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Discussion Starter #1
Im trying to connect my tail light to my bike. There aew 3 wires running from my break set up, I believe running, break, and the licence plate wire and 3 coming from bike are random colors, the wire is different from previous owner.. One wires silver the others copper... I have tried twisting them all together in diferent orders but I still cant get the light on....


 

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what kind of tail light is it. I just hooked up my CBR heaven IT and it was kinda confusing but I got it down.
 

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Coming from the bike harness the solid green wire is your ground, the green/yellow wire is for the brake light, and the white/black wire is for your tag light.

What I gather from the pictures the yellow green and red wires are coming from your brake/tag light? I would bet money the green one is ground. A scientific wild ass guess... the yellow is probably your tag light power and red is your brake light.

Connect the grounds (solid green wire on bike harness to green wire on brake light), then swap the red and yellow wires back and forth between the G/Y and W/BK wires in your bike harness until it works correctly.

Edit: If you twisted all three wires together you might have popped a fuse. Check all your lighting fuses.

This should be obvious but never connect power to ground. So if you twisted the G/Y and/or the W/BK with the green wire (from the bike harness) you shorted power straight to ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Coming from the bike harness the solid green wire is your ground, the green/yellow wire is for the brake light, and the white/black wire is for your tag light.

What I gather from the pictures the yellow green and red wires are coming from your brake/tag light? I would bet money the green one is ground. A scientific wild ass guess... the yellow is probably your tag light power and red is your brake light.

Connect the grounds (solid green wire on bike harness to green wire on brake light), then swap the red and yellow wires back and forth between the G/Y and W/BK wires in your bike harness until it works correctly.

Edit: If you twisted all three wires together you might have popped a fuse. Check all your lighting fuses.

This should be obvious but never connect power to ground. So if you twisted the G/Y and/or the W/BK with the green wire (from the bike harness) you shorted power straight to ground.
Thanks helps alot I didnt even think of checking fuses but the blinkers work, dont know if its off of the same fuse. Its just really confusing because the previous owner wired up his aftermarket taillight with some random colored wires and just left them on wrapped up in electrical tape so I cant see the merge with stock colors.

The info will be of great help when I get home
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is there any problem with soldering those two diferent wires together? One is silver colored and one is brass colored. Also looks like thickness is off
 

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Is there any problem with soldering those two diferent wires together? One is silver colored and one is brass colored. Also looks like thickness is off
The brass colored wire is copper and the silver colored wire is aluminum. Solder won't stick to aluminum so you will have to use a mechanical splice like a butt splice. Or if it was my bike I would use a wire knot and cover it with heat shrink tubing. I had a link to a great site with electrical wire knots but it looks like that site is down. Just make sure the knot is sturdy enough that the wires make good contact and won't pull apart.

Edit: found it. The knot you want is called the Western Union Splice...

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thats going to be tough with the limited space and short wire that I have :/ I will try though. If I cant get it done do you recomend any kind of splice
 

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You know... the silver colored wire might be tinned copper which would be even better for soldering. Take a knife or something and scratch at the strands and see if they turn copper. If that's the case solder em up.

As far as the wire knot, I usually only strip about an inch of wire to make that splice. Just make sure you make the knot really tight. The heat shrink helps hold it together.

As a last resort you could use a butt splice. I hate those stupid things though, they're messy, huge, and the wires sometimes come out too easy. Just crimp them well and make sure the wires wont pop out when pulled on. Maybe even heat shrink over the butt splice to keep everything tidy.
 

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SOOOOOO I looked at the fuse and it was BLOWN!!!! I replaced it and im still not getting power:cursin: I connected the green and green wire then alternated the other two with each other but I got no power at all... I went back to check the fuse and its not blown.. I dont know what to do im so frustrated:banghead::banghead:
 

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SOOOOOO I looked at the fuse and it was BLOWN!!!! I replaced it and im still not getting power:cursin: I connected the green and green wire then alternated the other two with each other but I got no power at all... I went back to check the fuse and its not blown.. I dont know what to do im so frustrated:banghead::banghead:
the fuse blew because you were randomly mixing and matching the wires at first and you caused a short lol.
figure out what is what on the tail light first, it would help to know what kind it is so you can get the wiring diagram from the manufacturer. Or take a 9 volt battery, stick the green wire onto the neg terminal and then figure out which of the other 2 are the running light and the brake light.
What year is your bike? Do you have a multimeter to test the wires?

and btw, solder will stick to Al fine, just go get some solder paste from a hardware store, you brush a tiny bit on after you twist the wires together and the solder to adhere to the wires with no prob
 

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The brass colored wire is copper and the silver colored wire is aluminum. Solder won't stick to aluminum so you will have to use a mechanical splice like a butt splice. Or if it was my bike I would use a wire knot and cover it with heat shrink tubing. I had a link to a great site with electrical wire knots but it looks like that site is down. Just make sure the knot is sturdy enough that the wires make good contact and won't pull apart.

Edit: found it. The knot you want is called the Western Union Splice...

