power to supply trailer lights


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cruiser1800
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Motorcycle: 2006 Goldwing Trike Champion kit
2007 VTX1800T2

power to supply trailer lights

Postby cruiser1800 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:43 pm



My Goldwing trike is suppose to have an isolator to protect the bike wiring, when a trailer is connected to it. It appears the wires to the plug on the trike come from the trunk tail/brake lights, so that means the bike wiring is suppling the trailer lights. My VTX, I put a unit on it that supplies the power going to the trailer lights from the battery, not the bike wiring. All the bike wiring does is tell this unit what light is on, taillight, brake, etc, and then this unit sends juice from the battery to the appropriate trailer light wire, eliminating the bike wires from powering the trailer.

Doe anyone have such a unit on their trike, to prevent a chance of overloading the bike wires. If so, what brand is it and where did you get it.

thanks



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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:35 pm

cruiser1800 wrote:My Goldwing trike is suppose to have an isolator to protect the bike wiring, when a trailer is connected to it. It appears the wires to the plug on the trike come from the trunk tail/brake lights, so that means the bike wiring is suppling the trailer lights. My VTX, I put a unit on it that supplies the power going to the trailer lights from the battery, not the bike wiring. All the bike wiring does is tell this unit what light is on, taillight, brake, etc, and then this unit sends juice from the battery to the appropriate trailer light wire, eliminating the bike wires from powering the trailer.

Doe anyone have such a unit on their trike, to prevent a chance of overloading the bike wires. If so, what brand is it and where did you get it.

thanks


I do, and I would suggest not running your bike without one. It's too easy to damage expensive bike wiring otherwise!

I was going to make one myself (all it's made up of is a bunch of little relays) but when I looked at the cost of the relays, it turned out that the one sold by Cyclemax can be bought cheaper than I could actually buy the parts for, so I bought theirs instead. They have two:

GL1500 Trailer Isolator

GL1800 Trailer Isolator

For reasons I can't comprehend, the GL1500 one is $26, while the GL1800 is $42 - even though they are basically the identical thing, with the wiring and connectors done slightly differently.

I've been riding with mine for a couple of years now with no complaints.

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PastoT
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby PastoT » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:38 pm

Certainly using an isolator is desirable and there are many plug n play units I've found. One thing to consider is if you need a 5 wire to 4 wire converter as well. Sounds like that may be easy at this point if your trailer lights are working as they should, then are there 4 or 5 wires on the trailer side. I have LED trailer lights and they only pull maybe half an amp so I gave up searching for an affordable 5 to 4 wire converter and isolator combination unit, but they are available. I noticed several branded units had different names and prices but looked identical. So I regress to my comment, if you have only 4 wires running the trailer and the lights work properly I'd look for the 5 to 4 wire converter and see if it is a combination unit. If you have all 5 wires running the trailer lights an isolator alone will be less expensive and a plug n play model is desirable but you may be limited with a trike conversion. I'd try Electric Connections ( http://electricalconnection.com/index.p ... duct_id=85 ). In the mean time you can reduce the alternator draw by using LED trailer lights. The wires could still short out and pop your fuses but they shouldn't overdraw the bikes tail/brake light wiring.
Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
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roadwanderer2
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby roadwanderer2 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:19 pm

this sounds like a good idea for someone that pulls a trailer behind their bike. does anyone make one of these for the 86 GL1200 SEi?

stuart.

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PastoT
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby PastoT » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:17 pm

Absolutely a good idea and I'm sure one is available for the 1200. The big benefit is if you run traditional lights on a trailer they pull more current than LED and could draw more than the bike's wiring will support. The last thing you want is an electrical fire buried in the fiberglass or the excess electrical load burning fuses. The potential that it would isolating a shorted connection leaves me with some question as you're still running electricity to the trailer with or without an isolator, channeling the electricity and the added current requirement to your trailer on its own dedicated wires is the true benefit. I have very low amperage fuses in the wires to my LED equipped trailer that protect against shorts, and the overall current draw added by LED lights is almost negligible thus far. If I add more LEDs (perhaps interior lights) then I'll have to rethink adding an isolator.
Tom, in Mountain Home, Idaho
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Retired Air Force

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roadwanderer2
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby roadwanderer2 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:53 pm

OK, now that we both established it would be a good idea, where can i get one for my 86 1200 SEi.

