83 GL1100A lighting voltage


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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DaveDanger
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

83 GL1100A lighting voltage

Postby DaveDanger » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:03 pm



Hello All, A few things to mention... I recently upgraded my headlight from the OEM H4 halogen (Tired, dim) to an LED (Peterson 701c). I'm pretty pleased so far. Haven't ridden much at night in the last few days since completing the changeover, but what I have, seems pretty bright. I swallowed pretty hard at the $175.00 purchase cost, but it was that or keep what I had. The actual conversion was pretty simple. The website I purchased from did NOT list my model as applicable, but I'd heard someone else had accomplished it without much difficulty so I decided to try it. Pretty straightforward and no problems.
I am now adding a pair of 10 watt LED running lights on my case guards for additional ground illumination closer in to the bike (and I had to ride mine home a few weeks ago in the pitch dark when my OEM headlight blew its fuse). Not fun. I've gotten the new running lights mounted and began this morning wiring them. I decided to tap into the aftermarket switch that powers my Markland lights (about 10 teardrops scattered around the front and rear of the bike on the chrome rails), and discovered while probing the terminals for input line voltage, that there's only 7.0 volts in and out of that switch (engine running or shut off). Does anyone know if that's intentional on that Markland setup? it was installed before I purchased the bike so have never had reason to check it before. Those lights aren't dim by any means, but aren't terribly bright either. Not a huge concern to this point, they are visible. I'm just curious as to whether or not there's a resistor in that circuit dropping the voltage on purpose or if I simply have some bad wiring connectors or maybe insufficient wire gauge. I'm going to jump in to checking that particular wire harness after lunch today, but wanted to see if anyone else already knew what was going on there.
Any info appreciated..

DD


A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: 83 GL1100A lighting voltage

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:11 pm

DaveDanger wrote:Hello All, A few things to mention... I recently upgraded my headlight from the OEM H4 halogen (Tired, dim) to an LED (Peterson 701c). I'm pretty pleased so far. Haven't ridden much at night in the last few days since completing the changeover, but what I have, seems pretty bright. I swallowed pretty hard at the $175.00 purchase cost, but it was that or keep what I had. The actual conversion was pretty simple. The website I purchased from did NOT list my model as applicable, but I'd heard someone else had accomplished it without much difficulty so I decided to try it. Pretty straightforward and no problems.
I am now adding a pair of 10 watt LED running lights on my case guards for additional ground illumination closer in to the bike (and I had to ride mine home a few weeks ago in the pitch dark when my OEM headlight blew its fuse). Not fun. I've gotten the new running lights mounted and began this morning wiring them. I decided to tap into the aftermarket switch that powers my Markland lights (about 10 teardrops scattered around the front and rear of the bike on the chrome rails), and discovered while probing the terminals for input line voltage, that there's only 7.0 volts in and out of that switch (engine running or shut off). Does anyone know if that's intentional on that Markland setup? it was installed before I purchased the bike so have never had reason to check it before. Those lights aren't dim by any means, but aren't terribly bright either. Not a huge concern to this point, they are visible. I'm just curious as to whether or not there's a resistor in that circuit dropping the voltage on purpose or if I simply have some bad wiring connectors or maybe insufficient wire gauge. I'm going to jump in to checking that particular wire harness after lunch today, but wanted to see if anyone else already knew what was going on there.
Any info appreciated..

DD


Is it possible that the lights have +12v all the time, and that their switch actually switches the ground? If so, measuring the voltage after it has already come through the lights could definitely drop it down.

If that's not the case, then you've definitely got an issue - it should be switching the full battery voltage. Follow the +12V in wire and see where it goes, to see if its source has a full 12 volts, so you can determine where the voltage drop is occurring.

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DaveDanger
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: 83 GL1100A lighting voltage

Postby DaveDanger » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:21 pm

I'm about to scream here! twice now I've done something that unintentionally dropped me out of my reply and closed the page I was on, and I just this second realized what is happening!
I was typing the word Hobbs (as a brand name) for an hour meter that I frequently install, and I, being me, automatically hit the alt-0174 code keys to insert the little registered trademark (letter R inside a circle) behind the word "Hobbs". For whatever reason, that alt-code sequence kicked me out of my reply window and closed it! Kinda foamy at the mouth here for a bit :evil:

Ok, I'll try again... I was in the midst of a reply to what Wingadmin had said to me about the wiring, and it finally clarified inside my head what he actually meant (It didn't make sense to me at first).
I can't imagine why an installer would have wanted to reverse the typical wiring methodology like that but he well could have. I'll have to verify that as soon as I get back into this.
I actually install Hobbs® hourmeters in this fashion in customer's aircraft... connect the fused hot line-in from the main bus, directly to the meter and run the ground through an oil-pressure switch at the engine. (The customer/student/renter can't disable the meter from running even by switching off the aircraft master) :)
I am going to ferret out the wiring in reverse from the switch, back up to the accessory fuse connection, and see if there's something there dropping my voltage. I plan to replace all that wiring regardless. I've yet to be impressed with the wire gauge used in any of this aftermarket work. That will allow me to splice my LED running light connections in seamlessly, and verify the amperage draw that I think I should see.
A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: 83 GL1100A lighting voltage

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:42 pm

Most of the various sensor switches work this way - oil pressure, coolant temperature, CHT, fuel, neutral switch, etc. That way you only have to run one wire to them instead of two, and if the wire accidentally shorts out on something, instead of blowing a fuse or breaker, it just causes the indicator to malfunction.

User avatar
DaveDanger
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: 83 GL1100A lighting voltage

Postby DaveDanger » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:06 pm

A little further investigation revealed something odd, that I suppose is somewhat representative of these older systems. This particular Markland lighting circuit is powered by the accessory fuse and is not hot when the key switch is off. When I turn the key on to locate my hot input to this light switch, the voltage is at 7vdc, I had checked and noted that several times. Even cranked the engine and got the same reading, but only ran it long enough to read the meter, then shut it down. I have noted that when I crank the engine for warmup prior to a ride, that it takes about 10 seconds for my fairing mounted voltmeter to climb up to 14 volts indicated charge.
I finally cranked the engine and let it run several minutes and saw the voltage (at my Fluke meter, reading the Markland light switch) eventually come up to a full 14 vdc. That apparently is the normal for these 30+ year old systems. I found my hot input line and the switched output line, and wired my additional LED running lights and have them all functioning well. Will report later on the efficacy of said LED lights after my first night ride :)

Thanks for the assistance :)
DD


A successful leader is someone who may be chased down the street by an angry mob but will make it look like he is leading a triumphal parade.


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