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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted brighter turn signals and some way to light a campsite without discharging my battery, and I achieved these objectives for about $25.

I bought this product, called LS-104 at an Auto Parts store:


For about $22 I got two units with 6 white LEDs in each, plus some hardware and a switch I don't need. Short red and black wires exit the middle of each unit. Here are the unmodified units:


I opened the cases and removed the short wires, then installed 6-foot two-wire cables that exit via new holes at the end of each unit. I checked the operation of the units, then glued them shut, sealing the original holes.

I glued these units to the bottom edge of my handguards, with the wires running inward, letting the trailing edge protrude about 5mm behind the trailing edge of each handguard. I used Gorilla glue, which is adequate but messy. Try to find a better glue for this if you do it.

I bought a 12-volt rechargeable battery at a yard sale. It is about 24cm x 8cm x 3 cm, weighs about 600 grams, holds a charge reasonably well, and powers a little TV for a couple of hours. I installed this on the bike's right flank, in a little cavity inside the right rear piece of tupperware. This auxiliary battery is not really necessary, but I prefer to power the LEDs with this instead of the bike's main battery.

Here is the schematic of my auxiliary battery and LED modules:

If you don't want to bother with an auxiliary battery, just ignore the connection to the taillight wire, omit the resistor and diode, and wire from your battery through a fuse to the DPDT switch (left side in the diagram).

The wire to the tailight is the brown wire in the cable that runs along the left side of my 2006 Wee-Strom, and perhaps the same on your Strom. I used the black-and-white wire in the same cable as ground.

Following the schematic, I ran wires from the front turn signals to one end of a DPDT toggle switch, and a wire from the auxiliary battery's positive terminal to the other end of the switch. I wired the positive connection of the LED modules to the middle of the switch. Thus, in one position the LEDs are in parallel with the front turn signals, and in the other position the LEDs are always on, powered by the auxiliary battery.

I left the bike off, with the LEDs on for ten hours, and they were still bright. The auxiliary battery's voltage fell from 13.2 to 12.3 in that time.

The LED modules have a third use. When I ride with the LED modules on, they augment the headlights and give a distinctive appearance to my bike - you will know when Colorado is the Strom in your mirrors.

LED modules only:


LED module augmenting turn signal:


LED modules as running lights:


Close-up of left module from below:


I am very pleased with these LED modules, and I believe they will assist me when I have to set up camp after nightfall. I will be glad to answer questions and provide more photos. Right now the switch is installed poorly, and the wires are a tad sloppy, but I will correct those flaws next week.

Colorado is the name of my Wee-Strom. It came with a VIN ending 1876, the year Colorado became the Centennial State, and it is red, so the name is obviously correct. I certainly enjoyed riding this motorcycle in Colorado, and perhaps the motorcycle enjoyed that fine state as well.

Keith
 

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Nice job there Keith, looks like something I might be interested in. More so for the camp lighting.:thumbup1:

Cheers,
 

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Cool idea, thanks for the write up.
 

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Very nice. Just one thing, my understanding is that, by law, turn signals are supposed to be amber.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's a really good point!

Very nice. Just one thing, my understanding is that, by law, turn signals are supposed to be amber.
I believe you are correct. I have seen lots and lots of rear turn signals that are red, and I reckon lots of older cars have non-amber signals which must be permitted because they were legal when originally licensed. It is my opinion that Florida doesn't put a high priority on enforcing this law.

I do not expect to be challenged by law enforcement on this issue, because I generally drive in a sensible manner, and officers really do have better things to do than pester somebody for using a white light in place of an amber one.

And if I am challenged, I can simply turn the lights on and promise to leave them on until I leave the cop's jurisdiction.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can you buy this stuff at Canadian Tire?

Nice job there Keith, looks like something I might be interested in. More so for the camp lighting.:thumbup1:

Cheers,
If you have a problem getting this exact part, and want me to send it, just tell me where. If your address is a secret, I can send it to Grumpty's and you can pick it up there. :rolleyes:

If you wish to build your own from LEDs and stuff, you will want to know the exact voltage to provide for the LEDs you use. There are two 150-ohm resistors in each of these units, but that news is specific to the particular LEDs in the unit, and I don't have any data on the LEDs themselves.

If I were building this anew, I think I would use bare LEDs and drill individual holes in the handguards, glue the LEDs in place there, wire them up in place, and seal the result with marine caulk. Better yet, intersperse white LEDs for illumination with amber/orange LEDs for turn signals, and the switch is a plain SPST. Why didn't I think of that first?

I can't help being an old fart, but so long as I keep learning stuff I am still not a fossil.

