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As the title reads, thinking of upgrading from the manual bulb horn. I heard BMW's use one,
Steve


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Hi Steve,

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
I heard BMW's use one,

So does/did your R3 originally.

Single horn won't need a relay, twin horns do. Any four-tab on/off relay will do. Briefly, connect the horn button and earth to the 'low-tension' side of the relay, supply from battery or ignition and to horns to the 'high-tension' side. Need more detail, come back.

Hth.

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i did more than that i did the headlite and dip switch as well.the idea is to take the current load off the handle bar switches that are prone to corrosion i wired the switches to provide a ground to the coil of the relays which i buried in the head lamp shell.it worked well but i did have to rethink the circuit.the horn is a good choice.

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Steve, If you are putting in a "car" horn or two car horns (hi and lo tone)you will need a relay. But make sure the horn doesn't sound like a Buick. People will look around for a Buick and completely ignore you. Trust me I know. You need a different sound with a more European note. Mixo horns are very good for that and they're decent looking when painted. They're loud as heck (think Autobahn) and can be picked up at a salvage yard for $5. Find them on VWs, BMWs, Saabs, Volvos etc.
Al.


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Keep meaning to buy a Stebel Nautilus...

Compact horn with 130db sound level!


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Funny everybody keeps talking about adding relays to switches to protect them...though nobody talks about adding a relay to the only switches I ever seem to wear out: The brake light switch. Sure, it doesn't draw much current, but it probably sees about 100 times more use than any other switch on the bike (at least on mine). I'm not proposing that anyone put a relay on a brake light switch...just trying to put this relay craze into perspective.

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+1 on Stebel Nautilus. I tooted at a lady walking in our neighborhood with her back to me -- just a short gentle greeting -- and she jumped in the ditch!

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Hi Alex,

Originally Posted by jaycee
the idea is to take the current load off the handle bar switches that are prone to corrosion

Originally Posted by Alex
everybody keeps talking about adding relays to switches to protect them...though nobody talks about adding a relay to the only switches I ever seem to wear out: The brake light switch.

You and 'jaycee' misunderstand what a relay does/can do. He talks correctly about "tak[ing] the current load off the handle bar switches", but a relay cannot stop corrosion nor can it prevent wear.

The only reason to have a manual switch turn a relay on or off - which then turns the component on and off - is so that the manual switch doesn't have to pass the current used by the component. A relay is a good idea with twin horns because otherwise you risk the current drawn by two horns welding the handlebar button contacts together. Relays are a good idea if you upgrade the headlamp power from the standard 45/40 or 50/40 because specifically the headlamp power usually has to jump three switches and specifically the headlamp becomes the largest single consumer.

A relay can mask the effects of corrosion and/or wear in the manual switch; however, all that does is put off the day when the manual switch doesn't work, when the component won't work also. frown This is the reason I don't favour a relay on the kill switch, unless you also have something like the high current of a Rita switching coils wired in parallel.

Hth.

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Thanks guys, I was thinking that the relay would not cause as dramatic a load drain when running on a lowish batt. and with headlight.
Maybe I heard wrong but does it isolate the battery from accessories?
Stuart- The 8cm x 4cm tin cased device is the R3 relay I guess and it is mounted to the tool box on mine I think. I have a NOS wiring harness on way and I will have photo assisted questions I think. Colour blind! LOL!
Steve
-Alex- I used a NC/NO Omcron computer switch as a rear brake light for years it even held up to rain commuting but the button rubber cap switch is pretty reliable but does need confirming if riding a lot I agree.


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Adding a relay will increase the total load because you are adding the consumption of the relay coil, and the added dissipation in the extra set of points. These are negligible, but there's no free lunch. All a relay can do is lessen the current going through the switch that used to switch the full load current, but now is only switching the relay coil current which is much less. If the switch was up to the task to begin with, there's no point.


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Hi Steve,

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
I was thinking that the relay would not cause as dramatic a load drain when running on a lowish batt. and with headlight.

confused How so? Relays don't change where the headlamp gets its power, only that the power doesn't go through ignition, lights and dip switches.

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
Maybe I heard wrong but does it isolate the battery from accessories?

Again, how? You heard wrong. grin

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
The 8cm x 4cm tin cased device is the R3 relay I guess and it is mounted to the tool box on mine

Mounted with two tabs off the case? Sounds like it - Lucas 6RA.

Hth.

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Switching a relay from a switch consumes the same amount of power considering any arcing of a hard wired no relay horn button? TIA
Steve


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Hi Steve,

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
Switching a relay from a switch consumes the same amount of power considering any arcing of a hard wired no relay horn button?

Eh? Google Translate couldn't come up with anything so here's my answers to what I think you asked ... grin

1. There are two separate sides to a relay; the switch is electro-magnetically controlled; this electro-magnet draws milliAmps.

2. Because it's an electro-magnet, you need another switch to operate it; e.g. the handlebar switch.

3. Because the handlebar switch is only operating the relay's electro-magnet, only milliAmps have to jump the handlebar switch's contacts, so negligible arcing there.

4. When the relay's electro-magnet is energised, what happens to the connection between the main consumer and the power source depends on the configuration of the relay:-

a. You can have a connection made between consumer and power, so the consumer is on when the relay is energised.

b. You can have a connection broken between consumer and power, so the consumer is off when the relay is energised; e.g. some cars, when you operate the starter, the lights, stereo, etc. go off.

c. You can have one connection made and the other broken,; e.g. electric aerial up/down.

In our case, we tend to use a. - the horn, headlamp, whatever comes on when the relay is 'on' (energised).

5. The widely-available relays I've seen are rated for 20A upwards (the 6RA is rated for 40A). Given motorcycles tend to require them to switch 10A or less, I can't see much possibility of arcing there.

