Running lights

Have I mentioned lately how kickass and brilliant my sweetie is? Because he is.

I’d been feeling invisible from the side lately…I don’t know if it’s just psychological — the Z has the “low beam is one headlight; high beam is both” thing, so I feel like it’s dark on the non-headlight side. But at any rate, I was really lamenting not having running lights on the Z.

So Peter spent his day today helping me figure out how to wire some up.

It wound up being a pretty complicated electronic procedure, complete with big cigar-like resistors. There’ll definitely be a write-up….once I can have Peter proofread it for me. *laughs*

In the meantime, though, here’s the final result!


Here’s the Z with the blinker on:


The only “downside” is that now the blinker lights in the instrument panel are always on, though much dimmer than normal. You can’t see it under direct light, only at night; when the blinker is actually on, too, the instrument light for that blinker is full-power brightness. So really that’s no biggie. Someday we might code up a microcontroller for doing the running lights, and that’ll probably “fix” this…but it’s no problem in the meantime.

Here the lefthand blinker and neutral light are “normal” (i.e. full strength); you can see how the righthand blinker light is still on, though much dimmer:


I’m really thrilled with the result! Write-up to follow…

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5 Responses to Running lights

  1. Michael says:

    Y’all probably already know this but just in case…
    You might want to try putting different blinkers on the front that use a dual fliament blub and thereby give you running lights and no lit up blinky thing on your dash. Of course to get them to match you’d have to replace both front and rear or you could gut the front blinkers and put the dual filament assembly in the old housing but this is a bit of a pain. The wiring is pretty simple for the running lights, just find a circuit that runs off the key (headlight, dash, etc) and patch into it. This *may* require a bigger fuse for said circuit but in my experience that hasn’t been the case.

  2. carolyn says:

    I did a bit of research into that, but:
    a) I couldn’t find any dual filiment stalks that I liked and that fit the Z,
    b) I didn’t want to destroy the stock blinkers while trying to gut and rewire,
    c) I wanted to replicate this product I found on teh intarwebz that did essentially the same thing, only it cost me $9 instead of $109.
    Peter thinks that getting the instrument lights off is as simple as installing a well-placed diode. We’ll try that this week and see.

  3. eric says:

    That must have been you I was following in the car pool lane south on 85 last night (on my GS which has the $109 running lights). Your running lights are pretty bright… might want to run a bigger resistor so they are a bit less bright. That way the difference between running and blinking will more noticeable.
    Hope you appreciated that I did not run my high beams and melt the back of your head.

  4. carolyn says:

    *waves hi in hindsight* Yep, that was me, I remember your GS. *laughs*
    I was having some trouble with the running lights last night, actually, where the righthand one wasn’t working right. Busted!
    Did you really think they were too bright? Obviously, I can’t see ’em when I’m on the bike riding down the road. *grin*
    And yes, the back of my head thanks you for not melting it! Do you have aux lights too?

  5. Ramizan says:

    I was running around with a relay and some diodes trying to fix running lights using the original bulb on my Comet.
    Lo and behold, they actually wired both signal to a single blinker relay….
    There was no way at the moment that I can make the ciruit tell whether the blinker is on or off.

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