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HID Time Delay Relay Installation ( ST1100\ST1300 ) *

Started by KoTAOW, March 15, 2011, 12:13:49 PM

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Original article\thread can be viewed here:

Written by David Senn, STOC 6145.


HID Time Delay Relay Installation

I have been getting a lot of questions about how I installed a time delay relay in my ST1300 as well as if it is really needed. I should mention that this same Farkle applies to the ST1100 and the color codes of the wires are the same as far as I know. Also I should mention that you are doing this at your own risk, yadda, yadda.

So, is it really needed? Well is any Farkle really ever needed? Probably not but we like to do them to customize our bikes. So let’s look at the reason for it and other options to play devil’s advocate.

The circuit design in the ST1300 and ST1100 (the exception being the police variants of these bikes and as pointed out some bikes from other regions like Europe, Austrailia) is such that when you turn on the ignition the headlights also come on. The police versions have a separate switch for controlling the headlights as does any bike retrofitted with the police switch assembly. When the starter button is pressed on the civilian version of these bikes there is an interrupt built into the starter switch that cuts power to the headlights as long as the starter button is pressed. This is fine with a Halogen bulb because they are not as sensitive to power cycles. The HID headlights with their ballasts on the other hand are. When you press the starter button at times one headlight may not come back on and at times both may not refire. This isn’t the case every time but it happens often enough that precautions should be made. It is also hard on the HID system to have all these power cycles.

There are a few things that can be done to overcome this issue on start.

1. Some people just install the HIDs and then when you go to start the bike you shift to neutral, hold the start button while turning the ignition on. By doing this the headlamps do not fire until the starter button is released. This works well but requires changing how you do things. Also there is the problem that if you stall the bike at an intersection, when you go to restart the bike the headlight interrupt is still there to potentially cause problems.

Here is a video that Joe Norris (aka Mellow) posted showing a video of the problem:
ST1300 HID Starting Issue

2. You can cut the wires going to the starter interrupt switch and install a manual switch. This option works well and adds the functionality that you would get by installing a police switch. My problem is that I ran the police switch for a couple years and I found that many times I would forget to turn back on my headlights when I started the bike. So I would recommend getting into the habit of doing it as soon as you fire the bike or when I originally thought about going this route, I would install an LED on the dash that would illuminate if the ignition was on and the headlight off. That would be easily done by using a relay. This would give you a visual signal that the light wasn’t on as it may be hard to see in the daytime.

3. Another option that I have seen mentioned was to cut the wires from the interrupt and install a relay that works off the sidestand switch. I have to say that I kind of like that idea. If there were issues with the time delay relay I would have considered either this option or option 2 above with a LED.

4. Then there is the time delay relay option that I did. The relay is designed to have a trigger wire and when it senses power on the trigger it starts an adjustable timer. Once the timer elapses the relay trips and the headlamps come on. If you were to stall the bike in an intersection the headlights would remain on when you try to restart the bike. That is unless you power cycle the ignition switch. This should be fine as most likely the bike is warm and will fire easily.

The only concern I have about using a time delay relay is that there really doesn’t appear to be anyone running this product yet. Because of that and how important it is to the operation of the headlamps (a key safety device) I wanted a means to quickly, without tools, bypass the system should it fail while on a trip. In looking at a way to bypass this I noticed that the ability to bypass would also give me a means to have a maintenance position which is also desirable. Now this project really isn’t hard so I will get started.

Here is a video of the bike with the TRD, I let the video run until the HIDs warmed up so you get an idea how long that takes and what the light output looks like while they are warming up. When I was filming this it was about 60 degrees in my shop. I suspect that temp will impact the warm up cycle of the bulbs. This video shows about a 10 second delay. I will likely bump this out a little closer to 20 seconds in the event the bike doesn’t fire on the first try before I complete the install.

ST1300 HID install with Time Delay Relay

Here is a schematic showing what I did.

Member Anna'sDad was kind enough to create a much better wiring diagram for this project. I have attached the PDF to this article for those wanting to print it off. It can be found at the bottom of this first post but here is a preview.

Parts List:
16 gauge stranded wire
Positive Switching Time Delay Relay. Wolstentech©
Soldering iron
Heat shrink (various sizes)
Heat gun or torch for the heat shrink
Silicone caulk or Epoxy
Single pole, double throw (SPDT) switch

Here is the one that I am actually using Digikey© Link to switch. The one in the photos was another switch that I had in my shop that I used for testing as the smaller version was already mounted in my left fairing storage bin and not easily available for photos.

Of course most of these items are what I used because I prefer to solder and heat shrink all my connections. Others are not comfortable with this method and prefer to use butt splices or other taps. Those should work fine. I personally have had better luck with soldering all my connections. It takes a little more time (A lot more when you are out of practice or just learning) but in the long run I have had too many crimped connections fail on me.

For the wire I used Red, White and Black. You can use whatever colors you may have laying around. Since there really is no load being carried by this circuit you can use a fairly light gauge wire. The switch that I chose is a single pole double throw switch. This switch type is a 3 position switch with the center position being off. There is a position 1 and a position 2 that will be used for selecting the TDR or bypassing it. In the photos I used a larger toggle SPDT switch that I had laying around. The one that I am actually using is a much smaller rocker switch that is mounted in the left locking storage pocket. Because of the heat in this pocket I don’t use it for much. The low profile of the rocker switch makes it so it won’t get bumped but is easily accessible should I need to bypass the system for some reason. I didn’t use it in the write up because I would have to get the left side panel out and mess around with that. Since I had another one I just used that.

