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Headlight Upgrade

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Navymike
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Headlight Upgrade

Post by Navymike on Thu 23 Jun 2016, 7:21 pm

Hi all

Recently my regulator failed and whilst fixing that issue I carried out some checks on my existing wiring most notably my headlight wiring. Using voltage drop testing with a standard multi meter I found that from the battery positive terminal to the positive side of the headlight bulb via the headlight switch I was losing 1.8V, and from the negative side of the battery to the negative side of the headlight bulb i was losing 0.2V leaving me with 10V across the headlight(battery only) and 12V at 4000rpm which can equate to a 50% loss in brightness from the headlight considering the test voltage for my current bulbs Osram night breakers is 13.6V (http://www.osram.co.uk/appsinfo/pdc/pdf.do?cid=GPS01_1090035&mpid=ZMP_1080088&vid=PP_EUROPE_UK_eCat&lid=EN). So I wired the headlight directly from the battery via 2 mini relays(Hi and Low beam) fitted in the headlight bowl and controlled by the original headlight wiring. see below

This is not a new mod and not my idea and I used info online, but I now am losing less than 0.1V and have vastly brighter lights. definitely worthwhile.

Regards Mike
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 24 Jun 2016, 8:24 pm

Looks like a good thing to do. There is a fair bit of not-too-thick wire on the way to the headlight, so I'm not surprised that there is a high voltage drop (the head lamp draws more than 4 amps) - wiring direct to the battery via the relays will make this much better.
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ashcroc
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by ashcroc on Sat 25 Jun 2016, 12:51 pm

Where did you get the mini relays? I find the standard ones a touch bulky for mounting inconspicuously.
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Navymike
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Navymike on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:07 am

Hi

I bought these ones from 12v Planet and wired the female spades directly to the relay terminals. It was still a bit of a squeeze in the headlight bowl but with some careful arrangement it all fitted nicely.

Mini Relay

Regards

Mike
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ANDYC
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by ANDYC on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 6:14 pm

I did this mod today and would really recommend it, wish I had thought about it years ago.
A big thanks to Navymike for posting it, whether it was your idea or not. Very Happy
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ceejay
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by ceejay on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 7:43 pm

Funny, I was thinking about this thread whilst riding pre-dawn the other day and was going to dig it out to ask if anyone else has had a go for confirmation that results are good.. looks like I will be doing this soon as I get time.  Very Happy Cheers
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 12 Oct 2016, 9:28 pm

@ceejay wrote:Funny, I was thinking about this thread whilst riding pre-dawn the other day and was going to dig it out to ask if anyone else has had a go for confirmation that results are good.. looks like I will be doing this soon as I get time.  :D Cheers

The good thing about this mod is that it can't fail to make the headlight better assuming you do it right and use sufficiently thick wire back to the battery, so if you want the headlight to 'be as good as it can be' then do this!
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Beresford
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Beresford on Wed 12 Oct 2016, 11:58 pm

Is it possible to specify relays that have very low resistance to the load current ? I'm thinking that it would be a pity to use good cable but lose volts at the relay contacts.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by eternally_troubled on Thu 13 Oct 2016, 8:58 am

@Beresford wrote:Is it possible to specify relays that have very low resistance to the load current ? I'm thinking that it would be a pity to use good cable but lose volts at the relay contacts.



I couldn't find the data for that exact relay, but if you look here:

https://www.rapidonline.com/imo-srz-1ct-dl-12vdc-12vdc-spco-automotive-relay-srz-60-1910

a very similar one has a resistance of 0.05 Ohm, from its data-sheet, so assuming you have a 55W headlight that draws about 4.5A the voltage drop across this relay will be about 0.2 volts, which, to me, seems fine.

Anyway, the main voltage drop the OP saw was associated with the headlight switch, which no longer has any part to play once (other than controlling the relay) the mod has been done.

If you look here you can see that copper has a pretty low resistivity, for example, for 1km of  2.5mm-squared cable the resistance is 7.41 Ohms (or 0.00741 Ohms per meter) - so, at our scale, unless you use really thin cable (or a really large current) it is normally the connections and switches that cause more of a voltage drop than the cable itself.
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ZekeVal
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by ZekeVal on Tue 24 Jan 2017, 8:16 pm

That seems like a really clever mod to do, seeing how little light I get from my Osram nightracer! But being a newbie at motorcycle looms and all (I'm pretty decent at soldering though) I wonder how hard it might be?
Do you need to remove a lot of stuff on the bike to access what you need to access?
What gauge of wire do you use?
Do you use specific connections or just solder + shrink tube?

Valentin.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 2:55 pm

@ZekeVal wrote:That seems like a really clever mod to do, seeing how little light I get from my Osram nightracer! But being a newbie at motorcycle looms and all (I'm pretty decent at soldering though) I wonder how hard it might be?
Do you need to remove a lot of stuff on the bike to access what you need to access?
What gauge of wire do you use?
Do you use specific connections or just solder + shrink tube?

Valentin.



Good soldering and heat-shrink properly applied is fine.  I reckon that almost any kind of flexible, stranded cable with a cross-sectional area of about 1mm-squared will be fine.

You can probably put most of this in the headlight shell as per the original poster if you use the 'mini' type relays - the OP looks like they have used a new H4 headlight connector and used crimp-on blade connections to connect to the old connector and trigger the relays.

