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  #1  
Old 22nd April 2018
JensWest JensWest is offline
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Default Turn signal won't blink when motor's on

Hi!

I replaced the stock turn signals on my 1999 XL1200C with small, 21 W, light bulb ones. Front and back.
They work as they should when I turn the key to acc., but when I turn the motor on, they give a steady light.
(Actually, they worked as they should with the motor on directly after I installed them, but began giving a steady light during the first ride for the year.)
My guess is that the cheap bulbs I used in the back isn't quite 21 W (although stated) and when the bike gives a bit more than 12 V, while on, the relay stops working as it should due to a too low resistance in the circuit.
Or could there be another explanation for this?
Please, let me know what your thoughts on the matter are.

Thanks, Jens
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  #2  
Old 23rd April 2018
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IXL2Relax IXL2Relax is offline
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The TSM is expecting the bulbs to use approx. 53w (combined front & rear on one side) and your bulbs (if rated correctly) are pulling 42w (combined front & rear on one side)...

You should be able to add one load resistor (6-ohm, 50-watt) to each side and the system should function correctly...

As a quick test (if you have a spare bulb in a socket) is to wire an extra bulb into either right or left side and see if the TSM works correctly - If so, pull the extra bulb and put one load resistor in each side (one right & one left)...

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  #3  
Old 23rd April 2018
JensWest JensWest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
The TSM is expecting the bulbs to use approx. 53w (combined front & rear on one side) and your bulbs (if rated correctly) are pulling 42w (combined front & rear on one side)...

You should be able to add one load resistor (6-ohm, 50-watt) to each side and the system should function correctly...

As a quick test (if you have a spare bulb in a socket) is to wire an extra bulb into either right or left side and see if the TSM works correctly - If so, pull the extra bulb and put one load resistor in each side (one right & one left)...

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53 W? How come?
I thought the original bulbs were 21 W.

I went with bulbs to avoid using resistors...

When I got the bike, it hade the original turn signals in front (will check the W on them later today) and a small pair of 21 W in the back and everything worked as it should.
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  #4  
Old 23rd April 2018
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Here's the link to the Sportsterpedia section on Turn Signals:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...ignal_function

And I've added a chart to the Reference Section related to alternative 1157 bulbs:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...3#turn_signals

The standard 1157 bulb pulls 26.88 watts of current when blinking... You must have found the edge point of working/not-working of your particular TSM because your choices are very close to working if the 'front regular + the rear new' did work before...


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  #5  
Old 23rd April 2018
JensWest JensWest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
Here's the link to the Sportsterpedia section on Turn Signals:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...ignal_function

And I've added a chart to the Reference Section related to alternative 1157 bulbs:
http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/t...3#turn_signals

The standard 1157 bulb pulls 26.88 watts of current when blinking... You must have found the edge point of working/not-working of your particular TSM because your choices are very close to working if the 'front regular + the rear new' did work before...


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Thank you so much for your fast and informative replies!

I looked at all 4 turn signals that were previously on, back when it worked, and all 4 bulbs says 21 W.
So I'm back at blaming the cheap bulbs I used in the back not being quite 21 W.

So, my plan is to remove one of the back turn signals (with the cheap bulb) and to wire in both turn signals I replaced, one at a time, and see how it works, with the other side as reference.
My hope is that it'll work with two true 21 W bulbs on each side.

If it doesn't work, I'll proceed with adding a resistor.
Isn't there a risk that it won't light up at all if I add in a 6 Ohm/50 W resistor, since there's only a few W missing?

And, should it be enough to wire a resistor to just the back turn signal, or should I put one in the back and front on each side?
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Old 23rd April 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JensWest View Post
I looked at all 4 turn signals that were previously on, back when it worked, and all 4 bulbs says 21 W.
Wow - Were they the 1157 bulbs? What brand? Must have been a weak light output...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JensWest View Post
If it doesn't work, I'll proceed with adding a resistor.
Isn't there a risk that it won't light up at all if I add in a 6 Ohm/50 W resistor, since there's only a few W missing?

