GL1500 Alternator Warning Light


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GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by WingAdmin »



I purchased this alternator warning light from VP Accessories, a small independent outfit in Massachusetts. A steal at $15, I thought it would be a good addition to my bike.

VP Accessories GL1500 Alternator Warning Light
VP Accessories GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Installation is not a simple affair - it involves removing and disassembling your dashboard, a somewhat involved procedure that is covered in my How to replace your dash lights with LEDs article. I will refer you to that article for instructions on getting the dash out and apart.

The kit comes in a small plastic pouch with a nice picture on front:

Image
VP Accessories Alternator Warning Light

Inside the kit is the rather crudely potted electronic module, a light socket, plenty of wire connecting the two, and two separate warning lenses. A single page of somewhat brief instructions is included. The fact that my own instructions for this procedure cover 64 steps with photos indicate that the included documentation might be somewhat lacking.

Image
Contents of kit

The instructions mention installing the bulb in the socket - but it doesn't tell you what kind of bulb to use, or that the bulb is not included in the kit. I used a red LED from SuperbrightLEDs, model number WLED-R4-32.

Image
LED from SuperbrightLEDs

The warning light fits into an unused indicator light slot at the bottom right of the dash. It is clearly apparent once the dash is taken apart:

Image
Vacant space in dash used for alternator light

The masking on the dash screen is painted over black in front of this unused slot:

Image
Unused spot on dash screen

Looking at the back, you can see where the paint/ink has been screened over the unused area. Before we can install the light, this ink has to be removed. Using a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol will quickly remove it.

Image
Back of dash screen

The instructions tell you to mask off the "Cruise ON" area first, I didn't bother - I just did it by hand. I used one end of the Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the majority of the ink, and the other, dry end of the Q-tip to clean it up. You want to remove as much of a square area as possible, but not so much that it intrudes into the "Cruise ON" area.

Image
Removing paint from unused spot on dash screen

There are two lenses included, this one with "ALT" printed on it, and another blank one, with a battery symbol decal which can be applied to the dash screen after the ink is rubbed away (in which case you use the blank lens). I decided that the "ALT" one was more fitting, as the battery symbol didn't really say "alternator" to me, it said "battery."

Image
Installing supplied ALT warning lens

The light bulb (in this case LED) plugs easily into the supplied socket.

Image
LED installed in socket

The socket then plugs into the back of the dashboard. Be sure to push it in all of the way.

Image
Socket installed in dash assembly

I unscrewed the two wire stays on the back of the dash in order to route the wiring through them and keep them neat.

Image
Wire routed through stays

I also decided to cut the wires leading to the dash and install a quick-disconnect plug. Otherwise, the dash will be permanently wired to the bike. If you do this, be careful to do only one wire at a time, as they are not marked, and if you are using an LED, they are polarity sensitive. I considered tapping a +12v feed from the dashboard itself (there are several) but measuring the voltage there, it was 1.5V lower than the voltage at the battery positive terminal, so being that this unit measures system bus voltage, I ended up not doing this.

Image
Added quick-disconnect plug

With the unit installed:

Image
Unit Installed

The other end of the quick-disconnect plug I placed on the back of the fairing:

Image
End of Quick Disconnect on fairing

This leads to the electronic module, and from there to a 12 volt source. I tapped into a fused 12 volt source coming from my EC Power Panel, which is switched by the ACC terminal, and connects directly to the battery.

How does it work? When the bike is first switched on, it gives a very brief flicker. It lights up when the bike is being cranked, which is to be expected, and goes out immediately when the bike starts. It looks quite good - like it was put there by Honda at the factory. It will definitely get my attention should my alternator fail somewhere out on the road.

Image

Overall, I like the product, and it was reasonably easy to install. The instructions are definitely lacking (and the email address and web site listed on them no longer work), but with what I've written up on this site, the average home mechanic should have no problems installing it.


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thomba
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by thomba »

I just installed this unit on my 93 GL1500A & 2000 GL1500SE using the red LED as well. I like it. It is an attention getter.
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satranger
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by satranger »

My GL1500SE has this light which unfortunately is on. Checking the alternator later to see why not charging. The light was installed by previous owner in the past. Anybody got a copy of the install info you can send me. Would like to have a copy to look at and for my files. Can email copy to satranger@juno.com. Looked on this site and found several references to the light but saw nothing bout how its installed wiring wise.
UPDATE: Checked the voltage and my alternator is doing its job. Appears the module that drives the light is bad keeping the light on all the time. Once I located the module and followed the wires, they are connected to the ACC terminals on the fuse box. Disconnected the hot side till can replace the module.
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by WingAdmin »

satranger wrote:My GL1500SE has this light which unfortunately is on. Checking the alternator later to see why not charging. The light was installed by previous owner in the past. Anybody got a copy of the install info you can send me. Would like to have a copy to look at and for my files. Can email copy to satranger@juno.com. Looked on this site and found several references to the light but saw nothing bout how its installed wiring wise.
UPDATE: Checked the voltage and my alternator is doing its job. Appears the module that drives the light is bad keeping the light on all the time. Once I located the module and followed the wires, they are connected to the ACC terminals on the fuse box. Disconnected the hot side till can replace the module.
The ACC terminal is as good a place as any to hook this unit up. It just needs +12V and ground, with the +12V switched on when the bike is running.
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by offcenter »

