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Oct 16th 2017, 09:15 PM   #1
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
Electronic interference from LED lights

Hey, have any of you encountered anything like this?

I have a set of Denali auxiliary LED lights on my bike. They have a dual intensity controller -- you can wire them to operate at 40% intensity with the low beam headlight and 100% on the high beam. I recently altered the wiring to operate at 100% all of the time to put more light on the road during these darkening hours and to make myself more visible in the daylight.

Making this change made it impossible to receive FM radio on my Sena bluetooth adapter. The signal is almost completely washed out due to interference from the auxiliary lights. If I turn the LEDs off the signal is immediately as strong as it used to be.

Any thoughts on a fix? Would some kind of shielding work? I miss listening to NPR on the commute home.
Oct 16th 2017, 09:30 PM   #2
 avboden's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Spokane Wa/Knoxville Tn

  2007 BMW F800S. 1999 ATK 605ESDS Sumo
Unfortunately pretty difficult to fix. The issue lies in the LED driver itself at the frequency you're powering it at. The shielding of the power driver is clearly not designed for what you're now driving it at.

You can try some ferrite cores on the power-in, might work but unlikely, worth a shot: https://www.amazon.com/eBoot-Pieces-.../dp/B01E5E5IY4

Other than that would take some custom electronics work that's not gonna happen.


All else fails, contact Denali directly and see what they say: DENALI Motorcycle Electronics
Oct 17th 2017, 06:45 AM   #3
 
  Apr 2016
  WA

Probably not AC to DC conversion, bikes with batteries are DC power already and LEDs are DC.

More than likely it is pulse width modulation (PWM) at a frequency that interferes with FM radio. Having a 40% brightness setting is the clue.

Those early Ford Superduties with the LED turn signals in the mirrors kill radio reception as well.
HalcyonSon likes this.
Oct 17th 2017, 07:44 AM   #4
 MMcN49's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Small Island Surrounded by Puget Sound

  07 Buell XB12STT, (Two) 12 Suzuki DR650 SE 72BMWR75/5 KIA @ 243K
I had a different type of interference issue, (see write-up below link) that I solved with copper shielding. If you go this route you may want to run the shield drain wires directly to the battery's negative terminal. This is a pretty simple solution that worked well.

https://www.amazon.com/Copper-Conduc.../dp/B018RDZ3HG

Like most of us who own Buell’s I’ve had my share of issues, (mostly minor) with both my 07 TT’s. It appears that I’ve finally resolved the last one.

There are a lot of cool/cold damp drizzly and rainy days where I live in the Pacific Northwest, (generally from mid to late fall through July 5th. When riding on those days both bikes will stumble a little plus “pop” through the carburetor until thoroughly warmed up. Even warmed up there’ll still be an irritating pop through the carb and stumble every five to ten minutes or so. None of this happens on dry sunny days.

Looking at the wiring under the air box, the front cylinder spark plug wire is very close to the wire bundle that carries the fuel injector signal wires. After thinking about it a little I wondered if there was any “cross-talk” between the plug wire and injector signal wires. The bike has suppression spark plug wires and resistor plugs so initially I dismissed the possibility but could never eliminate the popping.

Long story short:

Purchased a roll of copper foil with a conductive adhesive on one side.
Ran a “Tinned” 16 AWG stripped, (bare) wire along the spark plug wire.
Ran a second stripped tinned wire along about 8 to 10 inches of the wire bundle.
Wrapped the plug wire, wire bundle and stripped wires in copper foil.
Soldered ring connectors to the 16 AWG wire ends.
Ran the coil’s front mounting bolt through the connectors, bonding the drain wires to the engine.

NOTE: The bare wire acts as shield drain. It gives interference electrons, (EMI) a free ride away from the injector signal wires.

Problem solved. Went for a 20 mile ride in cold damp heavy drizzle. The engine didn’t pop once even before it had fully warmed up.
Hachi likes this.
Oct 17th 2017, 09:00 AM   #5
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Quote:
Originally Posted by FidalgoRob
Hey, have any of you encountered anything like this?

I have a set of Denali auxiliary LED lights on my bike. They have a dual intensity controller -- you can wire them to operate at 40% intensity with the low beam headlight and 100% on the high beam. I recently altered the wiring to operate at 100% all of the time to put more light on the road during these darkening hours and to make myself more visible in the daylight.

Making this change made it impossible to receive FM radio on my Sena bluetooth adapter. The signal is almost completely washed out due to interference from the auxiliary lights. If I turn the LEDs off the signal is immediately as strong as it used to be.

Any thoughts on a fix? Would some kind of shielding work? I miss listening to NPR on the commute home.
So... you modified the LEDs to run at 100% all the time and the problems started? Did you have problems at 100% before the mod?

