In my last post I described how I installed a vintage set of one-wire-and-ground turn signals on the front end of my 1980 CB650. To recap, I discovered that the marker light power output on one side goes off when that side’s turn signal is on, and I tried (using a Y connection) to make the single filament blinker do both jobs. The downside is that the marker light power bleeds through the turn signal circuit, turning the rear signals on (like marker lights) as well as keeping the turn signal idiot light illuminated. The latter problem is annoying, but the former is actually not legal (in Missouri at least).
So I decided to use diodes to ensure that power flows only in the “right” direction. Looking through Amazon’s listing, I found these:
They say they are for solar cells; the main thing is, they are rated for 15 amps, ensuring they have plenty of capacity for my purposes. Better yet, the 20 pack cost me less than $7.00 US.
A smart man, one who knew he needed diodes in the first place, would have incorporated them into the Y adapter. I’m not that smart, obviously. So I decided to just put bullet connectors at the ends and put it between the Y connector and the blinker output connector, inside the headlight. I used these:
I’ve had them for quite a while, as I got them to help with the rewiring of this bike back when I bought it. Here’s what I started with:
The spec sheet for these diodes says the color band is on the cathode (negative, or in this case ground) side. They should go toward the turn signal, and since it has a male connector the diode’s cathode gets a female. After a trim:
I crimped them on:
I knew before I started that crimping wouldn’t work very well, since the conductors are solid, but I didn’t have solder-type connectors and did not feel like ordering any. So I just hit them with solder:
It was tricky holding the part while doing the soldering, until I thought of this:
After doing the soldering I dug up a bag of assorted heat shrink tubing. I started with the small stuff, doing this:
I added a layer of the larger size (mostly to cover the female side), then used a bit of some pretty large stuff to wrap the whole part:
The assorted heat shrink came from Harbor Freight:
As you can see, it didn’t cost me much, and I still have most of it left. The larger stuff came from Amazon:
Higher, but I got it for a different project and used about 2 inches of it, so the cost is negligible.
Now let me admit that I screwed up two of these diodes before I figured out how to make these properly. Practice makes perfect. If I hadn’t screwed up any of them, the cost each would shake out to about $0.86 US… less than a dollar each. Not bad at all.
Oh, and they work. Have not ridden yet, but just testing in the garage, everything worked on the first try. Very nice.