The first step is to remove the start switch interrupt. The easiest way to do this is to remove the right side panel (as you sit on the bike). Most likely it is already off to do this work anyhow. The connector for the right switch assembly is the red connector that is in the PVC boot mounted to the right frame rail near the proportioning valve for the brakes.

I cut the wires on the switch assembly side. If something went really wrong or I needed to revert to stock for some reason it would be cheaper and easier to get a new switch assembly than a new bike wiring harness.
The wires you want to cut are the Red/Black and Blue/White.

Make sure you cut the wires with enough left so you can strip and solder the wires on the connector side. You want to be sure to cut these wires rather than just tap into them. This is because these are the wires that make up the starter interrupt.

You may notice that I stripped both sides of the Red/Black and Blue/White wires. For this project you only want to use the wires on the plug side as shown in these photos. The other half of the Red/Black and Blue/White wires will be just left. I was reusing these wires for another project where I needed two wires in the right switch pod. Since these are no longer used they were available for other use. I wanted to clarify this as there have been some questions.

For reference the Red/Black wire is positive and the wire that will be the trigger for the TDR. The Blue/White is the load side. So it will feed the L (load) output from the TDR to the Blue/White wire eventually.
The Red/Black wire will feed to the SPDT switch and connects to the center post which is the common post (check your switch to make sure but this is most common with the design).

Now the other two wires that you see connected to the outer connections are a Red one that goes to the trigger and 12V on the TDR and a White wire that is the bypass circuit. This also goes to the Load connection on the TDR as well as is spliced into the Black wire that returns to the connector for the Switch Assembly and the Blue/White wire in that bundle.

Moving on to the TDR you can see the wires that we have.

The Red wires are spliced together. These connect to the trigger connection (labeled as 1) as I mentioned before but also the +12 connection. I spliced them together as there was no need to run a dedicated always hot +12v wire to this. The device seems fine with getting power and seeing the trigger at the same time. Next we have the L connection which is for the load. This ultimately goes back to the Blue/White wire as mentioned earlier. Finally there is the G connection which is the ground. I tested it with the ground being tied with the L connection and it worked fine. The more I think about this, I wouldn't recommend it. It is better to run G to Ground. I decided to tie this into the ground for the HIDs. If you wanted to supply always hot 12v to this you could tap off the power going to the HIDs as that is a dedicated run.

Well that is about it for the wiring. The SPDT switch will have 3 positions. One is going to use the TDR, the center is the off (maintenance) position. The final position is the bypass. In the bypass the headlights will be on when the ignition is on with no interrupt.

Once you have your HIDs wired up you are ready to test and set up the delay. If you flip over the TDR you will see two really small screws. You will need your smallest flat screwdriver. The best option would be one of those little jewelers or eyeglasses screw driver.

One of the screws is marked 1. This is for the power on delay. Out of the box there is a ¼ second delay. So you won’t notice it. When I first adjusted it I gave it a half a turn but didn’t see much difference. It appears that each full rotation clockwise adds about 1 second of delay to the timer. I cranked in about 10 turns and am at around a 10 second delay. I plan on going up to around a 20 second delay. This is adjustable up to about 60 seconds delay max.

I should also mention something about the turn off delay. The operation of this is such that if you provided separate +12v to the connection on the TDR the relay would continue to let the HIDs operate for XX seconds (1/4 second by default) after power is removed from the trigger. Since I have the trigger and the +12V tied together and power is removed anyhow from the factory circuit for this the lights will cut out when the ignition is turned off. I see no need for a delay like this but if you wanted to use it you could by supplying constant power to the +12V connection. This should keep the relay going and I think 12V on the load output that would keep the Relay on the HID kit in operation. Where I have seen this done is in my cage. I can set in the computer a welcome home mode where the lights stay on for 0-30-60-90-120 seconds after you exit the vehicle so that you can see your door and use your keys to unlock it. In my situation I have the garage door light and motion activated lights around the house so it isn't a feature I need. I haven't tested this to see how it works for sure. Personally with the limited capacity of the battery on the 1300 I wouldn't recommend it in our application. If you did it you would probably have to keep the power off delay so short you most likely couldn't make it to the door anyhow. I didn't touch the power off delay adjustment and have no plans to.

Once you have everything tested out and you are happy with the delay, you can waterproof the TDR. To do this I will be filling the back of the TDR with epoxy or silicone caulk. When I first got the TDR this was my plan but when I opened the package I discovered that there is a heat sink on the back side. I was concerned that this was there for a reason so I contacted the guy that makes them. I explained how we are using it and that we are only triggering the HIDs and that there is no load on this circuit. He said that he only needed the heat sink if the load was going to me 7 amps or more. Anything less than that like our application and it isn’t needed. He confirmed that it would be safe and a good idea to further protect the device with either epoxy or silicone. This should be a final step as once it is packed you will no longer be able to adjust the delay. Because of this I may put it in a bag for now and seal it the best I can. After I use this for a while and am happy with the delay then I will seal it for good.

Let me know if you have any questions via PM.

© 2011 David Senn, All rights reserved