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Hi Everyone,

I have just upgraded my instrument cluster to LEDs for the backlighting. Also, for the idiot lights I used LEDs too. Like mentioned in this post, the FUEL, and 2 cruise lights come on and stay on when LED's are used. See post 24 and 25 from this link... http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum4/112151-2.html .

Has anyone found a fix for this or know why it is happening? I currently have the front end off the bike replacing the instrument cluster and speakers. I want to know if there is a fix for this before I have to go back to the old bulbs and button everything up.

Tim.
 

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I won't bore you by going into the technical details of why it's happening, but I did mine as well, and solved the problem by putting resistors in parallel with the LEDs.

On the two cruise lights, I used 1K, 1/4 watt resistors. For the low fuel light, I used a 470 ohm, 1/2 watt (important!) resistor.

The low fuel light I recently discovered still comes on very slightly at high ambient temperatures, so I might recommend going even a bit lower with that one, perhaps 400 ohms or so.
 

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BINGO!!

You wouldn't bore me at all. I have those resistors right here I would think. I didn't think those circuits were that "load" sensitive.

Thanks GS!

Tim.
 

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For those particular bulb sockets, they can be reached without having to pull the dash. Take off the ignition cover and you may possubly have to remove those 2 long covers next to the radio surround but then you can reach in under the dash and remove them. It's a little tight but doable
 

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pwhoever wrote:
For those particular bulb sockets, they can be reached without having to pull the dash. Take off the ignition cover and you may possubly have to remove those 2 long covers next to the radio surround but then you can reach in under the dash and remove them. It's a little tight but doable
You have to remove the dash if you're going to put resistors on those three LEDs though.
 

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I agree. The dash has to come off to get at things. Ain't nothing delicate and dainty about my hands!!! Who needs a catchers mit!!

I have things tore apart to mount new speakers and I can remove the dash in 2 seconds.
 

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I think to do it right, I will put the resistors on the back of the connectors that are on the dash.



Tim.
 

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I did things a little different when I added my LED's to the dash.

I kept the high beam as a incandescent bulb. I didn't want the brightness to be too much at night. I also kept the signal light indicators in bulb form. They don't get used much so they don't get dark and burn out very often. Also, the two smaller bulbs that light up the LCD panel I did not convert either. It's hard to get a good LED that small that is multi directional enough to light up what it should in there.

The rest I used LEDs for.

What I did different was to use Natural White LEDs. I cut an empty white vitamin container open and cut white circles of plastic and used a smidgen of clear silicone to fix them to the LED clusters. The Natural White gives the same effect as a florescent light backlighting the dash. The extra plastic softens up the light and diffuses it a bit so there are no bright spot on the gauges. I am real anal about that.

Of course I have washed everything down and cleaned it up before starting the work. I made sure the white plastic of the dash was as clean as possible.

Here is one of the LED clusters with one of its "caps" on...

 

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Here is the dash with power and no front bezel on. You can see the white is really "WHITE" compared to the "YELLOW" of the two incandescent bulbs above and below the LCD panel.

No tripod here guys... sorry about the blurriness. Had to hold the camera by hand.

 

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With the bezel...

 

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The vitamin bottle...
 

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I'll post back with the results of the Resistors and how I installed them. Probably a few pictures too! hahaha



Tim.
 

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I just sliced into the wires leading to the LEDs themselves, put the resistors in place, and heat-shrink-tubed it back together.

I like your idea about the diffuser - I've got hot spots on my gauges right now for exactly that reason. I had meant to fix it before putting it all back together...but forgot. And now that it's all together and it's nice riding weather, well, let's just say I'm less than motivated to do something about it right now. I'll fix it once the weather goes bad at the end of the season.

I did replace ALL of the lights in my dash with LEDs. The impetus to do it in the first place was the fact that I had three lights burned out. I just don't want to have to pull the dash apart again to replace them in future.

The high beam is fairly bright, but not super bright at night - and when I'm riding, the chin bar of my helmet blocks those lights unless I actually look down, so I'm not that worried about it. Maybe I'll diffuse it the same way I do the dash lights in the fall.

By the way, I love your garage door opener - I have the exact same thing on my bike:



Even down to the wires coming out the side and the black zip tie holding it all together. I have mine mounted differently however. The remote itself is mounted under the badge on the ignition key bridge, and I have a momentary-off-momentary SPDT switch mounted up next to the ignition key (also on the bridge) that lets me open either garage door.
 

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Hey GS,

My garage door remote is wire tied to a relay and that relay is powered by an ACC circuit. That way the only time it can be activated is when the key is in the ignition of the bike. A little extra security.

