StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I noticed Tuesday night that I had no headlights on my Wee. Looked into it today and found the hot connection coming out of my fuse box towards the light relays was burned to a crisp AFTER the 20A fuse, which never blew. WTF? Isn`t that the whole reason for fusing circuits? What might I have wrong here? I don`t know much about electrical troubleshooting, but I see nothing wrong with the rest of the headlight system (EB relay kit, connections, plug-ins to lamps). I did move the 2A fuse to my voltage gauge away from the headlight fuse, don`t know why I had them right next to each other when there are plenty of empty spots, but still ...

I`m trying to upload a picture directly to the website, but not sure if it will show up- have only done it previously by tying in to PhotoBucket.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
The PC-8 is rated for 20A bust not constant. What are your headlights drawing?

The screw down terminal block can create a high resistance spot if the wire has a bad connection. The resistance while create heat and burn up. Most screw down blocks of that size are only rated for 15A constant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Clayyalc. I have stock headlights which, as I (far from an electrical technician) calculate, total 10A continuous. I only used the 20A fuse because that`s what the guy who makes the kits shows in his sample installations. Maybe because of the "flash to pass" condition, which temporarilly draws double? Any rate, I don`t use that feature save for a few time when I have triggered it inadvertently.

Yeah, the screw connections do seem a bit chintzy to me, though I don`t know what they are rated for. On the other hand, the designer specifically shows my setup on his website and other riders are apparently using the same setup with no problems.

The screw down terminal block can create a high resistance spot if the wire has a bad connection. The resistance while create heat and burn up.
It sounds like you saying that I might not have made a good connection. It`s tough to get much more torque on those tiny little screws, but maybe I did not have enough? Also a little challenging to get all the strands stuffed into the box. Is there some kind of crimp I can put on the wire end and then screw into the fusebox connector?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
It sounds like you saying that I might not have made a good connection. It`s tough to get much more torque on those tiny little screws, but maybe I did not have enough? Also a little challenging to get all the strands stuffed into the box. Is there some kind of crimp I can put on the wire end and then screw into the fusebox connector?
Wire ferrules work well to get a good contact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Whatever the cure, I think you`re right about the bad connection being the root cause. I ran out of time yesterday before I could test for shorts downstream, but I`ll do that over the weekend to be sure. Watched a YouTube video about the ferrules that you suggest and they look like a good idea. Alternatively, I wonder if tinning the ends of the wire might be a good measure? Curious as to how other people have run headlights through a PC-8 and how it has been doing for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Tinning (soldering) the ends of wires is considered a bad practice for screw connections. The reason is that the tin creeps over time when under pressure, so while it will work great initially the resistance will increase over time as the connection loosens. Use bare copper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,076 Posts
High resistance and high current don't go together well.

Fuse won't open if current is lower than fuse rating. 20A seems pretty huge for that small terminal block though. Cut it off and use another spot.

If you had a IR camera and saw how hot it gets you really could have known. :wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
Wire ferrules work well to get a good contact.
That's one of the advantages of the PC8 over the fuse box I used on our 650's is that you can use wire ferrules. I had to use crush on wire loops thingy's (technical term) that the mount screw pass through. I put on a little dielectric grease to assist with oxidation prevention too.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Most likely the screw terminal worked itself loose. What size wiring is it? Did the PC8 come with a 20A fuse?

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE: I hooked it up again to a different terminal, just used grease and cranked down the sewing machine screws tighter, went through and cranked the non-affected terminals a bit more also. I have to say it makes me nervous to put to much into such tiny little screws, but obviously I had something wrong since many people are using exactly the same products as I have with no problems. I will continue to check tightness on them all whenever I have access, but since my fuse box is inside the fairing, it isn`t easy to get to. Putting the fairing back on today.

That's one of the advantages of the PC8 over the fuse box I used on our 650's is that you can use wire ferrules.
For small wires, yes. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an assortment of different sized ferrules yesterday and was going to use the ones that fit the wires, but they won`t quite fit into the terminals.

What size wiring is it? Did the PC8 come with a 20A fuse?
I don`t know for sure what gauge, just whatever came with the relay kit. 12G, I think. The package from Eastern Beaver included a small bag of various fuses, one of which was the 20. They were not installed of course, since the designer/manufacturer has no idea what customers will be running through the box. In his instructions for another product (3SC Heavy Duty) though, he says you must use 20A for dual H4.

I site search turned up one other thread from somebody with the same problem, but this guy was on the ball enough to catch it when the insulation started to melt. Unfortunately, it went in another direction and never got back to what he ended up doing about connections and how that went for him.
http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl650a-2012-2016/237018-pc8-issue.html

I sent an email to Jim Davis for his suggestion, will post back here if I ever hear back from him. Still very much welcome comments from anybody else using the same combination of PC-8 and H4 Dual relay kit. Did you just strip the wire and stuff it directly into the terminal? Tin the wires? Find a ferrule that worked? I know you are out there and happy with your goodies, just wanna hear how you did it!

For future users stumbling onto this thread, even if nobody else posts their method and I don`t get an answer from Eastern Jim to post, I will be back if I have another failure, so no news means it worked for me with greased bare wire.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
784 Posts
Most likely the screw terminal worked itself loose. What size wiring is it? Did the PC8 come with a 20A fuse?

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
This would be my first thought as well. Motorcycles vibrate a lot. Vibra-TITE VC-3 is a non-hardening thread locker that might help if they start to loosen up again. I have used it for mixture jets on carbs for small 2-cycle engines (weedwacker / scooter). Helps to dampen the vibrations and hold the threads a bit, while still allowing for future adjustments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Crimped connections using terminals are best for high-vibration environments, preferably with some sort of strain relief like at least a wire tie to a fixed point a couple of inches away from the termination point. Solder generally isn't good because the joints can crack from vibration or a wire can vibrate and start severing strands just behind the solder joint/tinning. If you're going to go about it with cheap crimpers at least give the wire a good pull test before putting into use so that you know you have a tight crimp.

If you get a loose connection it can cause an increase in current in the circuit due to the voltage drop across the loose connection and a corresponding increase in wire temperature. Headlights will try and pull the wattage they need and if the voltage to the bulbs is reduced the current will go up to meet the power demand of the bulbs (Ohms Law: Power in Watts = Voltage x Current).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Do you have the Eastern Beaver Headlight relay kit installed? I am not sure about your bike, but Suzuki runs the starter and headlights via the same wiring with no relays. This could (over time) cause issues and is why many Strom owners install the H4 relay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
P (watts) = RxI^2 or VxI

The picture indicates that the fault was at the terminal block. As others have noted you most likely had a resistive connection at this point, which creates a localized heat source. If the wire gauge was too small the burn wouldn't have been localized. If the current (I) was too high the fuse would have blown (assuming correct sizing).
In any case, it's a bummer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I sent an email to Jim Davis for his suggestion, will post back here if I ever hear back from him.
From Jim Davis of Eastern Beaver:
>>They
should be checked for tightness from time to time. Do not overtighten, just good
and snug.

Meanwhile, if the PCB is ok you can use another output terminal.

Yes you can tin the wire too.<<
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,867 Posts
I check my PC8 connections regularly, and I have my EB light relays hooked up exactly the same way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Remember that when you flash your main beam, both filaments are on on both bulbs, so the current doubles to 20 amps or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I have the same set up but did not use the PC8 for the headlights. Left them on the battery. I just use it for accessories. I also did not fasten the PC8 to anything on the bike under the seat. I set it on a rag in the plastic box under the seat. Less vibrations for it that way?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top