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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a project in mind to add some LED lighting on/in my top case, for my 2007 Vee.

In particular, I want to use some of the LED strip lighting, such as the ones that come in a roll & can be cut to size. This stuff:


is supposed to operate at normal vehicle power (12V nominal), so I won't even need a power converter/supply.

Would it be crazy to include an inline fuse for the strip(s)?

I'd like to draw the LED power off one of the existing tail lighting wires, specifically the one for the rear running light/tail light, since it's always on.

That line is part of the Signals circuit, which is fused at 15A in the mini-panel near the battery.

The LEDs should draw no more than 1A if I use a small amount of strip. I'm thinking I should place a 1A-2A fuse inline with them, so that if they leak/get damaged/somehow short, that fuse will go first. I don't care if the LEDs stop working, but I really don't want to take out the whole Signals circuit. That would kill not only all four turn signals, brake light, and tail light, but also the instrument panel. Especially un-fun at night!
 

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add some LED lighting on/in my top case, for my 2007 Vee.
Would it be crazy to include an inline fuse for the strip(s)?
I'm thinking I should place a 1A-2A fuse inline with them, so that if they leak/get damaged/somehow short, that fuse will go first. I don't care if the LEDs stop working, but I really don't want to take out the whole Signals circuit. That would kill not only all four turn signals, brake light, and tail light, but also the instrument panel. Especially un-fun at night!
DesertBike, it seems you answered your own question. Since there seems to be concern about the new farkle taking out the entire signal circuit, an in-line fuse would be important. Even more, though, personally, I would run the new farkle lights as an individual circuit from my aux fuse box. I know it's overkill, but it makes searching for electrical issues later a much easier task. Every add-on is its own dedicated and fused circuit that way.
 

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The best thing to do is run a fuse block. I have recently become a huge fan of the Fuze FZi vlock. It has a relay 5 switched or unswitched circuits (depending on how you place the fuse) and a trigger wire to work in conjunction with the switch/unswitched power.

I do not like to run any accessory off the bikes wire harness no matter what the amp draw is. A fuse block keeps each system protected from one another.

The FZ1 are $89 and compact.

Wire it directly to the battery then extend the trigger wire to and switch power and you all set to run all manner of auxiliary stuff.

These are only 2-1/2" x 3-1/2"


yhst-66049453130018_2268_50286778.gif
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #4
Already there, have a relay-powered accessory fuse panel (Blue Sea Systems 5025). It's not as fancy as that one, but does make available 6 switched circuits.

Anything that needs constant power is hooked to the battery, with an inline fuse.

What do you do if you want extra lights triggered by the factory signal circuits (turn signals & brake light)? Set up 5 relays? 5 inline fuses? That's going to get bulky.
 

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What do you do if you want extra lights triggered by the factory signal circuits (turn signals & brake light)? Set up 5 relays? 5 inline fuses? That's going to get bulky.
not sure that I understand your question. 5 more lights or 5 more light circuits? If you want to add 5 different light circuits to the bike, using an aux fuse box/panel, you only need to run wire from the fuse box to the new light circuit. Each circuit would be to a separate post (and fuse) in the aux fuse box. So if wiring in your LED strip lights mentioned above, you'd run the wire from the strip of LEDs to the fuse box rather than splicing in to the existing signal circuit. The difference would only be a few inches of wire length, depending up exactly where your aux fuse box is located. If you want to add extra lights running off existing lights (for example, extra blinkers or additional brake lights), then you need to calculate the draw that these will have on the circuit. The existing wires are of a specific gauge which is built to carry a specific current. As long as you are not overloading your wire capacity, merely adding the extras in to the circuit would be no problem. These sorts of extra lights can be spliced in line using the two wires that go which ever signal lights you want to increase. (For example, I added extra rear brake lights for cagers to see by simply splicing in some additional LED brake lights). Thus, if you want an additional right blinker, splice it in to the two wires there for the right blinker. If you don't want an additional left blinker too, no problem. If you want more running lights, use those wires. If you want more brake lights, use those two wire. You get the picture, I'm sure. Just make sure you know the current draw that your new lights are needing, and don't exceed the capacity of the OEM circuit.
 