You will need to take the tank off so you can route the new power supply for the headlight back to the battery - the easiest thing is to 'tack' it onto the existing loom using small cable ties.  You will probably want to put fairly large 'ring' connectors on the battery end of the cables so you can just add them to the existing battery connections.

There are links to suitable relays earlier in the thread, however I suspect you might be able to get them more easily from a motor-parts supplier nearer you, same goes for cable.
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ZekeVal
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by ZekeVal on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 5:25 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply, I'll keep that at hand for when I muster the courage to do it  geek
@eternally_troubled wrote:

@ZekeVal wrote:That seems like a really clever mod to do, seeing how little light I get from my Osram nightracer! But being a newbie at motorcycle looms and all (I'm pretty decent at soldering though) I wonder how hard it might be?
Do you need to remove a lot of stuff on the bike to access what you need to access?
What gauge of wire do you use?
Do you use specific connections or just solder + shrink tube?

Valentin.





Good soldering and heat-shrink properly applied is fine.  I reckon that almost any kind of flexible, stranded cable with a cross-sectional area of about 1mm-squared will be fine.

You can probably put most of this in the headlight shell as per the original poster if you use the 'mini' type relays - the OP looks like they have used a new H4 headlight connector and used crimp-on blade connections to connect to the old connector and trigger the relays.

You will need to take the tank off so you can route the new power supply for the headlight back to the battery - the easiest thing is to 'tack' it onto the existing loom using small cable ties.  You will probably want to put fairly large 'ring' connectors on the battery end of the cables so you can just add them to the existing battery connections.

There are links to suitable relays earlier in the thread, however I suspect you might be able to get them more easily from a motor-parts supplier nearer you, same goes for cable.
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Melitos
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Melitos on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 5:50 pm

Hi

On German spec PC26, the headlights are fitted with relays from the factory. The relays are under tank. I am not sure if it is easy to use same approach on UK model or later PC32.

Here's a pic under the tank of my CB5. I have removed the relays from their brackets because I was on my way to remove the carbs.




BR,
Antti
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 8:28 pm

@Melitos wrote:Hi

On German spec PC26, the headlights are fitted with relays from the factory. The relays are under tank. I am not sure if it is easy to use same approach on UK model or later PC32.

Here's a pic under the tank of my CB5. I have removed the relays from their brackets because I was on my way to remove the carbs.




BR,
Antti


Are you sure about that as afaik those lugs are for the loom to clip-on-to


Just had a look up about that and I've just read this.

The frames of PC26 and PC32 differ only minimally: above the carburettor, the PC26 frame carries two metal plates, on which relief relays for the low beam and main beam are suspended. The rear disc brake of the PC32 requires a mounting thread for the compensating tank in front of the right shock absorber. It is thus possible to exchange the frames with little effort over the entire model.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by eternally_troubled on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 11:40 pm

@Melitos wrote:Hi

On German spec PC26, the headlights are fitted with relays from the factory...


Yes, if you look at the wiring diagram for the German model (in the Haynes manual) you can see the relays in the headlight circuit.

I suspect there is some German rule about headlights being as bright as possible (or something) which means they have to be connected directly to the battery - quite sensible really.  On our version the relays would have been removed for reasons of cost saving...
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 06 Sep 2017, 10:03 am

With the dark days closing in I feel this mod should become helpful for many of us. 

I didn't feel the need to to this mod until my Osram Night breaker plus blew the low beam (only 30,000 miles old so god knows how many hours), I had to replace it with a standard bulb and the difference is shocking, It's almost as if the low beam on the osram is between low and high beam on a standard bulb. I'm going to buy some relays (from Mike's link), and a Osram laser bulb  (new version of the night breaker plus) and see how much of a difference there is.
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Phil07952
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Phil07952 on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 3:15 pm

Is there a handy YouTube link None can recommend that shows how to do this?
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Jameshambleton on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 6:12 pm

Once I get paid I'll buy the h4 adapter (it's cheaper than buying the 8mm spade connectors oddly enough  scratch) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131991098398 

I'll make a video when I do it and post it up on here.
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ZekeVal
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by ZekeVal on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 7:33 pm

Very interested on that video! Days are getting shorter and the lack of light is starting to be an issue.
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Phil07952
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Phil07952 on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 10:46 pm

@Jameshambleton wrote:Once I get paid I'll buy the h4 adapter (it's cheaper than buying the 8mm spade connectors oddly enough  scratch) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131991098398 

I'll make a video when I do it and post it up on here.

So are you getting these instead of going down the relay route? Or as well as?
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Phil07952
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by Phil07952 on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 10:57 pm

Also chaps I found a video where a guy fits two relays for his bike. Though he does seem to gloss over the connecting the wires bit. 
https://youtu.be/Wijn33qwUis
So from what I understand I'll need:
1. Relay x2 (http://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/micro-make-break-relay-no-contacts-12v-25a.html)
2. Some decent thickness of wire to connect up the relays, battery, headlight and switch (is it just the high/low beam switch, or the headlight on/off switch?)
3. Some kind of terminals to put the wires into so they can connect to the relay
4. A crimping tool to get the wires into the TERMINALS.

Does that sound about right?
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Re: Headlight Upgrade

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 17 Oct 2017, 11:08 pm

You need to use the existing headlight feeds (the positive wires that go to the current main and dipped beams) to power one or other relay.

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