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HID Help

This is a discussion on HID Help within the Daily Ride forums, part of the General Forums category; Hi everyone! I'm new here and I'm hoping someone will be able to help me with some weird issues I'm having I'll try to keep ...

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Thread: HID Help

  1. #1
    Newbie WashFamily02's Avatar
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    Question HID Help

    Hi everyone! I'm new here and I'm hoping someone will be able to help me with some weird issues I'm having I'll try to keep it short. I had an HID setup from BK moto. 55W HID bulbs, ballasts and a relay harness. I'd been running it for a couple of years with no problems at all. After washing my bike the other day I ended up soaking the relay harness and shorting it out. When you shook it you could hear all the water inside and drops of water would fling out.

    I ordered a new relay harness but still couldn't get the lights to work consistently. I thought to myself, I must have shorted the ballasts out. So, I ordered new ballasts. Unfortunately I'm still having issues getting the HID lights to come on. At first it was one or the other that would occasionally come on. a couple of times they both came on. Now only one light comes on occasionally. When the light manages to come on it will stay on with no trouble.

    Here's what I've checked:

    The bulbs - both appear to be fine.
    The relay harness - even when the lights don't fire the relay harness is still getting power.
    The ballasts - I've swapped ballasts between the light that never works and the light that works occasionally. either ballast will fire the light that works occasionally, occasionally. Neither ballast will fire the other light (maybe I just burnt it out in my troubleshooting. 12v power is consistently being delivered to the ballasts. However it appears when the light isn't working that the ballast isn't pushing power out of the 23000v connections. Is this simply a bad replacement ballast?

    I should mention that I extended the connections of the ballast. The connections have been soldered and covered in waterproof heat shrink. This allows me to install the ballasts under my seat and just run the wires to the lights up front. Is there a max distance you can run after the ballast? I've included an image below of the location I added the extension.

    mspaint_yLSEjyEP0M.png

    I can help clarify anything that doesn't make sense. Hopefully this makes sense.

  2. #2
    Supreme Being kenors's Avatar
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    I just put HID on my '14 N1k and know a bit about electronics so I'll give it a shot.

    The ballast is a high voltage, high frequency step-up transformer. The primary is driven by circuitry in the driver box and the secondary, as you noted comes out 23Kv. It's not just a transformer like your pole transformer or other transformer seen in most electronic circuitry. It's part of a tuned resonant circuit which allows it to very efficiently step the voltage up from 12V to >20KV. Anything that unbalances or "de-tunes" this circuit will cause it not to work at all.

    Frankly, I'm a bit surprised your first setup worked. Did you use HV wire? Standard wire insulation is only rated to 600v and will arc with 23kv. Anyway, the added capacitance of a few feet of wiring may cause the circuit to fail. In my case, the ballasts are mounted to the front squirrel cage. I had one light that would intermittently not come on. I had neatly twisted the HV wire pairs together. Straightening them out fixed the issue. Mine are 35W Ledperf units and are wired directly to the original N1K headlight wiring. Since they draw way less than the original bulbs there was no need to add a relay or extra power source.

    BTW, most likely, your old ballast transformers and drivers would be fine if you just dried it out. Let it sit a few days in a warm place or use a hair dryer. Also, shorting or opening a line should most likely not hurt the circuitry.

    I know you said you wanted to mount the components under the seat but the critical lines are the HV lines from the ballast to the bulbs. These should be kept as short as possible. That said, did you heat shrink the individual wires separately? If you keep them individual and away from each other (not twisted together) they might be OK. Also, keep them away from the metal frame if possible. Running them inside the plastic fairing is much better than taping them to a frame member for some distance.

    Keep us posted on what you find.
    2014 Ninja w/bags, Motowerks lowered pegs, Sargent Seat, Vstream tour screen, Givi XS306 tank bag, WOLO BadBoy, Aerostitch Roadcrafter.

  3. #3
    Newbie WashFamily02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    It's part of a tuned resonant circuit which allows it to very efficiently step the voltage up from 12V to >20KV. Anything that unbalances or "de-tunes" this circuit will cause it not to work at all.
    I wondered if this would cause problems since it's not a normal 12V DC wire.


    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    Frankly, I'm a bit surprised your first setup worked.
    Thanks for helping me see the error in my description. I actually did not extend the 23kv wires the first time. I had them at the front of the bike. I mentioned that I had it all working the first time just to kind of be like hey, I know how the wires should be connected, I know how to solder, etc. but I didn't extend the HV wires the first time. That's another reason I wondered if that could be the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    Did you use HV wire?
    - No, I did not. I used standard 16 gauge stranded wire.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    In my case, the ballasts are mounted to the front squirrel cage.
    - I actually have all of the igniters for my angel and demon eyes mounted under the cover below the windshiled (I'm assuming that's what you're talking about)


    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    the critical lines are the HV lines from the ballast to the bulbs. These should be kept as short as possible.
    I was afraid of this. Looks like I'll be buying new ballasts again.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    That said, did you heat shrink the individual wires separately? If you keep them individual and away from each other (not twisted together) they might be OK. Also, keep them away from the metal frame if possible. Running them inside the plastic fairing is much better than taping them to a frame member for some distance.
    I did heat shrink the wires individually but they are all running together in wireloom. They go under the tank, around the frame, and up to the lights. it's just so much stuff to put in the front of the bike. Looks like I'll have to do it that way going forward.

    Thank you for all of your help. It's greatly appreciated.

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  5. #4
    Supreme Being kenors's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what bike you have but on my 2014 Ninja 1000 there's an unused tab hanging down on the right side inside the fairing. That's where I hung my ballasts. That left plenty of space in the nose for the igniters.

    If I were you, I'd shorten the HV wires back to their original length and give the system a try. *Usually* when the systems like this get shorted or unbalanced the way you did the electronics aren't damaged. Brought back to their correct state they'll start working again. Good luck!

    D71_7940.jpg
    2014 Ninja w/bags, Motowerks lowered pegs, Sargent Seat, Vstream tour screen, Givi XS306 tank bag, WOLO BadBoy, Aerostitch Roadcrafter.

  6. #5
    Newbie WashFamily02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenors View Post
    I'm not sure what bike you have but on my 2014 Ninja 1000 there's an unused tab hanging down on the right side inside the fairing. That's where I hung my ballasts. That left plenty of space in the nose for the igniters.

    If I were you, I'd shorten the HV wires back to their original length and give the system a try. *Usually* when the systems like this get shorted or unbalanced the way you did the electronics aren't damaged. Brought back to their correct state they'll start working again. Good luck!

    D71_7940.jpg
    Thanks for all of the help and tips. I ended up buying new ballasts. I hooked the new ballasts up without modifying them and everything is working like it should now. Thanks for the pic. I'll have to find that spot on my bike! It looks like you and I have the same bike. :-)

  7. #6
    Supreme Being kenors's Avatar
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    If you look close at the picture I mounted the ballasts back to back on a piece of 1/2" steel bar and then hung it from the black brace hanging down with the 6mm nut welded to it. The 3/4" spacer is so the ballasts are completely out of sight inside the right fairing. Good luck.
    WashFamily02 likes this.
    2014 Ninja w/bags, Motowerks lowered pegs, Sargent Seat, Vstream tour screen, Givi XS306 tank bag, WOLO BadBoy, Aerostitch Roadcrafter.

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