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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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My 1989 1500 does not have a volt meter. I plan on adding some running lights - and who knows - maybe a ring of fire - Little worried about eh strain on the electrical system. Bought the volt meter and am not sure where to make the connections. Ideas? Thanks guys

Mike

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2007 midnight blue GL 1800
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 09:15 PM
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Mjohnson, there are a switched positive and negative post with screws at the front of the fuse box that you can use to hook up the voltmeter. At least this is true on an 84 Aspencade (Twisty shared this with me a couple of months ago). If I am incorrect I am sure there is someone who will come along and point you in the right direction. Randy

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 09:39 PM
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mjohnson wrote:
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My 1989 1500 does not have a volt meter. I plan on adding some running lights - and who knows - maybe a ring of fire - Little worried about eh strain on the electrical system. Bought the volt meter and am not sure where to make the connections. Ideas? Thanks guys

Mike

I thought that 1500's had an alternator and lots of extra capacity in it, even at low RPM's

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 10:01 PM
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The 1500s do have an automotive alternator though they don't charge a lot at idle. It's unlikely you'd overload it unless a LOT of extra lights were hooked up. However a voltmeter is always a nice thing to have to keep an eye on possible future problems. The easiest way to hook one up would be to ground one end of the meter and with a piece of wire connected to the positive end of the meterprobe the fuse box for a circuit that only comes on when the key is on. When found, that's where you connect.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 06:04 PM
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I just installed a volt meter on my 85 and crimped "u" ends, one to the red and one to the black wires on the volt meter. I hooked them up to the ACC terminals on the fuse box. This turns on/off the volt meter with the switch as Twisty had said and saved battery drain. By wireing it up to the acc terminal, I did not have to put a relay (to turn it on and off wth the switch)in line with the meter if I hooked it directly to the battery

I then measured the voltage at my battery with the rpm's at 3,300 and had 13.81 volts. I then measured the voltage at the acc terminal and measured 13.69 volts. I wanted to see if there was a significant difference between the two and if there was, I would have found more accurate wires to hook the volt meter to.

My voltage does not go to 14 volts now since I installed a new r/r yesterday.My old one before itmelted andburned up went to 15+ volts sometimes at 3,300 rpm's.

Hope this helps.








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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 11:40 PM
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The difference between 13.81, and 13.69 is quite acceptable.... Some bikes have a volt and a┬* half difference, at the ACC terminal (as mine did )... Now its all relative, of course...┬* But my Graphical Voltmeter is about 10 bars of coloured idiot lights, and I wanted it to be lighting up the green┬* bars,at least...┬* You need a relayed, switched , large wire (12 GA ) to get good┬* readings..... and I found all three by using one of the┬* output legs of the EC harness┬* relay leg ... (if you have installed an EC┬* or DC harness┬*SilverDave┬*[img]/forums/images/emoticons/emoticonsxtra/cooldj.gif[/img]

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2005, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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So . . . Do I run the black(neg) to the- of the battery and the Red (pos) to the + of the accessory terminal of the fuse panel? I am a little thick and need the answer in real clear terms. Today I ran both red and black to the accessory terminals (+ -)the voltagedoesn't seem to change much even at high rpms? Thanks guys

Mike

youth is wasted on the young

2007 midnight blue GL 1800
1976 Kawasaki KZ900 - my baby
1989 1500 goldwing
1986 Honda Rebel - wife\'s bike
2011 Can Am Spyder RT = wife's other bike
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-25-2005, 02:31 AM
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The - lead on your meter can go to the negative post on the battery, but it's not necessary, it can justbe grounded to a convenient screw or bolt. The size of the wires to the voltmeter really don't need to be very large, a volt meter typically draws well less than one thousandth of an amp. With that slightcurrent flow a 22ga. wire will drop the voltage very little more than a 12ga. So you can install it with whatever piece of wire that strikes your fancy. I'd use 18ga. but that's just my way. If you were installing an ammeter then the story would be different as they handle large current flows. As for the change in voltage with the engine off and running it's not a very large change in the reading, it's actually less than a 10% change from a nominal12V at the battery to 14V with the engine running at 4000rpm, so don't expect to see a large change.

The way to use a voltmeter on a vehicle is not so much the absolute voltage shown on the meter. What you are looking for is a change in the normal operation. If it goes lower than normal with the engine off or it is lower or higher than normal with the engine running. You don't know what the actual temperature is on the temperature gauge, you are just looking for abnormal changes there and that's what the voltmeter is for.

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