Author Topic: LED Brake Light  (Read 1444 times)

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Offline pmiller

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LED Brake Light
« on: February 11, 2013, 05:34:02 pm »
Hello Everyone;

I have had my 94 C10 for almost 2 years now and I have come to the same conclusion as most people that despite its few flaws it is still a great bike. I just wanted to thank everyone that has posted information in these forums, it has been invaluable in fixing and keeping everything running.

My last work before the snow came was to fix the header cross over pipe. I thought it just had a hole in it but when I got it apart the cross over pipe from the left header was broken completely off. My welding skills are not to be trusted so off to buddy who welded a new pipe on and I was good to go. I figured I might as well change the o rings in the front coolant log when I had that much apart so that I did as well before I put it back together. With any luck I should be ready for spring riding whenever it gets here.

I just thought I would share my current winter project. I think this is my 3rd or 4th prototype of an led brake light, most of my testing was done on my previous 78 KZ650. The older bikes add even more of a challenge because of their limited alternator capacity,  the voltage varies quite a bit between idling and running. This is by far the best design so far.

Here is a couple of short videos of the brake light.

The first is with no lens:

http://s864.beta.photobucket.com/user/psmiller456/media/Zg1000%20Brake%20Light/Brake_Light_no_lens.mp4.html


The second is with the lens installed:

http://s864.beta.photobucket.com/user/psmiller456/media/Zg1000%20Brake%20Light/Brake_Light_lens.mp4.html


My prototype is based on the design by Pete Mills, you can find the article with all the information of his construction at the link below.  This brake light by default will strobe when the brakes are applied and then stay on bright. By holding the brake lever on when you turn on the key you can disable this feature and make it just an ordinary brake light. Although this is the way it is configured it can be changed to do whatever you want because it is just software running on an Attiny85 micro controller. Hey, even the BMW guys can’t connect a laptop to their tail light and reprogram it !!!!

http://petemills.blogspot.ca/2012/04/tenty-led-brake-lights.html

I made minor tweaks to the software on some of the delays and timing and also on the led array because the led’s I used were of different voltage and current than the one’s Pete used. I also put in a few more leds, I  used 30.
I picked up a spare tail light to do my testing just in case things didn’t work. The only thing I really had to change was that I had to grind a bit of the reflector off at the joint of the two reflectors in the middle of the tail light to lower it for a bit more clearance to the circuit board. This was truly my fault because I didn’t use a long enough bolts when I epoxied it into the lamp base or I could have raised the bolts a bit as well and that would have been fine.
The next step is to actually install the brake light on the bike and go for a ride. I will get someone to follow me and we will see what it looks like from behind as far as brightness and visibility during the day and at night as well but until the snow is gone the project will be on hold . The other issue with a prototype is the hundreds of tiny wires used to wire it up, I would think after a while bouncing away there could be a possibility of one breaking so if all looks good I may get a real circuit board made so that there is less danger of failure. 

I hope it may be of interest.

Regards;
Paul Miller







Offline Walker18

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Re: LED Brake Light
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 05:55:47 pm »
Paul, I am highly interested in this, been wanting a 'Disco' brake light for a few years, but haven't been able to purchase
a working one. Please let me know on your development.

AMA# 1088783
2012 C-14  'Rudy'

Offline 6 Riders

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Re: LED Brake Light
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 12:31:32 pm »
What color are the LED's that you used? I'm interested in building a circuit board mounted LED set-up and the color of the LED's has come into question.
U-toob has a couple good vids on making a circuit board too. I'll see if I can find some.

Offline pmiller

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Re: LED Brake Light
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 12:49:11 pm »
6 Riders:

I used Red led’s, from my experience you have to use the same color of led’s as the color of the lens. If you use a white led behind a red lens it is so bright and intense that it will wash out the colour of that red lense.

Offline kd50

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Re: LED Brake Light
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 12:12:40 am »
This is something I would be highly interested in if it turned into your custom niche. I looked and looked for a tail lamp assy. while working on my lighting but found nothing that I wanted to use. I concluded that when it came down to design, the stock design would work the best without a ton of fabrication for a mounting plate.
'86 Concours totally custom just fer me!!