red light changer


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sapps
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red light changer

Postby sapps » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:39 pm



since I'm new to biking, I was wondering what are your thoughts on these products. are they too good to be true.



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themainviking
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Re: red light changer

Postby themainviking » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:30 am

Fire departments have them, but they are highly illegal for almost anyone else. If you can buy one on the open market, I would suspect a bit of a scam.
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WingAdmin
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Re: red light changer

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:38 am

There are two different kinds.

The kind themainviking is talking about is a type of strobe light that flashes at a specific frequency. This is picked up by the traffic light signals which switches them immediately into emergency mode, to allow the emergency vehicle through. All directions are turned red except for the direction the vehicle is travelling, which turns green.

The other kind is a magnet or coil that you stick on the bottom of your frame. The idea is that it causes the in-road induction coils to pick up the presence of your bike - which is sometimes not picked up, as they are intended to pick up the large metal mass of an automobile.

This is rarely a problem with Goldwings, which have a fair mass of metal in them. I have never seen a report on these units that stated that they could identify them as having any effect whatsoever.

A large majority of intersection control systems now use cameras mounted next to the lights instead of the in-road sensors, so these types of devices are going to be obsolete anyway.

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themainviking
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Re: red light changer

Postby themainviking » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:44 am

Aha... I have heard of these before and discounted them as snake oil. I have been stuck in a turn lane for a while when the bike would not trigger the signal, but the law says sit for two cycles and then a person is clear to proceed when safe to do so - at least where I live. So it is wait for four minutes or buy something which may or may not work. My time is not that precious. Sorry to the original poster, but I did not even think of this type of traffic light changer when you asked.
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virgilmobile
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Re: red light changer

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:31 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
The other kind is a magnet or coil that you stick on the bottom of your frame. The idea is that it causes the in-road induction coils to pick up the presence of your bike - which is sometimes not picked up, as they are intended to pick up the large metal mass of an automobile. .


Funny you mentioned this...In the fine state of Louisiana...motorcycle riders are allowed to proceed through a red light after stopping(and traffic allows) if the rider determines that the red light is controlled by the "in road induction coil"...Lawmakers here are also riders and have been stuck at a never turning signal till a car comes up and triggers the light...

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sapps
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Re: red light changer

Postby sapps » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:21 pm

I was talking about the legal one the wing admin was referring to. glad to hear that it maybe unnecessary to buy or install one.

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Fiberthree
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Re: red light changer

Postby Fiberthree » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:54 pm

I personally wouldn't want a magnet under my ride. Think of all the metal debris that it could pick up and then possibly drop in front of the rear tire. I've had enough dry wall screws and nails doing damage to my tires without trying to actively attract them.
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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: red light changer

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:37 pm

Virginia law states: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a driver of a motorcycle or moped or a bicycle rider approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light, the driver or rider may proceed through the intersection on a steady red light only if the driver or rider (i) comes to a full and complete stop at the intersection for two complete cycles of the traffic light or for two minutes, whichever is shorter, (ii) exercises due care as provided by law, (iii) otherwise treats the traffic control device as a stop sign, (iv) determines that it is safe to proceed, and (v) yields the right of way to the driver of any vehicle approaching on such other highway from either direction.

I think this is a fairly recent "code" change. I have experienced this "problem" on several lighter motorcycles, but not on a Goldwing. Obviously, I haven't ridden through lights in every part of the state. I always thought the lights were triggered by weight. I didn't know it was mass that made the light switch.

Maybe someone can tell me the best place to approach the light trigger? I can generally see the outline of where the device seems to be by the shape of the "cut-lines" in the road surface. Should I be dead-center on the sensor?
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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SlowTyper
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Re: red light changer

Postby SlowTyper » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:19 pm

The short answer = straddle the left or right side of the rectangular loop.

I have seen three forms of emergency vehicle traffic light control. 1) a wire from the police station connects to all the signals on main street; an operator at the station flips a switch and all the lights go to their programmed indication. 2) A product (made by 3M) detects a strobe light flashing at a precise rate, and commands the signal to go to a pre-programmed indication. 3) A radio signal is used to send a command to the traffic signal, telling it which of several pre-programmed indications it should display. The advantage of this last method is that the emergency vehicle operator can choose selections on the fly, such as green one direction, or left turn arrow only, or All Red, etc.

