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1999 FXSTC
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Shop installed a load equalizer months ago and not a problem since. I got a Battery Tender USB plug for crimis and wanted to try it out so I plugged it into my tender plug, plugged in my iphone cord and off I went on about a 40 minute ride. When I finally got back, I smelled and saw a little smoke coming out from under the seat.

Looks like the load equalizer got so hot that it melted the big wire into it. Never had a issue before with it, until using the USB plug yesterday. The is an older tender plug (pre-built in fuse) but I'm not an electrical guy so I'm not even sure that would/should matter. I guess it's possbil that it was the big wire getting hot but I just dont know.

Let me restate- I'm not an electrical guy. I dont have any meters and little to no clue about draw etc. I'm just wondering if anyone has any idea if one is really related to the other or if the load equalizer just went bad or what. I believe it's a Badlands.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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I don't think the tender and the load equalizer are related.

Load equalizer should be connected to the 1) left signal wire, 2) right signal wire, and 3) ground.

Battery tender adaptor should be connected to 1) pos battery terminal, and 2) neg battery terminal.


One thing though, I would pick a better place to mount the Load equalizer.
Not good for the battery cables to have that much physical stress put on them.
 

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1999 FXSTC
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I don't think the tender and the load equalizer are related.

Load equalizer should be connected to the 1) left signal wire, 2) right signal wire, and 3) ground.

Battery tender adaptor should be connected to 1) pos battery terminal, and 2) neg battery terminal.


One thing though, I would pick a better place to mount the Load equalizer.
Not good for the battery cables to have that much physical stress put on them.
I tend to agree about them not being related- execept that this has never happened before I used the usb plug. The only thing I can think of is that maybe since the ground from the tender pig tail and the ground from the equalizer were touching and it was somehow shorting it?

However, having said that, I did move it from where the shop put it (in front of the battery under the batter ground) to behind the battery under the fuse box.

With just the key on no heat.
With just the key on and charging my phone, no heat.
With just the key on and one blinker some heat.
With just the key on and both flashers flashing it hits 180 deg F after about 3-4 minutes.

I'm guessing that with bike running, it would get even more juice?

I wasn't running flashers at all yesterday so that leads me back to that maybe it was getting juice from something or was just shorting out on something. I just dont know.
 

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Sounds like bad equalizer ??????
 

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1999 FXSTC
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I thought about that too, but everything I've read says that all get really hot. I just can't seem to find out what normal hot is. I still think yesterday was some sort of fluke. I just don't know what.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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What I remember of load equlizers is that they are basically a eesistor, and as such, they do get warm. Not sure what is normal, but that they get is normal. Likely a coincidence.
 

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I'm thinking that though they get warm, they shouldn't get warm enough to be able to smell it, and see smoke. ?
 

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Inductance from the negative battery cable laying on top of the module. That cable can have some 40 charging amps (520 watts) going thru it at times. Bad place for the unit to be positioned.
 

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Sounds like, to me, when you moved it, you wired it wrong. Unless the load equalizer you've got is a piece of --hi. They normally only get warm to the touch, as they have a few amps through them,but only when the flasher bulb is in the on state. Your USB adapter should be wired directly to the battery, not any relationship to equalizer.
 

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The only thing I can think of is that maybe since the ground from the tender pig tail and the ground from the equalizer were touching and it was somehow shorting it?
A ground wire touching another ground wire is not a short, it will not cause any problems.

A short (short to ground) is when the positive side of the circuit touches ground, this will blow the fuse or trip the circuit breaker, because it causes a path that has no resistance.
 

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Check your turn signal lights. If you have one that shorted to ground then you are drawing way too much power through the equalizer. This may not be the case with the bike sitting still. But vibration on a ride just may do it. So check for loose or shorted bulbs/LEDs. The equalizer is for the LEDs and should not be used with regular bulbs.

LEDs draw about 1/4 of a watt each and the reg. Turn bulbs draw about 20 watts.
 

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1999 FXSTC
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Discussion Starter #12
A ground wire touching another ground wire is not a short, it will not cause any problems.