The silver wire is not aluminium... ally is a very very uncommon choice of conductor usually only used in relatively high current applications (power grids and occasionally homes) or in aircraft due to the significant weight savings.

You will never see ally used in the automotive industry as a result of its less than perfect properties for that application, such as its lack of ability to withstand vibration, issues with galvanic corrosion when joined to another metal such as copper and issues with soldering it...

That silver wire is simply copper that has been tinned with a coating of solder.
 

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the fuse blew because you were randomly mixing and matching the wires at first and you caused a short lol.
figure out what is what on the tail light first, it would help to know what kind it is so you can get the wiring diagram from the manufacturer. Or take a 9 volt battery, stick the green wire onto the neg terminal and then figure out which of the other 2 are the running light and the brake light.
What year is your bike? Do you have a multimeter to test the wires?

and btw, solder will stick to Al fine, just go get some solder paste from a hardware store, you brush a tiny bit on after you twist the wires together and the solder to adhere to the wires with no prob
Although you can solder ally, its not something that is simple to do... there are to many factors to consider for it to be something a beginner can accomplish with any confidence of the resulting join... some of these include the particular ally alloy used which affects the temperature of soldering and the choice of flux, the metal that it is being soldered to - again affecting the choice of flux, the chosen method of reliably removing oxides from the surfaces to be soldered - important otherwise wetting of the joint will not occur and the physical of the join to be made - this will affect the mechanical stresses the join can withstand and have a significant affect on how well the join resists corrosion, both as a result of exposure to atmosphere and galvanic.
 

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The silver wire is not aluminium... ally is a very very uncommon choice of conductor usually only used in relatively high current applications (power grids and occasionally homes) or in aircraft due to the significant weight savings.

You will never see ally used in the automotive industry as a result of its less than perfect properties for that application, such as its lack of ability to withstand vibration, issues with galvanic corrosion when joined to another metal such as copper and issues with soldering it...

That silver wire is simply copper that has been tinned with a coating of solder.
Yeah I mentioned he should check to see if its tinned copper. I'm surprised to hear that you haven't encountered aluminum wiring more frequently Nico. I come a crossed it all the time (and I figured out the hard way how much of a PITA it is to solder). The most common place I find it is cheap computer parts, i.e. power supplies. I will hack a connector off and use it for something only to discover I can't solder the wires.

Here's a thread derail question directed at Nico, is alu wire used for high frequency (and voltage) applications like RF antenna conductors and CCFL's? It seems like this stuff utilizes alu wiring more in my experience. I'm wondering if the conduction characteristics of alu make it ideal for these applications.
 

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Yeah I mentioned he should check to see if its tinned copper. I'm surprised to hear that you haven't encountered aluminum wiring more frequently Nico. I come a crossed it all the time (and I figured out the hard way how much of a PITA it is to solder). The most common place I find it is cheap computer parts, i.e. power supplies. I will hack a connector off and use it for something only to discover I can't solder the wires.
Never found it in computers before... the stuff is crap for anything that requires flex and other than waveguide its not very often I deal with something that doesn't need to flex... but even the waveguide I work with has flexible sections.

A strange one that I do come across though is copper beryllium...
 

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That silver wire is simply copper that has been tinned with a coating of solder.
Although you can solder ally, its not something that is simple to do... there are to many factors to consider for it to be something a beginner can accomplish with any confidence of the resulting join... some of these include the particular ally alloy used which affects the temperature of soldering and the choice of flux, the metal that it is being soldered to - again affecting the choice of flux, the chosen method of reliably removing oxides from the surfaces to be soldered - important otherwise wetting of the joint will not occur and the physical of the join to be made - this will affect the mechanical stresses the join can withstand and have a significant affect on how well the join resists corrosion, both as a result of exposure to atmosphere and galvanic.
I never realized that the aluminum colored wire could be tinned copper wire, It is usually rather stiff for its gauge whenever i have come across it so that makes sense. I usually just use solder paste number 5 and a reg soldering station, and heat shrink, usually gets the job done right. I do get what youre saying though nico, the joint might not be solid and the wires could pull apart from vibration and stress but i usually leave enough slack so thats not a problem, hopefully anyway lol
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is a tail light that comes with the hyperflo exhaust. The only info it gives in the manual that came with the exhaust is

"Connect the solid green wire to the solid green wire on the tail light. Connect the white wire to the brown wire on the tailligh and the green wire with yellow stripe to the yellow wire on the taillight."

I connected the green to green obviously then alternated the two other wires with no luck.

I was just connecting them with my fingers though that should run enough current to light it up yea?
 

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well the wire set up on the left isnt the oem setup, that looks like a mess. Yes, as long at the wires are contacting eachother, it should be working. either the tail light doesnt work, or is no power going to those wires coming from what used to be the harness. Like i said before, if you got a 9v battery laying around, test the tail light out with that just to confirm its working so you can rule that out. Then you have to figure out whats going on with those wires from the bike, this is where a multimeter would come in handy, or at least one of those cheap LED current testers you can get in a hardware store.
 
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