Author Topic: Hunting an electrical gremlin  (Read 660 times)

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Offline dboogie2288

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Hunting an electrical gremlin
« on: October 17, 2017, 12:36:04 pm »
Video: https://youtu.be/-HQ5I5EcBdA

So here's the background. It's a 2006 ZG1000, and I have a trailer wiring adapter/isolator/convertor - whatever you want to call it. Everything works, but while the bike is running I get this weird strobing effect in the trailer lights. It's definitely the concours. It happens on both my cargo trailer, as well as my camper...and they both work fine on my goldwing. My taillights on the bike dont flicker (even though it sort of looks like in the video - they are OK).

All my accessories run through a fuse block on the right side and everything is isolated to individual circuits. Where do I start, or what do I check? I'm pretty good with 12V, but this is weird.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 12:40:43 pm by dboogie2288 »
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Offline works4me

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2017, 02:34:05 pm »
Based on what you’ve stated I have to suspect the converter.
Either its wiring or an internal failure.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2017, 03:09:30 pm »
Temporarily bypass the converter and see if that fixes the problem..
Check your ground too.

NOTE: In your video, before you crank the bike, you have 2 tail lights.
                               After cranking the bike, you have 4 that are flickering.
                               Might be that 4 are too much draw?

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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 03:36:23 pm »
I did forget to mention, I've tried various converters when I was installing it. All of them seemed to do the same behavior.

As far as the ground goes, all of my devices ground to the battery. I was wondering where the primary grounds were around the bike, it seems like maybe one is loose? but that really shouldnt matter, because its ALL grounded to the battery.
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Offline Hardhead

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 03:50:04 pm »
Try this, the Connie has a piss poor ground. HTH

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFK3AaZ_Uwo

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 03:56:05 pm »
As all 4 lights are on and flickering, I suspect the converter is wired wrong..

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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 04:47:23 pm »
Converter is wired properly. The outer lights are 2 filament and brake/turn, and the inner lights are 1 filament and brake only. This trailer was originally wired as a flat 5, with separate wires for turn signals, but that's not what I wanted. I got new red lenses and kind of repurposed them.

Wiring the converter is pretty darn simple.. ground, hot, brake, turn 1, and turn 2....everything was tapped off of the wiring in the tail.
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 05:10:01 pm »
I don't think you wired it incorrectly. I think the converter is internally incorrect.
You said; The outer lights are 2 filament and brake/turn, and the inner lights are 1 filament and brake only

Since you have power to the {inner} / (brake) lights when you crank the bike,,, something is wrong in the converter.
ie; Your getting power to the {inner} brake lights when your in normal run mode... (without brake or blinker selected)

The problem also might be that you have the 2 filament (outer lights) with both brake and turn attached.
(The converter should take care of that, but it apparently is not)

Hope this helps?

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline works4me

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2017, 07:14:16 pm »
You’ve wired your trailer incorrectly when you
repurposed its lights.
The outer lights should be running/ brake.
The inner lights should be turn.
Ground/hot/brake to outer.
Ground/turn to inner.
If you want to use a flat four connector,
then it would be ground/hot only to inner pair.
Outer pair would fiction as running/brake/turn.
If you want the inner pair to function the same way
you’ll need to change sockets to dual element.
Turn & brake functions are controlled by the
converter and can’t be accomplished by simply
rewiring.


Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2017, 07:35:21 pm »
Heh, ok I get what you're saying, and yes some of the lights were re-purposed.

However, let's take it back to grass roots here, and use my cargo trailer as an example. It's a native flat 4...only two fixtures. Same behavior.
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Offline Mcfly

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 08:11:37 pm »
You wired that one wrong too??  J/K  ;D

Just out of curiosity, is the light flickering only at idle, or at any RPM?
Also, are you running a Halogen headlight, and/or any other auxillary
lights or devices?
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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 09:16:47 pm »
Remove your Givi trunk, and disconnect the lights wires to it...completely.
I'm thinking the issue is those LED ones on trunk...
They weren't twinkling, and the right one wasn't glowing in the vid...

