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  #1  
Old 3 Days Ago
sml1226 sml1226 is offline
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Default Adaptive headlight issues

I’ve got a JW Speaker adaptive LED headlight. The light has fill lights for leaning (I assume accelerometer, but who knows, maybe it’s a proper gyroscope). I have to assume this is at least partially related to the issue... Gotta love the fancy stuff.

The issue is that the light will occasionally fail to activate anything beyond the low beam. High beam, fill lights, etc. all do nothing. Low beam never goes out, which is good I guess, but nothing else works. If I shut the bike off after this without killing the lights, it’ll blink out and immediately come back every 5-10 seconds or so. No issues with that while it’s running. Shut it off, wait a few minutes, it comes back like nothing was ever wrong. Quick power cycle usually doesn’t fix it.

I assumed heat. I punched a big vent hole in the bucket, didn’t fix anything. Now I can stuff a finger in there when it’s acting up and tell how hot the heat sink is though. It goes from barely warm to really hot depending on weather and ride time. Seems unrelated to when it happens though. Leaving it powered and cooling it down doesn’t solve anything. Has to be power cycled. Unless it’s a weird thermal protection that I can’t figure out a consistent way of tripping, I’m thinking no on heat.

Battery is good. Terminals in the bucket have all been cleaned and greased. Voltage regulator connections have been as well. I don’t think the charging system is the issue. Everything stays charged, nothing else is acting up, but under powering it is about all I can think of. I returned one of these that started doing this already. Assumed bad light that time, but this one is behaving exactly the same way. Pretty sporadic in when it chooses to not work properly.

No accessories on the electrical system outside of a garage door transmitter, which does tie in to the high beam, but only uses it as a trigger signal. Actual power comes from the accessory wire that has nothing to do with the light. The high beam power is switching properly, as the transmitter and the indicator both work as expected.

Any ideas here? Anybody have one of these with any issues?
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Curious as well as I run their “Daymaker” one of the absolute best,(albeit expensive), headlights I’ve ever known and no issues there. What does J.W.Speaker have to say about it?
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I haven’t tried them yet on this one. They tend to shove you off onto whoever you purchased things from if it wasn’t direct to handle any sort of warranty claims. Last time around, they told me to go to Revzilla after I’d done the basic troubleshooting. Revzilla just paid for a refund and off I went. No testing, no further info. But now it’s happening again.

I’ve checked everything I can think to check while in the garage. Running and straight off the battery, everything works fine, nothing seems weird. The only thing I can’t reliably check is what the regulator is spitting out while I’m out riding. Unless someone has another idea, I’m going to pick up a new regulator and see what happens. My only thought is that the light has a breaker or some protection in there and the regulator is spiking while riding and taking things out until it can self-reset.
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John Harper John Harper is offline
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You can check the voltage at the battery when the bike is running to check charging system. It should be above 14V when engine on and running. I would not be spending money on a regulator when you have not gotten any help from JW Speaker yet. Be patient, nothing worse than just spending money hoping for a solution.

You have to be very persistent sometimes with purchasing products from 3rd party vendors, you always get bounced between them and manufacturer. Keep trying to get JW Speaker to support their products. Lots of us on XLForum may NOT purchase their products based on your experience. Maybe that will get their attention.

John
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Oh I have tested it. All measures well while not going anywhere. The thought behind this stems from the regulator being hit by the fender during the wreck last spring. Everything does measure fine while in the garage, but there’s a big scratch in the top fin. Since it does measure fine, I assumed cosmetics only and never bothered replacing it. However, it could be fine at idle and for the brief blips of the throttle while stationary, while certain conditions when riding push beyond what it is capable of now.

It’s not totally random “throw parts at it” thinking this time around, but I can’t get it to show me any issues during testing either. I can’t think of a safe and reliable way to monitor the output while riding, but that would be the way to verify this... or stick it in another bike and completely rule out the light itself, but I definitely don’t have a second bike.