And, should it be enough to wire a resistor to just the back turn signal, or should I put one in the back and front on each side?
The 6-ohm value pulls 2+amps (which is equiv to one 1157 bulb) - It's a very common value for load resistors and should be easy to find - But other values (that might pull less current - closer to the minimum you need) will be harder to find - I suppose a 12-15 ohm resistor would work, but hard to find rated at sufficient watts...

Since one resistor is going to be equal to a regular 1157 bulb, putting it anywhere in the right-side line (and one in the left-side line) should be sufficient to raise your current load amount so the TSM works correctly... It doesn't need to be right at the bulbs - anywhere in that supply line will do - It gets connect between the Brown Wire & Ground (Right Side) or Violet Wire & Ground (Left Side)...

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  #7  
Old 23rd April 2018
JensWest JensWest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
Wow - Were they the 1157 bulbs? What brand? Must have been a weak light output...
No, they're the 1156 kind. Philips.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IXL2Relax View Post
The 6-ohm value pulls 2+amps (which is equiv to one 1157 bulb) - It's a very common value for load resistors and should be easy to find - But other values (that might pull less current - closer to the minimum you need) will be harder to find - I suppose a 12-15 ohm resistor would work, but hard to find rated at sufficient watts...

Since one resistor is going to be equal to a regular 1157 bulb, putting it anywhere in the right-side line (and one in the left-side line) should be sufficient to raise your current load amount so the TSM works correctly... It doesn't need to be right at the bulbs - anywhere in that supply line will do - It gets connect between the Brown Wire & Ground (Right Side) or Violet Wire & Ground (Left Side)...
I have resistors with the values 6/50, 8/25 and 10/10 (Ohm/W).
Could the 10/10 do?
The highest Ohm I've got and about twice the W I need to compensate for.

Isn't there a risk that I'd put in "too much resistance" if I'd put a resistor equal to a 1157 bulb next to (in parallell with) a 21 W bulb?

Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not questioning your answers.
I'm sure your solution is good enough, but I'm also interested in understanding the theory behind it as I'm new to this and have found it very interesting.
Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 23rd April 2018
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Well - The TSM does the job that the old round blinker can did - It's based on a bi-metalic switch that opens when heated and closes when cooled - So, the current that is needed to heat the switch is limited by the switch itself - the switch will open when it gets hot enough - If you use too little resistance (too many watts) the switch will heat up faster, meaning the ON time will be shorter... When the switch opens, the current is interrupted, no matter how much it was...

I'm sure there's some limit to safe operation, but I suspect it would be higher than equivalent to three regular bulbs... Most electrical engineers design with a 50% safety factor, meaning if this circuit is designed to handle 55-watts normally, the fail-safe design is for 100-watts...

If you really overloaded the circuit current and then ran the 4-way flashers for hours, your TSM may overheat & fail...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JensWest View Post
Could the 10-ohm/10w do?
Here's the Ohm's Law chart from the Sportsterpedia Reference Section:


So - 12v / 10-ohms = 1.2amps --then-- 12v * 1.2a = 14.4Watts

So your resistor will draw 50% more power than the maximum rating & you should really only draw 50% under the maximum... that 10w rating should only be used where you will pull less than .5a at 12v...

That's why we spec a 50-watt resistor (At 12v, (6-ohms will pull 2a) * 12v = 24+ Watts) which stays near the 50% usage recommendation...


Pulling more current than the 50% of the rated device causes extra heat, which as some point (if enough over) will translate into failure, or worse, catching fire...


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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 23rd April 2018 at 21:55..
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  #9  
Old 23rd April 2018
JensWest JensWest is offline
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OK.
So, in practic, a 6 Ohm/50 W resistor would solve my problem now and also have me covered if I one day would decide that I'd like to go with a rear LED turn signal?
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Old 24th April 2018
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What are battery voltages:
1. Key on accessories?
2. Key on ignition position?
3. Engine at idle?
4. Engine at ~2500 RPM?
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