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Old 06-20-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
GodfatherofSoul OP
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Brake/Tail Light Combinations (stone cold noob question)

I just got a Givi top case and I want to run an LED mod to add brake and tail lights. I'd love to only have two lighting circuits (left and right LED strips) in addition to the pure brake light in the middle. The left and light tail lights could then go double bright for brakes (turn signals will be separate). I'd rather go this route since I don't have much real estate to work with (at my skill level at least).

After about 2 hours figuring out what relays are and this post, it sounds like I still need a separate brake and tail light circuit on each side. But, it looks like others have done this from YouTube videos of similar mods. I'm reading up on regulators which might be the solution in the meantime.

OK, what am I missing?
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
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Wow, that is confusing, or it's late and i can't read.
The part that might throw a wrench in things is the part about the LEDs going 'double bright'. Unless you're lighting up a separate circuit of LEDs within the ones already lit, you'll have to have some way of modifying a pulse width going to the LEDs.
Less confusing: Any light (even led) is either on or off. Making anything brighter or dimmer involves a separate controller instead of a regular (brake light) switch.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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Stated a bit simpler, I hope: I want to make a running light (composed of LEDs) be dim for normal tail light mode and bright for brake light mode. I've seen people with Givi LED mods on YouTube where this is appears to be working. I too don't understand how LEDs can have bright and dim modes.

Here's a YouTube video doing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHsXgZrIQwc
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:08 AM   #4
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Some LED strips may come with two separate circuits in them; light up one for "dim" and both for "bright." I know for a fact that this is how LED brake/tail lights work.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GodfatherofSoul View Post
Stated a bit simpler, I hope: I want to make a running light (composed of LEDs) be dim for normal tail light mode and bright for brake light mode. I've seen people with Givi LED mods on YouTube where this is appears to be working. I too don't understand how LEDs can have bright and dim modes.

Here's a YouTube video doing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHsXgZrIQwc

Ah, right. Yeah, that guy has some kind of controller.
A little google fu yields this brake controller. Amazon isnt very descriptive, but i found the manual here and it does say that it has left turn, right turn, running, and brake light outputs. Sounds like thats what you need.
As far as how they work (just technical stuff here) you can either run full juice into your magic box, and dump out some of the current into ground then route full juice to the bulb when you brake. Or you can have a digital controller that modifies a pulsed signal to the bulb to have longer on-periods giving you a brighter light momentarily. Or you can just, use two strips of LEDs and have one hooked up to the running, and one hooked up to the brake circuit.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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Some follow-up, the poster of that video has another with more info. At the 0:43 second mark he shows his circuit. There's a voltage regulator on the running light side and diodes on the lines running to the lamps. I looked at the specs in another video, but the LEDs didn't appear to have 2 luminosity settings. I'm actually going to try to mock up his circuit tonight to see what happens (assuming Radio Shack has what I need).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEYWeKjhVNE
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
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I surrender! I figure by the time I screw up enough components and burn the time getting this wired, it won't be worth the cost. Just orded a pre-built unit from Skene Design that was used in one of the YouTube videos I watched. More piece of mind as well since w/ my soldering talent I'd probably short my whole bike in the middle of nowhere.

For reference I think I was on the right path of using a voltage regulator with a trimmer/potentiometer and diodes on the back end.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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I ended up building a mockup circuit to see if I could get the results I wanted. First time I've ever used a board or done a real project like that, so it was pretty eye-opening (and fingertip roastening). For newbies out there, I ran the running lights first through Fairchild LM317 voltage regulator. The adjustment voltage output was run to a 1K ohm 15-turn trimmer/potentiometer (only using the 1- and 2- connections). I used a 100 ohm resistor for the constant resistor (will make sense when you look at diagram on back of package). My final setting on the trimmer tested at 614 ohms for about 9V output.

The brake and running lights sides of my mockup ran two lines in parallel through a diode (2 to each lamp for brake and running light for a total of 4 diodes). I just used one 3-LED strip of those flexible rolls for each mock tail light.

My mockup works just like the YouTube video; dim for running lights, bright when brakes are applied. So, I'm guessing that 9V/12V is a good running/brake setup (probably varies based on your LEDs).
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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Wicked

Final product after much backtracking, changing my mind, and discovery:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/uCoaOldEVm0

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GodfatherofSoul screwed with this post 07-19-2013 at 02:18 AM Reason: Added YouTube embed
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