6. The whole point of having a relay is the full 5A, 10A, whatever passing between power source (e.g. battery) and consumer isn't jumping the contacts in the ignition key switch and handlebar switch.

The consumer is still getting full power from the battery, just it's only jumping the high-power side of the relay.

Hth.

Regards,

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You can also use larger gauge wire between the battery-relay-headlight to cut down on line loss.


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Hi,

Originally Posted by Ob1quixote
use larger gauge wire between the battery-relay-headlight to cut down on line loss.

With respect, that's an entirely separate issue.

Most original - 1960's and 1970's certainly - British wiring is 14/32SWG (14 strands, each 32SWG (0.274mm)); this is rated for 7.5A, i.e. 90W @ 12V.

Its metric equivalent is 14/0.30 (14 strands, each 0.3mm), rated for 8.75A (105W @ 12V). So 14/0.30 to a 100W main beam headlamp is perfectly adequate.

And that's only normal, soft PVC-insulated cable. 14/0.30 has a total conductor cross-sectional area of 1 sq. mm. The 'thinwall' (thinner, harder PVC insulation) equivalent, 32/0.20, is rated for 16.5A - even 16/0.20, which has a total conductor cross-sectional area of only 0.5 sq. mm., is rated for 11A.

Otoh, entirely separate from relays, from the '71 season, when Triumph and BSA also stopped fitting ammeters, the main Brown/Blue cable was reduced from 28/32SWG to 14/32SWG. As this is the only connection from battery and rectifier to Zener diode and ignition switch, most of the time the bike's at road speeds, just the alternator output exceeds the rating of the conductor. crazy

Hth.

Regards,

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Sure beats running battery cables up to your handlebars.

Less line loss equals brighter lights.


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Originally Posted by Stuart

Otoh, entirely separate from relays, from the '71 season, when Triumph and BSA also stopped fitting ammeters, the main Brown/Blue cable was reduced from 28/32SWG to 14/32SWG. As this is the only connection from battery and rectifier to Zener diode and ignition switch, most of the time the bike's at road speeds, just the alternator output exceeds the rating of the conductor. crazy

Hth.

Regards,


I guess they figured that that wire would now only carry less than 7.5A since the bike consumes at least 2.5A to run, and therefore it would never shunt more than that through the zener, but they're cutting it pretty close.


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So it does conserve energy to have a relay. That was a good one about the car and ignition key turn I think my Dad's Comet in the seventies did that maybe or my uncles vet maybe not sure. Well this coming week I am off so hopefully the R3 loom will arrive and the 441 will get a horn. I have a great stator and charging system now so want to add a Fiam or air horn with compressor maybe. The two low draw tabs are a loop through the switch? Relay's are car stuff to me never used them or fixed them on any of the asian bikes I had. Some electronics I understand some not so much, I have made my own magnet actuator rc control surface servo subs so the relay is like a magnetic reed switch which has a coil to energize which draws the contact closed as would a magnet. The 'lil coil therefore would waste less battery potential than a battery to horn to button ground.
S

Last edited by 441/R3cafeSteve; 09/24/11 4:59 am.

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Hi,

Originally Posted by hh
I guess they figured that that wire would now only carry less than 7.5A since the bike consumes at least 2.5A to run, and therefore it would never shunt more than that through the zener,

Nope. As I say, the Brown/Blue is the only connection from battery and rectifier to Zener diode and ignition switch, so all the electricity has to pass along it, irrespective of whether it's running the bike (going to the ignition switch) or being dumped (going to the Zener).

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
want to add a Fiam or air horn with compressor maybe.

I like the Fiamm electric horns; imho the compressor for air horns is way too big to hide on a triple. The electric Fiamms are well loud; I got my first pair mounted on a bike bought from the US in the early 1990's, they were under a Vetter fairing so they sounded only ok to me 'til one day I went for a gap on the motorway at 80 mph which the car driver in front started to close; I gave a blast on the horns and was mightily impressed when all four in the car tried to open the sunroof with their heads. clap

Originally Posted by 441/R3cafeSteve
The two low draw tabs are a loop through the switch?

There are two different versions of the 6RA relay. Current (sorry) ones have four tabs - 'W1' and 'W2' should connect to the horn button and earth, 'C1' and 'C2' connect to the battery (Brown/Blue) and the horns - I tend to connect the horns to 'C1' because that has two tabs while 'C2' is only a single tab.

Otoh, originals had only three tabs - iirc, that version earths through the case but, if that's the version you have, tell me what markings are beside each tab and I'll tell you how it needs to be wired.

Hth.

Regards,

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My original 69 Triumph Bonneville Has the dual hooter horns and Lucas horn relay.


Ago

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Hi Steve,

Originally Posted by Stuart
There are two different versions of the 6RA relay.
originals had only three tabs - iirc, that version

I remembered my T150 has one of these ... duh!

It lacks the 'W2' terminal, because it earths through the case - on the T150, I made an additional earth wire from one of the relay mounting screws to the wiring harness 'electrics plate' earth terminal. Other than that, it has the 'W1', 'C1' and 'C2' terminals so it's wired the same as the later one.

Hth.

Regards,

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I've been thinking about the electrical system for my '64 TR6, and was looking at relays for hi-beam, lo-beam, and horn. Happened onto this thread, but still have some questions.

Originally Posted by Stuart
The only reason to have a manual switch turn a relay on or off - which then turns the component on and off - is so that the manual switch doesn't have to pass the current used by the component.
Yes, I agree and that's what I'm after.

Originally Posted by Stuart
There are two separate sides to a relay; the switch is electro-magnetically controlled; this electro-magnet draws milliAmps.
This gets to my first questions.