If there was no problem before the mod, you really need to double check your work. If you have separate High/Low circuits for the headlight, the controller probably just needed a short jumper across the two inputs. I wouldn't expect something that simple (jumping twelve volts between two pins) to cause any issues. Got a wiring diagram?
Oct 17th 2017, 09:05 AM   #6
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Google-fu
https://ledrider.com/led-auxiliary-l...-interference/
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Oct 17th 2017, 11:18 AM   #7
 MMcN49's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Small Island Surrounded by Puget Sound

  07 Buell XB12STT, (Two) 12 Suzuki DR650 SE 72BMWR75/5 KIA @ 243K
Hi Rob-We've posted two options to resolve the issue:

Ferrite cores are fairly easy to install. They work by absorbing some of the interference radiation and dissipating it as heat. In theory they attenuate the interference signal just enough for the problem to go away. As stated by others they don't always work.

Shielding is more work but when done properly always works. You usually have three options. Shielding the offending wiring and components, the receiving wiring and components or both. In your case I have no idea how to go about shielding your Bluetooth.

This copper shielding tape doesn't look the best. If any of the wiring is visible it can be covered with spiral wrap. Colored - Black - Natural Spiral Protective Cable Wrap
Oct 17th 2017, 01:46 PM   #8
 SilvieFox's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  welches, Oregon

  2008 Kawasaki Versys (Sylvester), 1972 Suzuki RV90 (vanvan), 1981 Honda TwinStar (Bobber),yamaha 225
wrap it in tinfoil (and your head too)
Oct 17th 2017, 02:10 PM   #9
 MMcN49's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Small Island Surrounded by Puget Sound

  07 Buell XB12STT, (Two) 12 Suzuki DR650 SE 72BMWR75/5 KIA @ 243K
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvieFox
wrap it in tinfoil (and your head too)
Hey Silvie after reading some of your posts I think you'd benefit from the tinfoil hat a bit more than me.
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Oct 17th 2017, 04:11 PM   #10
 jared p's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  here

  there
The driver board on the lights aren't shielded against EMI/RFI emissions and emit constant "white noise" picked up by your radio antenna. Certain brands do shield the circuit boards, certain brands don't. There's no proper quality control on the parts, as there's so many out there made in so many places, that many cheap parts go on the market. They are all supposed to carry a FCC certification sticker proving they are insulated to not emit certain amounts of interfering yadda yadda science, however most don't.

There are various fixes as posted here about insulating the wires, or adding the ferrite core RF chokes to the power wires, or purchasing new hardware that is properly shielded.
Oct 17th 2017, 07:42 PM   #11
 SilvieFox's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  welches, Oregon

  2008 Kawasaki Versys (Sylvester), 1972 Suzuki RV90 (vanvan), 1981 Honda TwinStar (Bobber),yamaha 225
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMcN49
Hey Silvie after reading some of your posts I think you'd benefit from the tinfoil hat a bit more than me.
already triple laird baby
Oct 17th 2017, 08:23 PM   #12
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'll try the easy option first -- ferrite chokes. Amazon will have 'em here on Friday and I'll post up the results.

Rob
Oct 20th 2017, 03:12 PM   #13
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
Success! The ferrite chokes clamped on in 30 seconds and the interference problem is solved. Just to be certain I removed the chokes and toggled the LEDs off and on -- interference washed the signal out almost entirely when on. Put the chokes back on and now have nice, clear FM reception.

Thanks again for the ideas. I thought you might be interested in the response that I received earlier today from the manufacturer (Denali) so I've copied it below. One would have thought that they would suggest trying something simple like these chokes before defaulting to a refund offer. I really like the LEDs and wouldn't want to go without them. I'm going to respond to Denali's note to let them know that I received much more helpful tech support from my local riding forum.

Rob

=====

Rob,

Hello! Thank you for your email and interest in our parts. Unfortunately we do not currently have a solution for RF interference with the Denali lights. Due to the extremely small number of FM radio users on motorcycles it has not been an issue to this point. If the interference is a deal breaker for you we understand and would be willing to offer you a full refund for return of the kit. Please contact us if this is the direction you would like to go.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us.


Best regards,
Oct 20th 2017, 04:00 PM   #14
 MMcN49's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Small Island Surrounded by Puget Sound

  07 Buell XB12STT, (Two) 12 Suzuki DR650 SE 72BMWR75/5 KIA @ 243K
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidalgoRob
Success! The ferrite chokes clamped on in 30 seconds and the interference problem is solved.[/I]
Home Run! Glad it was so easily solved. Questions: How many chokes did you use and where were they placed?
Oct 20th 2017, 04:37 PM   #15
 
  Jan 2016
  Gig Harbor

  BMW F650GS / BMW R12R
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMcN49
Home Run! Glad it was so easily solved. Questions: How many chokes did you use and where were they placed?
I used two chokes, one on each power cable placed immediately behind the LED housing. They will be exposed to the weather there, so I suppose there will be rust issues inside the plastic covering the cores. Do any of you electronics wizards out there have an opinion on trying to waterproof these cores?
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