23 October 2011

A Comparison

Someone was curious about a side by side comparison, so took a few shots. I also ordered the Trailtech 150W full wave rectifier/regulator module. I'm now going to say it's a must when changing to full DC. Easy to wire in and reliable. Even appears to have an adjustable output voltage. Without further adieu, the pics:
Stock dual headlights on high beam at 6 feet

LED dual headlights at 6 feet in stock reflector
25W HID and 55W halogen modules

side by side compare at 15 feet. Halogen is a module

one HID low

one HID high

18 October 2011

going HID

I decided that I want some good lights to drive with this winter. I know I'll be riding in the dark, and the stock lights were poor. The LED headlights I added later looked great in the day but didn't light up the road well at night. So I decided I want projector High Intensity Discharge lights. Someone on Scootdawg posted a link to an Asian place that makes combo projector lens and HID bulb plus balast and wiring harness. I've read that just sticking an HID into a reflector not designed for it gives a poor light pattern. Besides, the projectors look cool and are priced right.
  After making my scooter all DC, I got the one HID I ordered installed. Putting the projector in was very easy. The hard part was figuring out where to put the harness and ballast. I looked at several locations, but found a good spot that would work when I add the second light. Some double sided tape and several zip-ties later I had it all mounted and wired in. I had planned ahead and many months ago when I had all the plastic off I added a pair of heavy wires directly from the battery to the front area, with its own fuse. I just had to hook the ballast into those wires, then cut and splice the existing headlight switch into their control harness.

 The control harness has a relay or two inside it. This means the headlight switch is not switching high current, just enough to throw the relay. Very convenient! I'm not going to worry about going back from my modification. I decided long ago that when I mod a vehicle it's way too much work and worry to try to keep it reversible. Why would I reverse it anyway, when I sell it? Who wants to buy a modified-then-unmodified vehicle? I tend to keep things till they fall apart and die. So just cut and splice, make it look nice.
I have not yet installed a switch for the green angle eye. I think I'll add a little switch that is enabled when the key is "ON". The switch will turn on the angel eyes and eventually the ground effect lighting. Headlight is always on when engine is running, high beam on/off via the stock switch. Effects optional with the key.

11 October 2011

Converting to full DC

I recently converted my scooter to full DC power. Here are some photos and instructions. First remove the flywheel. The Y shaped tool I made didnt work out for me so I used a hefty bar instead. Worked well enough. Note the position of everything so you can put it back later.

Remove the stator from the engine and pull the wire harness out of the tangled mess. I was following the KTM instructions. They didn't fit exactly what I was seeing on my stator. I have a green ground wire on the LEFT side of the CDI coil. They show it on the RIGHT side with no green wire.
I un-soldered the green wire and associated coil wire, as well as the yellow wire and its center-tap coil wire pair. Then, just as the instructions say, add an extension wire to the ground coil wire. I ended up putting the green ground back on the lug. Ultimately it could probably be removed entirely, but more ground connections wont hurt.
Next I soldered the two coil center tap wires together and put heat shrink on the joint. I reused the solder lug to attach the extension wire to the yellow wire. The lug just makes it easier since it holds it in place and keeps it from shorting to anything.
I didnt add any windings to the poles because mine all seemed uniformly wound, unlike the KTM instructions. Overall their instructions were very helpful, but if I didn't know what I was looking at I would have been lost with my stator being just a little different.

 The big deviation begins here. I am having a hard time convincing myself that I need to spend $50 for a $10 part. I pulled a good sized bridge rectifier from my salvaged junk collection. This device has 4 diodes in it that convert 2 phase (or 1 phase) AC into DC. I cut and spliced this into the wire harness from the coil, so that after the connector it would be all DC. This came back to bit me just a bit later on.
Directly on the output of the rectifier, not attached to the rest of the system I was reading 28VDC. I hooked this 28V directly into the battery and the stock regulator. Now the stock regulator is keeping the entire system voltage stable at about 14VDC, even with two 55W headlights on. I'm a little bit worried about the stock regulator and my rectifier getting hot. Today I checked them after my commute and the regulator was cool, but the rectifier was warm. I might add a heat sink to it.
The part that bit me: I had previously installed a relay to switch everything except the auto choke and starter on and off. This relay coil was driven by a small diode + capacitor circuit so it could take AC directly from the stator. This would behave the same was as stock. Relay off when engine not running, relay on when engine running.
You can see the added yellow-red connector-white addition here. This runs up to the relay to make it turn with AC on when the engine runs. Almost perfect! It turns on with the first crank instead of when idling, but it works and I can adjust that turn on delay later. The other option is to add a switch to turn on/off all the lights.
I did run into another problem. Somehow with all my re-wiring I left the auto-choke connected to battery 12V somewhere. The first night after I did this conversion my battery died. it took a bit of head scratching but disconnecting that auto-choke removed the drain and everything is good again. I just need to re-wire the choke into the relay side of the 12V. Or remove it and put in a manual choke.. which seems like a better option.

Next up: installing 1 of 2 HID projector bulbs! I could only afford 1 at the time ok?! I'll get the other next month.

04 October 2011

LED lights

I decided to switch my scooter to full DC power. I ordered LED lights for everything. I haven't done the stator conversion yet, but the turn signals are already DC, so I've swapped those bulbs out for LED. I'm satisfied! they are as bright or brighter than the little amber 3W stock bulbs. For signals I used these from ebay. I didn't even have to change my flasher relay.
I also got dash lights, and brake lights. I'll install them after the system is full DC. As well as install a pair of 25W HID projectors. I've decided on green as my accent color, since yellow, red, and blue are illegal here and white is kinda boring.