(1) If the control side of a DC relay is an electro-magnet in a 12V circuit, what is there inside to limit the current to milliAmps? I understand E/R=I, but what does that internal resistance come from? Is it just numerous wraps of fine copper wire, or is there some sort of resistor in there too?

(2) What keeps the relay body from getting hot? I mean, hook your ignition coils across 12V continuous, and see how long before they have a meltdown.

(3) What prevents a big voltage spike when you shut off the switch that controls the relay (magnetic field collapsing over the windings of that little electro-magnet and all)?

Originally Posted by Stuart
There are two different versions of the 6RA relay. Current (sorry) ones have four tabs - 'W1' and 'W2' should connect to the horn button and earth, 'C1' and 'C2' connect to the battery (Brown/Blue) and the horns - I tend to connect the horns to 'C1' because that has two tabs while 'C2' is only a single tab.

Otoh, originals had only three tabs - iirc, that version earths through the case
This gets to my final question.

(4) Why do the 4-pin relays NEED 4 pins? Two of the pins are going to ground anyway. What prevents internally connecting the control circuit ground and the load circuit ground and only having three external wires to hook up???

Stuart, this has your name written all over it. Hope you don't mind. Of course, I'm interested in everyone else's opinions too.


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Originally Posted by TR6Ray

Otoh, originals had only three tabs - iirc, that version earths through the case.

This gets to my final question.

(4) Why do the 4-pin relays NEED 4 pins? Two of the pins are going to ground anyway. What prevents internally connecting the control circuit ground and the load circuit ground and only having three external wires to hook up???


Only one of those pins goes to ground.Your control switch can then operate the electro-magnet.With no ground,it wouldn't work.

The points then join the battery pin to your load pin (horn,whatever).

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Thanks, Pete, I understand that. I guess I was fixated on the way that Triumph wired the horn on my bike in the first place. Power supplied from -ve side of battery and/or alternator, to the horn, to the switch, to +ve ground (earth) to complete the circuit. If the relay is put into the circuit where the mechanical switch used to be (as an interruption of the ground leg of the circuit), then two of the four terminals on the relay would be going to +ve or earth or ground.

The vast majority of these little universal relays would be connected as you said.

Ray


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Hi Ray,

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
(1) If the control side of a DC relay is an electro-magnet in a 12V circuit, what is there inside to limit the current to milliAmps?
what does that internal resistance come from?

The electro-magnet itself; it's only big enough to switch the contacts of the other part of the relay, hence it only draws milliAmps, but it is the resistance.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
(2) What keeps the relay body from getting hot? I mean, hook your ignition coils across 12V continuous, and see how long before they have a meltdown.

Ignition coils draw around 3A to 4A; they shouldn't be on "continuous" so cool when they're off. Otoh, as said, the electro-magnet in a relay draws milliAmps, so the tiny amount of heat generated simply radiates to atmosphere; if a relay gets hot, either it's under-specified or it has a problem.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
(3) What prevents a big voltage spike when you shut off the switch that controls the relay (magnetic field collapsing over the windings of that little electro-magnet and all)?

As you say, the coil of a relay electro-magnet is tiny - miniscule compared to the HT windings of an ignition coil - so simply can't generate "a big voltage spike".

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
(4) Why do the 4-pin relays NEED 4 pins? Two of the pins are going to ground anyway. What prevents internally connecting the control circuit ground and the load circuit ground and only having three external wires to hook up?

Don't confuse the two parts of a relay:-

. The electro-magnet is the resistance in the 'switching' circuit from battery -ve to battery +ve; requires a manual switch (e.g. ignition key switch, handlebar switch) to turn it on and off. This is two "pins" of a relay.

. Otoh, the other two "pins" are 'switched' in a separate circuit from battery -ve to battery +ve; as simply the switch in this circuit, there isn't (and shouldn't be) any resistance here, so you must have a resistance (headlamp, horn, ignition coil(s), etc.) connected to one of these "pins".

So, as Pete says, only one "pin" - of the switching side - is connected directly to "ground" sick (battery +ve :bigt ). Also, you'll be lucky to find space for metal-cased Lucas 6RA relays - whether 3-tab or 4-tab - you'll find it much easier to use modern plastic-cased relays. Fwiw, my T100 has the headlamp relays inside the headlamp shell and the horn relay on the bracket under the tank, the horns (Fiamm electric) are hung off extended front fuel tank mounting studs.

Hth.

Regards,

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Hi Ray,

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I was fixated on the way that Triumph wired the horn on my bike in the first place.
If the relay is put into the circuit

Uh-uh, as I say, a relay is two separate independant circuits and, when you fit one into an existing single circuit, you have to bear in mind that you're separating the existing switch and the existing resistance into the two separate independant circuits. As such:-

. The switching part of the relay takes the place of the horn in the original circuit, hence it'll be:-

"Power supplied from -ve side of battery and/or alternator, to the relay, to the switch, to +ve".

. The switched part of the relay takes the place of the handlebar button in the original circuit, hence you can connect it either:-

- Power supplied from -ve side of battery only, to the horn(s), to the relay, to +ve

or, as Triumph (and BSA) connected twin horns:-

- Power supplied from -ve side of battery only, to the relay, to the horns, to +ve.

Hth.

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Originally Posted by TR6Ray
If the relay is put into the circuit where the mechanical switch used to be (as an interruption of the ground leg of the circuit), then two of the four terminals on the relay would be going to +ve or earth or ground.

The vast majority of these little universal relays would be connected as you said.

Even on the switching side of the relay,both pins aren't permanently connected to the battery.The switching can happen on the +VE or -VE.
Yours would have a -VE wire permanently connected to the relay,and the other pin connected to ground only when you press the horn button.So,in your case,NO pin is permanently connected to ground on the switching side of the relay.