Thanks Scott.
When I first saw your post about having to take the whole dashboard apart, my
first reaction was ARRGGHH!
But on second thought, this is a good opportunity to replace all the
dash bulbs with LEDs.
Thanks again.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by 2manywings »

Hi All ! I've been using a similar product for years... back to the mid-80s and the GL1200 charging woes. It was always an automatic install as part of the coil wiring upgrade harness. It worked so well for me that when the 1500s came out, I always pushed this product because it is inexpensive and easy to install. It's a simple LED that taps into the side marker light on the GL1500 or any switched 12v source. It changes color from red to yellow to green, depending on charge rate. It's put out by a company called "Electrical Connection" and is referred to as a universal Battery Monitor and sells for $29.95. You can install one of these in less that 30 minutes. Electrical Connection makes many other products unique to the Wings... Check them out on there website
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gordonv
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by gordonv »

I added a simple aftermarket voltage display, which included clock and temp.

Not currently plugged into my acc port.

I originally had this on my 88' GW, but moved it over to my Valkyrie, as like the GW, it did not have an alternator indicator.

And it was good I had it, because my alt did fail on a trip. Luckily I was riding with a spare at the time, and swapped it out on the road.
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by NDAna »

Why not just use a voltmeter?
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by WingAdmin »

NDAna wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:39 pm Why not just use a voltmeter?
I have a voltmeter, but I could easily ride for half an hour without looking at it, or looking at it and comprehending that "hey dummy, it says your bike is running at 11 volts."

A red warning light where one normally isn't showing is a much better attention-getter - particularly when losing your alternator means you have a fixed amount of time before your bike quits.
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in2it
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1980 GL1100 Bobber with Vance and Hines Mufflers (SOLD)

Past Rides in my youth
1965 Honda C102 50cc OHV Engine with 3spd Auto-Clutch
1972 CB 350
1975 CB 550 4 with Dunstall headers and mufflers
1978 GL 1000

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by in2it »

Does anyone have a source for a alternator light.... I tried to order one from V&P they in turn sent my money back (bless them) I tried going to there web site... and on my end the site is down ... so am pondering there out of business ... so does any one have a good lead on a alternator light as good or better than what V&P sold ??? I like the way the light fitted into the dash
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terryt
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by terryt »

in2it wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:38 pm Does anyone have a source for a alternator light.... I tried to order one from V&P they in turn sent my money back (bless them) I tried going to there web site... and on my end the site is down ... so am pondering there out of business ... so does any one have a good lead on a alternator light as good or better than what V&P sold ??? I like the way the light fitted into the dash
Try this guy hes in the UK and will post
I have just fitted one to my 1500 in the dash the same way as listed above but i didnt use the red cover. i engraved ALT in the facia panel.

https://www.improvingclassicmotorcycles ... oducts.htm

I use the UCWL type easy to wire i connected to the ACC terminal on the fuse box
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WingAdmin
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by WingAdmin »

If you're putting the warning light in the dash in the same spot as I did, you could easily make your own insert:

/images/Review/GL1500_Alternator_Warnin ... ght_08.jpg

Cut a small piece of translucent scrap red plastic to fit, then use a P-Touch Labelmaker with some transparent label tape to print an "ALT" sticker to stick on the front of it.
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by terryt »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:57 pm If you're putting the warning light in the dash in the same spot as I did, you could easily make your own insert:

/images/Review/GL1500_Alternator_Warnin ... ght_08.jpg

Cut a small piece of translucent scrap red plastic to fit, then use a P-Touch Labelmaker with some transparent label tape to print an "ALT" sticker to stick on the front of it.
Thanks i did think about that. but as the bulb is red when it lights up i just scraped out the letters on the facia panel to give red glow behind. As you say that's another option if any one wants to do it.
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offcenter
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by offcenter »

in2it wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:38 pm Does anyone have a source for a alternator light.... I tried to order one from V&P they in turn sent my money back (bless them) I tried going to there web site... and on my end the site is down ... so am pondering there out of business ... so does any one have a good lead on a alternator light as good or better than what V&P sold ??? I like the way the light fitted into the dash
Well that's weird! I just ordered, and received, an alternator warning light from V&P a couple of weeks ago!!
No explanation from them? Maybe they're out of stock.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
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blupupher
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Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by blupupher »

offcenter wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:48 pm
in2it wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:38 pm Does anyone have a source for a alternator light.... I tried to order one from V&P they in turn sent my money back (bless them) I tried going to there web site... and on my end the site is down ... so am pondering there out of business ... so does any one have a good lead on a alternator light as good or better than what V&P sold ??? I like the way the light fitted into the dash
Well that's weird! I just ordered, and received, an alternator warning light from V&P a couple of weeks ago!!
No explanation from them? Maybe they're out of stock.
Where did you order from?
http://vpaccessories.com/ is not working for me
1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE
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in2it
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Location: Waldo,Arkansas
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1982 GL1100 (SOLD)
1980 GL1100 Bobber with Vance and Hines Mufflers (SOLD)

