Baehr System- Possible Power Drain - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 32 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 6:03 pm Thread Starter
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Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Early this Spring, I installed the following farkles on the the LT:
  • HID Headlight (thanks again for the directions Joe)
  • GPS- hardwired directly to the battery
  • Satellite Radio- hardwired directly to the battery
  • Baher Intercom System
About a week after I installed the Intercom, I left my helmet plugged into the intercom over night. This drained and killed my battery OEM battery. Since the battery was 4+ years old, I figured it was bound to happen and simply bought a new one.

Well, over the course of the Spring, Summer and into the Fall, I replaced my battery 4 times. If I let the bike sit for more than 2 days, the battery would be totally drained and would require a jump or be dead all together. If I would hook up my Battery Tender Jr., it would maybe allow me to sit the bike an extra day or two before killing the battery.

Over the summer, I checked all my connections several times. I finally found a mechanic in my area (no dealerships within 60 miles unless I wanted to cross state lines or enter NYC) and asked him to figure it out. He disconnected all of my farkles and reinstalled them one at a time. He tested the system each time with a meter to find the draw. Through a process of elimination, he came to the realization that it was the Baehr.

With the Baehr disconnect now for about a week, I've had nothing but green lights on the Battery Tender. The bike starts up all of the time.

My question- has anyone heard of the Baehr unit malfunctioning like this? I'm going try to contact them to see if they can do a diagnostic test on the system. Could the unit have "gone bad"?

Rob V.B.
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post #2 of 32 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 8:59 pm
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My '05 LT is acting the same way. I leave the helmet connected fulltime to the bike. Even with a new battery, after 24 hours the bike will start (but barely); wait 2 days and it won't. I have to connect the BT if I want to be able to start it after letting it sit for 2 or more days. I thought it was just me, but now I see I'm not alone.

It's interesting to note that when I put the helmet on before I start the bike I can hear the faintest static-type sound in the headset (with the radio off, of course).

I don't have the skills or tools to do the diagnosis your guy did but I'll be curious to see what others say about this.

I think I'll try disconnecting the helmet this weekend and see what it's like Monday morning, without the BT.

Howard Schisler
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post #3 of 32 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 9:47 pm Thread Starter
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Leaving the helmet attached will definitely leave the Baehr system on. I've turn the bike off with everything connected and you definately here the a slight hiss from the system. To me, that means the intercom is still active.

Board member OMurphy pm'ed me the following to think about:

do you switch the ignition one or two clicks left from the run position? the position where the front end can still be turned allows the intercom to still be own. the position where the front end is locked turns off power to the intercom if you have the baher that is plug and play for the lt. if you have a different unit you probably have another issue.

My response to him was:

If I turn the key to the first off postion (I can still turn the handlebars) the intercom will still stay active even though everything is off? I thought the radio input activates the unit.

Yup, I have the Baehr Ultima XL made specifically for the LT- Plug and Play and all.

If he's right, that might expain it.

Rob V.B.
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post #4 of 32 Old Nov 30th, 2007, 10:29 pm
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When you shut down your LT by turning the key, as you know, the radio can still be turned on with it's on off switch. So the radio has power from the cycle at all times with this key switch position. This is also power for the Baehr which is always on with this engine off position.

I keep the cycle in a locked garage with the front wheel in the "go straight" position, and I always leave the key in the switch but turn it a half turn toward "lock the fork", which kills the power. This is power to the dome light switches (GPS), radio, and Baehr. I also put the charger (Deltran) on to get the steady green light. I swap the charger every few days with an old Porsche. I always unplug the helmets and take them inside. When traveling I than lock the fork to kill all the power draw to the radio and intercom, and remove the key. Barnett

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post #5 of 32 Old Dec 1st, 2007, 8:45 am
 
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Why are you guys leaving your helmets plugged in over night? Once any intercom system (not only a Baehr) has a helmet plugged into it, the unit is powered ON. Simply unplugging the helmet(s) power OFF the unit. Problem solved. My IntaRide works in the same fashion.

