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It's purple, ma'am
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just installed an auxiliary fuse panel on my 1999 Concours and have it powered by the circuit feeding the tail lights so that the power is only on when the key is 'on' in the ignition. My questions are these:

1. What is the purpose of an electrical relay and when do I need to consider adding one to the electrical circuit?
2. Where does the relay go in the circuit when one is needed: a) between the battery and fuse panel, b) between the fuse panel and the equipment, c) ??

Any and all help is welcomed!
 

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IBA#34418
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6,332 Posts
1. The purpose of the relay is to turn your power on and off with what ever trigger you decide to use. Like your tail light circuit.

2. The safest way would be battery to fuse box to relay. Then output of relay powers your accys.

Now remember you're limited to the current rating of the relay.

If I understand your first sentance properly. You tapped into you tail light circuit to feed the fuse box right? Not the best way to power your new fuse box. Because you're limited to what ever the fuse is for the tail light circuit. I am guessing 5amps???

Now what I have done is use the tail light circuit to power the relay.

I would wire the +12volts of the fuse box straight to the +12v of the battery. Then take the output side of the fuse box thru the relay. It seems the most common automotive relay is only good for 10 amps. So you really wouldn't want to run more than 7amps continuous load thru it.

Here is the typical automotive relay drawing.



This is how I would do it on my bike.

85 to tail light +12volts
86 to battery minus side

30 from fuse box +12 volts
87 to your accys. +12volts

As a matter of fact I have 3 relays on mine. One for the cobra lights, one for the heated grips, and one for the cruise control. I used the tail light wire to trigger all 3 relays. But I put terminal 30 to the battery +12volts Then terminal 87 to the devices fuse then to the device.

hope this helps
 

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GHOSTRIDER
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3,361 Posts
I've just installed an auxiliary fuse panel on my 1999 Concours and have it powered by the circuit feeding the tail lights so that the power is only on when the key is 'on' in the ignition. My questions are these:

1. What is the purpose of an electrical relay and when do I need to consider adding one to the electrical circuit?
2. Where does the relay go in the circuit when one is needed: a) between the battery and fuse panel, b) between the fuse panel and the equipment, c) ??

Any and all help is welcomed!
A relay is a switch that uses energy from one circuit to energize another without compromising the current from either circuit. Where the relay is located depends on what you intend to energize, and when you want that energy supplied. Since you are energizing a fuse block two things need to be considered.1)Do I want power to the new fuse block only when the lights are on? 2) Is the power to the new fuse block sufficient to supply the necessary current needed for,(lets say a radio and extra lights)(two separate circuits from one multiple fuse,fuse block)A new relay will have a schematic provided depicting its voltage ratings,amperage limits,terminal designations and references.In your case,you would use the tail light circuit to close the circuit energizing the new fuse block.The new fuse block would be energized directly from the battery.A limited current circuit can be use to to energize the relay.The Relay then closes the new circuit providing power to the fuse block.I hope this hasnt con"fused" you.And hey,Im not familiar with the Concourse but many bikes have a couple of available leads just for this purpose.They are usually wired from the ignition switch itself and located under the seat and/or the headlight bucket.A wiring diagram will be helpful and can be found in the service manual for your bike. Good Luck and Merry Christmas!:santa:
 

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It's purple, ma'am
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, thanks for taking the time to respond! Got to confess, though, that I'm left more than a little con'fused'. I though the idea behind installing a fuse block was to minimize the need for multiple wires. I intended for the separate accessories to have their own fuse which will vary according to the need of the accessory, and for the accessories not to have power unless the ignition switch was turned on.

Pat, your response indicates to me that there is a separate relay for every accessory. Do the wattage requirements of the various accessories require this? Hadn't thought about the smaller tail light fuse limiting the current available to the accessory. Does having the fuse block come under power with the aid of a single relay allow me to reach my objectives above while providing sufficient current to power the various accessories? Or, must there be a separate relay for every accessory?

Zoro, the Concours does have two sets of existing auxiliary outlets (which are continuously on and not controlled by the ignition circuit). I'm just trying to reserve their use for items that would make it worth the while to risk draining the battery, like attaching an air compressor unit to deal with a flat tire, for example.

Thanks again, Forum Folk, for the help, especially at this busy time of year. Look forward to some more help with this one. In the meantime, here's hoping you and yours have a great holiday!
 

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Consider relay's as a remote controlled switch. Most are designed to carry 30 to 40 amps through their contacts, with the energizing coil pulling less than 2 amps.

A relay can be used to power lights,horns or any other high current items instead of burning out the swich contacts or related wiring in handlebar switches.
 

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IBA#34418
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6,332 Posts
Pat, your response indicates to me that there is a separate relay for every accessory. Do the wattage requirements of the various accessories require this? Hadn't thought about the smaller tail light fuse limiting the current available to the accessory. Does having the fuse block come under power with the aid of a single relay allow me to reach my objectives above while providing sufficient current to power the various accessories? Or, must there be a separate relay for every accessory?
It really depends on your accessories. If they are small and don't need much current you could add 2 or 3 to one relay. What are your accys?

How many and what size fuses are you putting in the fuse block? If you put a relay in before the fuse box that can handle the current requirements then you'll be fine. In other words if you have a 10 and manybe a couple 5 amp fuses then you could power the fuse block with a 30amp relay. Just remember try and have a bigger relay than what you truely need. Its not good to run it at its max amperage all the time. I like to use no more than 80 percent of the full amperage rating.

I like to run them on thier own relay so if I have a problem with one I don't have a problem with all of them.
 

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BACK ON TWO WHEELS
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13,542 Posts
for fog lights i found a kit that includes a handlebar sw and relay all prewired. Kuryakyn makes one too i think! Not enough coffee yet this morn
 

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Not sure if it was the right way or not but when I added my fuse block to my vulcan I put a relay between the battery and the fuse block. The fuse block doesnt have power until I turn the key on. The relay is triggered by the tail light circuit. I also added relays for my spot lights, accessory plugs and LED pods under the tank.
 
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