Keith
 

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That's a very clean setup. The hand guard mounting gives a wide spread, which improves your visibility to other motorists. I'd like to do something like this, but simpler, that is, not try to make turn signals out of them, and wire to a keyed circuit so as to prevent ever leaving them on. I have flashlights, most importantly a headlamp, for camping. Besides, the bike is seldom pointed in the ideal direction for fixed lights to assist my nightime camping endeavours.

Thanks for the imformative write-up.
 

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Keith,
Excellent write up with pics and wiring diagram!

This is a great idea and a nice show of respect to other campers.

More and more, I am finding, at campgrounds, a "distaste" for bikers. When making an advanced reservation for a campsite and I mention that I am arriving on a motorcycle, I have had the question asked of me more then once, "Is it loud?". Our Harley cousins, with their loud pipes, are really making a reputation for themselves that some of us "quieter types" are starting to have to bare.

Knowing that I was going to end up pulling into campgrounds late in the evening, I too wanted "camp light" that I could set up my tent with, but not blind everyone near me or disturb their peace with my motor running.

What I did was to individually wire a switch to each of my PIAA driving lights. The switches are "hot". Which means, I can turn on and off the lights without touching the ignition, (Yes, I am aware of the pros and cons of doing this.).

This setup has proved its value to me several times by being able to pull into my campsite, turn off my motor, turn off one of my PIAA lights and keep one on and set up my tent, then shut the light off. The light is low to the ground and isn't in anyone's eyes. My routine is pretty quick too.

The switches are marine grade switches. They are mounted into the left handguard where I can tap them with my pointer finger. Covering the body of the switch are distributor lug bolt boots.

Switch on the left, boot on the right.


From the front, the switches look like this.


From the rear they look like this.


The lights themselves are mounted inside some "cages" that I built for them this past Winter and welded to my crashbars.


B.
 

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any chance of a night time, straight on, all lights on from say 10 yards or so away?
just to get an idea of how they look together and contrast
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am not much of a photographer, you know.

any chance of a night time, straight on, all lights on from say 10 yards or so away?
just to get an idea of how they look together and contrast
OK, here are some shots with the bike on its floorstand, engine on, LEDs on, and the camera a measured ten yards in front of the bike.

Camera at ground level, and headlights dominate the image. When I get down this low, I am blinded by headlights, and cannot see the LEDs.


Camera about one yard above the pavement.


Camera at eye-level, call it 5'3" (seems I jiggled)


Camera as high as I can reach


I think the color difference between tungsten and LED is striking. This is an easy way to make the image of your bike at night quite distinctive.
 

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yeah that is a good distinction/different look that might make people take notice

can't seem to find these lights online though....
 

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Neat looking handguards. I only have white reflective tape on my handguards but they help make the bike more noticeable. Not worth a hoot for camping though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Buy 'em or make 'em cheap.

I think I should have done more homework and thought the issues out better, and I am grateful for your questions, suggestions, and opinions.

It would not be difficult to get a dozen each of amber and white LEDs, work out what resistors are required, drill twelve holes in each handguard, and wire the lights so the amber turn signal LEDs are always operative, then add a single-pole single-throw switch to run the white LEDs whether the key is on or off. Always use a fuse, even when you think it is a waste of time. You will curse when you accidentally blow a fuse, but you will not destroy your bike's computer via a short circuit and wait three weeks for a new one at $500.

If each of six LEDs wants voltage V volts and passes current C amperes, then here is the math for the resistor you'll need. Bear in mind that a LED receiving too little voltage is dim, while a LED that gets too much voltage is pretty soon a dead LED.

Six LEDs are in series, so the voltage across the set is 6V and the current through the series string is C. The resistor needs to drop (12.6-6V) volts running this same current, so its resistance is

(12.6 - 6V)
----------- ohms ... example V=1.8 volts C=.020 amps R = 90 ohms
C

(90 ohms is not a popular value, so get 100 ohms, which is brown-black-brown.)

The resistor will emit (12.6 - 6V) * C watts of heat = 1.8 * .020 = 0.036 watts, so in this example a one-eighth-watt resistor will be plenty. Use one resistor per set of six LEDs in series, so that's 24 LEDs and 4 resistors. Use the actual values for V and C for the LEDs you get, to make sure you compute the correct resistor.

Let's see them glistening Stroms!

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Live and learn.

I have found another defect in the LED setup as I built it.

I wired into the front directional signals. This method is an error, because it complicates removal of the fairing, should a mechanic choose to remove the entire array of tupperware in one piece.

I will remove that wiring, and instead wire into the rear directional signals, which are available in the cable that runs along the left side of the frame inside the rear piece of plastic.

I have ordered more LEDs and I expect to install amber LEDs for turn signals, so the white LEDs will be running lights or campsite illumination only. The switch will not be DPDT, but a simple SPST instead.

More news when I complete the upgrade. Thank you to Arne for the pointer on the color of directional signals, and to Black Lab for the illustrations of a clever way to make switches convenient. I will surely use that tip!

