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Baja Designs Brake/Running light LED mod...

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I was tired of NOT being seen from behind by cars/vehicles on the road when I had to blast down the highway or city street, and bright sunlight washed out my tail light....

I added a CODE3 "Red" flasher assembly that has a "steady burn" option. Using a resistor to aid in the running portion of the circuit, I was able to dim the LED enough to not blind the people behind me... when you apply the brake, the LEDs are almost too bright.

Pictures do no justice... but if your interested in the mod, I'll post my findings;

- (One) 100 +/- 5 Ohms Resistor (brown/black/brown with gold)

- (One) "Big Bike Parts" 2-357 conversion kit (only because I stripped out another little diode looking thing, it prevents back flow of 12V current)

- (One) CODE3 Optix Red light

These things are bullet proof (okay, not really) and will outlast anything I've put to the test (we used a similar one in the Baja500 on the front fender). Plus, if your not on the street, you can remove the steady burn pattern and add a more noticeable flash.

The new CODE3 bolted right up, with no drilling required as the bolt holes were the exact same (4" offset). Also the stock bolts were the right length. Couldn't have been easier!

Anyway... just thought I'd share.... :ride:

Here are some pics;

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/johnnyairtime/2005%20CRF%20450%20X%20-%202X/tail%20light%20CODE3/DSC02572.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/johnnyairtime/2005%20CRF%20450%20X%20-%202X/tail%20light%20CODE3/DSC02574.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/johnnyairtime/2005%20CRF%20450%20X%20-%202X/tail%20light%20CODE3/DSC02571.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/johnnyairtime/2005%20CRF%20450%20X%20-%202X/tail%20light%20CODE3/DSC02573.jpg

:thumbsup:

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Looks good! :thumbsup: How much did the setup cost? Is it really that much brighter than the BD?

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Let's see... $.05 for the Resistor, $100 for the LED (off of Ebay), and the diode you could get from Radio Shack instead of the kit. An easy $110 with gas. :ride:

And OH YA it's brighter than the BD light. So bright... you see stars when the brake light is applied. Honestly... it's probably too bright. But I can't wait to drag the brake with my buddies behind me on a ride... they'll hate me. :applause:

I wish I could video and compare the two... Amazing difference.

The CODE3 light is basically a "behind the grill" of a cop car style light. I'm sure I could take a small clip at night and show you just how much brighter it is. Might be a good "geee wizz" test for dusk sometime this week.

I'm a gadget geek Sharpie... I have fun with this stuff.

:thumbsup:

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Thanks Johnny, I enjoy tinkering as well and Im going to look into that setup. :thumbsup:

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No worries Sharpie...

Since you and others are "looking into it"... Then I'll be sure to show you the comparison of how well the light works against another LED (using the BajaD setup as an example).

I'm going to do it the scientific way;

Go down the street with my bike, a 12V Makita battery, and the BajaD LED.

I'll have my GF take a picture from about 100yards (or closer - wherever the BajaD LED fades away and isn't noticeable) with both lights in running mode... then both in "braking" mode.

... I know BajaD and other companies can't warrant the cost of GEN3 LEDs in their lights... or the costs that are associated with higher end LEDs... but it'd be nice if they gave us the option of one or the other. I know the guys who ride street would feel MUCH safer with a solution like this. Not that 'my' solution is DOT approved, but I'm sure I'd get stopped for too bright... rather than "where's your light?" and that wouldn't bother me. I see a lot of road bikes with lame rear LEDs... and then a few Harley styled bikes will ride by with bright tail lights and man, what a difference. So much safer.

As you can see... I've tried many different things on my old beloved XR....

http://www.johnnyairtime.org/project-XR650.html (Scroll down on page to "first attempt" and "second ..." NOTE - both options ended up breaking)

:thumbsup:

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I hear you loud and clear, I would rather stand out on the road although I really only ride street to connect the trails or run to the corner store. The BD light is OK but those LEDs you got are so bright you cant be missed. FWIW I found a similar LED to yours for $50 http://www.sirennet.com/newwhtisuled.html although it does not look as tuff.

Im just curious because Ive gone through 3 BD LED tail lights in the last year and the fact that that thing is so bright. :thumbsup:

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I think you might have yourself something there Sharpie...!

$50 is MUCH better... and even though it's not as ruggedized "looking" I bet it'd work just the same. If not better... look at the lense on the face of the plastic LED cover. ALL 3 of them are wide angle. Mine isn't. Only two of them are. That wide angle helps...

Try it... :thumbsup:

I'll post my "dust" pics tonight

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Aaaalllll riiiigghhht...

I'm surprised the pictures don't still do their justice, next time I'll do this in bright sunlight... you really can't tell because of the camera. And honestly, the BD light is pretty decent... but, you've got to be RIGHT behind the bike to catch the magnification of the lense. Here, I had my lovely assistant aim it until I got "full" brightness. :applause: ...she wasn't too thrilled (but I did get her Tahoe in the pics!)

The BajaD light is in her hands... with the CODE3 on my bike....

Running light (distance)

Brake light (distance)

Running light (closeup - no BajaD light)

Brake light (closeup - no BajaD light)

.... amazing how much the two top shots look alike or the LEDs look the same brightness... however, in daylight it's "no comparison".