Stuart.

cruiser1800
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby cruiser1800 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:14 pm

After I heal up from my shoulder surgery on Tuesday, I think I will do what I did on my VTX and install a power converter, so all power to the trailer lights will come from the battery. If I understand the isolator correctly, it isn't the way to go and that is what I am suppose to have on my trike.

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roadwanderer2
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:38 am

hold on a sec. how are you going to hook in a power inverter to run your trailer lights. i understand about connecting an inverter to the bike's battery, but how do you connect the trailer lights to it? i have a 800W inverter i can connect to my battery. would that be enough to supply the trailer's lights?

Stuart.

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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:15 am

Every wire is color coded to hook into the bikes lighting system, you have to find the correct wires for each light and tie into ... I used a powered converter from Hoppy the wiring is much the same as the photo shown, it cost a bit more than Admin. isolator but it's the same idea this will not comprenize the bikes lighting system or over load it, using trailer lights without an isolator or powered convertor could cause fuses to blow....ask me how I know, although many have done it.. :lol: If I remember correctly a wire went to the battery then a ground wire to frame and all the others went to lights ....I'm not much of an electrical guy but I figured it out...I used the manual to find each wire color and located left turn and right turn and brake lights...ect.

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roadwanderer2
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:24 am

hey Littlebeaver, thanks for letting me know this. i'll give it a try and see how it turns out. I've used my trailer on my 1100 AND on my gl500 silverwing interstate with no inverter, and I've never had a lighting issue. no power surges, blown bulbs or fuses, but like you and the other say, its possible it could happen.

Stuart.

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littlebeaver
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby littlebeaver » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:30 am

For those that are curious as to what Hoppy Powered Converter I used it's #46255 but it does cost lots more than Admin. isolator and it does the same thing... I probably over paid again, oh well.. Hey it works like a charm.. :lol: some guys get away without it just fine, what's happening is the wires are getting hot because of the extra load of lights, I would rather not do that on mine....To me, it's worth the cash to know I'm not over loading anything.....

cruiser1800
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby cruiser1800 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:24 pm

I finally found the isolator and how it works. It looks like the power supply wire to it looks to be no larger then a 14 gage. Which seems a little light unless you have LEDS. Does anyone have the instructions for the insulation of it, I am assuming it is the one most have installed on there wings. I would like more information to put in my service records for future reference, beings the person who sold me the trike has provided no info what so ever.

Also I have a picture of something that looks to be after market I would like to email it to some knowledgeable person who might be able to ID it. If someone would allow me to.

Thanks

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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby MikeB » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:04 pm

Lets get some terminology correct here to start with.
A trailer wiring isolator isolates the motorcycle light system from the trailer light system through relays.
An inverter changes direct current to alternating current so that a 120 VAC component can be used when all you have is DC current as the supply.
So no, you can not power your trailer lights with and 800W inverter.
A converter is what you would use to convert from one system to another, such as a 5 wire system to a 4 wire system.

Using an isolator, the power for the trailer lights come from the battery/alternator feed and is delivered to the trailer lights without loading the bike light system. The relays, whether electro-mechanical or solid state, are triggered by the bikes lighting system. There is very little current needed to trigger the light relays thus minimizing the load on the bike's lighting system. All the current needed to power the trailer lighting comes directly from the battery/alternator feed and is not felt by the bike's lighting system. Without an isolated trailer wiring harness the full load of the trailer lighting is felt through the bike's lighting system and increases the load considerably. This increased load will take a toll on your system.

