if these things are just generics. I see no branding at all on the assembly. No installation directions either. That’s okay. It’s a $5 experiment and three wires. I started out thinking this might be a respectable lighting update. It’s supposed to be bright. That’s always good. And the LEDs might freshen up the appearance of the bike. So at first I thought I might just remove the standard bulbs in the taillight using this as a replacement. Now I’m thinking I’ll try this as a supplement maybe. The strip could be mounted above the license plate or inside the reflector, where it’s just about as long as the reflector is wide. The LEDs are white and red. The thing is sold for cars to mount over the license plate. And the idea is that the red LEDs are an auxiliary brake light and the white LEDs are for backing up. Since my 92 VFR didn’t come with the secret reverse gear option, I am thinking the white will be wired as an addition to the regular tail light and the red as brake light supplement...mounted inside the stock reflector of course. That is my thought. I’m wondering if either the LEDs behind a red reflector will be weird. We’ll see. There are three pathetically thin wires. Black, Red, Yellow. What do you think? Black for ground, red for red LEDs and yellow for the white LEDs? That seems reasonable. I plan to test the thing first by hot wiring to the battery. See if it even works. Then if it looks okay, I’ll figure a way to install it, and wire it into the circuit. The official wiring diagram is simple enough. I just need to hunt down the stock wiring harness and find an elegant way to splice the new wires. Electrical tape comes to mind. And of course my oxgard and/or dielectric grease. I haven’t forgotten that lesson. 🙂 Headlamp Update ...And an update on my headlight replacement. I found a couple bog standard Philips bulbs. They’re rated 67/60W. A little stronger than standard, despite the 'Standard' label on the package. Those should be fine.
  3. Yup. What they say. I didn't login during security warning.
  4. Volt Meter Even though my electrical system seems to be functioning fine, I keep anxiously waiting for the day it fries itself. And so I have been monitoring it with my volt meter. Something like Magnetman… I’ve also been muddling over which proper meter installation is right for me. This has been endlessly discussed in a link from 2012, still going strong. It seems just about everybody has a different solution... Since the US spec gen3 fairing has the unused gas tank switch imprint, I had at first been leaning toward a Honda marine voltmeter. It mounts there perfectly and looks stock. (VFRpilot picture) So what's the downside? Well, it’s pretty far out of the way. I need something that’s going to scream at me when things go wrong. Or at least sit in my general field of vision. Something like an LED up on the panel. And Signal Dynamics makes an LED like that. A tiny light that blinks. That's better, except then these guys went and over engineered the thing. Their flash pattern gets too complicated for me. It is green, or red, or yellow, or blinking, or fast blinking…or not blinking. They had to make a demonstration video on their website. And then there’s a little chart to interpret the lights. http://www.signaldynamics.com/heads-up-voltage-monitor/ Geez. I just want a damn warning light. Koso came up with just the thing. A tiny row of LEDs from left to right. And it was even on sale. So that’s the one I ordered. And yes, here it is. Ta daaa. Well, sortof... Turns out, they decided to send the wrong thing. Yeah okay. Curiously, somebody just put the label of the right device over the label of the product they mailed to me. Did they think I wouldn’t notice it was the wrong thing if it had a sticker on it? The actual product label is still attached underneath... And no LEDs. Rats. I can reorder of course, except whaddya know, now they’re out of stock. Uh huh. That might explain things some about the guys in the shipping office. We’ll see. I’ll give them a call or text. At least they didn’t send me a shelf (re: post 15 September) I'm thinking I'll just wait for the back order. Meanwhile, Magnetman's solution isn't so bad. 😉
  5. Your own illustration, poached from the archived link (2009), shows the problem John. But as discussed in that link, folks don't seem to think it's a big deal. For me it would be a trade between a brighter standard halogen headlight and a properly aimed headlight. If I assume my current lights are original(!) then they presumably have dimmed over time anyway. Lots of reviews on newer H4 headlights are critical of the lifespan. They say cheapo lights last just a few weeks while even good ones (e.g. Philips) are rated for only 500 hours. There is no explanation for why new bulbs don't last as long as the old ones. The manufacturers may think 500 hours is good enough. In any case, I'm guessing I won't get 25 years out of a replacement bulb 🙂 LED tech advances pretty fast. It may not be so long before halogen bulbs are no longer available at all. Meanwhile, I'll know more when i dig into the assembly and play around with a standard good quality replacement. Stay tuned for that. Thanks again.
  6. Thanks for the explanation John. I'm getting there. This illustration mostly confirms what you say, and helps. (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlamp) My misunderstanding was on several levels. For starters, I'd been assuming...for no particular reason...that the high beam filament was the one closer to the front. I'd also thought that conversions, like HID and LED, used the same multiple mirror reflectors. Now I think they may be 'projector' bulbs rather than reflectors. And if the position of the filaments is so critical, then maybe Honda oem bulbs really are better suited for their own reflector. That could be a reason their engineers made the tabs unique. So we wouldn't substitute with normal and less expensive H4 bulbs. Hah! I guess we showed them... 🙂 For those who realllly want to get into this subject (not me), there is this: Reflective Optics Design for an LED High Beam Headlamp of Motorbikes, from the Scientific World Journal. Maybe better suited for another thread entirely: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4414011/
  7. On another semi-related point, I get in pretty good rides even though the bike isn't entirely up to scratch. Like yesterday. My local riding companions are on equally scruffy machines, although theirs are German. 😛 The hills in northwestern Connecticut are close by, not crowded, and pretty enough. Not spectacular by any means, but pretty enough.
