GL1500 In-Dash Voltmeter ver 2.0


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
User avatar
Stew
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:40 am
Location: Smokey Point, WA - USA
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
2005 CRF230F

Previous bikes:
2004 Polaris Sportsman 90
2003 Honda Ruckus
1993 Honda Elite SR
1986 Honda CR125R
1979 Yamaha GT80

GL1500 In-Dash Voltmeter ver 2.0

Post by Stew » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:04 am



Here is my variation of an in-dash voltmeter using the empty dash light socket.

A voltmeter is pretty important for monitoring the state of your battery and charging system. After looking around at the various voltmeter installs here and elsewhere, my favorite one was using the empty dash light socket as outlined here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=36120




The only thing I didn't like was having visible cutting to the dash in order to fit the meter, I really wanted to find one with a smaller display. I ordered in a few different voltmeters from ebay to play with but would any of them work? Below are the three voltmeters I got. To get to your instrument panel, follow Wingadmin's excellent DIY for replacing your dash lights here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10998









After cracking them open, the one on the left and the one on the right could possibly work, the one in the middle was too big and probably the same size as the other in-dash voltmeter that inspired me.




Looking closer at the two candidates, the one on the left could possibly work, it has two small circuit boards joined together, one board appears to run the USB ports and one appears to run the voltmeter. However even if that were true and they would run independently after separating them, you would still have the non-functional USB ports in the way when mounting the voltmeter.




Let's look at the other one. I think we have a winner! This one has the two functions already completely separated. All we have to do now is verify whether or not it fits.




Here is the difference in size between the two LCD displays:




This USB charger/voltmeter comes with a connector but it looks like it'll be too big to fit through the light bulb opening where it needs to go, JST connectors to the rescue.




After some quick work with the solder iron we are ready to test fit.




Ok, we are going to have to make a very slight non-visible modification, with the Dremel I had to make two small notches in the light bulb socket to accommodate the width of the circuit board.




After making some measurements, using hot glue and a toothpick I mounted it in the opening. I also put a dab of hot glue on either side of the circuit board where it fits in the relief notches.




Checking the alignment, looks good.




Here it is almost completed, testing it using the 12v bus from my bench computer's power supply. I removed a hair too much of the black from the stenciled panel, I've re-painted it on the inside. Also you can see a little of the white plastic surrounding the voltmeter so I grabbed some flat black and a fine paintbrush and went over any visible white plastic.







In the picture it does look really bright. It's not overly bright though, and I want to ensure I can see it ok in bright sunlight. If you want to do this make sure the USB charger/voltmeter looks like below, those will have the two separate circuit boards inside.







Hope you find this useful, I'm glad to be able to give something back to such an excellent forum.


Winging it every chance I get

User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 272
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: '02 GL1800 still young at 111,980 miles

Re: GL1500 In-Dash Voltmeter ver 2.0

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:38 pm

Excellent job, and I bookmarked it for future readers.
John
'02 Gl1800 Hot Rod Yellow,
daughter named her Big Bird :lol:
http://www.goldwingfacts.com

User avatar
Stew
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:40 am
Location: Smokey Point, WA - USA
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
2005 CRF230F

Previous bikes:
2004 Polaris Sportsman 90
2003 Honda Ruckus
1993 Honda Elite SR
1986 Honda CR125R
1979 Yamaha GT80

Re: GL1500 In-Dash Voltmeter ver 2.0

Post by Stew » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:50 pm

Thank you AZgl1800 :)

I got this wrapped up today and while I had everything apart I also replaced the turn signal handlebar switch assembly, what a task that was.

At first I was just going to run the volt meter off spliced connections behind the instrument cluster but everything read a consistent 0.2 to 0.3 volts lower than the battery, not the end of the world but if I'm going through all the trouble to add the voltmeter I guess it might as well read the battery accurately. Next I looked at the unused accessory terminals at the top of the fuse block but those were reading a little low just like behind the instrument cluster.

Instead, I had the accessory terminals run a relay with the contact switching a connection from the battery right to the voltmeter. Wire splices and terminals connectors were soldered/shrink wrapped, the accessory terminal is already fused so I only needed to fuse the connection coming off the battery to the relay contacts. The two wires running up to the volt meter were wrapped in electrical tape to look like a factory harness and zip tied to existing harnesses. Also with the relay, I've already done the work if I want any other accessories so I guess it's a good thing.

After thinking about it, the display did look pretty bright. I had some left over window tint film that I used to cover the clear stenciled piece. I do like the look with the tint film although the film I had is 20% and I think it's a hair too dark, 35% would be better. If it bugs me enough to want to re-do it, I'd be willing to bet a tint shop would be willing to part with a couple scraps of film for a few bucks, or who knows, maybe free!








Next I put a piece of electrical tape over the opening in the back to keep dust out.




And here it is all buttoned up.








In sunlight it is pretty hard to see but any other time it's just about right. The down side is if you have it bright enough to see in broad daylight then it would be blinding at night. Since the display is not dimmable you've got to pick one or the other and not being distracted at night seemed like the safer way to set it up...
Winging it every chance I get

User avatar
Stew
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:40 am
Location: Smokey Point, WA - USA
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
2005 CRF230F

Previous bikes:
2004 Polaris Sportsman 90
2003 Honda Ruckus
1993 Honda Elite SR
1986 Honda CR125R
1979 Yamaha GT80

Re: GL1500 In-Dash Voltmeter ver 2.0

Post by Stew » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:22 pm

Thinking about the 20% tint opacity being too dark I was browsing on 3M's website the other day (they are the only tint film manufacturer I know off the top of my head) looking at options. I went to their dealer locator and saw a tint shop listed in the Lynnwood, WA area and happen to be close by it earlier today.

I stopped in and showed the guy a couple of pics from this thread explaining what I was doing and asked if I could buy a few scraps of some lighter tint, he said no I couldn't buy them but he was happy to give me some! I tried again to pay but he wasn't having any of it, I suspect it may have had something to do with the motorcycle I spotted off to the side in the shop that I think was his 8-)

The tint shop is Skyline Window Tinting on Hwy 99. So I am going to pull the gauges back out before too much longer and use a lighter film, in the picture below you'll see the original 20% I used, then 25% in the middle and finally 30% on the right. I think I'm gonna go with the 30%.




Winging it every chance I get

Post Reply