Any Moto-Lite gurus? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2014, 3:11 pm Thread Starter
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Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Dealing with an OLD set of Moto-lites put on by the previous owner so I have no documentation. Over a year ago I replaced the halogen bulbs with the equivalent LED bulbs. All has been fine until recently.

While bleeding my brakes I removed the battery. Put it back in did the TPS reset, etc. When I buttoned everything up and started the motorcycle to make sure all was ok, I noticed both moto-lites pulsing of flickering and then they came on full strength and no pulse or flicker. I noticed it a few more times, almost like they were warming up. Now they are constantly dim in that I can easily look at the four individual LEDs that make up the cluster in each light. At the socket I am getting 5.6 volts DC and expected 12. Connection to the battery is good and fuse is good. I highly doubt that both Chinese LEDs would go out at the same time after the battery being removed. Sadly I no longer have the halogens to try.

Could it be the relay has gone bad? But I'd think that would make them stop working entirely. I've located it but even with the diagram on it I'm not sure how to test it.

All over electrical items work just fine. I like the LEDs. They don't light up much road in front of the motorcycle at night like the halogens did but they sure make you visible in the daytime to oncoming traffic.

I'm open to suggestions.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #2 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2014, 4:08 pm
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

LEDs draw very low current. My guess is that you can test each unit directly from the battery.

Relays in our mcs are used for high current DC that a switch won't handle. Its also safer.

halogen bulbs draw a lot of current to to get the element to glow light. Light Emitting Diodes are a diode, some of which can handle large current, but draw or use little current to emit light.

As to why you are getting less than half the voltage you start with? I don't know. Possibilities are oxidation or corrosion on any place wire meets something else, sockets, relay, that is typical of low current circuits where the current won't break through the blockage like high current will in DC.

thanks to a suggestion on this forum I use electrical grease on socket type connections after I clean them with DeOxIt and or light scraping of the contact points, cleaning with Q-tip and rubbing alcohol followed by Caig ProGold.

Since i have a nice HEAT gun and an assortment of shrink-fit tubing, any connection directly exposed to outside I shrink fit.

bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #3 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2014, 4:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa View Post
LEDs draw very low current. My guess is that you can test each unit directly from the battery.

Relays in our mcs are used for high current DC that a switch won't handle. Its also safer.

halogen bulbs draw a lot of current to to get the element to glow light. Light Emitting Diodes are a diode, some of which can handle large current, but draw or use little current to emit light.

As to why you are getting less than half the voltage you start with? I don't know. Possibilities are oxidation or corrosion on any place wire meets something else, sockets, relay, that is typical of low current circuits where the current won't break through the blockage like high current will in DC.

thanks to a suggestion on this forum I use electrical grease on socket type connections after I clean them with DeOxIt and or light scraping of the contact points, cleaning with Q-tip and rubbing alcohol followed by Caig ProGold.

Since i have a nice HEAT gun and an assortment of shrink-fit tubing, any connection directly exposed to outside I shrink fit.

bob
Thank Bob. It does contribute to my thought that the original relay for the Motolights would either work or it wouldn't and wouldn't work halfway. The puzzling part is the low voltage at the light plug in.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #4 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2014, 5:36 pm
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Chris,

I had a similar problem with my old MotoLights (about 10 years old) some months ago. I'd turn on the switch and they'd come on, but not stay on. They'd come on for a few minutes and go out. My first thoughts were either a bad switch or a bad relay. Since the relay seemed the easiest thing to check (the least effort), I checked that first. When I pulled the relay it was coated with some sort of nasty looking greenish / gray goop. I cleaned the relay spade connectors and the female socket it fits into and coated everything with dielectric grease. Seemed to work well until I ventured out on a long trip that included quite a bit of night riding where I noticed they weren't working all the time.

My next thought was that perhaps some of the goop that was growing on the connectors had found its way up into the relay itself. Stopped by an Autozone and got a replacement relay and it has worked perfectly ever since. Bottom line is I think relays can indeed go bad as mine was intermittent with the old relay and with the new relay all is well.

Bill Edwards
Boerne, TX
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post #5 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2014, 5:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Thanks Bill! It sounds just like what mine are doing. I've been looking on Auto Zone and think I found one but says it's 24 volt. Looks like I'll have to order anything compatible as none are in stock locally.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #6 of 15 Old Jul 9th, 2014, 6:45 pm
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

This should work from Auto Zone .

It is a standard relay just like Moto-Light uses

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #7 of 15 Old Jul 10th, 2014, 11:34 am Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Thanks John but mine have the 5 pronged relay. At least when I remove the fuse wired to the relay the lights don't come on at all, so I've figured it's the right one. I've found it at Auto Zone but none of the local ones have it so I'll have order it and have shipped to the store (free shipping that way).

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #8 of 15 Old Jul 12th, 2014, 2:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

So I'm still perplexed by this. Fuse is OK. Replaced the relay (kudos to Auto Zone for offering to "go in the back" and look for and find a match). Next is the switch. Swapped both bulbs to make sure. I checked the battery connections. In fact I checked the battery connections when I put in a new battery! I had 2 slow starts on my 4 1/2 year old Panasonic AGM today so I decided to put in an Odyssey.

