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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

I posted this in another thread and thought I should put it in it's own "How To" thread...

I've seen alot of posts looking for info on how to light up the license plate relo mods... Here is what I did with my Bike, and how to do it...

the LED's in this picture are not the actual LEDS, but rather a reflection of them in the chrome plate mount...Â



You need 3 White LED's (3.6V with wide viewing angle is recommended), available at radio shack for about 3 to 4$ a piece. You also need a 100 Ohm 1/4 watt resistor, some wire, drill/bit, and a soldering iron. If you use different voltage LED, or a different number of LED's you will need to re-calculate the value for the 100 ohm resistor. There are several web calculators that will do this for you, here is a link to one of them.... http://www.ledsupply.com/reca.php

The "How To" is as follows... (Bear with me as I am at work running through this quickly and dont have my bike to refer to, or get better pics with)

1) Locate where you need to mount the LED's in the plastic under the rear fender so that they will shine down on your plate (Varies with how far into the tire your plate is mounted. Also, ensure that the location you are mounting them is INSIDE OF the rear cowling when it is put back on the bike over the rear fender)

2) Drill the appropriate sized hole to push the LED into from the top side of the bike. (LED's will have a "Rim" or "Ring" at their base typically, and are also dome shaped so if the hole is sized right they will stop before pushing all the way through the plastic fender)

3) Mount the LED's in the holes you drilled and observe their position. (If you look at the LED you will notice one lead is shorter then the other. The side of the LED that has the shorter lead will also have a flat spot on its "Rim". This is the Cathode, or negative side of the LED. The LED's need to connect together Cathode(-) from one LED to the Anode (+) of the next LED. In the end you will have Cathode to Anode, Cathode to Anode, Cathode to Anode. The first LED will have it's Anode(+) lead unconnected, and the third LED will have it's Cathode(-) lead unconnected at this point.

This pic was when I only had 2 LED's, I added the third one centered between these 2.


4) Using the necessary amount of wire and heat shrink Make the connections between the LED's as stated above.

5) Take a 100 Ohm 1/4W resistor and solder it to the Anode of the first LED (The one with the unconnected Anode (+) Lead.) Heat shrink the resistor and solder connections.

6) Almost done... :D locate the wiring harness / connector that goes to the stock Plate light (I Believe it is Black / Grey but dont have my bike here, or pictures to confirm. SO... CONFIRM THIS VISUALLY ON YOUR BIKE) You will see one wire set for each of the turn indicators, one for the brake light, and one for the plate light.

7) Cut the connector off of the Stock plate light with enough wire left over to make the connections to your LED lighting, we will re-use this for the LED lighting.

8 ) Measure and cut the amount of wire necessary to go from each side of the LED lighting back to the mating connector in the wiring harness.
8a)Solder a wire (Preferably black) from the Unconnected Cathode of the last LED. Connect the other end of the wire to the NEGATIVE LEAD on the connector you cut from the stock plate light assy. (I believe this was black, but again have no way to confirm here at work. You can look at all of the connectors for the other lighting and you will see that all of them have 1 wire with a common color. This common colored lead is the "Common" or Negative lead.)
8b) Connect another wire (Preferably something other then black) from the unconnected end of the 100 Ohm resistor to the remaining wire on the connector you removed from the stock plate light assy.

Now you should have the LED's installed, soldered, and a plug on your Mod'd light kit that will plug into the wiring harness the same as the stocker did.
At this point double check your wiring, heat shrink, etc. When you believe you have it all protected from shorting turn the bike ignition on and the plate lights will come on. The good thing is that if you mess up in the wiring (LED's Not wired together correctly, or have Pos and Neg reversed) your worse case is that you will smoke one or more of the LED's. No damage to the bike or fuses. (Unless you short the Pos and Neg leads from the wiring harness, then you will pop a fuse.)

9) Once you have confirmed everything is working take some Waterproof RTV or Caulk that can bond with Plastic and seal over your LED's (Protects from water entry coming off the tire, and ensures the LED's stay in place).

10) Dress up your wiring and put everything back together.

Here is a Pic of the completed setup before putting the cowling back on the bike (In this pic I had only done 2 LED's and have since changed it to 3 as stated above).Â


Now for the CYA statement... :read:
This mod is easy and safe, I however cannot and do not gaurantee you wont make a mistake and damge something. Do at your own risk.
:doorag:

Hope this helps some of you! :D
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

I just did something like that yesterday using a couple stick on running lites for cars......I took them apart and mounted them the same way you did...they had the resistor already in the assembly.....but there blue .
I think I'm going to do what you did and put a couple more in . with white
good job and thanks for the calculator those guys at radio shack were worthless
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

same story different location on a sidemount. to keep from having to run wires to the plate bracket just use one of the bullet lights like Cycle Gear carries and use a thin like 1/8" by 1" piece of aluminum flat stock like Home Depot has and make a little bracket that goes where the stock reflector did under the fender rail. a hole in each end, one for the bolt inside of fender and one for the light and wire it into the stock plate wire. it should be right under the chrome fender rail so that you cannot see it unless you get on your knee and look but once adjusted it lights the sidemount plate just fine.
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

The plate mount is home-brewed (I made at work, I'm an engineer in a sheetmetal fab shop,
I made a few versions and I like this the best, tucked in tight made out of .075 thick stainless
steel, but the DLP one should work fine, I just wanted mine to me differerent
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

I bought an led lite bracket off ebay back in early may? along with some small turns ....works great.. :bigthumbsup:

 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

Helps quit a bit I've been illegal for about 2 months now and been too lazy to figure out just how I was going to fix this :bigthumbsup: thanks for doing all my homework :bigthumbsup: now I can go back to being brainless :joke:
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

From what I have gathered, three LED's require 150 ohms, versus the 100 recomended. Will 100 ohms be ok, or should I get a 150 ohm resistor?

http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

mvnvltn said:
From what I have gathered, three LED's require 150 ohms, versus the 100 recomended. Will 100 ohms be ok, or should I get a 150 ohm resistor?

http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
Might want to check the date, this is about 1 1/2 years old. :D

On the resistor, more resistance equals a dimmer light, lower resistance is brighter. LED's are pretty versatile, they just can't handle full voltage. You can do 100 ohm on each bulb and it will work OK.
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

It call's for 150 ohms with 3 LED's run in series. A one LED circuit requires 560 ohms.

New or old, still a nice mod for the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

mvnvltn said:
It call's for 150 ohms with 3 LED's run in series. A one LED circuit requires 560 ohms.

New or old, still a nice mod for the money.
Whats the forward voltage for your LED's? 3.6V LED's @ 20mA... 3 in series will basically need 68 ohms (Grab the closest resistor... 75ohms if memory serves me correctly)

Basically what you are worried about is the power disipation / voltage drop across the resistor and LED's. Be sure when you are using these calculators, that you have the proper forward voltage and current requirement keyed in.
:bigthumbsup:
 

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Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

13.6, 3.6, 20ma = 150 ohms . I used the 100 ohm and it is working fine. Great mod
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Indirect Plate lighting "How To" for those cutting off the "Beaver Tail"

Yep... :bigthumbsup:

I threw together the numbers the other night based on 12vdc... Bike sitting in the parking lot, not running, with the lights on. If you will use the lights when running then that is the voltage you should use, which it sounds like you did.

Glad it worked for you.
 
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