Eradicating ignition noise in intercom


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Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:58 pm



When I first got headsets for my bike, I found that the intercom worked, and I could get the radio through the headsets - as far as I can tell, everything worked great, including the CB.

However, I had nasty ignition noise coming through the headsets - both when the intercom was on, and when the radio is playing. The noise changed when the radio was on, but it was still definitely there. The noise didn't come through the speakers when the radio was playing through them.

First, I bought a used 82 GL1100 rectifier from some guy on eBay who was parting out his bike. I tried swapping my rectifier with the eBay unit, with no difference at all - the noise was still there, it operated exactly the same.

I noticed that the noise disappears when the turn signal is on. The noise is DEFINITELY spark related, it rises and falls with the ignition.

When I turned the turn signal on, the ignition noise came and went in time with the flash - when the turn signal lights were on, the noise vanished, when the lights went out, the noise returned.

At idle, the bike sits at around 13.8 volts. There was faint ticking in the intercom and radio, but not enough that I would do anything about it. As soon as the engine was at a riding speed (say 2000 rpm and up), the electrical system was at around 15 - 15.2 volts. That is when the ignition noise in both the radio and the intercom was quite loud.

Putting any sort of electrical load on the system (i.e. compressor, turn signals, etc.) while riding that brings the system voltage down to the 13.8-14 volt range, also causes the ignition interference to disappear in both the intercom and radio.

I pulled the seat and tank off, and built a grounding harness as the Sierra-MC site suggested. I created a central ground point, and from there spidered off, connecting all of these together:

* Bolt holding rectifier to frame
* Both ground (green) wires on rectifier
* Negative battery terminal
* Seat brace bolt
* Negative ACC terminal
* Air cleaner wing nut

After doing all of that and buttoning it back up (a couple hours work) the total amount of change was: zero. Nothing changed whatsoever. Still lots of stator noise (and it is stator noise).

I did discover one simple way to get rid of the noise: disconnect the stator. If I disconnect the three yellow wires coming from it and run the bike up, there is no noise whatsoever, and apart from the odd spike, the scope shows a nice, clean 12 (or so) volts. Connect the stator back up, and the scope goes crazy with noise again.

I noticed that the noise all but disappears still when the turn signal is on (in time with the lights coming on). I pulled out my LED tail/brake lights and replaced them with the original 1157 bulbs. When I hit the brakes, lighting up the lights, the noise, again, disappeared.

So I tried plugging in a 110VAC inverter into the cigarette lighter socket that I installed the other day (the inverter was the only 12V powered device I had handy that would draw anything worthwhile). I then plugged a light into the inverter, to create a load. Sure enough, when I turned it on, the noise disappears. Apart from putting a bunch more lights on the bike, I don't have a practical way of creating a constant load - however I may just do exactly that (more lights) if it fixes the problem.

The next thing I tried was capacitors. I tapped into the red (output) wires of the rectifier, put a 10 amp fuse in, which then went to some capacitors, and then to ground. I found six 2400 uF capacitors in my parts box and wired them in parallel. It definitely killed some of the noise, and the crap showing on the scope also quieted down. But not enough.

I wanted to create some load, both to bring the charging voltage down to a level that won't be cooking my battery, and that will remove noise from the audio. Best way to do it is to stick some lights on, and has the added benefit of making me more visible.

I ran the engine to 2,000 rpm, connected one 55 watt H3 bulb across the battery, and the voltage dropped 0.1 volts to 14.7 volts. The noise in the intercom and radio persisted. I connected a second 55 watt H3 bulb across the battery, the voltage dropped to 13.7 volts. The audio noise disappeared - however, the 110 watt load (55 watts per H3 bulb) is too much for the charging system, and it was drawing down the battery - after 15-20 seconds, it dropped to 13.6, another 15-20 seconds it was at 13.5 after which I stopped the test.

I ordered a pair of 35 watt H3 bulbs (and boy were they expensive! Why do common 55 watt H3's cost $4 while 35 watt H3's cost upwards of $15?). I got the 35 watt H3 bulbs that I had ordered, and went ahead and mounted the driving lights on the bike. I fabricated some brackets out of some flat welder's steel I had laying around and fastened the lights just below, and to either side of the headlight. I ran the wires back through the fairing, under the false tank. I bought a standard 12 volt automotive relay and ran a fused wire directly from the battery, through the relay, to the lights.



I then mounted a lighted switch on the fairing, to turn the lights on and off. From my previous test I already knew that two 55 watt bulbs were too much, so I replaced one of the bulbs with one of the new 35 watt bulbs I received, and went out riding for a few hours.

While the charging system could keep up at about 3,000 rpm or above, as soon as a I was below 3,000 revs the lights would start drawing from the battery, instead of being run by the stator.

However - and most importantly - when the lights were turned on, ALL NOISE in the intercom, radio and CB VANISHED. There was the slightest trace of ignition noise, but the stator noise and "hash" that was created when at higher revs (higher voltages) was completely absent.

I knew I couldn't run the bike like that, so I replaced the other 55 watt bulb with the 35 watt, so 70 watts total draw. The two 55 watt bulbs pulled about 9 amps, one 55 and 35 pulled about 7.5, and the two 35 watts together pulled about 6 amps. Using the 35 watt bulbs, the bike (in terms of voltage) operated normally. The noise returned, but much quieter than it was. If I sat at a stoplight for a minute and then rode away, the noise would disappear for a while (assuming the battery was sinking some of the alternator output as it recharged). Riding for extended periods on back roads (with no stops) the noise would be there constant, but much quieter than it was without the lights.

