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Power Plate Installation

The first photo is of the Power Plate [from Electrical Connection] installed onto the side of the battery box on the right-hand side of the bike.  It's a really clean fit, nothing special about the fastening hardware, I just used a couple of stainless bolts, nuts and lock washers.  Very easy to line it up and using the holes in the plate as a guide, drill through the plastic battery-box.  I thought it a real good idea to take the battery out first!  But that because I'm a klutz and would have drilled thru the dang battery!...The second photo is of the device mounted, kinda looking down from a standing position.  You may notice another neat thingy I found at Radio Shack, it's a little copper terminal plate that firs on the NEGATIVE terminal of the battery.  I found that once I installed the Power Plate, it gave good connections for the positive leads of your accessories.  But there is not any provision for the grounds...  So I added this thing you see in the other photo, only cost a couple of bucks.

Now, here is where Guy Young helped me, and I am going to try to find his e-mail and include it here.  He gave me good advice as to where to pick up the power that turns the plate on and off.  The correct way to do it is to power the plate's built-in relay with a feed that is hooked to the ignition switch.  Guy explained that then you could hit the starter switch and the plate would NOT be energized, once the bike starts the plate powers up. It's worth the time to do it this way.  Many of you probably already know this but I didn't and I just want to pass it on!  Guy explained that by doing it this way all of the load of your accessories is not dumped onto the battery until the engine is running.  Pretty neat, and it's easy to test if you have it right.  Just "blip" the starter button, the engine won't start but the accessories will fire up after you release the start button. Cool...

Please let me know if you have any other questions or need more pictures of the plate or the light kit.  I took a jillion for reference while I had all of the plastic off.  Also installed a taillight modulator, thermometer, garage-door opener thing, it was a great experience...  Never would have attempted this without support of COG!...

I know this is kinda long, but when I am doing this kind of work, I appreciate all of the advice and guidance I can get!  Glad to pass it on...

Lemme try to find Guy's comments...

Guy wrote:

Question #1: There is two ways to approach this "requirement."

1. Add an additional relay whose common contact is connected to the battery thru an inline fuse.  Connect the normally closed contact to the wire they are talking about on the panel.  The coil would connect to "switched" coil terminal on the starter solenoid (relay) and ground.

The idea is that when you turn on the ignition the panel will be hot, being powered thru the normally closed contact of the relay you just added. When you depress the starter the added relay will energize and open the normally closed contact the panel is wired to.  When the contact opens the panel goes dead.  Release the starter and the relay de-energizes allowing the contact to reclose and put power back on the panel.

2. Connect this panel wire to the blue wire coming from the j-box.  This wire ultimately goes up to the center contact on the headlamp dimmer switch. This is the same lead that keeps the headlight off until after you've poked the starter button.  Once poked (assuming the bike starts) it will stay hot until you turn off the ignition. The latter is probably the easiest.

Question #2:

Not knowing the circuit of the panel, what is the relay you've mentioned in #2 supposed to be for, or is it the same relay you've asked about in #1? If it is, then the relay that is included in the lighting kit would connect to the power panel instead of the battery thru an in-line fuse.  I assume that's how they tell you to wire the lighting kit IF you don't have one of their power panels.  The aux lights switch would be wired as they instruct in the lighting kit diagrams. If it isn't the same relay, and there is a separate one on the panel just for aux. lights, then there must be connections on the panel for the lighting kit's switch to connect to, and to turn the auxiliary lights on and off thru this separate relay.  The lights would connect directly to a designated terminal on the panel for the aux lights and NOT thru the relay included in the kit.T hese are assumptions, again because I don't know the circuit.

I wrote you a week or so ago about the "Power Plate" gizmo from Electrical Connection.  It has arrived and I am planning to install it today.  If you have time, can you advise me on the following issues?  Thanks a lot!

1)  The instructions talk about connecting a wire that apparently fires up a relay that turns the plate "on."  Here's a quote: ..."the last wire is the turn-on lead for the plate....the suggested wire for turning on the plate is one which deactivates when the starter is engaged, allowing maximum power for the starter...."  I think I know what they are talking about, can you suggest a wire that I should tap into that meets the above criteria?  I have a service manual, so I could follow the wiring diagram/color code if you can advise where to make the connection.

2)  The lighting kit itself contains a built-in relay, and the power plate has a relay of it's own... is this going to be a problem?  Does it hurt to have a relay-powered device hook into a power-feed that contains a relay? FWIW, these relays are identical, same supplier, same markings, etc.  In my mind I wouldn't think it would but could you offer some assistance here?! As always, I appreciate your time and advice...

Mike Stem

Another message from Guy:

Guy, Thanks for the quick response yesterday and the helpful advice...Here's what I did: I found the blue wire that you described.  Tapped into it up near the front of the bike, near where the harness is in the area of the front fork. (Easy to do as I have every piece of plastic off, and the tank... great way to learn my way around the bike..)  Anyway, tapped into the wire with one of those little attachment gizmos that allow you to plug in another wire... Then used my newly-acquired probe test thingy. Probed into the wire with the ignition switch on, no indicator light, then blipped the starter switch, now the indicator light lit and the relay engaged on the Power Plate!  Wheeeeee!  I think I'm there...

The Power Plate mounted up perfectly on the side (R) of the battery-holder box, fits and looks like stock.  Found a little copper plate at Radio-Shack that attaches to the negative post of the battery and has three tab-like things that allow connectors to slide onto.  Will take some digital photos when it's all done.  Let me know if ya want a picture, didn't want to send an attachment without your OK.

Thanks again for this and previous advice.  I would have never attempted any projects like this in the past.  The COG list and the shop-manual have been a tremendous assist!  I have now done the Rifle install, the Gen-Mars, the whole GIVI set-up in the rear, the driving lights and the Power Plate, the taillight blinky thing, and on and on...  Am thinking seriously about working up enough courage to consider valve adjust...Do you think Horkster would come all the way to Cincinnati if I can get a big enough steak?!

Thanks, Guy!

Article By: Mike Stem

August 2001 

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