I am aware of two common types of vehicle detection for actuated traffic signals (there are pre-timed signals which work best in town & actuated signals which work best for randomly arriving vehicles; unfortunately, actuated signals are used in a majority of situations despite pre-timed being more efficient on an artery). 1) Cameras, usually mounted on the signal cross arm, and 2) Metal detectors, mounted in the pavement.

The metal detector type is most common, and when the wire detection loop is cut into existing pavement they are quite visible. This loop of wire is typically 6x6 in size, and consists of 2-3 turns of wire. The electronics detects a percentage change in inductance in the wire due to proximity of metal (which makes it appear as a transformer with a shorted secondary), and registers the presence of the vehicle.

This method can detect bicycles. Although to be that sensitive, there should be about 5 turns of wire in the loop, and the distance to the electronics should be short (the lead-in wire has inductance also, and the longer it is the more total inductance, which decreases the percentage change when a vehicle approaches).

In practice, detector sensitivity is compromised to reduce installation costs. Often multiple loops are connected to one piece of electronics. Thus, the percentage change caused by one of many loops is much less. I have seen multiple 2 turn 6x12 loops cut in a left turn lane, with a lead-in cable that runs >100feet to reach the controller cabinet where the electronics are. In this scenario, vehicle detection sensitivity is very low.

Another thing that causes problems is vehicle height. A loop can sense metal as far away as half the dimension of the narrowest portion of the loop. Thus a 6x8 loop can "see" metal as high as 3' above it and 3' to either side. But the farther away, the less percentage change. And if a small change is swamped out by multiple loops and/or long cables back to the controller cabinet, then detection is weak.

In summary, you want to create the biggest change in inductance when this type of detection is used. That occurs when you are positioned as close as possible to the most wire as possible.
Last edited by SlowTyper on Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: red light changer

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:24 pm

Thank you very much for the very thorough answer!
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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tandem54
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Re: red light changer

Postby tandem54 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:49 pm

I just had that happen yesterday, the light wouldn't change and it has in the past, so I waited the 2 cycles and went, I figure it's worth taking a chance on getting a ticket, which I don't think would happen. I have heard before that the magnets do NOT work.
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redial
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Re: red light changer

Postby redial » Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:47 pm

When riding my 250, I am often held up at the traffic lights because of the lack of metal to trigger the light. One time I had to get a following vehicle to come forward, after I got off and spoke to them, so that the lights would change for us. It is a busy intersection, so there was no way that we were going to be given the green or proceed through the red "safely". The other alternative, is to park the bike, and push the pedestrian button!
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SlowTyper
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Re: red light changer

Postby SlowTyper » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:53 pm

Your comment about pushing the ped button to get the light to change reminded me of an incident a couple years ago...

After waiting a couple cycles, I ran a light that wouldn't change but was stopped and ticketed for my actions. I took the ticket to court and the policeman argued on the stand that I could have gotten off my bike and pressed the ped button to make the light change.

I pointed out to the judge that it is not legal to park a motorcycle in a traffic lane or in the middle of an intersection (in order to walk over to the ped button). Thus, the traffic cop was really arguing before the court that I should have chosen to violate a different traffic law! I then asked if a motorcyclist is forced to break a law, is there a hierarchy of laws published so that I could determine which law is the least important... I further pointed out that pulling out from a driveway located a few feet to the east in the same manner I exited the intersection was perfectly legal and slightly more dangerous than the action I took due to less visibility.

The judge let me go, and told the traffic cop that he was to work with the city to get the lights operational for all vehicles. Unfortunately, nothing got fixed...

Another option might be to call 911 and request a cop to come direct vehicles through a non-functioning traffic signal -- before somebody on the side street becomes impatient and causes an accident.

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Re: red light changer

Postby tblank » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:20 pm

I had this problem with my '85 1200. Since I run floorboards, I mounted magnets on the bottom outside and they work like a charm. Got them from American Science Center on line for abour $15.00 for both. I haven't heard or experienced them picking up metal debris from the road. They simply are not strong enough to do that but will trigger lights at the road inlay. This has alerted me to checking them regularly, it is a good point. I've been running mine for over a year and friends for several years and have had no issues. Thanks for the headsup.




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