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My setup is not even as sophisticated as what you are suggesting. I run 2 sets of additional rear running, brake and one set of indicator lights (addmore), all in parallel to the stock devices, no extra fuses. They were already on my WEE before moving them to the V2. My other gear (GPS, grips, heated gear) is run via a mini 3 fuse fusebox.

If you are specifically concerned about the LED strips I think your suggestion of a low A inline fuse is prudent. Given that its just 1 A load you are adding I think its overkill to add more fuse panel(s) to accommodate that 1A load. If it were 10A, its a different story.

Make sure to get red LED's if you want to have bright light. White LED's do not have much red spectrum and the result is poor light intensity if put behind a red cover. This assumes you would not surface mount the strip.
 

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A fuse is there to protect the wires and is sized accordingly, most of my off grid farm is illuminated by those LED strip lights and the wiring is very light so they require a very light fuse.

If your wires are very well protected you could get away with no fuse but if you think there is any chance of future damage you should fit the appropriate fuse after you have tapped into the tail light and as close to that point as you can.

Here in OZ getting something to stay stuck in place can be hard, being inside a black box pushes the temperatures way up, glues and tapes don't like it.

A few years back I lined my top box with that thin, white, spongy material that is used when packing and shipping stuff to protect it from damage, the bonus is being white it really reflects the light and makes stuff easy to find.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #8
The LED signal bars draw so little power that it hasn't mattered. I can't find any numbers, but they must not be pulling more than a few amps for both, at most.

How do I know that? Because I never blew the 15 A Signals fuse, even before I disconnected the old heated grips & switched to LED tail lamps, lowering total Signals power consumption significantly.

I did some math. The LED strips I linked above use about 0.2 W per LED, or 0.6 W per section (3 LEDs). I could use 10 sections and increase Circuits draw by ~2 W, which is still under 1 A (even with varying assumptions for the voltage). So I think I'm OK there.

I have been shopping around but it seems like there aren't any inline fuse holders that are all that compact. Regular ATC-size fuse holders are fairly chunky, with even "Mini" fuse holders still being fairly big. I'll have to see how much room I have available.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
My setup is not even as sophisticated as what you are suggesting. I run 2 sets of additional rear running, brake and one set of indicator lights (addmore), all in parallel to the stock devices, no extra fuses. They were already on my WEE before moving them to the V2. My other gear (GPS, grips, heated gear) is run via a mini 3 fuse fusebox.

If you are specifically concerned about the LED strips I think your suggestion of a low A inline fuse is prudent. Given that its just 1 A load you are adding I think its overkill to add more fuse panel(s) to accommodate that 1A load. If it were 10A, its a different story.
For sure. I have the one, 6-circuit accessory fuse panel and that takes up most of the spare room under the seat.

If I wanted to fuse-block both LED bars, I would need to either:

1) have a large 8-place arrangement, so that every single tap line supplying the LEDs can have its own fuse, or;

2) use 4 (not 5, the 5th wire is ground) fuses (probably meaning a 6-fuse block) & power like LEDs off one terminal.

A downside of #2 is that if one LED bar has a fault, it takes out the fuse for both bars.

Anyway yes, the fuse block approach is more complication & bulk than I want to fool with. I think I'll try to find room for inline fuse holders in the right place.

I'm actually fine with a fault in 1 LED bar taking out power for both because they share a fuse. The bars are merely supplemental lighting, not mission-critical.

I've been lucky so far, but I don't expect $6 LED bars to stay waterproof and short-free forever.

Make sure to get red LED's if you want to have bright light. White LED's do not have much red spectrum and the result is poor light intensity if put behind a red cover. This assumes you would not surface mount the strip.
Makes complete sense. The red lens filters out everything but red. A white LED expends plenty of energy making light that is colors other than red, so naturally it looks dimmer through the lens.

