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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #1
Almost 3 years ago, I installed a Signal Dynamics Heads Up voltage monitor LED on my 2007 Vee. Whole saga here, if you're bored or need a sleep aid:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/dl1000-2002-2012/354441-signal-dynamics-voltage-monitor-led-install.html

The device has worked perfectly since then...so, of course I had to screw things up by accidentally breaking it. :(

This likely happened last week, when I was installing a new 12V socket under the cowling. I must have yanked on the wires harder than I realized. A few days ago, I noticed that I was only getting a "blinking green" indication for a few seconds, then nothing, with key turned on but before starting the engine.

If you own one of these things, you'll recognize that this is not normal behavior. What should happen is the LED blinks green, then steady amber, then steady red, as the battery is powering the lights, instrument panel, and fuel pump all by itself. The LED cuts out during actual starting, then stays a steady color (green, if all is normal) with the engine running. Then goes back to amber, then red when you kill the engine but leave the key at run position (in which case, my broken LED is now turning off).

The LED was still showing steady green with the engine running, but I didn't trust it due to the pre-start behavior.

Inspection reveals that I have broken one of the LED's three terminals clean off. There's no way to fix that - it's time for a new LED. No charging system problems. Battery is sitting at a healthy voltage while at rest, charging voltage is right where it should be.

Naturally, the LED's flimsy, plastic panel mount bezel broke in the process of taking it out for the inspection, so I need a replacement for that too.

Here's the happy ending: I called Signal Dynamics, explained the situation and asked for help buying a replacement LED. They're sending out a replacement LED, at no charge, pre-wired and with a new panel mount bezel. Even though it's way out of warranty. I could not ask for better customer service.

I would have happily paid for a replacement LED. But they saved me both $ and effort.

FWIW, if you want to build your own voltage monitor device, don't bother looking for 3-color LEDs that do red, green, and yellow. They seem not to exist, or would be a custom order from an LED manufacturer. I think what Signal Dynamics is actually doing is using a 2-color, red and green LED, mixing red & green modes to make yellow. Which is clever and elegant.
 

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Mixing green and red for yellow/orange is very common for indicators that also can be green and red. Its simply easier. Really cool of them to replace it out of warranty though.
 
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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, that blew me away. I was prepared to source my own LED and panel bezel, wire it in, the whole works. They'll have saved me considerable effort.

I am contemplating adding one of their flashing brake light doohickeys to my setup. Either just the signal box that modifies the factory brake light, or the full-up deal that adds more lights.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Got the replacement LED, did not get the replacement bezel.

Rather than call Signal Dynamics again and wait another week, I bought a 100-pack of the bezels off Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LX8JVG7/

Can't swear these are the exact ones SD supplies, but they were close enough to do the job.

I thought about upgrading to a metal LED bezel. Still might, but at least now I have something that will work in the interim.

I can live with spending ~$5 to fix things. And now I have tons of spare bezels.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ugh, this is turning out to be unnecessarily difficult.

Those bezels off Amazon are crap. The legs have no "hook"-ness to them, so they barely hold on to the lip at the bottom of the LED. The slightest touch will push the LED back through the hole.

I guess I'll have to call Signal Dynamics and ask them to pretty please send a replacement bezel or three (as I'm sure I'll break it again if I have to remove the LED for some reason).
 

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Can't say I'm a fan of that voltage monitoring system, I had one for a bit and promptly replaced with a waterproof digital unit.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Now I am fixing the silly thing yet again.

You may ask, why am I having to install a replacement voltage monitor LED, yet again? Because the jackwagon who worked on my bike about 2 months ago (remember the "engine dies when I brake hard" thing?) either yanked on the LED wires, or possibly it was that he left the signal box dangling unsupported (which put strain on the LED leads & eventually broke the red one).

The LED was wired in with a quick-disconnect plug, so that it could be unplugged, so this wouldn't happen.

Signal box was Velcro'd to the tank. There's no excuse for leaving it dangling. If you don't know how to operate Velcro, you have no business getting near a wrench.

It took most of the last 2 months for the damaged connection to fail completely, else I would have made the shop pay for a new one on the spot.

I'm a bit tired of dealing with this. The problem is that there is almost zero strain relief on the LED leads. Signal Dynamics puts a thick wrap of heatshrink around where the wires are soldered to the leads, but it is not enough. With even a small amount of bending or pulling, you'll almost certainly break one or more of the leads. They stick straight out of the base of the LED and are tiny and stiff. Once one is broken, you have to trash the LED, since there's nowhere to solder on a wire.

The whole works needs to be encased in a stiff, strong shell. I'm sure there is such a thing as a panel enclosure for a 3-wire LED, just have to find it.

I'm considering adding a numerical voltage meter in case this happens again. I like the color-coding of the Signal Dynamics voltage monitor, but I'm getting tired of having to fix it.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
New LED installed. I now have 3 extra bezels, which is great because there seems to be no way to remove one, once installed, without breaking it.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The reason it's so easy to break the LED is that the included bezel provides almost no strain relief.

There is a wrap of heatshrink around the leads where they are soldered on to the pins, at the base of the LED. That's it.

I'm shopping for a more robust panel mount bezel, that will provide some strain relief. Also I think a chrome-plated bezel would look really snazzy, & coordinate well with the chrome accents on the stock instrument cluster.
 
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