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Pete & Stuart, thanks for your answers. I probably didn't clearly describe what I had in my head. After thinking some more about it, I still think a 3-pin relay would make sense for the horn, but a bit different than I was talking about before. An external jumper wire would accomplish this (see pins 30 & 85 in sketch). All I'm wanting is to use a single wire to feed both relay circuits (both the control circuit and the load circuit). Here is a sketch of what I mean:

[Linked Image]

I am going to move the horn out from under the battery box, where Triumph put it in 1964. I need more space under there for wires, Podtronic unit, and a small 5-fuse box. The horn will go up front under the fuel tank.

My horn PB is one of those re-pop things that looks like the original, with a button on top of the dipper. Only one wire from inside the headlight goes to the horn PB. When the button is pressed, it completes the +ve side of the horn circuit. Unless I modify the switch, said ground path will be through the handlebars, then a short red jumper wire around the bonded bushes in the handlebar mounts (this was on the bike originally) and on into the bullet connector for the grounds inside the headlight bucket.

Anyway, do you see any problem using a relay set up as shown above?

Ray


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(Bump) Changed my previous post by adding a sketch. Maybe Pete and Stuart can take another look to see if I'm still talking crazy? Thanks.

Ray


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That looks OK.

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Thanks, Pete. Sorry if I caused you undue trouble the first go-around with this.

Ray


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Hi Ray,

As you've sketched it, that'll work but I've a suggestion and a question:-

. Connect the jumper between 30 and 86 and connect 85 to the horn button. Reason is that some relays have a diode 85-86 and wouldn't work as you've drawn it; otoh, connecting as I've suggested, it won't matter whether you use a relay with a diode or not.

. Are you planning to add a second horn? If not, I'm wondering why you're adding a relay? A relay's normally used with two or more horns to avoid the possibility of the current draw welding the button contacts together. With a single horn, a relay's overkill for introducing another possible failure point.

Hth.

Regards,

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Originally Posted by Stuart
Connect the jumper between 30 and 86 and connect 85 to the horn button. Reason is that some relays have a diode 85-86 and wouldn't work as you've drawn it; otoh, connecting as I've suggested, it won't matter whether you use a relay with a diode or not.

Thank you, Stuart. So, like this:

[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by Stuart
Are you planning to add a second horn? If not, I'm wondering why you're adding a relay? A relay's normally used with two or more horns to avoid the possibility of the current draw welding the button contacts together. With a single horn, a relay's overkill for introducing another possible failure point.

I am only planning to have one horn. My original 6V Lucas horn did not work till I dismantled it and cleaned the breaker points inside. Honking it with a little trickle charger, it sounds normal, though not overly loud, on 6V. On 12V, it is louder but rattles like a cheap speaker on a boom box.

Not to offend the purists, but I have a Nikko 12V horn that is rather thin and flat shaped. I am thinking of drilling one hole in the crossbar where the petrol tank mounts. That will let me mount it chrome side down, ugly side up, under the tank. It will be visible but certainly not prominent. Anyway, when honking this horn on the trickle charger it is considerably louder and has a pretty good tone. It does spark noticeably when I make and break the contact. I guess the only reason for the relay was to make the PB last longer. If I don't need a relay, it would save space inside the headlight bucket.

BTW, I bought that Jap horn from a British Bike shop. Does that make it legit? laugh

Ray

[Edit] I just checked resistance across the Nikko horn terminals at 1.4 Ohms. So, 8.6A draw?


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Hi Ray,

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
like this:

Looks about right. smile

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I have a Nikko 12V horn that is rather thin and flat shaped.
I just checked resistance across the Nikko horn terminals at 1.4 Ohms. So, 8.6A draw?

Seems very high for a horn? confused If it's one of these, as you can see, the maker reckons 2A.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I bought that Jap horn from a British Bike shop.

If it is one of that pair, which "British Bike shop"? They're quite good Windtone/Clearhooter replacements on the '69 and '70 models that had twin horns so it'd be useful to be able to give a source when anyone asks.

Hth.

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Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I just checked resistance across the Nikko horn terminals at 1.4 Ohms. So, 8.6A draw?

It could be 8.6A when you first press the button,but only for a micro-second.When the horn vibrates and makes noise,1/2 the time there is no current.Average current could be 4.3A or less.

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Stuart,

You asked about my Nikko horn. It is not as fancy as what you linked to, and I could not find one like it on the Nikko web site (even googling by its part number: CFL-0610-12). Anyway, here is what it looks like. Although it looks black in this picture, it is actually nicely chrome plated. I plan to install the horn horizontally, with this surface facing straight down, under the front of the fuel tank.

[Linked Image]

Here you can see it is not very thick, and should almost disappear under the tank -

[Linked Image]

And the ugly side looks like this -

[Linked Image]

I actually could hide this up in the tank tunnel, but it won't show much and should be a little louder underneath.

Now, in regard to the horn relay, I've re-thought that a bit. As you said, a relay is probably overkill for a single horn, and Pete's comment bears that out. I am still going to use the relay, but wired differently and for a different purpose. As I'm sure you know, the horn and stop lamp on the mid-60's Triumphs were not wired through the ammeter or the ignition switch. That's probably wise, but I want them dead when the ignition is switched off. To that purpose, I am going to interrupt the Brown/blue feed to them via a relay. The pull-in circuit for this relay will be wired through the ammeter and ignition switch.


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Hi Ray,

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
Nikko horn.
I could not find one like it on the Nikko web site

You mean here ...? whistle

grin ... Fwiw, the "L" appears to indicate simply the 'Low' (as opposed to 'H' for 'High') note and the "12" the Volts.