I used an old trunk opener switch from an old GM car we had long ago because it had a neat icon on it. Hahahaha

I cannibalize everything electronic. I mounted the switch, along with others where my CB use to be. CB was removed and I will sell it later - useless junk as far as I am concerned.

Anyhow... looks like this now...

Tim.
 

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THEORY BEHIND THE RESISTORS:

Here's why the cruise and fuel lights stay on when using LEDS.

In those circuits there is some leakage current through the lamps. Incandescent lamps will not glow because the current is very low, too low to light the filament and the cold filaments act like a short circuit.

The LEDS will emit light once their threshold voltage, anywhere from 1.2-3.7 volts depending on color, is exceeded and because they are efficient they can emit enough light to be deceptively on.

The resistor in parallel with the LEDS bleeds the leakage current around the led so that the voltage across the resistor is less than the threshold voltage to turn on the LED. When the LED/resistor sees the full 12 volts the LED lights and the resistor is for all intents and purposes irrelevant.

The value of the resistor is found by experiment. It needs to be small enough to make the voltage across the led to be lower than the threshold. But the smaller the resistance is the more current it will carry when it gets full voltage to light it and then it gets hotter. So the highest resistance that will extinguish the light with the running voltage at it's max it the value you want because it will keep the heat down when the full running voltage is on it.

The values mentioned here work. Why different? Different leakage current.

The power rating of the resistors has to be high enough to not burn out with 12 volts across it. Power = Voltage squared/Resistance. Example for 470 ohm resistor: Using 14.2 volts as the running voltage 14.2 X 14.2 = 201.64 then 201.64/470 ohms =.429 watts 1/2 watt covers it especially if it can get ventilation. 201.64/1000 ohms= .201 watts so 1/4 watt is enough. You can always go up in wattage rating.
 

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OK I did the Led change over. 4 hrs work to change a few lightbulbs. oy.
I went with blue back light but I should have gone white so I didn't lose the red line on the tach.

The blue hi beam led is too bright at night. I don't want to take the dash apart again for that but I have to do something.

One added benefit is getting a green flash when going through neutral as the leds are much faster than the filament bulbs.

I put in a hi bight led for the marker lights, which now standout as cool white between the orange turn signals and the soft white headlight. I think that should enhance visibility.

The standstill lights can be bright and should be but cruising lighting more muted.

Other than that I am so dazzled by the display I almost forgot to look at the road.
 

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Resistor alternative

I don't like the idea of bypass resistors for the cruise and fuel indicators. When I retrofit my wing, I plan on experimenting with zener diodes in series to cutoff a small amount of voltage without effecting the intensity level of the led bulb.
 

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Hey guys,

I know this is an old thread but I just wanted to update it with some new info I've come across.

In rebuilding a KLR 650 for my son, there is nothing I am not touching from the license plate holder to the front fender and everything in between.

One of the things I got crossed off my list was to clean the instrument cluster - on the inside. Both the tachometer and the speedometer had quite a bit of dust on their faces so I ripped it all apart and started cleaning. I love cleaning and detailing.

I was going to replace the cluster lights with LED as it was quite dim with only 1 of the 3 lights working. Being on a budget with this rebuild, LEDs were not a necessity. I had some new bulbs here anyway that I could put in so I replaced all 3 of them, put it back together and when I finally got it back on the bike I found out one of the new bulbs were not working... a damaged filament. I knew Jeremy really wanted LEDs.

I routed around in my electronics parts boxes and found I had a strip of red LEDs that was exactly the length I needed! It turned out better than any of the LED "bulb" replacements I have seen. There are no hotspots in this cluster now. It is bright in all light conditions except direct sunlight which is what you would expect. The light is very even and it cost me nothing to make this change.

The LED change can be done on ours like this too. I'd use a strip of white LEDs for our bike though. Our dash has a little bit of color in it while Jeremys is basically all orange. One really nice thing about this is that you would not need to make something up to diffuse the LED light. Bouncing the LED light off the walls of the cluster would automatically eliminate the hotspots.

I simply routed the wiring to the connector and spliced it in so this unit is self contained and no new connectors are needed. I have not seen anyone else do this with led light strips.

The pictures are a little blurry as I did not use a tripod and the light conditions were low with no flash. I can tell you that in "real life" this cluster is bright and clear. I kept the "Neutral", "Turn" and "High Beam" lights incandescent as they were. The neutral bulb is only on for a minute or so at a time, replacing the signal light indicator with LEDs has issues you have to account for and the high beam indicator is way too bright for night time use with an LED in there. Way to distracting.

Tim
 

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