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nifty little voltage monitoring doo-dad

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by aaronrkelly, May 20, 2013.

  1. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly XS650 Addict

    I was wiring this up before I left for work.....didnt get a chance to take any pictures but it does seem to work well.

    Its sealed, waterproof, vibration proof.....plenty bright.....tested dead accurate against my digital meter.

    Seemed like cheap insurance, I can check occasionally to make sure I dont have a charging system or battery issue.


    I just tagged it in to a switched power down next to my main fuse.....I will get a actual picture once I get back home.

    $8 from China thanks to eBay.....only took about 7 days to get.

  2. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly XS650 Addict

    Those are pretty cool as well.....hadnt seen them before.
  3. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

  4. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I like that a bunch, drill hole in the head light bowl, done.
  5. Yep, precicely where I've put a few of them!
  6. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic

    I got one like the OP
  7. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I have a couple of the digital voltage meters and use them to check the system but the 8mm sparkbright seems like a better, neater "hard wire" solution.
  8. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Every motorcycle in the world should have a voltmeter. With these digital ones so cheap, its a no brainer!
  9. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    talked to "spark" a few times and ordered some indicators
    12mm 8mm and 5mm all autodim.
    I installed a 5mm in the dash panel of a 77 I'm working on and so far I really like it. It has a lag of a second or two but once you are used to it no problem.
    I am thinking of ordering 20 at a time and reselling. What do you all think?

    leds 008.JPG

    leds 009.jpg

    leds 010.jpg

    leds 001.jpg

    led volt meters 002.jpg

    Oh that's the 77 that just came back from the dead.
  10. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly XS650 Addict

    Looks good.....the lag wouldn't be a big issue for me. Likely only because the voltage needs to stabilize before it can display the result.
  11. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    Wish I had some dead looking bikes like Gary's! GGGGGeeezzzz!
  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, where do you find those? Pretty much all the ones around here are really beat, too far gone for a T.L.C. resto. They need everything, lol. The position I'm in, having a few bikes already, I don't need to run out and buy the 1st P.O.S. that comes along. I can wait for that nice one. But then again, they're not popping up much anymore and I'm not getting any younger, lol.
  13. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I snagged that one out of northern Illinois about 4 years ago. Didn't have to open the engine but the list is long.
    both tires (there is nothing wrong with Shinko's)
    complete front brake w/10mm master cylinder, vesrah pads new piston, teflon line.
    steering bearings
    swing arm bushing
    pamco, e-advance and Accel coil
    push rod seal
    chain and sprockets
    locks redone
    petcocks rebuilt gas cap seal.
    carbs done, throttle shaft seals, floats, float valves, rejetted (thanks again 5T)
    UNI Foam on the stock airfilter frames and boxes.
    every gasket I opened, replaced
    fork seals
    Lot's O buffing and polishing. probably over 10 hours just in the wheels.
    A real lucky paint set find (Thanks Scott!) Gas tank clean out
    repainting spray bomb and touch up.
    clutch and throttle cables
    Battery, rotor, brushes
    near endless trips to parts bins for; this bolt, that bracket.
    Swapped in a better tach,
    wiring replacements, repairs, revisions. handlebar switches rebuilt.
    5mm voltage monitor added.
    Mufflers, brackets, seat, foot pegs, front and rear, taillight and bracket, headlight.
    yeah it was an easy one.
    Head retorque, valve cover gaskets, cam, valves set (twice), oil filters replaced,
    And I'm trading it for a project bike!
    Oh I pulled the pin striping off the sidecovers and put on the correct decals tonight.

    I got lucky, it was a craigslist ad, I saw it too late, ad had been up for hours on a Sunday. But I googled the phone number, it was a business. So I started calling about 7:45 AM Monday caught him as he walked in the door, said I'd buy it and got in the van. When I got there he said there had been 15 messages on the answering machine about buying the bike, grin.
    He was the original owner, had sold it to a friend with a buy back provision, he bought it back, but realized he was never going to get to fixing it.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  14. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    I got one of the 5mm 'Sparkbright' indicators from gggGary and have been testing/evaluating this thing with a recently acquired and calibrated DC power supply. It was then installed on my XS1B, with dual points/coils and point/relay type regulator, a known electrically-noisy machine. It's intended for my other XS1B, but I'll leave it on this one for awhile. I'll cut-up this report to avoid 'net clobbering'.

