Sunday, February 16, 2014

Messing With the Wiring

When I had installed the fog and driving lights, I had wired them directly to the high and low beam lights since they didn't draw much power. And I had made no provision to be able to turn them off. I found a ten pack of these switches with 12V blue led indicators on Amazon for only a couple of dollars. Seemed like a bargain to me. They simply need a 3/4" hole plus a small notch on one side so they don't rotate. I also found a 5 pack of 12V relays for $8 also on Amazon so I went ahead and rewired both the fog lights and driving light to be triggered off of the high/low beam leads when the switches are turned on. Power for the lights now come directly off of a fused feed from the battery.  The function is the same but they can now be turned off. And even though they don't draw a whole lot of power, one less amp running through the switch gear is one less amp. I don't believe the Denali D1 driving light is DOT approved so I really wanted a way to turn it off. That may be important in some other place. I don't think it's really an issue in AK.

One of the options is to run one more wire from the fog light relay to the running lights and have them on all the time if the new switch is turned to the off position. This may be the preferred setting for Summer riding as they make the rig more visible. Plus, if I really wanted to, I could have all of the lights on at the same time. Still meeting the legal limit of no more than 4 lit at any given time. I still need to mount the relays as they are simply sitting in the glove box right now. 

This morning, I was surprised by almost 6" of fresh, fluffy snow. It took three attempts for me to get out of the driveway. One of those times when 2WD would have been nice.

BTW, the Facebook account that I have set up does not get used and I have never posted anything or friended anyone. It is mostly just to claim the account and used to authenticate to some experimental services. So if you are wondering why I haven't responded to friend requests, that's why.

Monday Morning - Didn't ride in today as it was below my -20°F threshold but just barely. It is supposed to be getting colder as the week progresses. 


  1. Richard:

    I like the idea of turning your lights off. Here in Canada daytime running lights are required by law. I just wished that there was a relay to leave the lights off until your engine is started. The moment you turn your key, the lights go on and much of your battery starting power is diverted to the lighting system instead of the starter motor. You cannot fiddle with the BMW Canbus system.

    I have no desire to have a Facebook account either

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. My bike even came with an on/off switch for the headlight plus it has a relay that cuts power to the headlight if the starter is running. I suspect that your bike may do that as well.

  2. Sounds like you've achieved a more granular control of the lights, never a bad thing, especially if you encounter battery capacity issues later on.

    It was 60°F and sunny today, still I only rode for perhaps an hour or so, just didn't have it in me today.

    1. I guess it started out as a way to be able to "disable" the driving light but I also wanted to reduce the current running through the high/low beam switch. The switches aren't waterproof so we'll see how they hold up. After I was done, I realized that the other terminal on the relay could be used to have the fog lights track the parking lights instead of the low beam. I have them on there more to help be seen than to see.