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I'm sure we've all been in a car where the headlights dim when the rear defogger is turned on. (or something similar) That's a case where the power source can't deliver enough to all the demands at once. Can the same sort of thing happen via a ground? i.e. If multiple items are grounded together, can one high powered item "use up" so much of the ground that the other ground-demanding items falter due to diminished ground remaining? (probably assuming here that we have a marginal ground to start with)
 

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Hey Pete, short answer - yes. I have a 2012 Dodge Ram with quite the stereo. Even tho the alternator is 220 amp the onboard computer decides what gets output. I've had a helluva time with the lights dimming and have had several "experts" look at it. I've had the ground wires effectively doubled from the alternator to the battery, from the chasis to the battery, and the alternator to the chasis. Simply put, my problem is the computer, and the only way around it as seen is for me to go HID with ballasts instead of Halogen, but to do that correctly is gonna be like $400.00. Don't know if this helps any, but it touches along the lines of your dilema.
 

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You can't use up to much of a ground, toejam's problem sounds like his alternator isnt able to put out enough amperage, sounds like he would possibly need a second alternator or a second battery or both. But again your aren't going to use too much of a ground!


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Plus 1 with Joshn... you can't use up a ground connection... electrons just don't line up to get out a ground.

This is a supply side problem... demand exceeds availability.
 

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I'm sure we've all been in a car where the headlights dim when the rear defogger is turned on. (or something similar) That's a case where the power source can't deliver enough to all the demands at once. Can the same sort of thing happen via a ground? i.e. If multiple items are grounded together, can one high powered item "use up" so much of the ground that the other ground-demanding items falter due to diminished ground remaining? (probably assuming here that we have a marginal ground to start with)
No, not possible.
 

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I'm sure we've all been in a car where the headlights dim when the rear defogger is turned on. (or something similar) That's a case where the power source can't deliver enough to all the demands at once. Can the same sort of thing happen via a ground? i.e. If multiple items are grounded together, can one high powered item "use up" so much of the ground that the other ground-demanding items falter due to diminished ground remaining? (probably assuming here that we have a marginal ground to start with)
nope.
supply side issue....i have not heard/encountered a "controller limit" as described by toejam, although it is reasonable that i am out of date.
but not ground...if that sort of thing happened, algore would have told us already...
 

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Its not the ground its the power thats being drawn.
Open your fuse panel in your house the grounds are all bundled together. Your regulator or alternator will only supply so much power to the battery. So if your using to much it can't keep up. On a bike your screwed there is now way to put more power to a bike. As for car or truck you can find a high out put alternator. If your in a big enough city look in yellow pages for car electrical shop that might be able to rewind yours for higher out put. Or like the man said add a extra battery like campers do
 

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No, You can't "use up" a gound.
Yes, a poor or improper ground can cause the symptoms you are describing.
Yes, a short can cause the syptoms you are describing as well as overloading the electrical system.

What you got on there that is pulling so much load? Something? You know what to do, get rid of it.
Nothing? Good luck. Start at the battery terminals, and don't shortcut it, Clean and properly install, both of them. Go to the starter and do the same. Find the main ground and repeat. If this doesn't do it, you are in for the long haul in searching.

Hard to say since the question is kinda vaugue.

Good Luck
 

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resistance

We don't know how much stuff you have added to your bike. You have a lot of amps available though. Resistance plays a large role in what is going on also. The more amps you pull the lower the resistance must be. If you added something that has less resistance, the flow will go that way (i.e. led lights without load compensator). If you have corrosion, the more power applied the more heat (resistance) at connections. If you added anything to the bike pull it off and check.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've run a dedicated ground from the Stebel to the battery and re-grounded my other mods to the frame rather than the gas tank. (heated grips, PCV, AT and brake module) Everything is finally good now!! All hesitations and surges are gone.
 

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Since we are talking about power, besides a good ground something else that is very important is proper sized wiring for the amount of amperage you are planning on pulling across that wire, in addition putting an inline fuse that is rated to blow at a lower amperage than the wiring is an important and simple way to nearly eliminate an electrical fire caused by overloading your wiring.
 

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Ground wire

That ground wire screwed to the gas tank is not very big. Probably big enough for the fuel pump and gauge.
 

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I'm sure we've all been in a car where the headlights dim when the rear defogger is turned on. (or something similar) That's a case where the power source can't deliver enough to all the demands at once. Can the same sort of thing happen via a ground? i.e. If multiple items are grounded together, can one high powered item "use up" so much of the ground that the other ground-demanding items falter due to diminished ground remaining? (probably assuming here that we have a marginal ground to start with)
We need to re-think your description. You can think of a battery as a storage bucket for energy. If you shorted the terminals with a zero resistance switch, you'd effectively pour the energy from the + bucket to the - bucket (conventional current) at light speed with no energy loss.