    Check my album "SparkBright LED voltage monitor"

    The unit comes with 2 long red & black power wires, best attached to switched ignition (brown) and ground (black), which go to a very small 'brainbox', which is connected to a bi-color LED with 3 wires about 2" long. For the 5mm bi-color panel mount LED, use a 5/16" (8mm) hole for the mounting bezel, which has a 3/8" (9.5mm) face diameter.

    Too bad my camera-phone doesn't captures the led's colors well, it's much more vibrant in person...

    Attached Files:

  15. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    SparkBright LED display:

    In one compact unit, this LED display utilizes color (red and green), brightness (dim, normal, bright), and code flashing to report voltage and get your attention. When the voltage is within a tolerable, non-emergency range, the display does a slow transition between dim and normal, bright enough to let you see it, but not so bright as to draw your attention away from the road. But, when voltages become critical, the LED will produce brighter flashes. Daytime, in bright sunlight, you must really focus on the display to see it. But, shadowed with your hand, or mounted in a shadowed housing, the display is easy to see. Nighttime illumination is perfect, easy to see, non-distracting, until voltage becomes critical.

    The LED is mounted right in between the two instruments...

    Attached Files:

  16. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic

    I mounted my voltmeter in a speedo housing.
  17. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Sorry, had to cut this up into multiple posts.

    SparkBright LED display values:

    The 2, 3 and 4 red flashes occur with a short pause in between, similar to the 'check engine' OBD-I flashes
    The 'Dimming' is a smooth, slow, dim/normal transitioning display, 1.5 sec dim, 1.5 sec normal

    3.0v - 11.7v - 4 red flashes (lead/acid = 5% reserve)
    11.7v - 11.9v - 3 red flashes (lead/acid = 25% reserve)
    12.0v - 12.2v - 2 red flashes (lead/acid = 50% reserve)
    12.3v - 12.4v - Slow pulsing on/off red (about 1 sec on, 1 sec off ) (lead/acid = 75% reserve)
    12.5v - 13.1v - Dimming red (lead/acid = 100% reserve)
    13.2v - 15.1v - Dimming green
    15.2v - 18.9v - Alternating red/green flash
    19.1v -> - Bright red/green flash (about .5 sec red, .5 sec green)

    LEAD/ACID battery notes:

    To avoid lead/acid hi-charge boiling and for max battery life, my preferred charge voltage 'sweet spot' is 13.8 - 14.2v
    I would prefer to have the red/green overcharge warning occur at 14.8v, but I'm not using a large, electric-start battery.
    Lead/acid battery charging voltages vary from 14.2v to 14.9v.
    For those bikes that have an ignition kill switch and can turn the headlight off, the flashing red codes will give a good indication of battery charge percent.

    Lead/acid battery ref:

    LITHIUM battery notes:

    Charge limits for Lithium batteries vary, anywhere from 14.4v to 15.0v
    There is a strong warning to avoid voltages below 12.86v for Lithium batterys, which is within the dimming red warning.
    The Shorai battery specs show max charge voltage of 15.0v, almost perfect for this LED's red/green overcharge warning.

    Lithium battery ref:


    The hi-voltage warnings may be too high for TCI boxes and other electronic ignitions.
    Hi-voltage limits for regulators?
    Hi-voltage limits for electronic gadgets?

    Would like for members to comment on this...
  18. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I was doing a shake down cruise on the 77 tonight, when that led goes out, the fuse has blown!!!! LOL didn't have a damn thing with me either. Pushed the two fuse holders together in the plastic case and made it 15 miles home. Probably was the factory fuse, ends just fell off the glass.
  19. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic

    You know Gary I just hate those dam glass fuses

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