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June 7th, 2008, 12:05 AM   #1
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The orange kill wire can bite!!!

Anyone out there ever put an oscilloscope on the kill switch signal on the SEM ignition - ie the orange wire out of the CDI?

I have a Trailtech computer I am fitting. They normally use a length of wire wrapped around the spark plug lead to capacitively couple a signal to drive the tachometer. This in itself sounds a bit dodgy and you are kinda setting yourself up for the plug lead to fail!

I was hoping to use the kill signal to drive the tacho input instead so the extra wires don't have to run down from the headstock. I measured the "signal" on my scope & it blew it off scale!!! I then made a 100:1 voltage divider and confirmed the kill switch wire carries 200+ volts peak-to-peak at idle & up to 450V p-p when you rev it!!! Therefore, if a the kill switch ever falls apart on you, DON'T put your finger into the contacts - they will likely give you a nasty bite! Also make sure you treat this wire with care when working on it with the engine running.

The other thing is, connecting a 1.2k resistor across the orange to ground will not stop the bike while a 1k resistor will. You don't need much of a short to ground at all on the kill circuit to stop the bike.

The waveform looks like it is actually coming from the CDI charging coils, not the trigger coil so should not be any use to drive the tacho. Does anyone know for sure what the internal CDI circuit looks like or have you had experience with aftermarket tachos?
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June 7th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #2
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Re: The orange kill wire can bite!!!

Originally Posted by BundyBear
Anyone out there ever put an oscilloscope on the kill switch signal on the SEM ignition - ie the orange wire out of the CDI?

I have a Trailtech computer I am fitting. They normally use a length of wire wrapped around the spark plug lead to capacitively couple a signal to drive the tachometer. This in itself sounds a bit dodgy and you are kinda setting yourself up for the plug lead to fail!

I was hoping to use the kill signal to drive the tacho input instead so the extra wires don't have to run down from the headstock. I measured the "signal" on my scope & it blew it off scale!!! I then made a 100:1 voltage divider and confirmed the kill switch wire carries 200+ volts peak-to-peak at idle & up to 450V p-p when you rev it!!! Therefore, if a the kill switch ever falls apart on you, DON'T put your finger into the contacts - they will likely give you a nasty bite! Also make sure you treat this wire with care when working on it with the engine running.

The other thing is, connecting a 1.2k resistor across the orange to ground will not stop the bike while a 1k resistor will. You don't need much of a short to ground at all on the kill circuit to stop the bike.

The waveform looks like it is actually coming from the CDI charging coils, not the trigger coil so should not be any use to drive the tacho. Does anyone know for sure what the internal CDI circuit looks like or have you had experience with aftermarket tachos?
Hi Bundy,

Yes the kill wire comes directly from the source coil windings hence the shock you got.
You only need a small proportion of the source voltage to be grounded for the engine to stop.
I have had one in bits, nearly all surface mount stuff, the micro processor is about 15mm square and is totally screened in a steel box to keep out HT interference.
But there again I'm not to clued up on the electronics side, just in theory not to much in practice.

Regards

Sparks.
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June 7th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #3
oyk
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hi, the cdi circuit of your bike bundybear is very funny actually,
vreally really simple and almost identical with motoplat systems.
i will post a diagramm when i find it in my pc, but it contains one thyristor a couple of small diodes ,2-3 resistors and of cource the capacitor.
last time i bought these items did not cost more than 2-3 euros.....
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June 7th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #4
oyk
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and concerning trailtech tacho never worked ok to my bike also.
my guess is too much interference in the power supply.

try to rectify+filter(capacitor and small induction) the supply voltage first before you connect it to the trailtech.
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June 7th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: The orange kill wire can bite!!!

Originally Posted by BundyBear
Anyone out there ever put an oscilloscope on the kill switch signal on the SEM ignition - ie the orange wire out of the CDI?

I have a Trailtech computer I am fitting. They normally use a length of wire wrapped around the spark plug lead to capacitively couple a signal to drive the tachometer. This in itself sounds a bit dodgy and you are kinda setting yourself up for the plug lead to fail!

I was hoping to use the kill signal to drive the tacho input instead so the extra wires don't have to run down from the headstock. I measured the "signal" on my scope & it blew it off scale!!! I then made a 100:1 voltage divider and confirmed the kill switch wire carries 200+ volts peak-to-peak at idle & up to 450V p-p when you rev it!!! Therefore, if a the kill switch ever falls apart on you, DON'T put your finger into the contacts - they will likely give you a nasty bite! Also make sure you treat this wire with care when working on it with the engine running.

The other thing is, connecting a 1.2k resistor across the orange to ground will not stop the bike while a 1k resistor will. You don't need much of a short to ground at all on the kill circuit to stop the bike.

The waveform looks like it is actually coming from the CDI charging coils, not the trigger coil so should not be any use to drive the tacho. Does anyone know for sure what the internal CDI circuit looks like or have you had experience with aftermarket tachos?
Whats wrong with the 4 turns around the plug lead per Trailtech instructions using the wire supplied? The circuit in the tach is designed around the inductive signal from the wire when wrapped around the plug lead.

I have had mine on my 00 501 for 10,649 miles of California desert riding without ANY problems.

Regards,

Joe
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June 7th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #6
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Re: The orange kill wire can bite!!!

Originally Posted by BundyBear
I have a Trailtech computer I am fitting. They normally use a length of wire wrapped around the spark plug lead to capacitively couple a signal to drive the tachometer. This in itself sounds a bit dodgy and you are kinda setting yourself up for the plug lead to fail!
Bundy,

Are you worried about insulation breakdown from the effects of coupling?
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June 7th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #7
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how is that giong to fail the lead?? I connected mine to the spade lug on the coil though
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June 7th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #8
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i have the trail tech unit and have never had any issues with the plug lead , has any one ever heard of problems ???
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June 7th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #9
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Hi, gang...
I have a Sendec hour/tach on my fc, uses inductive wrap on plug wire; has been on since '99, still on original plug wire, no problems wet or dry, hot or cold........
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June 8th, 2008, 04:03 AM   #10
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Re: The orange kill wire can bite!!!

Originally Posted by kzoo
Bundy,
Are you worried about insulation breakdown from the effects of coupling?
I guess so. I always thought it best practice to avoid having the plug leads touching anything conductive if possible. Thanks for all your comments. From what you say it is a non-problem.

I was also hoping not to have to run the fine Trailtech wires down through the flex point off the headstock. I know I gotta run the temp sensor lead down there anyway, but it seems to be better quality cable.

I guess the post was more intended to mention the nasty nature of the kill wire. It is the only high voltage wire that runs up to the handlebars.

Also, do any of you know of anything to watch out for when installing the in-line water temp sensor?
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