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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Intro

Now I found a couple of threads on this, but they were a couple of years old and I wasn't much of a fan of the method they used, one was using the un-rectified output of the alternator to switch a relay, and another was a timer based solution.

My controller monitors the battery voltage to decide if the headlights should be on or not.
What I have based my design on is the fact that before the bike starts you have at most 12.5V in the system and once your running and charging the battery you have around 14V.
The aim is that by monitoring the battery voltage, when the circuit senses the voltage getting above a threshold value the headlights turn on, and then stay that way.

Parts List

Here is a parts list of what you will need to build this controller with prices in $AU (and part numbers for jaycar)



To this you will have to add the cost of whatever you choose to protect your circuit with, for mine I have chosen to pot it to ensure a completely watertight seal, cost of around $3 for the box and around $35 for the potting compound - but I had way to much of that!

Power Consumption

The circuit in its standby condition only draws around 45mA, so is a hell of a lot more efficent than the headlights, once triggered it draws around 300mA, but that will change dramaticly depending on what relay you choose to use.

Basic Functional Description:

The schematic of the circuit you will be building:



The description:

Reference Voltage

R2 and the zener set up a reference point well below the minimum voltage the bike will operate under any normal circumstance (6.8V). The value of R2 is set to limit the current through the zener to just above its minimum current to allow it to operate at the correct voltage. In this case around 38mA

Voltage Sensing

R1 is a 20k potentiometer set to give an output at the wiper of around 6.3V with the bike off and around 7.3 with the bike running.

Comparator

IC1 is set up as a comparator with no feedback (open loop) to allow the output to swing between rails. The output will swing from around 10V to around 2V when the voltage at the -ve input goes above the reference (ie once the bike starts)

Inverter

IC2 is a 555 timer set up as an inverter. When you start the bike and cause the output of IC1 to swing to 2V this will cause the output of IC2 to go from 0V up to 12V applying power to K1 via D2.
The reason for doing this instead of simply swapping the inputs to IC1 is that the 555 can sink and source up to 200mA at its output compared to 20mA for the comparator (IC1), and due to the output of the comparator only swinging between roughly 2V and 10V I found it a lot simpler than setting up a transistor to allow full rail voltage swing (0V - 12V)

The Output

Once 12V is applied to K1 via D2 its contacts will make causing 12V to be applied via D3 latching the relay on regardless of what the voltage on the output of IC2 is. D2 is required to prevent the current being supplied via D3 from flowing into the output of IC2 when K1 is latched and IC2's output goes low. D3 is required to prevent the current being supplied via D2 from trying to drive the load (your lights) thereby exceeding the rated output current of IC2 and possibly pulling its voltage below what is required to activate K1.

Resetting the Controller

Finally the controller will reset when power is removed ie:
When you turn the key off, or;
When you stop the bike with the kill switch and then hit the starter (with the kill switch still in the stop position).

Building the Controller

To build it you will need everything on the parts list, some things may be substituted, or different values used, and feel free to ask if your not sure about something.
First step is to print off the schematic diagram, after that you just follow it and hook everything up as it says. You will need to cut the tracks on the bottom of the vero board to ensure everything is hooked up right, and there is plenty of info out there on the net about soldering and the like so I wont go into that here.

Some pictures of the finished circuit:
The last ones are of the enclosure I used and the potting compound.


















To Be continued in the next post...

Nico
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Part 2

Set up Procedure

To save confusion:
When I say turn the bike on, I mean only the key. (kill switch doesn't matter)
When I say start the bike that’s when you fire her up!

When turning the pot slowly you may hear the relay chattering, this is nothing to be concerned about, just move the pot a little further and it will sort itself out, the relay should not chatter during normal operation (once you have it set up properly)

Step 1:
Hook it up as per the schematic ensuring that your relay is rated for the headlight, if you look at the photos of the one I built you will see the yellow box, that small relay runs the big one bolted to the back

Step 2:
Testing the board, With the bike off turn the pot fully clockwise. Turn the bike on, if the headlight comes on, then turn the pot fully counter clockwise and turn the bike off and back on again.
Now your pot will be on the stop one way or the other, with the bike on slowly turn the pot until the headlight comes on. If this works then you have a working circuit ready for tuning so proceed to step 3, otherwise check out you circuit to see where you may have gone wrong i.e. bridged solder connections, incorrect component orientation (pay particular attention to the diodes and ICs), over heated something when you soldered it together (blown up components and or dry joints), or maybe just wired it up wrong. In the case of the last I find it helpful to print the schematic off and red pen each connection as I make it.