I’ll ask them about it, sure. I just can’t think of anything anyone is going to actually offer here outside of “return it and we’ll get you another one” since it’s sealed with zero access to the actual circuitry here preventing me from inspecting anything. The same behavior with two lights is making me doubt the lights, but the charging system acting up under some arbitrary condition that I don’t meet under every ride is all I can think of, and since it isn’t every ride, I can’t figure out how to test for it either.
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The only thing I can’t reliably check is what the regulator is spitting out while I’m out riding. Unless someone has another idea,

F.W.I.W. I’ve had my share of issues these last 60+years and probably 500,000 milers. Gone through more than a couple charging systems and done some experimenting with running Big Twin systems in Sportys. Two out of three Sportys now run the Cycle Electric three phase 38 amp systems, good stuff, more recently I picked up a couple small 1/2”x1” cubed l.e.d. Voltmeters for about $12.00, mine came through Aerostich Rider Warehouse. These easily zip tie between the speedo and tach, mine are green lighted, and when keyed on instantly and constantly track voltage. I see the drop, .6 volts by turning the ignition key, dips to 11,6when starter engages and pops right back up to13.8 at idle. By 1200 r.p.m. I read 14.5 and it falls and rises about .2 when turn signals are activated. This has become extremely gratifying and confidence inspiring for me as I navigate down the road. Never again will I be caught by surprise with a wounded or failing charging system. I’ll try to get a picture posted.

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If you want to track what is happening while riding you could temporarily wire in a multimeter that records max and min voltages, maybe right at the headlight...they are handy for all sorts of things and not too expensive these days.
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Unless the stator is going on me, which doesn't seem likely, that three phase system is a little bit off the radar still. I was thinking CE for the replacement single phase if I need one. If it goes beyond a regulator though, I'd certainly be looking at a full three phase system.

The meter idea is a good one, and one that I had thought of, but not in that small of a scale. I'd think a peak hold would be somewhat of a necessity for this sort of test seeing as I go for rides without issue all the time, so whatever the condition is, if it's charging system related, it's not something I do enough to know when to stare at a meter.

Small and cheap are not an area I know well here though. My good meter does all of this really well, but it's a bench meter. No portability there at all. I guess I'll get to looking for something cheap that'll log/hold peaks.
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How often does this occur? Can you cause it to occur within a specific time frame (in order to see if various changes fix the problem)?

The product seems to have a 'WOW' function at the beginning of power, where all the lights come on. Does the headlight do this consistently when you turn it on? Or sometimes does not do this?

Have you observed this 'WOW' lighting happening while riding?

When it fails, does the bulb fail to operate correctly immediately, upon power up? Or does it fail sometime after a normal startup?

Since this device is self-contained with it's own 'control function', the only affect you might have on it is the power.

So, you might try running some temporary, dedicated power wires into it as a test for intermittent power. Other than failing internal circuits, the only reason I can suspect your particular symptoms might occur is if the power is going on and off, confusing the internal brain.


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Frequency is pretty inconsistent. I've had it go problem free for a week, then happen every ride, then be fine again for a few rides. It's fairly sporadic.

Any cold start, any extended wait, and it'll do the full power up sweep. Short power toggles (a second or two off) and it'll just come back on, no startup cycle. When it's been working correctly, power cycling does not change anything. It still works. The same is unfortunately true when it acts up. If it wasn't working prior to the toggle, it continues to not work outside of the low beam. I haven't figured out exactly how long it needs to stay off, but leaving it off for a while always "resets" it and everything goes back to working. I have not bothered to see how long until it does a full power on cycle after shutdown when it is working either.

Never have seen it do the WOW while running, but as I said, even when it's working, short loss of power won't cause a full light show, so that's to be expected.

I have yet to see the light fail to work correctly after having sat for any real length of time. If I've parked it, it works. It's only at some point during the ride that it loses functionality.

I have also never seen the light go off for any period of time while the bike is running. Once it has failed on me, it will blink out periodically once the engine is shut off, but I can restart the engine without ever power cycling and stop the blinks. That doesn't fix the other lighting, but it does fix the odd blinking. I'd assume blinking out would be a low voltage thing, but the lower limit of the operating range is 9V, and it's certainly not anywhere near that low. This failing has happened while riding at night, and the light never goes out. I'll lose the fill lights and the high beam, but it never shuts off. I'd assume intermittent or insufficient power would at least cause it to cut out, but that never happens.

I'm going to try to figure out a way to monitor a ride, but I can't imagine going too low wouldn't kill the light and have me running dark at least momentarily.
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