I do not know how many lights you may have on your trailer but basic rear facing incandescent running lights, brake lights and turn signals are current gluttons. With two 1157LL running/brake lights fully illuminated, they are drawing 5.4 amps. With two 1156LL turn signal bulbs fully illuminated they are drawing 4.2 amps. All that current draw is added to your lighting system if you do not have an isolator. Your bike's electrical system is not designed for that increase current load. Using an isolator pulls the power from the the battery/alternator source and does not add additional load to the bike's wiring, relays and connectors.

All that said, you can significantly reduce the current load of your trailer lights by changing all the incandescent lights to LED lights.

Cyclemax does have a Universal Isolated Trailer Wiring Harness that can be used on your GL120 SEI.
http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/universal_isolated_trailer_wiring_harness/108/280311
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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MikeB
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby MikeB » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:09 pm

cruiser1800 wrote:Also I have a picture of something that looks to be after market I would like to email it to some knowledgeable person who might be able to ID it. If someone would allow me to.

Thanks

If you post the picture, you will get LOTS of eyes on the item and get plenty of response.
To add pictures to your post, look at this article by WingAdmin http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5647
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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littlebeaver
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Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby littlebeaver » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:06 am

I didn't see the power inverter on the post above,,,ooops... Yes my power tail light converter is for a 4 plug trailer hook up.... Hook it up and just plug in your trailer lights... This is what I use... It's kinda simple.... http://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-46255-Pow ... B000CMKG6O

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roadwanderer2
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Motorcycle: 83 GL1100A aspencade, previously owned, 1981 honda GL500i silverwing interstate, 1974 yamaha xs400, 1974 Honda cb450 twin cam, 1983 honda vt30, 1982 honda 700 shadow, 1972 cb750four, and my first bike, a brand new 1982 honda CM400e. and a new to me 1986 GL1200 aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: power to supply trailer lights

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:23 am

MikeB wrote:Lets get some terminology correct here to start with.
A trailer wiring isolator isolates the motorcycle light system from the trailer light system through relays.
An inverter changes direct current to alternating current so that a 120 VAC component can be used when all you have is DC current as the supply.
So no, you can not power your trailer lights with and 800W inverter.
A converter is what you would use to convert from one system to another, such as a 5 wire system to a 4 wire system.

Using an isolator, the power for the trailer lights come from the battery/alternator feed and is delivered to the trailer lights without loading the bike light system. The relays, whether electro-mechanical or solid state, are triggered by the bikes lighting system. There is very little current needed to trigger the light relays thus minimizing the load on the bike's lighting system. All the current needed to power the trailer lighting comes directly from the battery/alternator feed and is not felt by the bike's lighting system. Without an isolated trailer wiring harness the full load of the trailer lighting is felt through the bike's lighting system and increases the load considerably. This increased load will take a toll on your system.

I do not know how many lights you may have on your trailer but basic rear facing incandescent running lights, brake lights and turn signals are current gluttons. With two 1157LL running/brake lights fully illuminated, they are drawing 5.4 amps. With two 1156LL turn signal bulbs fully illuminated they are drawing 4.2 amps. All that current draw is added to your lighting system if you do not have an isolator. Your bike's electrical system is not designed for that increase current load. Using an isolator pulls the power from the the battery/alternator source and does not add additional load to the bike's wiring, relays and connectors.

All that said, you can significantly reduce the current load of your trailer lights by changing all the incandescent lights to LED lights.

Cyclemax does have a Universal Isolated Trailer Wiring Harness that can be used on your GL120 SEI.
http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/universal_isolated_trailer_wiring_harness/108/280311


the only lights i have on my trailer are 2 1157 bulbs that work my stop/tail/turn signals. i have permanently mounted magnetic mount lights onto the fenders of my trailer. its one of those harbor freight trailers.

i have a regular 5 to 4 wire converter on my 1100 and on my 1200. i don't know how it works on my 1200 as i have yet to connect the trailer to it.

Stuart.




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