How to make a flasher relay switch work for LED turn signals?


10 replies to this topic
  • GreenCoyote

Posted November 24, 2010 - 09:33 PM

#1

:thumbsup: I'm trying to figure out how best to make a relay switch properly operate LED turn signals. I've read references to both using resistors on a normal flasher relay switch, as well as buying a flasher relay specifically for LED turn signals. I opted to order a (supposedly) LED specific flasher relay ( http://www.amazon.co...ref=oss_product ) but I can't get it to work. I also have a regular, universal flasher relay; I've heard references to putting resistors in right before the standard flasher switch, but no one actually said what resistor specifications to use. Anyone out there know? Or, anyone know of an LED specific flasher relay switch that actually works? Or maybe how to make the one I do have (Grote 44891 Two Prong Led Flasher) work? Help on this problem would be GREATLY appreciated. :p

  • motobobintexas

Posted November 26, 2010 - 05:13 PM

#2

there is a specific 7 pin electronic relay on EBay for $39 if you do a search, you can also get the DRC relay from Wheeling Cycles as well, that is what I used, the DRC requires a slight pin out mod, the EBay thing is a direct plug-in

http://www.drcproduc...ucts/index.html
http://www.wheelingc...com/index.shtml

here is the long link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item255c3cae5c

  • slowriding

Posted November 28, 2010 - 04:08 AM

#3

:blah: I'm trying to figure out how best to make a relay switch properly operate LED turn signals. I've read references to both using resistors on a normal flasher relay switch, as well as buying a flasher relay specifically for LED turn signals. I opted to order a (supposedly) LED specific flasher relay ( http://www.amazon.co...ref=oss_product ) but I can't get it to work. I also have a regular, universal flasher relay; I've heard references to putting resistors in right before the standard flasher switch, but no one actually said what resistor specifications to use. Anyone out there know? Or, anyone know of an LED specific flasher relay switch that actually works? Or maybe how to make the one I do have (Grote 44891 Two Prong Led Flasher) work? Help on this problem would be GREATLY appreciated. :thumbsup:


How did you connect that flasher? It may be polarity sensitive, so try reversing the wires. It is possible the LED's you have are not enough load to make it work but explain how you connected it and perhaps you will get more advice. A resistor BEFORE the switch will also make the blinker relay blink ALL the time. Hmmm, the resistor 'before the switch' would be from the wire to ground, not cut into the wire - just in case you were not sure.

The stock blinker relies on the resistance of both bulbs to create the load to blink (when the switch completes the circuit to one side). If you change the load to the very little that LED's use it causes the blinker to have little load the same as if a bulb burned out, so it blinks fast. The electronic flashers use a different method, so regardless of the load (so long as it is enough to work) they blink at a constant speed.

FOR THE THEORY OF IT: A way around the regular blinker 'problem' is to add a resistor in parallel to the LED's to ground to provide the required load. One per side of the bike would be enough in theory. The 1056 bulb is 21W or 1.75A That is a lot of power for a resistor, 2 bulbs together is 42W which is huge for a resistor. If you can find it, you would need about an 4 ohm resistor capable of 42W. Good luck. I guess you could use something between 4.3 and 5.6 ohms 20W rating on each corner. All the resistors could be behind the headlight cowl with 2 in parallel for each side, and they should not overheat because of the limited duty cycle, but make sure you keep them away from heat sensitive things.

There is no need to spend $40 on a special relay unless you don't want to cut a couple wires. The 2 wires to the blinker relay can be cut and connected to any relay, such as the one you linked to.

The review for that product has:

This review is from: Grote 44891 Two Prong Led Flasher (Misc.)
It would have been nice to have some instructions to tell you the wire lead goes to ground. Other than that an excellent product at a reasonable price.

Does the ground wire reference help, or is that not relevant to what you have?

If you look at the relay you have from the end that has the connections, if you rotate it so one contact is at the top and one on the right side, the top should be the one that goes to the lights (light blue) and the connection on the right side should be power (orange).

Edited by slowriding, November 28, 2010 - 04:30 AM.


  • GreenCoyote

Posted November 28, 2010 - 08:50 PM

#4

How did you connect that flasher? It may be polarity sensitive, so try reversing the wires. It is possible the LED's you have are not enough load to make it work but explain how you connected it and perhaps you will get more advice. A resistor BEFORE the switch will also make the blinker relay blink ALL the time. Hmmm, the resistor 'before the switch' would be from the wire to ground, not cut into the wire - just in case you were not sure.

The stock blinker relies on the resistance of both bulbs to create the load to blink (when the switch completes the circuit to one side). If you change the load to the very little that LED's use it causes the blinker to have little load the same as if a bulb burned out, so it blinks fast. The electronic flashers use a different method, so regardless of the load (so long as it is enough to work) they blink at a constant speed.