I'll geek out in the day and do the same test. :thumbsup:

:ride:

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make sure your camera is shooting the same exposure for the brake vs running, the extra light could be closing the aperture or bumping up the exposure if it is in auto mode.

Cool mod, I street ride and am looking for an upgraded tail/brake (especially brake) setup. thanks for the info!

Paul

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I was looking at the sirennet stuff and had a ? for you lighting gurus. On that light the link goes to, are the phase 1 and phase 2 be like the running light and brake light? If its not, how would you go about making it work for a tail/brake light? What do you think of the light next to that one on the M/C LED light page? It has hi/lo, and if you go to the home page, it is offered with a 10% discount.

Also, with these lights designed for M/C use, would they already have the diode and resistor in it, or would I need to add those as well?

Im sure I didnt ask all of the relevant questions, but it is a start to understanding these LEDs

John in Vegas

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I'm wondering the same thing as JohnnyJeep. I have zero experience with these LEDs. As the budget is limited I'm still going with the BD LED setup for now. Another question I have is do I have to add a resistor for the BD setup or do I just plug & play?

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The BajaD setup is plug and play... ground, brake and running are your connections.

The LED setups need a resistor and diode (I've never seen a LED strobe setup for a brake/running light).

If you can solder or crimp connect... you can learn how to connect an LED. My LED has 4 wires... however, this is how it's laid out;

1- 12V +

2- Ground

3- Synchro (allows another LED to be synchronized with this LED as wig-wag)

4- Flash control (change the flash rate by momentary grounding this wire)

A- The resistor is to dim the light. Resist current, and allow the LED to act as a running light. You wire this inline with the running light wire (on the bike).

B- The diode is to keep 12V from backfeeding up the running light wire. You wire the diode inline with the brake light wire (on the bike) and then join the brake and running wire together at the LED 12V +.

It's really fairly simple and I'll draw up a little wiring diagram if you need it. Let me know. Or go here (just a bit past half way down the page to get an idea); http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Lights.html

:thumbsup:

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Right on. Thanks Air Time. That's the first decent explanation of what's needed that I've seen. Not just what to hook up where, but also how & why the components work. I dig this kind of tinkering stuff. I recently rewound my stator myself & enjoyed that little project immensely. Keep up with the ideas. As time & money allow I'll try some of your ideas myself. BTW what's that little aluminum rack do-hickey on the top of your rear fender all about?

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Hyper... cool, glad to hear your a geekatinkerer too... :applause:

The rack thingy is the mount for the "Rally Logger" that was used during the Baja 500. I never removed the mount because if I did, I might misplace it. :ride: ...it'd be great if it also served as a fender tool pack quick disconnect/connect. :thumbsup: Hmmm... might just have to work that out too! haha...

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Hey Johnnyair, have you looked at the 2 different lights from sirennet? Which would you reccomend of the 2. I am going to look at the link right now, with a little direction, Im sure I can do it, I just havent really messed with LEDs before except that BD stuff.

John in Vegas

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Airtime, thanks for the post. I can see the difference in the pics, the high output almost burns a hole in my laptop.

My stock KTM taillight has always had me worried. Can you give a few more wiring details, whats the source for the big bike kit?

Thanks!

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Hey Johnnyair, have you looked at the 2 different lights from sirennet? Which would you reccomend of the 2. I am going to look at the link right now, with a little direction, Im sure I can do it, I just havent really messed with LEDs before except that BD stuff.

John in Vegas

Ya.. I glanced. I like the one that resembles the CODE3 version. It also has 2 bolt holes in about the same place that's needed. So I guess that's the one I would try. ...keep it simple.

Airtime, thanks for the post. I can see the difference in the pics, the high output almost burns a hole in my laptop.

My stock KTM taillight has always had me worried. Can you give a few more wiring details, whats the source for the big bike kit?

Thanks!

:thumbsup: too funny... The Big Bike Part Kit comes from JCWhitney catalog. And honestly... buying it will help you TREMENDOUSLY with the wiring and how to connect it all (it has a simple diagram included). It's really simple.

If you don't like JCWhitney, here's another site that sells it;

http://www.goldwingcustomizing.com/detail.cfm?model_ID=0&Category_ID=165&manufacturer_ID=66&product_ID=5913&sblid_name=Show_Chrome_Accessories__Big_Bike_Parts__Brake_Light_Conversion_Kit

Or direct;

http://www.bigbikeparts.com/search.asp?search=led+conversion

I'll scan a copy of the diagram tonight, and post it here.

However, buying the kit truly helps as you would wire whatever your adding the same, only changing the resistor value. The big bike kit's resistor isn't enough to dim the light.

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Here ya go...

I scanned the original (which was funky... wire colors were all off)... and edited it to suite the needs of most of you.

Just use the resistor I mention below... and ask about the correct diode to not allow backflow. It doesn't need to be a large one...

LEDconversion-JJcopy-1.jpg

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Shouldnt the brake and running wires be flip flopped, I would think you'd want the full current (no resistor) with the brake and less current (in line resistor) with the running light. That diagram goes against everything I learned in electronics classes.

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