Or am I missing something here?
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post #6 of 32 Old Dec 1st, 2007, 9:02 am
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I have the Autocom and leave the helmet plugged in over night or for extended times. Of course I always lock the front fork when I turn the bike off, so I know that this kills the power to everything.

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post #7 of 32 Old Dec 1st, 2007, 9:17 am Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=messenger13]Why are you guys leaving your helmets plugged in over night? Once any intercom system (not only a Baehr) has a helmet plugged into it, the unit is powered ON. Simply unplugging the helmet(s) power OFF the unit. Problem solved. My IntaRide works in the same fashion.

Or am I missing something here? [/QUOTE]

My helmet is always disconnected. When I turn the bike off, I go to turn it to the first off postion. What I'm seeing here is that this still allows for power to go to the radio, trunk light, and presumably the intercom. Based on meter readings and testing, I think my Baehr unit is still drawing power as if the helmet is still attached. Thus, draining the battery.

It is being recommended that if I turn the key to the second postion (locking the handlebars) then I will be cutting off all power including the radio, trunk light, and presumably the intercom.

Rob V.B.
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post #8 of 32 Old Dec 1st, 2007, 4:38 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Why are you guys leaving your helmets plugged in over night? Once any intercom system (not only a Baehr) has a helmet plugged into it, the unit is powered ON. Simply unplugging the helmet(s) power OFF the unit. Problem solved. My IntaRide works in the same fashion.

Or am I missing something here?
In my case no, you're not missing anything. I leave the helmet connected for weeks at a time (overnight). On commuting days I unplug it and lock it in the top case. When I get home that night it stays connected and on the bike -- one less thing to do in the morning as I get ready to ride to work.

So... what we have here is the world's simplest solution, at least for my situation: unplug the helmet. Problem solved. Or, turn the key to the far left.

I am surprised, however, that 2 days of leaving the helmet connected drains the battery sufficiently to not let it start up.

Howard Schisler
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2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
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post #9 of 32 Old Dec 1st, 2007, 7:11 pm
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Joe had it right, and it is also written in the Baehr manual that the power source is switched via the rider's helmet (the pillion's helmet has no effect). With the helmet attached to the bike the Baehr unit will remain powered on.

12V Automatic Power Switch-off

As soon as the driver helmet is disconnected the intercom internally switches-off completely, it practically stops wasting power.

Caution!

This automatic function can lead to errors if the 5-pin driver-helmet connection gets wet. For motorbikes that always have to stay outside at night or drive in wintry conditions often we suggest parking your bike only with the steering lock snapped in, without parking light, and of course – do not leave the key in!

With the BMW K1200LT the reason for an empty battery must not be automatically the intercom’s fault!

When you park your bike in the garage and accidentally leave on the "make-up mirror light" (the light within the top case) you will almost certainly run into staring problem after a few days.

Other accessories, like the BMW CD changer or a navigation system also connect directly to the battery (data buffering) and permanently draw a little quiescent current.

Note: I also accidentally discovered that disconnecting the microphone will also power the unit off.

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post #10 of 32 Old Mar 24th, 2008, 4:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

UPDATE!

Before tucking in my LT for a long winter's nap, I installed a new battery. I disconnect and removed the Baehr unit. All winter long, the LT was on a trickle charger in my shed. I would take her for a spin once every few weeks. Each time, the bike started right up.

Last week, I started to work on her. After stripping all of the plastic and installing new plugs on Friday, I reinstalled the Baehr and then called it quits for the night.

This morning, after sitting w/o running all weekend, weak battery! The bike started but it took a few weak spins of the starter to catch. I let it run for 5-10 mins then turn her off. I left the radio on to listen to music while I worked. By 2pm, the bike would not start.

I pulled the Baehr unit out and called BaehrUSA. I spoke with a Rep. (Tom?) for sometime. He stated that the unit actually draws very little. He was very surprised by my problems. I asked to send him the unit to perhaps run a diagnostic test on it. He wasn't very receptive and suggested that it was another farkle on the bike draining the battery. I agreed to wait two weeks and see if the battery issue happens again.