  8. I was thinking it would just look weird to mismatch the bulbs. Folks would be telling me that there was something wrong, like one bulb was burning out or something. But a yellow bulb would have the effect you mention, and people would realize it was intentional. It's a fair solution John. The whole issue of overloading the wiring and relays is enough to make me think twice. You can see my pictures. The lights work okay. But brighter would be better and presumably safer...so long as the bike doesn't catch fire. 😛 And there are LEDs too. More expensive for now. They apparently come with their own cooling fans(?!). Lots of options. I'm still muddled about the whole lighting design. My bulbs each have two filaments, low and high. But for one filament to be a "high beam" it can't only be brighter, it has to point up from the bike to focus further down the road. That presumably would be built into the design of the bulb or the glass lens on the front of the bike. The only obvious difference I can see, is that one filament in each bulb is positioned in front of the other by all of what, 1 cm? It might be possible that that tiny difference from the light source position is reflected through the lenses at enough of an angle difference to point further down the road. I don't know. It's not important to any practical choice, just something that has me muddled. Maybe I should just ride with the high beam on all the time...
  9. In the American VFR, the low beam light is on all the time. The rocker switch is only for the high beam. But the lights automatically cut out when you hit the starter. Near as I can tell by actually um, looking at the lights, they both run all the time, low beam and high beam, like in a car. Low beam: High beam: And if I'm reading the wiring diagram right, then it says the same thing (or not). It looks like both the Bu/Bl leads and the W/Bl leads are joined before any switches. So, I am thinking I should probably replace the lamps as a matching pair, not separately as I'd been planning. BTW Dutchy, are you parked on like, the railroad tracks? Is that a good idea in those parts?
  10. JZH said: If you want clear rear turn signal lenses, you kind of have to get the clear tail light as well or it will look a bit strange... The project-r clear lights all look pretty good to me. Clear lenses and LEDs. Nice. $250. Ain't gonna happen. Maybe some day. But home made? That's another idea. A friend with a basic 3D printer tells me that he can't make any parts for the bike. His printer just can't do that. I don't know the technology for mapping and cloning stuff. I'd think the interior of the lenses would be just as important as the exterior. Now silicone molds? Epoxy? I'll see if I can find something more on that.
  11. ...They'll look a bit strange if they're the most expensive part of the bike too. Those, and the red cowling 😛 . I do want clear turn signal lenses. I want a lot of things. They'll have to wait a while. I'm not sure I agree with you that clear signal lenses look odd with a red tail light. The french bike, link above, has that combination. Meanwhile, I've been looking at different rattle can options to try for all the plastics. Lots of options. Lots and lots. A basic choice has popped up between lacquers and enamels. It doesn't look like they can be mixed. I think the lacquers might be newer tech for rattle cans. I'm not sure they are true old fashioned lacquers. Everybody promises wonderful results. No surprise there. If lacquer is harder and shinier then what could be the downside? This part of my little project is probably going to be an experiment in patience more than anything. OEM paints are not an option, not even the color-rite stuff. That's okay. As I said, lots of options. Dupli-color seems to specialize in automotive applications, but the other brands appear just as good. I'll be documenting as I go.
  12. 135w sounds like a lot more watts (50% more?) for a system that is not very tolerant in the first place. I think I would avoid that. But my high beam seems good enough now anyway. It's the normal low beam that's weak. If one of the bulbs was a dedicated low beam, and the other a dedicated high beam, then I'd just swap out the low beam for the slightly higher wattage bulb. (ie, 55w instead of 45?) As you can tell, I'm still not sure what's goin on in there. One of these days I'll try a few experiments in the garage.
  13. The amber lenses come up for sale used, online. So far as I know, it's the same part for later 3rd generation models, but I'm not positive. Like you, I prefer those to red, which is what I have now. And I guess pretty much everybody back in the day thought it was a good idea to remove the original blinkers and chop the rear fender. Mine seems to have been done with a hacksaw. One more thing on the list to tidy up. But those clear lenses seem to make the whole bike look up to date. And they are available new...for a price. Front blinkers too. And tail light. I'll keep an eye on that. https://www.ebay.com/i/352416222500?chn=ps
  14. Headlights I picked up this headlight at a charity shop. I'd wanted a brighter headlight than I have now and am hoping this is noticeably better: I picked up this one too for a few euros, at a discount shop. This, after I was explicitly told not to buy it: Grundig used to make electronics of decent quality, but they sold out a while back. So the products bearing that brand name may be pretty bad these days. I might plug it in anyway. It may not last long but presumably it won't actually cause damage. As you can surmise, I don't always follow reasonable advice. 😛 I haven't installed either lamp. It's supposed to be a five minute job. I don't know what's in the bike now. I'm guessing the usual 45w Honda lamp. The new ones are both 60/55w. I don't think the additional load will have any effect on the electrics of the bike, dodgy as they might be. I expect I'll have to snap off a couple tabs to make either of the new lamps fit. It's not clear to me how the lights operate on the bike. Each of these new lights has two separate filaments. Regular and high beam. That means both can operate all the time, like in a car. But is that how the VFR is wired? Or is one lamp for regular conditions and the second just for brights? Or both for brights? Anybody know?

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