Just as a matter of interest, where did you buy it? Although it isn't the 'YP' that could sub. for Windtones and Clearhooters, if they can get your one, they might be a source for others?

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
the horn and stop lamp on the mid-60's Triumphs were not wired through the ammeter or the ignition switch.

Hmmm ... curious, as far as the stop lamp's concerned - all the wiring diagrams in the '63 - '70 workshop manual show the stop lamp switch fed by a White cable from the switched side of the ignition key switch? In turn, the switch feeds the stop lamp itself via a Brown (as opposed to Brown/Blue) cable.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
the horn relay, I've re-thought that a bit.
the horn
not wired through the ammeter or the ignition switch.
I am going to interrupt the Brown/blue feed to them via a relay. The pull-in circuit for this relay will be wired through the ammeter and ignition switch.

Couldn't you simply substitute a White (switched) feed for the Brown/Blue (unswitched) one? Given where you're planning to site the new horn, not only will it be passed by the Brown/Blue between battery and ammeter but also the White to the coils.

Hth.

Regards,

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Originally Posted by Stuart
You mean here ...? whistle

grin ... Fwiw, the "L" appears to indicate simply the 'Low' (as opposed to 'H' for 'High') note and the "12" the Volts.

Just as a matter of interest, where did you buy it? Although it isn't the 'YP' that could sub. for Windtones and Clearhooters, if they can get your one, they might be a source for others?
Yep, that's the one. I looked at a number of Nikko pages but never found the one you did. I bought that horn a couple years ago from Mr. Ed Zender at Morrie's Place in Ringwood Illinois. I paid U.S. $25.00 at that time. His prices may have gone up by now, since Cycle World's own Peter Egan has discovered the place and dropped down from Wisconsin to visit. He has mentioned Ed in several Leanings articles over the past couple years. laugh

Originally Posted by Stuart
Hmmm ... curious, as far as the stop lamp's concerned - all the wiring diagrams in the '63 - '70 workshop manual show the stop lamp switch fed by a White cable from the switched side of the ignition key switch? In turn, the switch feeds the stop lamp itself via a Brown (as opposed to Brown/Blue) cable.


Nope -- there are a number of wiring diagrams in that FSM to which you linked. Refer to Section H, p. H37, which looks like this . . .

[Linked Image]

This diagram agrees with my original 1964 TR6 wiring almost completely. The diagram doesn't show my tacho light, and omits the red earth wires that are actually present in the harness to do part of the job. The frame and tins made up part of the earth circuit -- one of your pet peeves. Also, the diagram in the book has an error in identifying the color (colour) code for the wire from the ammeter to the Lighting switch. The book labels it Brown/blue. In real life, it is Brown/white. I have fixed that error on this page.

Looking at the diagram above, one can easily see that if the Brown/blue wire between the -ve battery post to the ammeter were to be severed with a pair of wire cutters, the whole bike would be dead . . . except for the horn and the stop lamp which would still function normally.

Here's an explanation of how the horn and stop lamp were physically wired to avoid both the ammeter and the ignition switch:

Stop Lamp: Two (2) Brown/blue wires were crimped onto a single ring terminal which attached to the -ve battery post. One of these wires goes via a 2-way bullet connector to one side of the stop lamp switch. The other side of the stop lamp switch has a brown wire that goes back to one of the filaments on the rear light (the stop lamp). The socket of said lamp is connected via the license plate holder, the fender, and the rear section of the frame to the grounding stud portion of the rectifier and from there to battery +ve post via a fused red wire. Pressing the rear brake pedal moves the stop lamp switch and completes the circuit (so long as no paint, powdercoat, or rust gets in the way). The ignition switch and ammeter are happily unaware of what is happening out back.

Horn: The second of the two Brown/blue wires crimped to the single ring terminal on the -ve battery post goes to a double crimp female Lucar spade terminal (by double crimp, I mean two wires crimped together onto one female spade). This double crimp female connects to one of the two male spades on the horn underneath the battery. The other Brown/blue from this double crimp female Lucar goes through the main harness and into the headlight. After passing through a bullet connector, it connects to one side of the ammeter.

Now let's return to the horn. The second male spade on the horn has a Brown/black wire connected to it. This wire runs through the main harness and into the headlight bucket. In the headlight bucket it is connected to another Brown/black wire via a bullet connector. This Brown/black wire goes up the left side handlebar to the push button on top of the dipper switch. When the push button is depressed, a (ground path) (earth path) path to the +ve battery post is established via the handlebars, a red jumper wire past the bonded bushes and eventially via red wire running from inside the headlight bucket back through the main harness to the rectifier mtg bolt and through the fuse to the +ve battery post.

Originally Posted by Stuart
Originally Posted by TR6Ray
the horn relay, I've re-thought that a bit.
the horn
not wired through the ammeter or the ignition switch.
I am going to interrupt the Brown/blue feed to them via a relay. The pull-in circuit for this relay will be wired through the ammeter and ignition switch.

Couldn't you simply substitute a White (switched) feed for the Brown/Blue (unswitched) one? Given where you're planning to site the new horn, not only will it be passed by the Brown/Blue between battery and ammeter but also the White to the coils.

Yes, I could do it as you described, but I am adding a blade-type fuse block adjacent to the battery. The switched white wire to the ignition system (Boyer box mounted adjacent to the coils under the fuel tank) will be the only item on one of the fuses.

Another fused circuit will supply the horn and stop lamp only. Immediately after the fuse, this circuit will enter a normally open relay. Unless the relay is "turned on" via the ignition switch, the horn and stop lamp will be dead.

I'll be putting up a complete diagram of all this on my build thread, but I am still finishing it. The rough draft is finally complete.