A short (short to ground) is when the positive side of the circuit touches ground, this will blow the fuse or trip the circuit breaker, because it causes a path that has no resistance.
I was just thinking that since the tender plug is connected to both hot and ground that it might have somehow been drawing juice. Again, I'm not an electrical guy.

@XLReturnee - all new wiring on the back end of the bike where the LEDs are. Every wire is shielded and most have heat-shrink around them. All connections are soldiered and wrapped as well. I'll have to take it to the shop or have someone with a meter and more smarts than me check the draw.

@bobf- I didn't move it until after it smoked itself. There's really no way to wire it wrong. Purple and brown to blinkers and black to ground. Never disconnected the wires anyway, just rerouted them and moved the box.

@SCHMIDTYS- I so had to google that shit. Makes sense and I agree that probably wasn't a great place for it, but thats where its been for 5-6 months. Didnt smoke until yesterday when I used the usb tender plug.

Thanks for all the input. I'm sure I'll end up replacing the equalizer at some point but I'll ride it like this for a while so if there is a short or something stupid, maybe I can find it before I smoke another one. Of course it's always possible that this one is just bad...
 

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I tend to agree about them not being related- execept that this has never happened before I used the usb plug. The only thing I can think of is that maybe since the ground from the tender pig tail and the ground from the equalizer were touching and it was somehow shorting it?

However, having said that, I did move it from where the shop put it (in front of the battery under the batter ground) to behind the battery under the fuse box.

With just the key on no heat.
With just the key on and charging my phone, no heat.
With just the key on and one blinker some heat.
With just the key on and both flashers flashing it hits 180 deg F after about 3-4 minutes.

I'm guessing that with bike running, it would get even more juice?

I wasn't running flashers at all yesterday so that leads me back to that maybe it was getting juice from something or was just shorting out on something. I just dont know.
Having just taken a thermal imaging level 1 certification class I will give you some insight on that temp gun you are using. The temp of that equalizer is higher than 180*. Everyone thinks that the gun is reading where the red dot points, I did before this class, however that actually reads a broad circle around the dot, the farther away the larger the circle. It gives you the average of that circle.

I just wanted to throw some education out there.

I'd also say just a bad equalizer, they also need airflow to keep them cool, the way it was mounted prevented that.
 

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1999 FXSTC
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Discussion Starter #15
Having just taken a thermal imaging level 1 certification class I will give you some insight on that temp gun you are using. The temp of that equalizer is higher than 180*. Everyone thinks that the gun is reading where the red dot points, I did before this class, however that actually reads a broad circle around the dot, the farther away the larger the circle. It gives you the average of that circle.

I just wanted to throw some education out there.

I'd also say just a bad equalizer, they also need airflow to keep them cool, the way it was mounted prevented that.
Thanks, I appreciate the insight. I didn't know that about the dot either. As for airflow, I'm not sure it's going to get much under the seat no matter where I put it.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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Thanks, I appreciate the insight. I didn't know that about the dot either. As for airflow, I'm not sure it's going to get much under the seat no matter where I put it.

Thanks,
Rick
It doesn't take a whole lot of air flow to create a drastic drop in temperature. Again this was a lesson learned in thermography.

Any air flow is better than all the air being blocked by the battery.
 

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What I remember of load equlizers is that they are basically a eesistor, and as such, they do get warm. Not sure what is normal, but that they get is normal. Likely a coincidence.

Badlands unit is not a resistor. It's a solid state unit that senses voltage on the circuit and manages the flash. It's essentially an electronic flasher. It creates little if any heat. That's the benefit of it over a resistor-based design.
 

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Badlands unit is not a resistor. It's a solid state unit that senses voltage on the circuit and manages the flash. It's essentially an electronic flasher. It creates little if any heat. That's the benefit of it over a resistor-based design.
If that's the case, I'd say that something inside the badlands crapped out.

Resistors rarely go bad. Capacitors, IC chips etc sure, they go bad all the time, but I've never seen a resistor go bad.
 
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