Past Rides in my youth
1965 Honda C102 50cc OHV Engine with 3spd Auto-Clutch
1972 CB 350
1975 CB 550 4 with Dunstall headers and mufflers
1978 GL 1000

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by in2it »

blupupher wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:06 pm
offcenter wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:48 pm
in2it wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:38 pm Does anyone have a source for a alternator light.... I tried to order one from V&P they in turn sent my money back (bless them) I tried going to there web site... and on my end the site is down ... so am pondering there out of business ... so does any one have a good lead on a alternator light as good or better than what V&P sold ??? I like the way the light fitted into the dash
Well that's weird! I just ordered, and received, an alternator warning light from V&P a couple of weeks ago!!
No explanation from them? Maybe they're out of stock.
Where did you order from?
http://vpaccessories.com/ is not working for me
It’s not working for me either
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in2it
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:09 am
Location: Waldo,Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 GL 1500 Aspencade
1982 GL1100 (SOLD)
1980 GL1100 Bobber with Vance and Hines Mufflers (SOLD)

Past Rides in my youth
1965 Honda C102 50cc OHV Engine with 3spd Auto-Clutch
1972 CB 350
1975 CB 550 4 with Dunstall headers and mufflers
1978 GL 1000

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by in2it »

offcenter wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:48 pm
in2it wrote: Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:38 pm Does anyone have a source for a alternator light.... I tried to order one from V&P they in turn sent my money back (bless them) I tried going to there web site... and on my end the site is down ... so am pondering there out of business ... so does any one have a good lead on a alternator light as good or better than what V&P sold ??? I like the way the light fitted into the dash
Well that's weird! I just ordered, and received, an alternator warning light from V&P a couple of weeks ago!!
No explanation from them? Maybe they're out of stock.
There web site is down... was to log on and ask but the site is down
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in2it
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:09 am
Location: Waldo,Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 GL 1500 Aspencade
1982 GL1100 (SOLD)
1980 GL1100 Bobber with Vance and Hines Mufflers (SOLD)

Past Rides in my youth
1965 Honda C102 50cc OHV Engine with 3spd Auto-Clutch
1972 CB 350
1975 CB 550 4 with Dunstall headers and mufflers
1978 GL 1000

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by in2it »

WingAdmin wrote: Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:57 pm If you're putting the warning light in the dash in the same spot as I did, you could easily make your own insert:

/images/Review/GL1500_Alternator_Warnin ... ght_08.jpg

Cut a small piece of translucent scrap red plastic to fit, then use a P-Touch Labelmaker with some transparent label tape to print an "ALT" sticker to stick on the front of it.
Thank you for the ideal of using the printer and the links... thanks again
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2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer
Contact:

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by WingAdmin »

The site is down. I looked up the domain record and it shows contact info:

(508) 883-0317
vpjean@aol.com

OK...just did a little bit more investigation, it appears their hosting company has vanished from the Internet. Even their DNS servers are gone. So I don't think it's that VP Accessories has gone, it's that their web host has vanished.
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in2it
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:09 am
Location: Waldo,Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 GL 1500 Aspencade
1982 GL1100 (SOLD)
1980 GL1100 Bobber with Vance and Hines Mufflers (SOLD)

Past Rides in my youth
1965 Honda C102 50cc OHV Engine with 3spd Auto-Clutch
1972 CB 350
1975 CB 550 4 with Dunstall headers and mufflers
1978 GL 1000

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by in2it »

WingAdmin wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:04 pm The site is down. I looked up the domain record and it shows contact info:

(508) 883-0317
vpjean@aol.com

OK...just did a little bit more investigation, it appears their hosting company has vanished from the Internet. Even their DNS servers are gone. So I don't think it's that VP Accessories has gone, it's that their web host has vanished.
Thats good news... lets hope they will return for they had a few other items I was looking at... thanks for digging and finding the results.. I'm going to try the phone number (fingers crossed)
User avatar
in2it
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:09 am
Location: Waldo,Arkansas
Motorcycle: 2000 GL 1500 Aspencade
1982 GL1100 (SOLD)
1980 GL1100 Bobber with Vance and Hines Mufflers (SOLD)

Past Rides in my youth
1965 Honda C102 50cc OHV Engine with 3spd Auto-Clutch
1972 CB 350
1975 CB 550 4 with Dunstall headers and mufflers
1978 GL 1000

Re: GL1500 Alternator Warning Light

Post by in2it »

in2it wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:31 pm
WingAdmin wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:04 pm The site is down. I looked up the domain record and it shows contact info:

(508) 883-0317
vpjean@aol.com

OK...just did a little bit more investigation, it appears their hosting company has vanished from the Internet. Even their DNS servers are gone. So I don't think it's that VP Accessories has gone, it's that their web host has vanished.
Thats good news... lets hope they will return for they had a few other items I was looking at... thanks for digging and finding the results.. I'm going to try the phone number (fingers crossed)
I have sent a email and tried calling... the number has been disconnected and havent heard anything from email mail ... it was written 3 days ago... hope to hear that all is well and they be back if they wish to be


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