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Old 04-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
tah1800 OP
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Location: Colo Springs, Colorado
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Spark Bright Voltage Monitor Installed

I read of the high number of failed alternators on these bikes so I invested $20 and installed a Spark Bright Voltage Monitor today. After I log a few miles I'll report how it's working if anyone cares.
Here is a link to provide more information: http://sparkbright.co.uk/

UPDATE: A few folks indicated they were curious about how the unit was working so I logged a few miles 4/13/13 and everything is working as advertised. When I got home, I used a volt meter to check the charging system output at the battery as well as battery voltage with ignition off. My battery was showing about 12.3 volts and the light reflected yellow/red as it should for that voltage and as soon as I started the engine, it immediately went to green when the charging system was putting out 14+ volts. All in all, I'd say it's worth the $ for a quick test of the system. I powered mine from the GPS accessory plug on top of the battery which seems to work well. It powers off about 60-90 seconds after you turn off the ignition. Some people prefer a digital readout but this does the same thing essentially at a glance with a red/yellow/green diode system that measures accurately in small increments of voltage changes.

Here's some added news from Andrew Ferguson himself - owner and inventor of Spark Bright: He said to let folks know that if they had custom voltage values to program into a unit, he could do that and if someone did NOT want the green light on all the time, he could set up an option to have it show for a set period of time (say 30 seconds) and then stay off as long as voltage was still in tolerance. He encouraged folks to contact him directly at sparkbright.co.uk@hosts.co.uk.

If anyone is wondering how long it takes to get a unit from the UK, I believe I had mine about 5-6 days after ordering. I'm not a shill for the company (Mr. Ferguson is in the UK....) but I'll give credit where credit is due.


tah1800 screwed with this post 04-14-2013 at 02:04 PM
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:17 PM   #2
Spektrum84
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Very nice , you'll have to let us know how well it works. I may consider one of these!
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:27 AM   #3
JRWooden
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That is a very nice compact design!

I think everybody should have a monitor installed...
On some BMWs the system voltage is one of the things you can display on the "information" line of the OBC, but not on the twins...

I installed this one shortly after I got my bike:

http://signaldynamics.com/index.php/...id=44&vmcchk=1

It not only costs more ... it also requires mounting the control brick at some remote location
The Spark Bright is much more clever!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
thleon
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Very Nice!
I bought one spark bright led also and I was thinking installing it on the same position. Waiting for your report how it's working.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
Saralou
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Look forward to the report on how it works. Only item on my bike after 60k kms that I have had a problem with is the stator. Very lucky to not have been caught out in the wilds of Mexico. Really a must have for over-landers if it works properly.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Yes, exactly what I was hoping for. An idiot light for her bike to go with the idiot she rides with! That's a perfect place to install it as well. I'm not concerned with the actual voltage but a nice quick is great when solo travelling in the outback.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
JRWooden
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I put mine up on the instrument cluster ... mostly because a buddy owe'd me a favor and said he'd make the bracket for me it I gave him the template ... he didn't quite know what he was in for ...

Second reason was that on longer trips I ride with a tank bag that would get in the way of the faux-tank mount....

I wired to the GPS plug for auto-on-off:

http://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...mp-GPS-adapter
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
tah1800 OP
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Good point on where to mount if you like a tank bag. I used the GPS adapter for the power source too. Makes for a clean connection point.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
JRose
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Ah the product information the interwebz gives me.

Great info. I like plain and simple much more than a digital readout.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRose View Post
Ah the product information the interwebz gives me.

Great info. I like plain and simple much more than a digital readout.
yeah... I don't need voltage to 3 decimal places ...
I just want to know ... am I good ... or am I hosed?

BTW I am happy to send the template for my little LED mounting bracket to anyone that wants it...

I've tried sending it by e-mail but it never seems to print at 100% scale... so if you want it just PM me your postal address and I'd be happy to mail you a copy with some comments ... no charge ...
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #11
JRose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden View Post
yeah... I don't need voltage to 3 decimal places ...
I just want to know ... am I good ... or am I hosed?

BTW I am happy to send the template for my little LED mounting bracket to anyone that wants it...

I've tried sending it by e-mail but it never seems to print at 100% scale... so if you want it just PM me your postal address and I'd be happy to mail you a copy with some comments ... no charge ...
Have a pic of it? I was thinking of building something around the combination meter to hold this, and accessory plug ins, but haven't really got around to even messing with it past the thouht of it.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:30 PM   #12
thleon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden View Post
BTW I am happy to send the template for my little LED mounting bracket to anyone that wants it...
Thats nice ! I would like ti have also, I will send you a PM

thleon screwed with this post 04-14-2013 at 09:43 PM
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:21 PM   #13
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRose View Post
Have a pic of it? I was thinking of building something around the combination meter to hold this, and accessory plug ins, but haven't really got around to even messing with it past the thouht of it.
Here's some pics and details:

http://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...mp-GPS-adapter
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #14
JRose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden View Post
I dig that location. I'd be interested in that template! Clean install.


Jason
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:57 AM   #15
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRose View Post
I dig that location. I'd be interested in that template! Clean install.


Jason
I've got a PDF of the template ... but no feed back on if really is at 100% scale or not....

PM me your postal address or e-mail address and I can email you the PDF or snail-mail you a "real" clean copy ....
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