I really believe it's the Baehr unit. I made sure on Friday to turn it all the way to the OFF position with no helmet attached.

I'll keep it out for a few weeks and see if the drain returns. I'll install it prior to leaving for STC. With a constant run, I don't think the battery will give me troubles.

Rob V.B.
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post #11 of 32 Old Mar 28th, 2008, 5:36 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

I have a Baehr installed. I can leave my bike off for two or three weeks before it won't start. You have a power short somewhere.

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post #12 of 32 Old May 6th, 2008, 10:18 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Early this Spring, I installed the following farkles on the the LT:
  • HID Headlight (thanks again for the directions Joe)
  • GPS- hardwired directly to the battery
  • Satellite Radio- hardwired directly to the battery
  • Baher Intercom System
About a week after I installed the Intercom, I left my helmet plugged into the intercom over night. This drained and killed my battery OEM battery. Since the battery was 4+ years old, I figured it was bound to happen and simply bought a new one.

Well, over the course of the Spring, Summer and into the Fall, I replaced my battery 4 times. If I let the bike sit for more than 2 days, the battery would be totally drained and would require a jump or be dead all together. If I would hook up my Battery Tender Jr., it would maybe allow me to sit the bike an extra day or two before killing the battery.

Over the summer, I checked all my connections several times. I finally found a mechanic in my area (no dealerships within 60 miles unless I wanted to cross state lines or enter NYC) and asked him to figure it out. He disconnected all of my farkles and reinstalled them one at a time. He tested the system each time with a meter to find the draw. Through a process of elimination, he came to the realization that it was the Baehr.

With the Baehr disconnect now for about a week, I've had nothing but green lights on the Battery Tender. The bike starts up all of the time.

My question- has anyone heard of the Baehr unit malfunctioning like this? I'm going try to contact them to see if they can do a diagnostic test on the system. Could the unit have "gone bad"?
The power drain is NORMAL with the rider's helmet plugged in. This is a design feature of the Baehr unit. Plugging in the rider's helmet switches the Baehr unit on and drains power.
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post #13 of 32 Old May 7th, 2008, 11:12 am
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoman_kp
The power drain is NORMAL with the rider's helmet plugged in. This is a design feature of the Baehr unit. Plugging in the rider's helmet switches the Baehr unit on and drains power.

Not entirely accurate. If the Key turned beyond the off position to the lock position. the headset is now off on the Baehr even when plugged in.

At least that's how mine works.

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post #14 of 32 Old May 7th, 2008, 5:08 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwnahas
Not entirely accurate. If the Key turned beyond the off position to the lock position. the headset is now off on the Baehr even when plugged in.

At least that's how mine works.
Key position has no bearing on whether or not the Baehr is on or off. The only switch that turns on the Baehr is the driver's helmet being plugged in. The Baehr will remain on regardless of the key position as long as the rider's helmet is plugged in. This can be verified by contacting Baehr Tech Support as well as all those on this board that have experienced dead batteries when they leave thier helmets plugged in.
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post #15 of 32 Old May 7th, 2008, 5:26 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

My intercom is definatly off, or my battery is really good.

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post #16 of 32 Old May 7th, 2008, 6:18 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

For what it's worth .....

My LT is FULL of electronic farkles, Baehr comm too !!

EVERY electronic farkle is wired into some part of the bikes SWITCHED power system. If the key is turned too wheel lock positon of halfway from off to lock, EVERY farkles circuits are DEAD DEAD DEAD !!! The rider helmet connector is NEVER left plugged in. 4 years on same battery and never had it even drain down.

IMHO, its your wiring going battery direct & helmet cord.

** A better way to do your battery direct battery connect would be to have a buss bar connected to battery and then put in a 12V solinoid that is conected to a switched source on the bike. If you completely turn off bike the solinoid collapes and so does the buss bar current.

