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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Looking for pointers on where to look. I've had a Stebel air horn under the fairing on my XC for quite a while now, I followed Paul's video to install (diode and all), and it has always worked like a charm to keep those cagers back in their lanes.

Recently, I installed the Opt-7 LED lights. Due to the extended fans on the back of the lights hitting a wiring harness inside the fairing, I opened things up yesterday, removed a lot of plastic and re-routed wires to make room for the light fans. Now I have room for adjust the headlights properly.

All went well putting things back together, except now the horn doesn't work.

Details:
  1. All wires are reconnected
  2. The relay clicks when I hit the horn button
  3. Voltage goes from 1-3 volts and up to about 24-25 volts when horn button pressed
  4. No fuses appear blown
Could the horn just have randomly gone out at this time? Any other things I should look at.

I'm quite stumped.


Thanks,
Dan
 

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Where is the "24-25 volts" being measured? Is this the output of the relay to ground? If so, how do you get 24-25 volts from a system which is at a nominal 12 volts? Something seems strange.

G'day,

Vinish
 

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Discussion Starter #3
. . . Something seems strange.

G'day,

Vinish
OK, so my bad. mV - milliVolts. Hey, it was dark last night.

Bottom line is: no button push = no juice from relay to horn, button push = yes juice from relay to horn. So that part seems to be working.

D.
 

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Air horn runs on millivolts???
Something doesn't sound right. That voltage could actuate the relay but I'd bet the horn needs 12v
I don't know these horns so it's a guess on my part

So if it's an air horn, the air pump generally takes a bit of current to run, my guess 12v. Then it needs a good ground, either a wire runs to ground or the pump body is the ground. If the relay is clicking it sounds like you should have that part of the circuit working
 

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Just looked online.
At the horn itself when you hit the relay you should have the same voltage as your battery is.
They use a 20a fuse so they do suck some current.
You should also have a straight ground source at all times.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Just looked online.
At the horn itself when you hit the relay you should have the same voltage as your battery is.
They use a 20a fuse so they do suck some current.
You should also have a straight ground source at all times.
Yep, straight from battery ground to horn, + from battery to relay(fuse protected), then to horn, other two relay connections to switch. All per instructions. This worked up until yesterday. Very strange. Even checked horn fuse under side panel, all is well.
 

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Simplify it by going right to the source.
Take your horn and connect it directly (ground and positive) to your bike battery.
If it doesn't sound, then connect it directly to your car battery.
If the horn sounds on the car, then it is your bike battery.
If it doesn't sound on the car, then it is your horn.

If the bike horn and battery are good, then it is probably the relay.
Since it is clicking when you press the horn button then you most likely have the positive connected to the proper side of the diode.
Do you also have an inline fuse going to the relay? Did you check it?
 

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Sometimes electrical stuff responds to a hit with a small Hammer...nothing severe just a tap or two may get a lazy horn or wiper motor or starter motor operating again.
 
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If a small hammer doesn't get you horn working, move up to a larger one, then an even larger one, etc.
Have you tried testing the horn with a jumper wire direct from the battery to the horn itself?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Simplify it by going right to the source.
Take your horn and connect it directly (ground and positive) to your bike battery.
If it doesn't sound, then connect it directly to your car battery.
If the horn sounds on the car, then it is your bike battery.
If it doesn't sound on the car, then it is your horn.

If the bike horn and battery are good, then it is probably the relay.
Since it is clicking when you press the horn button then you most likely have the positive connected to the proper side of the diode.
Do you also have an inline fuse going to the relay? Did you check it?
Thank you Paul. I thought you might have thoughts on that. I just put a trickle charge on the battery tender, in case I was a little low. If that doesn't work, I'll walk through the steps above.

Of course this will all have to wait until after the weekend as we are heading to Galveston tomorrow for the Christmas Holiday.

Cheers to all and a Merry Christmas!

Dan
 

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What Paul said. Go direct to a power source. If horn works, you'll have to do some investigating. You can one of 2 ways here, either connect your meter to what should be your hot off your relay to your horn. If your getting voltage when button is pushed, possibly a ground for horn. Maybe just throw a relay in and see if it works. It may be such a thing as the contact side of the relay has went south. Sounds like the coil side of relay is working, but if contacts are bad, no continuity.
I did have a Stebel on my Venture that would occasionally not work. I guess the contacts in the horn compressor would get corrosion on them or something. I would have to press the button a couple times and it would start off slow and then be fine. I learned to give it a couple blasts a week to test it before a ride.
 

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The horn is a simple circuit with no outside sensor influence. Your low current switch activates a high current relay to provide the power through the horn to ground.

A simple start is to hook your common side of the meter on to a solid ground then simply step through the circuit with the other lead. When energized you should see 12 volts throughout the path. You may see 10.5 depending on the relay drop.

You mentioned the fuses appear fine. Fuses don't look anything sometimes. Check them properly with a meter. There was a fellow on here looking for help a few months ago who swore the fuses were good. He had only looked at them initially but when pushed, found one open. Your 24mv indicates no power.

