LED Lights Vs CB Reception


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
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lasvegasal
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Motorcycle: GL-1800 2014

LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by lasvegasal »



Wow - what a journey this has been just to try and resolve one problem... Let me explain. After I bought my new 2014 GL-1800 I ordered a ton of parts to "dress her up". Some of these included LED & HID products. I upgraded the head lights to 35 watt HID's and fell in love with the amount of light they produced. I also added a set of lower cowl LED running lights - these have two round LED's per side and for the high expense really do not make much difference except on coming traffic will see me easier.

I then realized I had to set the CB squelch up to 14-15 to eliminate the hash noise - this also cut out most of my buddies trying to reach me. I added an in-line CB Filter and the squelch went back down to a normal 3-4 setting. The receive still did not seem as strong and I was not able to hear other stations in the distance as my buddies could..

Thinking it must be those high voltage HID lights, I removed them and replaced each with the newest LED lights from Path Finder. The results were - nothing had changed. Still developing RFI noise from someplace. So with the engine running and the CB noise filter removed I began unplugging lights to determine which system was creating the RFI signals.

Removing the LED headlight bulbs did not make a significant difference.
Removing the LED Cowl light bulbs seemed to remove significant amounts of noise.
Plugged the LED headlights back in and the noise level was back...

At this time it was clear that if I wanted a full range CB I needed to restore the bike back to the dim yellow halogen headlights and replace the LED Cowl lights to halogen as well. I really like the extra light on the road and having all my lights match in color intensity. So, back went all the LED lights and the CB in line noise filter. I have reduced CB range but my visibility is improved. I have a headlight modulator for the high beams I'd love to have working, but just can not see disassembling the whole front end and spending that much time and energy to wire them.

In closing, I would like to say to whom ever designed the GL1800 headlight housing - you should jump off a cliff. Trying to access the bulbs is horrible and trying to "clip" the bulbs in without moving the spacer is nearly impossible and turned my hands into a bloody mess, not to mention took forever.... The GL-1500 headlight housing pops right out and allows you to easily replace both Low and Hi bulbs... The GL-1800 is not upgrade friendly.

LED's and HID's look awesome and produce some fantastic light but if your a big CB user, be aware.....


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WingAdmin
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Re: LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by WingAdmin »

That is not necessarily the case with all LED lights. Just those with poorly-designed drivers that either emit RFI directly from the LED casing, or more likely, broadcasting it out of the power leads, using them like an antenna.

Instead of adding a noise filter at the CB, you should try to block the noise at their source: Wind the LED leads through a ferrite choke, to eliminate the ability for it to broadcast RFI through the leads. If that doesn't solve it, I would a) complain to the retailer, b) complain to the manufacturer, c) complain to the FCC d) replace the LEDs with higher quality units without the poor driver design.
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baumedagn
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Re: LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by baumedagn »

I have a similar, but different problem. I have replaced all of the lights on my 2012 level 2 with led's from SoCalMoto. I have also installed the harness that allows the running light between the turn signals to function as a running/brake light. I was just informed over the weekend that when I key the mike for the cb, my running/brake light flickers and goes off. It comes back on when transmission is complete. I'm thinking the wire that was installed to turn the running light into a brake light is picking up interference. I haven't tried anything yet, I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks in advance.
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Re: LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by WingAdmin »

baumedagn wrote:I have a similar, but different problem. I have replaced all of the lights on my 2012 level 2 with led's from SoCalMoto. I have also installed the harness that allows the running light between the turn signals to function as a running/brake light. I was just informed over the weekend that when I key the mike for the cb, my running/brake light flickers and goes off. It comes back on when transmission is complete. I'm thinking the wire that was installed to turn the running light into a brake light is picking up interference. I haven't tried anything yet, I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks in advance.
That's a tough one. When you key up your CB, it's putting out 4 watts of RF, and that's a lot of power (maximum output for a cell phone is 0.25 watts). If you have wiring that is close to the antenna, it could be picking that up. If the LED itself has a driver that is poorly shielded and/or poorly designed, you could be either overloading or triggering a transistor to shut off from the RF power of your CB.

I have a paper shredder in my office, and when I key up my mobile Ham radio (4 watts) anywhere in my house, the paper shredder turns on. So this is not an uncommon problem.

Try rerouting some of the wires, moving them away from other wire bundles and see if it makes a difference.
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dragon2000
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Re: LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by dragon2000 »

This is an interesting topic. Last year while cruising a Harley forum, riders who owned older models using Halogen wanted to gain the same lighting the newer models had by switching to LED. Last year I saw a new 2016 Harley Electra Glide with the OEM Headlamp I was amazed at how much light the units put out. Where I have installed a few LED accessories on my Wing over the past couple of years my riding buddies who also have Wings/Honda CB radios, have mentioned my CB transmit signal was not as clear as it should be. Reading this topic basically supports their comments and revived my interest. The reason being, last month I also too purchased the SOCAL LED Headlight Bulb Units for my Wing and last fall as part of my winter produce I switched all my signal light & running light bulbs to SOCAL LED's.

Question for Wing Admin: am I correct in saying that if I were to install Ferrite Beads/Chokes on my LED wires, this will remove/reduce interference? I noticed these are readily available from Amazon and fairly cheap (link below). If these are the wrong ones is there a brand that you believe will do the job. Also you mention winding the wire, is this to say rolling/coiling any extra and wrapping the ferrite chock/bead around it?

https://www.amazon.ca/s/?ie=UTF8&keywor ... ingdocs-20

Thanks,

Steve
Steve

Dragon2000

Remember - You Meet the Nicest People Riding a Honda!

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by WingAdmin »

The ferrite chokes do basically one thing: Attenuate high-frequency (i.e. RF) signals. This is good to prevent noisy components from using their power leads as antennae to broadcast their interference, and to prevent using the power leads as antennae to receive noise from other components, feeding that noise into the component.

You want to have the choke as close to the component as possible, and have as many turns through the choke as possible. See: How to wind a choke
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dragon2000
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Re: LED Lights Vs CB Reception

Post by dragon2000 »

Wing Admin - Thanks for the quick, detailed response.

I installed the LED Low Beam Bulb's as they are pretty easy to access. As for the Hi Beam Bulbs, with having to removal some of the Tupperware and not having a fully heated area to work I am going to wait until I can get some Ferrite Beads. Hopefully installing these will reduce some of the interference Lasvegasal mentioned. That said, while I have access I am going to try to attach them to the other LED accessories I already have.

Again, Thanks for the info.

Steve


Steve

Dragon2000

Remember - You Meet the Nicest People Riding a Honda!

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