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post #17 of 32 Old May 7th, 2008, 7:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoman_kp
The only switch that turns on the Baehr is the driver's helmet being plugged in. ... This can be verified by contacting Baehr Tech Support as well as all those on this board that have experienced dead batteries when they leave thier helmets plugged in.
It doesn't apply in this case. I left my helmet plugged in ONCE and yet I still have the power drain with it unplugged. My thinking is that I burnt out a sensor or something on the Baehr unit that is still drawing the power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead
IMHO, its your wiring going battery direct & helmet cord.

** A better way to do your battery direct battery connect would be to have a buss bar connected to battery and then put in a 12V solinoid that is conected to a switched source on the bike. If you completely turn off bike the solinoid collapes and so does the buss bar current.
If the helmet cord is disconnected from the bike, that eliminate a helmet cord issue. I get that!

One of the reasons to buy a Baehr is that it is a simple plug a nd play. It is two or three barreal connectors and BAM! Install complete. There is no connection to the battery because the unit is powered through the BMW harness. Your suggestion, while accurate and would work in most cases, I don't think applies here.

Thanks for the suggestions folks. Looks like I have to make a fourth call to Baehr and ask them to run a diagnostic test on the unit.

Rob V.B.
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post #18 of 32 Old May 8th, 2008, 12:04 am
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Just for giggles have you ? ......

Kept all your add on farkles wired in normaly, Yet unplugged the baehr comm at the splice in plugs ?
Are you SURE power drain is the comm system ?

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post #19 of 32 Old May 30th, 2008, 4:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

UPDATE: After trading emails with National Cycle (the State side Distributer for Baehr Product) I finally got them to agree to bench test my unit.

If it does need to be fixed, they will then have to send it to the Fatherland for repair.

I will keep you posted.



heh...heh...I said bench test my unit....



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post #20 of 32 Old Jul 4th, 2008, 9:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Update: After almost a month, I finally called National Cycle to see how they were progressing. They never even sent back to me the return receipt on the package.

It seems that the there was a drain in the silver box part of the unit. Apparently, the previous owner of the Baehr unit had tried to do some home fixing and cross spliced a number of wires. Since I bought the unit from a fellow board member, I really want to think it came botched like that from the factory.

Either way, the unit is definitely f*cked up.

They offered me two solutions- send the unit to Germany for repair with approx. 3-4 months repair time and a bill for the repair. The second solution is to buy one of their test modules for $300. and have the unit in 2-3 days.

Decision time!

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post #21 of 32 Old Jul 4th, 2008, 10:43 am
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Update: After almost a month, I finally called National Cycle to see how they were progressing. They never even sent back to me the return receipt on the package.

It seems that the there was a drain in the silver box part of the unit. Apparently, the previous owner of the Baehr unit had tried to do some home fixing and cross spliced a number of wires. Since I bought the unit from a fellow board member, I really want to think it came botched like that from the factory.

Either way, the unit is definitely f*cked up.

They offered me two solutions- send the unit to Germany for repair with approx. 3-4 months repair time and a bill for the repair. The second solution is to buy one of their test modules for $300. and have the unit in 2-3 days.

Decision time!
I HIGHLY doubt Baehr screwed it up at the factory .... but was as you have stated botched up by someone screwing with the wiring !!
Personally would ask the "Seller" of the used comm to make it right ... i would betcha money they dumped it because they knew it had issues.

Otherwise i would spend the $300 and get it back ASAP. Likely the trip to Germany and back, replacement parts and labor is going to be MORE than that in the end

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post #22 of 32 Old Jul 9th, 2008, 3:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Update to my last Update:

In speaking with Tom from National Cycle, in further testing of the Silver box, it turns out, that is not where the drain is coming from. It may be in the black box. They are trying to get the wiring diagram for the barrel connectors to identify which pin actviates the system to test the black box.

What does this mean- a replacemnt black box is much less expensive than the silver.

This translates to Rob saving some dinero!!!!!!!!!
Happy Dance Time!!!!!!!!!!

They want to do more testing of the units to make sure but they think they've isolated the problem.