My only next course is to check the switch and follow the wires. For now the switch is just set to off.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #9 of 15 Old Jul 13th, 2014, 6:03 pm
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Have you tried running a test wires from the negative and plus directly to the LEDs? Good idea to fuse the plus wire near the batt terminal, use any fuse equal to or more than the current draw of the LEDS. This is mainly to prevent the wire conducting electricinty if there is a short. attatch the plus wire first, then negative to LEDs and lastly to the batt. Remember LED are diodes and therefor only conduct electricity one way--hook em up backwards and NO light!!

Also remember that LEDs run on low voltage and need a dropping resistor to lower the voltage unless there is an array of LEDs whose combined voltage draw equals 12.5V

the 24v rating is the maximum voltage of the DC portion of the relay, 12V is well below the max voltage. If you look at the wiring diagram on the replay you will see that Normally Open ones all use the same terminals, but it is always best to double check that. they use two terminals for the control and two terminals for the line that is opened or closed. the fifth terminal is to use the replay as a Normally closed switch. the line that is switched has plus controlled line either normally close, ON, and switched to open, OFF, or the other way around.

Once again relays in our situation are used because the switch cannot handle the voltage or current needed for the device being ON or OFF--Or it can simply be that it is less expensive to use a low voltage low current switch and wire to control the device which is not near the switch.

It looks as if Cree auxillary light module draws around 530ma, aprox half and amp, a little over 6 watts but consume 10 watts (dropping resistor)( http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...Specifications)

A 4 cree assembly consumes 13.5 Watts, 1000mA(1.0A) at 13.6V?.

So, as long as your switch can handle the current of your lights, no need for a relay unless you do not want to run the light circuit from where they are to your switch.

To check a relay, simply remove it and then run a jumper between the sockets that are used for the controlled line ON state.

half and amp and above should be enough to break through any oxidation on connections.

SO, how can the voltage of the controlled 13.6V line be less than the voltage in the rest of the LT?? Especially if it is run directly to the battery?

You can check the voltage going into the relay's socket, insert the replay partially and measure the voltage coming out of the relay's terminal and then voltage into the light's socket--there should be any difference since consuming 6v or so will generate some heat? That extra resistance needed to drop that much voltage should over load the fuse if the fuse is the correct value for the current draw of the LEDS.

An H3 halogen bulb is rated at 55 watts, 1450 lumens(http://www.danielsternlighting.com/t...ulb_types.html) controlling two 110 watts at 13 volts, since its dc 110/13V, around 8.5 amps. two 4 cree aux lights, each 678 Lumen, would draw around 27 watts, around half of the halogens.

Best from t'son
bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #10 of 15 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 10:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Sometimes you forget the really obvious things like just going direct to the leads on the bulbs. Thanks for mentioning it. The relay is now a moot point as Auto Zone found the replacement. Since the lights still don't work, it probably wasn't the relay anyway.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #11 of 15 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 11:12 pm
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Chris, what is the power source for this light setup? Powered from battery, relay triggered from other source? It kinda sounds to me like you might have source polarity backwards or have a ground wire issue.

Scott and Theresa
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post #12 of 15 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 7:16 am
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

With my LT I did not have any problems powering the motolights through their relay and switch into a hot source when the key was turned on.

My RT is a different story. I did not wire my motolights but they are powered through a relay and a Phoenix mounted switch. I have to manually turn the lights on because when I start the bike (after waiting about 15 seconds for the system checks), the bulbs do not come back on. Again, they will originally come on with the key, but go out after I start the bike. If I do not shut them off when I shut the key off, they will stay on until the CANBUS system shuts all the electrical down (approximately 45 seconds).
If I switch the Phoenix switch off/on real fast, the lights do not come on. I thought that it may have been caused by the load of the lamps but I replaced them with LED lamps so the power draw is next to nothing.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #13 of 15 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 12:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munmi View Post
Chris, what is the power source for this light setup? Powered from battery, relay triggered from other source? It kinda sounds to me like you might have source polarity backwards or have a ground wire issue.
So far as I can tell without digging too deep is that they are powered through the battery with an ignition source triggering the relay. I know that I can get NO power to them when removing the ground wire from them from the battery and I can trace a hot lead from the relay to the positive lead on the batter. When I get home (currently on a trip) I'll start pulling Tupperware and tracing wires. They were already on the motorcycle when I bought it in 2008 and quite likely have been on it since 2002.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #14 of 15 Old Jul 15th, 2014, 9:01 pm
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

In the mean time you cold try buying one halogen bulb and installing it. If it is bright just install the other one till you can reolace the LED substitutes.

Bob

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post #15 of 15 Old Jul 17th, 2014, 10:19 am Thread Starter
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Re: Any Moto-Lite gurus?

I already tried the halogen replacements and the result was the same. Because of the low voltage at the light and I'm figuring a wiring or ground issue. When I get home with my tools I'll keep trying.

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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