In reality, we use copper, aluminum, steel, and such for conducting elements in our electrical systems. They all have some energy leakage as current passes through them. This leakage takes the form of heat.

Now let's take the case where you have a load. If the load is connected directly to the battery terminals with zero resistance elements, then all the energy will be passed to and dissipated in the load. But we don't have such zero resistance connections. Consequently, some energy will be lost as heat in the battery connections.

If our connections are too resistive, we may lose so much energy across the connections that there isn't sufficient energy to power the loads properly and some or all may fail to operate properly as a result.

If one runs too much current through a resistive connection, the connection will heat up and become even more resistive.

Now, as a practical matter, you can find ratings for wire and terminal lugs to determine if they are sized properly for the amount of current that is to be passed through them, but you shouldn't have to as Vic has certainly done that with by properly selecting those that they connect between the battery and the frame to permit the max rating of their electrical system to be used safely. The mfg of the load you wish to power has also done that for the max currents their device is capable of carrying. The frame itself is a massive hunk of metal that isn't very resistive.

Where your problem likely resides is in the connections. Maybe corrosion, contamination, too many lugs on a screw, loose fitting etc. Any of these things might increase the resistance that could lead to losses that affect operation of your goodies.

As a matter of speaking, "use up" is probably not the best way to describe it. Better to think of your connections as resistive elements and look for the best way to make them as conductive as possible. Adding a direct connection to the battery ground like you did is one such method. Good job. thumb up
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We need to re-think your description. You can think of a battery as a storage bucket for energy. If you shorted the terminals with a zero resistance switch, you'd effectively pour the energy from the + bucket to the - bucket (conventional current) at light speed with no energy loss.

In reality, we use copper, aluminum, steel, and such for conducting elements in our electrical systems. They all have some energy leakage as current passes through them. This leakage takes the form of heat.

Now let's take the case where you have a load. If the load is connected directly to the battery terminals with zero resistance elements, then all the energy will be passed to and dissipated in the load. But we don't have such zero resistance connections. Consequently, some energy will be lost as heat in the battery connections.

If our connections are too resistive, we may lose so much energy across the connections that there isn't sufficient energy to power the loads properly and some or all may fail to operate properly as a result.

If one runs too much current through a resistive connection, the connection will heat up and become even more resistive.

Now, as a practical matter, you can find ratings for wire and terminal lugs to determine if they are sized properly for the amount of current that is to be passed through them, but you shouldn't have to as Vic has certainly done that with by properly selecting those that they connect between the battery and the frame to permit the max rating of their electrical system to be used safely. The mfg of the load you wish to power has also done that for the max currents their device is capable of carrying. The frame itself is a massive hunk of metal that isn't very resistive.

Where your problem likely resides is in the connections. Maybe corrosion, contamination, too many lugs on a screw, loose fitting etc. Any of these things might increase the resistance that could lead to losses that affect operation of your goodies.

As a matter of speaking, "use up" is probably not the best way to describe it. Better to think of your connections as resistive elements and look for the best way to make them as conductive as possible. Adding a direct connection to the battery ground like you did is one such method. Good job. thumb up
The first thing I did was to check my connections. I steel-wooled all connectors and made sure it was all tight. By "too many lugs on a screw" are you referring to the number of spade connectors from the mods I was grounding? (I had 4 of those on my ground screw)
 

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Check any wiring for weak spots, (breaks), by slightly bending wire at various places for any device that maybe giving you problems.

Check that all grounds are one connected good to the terminal, lug, etc, and terminated to a good ground. Also check for proper terminal and termination on the component end.

You can use an amprobe to make sure you're not drawing more amps than the output capacity.

Not to sure of your problem due to your description but dimming can be due to a poor ground or if load is to high for output..... Check load with amprobe with all the components turned on.... high beam, horn, music up load, etc. clamp amprobe around one battery lead and eliminate that as a problem then look at the correct wire size, no breaks in wires, wire connections, wires terminated properly, good grounds.

Hope this helps. Don't forget good battery ground too!
 

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The first thing I did was to check my connections. I steel-wooled all connectors and made sure it was all tight. By "too many lugs on a screw" are you referring to the number of spade connectors from the mods I was grounding? (I had 4 of those on my ground screw)
Yes. I was thinking of these, but it's the same principal.

 
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