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You should listen to me. No, seriously, listen to
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was unimpressed with the OEM shift light on my K6 so I decided to try to build something better. Here's what I came up with:

In the picture you can see the OEM shift light as well as the oil pressure and fuel lights for comparison.

It is connected to the gauge cluster at the wiring harness connector for power and ground and to a point on the circuit board associated with the OEM light for the signal to illuminate the new light. Thus it turns on and off in sync with the OEM light and also dims with it. It only took about $5 worth of electronic parts but a bunch of time and effort figuring out how to build and connect it.

It sits higher, is red, and is significantly brighter than the white OEM light. This makes it much more noticable, i.e. it has a poke-in-the-eye factor that the OEM light doesn't have. It's not necessary to look down to see whether the light is on. I'm very happy with it.

I can provide more details if anyone is interested.
 

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You should listen to me. No, seriously, listen to
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10,751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wanted to use a single 10mm LED and the brightest ones that I could find were red. It's largely personal preference but red is a common shift light color, possibly originating with the term "red line".
 

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Both Handsome AND Pretty!
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I would be interested, the stock one sucks.
 

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You should listen to me. No, seriously, listen to
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10,751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
OK, here we go. Note that I've changed the schematic above to show a 22K resistor in the line to the circuit board. I'd been experimenting with various values to improve the dimming characteristics and ended up settling on the 22K value instead of 15K.

The materials needed are:

7/16" brass tubing (hobby store)
Permatex "Right Stuff" gasket material
Kingbright WP813SRC/C LED (Mouser 604-WP813SRC/C)
Zetex/Diodes Inc. P-channel MOSFET ZVP4424A (Mouser 522-ZVP4424A)
15K ohm 1/4 watt metal film resistor (Mouser 660-MFS1/4DCT52R1502)
22K ohm 1/4 watt metal film resistor (Mouser 660-MFS1/4LCT52R223G)
470 ohm 1/4 watt carbon resistor (Mouser 660-CF1/4C471J)
1/8" diameter heat shrink tubing (Mouser 562-Q2Z18-6N28 or similar)
Flat multiconductor cable of the type used for computer disk drive connections, 28 awg
5K ohm potentiometer for circuit testing (Mouser 652-3006P-1-502-LF)

Trim the lip at the bottom of the LED so that it fits inside a 3/4" piece of the 7/16" diameter tubing. I just lightly chucked the LED in a drill and filed the lip down while turning. Cut the multiconductor cable so that you have a 10" length with three conductors.

The LED, MOSFET, three resistors, and the cables are all soldered together so that they fit inside the brass tubing. Use heat shrink tubing to prevent shorting. Pay attention to the polarity of the MOSFET leads. They are shown on its data sheet. Take care not to damage the wires when stripping insulation from the cable. Also note that the physical size of the resistors is important. Things are crowded inside the brass tube and small metal film 15K & 22K resistors are used. Once everything is soldered together, the brass tube is slid over everything and it's sealed with silicone rubber. The pictures show the completed assembly with the LED sticking out of one end of the tube and the three conductor cable/silicone sealant visible at the back.

The LED circuit needs to be tested before and after sealing inside the brass tube to make sure that it works. Connect the potentiometer and the LED circuit to a 12V battery as shown. The LED should begin to light When the signal voltage is about 11 volts and get brighter until it reaches full brightness at 3.1 volts (levels will vary somewhat with battery voltage).


I used Permatex "Right Stuff" sealant to make a boss on the top of the cluster to hold the LED. The Permatex allows a boss to be made without damaging the cluster housing. It cures into a flat black silicone-like rubbery material that sticks to the plastic but can be later removed without leaving any residue/damage. Making the boss requires some fiddling around as you want the LED to be centered on the bike, not all that obvious when the cluster is removed, and pointed directly at your face when you're on the bike. Also the LED circuit needs to be removable. I tried spraying some teflon antistick coating onto an extra piece of brass tubing and used it to create the boss. But the Permatex tended to work through the antistick so this didn't work that well. (I have some ideas about how to do this better but, as they're untried, I'll let others come up with their own solutions.) Several iterations were necessary to build up the boss and trim away excess material. The pictures were taken close to the end of this process with the outside surface still fairly rough. I later painted the brass tube with semigloss black.

