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Old 12-18-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
slartidbartfast OP
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1100GS HID Bixenon install

Have been "planning" this installation for quite a while. Read a load of threads, asked a few questions and finally found someone who had actually made the install in an 1100GS and was willing to talk about it - Thanks Mike!

Finally ponied up the $112 for an eBay slim ballast kit. The kit is for a car and comes with two ballasts, two lamps, but only one control "box".

I'll be doing the install in the next couple of days and had a few thoughts to bounce around to those in the know.

The wiring loom that comes with the kit is intended for plug-and-play installation in a car - taking power direct from a battery connection through a supplied fuse. It also combines the control functions for both lamps into one black box with an inscrutable diagram associated with it. I have deduced what it must do and plan to make my own harness, better suited to the GS. I am assuming the supplied harness does two things:
  1. Supplies power through a relay to the ballasts, switched on when either high or low beam is on
  2. Applies power to the capsule control to move the capsule when high beam is selected
As the only opportunity to "sense" power comes from the H-4 plug, there must be a diode or two to allow voltage at either filament connector in the factory lamp socket to energize the relay. Also, I presume there needs to be a capacitor or other circuit to stop the relay unlatching momentarily if there is a power break for a fraction of a second while switching from high-to-low beam or vice-versa.

Now, I'm not scared to get into the stock wiring and I would like something simpler and cleaner for the GS. Not to mention that I have to split the kit up so I can use half of it on my UK airhead RT. Therefore I have decided to re-wire everything. All that is required is to arrange for something to perform the two functions outlined above.

Power for lights that can not be interrupted whenever the lights switch from high to low can come from the jumper installed by BMW to eliminate the lights on/off switch in US models. All I have to do is tap into that jumper wire. I am going to assume that the circuit is already capable of providing sufficient current to meet my needs and so will not bother with another (redundant) relay. Just to be sure, does anyone know exactly what the initial start-up current requirement might be? I expect it is quite a bit higher than the 3A that the 35W running power would suggest (I'll be measuring this for myself later by the way)

The switching power for the high/low beam can come from the high beam circuit anywhere between the switch and the headlamp socket. I'll have a good look to work out the easiest place to tap into this but right inside the headlamp shell will probably work best, as that's where the power is needed.

If I just tap into the power at the jumper than I still have an easy option to return the lighting to stock if something fails.

Mike told me how to make sure the capsule fits in the headlamp. I'll take pics of that and any other "tricks" if necessary. If I get really enthusiastic, I'll also try to set up the requisite before/after shots.

Anything I've missed?
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:34 PM   #2
slartidbartfast OP
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OK - here are some real numbers (no guesswork or theory) for current draw from an HID lamp. Note that the ones I bought have the slim (digital?) ballasts, not the big boxes.

These numbers were obtained with both a DVM and a big Avo analog meter. I did this both to verify results and to look for any momentary spike that would show up in the needle movement but possibly not on the DVM. I hooked the ballasts directly to a (12.9V) battery via a meter to measure the current.

Start up current is approximately 3 to 4 Amps. This rises within a second or so to peak at around 6.5 Amps and then falls over the space of four or five more seconds to settle at 3.40 Amps. This means the lights consume a bit more than the supposed 35W while in steady operation (more like 44W). It also means that the initial current draw is low enough that I don't see any need for a separate power feed from the battery.

The surprising news was that the solenoid that moves the capsule in for high beam draws 0.75 Amps. Therefore, when high beam is selected, the total current will be 4.15 Amps which is approaching that expected for a 55W incandescent bulb. I don't have a stock H4 handy but I measured a 55W H7 I had on the shelf and it drew a steady 4.45 Amps or 57W in this case. Note that the incandescent bulb will draw slightly more current when the bike is running (and charging voltage is higher), whereas the HID should not.

This exercise (on the 1100GS at least) is not about saving electrical power but I'm looking forward to finishing the install and enjoying the extra lighting.

More to follow...
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:41 PM   #3
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On a related note... Does anyone have a decent color wiring diagram for the 1100GS? The one I have is both blurred and in German.
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:35 PM   #4
Anorak
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The light output of an h.i.d. at the same power consumption as an incandescent is much higher so there is a greater efficiency.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:39 PM   #5
slartidbartfast OP
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Well aware of that. Wouldn't be any point otherwise, although I believe the color temperature is preferable to halogen lights also. The reason for taking the measurements was mainly to see if the stock wiring would handle the load so I can avoid adding another battery feed and another relay, etc (all confusing the wiring, taking up space and adding potential failure points)

I noted that the capsule gets pretty hot - although nothing like a halogen bulb capsule. The ballast also gets warm, although I haven't run it for long enough to see how hot it might eventually become. Also, the high beam solenoid is consuming around 10W. I am considering experimenting to find the minimum voltage required to trigger the solenoid so I can add a resistor in-line to reduce the heating in the lamp assembly.
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January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
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Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 12-18-2008 at 08:47 PM
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:05 AM   #6
rboett
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pm me , send me your e-mail address, and I will e-mail you one

Quote:
Originally Posted by slartidbartfast
On a related note... Does anyone have a decent color wiring diagram for the 1100GS? The one I have is both blurred and in German.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:32 AM   #7
mike wright
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If you get stuck PM or email me .... I installed another one to a Yam Diversion and its the same install method. Your be surpised how easy it is to install as it takes longer to decide how you want to route the wiring that plugging it all together.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
slartidbartfast OP
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Hi Mike

It was the trick for fitting the capsule into the headlamp shell that I needed to know. Wiring it up is easy - making the wiring simple and neat will take a little thought, although I think I know what I'm going to do now. Should be two very short harnesses rather than one humongous rat's nest. I'll use the other lamp to do my airhead RT and still have some spare wiring and plugs left over.

Here's what I'm starting with (I've already removed one of the capsules and ballasts from the box)

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MSF Ridercoach IBA: 35353 95 R1100GSA, 93 GTS1000, 85 R80RT, 93 DR350/435, 99 RX125, 78 DT100
January 2010 New Zealand South Island ride
Summer 2009 UK to Alps ride
Summer 2008 UK End-to-End ride

slartidbartfast screwed with this post 12-19-2008 at 11:52 AM
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