I found it was the opposite with reflective tape beneath the lens, though due to the same principle.
 

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Already there, have a relay-powered accessory fuse panel (Blue Sea Systems 5025). It's not as fancy as that one, but does make available 6 switched circuits.

Anything that needs constant power is hooked to the battery, with an inline fuse.

What do you do if you want extra lights triggered by the factory signal circuits (turn signals & brake light)? Set up 5 relays? 5 inline fuses? That's going to get bulky.
Yes you can use multiple individual relays or you can also use a fuse block with a single relay with multiple outlets. The FZ1 has a 30 amp relay so as long as all your aux stuff combined is 30 amps or less you good. 30a @ 14v = 420 watts of power able to be tapped off the FZ1.

To run extra light triggered by factory circuits you need to extend the trigger wire from the FZ1 to the place you want to trigger form. For me I use a trigger wire off the low beam on my bike. I like to wire into the headlight low bean for the trigger wire as it's a great "keyed/switched" source.

I also like the low beam because it's on anytime the bike is running. If you wired the trigger to the high beam bulb the fuse block would only be powered on when the high beams were on. Also on my BMW's the headlight will not illuminate until the starter has been pushed. By keeping the light off until the bike is running it allows for there to be more energy available to the starter if it needs it. I also like this because the FZ1 will not be powered until the headlight triggers it to be on. So can leave all my aux light, heated gear, electronics toggled on and when I turn the key to start the bike they will not consume energy until the bike start and the headlight triggers the power supply to the FZ1. Your bike will appreciate this in cold weather or once the battery starts to age.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #11
OK, I can see that. You'd use the FZ1's relay to turn on power to the LED signal bars. The individual fuses on the 4 circuits (not 5, oops, 5th wire is just ground) of left turn, right turn, brake high, brake low, would protect the Signals circuit from a runaway draw by a failed LED.

That's a nifty solution, but I think I'm going to keep it dead-simple and cheap by wiring in 1 or 2 amp mini fuses (like the ones that the bike's fuse box uses) residing on inline holders. It won't be that bad to splice in the inline fuse holders.

I need to have another look at the wiring situation, and take some photos, this discussion will then make more sense.
 

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You can fit a DRL switch (daytime running lights) a DRL switch will turn on when it sees a increase in voltage like when you start the motor and will shut off when the voltage drops again.

Not much good for illuminating inside your box and should only be used for small loads or to trigger a relay but they can be very useful.
 

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OK, I can see that. You'd use the FZ1's relay to turn on power to the LED signal bars. The individual fuses on the 4 circuits (not 5, oops, 5th wire is just ground) of left turn, right turn, brake high, brake low, would protect the Signals circuit from a runaway draw by a failed LED.

That's a nifty solution, but I think I'm going to keep it dead-simple and cheap by wiring in 1 or 2 amp mini fuses (like the ones that the bike's fuse box uses) residing on inline holders. It won't be that bad to splice in the inline fuse holders.

I need to have another look at the wiring situation, and take some photos, this discussion will then make more sense.
Using multiple individual inline fuses or a a multi-fuse fuse block is two different ways to accomplish the exact same thing. The magic in the FZ1 is the relay. Even running a straight fuse block like the Blue Sea Systems 5025 it is better to power it through a relay rather than just connecting directly to the battery.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #14
Since it's much easier to type stuff than post photos, a little more talky talk first.

My existing fuse panel is indeed on a relay. One thing the PO did right. I think it must have been been done by a different PO than the one who did the horribly bungled install of the 12V socket (polarity was BACKWARDS when I bought the bike, and used nuts and screws as a "splice") as well as the almost, but not quite, entirely ineffective grip heaters that I replaced with Oxfords.