If still no joy then go back in to where you were working with the lights. Disconnect the led's. Obviously you've created a problem there while removing and rerouting things. You've either opened a path or are sucking all the power down. If you find a blown fuse and a replacement blows as well then you'll need to open some circuits and utilize continuity checking rather than power.

Hopefully it's a simple open because if something else was put back together wrong you may need some outside help from someone with more electrical knowledge to find it. It's very difficult to troubleshoot those kind of errors remotely like this.


Gents, for those of you not comfortable with the electrical aspects of these machines just a few suggestions.
-For some people, electrical aspects are intimidating and can be confusing. Research ahead of time, take care and you'll be fine.
-If you are unsure, take "before" photos so if things have to be returned to original it's not a daunting task.
-Label EVERYTHING before you take it apart. The white surgical bandage tape is excellent for that. Either write a description on the tape or number them with an explanation on a sheet of paper.
-Wiring can be broken without breaking the insulation. Don't guess or think, always use the meter to confirm power or continuity.
-Most instructions for adding electrical accessories clearly state the need to disconnect the battery ahead of time. Do it.

OP, I'm sure there are others here who can add in their anecdotes and suggestions as well but take care and retrace your work. You'll find the problem.

Good luck and keep us updated.
 

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53canuck= Good advice and points to consider. On the fuse note, I had a Venture I roda all the way up ad back to Canada from Fla like 3K or something. Anyways not a single problem, 2 days after gettin home I went to start bike no power. I thought battery but it was fine. It ended up being a "looks fine" main 30a fuse. I replaced most of my fuses on that bike with these fuses that if they are blown a small LED light comes on to tell you its Ka-Put.
Our Sears had small multimeters on sale for like $10 for Christmas. They were auto ranging so all you have to do is know i your checking volts, Ohm, Amps If you dont have a meter and your doing any electrical work on your bike or cage, you NEED one. A test light just dont hack it with so many systems anymore.
 
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I had this same problem with mine one time. Tapped on the relay a few times and has been working fine since. Sometimes the contacts in the relays get dirty. If mine does it again I'm going to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
OK - so back from our trip to Galveston, and have some time to work on this.

Here's the skinny.

1. Running power +/- directly from battery to horn blares loud and clear. Horn is fine.
2. I may have had a loose connection on the negative wire to the horn as my meter readings were fluctuating. I reinforced that connection and all is well. Solid meter readings
3. I have now started popping the horn 10 amp fuse under the side panel when horn button pressed.
4. Setup as follows:
-- a. Running + from battery to pin 87 on relay.
-- b. Running - from battery to horn
-- c. Wires from old horn to pin 85+/86- on relay. Have a diode across this per Paul's video.
-- d. Wire from pin 30 on relay to horn.

Could the diode or relay have gone bad during this effort? Diode test on meter across diode (soldered on relay) is .0001 v in each direction. Running meter across the wires from horn switch going to 85/86 indicate 1.13 mA and 12.47 volts.

I had to invest in another pack of 25 10 amp fuses, as I am popping regularly now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Could the diode or relay have gone bad during this effort?
The answer was Yes. Thanks to Paul (as always) I did some further checks without the horn switch connected to the relay and didn't blow the fuse.

So off to Radio Shack for new diode(s) (I have backups now) and soldered a good one in place. The horn blows, the fuse doesn't, and no blinking on my dashboard.

Now to reassemble this wiring mess under my fairing so I have room to adjust my headlight, and maybe head out for a quick ride. :grin


Cheers to all - and thanks for the many pointers and things to think about.


Dan
 

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18 Amp --> 20 Amp Fuse

I'm glad everything seems to have been resolved, but I'm confused by this thread. If the Stebel horn in question is the Nautilus model, according to many sources* it draws c. 18 amps. I have one, and have a 20-amp fuse in my relay's power circuit. Had a Nautilus on a prior bike, too, and same thing: used a 20-amp fuse.

* I couldn't find the info on Stebel's Italian ( STEBEL® ITALIA - Trombe Horns ) or US ( http://www.stebel-usa.com/product/31/Motorcycle_and_OnOff_Road_4_wheel_utility/23/Nautilus_Compact_Horn_12_Volt__Black_silver_compressor/ ) sites, but according to Twisted Throttle ( Stebel Nautilus Compact Dual-Tone Motorcycle Air Horn, 12-Volt, Black or Chrome | TwistedThrottle.com ) and webBikeWorld ( Stebel Nautilus Horn Review - webBikeWorld ), for instance, 18 amps is the approximate draw. So I don't see how a 10-amp fuse would work, if I'm reading this thread correctly.

Incidentally, with this and other air horns, make sure that the opening is pointed down, for drainage of any rain that happens to get splashed in, or for any condensation that forms. I had a pair of straight-ahead air-horn trumpets on a Valkyrie for several years, and about once or twice a year I had to spray WD-40 in there, while also activating them, because collected water was not their friend.
 

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@wspollack - The 10 amp fuse in question was the one Victory installed for the horn circuit, not the 20 amp in-line fuse for the air horn that we put in.
Because the diode shorted out, every time Dan would press the horn button, the 2 original wires going to the stock horn that are now connected to the relay coil would short out and blow the 10 amp fuse.
I am still trying to figure out how the diode shorted out in the first place.
 
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