Step 1: Tools + Supplies
The main things you'll need are as follows:
> Super Bright Orange LEDs (I got mine of ebay)- Just go for the brightest ones while maintaining a decent viewing angle
> Some perf board- makes keeping things organized much easier
> Current Limiting Resistor (High power load resistors optional)
The main tools I used:
> Multimeter (I couldn't live without this thing! )
> Soldering iron
> Utility Knife
> Cordless Drill (A drill press would be much better)
> Cutting Pliers
Step 2: Step 1: Planning
The first thing you need to do is make some measurements and calculations concerning the electronics.
1. Measure output voltage of the bike at 3000-5000 rpm (I measured ~14.5V at the taillight- I rounded down to 14 because the signals are intermittent)
2. Calculate LED voltage drop
a. My LED's specifications: 2.2V @ 20mA
b. This allowed for 6 LEDs in series using a total of (6 x 2.2V = 13.2V)
c. This left (14V - 13.2V = 0.8V) to dissipate using my current limiting resistor
d. V = IR R = V/I R = 0.8 V/ 20 mA = 40 ohm
e. I ended up using 56 ohm resistors to be on the safer side (plus I rounded the voltage down earlier)
* If you want more LEDs you could to another circuit in parallel but I didn't really have room for more than 6 LEDs anyway.
* If you are replacing incandescent bulbs with these and want to maintain the same blink rate you will have to add a load resistor in parallel to this circuit
ie. typical bulbs are 3~5W so a 30~45 ohm 10W resistor would work
Note that if you are just replacing 1 set of signals with LEDs or if your adding them to your existing setup this is not necessary
Step 3: Start Soldering
Make sure your LEDs are oriented the right way, put them on the perf board and solder them into place. I left two holes on 0.05 perf board between each LED but this would depend on your setup and how much room you have. I also used a knife to etch my perf board and then broke the thin strips off with pliers.
When you're done, find a good spot to sneak that current limiting resistor in (You could even put it on one of the leads coming off the perf board to save space).
Add some wire leads (I always like using colour coded wired to make things easier later on- especially with LEDs)
Step 4: Start Drilling
The next step is to make the mount for the LED strip. For me this involved removing the rear foot pegs to make it easier to work. I did a test fit and noticed that I had to trim down as much of the excess perf board as possible and I even had to use a dremel to take a bit out of the top of the hanger. If I'd planned a bit better I could've probably avoided the dremeling.
Once you know where you want the LEDs to sit mark the spots for the holes. Once you're happy with that drill some pilot holes, and then the final holes.
Step 5: Start Fitting
Once your pegs are drilled just pop the LEDs in and seal them up. I thought about using hot glue, plastic dip, epoxy, etc. In the end I decided to just fill up the whole thing with clear silicone.
*Note: I used a strip of tape on the back of the LED strip to protect the solder from grounding on the peg accidentally.
Once the LEDs are sitting nicely in there and the glue has dried, go ahead and mount them back on the bike and run the wires however you like. Then measure off how long the wire will need to be and trim off any excess.
You have a few options at this point. If you're mounting these signals in addition to your stock signals you can just tap into the stock harness (I don't recommend this though because it makes removing the footpegs quite difficult :P ). If you're only using these signals you can cut off the stock pigtails and use them on the LEDs for a nice clean install. If you're like me and you have aftermarket signals + the LEDs then you'll have to get creative. I ended up using the stock pigtail on the led and split off some ordinary barrel connectors for my aftermarket signals.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Well with that you should have some awesome looking LED signals on your bike that mount super clean and plug into your harness nicely.
Admittedly these signals look a lot more impressive at night but they are still visible during the day from my experience. I hope you've enjoyed my instructable and ride safe!