Step 3:
Next place a multimeter on pin 2 of the 741 op-amp, note this voltage, and slowly turn the pot so that the meter reads 0.25V to 0.5V below the original reading. If you don’t have a multimeter then you can turn the pot back a very small amount in the opposite direction to what you did to cause the lights to come on in step 2.

Step 4:
Turn the bike off to reset the circuit and test it out!
- Turn the bike on, no headlights
- Start the bike and the headlights turn on

Installing the Controller on the Bike

For starters you will need to know where to wire it in so for that I have drawn it onto the bikes schematic.
Just cut at the red lines and wire it up as shown, please note that this is for an 04RR






I have installed mine under the left hand side fairing with a waterproof connector, I had to move the relays to get it in there but here is what it looks like on the bike:







Enjoy your lights - this could be used for any load on the bike btw (or in a car for that matter)

Nico
 

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Why not just:
1) Put key in bike
2) Hold down starter button
3) Turn on ignition with starter held in

Same end result, only this "mod" is free, and doesn't require you to waste hours of your life with fussing with the electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why not just:
1) Put key in bike
2) Hold down starter button
3) Turn on ignition with starter held in

Same end result, only this "mod" is free, and doesn't require you to waste hours of your life with fussing with the electronics.
Just because I can... electronics is my job and my hobby so I consider the time well spent

I will also have my angel eyes on only when the bike is off, in Sydney your not allowed to have a blue light on the front of a bike (or car) when its running, thats what the yellow line on the wiring diagram is.

Nico
 

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Why not just:
1) Put key in bike
2) Hold down starter button
3) Turn on ignition with starter held in

Same end result, only this "mod" is free, and doesn't require you to waste hours of your life with fussing with the electronics.
Maybe I'm just anal, but I could never do that to my bike. It's not letting the fuel pump prime, it's not letting the gauges go through their self test, good way to get a power spike and fry something.... that just seems like a horrible idea all around
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So for those of you who may be thinking of building this, you can appreciate the fact that once you pot it in you can no longer adjust it - could be a problem.

So in order to overcome this you will need a 1W resistor and a relay. Depending on which direction you wish to adjust in will depend on where you put the resistor ect.
If your headlights are coming on before you have started the bike then you need to wire it up as shown in the schematic below, if they wont come one at all then you need to wire the resistor (and relay contacts) into the GND line instead.

The schematic:




Nico
 

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Maybe I'm just anal, but I could never do that to my bike. It's not letting the fuel pump prime, it's not letting the gauges go through their self test, good way to get a power spike and fry something.... that just seems like a horrible idea all around
It's really not. There is a guy on here that has been doing it for years, I first got the idea from him in one of the zillion "how to keep your headlights from turning on" threads that litter this board. I'm not going to find it for you. It's an old post on an old thread. Anywas, I've been doing it ever since I installed my HIDs, and it works flawlessly.

So what if the fuel pump is taking a few more tenths of a second to prime? What exactly is that going to do to your bike? I'll try to answer for your: your theory should suggest that it takes longer for fuel to get to the engine as it is cranking over, no? That's ********. Mine doesn't take any longer to start up using my method versus using the conventional starting method. Ever if it did take a little longer, SO WHAT? The battery has to crank a couple more cycles. Boo hoo. That's why mine lives on a battery tender. As far as your inflammatory "good way to get a power spike and fry something," care to back that up with some actual evidence instead of just fear mongering conjecture? Lastly, you're a Colts fan. END OF STORY.:crackup:

But since Nico seems to be an electrician by trade, I'd like to hear from him on the possibility of "power spikes" and "frying" things.
 

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I wish I was as smart as you............... If you come up with more please post. I will not mock anyone for going the extra yard especially if they enjoy doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
But since Nico seems to be an electrician by trade, I'd like to hear from him on the possibility of "power spikes" and "frying" things.

Ok, (IMO)

I'm not actually an electrician, by trade I'm an electronics technician. I maintain and repair high power RADAR, satellite and inertial navigation systems.

The chances of power spikes occurring as a result of starting the bike the way you suggest are negligible. BUT power spikes can (and regularly do) damage a vehicle's electrical system, the way this most commonly happens is people start their car/bike then disconnect the battery. The battery acts as a really big buffer to prevent high over-voltage conditions occurring.

While we are on the subject of that old thread one of the posts suggested running a diode directly off one of the windings - This I would strongly advise against as placing that much AC voltage into the system is a long term recipe for disaster. Its exactly why you have a regulator in the first place!

