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Author Topic: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter  (Read 1435 times)

jjmccrea

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Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« on: April 04, 2016, 09:17:49 PM »

Hey guys,

Kind of a goofball question, but I am having a hard time figuring out the best spot to put a voltmeter on my bike.  No issues so far, but I know my battery is old and I have heard of the R/R unit issues, so I would like to be prepared.  I have an 07 naked 650 and I have tried to keep it as sleek and café-ish as possible.  All of the units I have seen so far on ebay seem to be panel mounted, as though designed to be snapped or screwed into a hand-cut hole, which is great for a faired model, but leaves me scratching my head. 

I have considered fashioning some type of panel or box to enclose the voltmeter display that could then be mounted somewhere around the handlebar mounts on top of the tree, but all the concepts I can currently visualize would be impossible, ugly, or a combination of both.  If anyone has seen any low cost self-enclosed units or have some ideas that have worked for you, I'm open to them.  Thanks in advance. 

P.S. - I'm sure there are some really slick high-end solutions out there, but let me emphasize that my budget for this project is in the 2-digit dollar amounts.  Thanks
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umop-ǝpisdn

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 09:51:27 PM »

I saw a post once where someone clever put it inside the tachometer. Exceptional craftsmanship too. was it ninetenseven than did it? I forget.
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I used to be a sensitive, new age guy, but times have changed and now I am more of a caring, understanding, ninties type.

umop-ǝpisdn

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 09:52:54 PM »

It wasn't ninetenseven, it was UNdocab.

https://korider.com/index.php?topic=27006.0
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I used to be a sensitive, new age guy, but times have changed and now I am more of a caring, understanding, ninties type.

jjmccrea

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 02:13:38 AM »

Thanks,

That's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for!  I was just considering switching out the tach plate too! (My bike has the older black faceplate, but I have a broken display unit with the white tach plate as pictured)

I would be slightly worried that the voltmeter display would be a little bright, making the rpm hard to read.  Perhaps a sliver of window tint over the top would make the display less bright while also keeping it stealthy when the bike is off. 

Thanks for the help again.
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umop-ǝpisdn

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 02:32:13 AM »

If you take power from the dash supply, then while the bike is off, the voltage meter will also be off. Regarding the brightness, if you stick the meter to the glass, instead of to the tach plate, that would eliminate reflection of the glass making viewing the tach more or less normal.
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I used to be a sensitive, new age guy, but times have changed and now I am more of a caring, understanding, ninties type.

stonecold300

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 11:53:33 AM »

I have run my voltmeter off a circuit on my relay (installed under my seat in a project box, and wired to the tail light) to manage spotlights, wheel rim lights, Stonk Bright Eyes, and phone charger.) Heated grips are directly off the ignition. It works a treat, and the voltage readings are 13.7 on the open road, 12.8 at start up increasing to 13.7, and 14.1 when idling at traffic lights after the engine etc is warm.

About to wire in a camera, so we will see if that breaks the camels back :-)
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Hylife

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 12:36:49 PM »

Quote
.....but I am having a hard time figuring out the best spot to put a voltmeter on my bike....

Until you upgrade the RR to a MOSFET one, right next to your right temple and spin the cylinders.
Maw hahahahahaha
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jjmccrea

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 06:46:31 PM »

Thanks for the advice. 

I found a mini voltmeter on EBay that should do the trick, but I also found some super bright LED t5 bulbs to replace the stock tach bulbs, which should make the brightness of the voltmeter a moot point.  The best part is that all of it together is costing me less than $2 US!

I am debating where to wire it in though, as you all make good points.  I would like to be able to read the voltage without having to actually fire up the bike (In some cases, the reading would let me know if I could even fire it up at all).  I wired some amber LED running lights directly to the ignition-on, so I think I'll do that.

@Hylife - Yeah, I know I'm gambling everyday until I do the upgrade, but I don't commute or anything, so I figure I'll just get my money's worth out of it and watch it till it dies.  I'm hoping that by getting the voltmeter, I'd be able to see problems coming to avoid frying the stator or anything else if at all possible. 
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jjmccrea

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2016, 03:57:57 PM »

So, I finally got the voltmeter in the mail and took a crack at installing it.  Once I tested the unit and verified which side was the top (almost a big oops), I used side cutters to remove the mounting tab on the right side only.  I was then able to remove one of the tiny screws on the tachometer face and bolt it down using the remaining tab.  I routed the wires underneath the tach and out of one of the vent holes on the bottom of the case. 

Here's where it got interesting.  As I was considering where to tap into the power circuit, I knew that it had to be somewhere that was connected to the ignition switch and also as close as possible.  The first location that came to mind...The tachometer power circuit!  I connected the ground to the tach ground on the back of the case and then connected the positive to the orange switched power line, also on the back of the display case.  I bolted it all back up and voila!



Not only does it work, but I've got a nice clean 12.9 volts!  Thanks to everyone that helped with this mod.
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thunderrun53

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Re: Where's the best spot for mounting a voltmeter
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2016, 04:33:27 PM »

That looks great.  I am seriously considering doing this mod as this is the second bike I have with weird electric gremlins.  I never even thought about adding something like this until I saw this thread.  Very clever.  Now I can stop taking the seat off and checking with my hand held meter all the time.  Thanks for the write up and instructions.
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