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Thread: Switchback LED Bulbs

  1. #1

    Switchback LED Bulbs

    2004 R1150RT with Kisan Signal Minder with clear front turn signal lenses.
    Has anyone used a switchback LED bulb with a signal minder?

    I was hoping that using the running light function on the signal minder with a switchback LED bulb would give me what I want - a wide, white running light and then amber turn signal. Since a switchback bulb replaces a 1157 (two filaments), I don't know if bridging a wire or diode across the bulb leads will work or if I have to ditch the signal minder function and run a second wire.

    Any insights?

    Here is the type of bulb I am talking about:
    https://www.amazon.com/JDM-ASTAR-Ext.../dp/B00RV46YBC
    peter
    2004 R1150RT
    Laser Sailor

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    First off, if your '04 RT still has the stock setup, the base of that Amazon bulb is wrong. But if you're wanting to change it anyway, that's not an issue.

    A lot of people believe that amber running lights up front may actually make you more visible - in that it makes you "different" from the other lights.

    Since LEDs by themselves draw less current, they usually speed up the flashing rate. So that load resistor (as mentioned in the Amazon ad) is hooked up in parallel with the bulb (on the brighter filament's wiring) so the flasher sees the "incandescent" load.
    The ad says the resistor is 6 ohms (and rated at 50 watts). A 6 ohm resistor at 12 volts will suck up 2 amps (and dissipate that as 24 watts of waste heat). According to a Sylvania chart, the 1157 and 2057 "major" (brighter) filament draws 2.1 amps (the 2357 is 2.23 amps), so that jives, but you have not gained anything except the instant on-off action of a LED (and maybe longer bulb life if they're made well).

    If the LED dies while out on the road (and where else would it?), how easily can you get a new replacement in there?

    So, why bother swapping parts around for no significant gain? I've installed dual-filament sockets in my '04 RT (with amber lenses), with 1157LL ("long life") bulbs, hooked up the smaller filament to the parking light wire, and it works fine. I used the sockets that have the wide springy fingers, but use care which ones go in here: some are appreciably longer than what will comfortably fit.

    Also, to add a little more brightness there, I've carefully pried apart the lens assembly itself - two little straight-blade screwdrivers and slow & careful patience will do it without damage. Note that the stock inner "reflector" is just some sort-of shiny silver paint. I've lined that piece with white reflective tape and it makes an appreciable difference.

  3. #3
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    LED bulbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    First off, if your '04 RT still has the stock setup, the base of that Amazon bulb is wrong. But if you're wanting to change it anyway, that's not an issue.

    A lot of people believe that amber running lights up front may actually make you more visible - in that it makes you "different" from the other lights.

    Since LEDs by themselves draw less current, they usually speed up the flashing rate. So that load resistor (as mentioned in the Amazon ad) is hooked up in parallel with the bulb (on the brighter filament's wiring) so the flasher sees the "incandescent" load.
    The ad says the resistor is 6 ohms (and rated at 50 watts). A 6 ohm resistor at 12 volts will suck up 2 amps (and dissipate that as 24 watts of waste heat). According to a Sylvania chart, the 1157 and 2057 "major" (brighter) filament draws 2.1 amps (the 2357 is 2.23 amps), so that jives, but you have not gained anything except the instant on-off action of a LED (and maybe longer bulb life if they're made well).

    If the LED dies while out on the road (and where else would it?), how easily can you get a new replacement in there?

    So, why bother swapping parts around for no significant gain? I've installed dual-filament sockets in my '04 RT (with amber lenses), with 1157LL ("long life") bulbs, hooked up the smaller filament to the parking light wire, and it works fine. I used the sockets that have the wide springy fingers, but use care which ones go in here: some are appreciably longer than what will comfortably fit.

    Also, to add a little more brightness there, I've carefully pried apart the lens assembly itself - two little straight-blade screwdrivers and slow & careful patience will do it without damage. Note that the stock inner "reflector" is just some sort-of shiny silver paint. I've lined that piece with white reflective tape and it makes an appreciable difference.

    I switched my 04 RT signals to LED bulbs and had no issues without adding resistors. The Kisan does not rely on the electrical load to determine pulse rate. I actually put red LEDs in the rear Amber signals to give me additional rear running light that are red. The setup works great.
    The more I learn about women, the more I love motorcycles!

  4. #4

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    the stock inner "reflector" is just some sort-of shiny silver paint. I've lined that piece with white reflective tape and it makes an appreciable difference.
    Thank you, this is brilliant! (double ententre intended) Seriously, why have I not heard of or thought of this before? I may do this even if the coating is still shiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    First off, if your '04 RT still has the stock setup, the base of that Amazon bulb is wrong.
    -
    This was just an example of a "switchback" bulb, in case folks did not know that I was asking about. I am still not sure of the wiring or "use case" for this bulb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    A lot of people believe that amber running lights up front may actually make you more visible - in that it makes you "different" from the other lights.
    Agreed - I was going to add vertical LED DRL-light to the front fork. I wanted to keep the front a "white" broad light bar, with amber offset downward - until I use my blinker, then both the regular and bar would blink in unison. Ah well, not sure I will be able to achieve that, but amber-amber should look great as well.

    DENALI Electronics makes a a nice vertical DRL-light which can be dimmed and/or used with CANbus:
    https://denalielectronics.com/collec...nl-drl-10000-w
    peter
    2004 R1150RT
    Laser Sailor

  5. #5

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by motorrod View Post
    I actually put red LEDs in the rear Amber signals to give me additional rear running light that are red. The setup works great.

    Does this mean the rear signals blink red, not amber?
    peter
    2004 R1150RT
    Laser Sailor

  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    No, he says that he has them hooked up as additional running lights (probably connected to the tail light wire), so they do not blink.
    I have done this too - I have a set of the Run-N-Lites rectangular 8-LED modules inside of my rear turn signal assemblies, at the upper outboard corners, connected as running lights AND additional brake lights. Looks stock on the outside. I don't see my part listed on their web page any more, but they're similar to their #51011 but more "rectangular" and blocky. I'd think that the 51011 would do the same thing.
    I also had their #52001 in the rear of my old R1100RT.

    Didn't know that about the Kisan... cool! (also viewed in other thread)

    I wish I could take apart the center of the brake light area - and get that white reflective tape in there too... Anybody have any ideas here? (It's already a dual filament.)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    I wish I could take apart the center of the brake light area - and get that white reflective tape in there too... Anybody have any ideas here? (It's already a dual filament.)
    If it's ultrasonically welded (typical of integral taillamp units in automotive), your only choice is a lot of patience with a soldering iron, a sharp knife to gently separate the lens from the body. To combine, I have used 3M's 5200 marine adhesive.

    I just wish I thought of using reflective tape over the sputtered chrome reflector coating.
    peter
    2004 R1150RT
    Laser Sailor

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