Ironically enough, by the time I remove the wires that Triumph used for some goofy functions in 1964, and add back the wires to do what I want, I will end up with the same number of wires running through the body of the main harness.

[Trivia bit of the day, that quantity = nine (9) wires.]

Note to anyone who reads this far in this lengthy post -- thanks for your interest, but you may have a problem. I suggest that you (A) go drink a beer, or (B) seek professional counseling, or (C) best choice -- go ride your motorcycle. You rarely see a bike parked outside a psychiatry clinic. laughing laughing

Ray


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Hi Ray,

I was going to post this before the weekend but one of the problems with Forum was it wouldn't post quoted text; if any of the suggestions are useful, great but, if you're further ahead with wiring mods, hey ho ... grin

Firstly, thanks for the information about the dealer. :bigt

Thanks also for your detailed explanation of your bike's original wiring but you were right at the beginning, I'd just missed the diagram. frown I was scrolling through the manual diagrams in what I assumed was reverse-chronological order, you'd said your bike was "mid-sixties" so, when I got to the early-sixties diagram, I assumed I'd seen the one for your bike.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
The diagram
omits the red earth wires that are actually present in the harness to do part of the job.

Ime, all electrical schematic diagrams will omit the 'common' side of circuits, whether that's the 'return' side on pre-'79 Brit. bikes, or the 'supply' side on Jap bikes, '79-on Brit. bikes, etc.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
The frame and tins made up part of the earth circuit

From what I've seen of original harnesses, for whatever reason, Red cables seem to have been increased gradually at least through the 1960's - the rear lamp doesn't get one 'til '71, when the indicators were added without 'em ...

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
if the Brown/blue wire between the -ve battery post to the ammeter were to be severed with a pair of wire cutters, the whole bike would be dead . . . except for the horn and the stop lamp which would still function normally.

Uh-uh, you miss my point ...

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
Originally Posted by Stuart
simply substitute a White (switched) feed for the Brown/Blue (unswitched) one?

I am adding a blade-type fuse block adjacent to the battery. The switched white wire to the ignition system (Boyer box mounted adjacent to the coils under the fuel tank) will be the only item on one of the fuses.

... my earlier suggestion assumed near-standard wiring; as you're changing it substantially:-

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
Another fused circuit will supply the horn and stop lamp only. Immediately after the fuse, this circuit will enter a normally open relay. Unless the relay is "turned on" via the ignition switch, the horn and stop lamp will be dead.

confused Bear in mind, to "turn on [the relay] via the ignition switch", you're going to need a White (switched power) cable and Red (return cable) to/from the relay. Using a relay this way, "the ignition switch and ammeter [will still be] happily unaware of what is happening out back"; only the relay switching current will be drawn through the ignition switch and ammeter. frown

Otoh, if you simply supply the fuse of this "other fused circuit" with the White cable - independent of the fused supply to the ignition, you do away with the relay, its switching Red cable and the Brown/Blue connection to the relay, and "The ignition switch and ammeter [will be] happily aware of what is happening out back". :bigt

Developing that, would I be right in thinking you're planning to retain the various existing Brown/Blue cables, just separating them from the horn and stoplamp switch with the relay? Otoh, without any need for connections to horn, stoplamp switch or relay, you could replace the battery-ammeter connection with a new single piece of this (in Brown/Blue) (from British Wiring?), which might be thinner than the existing cable but will certainly be rated for far more Amps, even than the highest-powered 3-phase alternator you might fit any time in the future. :bigt

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
Stop Lamp: The socket
is connected via the license plate holder, the fender, and the rear section of the frame to the grounding stud portion of the rectifier

Ime, it's worth bypassing this by adding a Red cable alongside the existing Brown stop-lamp and Brown/Green tail-lamp cables, connecting one end to the socket or mounting and the other end to existing Red cables under the seat; you'd only be pre-empting what Lucas/Triumph/BSA did '71-on and "no paint, powdercoat, or rust [can] get in the way". :bigt

Hth.

Regards,

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Hi Stuart,

As you said, I may have missed your point, and feel free to set me straight. Originally you had said:

Originally Posted by Stuart
Hmmm ... curious, as far as the stop lamp's concerned - all the wiring diagrams in the '63 - '70 workshop manual show the stop lamp switch fed by a White cable from the switched side of the ignition key switch? In turn, the switch feeds the stop lamp itself via a Brown (as opposed to Brown/Blue) cable.

In my reply, my point was to show that, at least on my '64, the stop lamp and horn as wired at Meriden were totally separate from the ammeter, the ignition switch, and the lighting switch. They were a circuit separate and discrete unto themselves.

Mr. Whatley has commented on this in an article on the GABMA page, and why Meriden probably did it this way. The link will bring up his full article, but here's a bit from it: "The Horn and the Brake Lamp were generally connected before the Ammeter because 1) they are not ON very long, and 2) their current draw is so high that it would "peg" the ammeter, maybe even hurt the ammeter if used simultaneously. On later models (starting in 1971) with no Ammeter, these connections were moved to the other side of the Ignition Sw so that the key was able to shut off all electrical functions."

What Richard said here made a lot of sense to me. It is highly likely that the stop lamp and horn would be used simultaneously (a dog or a texter steps into your path, and you are going to get on the binders and honk the horn).

His point about the ammeter is that the bike was wired to send MOST of the current through the ammeter and thereby give the rider a good idea of the trend (charging vs discharging).