I inspected the area of concern in present topic, and I believe I do have room for some inline mini (ATM size, like the ones that Suzuki used for the bike's own fuse box) fuse holders.
 

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Conceptually I think if you wired power in parallel with your bulb socket for the brake light and used a lower amperage fuse (3A fast act or something) in the chinesium LED power supply line. Anything goes wrong with the auxiliary LED and it tries to draw all the current, then it pops the low amp fast blow fuse and leaves your primary brake light, cluster, etc functional.

Wiring through the existing power you don't need to add additional relays as long as you aren't at capacity.

Anybody please feel free to correct me if I'm not thinking about that right. I'm no electrical engineer for sure.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's right, and inline fuses are the plan. No relay triggering is needed. The LEDs are so low-draw (more on that later) that using relays is wholly unnecessary. I finally got some photos done:



Red wires are the 5 extensions I spliced into the factory tail lighting harness (one is behind the other 4).

Each has a Posi-Tap into which the leads go for LED signal bar power. They are color-coded: white = tail light/running light; red = brake light; green = left turn, blue = right turn, black = ground.

Just for grins, I got the multimeter & measured current draw of the LED bars:

Running light: 0.18 A
Brake light: 0.38 A
Left turn: 0.10 A
Right turn: 0.10 A

Remember this is for 2 bars at once, it's half these numbers for just 1 bar. In no case do the bars together draw even 0.5A. LEDs are amazing, aren't they?

Probably hard to see in the photo, but corresponding leads for the 2 LED bars go into the same Posi-Tap. I will place an inline ATM (mini) fuse holder such that there is a 1 A fuse on each pair of LED bar leads. There's room, and I'll feel better knowing the Signals circuit is protected against failure of one or both of the LED bars.
 

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Since it's much easier to type stuff than post photos, a little more talky talk first.

My existing fuse panel is indeed on a relay. One thing the PO did right. I think it must have been been done by a different PO than the one who did the horribly bungled install of the 12V socket (polarity was BACKWARDS when I bought the bike, and used nuts and screws as a "splice") as well as the almost, but not quite, entirely ineffective grip heaters that I replaced with Oxfords.

I inspected the area of concern in present topic, and I believe I do have room for some inline mini (ATM size, like the ones that Suzuki used for the bike's own fuse box) fuse holders.
Since it's much easier to type stuff than post photos, a little more talky talk first.

My existing fuse panel is indeed on a relay. One thing the PO did right. I think it must have been been done by a different PO than the one who did the horribly bungled install of the 12V socket (polarity was BACKWARDS when I bought the bike, and used nuts and screws as a "splice") as well as the almost, but not quite, entirely ineffective grip heaters that I replaced with Oxfords.

I inspected the area of concern in present topic, and I believe I do have room for some inline mini (ATM size, like the ones that Suzuki used for the bike's own fuse box) fuse holders.
Since it's much easier to type stuff than post photos, a little more talky talk first.

My existing fuse panel is indeed on a relay. One thing the PO did right. I think it must have been been done by a different PO than the one who did the horribly bungled install of the 12V socket (polarity was BACKWARDS when I bought the bike, and used nuts and screws as a "splice") as well as the almost, but not quite, entirely ineffective grip heaters that I replaced with Oxfords.

I inspected the area of concern in present topic, and I believe I do have room for some inline mini (ATM size, like the ones that Suzuki used for the bike's own fuse box) fuse holders.
Here's the aux wiring I pulled form the R1200GS I recently bought. Fortunately it was all tied to a fuse block and not tied to the stock harness.

Wiring Junk.jpg
 

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Me too. I started out just wanting to remove a pair of aux LED amber turn signal slights that were on the fork lowers. Once dug in and started seeing how things wee wired it took me about 4 hours to get it all removed.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #20
Posi-taps (and their cousins Posi-locks) were a welcome improvement to my world. I wish they were available at retail. I don't know why they aren't. They're better both in concept and practice than those "guillotine"/vampire taps.
 
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