The only other idea I had was to find/build a high-current 12 or 13.8 volt regulator, and stick it on the acessory bus that powers all the radio/audio gear, so that regardless of what the stator/rectifier is putting out, the radios get a nice clean steady voltage. Knowing that it's only when the voltage goes up above 14 volts that the noise occurs, I'm sure that would solve the problem once and for all. I haven't done this yet.

I ended up putting the relay in so that the additional lights only come on when in gear - the lights turn off when I am in neutral. This saves the battery when I'm sitting at a stoplight and the engine is idling (and the stator is not putting out much power), but turns them on (sinking the overall voltage) when I'm underway. With the two 30 watt H3 bulbs, it kills virtually all of the noise, and is a million times better than it was.



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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:28 am

Incidentally, I found a cheaper source for the 35 watt H3 bulbs - Cyclemax has them here for only $7 apiece, instead of the $15 that I paid.

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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby jjones0187 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:11 pm

hey man just realized you had this information, this is a great forum you got here, I sent you a pm on the saunders siteso you can disregard that pm, You are having the same exact problem I am having with my intercom just got my CB fixed by sierra and its working great but now that im using my headset all the time I noticed the annoying whining noise and your right the brake and turn signals cancel the noise out, my question is would a new rectifier/regulator fix this problem because mine also runs around 15 volts at 3,000 or so rpm and it only needs to maintain about 14 volts to maintain and keep the battery up right? Also is their some kind of built in noise suppressor that has gone bad or can one be installed, I have two extra noise suppressors that fit my dads 1800 wing they give you two extras with the CB kit in case you have the airbag or ABS model, if that could be wired into the radio it could solve the problem. another question is this normal for these 1100 they didnt make this noise when they were new did they?

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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:10 am

I don't know about when they were new, but I *do* know that replacing the regulator doesn't fix it - because I tried that already.

I've tried a few noise suppressors without any luck. I have one design in mind (building a clean, high-current 12 volt regulator for the audio bus) that I may build at some point, but it's not that high on my list because I'm pretty happy with the noise level I have in my system now - and it's not that easy or cheap to build a decent high-current regulator.

jjones0187
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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby jjones0187 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:00 pm

thanks for the reply, I feel the same way about it I would like to fix it but not a big priority, I am still trying to get my carbs working right, cant get a good smooth idle and has alot of fumes runs good on the road though. I think I am done fixing stuff on it until I get it to run the way I like. If you have any info for getting carbs balanced and dialed in right let me now I rebuilt them once and then had them built by a dealership and still cant get a good idle or low end power.

socrace
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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby socrace » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:46 pm

Could try one of these; 1 farad (1,000,000 uf) if there's room for it!
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... Id=2123270
Walmart has them also, in their car stereo section.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:46 pm

I notice that the noise is almost entirely in my intercom...and it happens almost entirely when the bike voltage goes up above 13 volts or so. So I'm going to see about designing a regulator/filter that keeps the audio system voltage at 12 volts.

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WA9FWT
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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WA9FWT » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:38 pm

WingAdmin wrote:I notice that the noise is almost entirely in my intercom...and it happens almost entirely when the bike voltage goes up above 13 volts or so. So I'm going to see about designing a regulator/filter that keeps the audio system voltage at 12 volts.

Just read your notes on your problem, but what comes to mine and I have not seen any thing about noise from the plugs.
So far I have not put in any intercom on my bike but just giving it some thoughts for the future.And not seeing a thing on any board about plug spikes or interferance got me thinking if thats going to be a problem too. I do at times get Rf problems in the home shack and take care of it with buying or making toroids. Just a thought if that could be your Ignition causing the problem.
Shielding is a whole new ball game!!!!!

Well, just my .02 worth.....WA9FWT Phil

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WA9FWT
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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WA9FWT » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:51 pm

I also for got to say do you use resistor Plugs ?
WA9FWT Phil Happy New Year to all too.

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WingAdmin
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2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:30 am

The noise I have is 100% stator. If I disconnect the stator while I'm running the bike, the noise completely vanishes.

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Re: Eradicating ignition noise in intercom

Postby WA9FWT » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:07 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Incidentally, I found a cheaper source for the 35 watt H3 bulbs - Cyclemax has them here for only $7 apiece, instead of the $15 that I paid.

Well, thats great news.I just may need some one of these days.Today I just purchased a set of high performance driving lights
From WalMart. thinking after I saw they had 50-Watt Bulbs I could replace them I soon discovered they use MR-16 bulb like in projectors I think. The set was one of a kind on the shelf (QH-87CD made by http://WWW.optronicsinc.com Cost $18.98 The set is bullet style and all chrome.That is why I liked them ,all chrome. How ever, on there site I could not find this number but found a set that looks just like them QH-7CC I sent a note to the MFG too see if H3 can be installed, I didn't want to remove from the box and tare apart, but darn they sure look nice. PS, I did know about the bulbs being cheaper, found that my self the other day but TNX ...WA9FWT Phil




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