Originally Posted by Stuart
confused Bear in mind, to "turn on [the relay] via the ignition switch", you're going to need a White (switched power) cable and Red (return cable) to/from the relay. Using a relay this way, "the ignition switch and ammeter [will still be] happily unaware of what is happening out back"; only the relay switching current will be drawn through the ignition switch and ammeter. frown

Well said, and that is my goal exactly. I want the horn and stop lamp to be dead when the ig key is switched off. I also don't want their required current to pass through the antique ignition switch or the ammeter. Sounds to me like a good reason for a relay.

Originally Posted by Stuart
Otoh, if you simply supply the fuse of this "other fused circuit" with the White cable - independent of the fused supply to the ignition, you do away with the relay, its switching Red cable and the Brown/Blue connection to the relay, and "The ignition switch and ammeter [will be] happily aware of what is happening out back". :bigt

Agreed, and this is what I am trying to avoid. It made sense to Meriden and it makes sense to me for this circuit to bypass the ignition switch and ammeter. OTOH, of all the bikes I have or ever had, none of them left any electrical controls active when the key was shut off. That makes sense to me too.

Originally Posted by Stuart
Developing that, would I be right in thinking you're planning to retain the various existing Brown/Blue cables, just separating them from the horn and stoplamp switch with the relay? Otoh, without any need for connections to horn, stoplamp switch or relay, you could replace the battery-ammeter connection with a new single piece of this (in Brown/Blue) (from British Wiring?), which might be thinner than the existing cable but will certainly be rated for far more Amps, even than the highest-powered 3-phase alternator you might fit any time in the future. :bigt

Actually, I am planning to retain the Brown/blue wire in the original harness for the battery to ammeter connection. I am going to get some new 28/3 from British Wiring for the horn and stop lamp circuits, but reversing the color to Blue/brown. Right or wrong, I'm ordering the soft PVC 28/3 (rated for 17.5A) as opposed to the Thinwall. The Thinwall may make perfect sense, and I would probably use it for everything if redoing the entire harness. The PVC will better match what I am re-using. The only reason for the difference in ampacity ratings between the Thinwall (25A) and the PVC (17.5A) lies in the nature of the insulation -- I believe in it's ability to withstand heat. Both are 28/3 copper. I called them last week and asked about this specifically. Their answer -- they are simply repeating the different manufacturer's ratings for the two different types.

Originally Posted by Stuart
Originally Posted by TR6Ray
Stop Lamp: The socket
is connected via the license plate holder, the fender, and the rear section of the frame to the grounding stud portion of the rectifier

IME, it's worth bypassing this by adding a Red cable alongside the existing Brown stop-lamp and Brown/Green tail-lamp cables, connecting one end to the socket or mounting and the other end to existing Red cables under the seat; you'd only be preempting what Lucas/Triumph/BSA did '71-on and "no paint, powdercoat, or rust [can] get in the way". :bigt

Agreed. In fact, I did exactly that when I was reassembling my frame, rear fender, and tail lamp. There's been a small coil of red (return, common, ground, or earth, as you may prefer) wire tie wrapped near the upper DS shock mount for some time now, waiting to be connected to the ground stud. I left extra length on the top end, because I wasn't sure at the time where the ground stud would be. Things move slowly here, when they move at all.

[Linked Image]

FWIW, I did finally finish up a sketch of my wiring diagram, and posted it to my build thread. Because it is a compressed JPEG image, some of the print is kind of small and hard to read on-line. But the general idea is there. This forum was of immeasurable help in this regard. I think I read nearly every electrical post going back to about 2006.

So, Stuart, when you say "HTH" -- it does indeed!


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Hi Ray,

grin We are at cross-purposes:-

. When I wrote, "Uh-uh, you miss my point", it was immediately under ...
Originally Posted by TR6Ray
if the Brown/blue wire between the -ve battery post to the ammeter were to be severed with a pair of wire cutters, the whole bike would be dead . . . except for the horn and the stop lamp which would still function normally.
... from your previous post.

. Otoh, ...
Originally Posted by Stuart
Hmmm ... curious, as far as the stop lamp's concerned - all the wiring diagrams in the '63 - '70 workshop manual show the stop lamp switch fed by a White cable from the switched side of the ignition key switch? In turn, the switch feeds the stop lamp itself via a Brown (as opposed to Brown/Blue) cable.
... is two things:-

1. I made a mistake missing the diagram that applies to your bike, which I acknowledged with "Thanks also for your detailed explanation of your bike's original wiring but you were right at the beginning, I'd just missed the diagram. frown ";

2. nevertheless, I'm deliberately just referring to the stop lamp switch; I appreciate the horn(s) is(are) always fed direct from the battery before the ammeter.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
at least on my '64, the stop lamp and horn as wired at Meriden were totally separate from the ammeter, the ignition switch, and the lighting switch. They were a circuit separate and discrete unto themselves.

Mr. Whatley has commented on this in an article on the GABMA page, and why Meriden probably did it this way.

Mmmm ... while it's possibly a moot point, Richard isn't entirely correct, as a brief study of even just the other diagrams in the '63 - '70 workshop manual shows - while, as long as standard electrics incorporate an ammeter ('til the end of '70), the horn(s) feed is always taken from the battery but before the ammeter, it's actually rare that the stop lamp feed is also. Ime and mho, his explanation about current draw is dubious:-

. standard Lucas horns were cheaply-made, so a high current draw is unlikely until Triumph and BSA started fitting twin horns;

. otoh, that the arrangement allowed the horn(s) to be sounded without the ignition switch being could be considered useful in certain situations.

. Otoh, in GB for example, a 12V stop-lamp filament is 21W, so draws less than 2A; local law elsewhere in the world might've required something more substantial, but it seems surprising that an unusual requirement would merit incorporation as standard?

