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Thread: USB LED indicator

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    USB LED indicator

    Hello again everyone. I added a new phone holder to my handlebar and it has a built in USB charging port. I figured I wonít use it that often to charge the phone except on trips where I use it as a gps for an extended period of time and the rest of the time it will stay unplugged....so I decided to wire it directly to the battery. Once it was plugged in and set up, I turned the lights off in the garage and noticed a faint blue glow. So apparently somewhere inside of the usb unit there is a tiny blue led that indicates it is receiving power. It stays on all the time.

    Do I need to worry about it killing my battery? I ride the bike daily to work (AZ) so it wonít be sitting long.

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
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    considering motorcycles don't have a very robust electrical supply, and my wife drained her battery programming the instrument cluster when she got her new NC, I'd not leave it on

  3. #3
    Super Moderator USB LED indicator 670cc's Avatar
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    Well not only is there a small light on, but there is also circuitry to convert 12 volts to 5 volts that may be drawing power. If you rode daily, it probably wouldn't kill your battery, but if the bike sits awhile, it could be an issue. If you had a multimeter, you could measure the parasitic current and determine how long it would take for the device to drain your battery.

    It's for this reason that I opt for "cigarette lighter" 12 volt sockets instead of built in USB outlets. I can then plug in a USB adapter when desired, but can also remove it to prevent battery drain.


    It's nice to have the outlet hot when the bike is off, say for charging a phone overnight while camping. Perhaps you could install a switch dedicated to the USB outlet.
    Greg
    AMA Life Member
    "230,000 Mile Club"

    NanCyX

  4. #4
    Senior Member netizen's Avatar
    Bike: Honda VFR 750, NC700X
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    You can get USB/cigarette lighter charging ports with on/off switches to keep the slow drain issue from becoming a problem. Amazon has them relatively cheap.

    Amazon.com: Cllena Waterproof 5V/2.1A Dual USB Outlet Motorcycle Handlebar Clamp Power Adapter Charger USB Charging System With DC 12V Car Cigarette Lighter Socket: Cell Phones & Accessories


    Or if you don't need the cigarette lighter you can get a dual USB with a volt meter attached so you can keep an eye on your battery and charging system

    Amazon.com: Motorcycle USB Phone Charger & Blue Voltmeter with On/Off Switch 5V 3.1A Dual Power Port JARDLI: Electronics

    I think there may even be one that has all 3 available
    on NC700x, also have a VFR 750

  5. #5
    Senior Member ste7ios's Avatar
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    Parasitic drains like those are small but they contribute to the built up of sulfation and decreases battery’s lifetime. The only way to stop or delay sulfation is to eliminate or keep parasitic drain to a minimal (we already have ECU/PCM’s).

    The best practice is too use switched power line for any accessories to avoid surprises in general...

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    I think I’ll research adding an in-line switch...just finding a waterproof one is fun...

  7. #7
    Senior Member rippin209's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caenus View Post
    I think Iíll research adding an in-line switch...just finding a waterproof one is fun...
    I've got three of these on my NC 2 in the trunk and one mounted on my handlebars. The one on the bars had gone through the rain (a few times pouring and a soaking by our garden hose as a test) no problems.
    I would recommend using liquid electrical tape on any connections that would be exposed to the elements. At riding speed water seems to find a way through the smallest openings.
    Chrome Glow 12V Waterproof Push-Button On-Off Switch with 12" Leads Amazon.com: Chrome Glow 12V Waterproof Push-Button On-Off Switch with 12" Leads: Automotive

    P.S. The same switch can be found under many names (not just chrome glow) I've ordered multiple switches under different names 3 different times and every switch was identical
    Last edited by rippin209; 4th December 2017 at 11:14.

  8. #8
    Senior Member anglachel's Avatar
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    If I know I'm going to let the bike sit without a battery tender for more than a couple weeks I pull the fuse for the usb outlet.

  9. #9
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    I'd definitely put a kill switch on that USB port. I had one similar to yours wired directly to the battery and over storage periods (2 or 3 wks when going abroad on vacation), it would drain the battery. Those things don't drain much current but it's 24/7 and even a few watts will compound quickly.

    Best,

  10. #10
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    It can and it will. Don't ask me how I know this.

    If you're competent with auto electrics then take a feed from any switched live and use it to serve a relay. Use the normally open relay contacts to give you a switched feed direct from the battery.

    If you're not comfortable with that level of work, fit a switch in line with the +ve line inside the frunk and remember to switch it off if you're going to park the bike for >24 hours.

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