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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"I moved the thread from New Members Introduction Forum to here."

I have just finished a voltmeter for my Goldwing and installed it on left side fairing.


I have calibrated the leds to light up at 10.5volt to 13.8volt first, then I removed the first pin of the IC and connected the first LED directly to the 12v source via 3.9k resistor (the resistor value is important to have the same brightness as the others) thus the operation voltage became 3v-13.8v or more.


Here are some pictures and the circuit diagram.
 

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Looks like quite a project, but like the results. Especially like make good use of the blank CB panel for this and switches.
I've seen something similar to this where the guy installed the string of lights on the cover by the ignition switch.
I'll have to see if I can find the link again and post it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Looks like quite a project, but like the results. Especially like make good use of the blank CB panel for this and switches.
I've seen something similar to this where the guy installed the string of lights on the cover by the ignition switch.
I'll have to see if I can find the link again and post it.
You are right, I have seen that video too. But my circuit is a DIY one. It is a quite simple and low cost one. You may build it for less than 10$. You may adjust the voltage range easily via VR1. Another option is the mode of the LEDs can be chosen as a bar (multiple LEDs on at one time) or a dot (one led on at one time) by connecting/splitting the pin number 9.
 

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That must have been a fun project. I really think the range should be different to include 8 volts to 16 volts. 15-16 volts is the area that shows a voltage regulator gone rogue.


Scott
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yes, when I was calibrating the circuit I did not like that the first LED was going off under 10.5volts. Thus I modified the circuit to read smaller voltages. By using an adjustable voltage source I checked the LEDs, and saw that first LED was getting dimmed as the voltage drops. So you may guess the voltage under 10.5 by looking at the brightness of the first LED. Actually, we still have one pin more (first pin), if you like you may increase the number of LEDs to 11, or even decrease the number of them just removing from the pins, which I did not prefer.

Another option to adjust the low side of the range is changing the value of R2 by using another VR until the first LED (I mean the one when connected to pin 1) lights up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The circuit is based on LM3914 integrated circuit. It is a very common circuit that you may find on Internet. If you are familiar with electronic circuits you will easily build it on a predrilled board. The most difficult part of the project was the design and alignment of the holes. I recommend you use a paper tape on the cover, then mark the points and use smaller size drill bit first and align the holes while enlarging them with a rasp.
 

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Looks good Erdeniz!

Most Automotive LED volt meters I've seen will flag over-volt situations with RED also. If your regulator goes and is supplying 15+ volts, it's cooking your battery. A bad situation you need to also indicate.
 
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After reading a number of posts I am still uncertain when these lights show a discharge and overcharge voltage wise and is why I prefer a digital or analog readout of voltages for precise readings which are easy to read day or night.
 
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JMO,

I will never rely on lights.... I want a Readout that gives me something useful.

Digital is preferable, but a nice clean Analog scale is quite readable too.

Here, is mine showing the battery after about six weeks off charge, and having listened to the radio all day while working in the garage.

The VM is wired direct across the Battery Posts.... it is ON all the time, even with the key off....
that is my preference and it works great. It pulls less than 1 milliAmp so not worth worrying about.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks good Erdeniz!

Most Automotive LED volt meters I've seen will flag over-volt situations with RED also. If your regulator goes and is supplying 15+ volts, it's cooking your battery. A bad situation you need to also indicate.
It is a good idea to have the #10 LED showing over-voltage. It is quite easy to calibrate the last LED to show any voltage you may want to see by rotating VR1. Actually, I thought it when building mine, but I could not be sure what voltage should be the upper limit for Goldwing. If anyone has an experience and info on it I will appreciate that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
After reading a number of posts I am still uncertain when these lights show a discharge and overcharge voltage wise and is why I prefer a digital or analog readout of voltages for precise readings which are easy to read day or night.
Actually it depends on your adjustments. If you have looked at the pictures carefully, in one of them you will see three Amber LEDs. I have tried several times and decided on this configuration.

At one glance you may understand the situation of the battery and the alternator using this voltmeter. For example;

My voltmeter reads from 3 to 10.5 (first one) and from 10.8 to 12.2 at the red ones, meaning the battery voltage is low and requires charging.
12.5 and 13 at the amber ones which I have thought it would be enough to start the engine.
The green ones read from 13.2-13.8 and higher, meaning alternator is fine and charging the battery.

There is a video on YouTube comparing the performance of digital and LED type voltmeters. Most of the digital ones react slower than LED ones. Analog ones are fine also, but still require calibration.
Here is the link:

As a result I will say that it is your decision upon your expectations.
 

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It is a good idea to have the #10 LED showing over-voltage. It is quite easy to calibrate the last LED to show any voltage you may want to see by rotating VR1. Actually, I thought it when building mine, but I could not be sure what voltage should be the upper limit for Goldwing. If anyone has an experience and info on it I will appreciate that.
Anything over 15v is not good.

If the regulator fails I think 20v or more is possible. 15v and 16v are more common.

The stator produces 3 legs of 77v ac could be a little more or less.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JMO,

I will never rely on lights.... I want a Readout that gives me something useful.

Digital is preferable, but a nice clean Analog scale is quite readable too.

Here, is mine showing the battery after about six weeks off charge, and having listened to the radio all day while working in the garage.

The VM is wired direct across the Battery Posts.... it is ON all the time, even with the key off....
that is my preference and it works great. It pulls less than 1 milliAmp so not worth worrying about.



I like the analog ones also. But if you want some action and attraction you will need LEDs as in the VUMETERS when playing music.
 

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I like the analog ones also. But if you want some action and attraction you will need LEDs as in the VUMETERS when playing music.
Cannot argue with that one at all....
and the location of mine is "out of sight, out of mind" during a normal ride.

It is on an 1800, the right fairing just below the pocket. There was a hole there already with a broken analog voltmeter which had to be replaced. So, I was not able to easily look elsewhere to place an analog VM.

The old VM was just connected into the bike's wiring "somewhere inside the fairing" and read about 1 volt lower than the actual battery voltage.

As I am an old electronics technician, I have a severe prejudice against any instrument which does NOT read specifically Accurate.... ie, 12.3 on the meter is the same as 12.3 with a DVM on the battery... so I had to rewire it to battery terminals.

And, I chose an Expanded Scale meter as you can see. Anything below 10 VDC is useless, the starter won't turn anyway.

Likewise, anything higher than 16 just means a severe run away Alternator/Regulator condition.... if it is pegged, something is BAD Wrong.


Also, I do not like the artificial battery voltage you see at Key ON... just to look and see what the battery status is... I want it to be available "all the time".... so, I wired it "direct to the battery terminals".

Now, when I walk by the bike in the garage, I glance at the VM each time, "looks okay" :) and keep on walking.

.
 

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This is the one I use on my bike...

Auto part Transmission part

And here it is mounted on my Texelent Bar

Electronics Electronic device Technology Multimedia Gps navigation device
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That looks nice does it dim for night riding?
We could not get an answer yet for that VM posted by loulou-67.
But I can give an answer for mine. The brightness of the LEDs can be adjusted by the resistor #3 (and R4 for LED #1 on mine) on the circuit. Actually 3.9k is quite fine for the brightness of the LEDs. I have tried the superbright (glass clear) LEDs on the circuit as well, but I did not like their lights because they were illuminating their front rather than spreading around. So I decided to use these glossy LEDs which can be seen from every angle without blinding the rider.
 

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Once again this is a great project. I like to see bike projects, built from parts and pieces to fit your needs, rather than over the counter plug and play. Thanks for sharing that with us. Good job!
 
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