. Supplying the stop lamp with the horn might just have been an experiment, Lucas/Triumph/BSA indulged in a few of those - look at the different places the Zener's supplied from in different years! whistle

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I am going to get some new 28/3 from British Wiring for the horn and stop lamp circuits, but reversing the color to Blue/brown. Right or wrong, I'm ordering the soft PVC 28/3

No right or wrong, but I would advise 14/0.3 (actually rated for 8.75A, not the "8 amps" (sic) BW say); ime, you'll have difficulty threading 28/0.3 'soft'-PVC-insulated particularly to the rear lamp, and you hardly need the 17.5A(!) rating for either the horns or the lamp. smile

Possibly curiously, when I need to differentiate a new cable but relate it to an existing one, I also reverse the colours! beerchug

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
[Linked Image].

:bigt

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I did finally finish up a sketch of my wiring diagram, and posted it to my build thread.

:bigt

Hth.

Regards,

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Originally Posted by Stuart
No right or wrong, but I would advise 14/0.3 (actually rated for 8.75A, not the "8 amps" (sic) BW say); ime, you'll have difficulty threading 28/0.3 'soft'-PVC-insulated particularly to the rear lamp, and you hardly need the 17.5A(!) rating for either the horns or the lamp. smile
Uh, yeah, Stuart. I wish I had read this sooner. I meant to get the 14/.3! I flat out messed up here. I got myself confused (got my wires crossed?) thinking about wire sizes. The original wires in my harness are 14/.25 and I just wanted to match that, so B.W.'s 14/.3 would have been the closest. I read that the Thinwall 28/.3 with higher ampacity would have about the same O.D. (insulation-wise) as the 14/.3 soft PVC, and I had considered that for a while. Then my addled brain decided to go with the soft PVC insulation. I got fixated on 28/.3 and that's what I ordered. Problem is I also ordered bullets and spades to match. I just checked with B.W., and the order is already in the hands of UPS. For once I wish I had been dealing with a less efficient supplier!

Oh well, it's not the end of the world, but I do get disgusted with myself when I do stuff like this. If the wire I ordered is too fat and clumsy, I'll have another go at the ordering process.


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Hi Ray,

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I meant to get the 14/.3!
I got fixated on 28/.3

As you say, not the end of the world; smile might just mean using grommets with a bigger hole in the fender and not being able to bend the cables grouped inside the sleeving quite so sharply.

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
I also ordered bullets and spades to match.

Certainly spades intended for 28/0.3 are easy to reuse with thinner - cut back about 1/2" of insulation, twist the exposed strands together and bend them in half; if you crimp the terminal 'conductor' tabs one over each 'half' of the bent twisted conductor, you'll never pull the cable out of the tab. :bigt Shame you can't do the same with bullets. frown

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
The original wires in my harness are 14/.25

If they're original, each strand is actually slightly thicker - 32SWG (Imperial Standard Wire Gauge), which equates to 0.274mm. Curiously, I've found that actual Lucas bullets intended for 1 sq.mm. (14/0.3) conductor can be crimped enough to stay on the slightly thinner Imperial-sized conductor; :bigt just doesn't work with most 14/0.3 bullets. frown

Originally Posted by TR6Ray
For once I wish I had been dealing with a less efficient supplier!

Damned if they do and damned if they don't. grin

Btw, one thing from a previous post ...
Originally Posted by TR6Ray
The Thinwall may make perfect sense, and I would probably use it for everything if redoing the entire harness.

The one time I used thinwall for everything I was rewiring someone else's T160, he'd bought all the cable ... I had terrible trouble getting bullets supposedly intended for 1 sq.mm. conductor to stay on the (32/0.2) thinwall. cry For this reason, I only use 28/0.3 and thicker thinwall, where the conductor cross-section, number and o.d. of strands all match the 'soft'-PVC-insulated equivalent; smaller than 28/0.3, I stick with 14/0.3 and 9/0.3.

Hth.

Regards,

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Realizing that I have gotten this thread far afield from the original topic, I think it's been a good discussion (remember, it started out when cafeSteve asked if anybody had used a relay to control their horn). Anyway, the UPS man just dropped off my box of goods from British Wiring. People following this thread know that I messed up and ordered 28/.3 wire and terminals sized for such. I should have ordered 14/.3 instead. So how bad is my mistake?

IMHO -- Not too bad as it turns out. The wire I got has slightly over twice the ampacity, whether I need it or not. Is it big, bulky, and unwieldy to handle? No, not really. Appearance wise, if you squint, you can see the difference between the new and the original wire. Using dial calipers and running them down lightly on the O.D. of the wire's insulation, the original harness wires are a nominal .100 inch. My new 28/.3 wire measures from .110 to .120 inch, depending on which color it is (there is a slight variation from one to the other).

Doing the same measurement on other related wires, the Podtronics leads measure .092 O.D., and the Boyer leads measure .097 inch.

Before I get yelled at, I know that the O.D. of the insulation has nothing to do with function. It only matters in appearance or in stuffing the wire through tight openings. In my case, it simply won't matter and I am going to use what I ordered.

So what about British Wiring? I had never heard of them till I read posts by Stuart and others on BritBike. I am very impressed. Their website is well arranged and functions well. They actually answer the phone and give you info if you need it. They ship immediatley after the order is placed, and the stuff is top quality. I bought a pair of their ratcheting crimping pliers and they are excellent. They crimp the wire and the insulation simultaneously in what I would describe as a "Factory Perfect" crimp. Also, the female spade connectors fit very snugly, and have the little "pin" formed into them that snaps into the hole in the center of the male spade connector. These sure ought to stay engaged -- they are difficult to pull apart when you are doing it on purpose.

I've read a ton of electrical posts on BritBike, and am very appreciative of the time some of you have taken over the years to share your knowledge. I hope my little bit of trivia may be helpful to someone as well.

Ray


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
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