Once the boss is finished the cable is routed to the connector and circuit board. The blue painters tape was only intended for mockup but it worked so well that I used it for final assembly. The cable goes down the back of the cluster, turns 90°, goes horizontally to a point underneath the connector, turns again, and goes up and over the lip for the connector's protective hood.

The picture with the back off of the cluster shows where the cable is connected. On my K6 the ground lead goes to the #2 pin and the +12 lead goes to the #8 pin. Soldering the leads to the connector pins requires some careful soldering and attention to avoiding shorts. The signal lead goes to the lower lead of the white shift light on the circuit board. All this may be the same as K7/K8 and possibly K3/K4 but you'll have to check. My #2 pin is connected to a B/W ground lead from the wiring harness. The #8 pin is connected to an O/G switched +12V lead.

One of the things that inspired me to do this was watching Rossi at Laguna Seca last year. There's a place on the Rahal straight where you can look down on the bikes as they climb up to the corkscrew. About every fourth lap I could see his shift light turn on - from 100 ft. away!
 

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One of the Jersey Boys
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Who really needs a shift light? I think that you should pay attention to the engine sound and feel. Yet another reason why I say listening to music slows you down. To much technology makes for a lazy rider.
 

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Premium Member
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The LED circuit needs to be tested before and after sealing inside the brass tube to make sure that it works. Connect the potentiometer and the LED circuit to a 12V battery as shown. The LED should begin to light When the signal voltage is about 11 volts and get brighter until it reaches full brightness at 3.1 volts (levels will vary somewhat with battery voltage).

Back from the dead,


I did some measurements on my K7 cluster,voltage at the stock shift light led is 0.8V at the darkest setting and 3+ volts at the brightest.
Do you mean the led will begin to light at 1.1volts? ( instead of 11?)
 

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You should listen to me. No, seriously, listen to
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10,751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm fairly sure that it's 11 volts and has to do with the board's LED being connected between 12V and the circuit board signal. The voltage listed is between the measurement point and ground, not across the board's LED. But it's been 5 years. Give me a day and I'll dig up my notes.
 

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Loves MASSIVE CASCADES of jizz on his face
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Who really needs a shift light? I think that you should pay attention to the engine sound and feel. Yet another reason why I say listening to music slows you down. To much technology makes for a lazy rider.
:wait

Negative Nancy. :gtfo
 

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Registered
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I was unimpressed with the OEM shift light on my K6 so I decided to try to build something better. Here's what I came up with:

In the picture you can see the OEM shift light as well as the oil pressure and fuel lights for comparison.

It is connected to the gauge cluster at the wiring harness connector for power and ground and to a point on the circuit board associated with the OEM light for the signal to illuminate the new light. Thus it turns on and off in sync with the OEM light and also dims with it. It only took about $5 worth of electronic parts but a bunch of time and effort figuring out how to build and connect it.

It sits higher, is red, and is significantly brighter than the white OEM light. This makes it much more noticable, i.e. it has a poke-in-the-eye factor that the OEM light doesn't have. It's not necessary to look down to see whether the light is on. I'm very happy with it.

I can provide more details if anyone is interested.
I know this is an old post but would it be possible for you to re send those pic
 

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Registered
Joined
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8 Posts
I was unimpressed with the OEM shift light on my K6 so I decided to try to build something better. Here's what I came up with:

In the picture you can see the OEM shift light as well as the oil pressure and fuel lights for comparison.

It is connected to the gauge cluster at the wiring harness connector for power and ground and to a point on the circuit board associated with the OEM light for the signal to illuminate the new light. Thus it turns on and off in sync with the OEM light and also dims with it. It only took about $5 worth of electronic parts but a bunch of time and effort figuring out how to build and connect it.

It sits higher, is red, and is significantly brighter than the white OEM light. This makes it much more noticable, i.e. it has a poke-in-the-eye factor that the OEM light doesn't have. It's not necessary to look down to see whether the light is on. I'm very happy with it.

I can provide more details if anyone is interested.
more info on this please
 
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