HD Rocker C LED Tail Light failure

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by hdrockerstuff, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. hdrockerstuff

    hdrockerstuff New Member

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    This LED tail light was designed for liftime duration...but failed me on a weekend trip after just 18.000 km / 3 years. Only numberplate LEDS works regardless of input ( even by direct 12VDC input to the multipin connector ) There is no physical dammages anywhere, but the interior of the lamp appears humid ( it can NOT be disassembled ) Apparently HD has discontinued the Rocker model, so there is no interest in solving problems and no support by my local HD supplier either....only if a pay all expenses...and a new complete tail light unit identical to the current version, so I can expect same problem later on. Issue is that if you are out travelling and the tail light fails..( stop and tail ) your are on your own with no possibility of changing bulb or anything....and even the best stocked HD supplier will not have a new unit at hand ( here in Europe ) Since I have no support from HD...and no warranty ( dealer claim HD Factory will NEVER recognise this as a design failure as this concept do not exist in HD vocabulary ) I am about to break open the lamp and replace the innards with own LED design ( I am engineer and used to work cars & motorcycles ) however if anybody outtathere has any suggestions they will be most appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. hdrockerstuff

    hdrockerstuff New Member

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    I managed to remove the plastic lens, it is bonded with some silicone sealer, no screws or tabs. Confirmed that the interior was damp, and this had totally corroded the SMD circuitry as this is by no means protected in any way against humidity...so much for the long-duration LEDS if the power-supply issues are recklessly designed. And in any case, why so much complexity with loads of resistors, capacitors, IC's etc when a simple resistor will do the trick to reduce the voltage from 12VDC to the suitable for the corresponding LED type. Also, and that's silly, the most power-fulls LEDS are those iluminating the numberplate...whereas the position and brake LED's a 5 weak diminute things.

    So now all this is in my dustbin and the lamp re-assembled with 24 LED`s for position, 2 high-power ( 3W each) for braking, and a separate 18 LED's for the numberplate......all proberly heat-grounded to an Aluminium plate support instead of the original print-board....and justa couple of resistors.
     
  3. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    I thought the same the first time I saw it also. The reason it is designed that way is because having just a current limiting resistor wastes battery power in the form of heat and reduces brightness. What they do with these new high output LED's is pulse them very fast at full power with an oscillator. Because the human eye has perception of vision, we don't see the flickering that is really taking place.

    I recently took apart one of those simple cheap pocket size high output flashlights and found a bunch of integrated circuits, surface mounted semi's and wondered "what on earth" it's just a FLASHLIGHT! :) Not any more.

    I bet the new $500 LED headlights are the same way... (with just a 90 day warranty)
     
  4. hdrockerstuff

    hdrockerstuff New Member

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    Hi there Hoople....yes thats is the reason for the complexity, however in this case it is like "shooting sparrows with a canon"....the consumption is of very little concern....even if it adds consumption on top of the LEd's consumption. Due to the Rockers rearfender moving with the rearwheel....ordinary lamps are no good here...so LED's are called for because of the heavy shaking...not to save some watt's.....considering the type of bike it is anyhow. What's needed is reliability...and the original solution does certainly not comply.
     
  5. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Then maybe all it needs is to be sealed better from water intrusion. The electronics may not need to be redesigned. Who knows how long it would have lasted if it did not get wet.:)