Rob V.B.
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post #23 of 32 Old Jul 27th, 2008, 9:56 am Thread Starter
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Unhappy Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Latest update-

Late Friday, I received a voicemail from Tom at National Cycle- the black box is good, no power drain. Basically- he's telling me he system is good and it's my bike that's screwed up somewhere.

My only argument is that since the intercom is out of the bike I've had no problems with the battery.

Now what? I'm going to try to have him exchange my unit for another one for my own sanity. If not, I'm going junk this hunk of crap.

I have two J&M headsets with the lower cables that connect to the Baehr. Will these cables connect to another intercom- say the Autocom or Intraride?

Rob V.B.
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post #24 of 32 Old Jul 27th, 2008, 12:45 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Latest update-

Late Friday, I received a voicemail from Tom at National Cycle- the black box is good, no power drain. Basically- he's telling me he system is good and it's my bike that's screwed up somewhere.

My only argument is that since the intercom is out of the bike I've had no problems with the battery.

Now what? I'm going to try to have him exchange my unit for another one for my own sanity. If not, I'm going junk this hunk of crap.

I have two J&M headsets with the lower cables that connect to the Baehr. Will these cables connect to another intercom- say the Autocom or Intraride?
Too bad about the Baehr.
You can use J&M headsets with other units but you'll have to buy new lowers, just check the J&M website for the ones you're interested in.

Just Go
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post #25 of 32 Old Jul 28th, 2008, 4:46 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

My Verso XL came with specific instructions to splice into a wire that was on ONLY when the ignition was on. So, I spliced into the brake light wire. It said that there was always a constant drain on the battery whether or not the helmet was connected. Maybe Baehr has different operations for different systems.
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post #26 of 32 Old Jul 28th, 2008, 6:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

The Ultima for the Lt simply plugs into the rear speakers- quick and easy. That was the reason I bought it. No need to solder or splice into the harness.

I spoke with them today. They describe all of the tests they did on the silver and black boxes and how it worked as per spec. They believe the problem is with my LT. When I told them since I pulled the intercom in April, no problems with the battery.

I'm going to try it one more time. If it dies, I try to sell it to someone more electronically advanced than myself for a song. Or I'll toss it into a landfill.

FWIW, A++++++++ service from National Cycle. I was very impressed by their technical support teams.

Rob V.B.
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post #27 of 32 Old Jul 31st, 2008, 7:17 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Just finished reinstalling the com system for the final time. Let's start the clock and see how long before I have battery issues.

Rob V.B.
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post #28 of 32 Old Jul 31st, 2008, 7:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

FWIW, I disconnect the helmets and locked the handlebars. I even plugged in the Batterytender. Hopefully, no problems but if their is still a drain, the battery tender should be flickering red before I kill the battery entirely.

On my test ride, the system work flawlessly! It sounds awesome coming through the J&M headset!

Rob V.B.
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post #29 of 32 Old Jul 31st, 2008, 7:38 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

The battery on my 04 GS drains if I do not unplug the www.davidnavone.com power isolator unit I installed to power the Bahre to clean up ignition whine. Thought it was the LED light on the isolator that was draining the battery, maybe not???

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post #30 of 32 Old Jul 31st, 2008, 10:03 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVB1019
Just finished reinstalling the com system for the final time. Let's start the clock and see how long before I have battery issues.
You should not have a problem as long as you do not leave helmets plugged in. Plugging in a helmet is what turns the unit on.
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post #31 of 32 Old Aug 19th, 2008, 12:08 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Well, three weeks and no issues with the battery.

I thinking that it may have been one of the plugs on the Baehr may have been touching the frame or each other causing the unit to kick on. When I got the unit back from National Cycle, each of the plugs were wrapped in some sort of hard plastic cover.

With them covered, no power drain issues? Hmmmmmmmmm.....................

Rob V.B.
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post #32 of 32 Old Aug 20th, 2008, 8:28 pm
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Re: Baehr System- Possible Power Drain

Awesome, glad you can use the Baehr.

Just Go
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