I had some similar but different issues when I wired my H/F trailer to my C14, as the C14 has an LED tail/brake light... the trailer had a pair of running/brake/signal lights, incandescent... harness wasn't friendly... so I ended up making a custom plug with 7 wires, and an additional ground circuit, and did away with the brake light segment on trailer just using the incandescents for running/turn circuit... and added a pair of running/brake LED modules from Harbor Freight for brakes specifically... that worked sweet...and offers a lot of rear "red" when needed...

Tell us the outcome when the LED's are out of the equation...

Oh, and give that "Trunk Monkey" a smack, and a bannana... I'm betting he did it...anyway, after looking, the right trunk light ain't working, and neither of the LED's have the pulse...  :rotflmao:
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 09:34:50 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2017, 01:25:06 am »
Hm i never considered unhooking the trunk. It's just always been there but I'll sure give it a try. All the leds work on the trunk though. You just can't tell from that angle.
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2017, 02:39:49 pm »
You said; It's definitely the Concurs. It happens on both my cargo trailer, as well as my camper...and they both work fine on my Goldwing.

As the lights work fine on the Wing, (assuming the Wing is a flat 4 plug too)
          Your right,, the problem has to be the Connie, not the trailer wiring.

MOB may have found the solution. The LED's may be causing the problem..

Best of luck.

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2017, 03:39:42 pm »


MOB may have found the solution. The LED's may be causing the problem..

Best of luck.

Ride safe, Ted

I dont think it's the LEDs themselves....but I think it could be the resistor that controls the two stages of the LEDs. They come from the manufacturer as 2 wire. Hot and ground. However, with the addition of an optional resistor pack (I think its resistors), it basically transforms it to 3 wire. Run/Brake/Ground. Perhaps it's that guy that's causing some feedback in the system....
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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2017, 08:20:53 pm »
Remove the LED section completely (and temporarily) from the equation to analyze the outcome.. the box is more than a "resistor", and contains diodes preventing surging of power based on downstream devices...

I did not utilize a seperate and additional "device" when I wired my trailer on the C14, as it was an expendature I found a bit rediculous for my wallet, and something else that could fail on road, rendering me headaches... glad I didn't buy one actually... the price of my "brake lights" LED units, which I wired into a specifically designed existing LED circuit, was actually less $$ in the end.. the lights cost me $15, a generic "box" was like $80, and still may have had issues mixing and matching lamp styles as such.

So, give it a try, just to see what occurs.. its free... :great:

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2017, 11:13:12 pm »
Loose connection, maybe? Try tapping the wires with the motor off to see if they flicker.
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Offline connieklr

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2017, 12:22:51 pm »
A "shallow strobe" perhaps?

My '95 has that, but it's caused by the alternator.... more specifically, the alternator's brushes. It is most obvious in the side marker lights (incandescent bulbs) I mounted to replace the side reflectors.

Never really noticed it before I made my burn out to CO before I left on my OTP trip (2002). First saw it when the bike was idling in Carl Thompte's garage after I arrived. Been doing it ever since. Research allowed me to find that if was being caused by the brushes in the alternator, but no definitive reason was given as to why. Can only assume the added current draw of those lights, plus the 80/100 H4, is making it more obvious. Cannot see it in the head lamp, and can't remember if my own trailer has that "issue." It's basically straight-wired, no couplers or any of that other inner-connection stuff.

That's the reason my lights have a shallow strobe effect; YMMV
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 01:33:29 pm by connieklr »
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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2017, 07:20:16 pm »
A "shallow strobe" perhaps?

My '95 has that, but it's caused by the alternator.... more specifically, the alternator's brushes. It is most obvious in the side marker lights (incandescent bulbs) I mounted to replace the side reflectors.