Keith
 

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I have found another defect in the LED setup as I built it.

I wired into the front directional signals. This method is an error, because it complicates removal of the fairing, should a mechanic choose to remove the entire array of tupperware in one piece.

I will remove that wiring, and instead wire into the rear directional signals, which are available in the cable that runs along the left side of the frame inside the rear piece of plastic.

I have ordered more LEDs and I expect to install amber LEDs for turn signals, so the white LEDs will be running lights or campsite illumination only. The switch will not be DPDT, but a simple SPST instead.

More news when I complete the upgrade. Thank you to Arne for the pointer on the color of directional signals, and to Black Lab for the illustrations of a clever way to make switches convenient. I will surely use that tip!

Keith
where are you ordering the white leds from? i searched around online and couldn't find anything at all
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's the source for LEDs.

where are you ordering the white leds from? i searched around online and couldn't find anything at all
I apologize for the slow response; here is a good place for LEDs:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/

I bought several RL5-Y3230 Yellow, RL5-W3030 White, and RL5-R5015 Red LEDs from this place. The yellow and red lights were under two bits, and the white were about four bits each. Shipping was very economical, and the package arrived fast.

A fully charged battery drives them with these series resistors:
Yellow: six LEDs and one 22-ohm resistor in series
White: three LEDs and one 68-ohm resistor
Red: six LEDs and one 33-ohm resistor.

The above values were determined by using a spare battery on a bench. When I wired up six yellow LEDs and a 22-ohm resistor in parallel with the rear turn signals, the LEDs barely glowed. Apparently the switching circuitry reduces the voltage substantially, and our 21-watt bulbs in the stock signal units are probably getting only nine or ten volts and that may be why they seem so dim! I had to run three yellow LEDs through a 47-ohm resistor instead, so I have two of those circuits on each side, and Wednesday evening I took them out in the dark ... and they worked just fine!

Things are still in progress, but when I complete this project I will report again, with full details, including (this is the most valuable part) all the mistakes I made so you don't make them too.

Basically, the yellow LEDs I chose provide plenty of light, much more than the standard signals, and the viewing angle is very generous. I think these LEDs are important safety devices, and I look forward to adding some at the rear of the bike as well. Then I will augment the brake lights with some red LEDs.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Now I get it ... I hope.

i actually meant the 'pro burners' driving lights you showed/used lol
Oh.

Advance Auto Parts. This one:

http://advanceauto.know-where.com/advance-auto-parts/cgi/site?site=09518&address=::sarasota::FL::34232&design=default&lang=en&mapid=US

They call it LS-104. Similar products have other names very close to that. I suggest you make sure you are not buying a blue light. Cops frown on the use of blue lights.

The product is at least moderately good in quality, but one of the units let water in, during heavy rain, and mold grew inside it. I removed the mold, carefully dried it, and glued it shut with tacky glue that will never set so hard that I break the unit reopening it to clean it again.

I looked for the things online too, and got nowhere.

I tried searching Advance Auto Parts web site, but that got me nowhere fast. The site is apparently incapable of providing the answer to such a difficult question as "can you sell me a headlight for my 2005 Ford F-100?"

Keith
 

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ok, i'll just check the one near me, i tried searching their website to no avail as well so its not just you

but at the store their computer showed it as ls104?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here's the law in Florida.

Very nice. Just one thing, my understanding is that, by law, turn signals are supposed to be amber.
Arne, I found the statute for Florida (bolding is by me, not by Florida):

316.234 Signal lamps and signal devices.--

(1) Any vehicle may be equipped and, when required under this chapter, shall be equipped with a stop lamp or lamps on the rear of the vehicle which shall display a red or amber light, visible from a distance of not less than 300 feet to the rear in normal sunlight, and which shall be actuated upon application of the service (foot) brake, and which may but need not be incorporated with one or more other rear lamps. An object, material, or covering that alters the stop lamp's visibility from 300 feet to the rear in normal sunlight may not be placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied over a stop lamp.

(2) Any vehicle may be equipped and, when required under s. 316.222(2), shall be equipped with electric turn signals which shall indicate an intention to turn by flashing lights showing to the front and rear of a vehicle or on a combination of vehicles on the side of the vehicle or combination toward which the turn is to be made. The lamps showing to the front shall be mounted on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable and, when signaling, shall emit white or amber light. The lamps showing to the rear shall be mounted on the same level and as widely spaced laterally as practicable, and, when signaling, shall emit a red or amber light. ... [the law continues]

I believe that a vehicle with a Florida tag, with proper turn signals according to the laws of Florida, cannot be found in violation of the laws of another jurisdiction.

And I did not know that a brake light could be amber. I do not think I have ever seen one.

Keith
 
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