However I'm with Duff in that I don't want to treat my bike this way (however ridiculous it is). I like to let it all prime ect. ect. and then start er up, I also don't let the revs get up to high before its warmed up a bit. But I don't leave it in the driveway idling to get warm either...

Anyway thats my 2c

BTW fteac70 you don't have to be smart you just have to have had a chance to learn, unless your Jessica Simpson - then you have no hope and probably shouldn't own a bike anyway...
As for more, I have just finished making the circuit board for a power friendly indicator flash rate fix, just have to put the components on it and its done - and it measures a small (LBH) 1.25" x 0.6" x 0.15", which is about twice the size of my thumb nail and draws less than 2mA (about 1700 times less power than the resistor method). hopefully it works!
 

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Anyone know where we can get all these parts in the US? I'd like to try this. I've tried Digikey and Jameco and it doesn't seem like they have everything. I'd also like to get things from one place instead of having to order from multiple places.
 

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Nico,

I too am trained in the Electronic Field only since the stupid military has gone to COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) for troubleshooting and repair, I have since not been able to play or learn any fun stuff with electronics. So as I gain experience in my job I am losing the knowledge I was originally taught.

I don't pay attention to how smart Jessica is, I just want to bang the crap out of her over and over again and then take a hell of a lot of nude pics of her on my bike. Then do it again. Like I care if she thinks buffalos have wings.
I appreciate the fact that some people obviously enjoy their work and hobby enough to share it. Good Day, Mate.
 

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Anyone know where we can get all these parts in the US? I'd like to try this. I've tried Digikey and Jameco and it doesn't seem like they have everything. I'd also like to get things from one place instead of having to order from multiple places.
Have just done a quick search and Digikey has everything you need, just search for the part number that is under the description heading - not the jaycar part number, the only one you may have trouble with is the relay but if you search for "255-2815-ND" you should find it no worries.

Let me know how you go! And if you have any questions just ask.

Nico
 

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Have just done a quick search and Digikey has everything you need, just search for the part number that is under the description heading - not the jaycar part number, the only one you may have trouble with is the relay but if you search for "255-2815-ND" you should find it no worries.

Let me know how you go! And if you have any questions just ask.

Nico
I had trouble looking for the potentiometer. I wasn't sure which one to use. Everything else I found ok. Thanks for the help. I don't know when I'm going to try this but I know I will.
 

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Do a search for "490-2976-ND", it will do you just fine.
 

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I am an electrician and there is nothing wrong with what he did. you are more likely to damage your system from doing exactly what he said" starting the bike/car and then disconnecting the battery. Seems he likes doing it and just wanted to share his efforts, no need to down a man for his passion, after all, don't we all spend countless hours tinkering with our bikes? Thumbs up on the mod Nico.:+1:
Ok, (IMO)

I'm not actually an electrician, by trade I'm an electronics technician. I maintain and repair high power RADAR, satellite and inertial navigation systems.

The chances of power spikes occurring as a result of starting the bike the way you suggest are negligible. BUT power spikes can (and regularly do) damage a vehicle's electrical system, the way this most commonly happens is people start their car/bike then disconnect the battery. The battery acts as a really big buffer to prevent high over-voltage conditions occurring.

While we are on the subject of that old thread one of the posts suggested running a diode directly off one of the windings - This I would strongly advise against as placing that much AC voltage into the system is a long term recipe for disaster. Its exactly why you have a regulator in the first place!

However I'm with Duff in that I don't want to treat my bike this way (however ridiculous it is). I like to let it all prime ect. ect. and then start er up, I also don't let the revs get up to high before its warmed up a bit. But I don't leave it in the driveway idling to get warm either...

Anyway thats my 2c

BTW fteac70 you don't have to be smart you just have to have had a chance to learn, unless your Jessica Simpson - then you have no hope and probably shouldn't own a bike anyway...
As for more, I have just finished making the circuit board for a power friendly indicator flash rate fix, just have to put the components on it and its done - and it measures a small (LBH) 1.25" x 0.6" x 0.15", which is about twice the size of my thumb nail and draws less than 2mA (about 1700 times less power than the resistor method). hopefully it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am an electrician and there is nothing wrong with what he did. you are more likely to damage your system from doing exactly what he said" starting the bike/car and then disconnecting the battery. Seems he likes doing it and just wanted to share his efforts, no need to down a man for his passion, after all, don't we all spend countless hours tinkering with our bikes? Thumbs up on the mod Nico.:+1:
Thanks Mate.

Alright cool. Thanks man.
My pleasure, happy to help.
And when your done can you post up some pics of your build?

Nico
 
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