FOR THE THEORY OF IT: A way around the regular blinker 'problem' is to add a resistor in parallel to the LED's to ground to provide the required load. One per side of the bike would be enough in theory. The 1056 bulb is 21W or 1.75A That is a lot of power for a resistor, 2 bulbs together is 42W which is huge for a resistor. If you can find it, you would need about an 4 ohm resistor capable of 42W. Good luck. I guess you could use something between 4.3 and 5.6 ohms 20W rating on each corner. All the resistors could be behind the headlight cowl with 2 in parallel for each side, and they should not overheat because of the limited duty cycle, but make sure you keep them away from heat sensitive things.

There is no need to spend $40 on a special relay unless you don't want to cut a couple wires. The 2 wires to the blinker relay can be cut and connected to any relay, such as the one you linked to.

The review for that product has:

This review is from: Grote 44891 Two Prong Led Flasher (Misc.)
It would have been nice to have some instructions to tell you the wire lead goes to ground. Other than that an excellent product at a reasonable price.

Does the ground wire reference help, or is that not relevant to what you have?

If you look at the relay you have from the end that has the connections, if you rotate it so one contact is at the top and one on the right side, the top should be the one that goes to the lights (light blue) and the connection on the right side should be power (orange).


Well, the resistor route does seem rather tedious. As for my current flasher relay (the Grote), I rigged it up to the power just before it splits to each of the turn signal switches. The input terminal (X) and load terminal (L) are both marked, so I'm pretty sure the polarity is right. When I first rigged it up, like the other Amazon.com customer I also wasn't sure what to do with the third wiring coming out the top, so I tried it out as it was. The result was a very feeble, but not blinking, light from the turn signal. However, I pretty quickly realized that the third wire must be a ground, so to test it I rigged up some copper wiring to extend it to the ground bolt. When I did this, the turn signals simply stopped working altogether, which I found (and still find) perplexing. Does the relay switch's ground wire have to be routed to the turn signals ground wire(s) directly? I didn't think it should matter... (Here's a link to the company's specifications for the Grote relay switch: http://grote.com/pro...ct_number=44891 )

Thanks again for the replies.

- Neill

  • slowriding

Posted November 29, 2010 - 01:27 AM

#5

Ok, clarification time. What did you do with the old blinker wiring? This blinker should take the place of the factory one, plus the ground wire. Of course it won't just plug in.

The 2 wires that connect to the factory relay are the load/lights (light blue) and the power (orange). So you should have the orange connected to (X) and light blue to (L).

You must remove the factory blinker relay from the circuit. Do this by cutting the 2 relevant wires from the interlock relay socket.

Orange anywhere on the bike is switched main power from the key. That should connect to the power side of whatever blinker you use. The orange wire for the interlock relay only powers the blinker, so no problem cutting it.

The light blue is the center wire on the turn signal switch, which is the load. When the switch is engaged to either side it connects that side to the blinker thus completing the circuit. Very straight forward actually. This is how they use one blinker for both sides.

The power is always present at the relay, the load is switched on and off with the turn switch. Hope that is clear.

  • stanmerrell

Posted December 01, 2010 - 02:45 PM

#6

http://www.thumperta...8459&highlight=

  • GreenCoyote

Posted December 02, 2010 - 01:38 AM

#7

There wasn't any existing wiring...this is being done from scratch on a DRZ400e that never had turn signals.

  • slowriding

Posted December 02, 2010 - 03:15 AM

#8

ah. On the 3 wire blinker, connect 'x' to power, ground to any ground, and 'L' to the common wire on the turn switch. Connect each output wire to the positive of the 2 lights on that side of the bike, then make sure the lights are grounded.

It should be as simple as that.

  • GreenCoyote

Posted December 03, 2010 - 12:22 AM

#9

That's what I did :thumbsup: ...I have a friend who has done a good bit of electrical work, and he thinks there might be some kind of problem between the AC and DC grounding...

  • slowriding

Posted December 04, 2010 - 02:02 AM

#10

There should not be any ground for the AC. The output from the stator is rectified before any ground reference is valid. To say another way, the 3-phase output from the Y-wound stator is fully isolated from the engine. It is fed to the rectifier/regulator, and only has a connection to 'ground' once it leaves the R/R as DC.

If that was the issue it should work with the key on, engine off, because then there would not be any AC.

Using a test light (not a meter) check for power at the (X) terminal. If present, then test for power at the (L) terminal. The test lamp should blink. If it doesn't, there is a problem with the blinker.

If it blinks, try disconnecting the wire from (L), then touching it to (X) so there is power feeding to it. You should be able to turn on the lights on each side of the bike with the turn signal. If they light, the circuit would seem ok. If not, then follow it along. Touch the test light at the wires coming back from the blinker switch.

If the blinker works with the test lamp, and the blinkers lights work as well when the test lamp is connected at the flasher, but not without, then for some reason that blinker is not sensitive enough for your LED's.

  • Phyb3r

Posted December 04, 2010 - 06:07 AM

#11

Didn't read the whole thread, but you can try out the flasher relays from superbrightleds.com. The previous electronic flasher unit that I tried resulted in my LEDs being very very dim (although they were flashing at the correct rate).

Here's the link if you are interested: http://www.superbrig...p=/flashers.htm

They are 2 pin and works perfect.





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