Never really noticed it before I made my burn out to CO before I left on my OTP trip (2002). First saw it when the bike was idling in Carl Thompte's garage after I arrived. Been doing it ever since. Research allowed me to find that if was being caused by the brushes in the alternator, but no definitive reason was given as to why. Can only assume the added current draw of those lights, plus the 80/100 H4, is making it more obvious. Cannot see it in the head lamp, and can't remember if my own trailer has that "issue." It's basically straight-wired, no couplers or any of that other inner-connection stuff.

That's the reason my lights have a shallow strobe effect; YMMV

Interesting, I've followed you a few times, when you were pulling the trailer, and never noticed any pulsing "at speed", on the road... maybe it only pulsed at idle?

I'm still waiting to hear the results on him disconnecting the LED lights completely, to see what transpires.

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Offline RWulf

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2017, 02:42:50 pm »
I am interested in what you find. My nephew added some LED brake lights that
are suppost to flash when the brakes are used. They do flash but the flash rate
increases with RPM's, to the point where they might as well be on steady. I have
my ideas as to why, have not been able to get together and test them out. Will
be watching to find out what you fine.

Offline connieklr

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2017, 04:54:42 pm »
A "shallow strobe" perhaps?

My '95 has that, but it's caused by the alternator.... more specifically, the alternator's brushes. It is most obvious in the side marker lights (incandescent bulbs) I mounted to replace the side reflectors.

Never really noticed it before I made my burn out to CO before I left on my OTP trip (2002). First saw it when the bike was idling in Carl Thompte's garage after I arrived. Been doing it ever since. Research allowed me to find that if was being caused by the brushes in the alternator, but no definitive reason was given as to why. Can only assume the added current draw of those lights, plus the 80/100 H4, is making it more obvious. Cannot see it in the head lamp, and can't remember if my own trailer has that "issue." It's basically straight-wired, no couplers or any of that other inner-connection stuff.

That's the reason my lights have a shallow strobe effect; YMMV

Interesting, I've followed you a few times, when you were pulling the trailer, and never noticed any pulsing "at speed", on the road... maybe it only pulsed at idle?

I'm still waiting to hear the results on him disconnecting the LED lights completely, to see what transpires.

I tried to capture the strobe-effect in the side marker lights yesterday in a video, but the intensity of the bulbs washed out the light/dark effect so it wasn't very apparent.

I also thought about dragging the trailer down to the garage and hooking it up to the bike, but I have the bike's trailer pigtail all zip-tied up out of way since I can't tow the trailer after I put on the Delkevics I won down in Helen; the pipes interfere with the HitchDoc hitch.   :-[
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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2017, 01:36:37 pm »
Quote
since I can't tow the trailer after I put on the Delkevics I won down in Helen; the pipes interfere with the HitchDoc hitch.   :-[

I've got a hitchdoc hitch....and I have been considering delkevics...what's the deal w/ the interference??
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Offline dboogie2288

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2017, 01:37:35 pm »
I was riding the project 02 all this weekend since it had been on the shelf for a few weeks in storage....the 06 is back in the garage and has another issue that I have to look into, but I hope to monkey with the LED and the top case tomorrow.
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Offline connieklr

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Re: Hunting an electrical gremlin
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2017, 11:02:03 am »
Quote
since I can't tow the trailer after I put on the Delkevics I won down in Helen; the pipes interfere with the HitchDoc hitch.   :-[

I've got a hitchdoc hitch....and I have been considering delkevics...what's the deal w/ the interference??

I can take a pix later, but the pipes pitch up and block the section of the hitch that hooks to the brackets that supports the muffler(s).  They're also tucked in a little closer to the swing arm that also blocks the hitch's forward arms. The OEM pipes basically come straight back and are lower so as not to interfere.

EDIT - pix:

OEM Exhaust:


Delks:




I don't have an overhead shot of the OEM exhaust. Also, the OEM pipes I took off were all chrome gleaned from some Egyptian(sp?) police bikes that were being stripped for spares.

Anyway, trust this will show you where the problem is.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 03:37:06 pm by connieklr »
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