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Old 03-01-2012, 07:32 AM   #61
Dorian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
.....
2: The quick fix requires some equipment. Basically, you shock the thing back to life. The printed sensor circuit is super fine and completely laminated between layers of plastic. Hit it with a high voltage with a little capacitive current behind it, and it repairs it.......
Thanks again for the info Joel. I get the gist of your answer but lack the equipment and knowledge required to perform the repair myself (although based on your instructions I could probably work that part out). Maybe you could offer a fuel strip repair service?

The fuel gauge on my '08 12GS seems to work (for now) but I get misleading readings for the first 40mi or so after I fill-up, then it settles down. I use the trip odo anyway - but I'm not keen on an always-on low fuel warning light.

Cheers, Dorian
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:28 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by maineiac-moto View Post
And I'm fine with simply using the trip meter. I just wish they would come up remedy so I don't have to keep seeing the fault light and low fuel warning flashing at me. That would be a more acceptable fix for me than to keep replacing a defective part.
We could do this. Fooling the system into thinking there were a half tank would be hard as the resistance of the strip rises as the part of the strip thats above the fuel level heats, but I se no reason we couldn't fool the system into thinking and always displaying the tank as full.

All I would need is for someone with a working strip to drop by my house for an hour. I know the resistance of the sensor and heater circuits as it's burned into my brain from checking so many, but I need to know how much current flows on the heater circuit to size that resistor.

1: 1/8th watt 68 ohm resistor for the sensor. (if memory serves, measure while bike is here)

1: X watt (probably 1 watt) X ohm resistor, with thermal properties that raise it's resistance a bit as it heats up for the heater circuit.

Shape the ends of the resistor leads to line up with the bikes plug.

Pott all but the end of the leads in a little Epoxy

Include 2 high quality black zip ties, one to keep the thing plugged into the plug on the bike, the other to zip the whole thing to the fuel pump harness right next to it.

Installation would require removing 3 screws. No need to even open the tank.

Put it on Ebay for $5 and free shipping and I could move up to eating Ramen brand noodles instead of Nissin :)

I never hung with the R1200GS crowd here, All my friends have F8's or G650's or S1000's. Whisper to someone local in St. Louis with an R12 to come by and if really desired, I could mock something up.


As to fixing the old sensors. I don't want to get within 1000 yards of the anger surrounding that when I only have a test pool of 3 bikes that my fix worked on, and personally I think BMW should just man up and build a conversion. The new floats aren't compatible with the current firmware, but BMW could tweak the firmware and do the conversion.
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JoelWisman screwed with this post 03-01-2012 at 11:38 AM
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #63
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Joel, are your sure that the sensor isn't capacitive?
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:27 PM   #64
JoelWisman
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Joel, are your sure that the sensor isn't capacitive?
100% certain, but capacitive is what I had assumed till the first time I looked at one. It's just resistive, thermally modified during the heater cycle.

LOWWWW technology, easy to fool.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
The new floats aren't compatible with the current firmware, but BMW could tweak the firmware and do the conversion.
So, if you could make a device that receives the signal from the new float and converts the signal to simulate the old fuel strip you could make some serious sales?
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:39 AM   #66
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Joel.

Looking into the Fluke 1520. Discontinued. Replacement is the 1507 $498.00..

Ouch...

Can you think of another, cheaper way to shock this thing?

What was the voltage & amperage output of the 1520?

Can this be replicated with something else???

Thanks for your input!!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:53 AM   #67
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Tell me about it! My 1520 recently broke so going to have to buy a 1507 soon as there are many applications for it in my field.

Very low current, high voltage. I can think of many sources of that kind of voltage around the average house, but none with that low of current. Look in electronics supply catalogs. You want 1000 volts 1 - 20 mA max current, then a 40 pF 1000 volt capacitor.

I don't know the exact ideal specs because I never researched it as a repair technique. With Volvo it was a curiosity but they weren't interested in repairing them as they wanted a fuel level measurement device that didn't break in the first place so ultimately rejected using strips all together.

My FSE with BMW was fascinated, but that poor guy already had a zillion things on his plate and has since been promoted to North America parts boss.

In any case, can't blame BMW for not mocking up a procedure that required having a megger in dealer service departments. Master techs would try using them in places they shouldn't and blow up bike computers lol.

OOO, perhaps a real small compact fluorescent light, like one that claims to put out the same light as a 15 watt incandescent bulb.

If you cozy up to the right dealership, it's against the rules to give them to you but they will have dozens of strips in boxes saved for warranty dept should they ever call for them to be shipped back which they won't.

Strips fail so often they actually litter BMW service departments trash cans and counters.

Dumpster dive? Just ask the service manager or warranty clerk the right night to do it and their trash will be filled with strips and other defective parts, also technically against the rules as you are supposed to destroy all old parts but nobody does.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #68
drmajor
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Joel, you might find this interesting.

Still searching for a 1000v /20ma power supply...cheap.

http://skemarangkaian.com/0-1000-vol...upply-ic-7805/
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:14 PM   #69
grpweld
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My gauge doesnt drop until I've gone about 110 miles, & when the tank is empty it still shows 3-4 bars, Is this a faulty fuel strip also?
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:52 PM   #70
JoelWisman
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Originally Posted by grpweld View Post
My gauge doesnt drop until I've gone about 110 miles, & when the tank is empty it still shows 3-4 bars, Is this a faulty fuel strip also?
It's hard to say. That wouldn't be the common way for a fuel strip to go but can happen.

Just as likely tha adaptation is off, or perhaps the strip came off its hanger and is setting on the bottom of your tank.

Without hands on, meter on diagnosis, I don't know. Sorry.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:04 AM   #71
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmajor View Post
Joel, you might find this interesting.

Still searching for a 1000v /20ma power supply...cheap.

http://skemarangkaian.com/0-1000-vol...upply-ic-7805/
Dude ... Be careful 20mA is 20 watts at 1000v . There is no way that fluke is putting out that kinda power... That's why the cap. Is needed so the voltage stays higher for a little longer ... A megohm meter is going to have very high internal impedance and will provide 1kv only to the highest of resistive loads...and the strip is not!... At the very least u need to put a several Meg resistor in line BEFORE the parallel cap .
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:42 PM   #72
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The flukes 1520's short circuit current is 2 mA, it will be less when it's anywhere near 1000v and yeah, the cap is in parallel to add current for a brief period of time + the megger has some capacitance itself.

You want a short circuit current no greater then 20 mA at maximum.

But yes, just a few mA will stop your heart if it goes through it just right, and 1000v can certainly get it there, don't kill yourself :)
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:47 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
The flukes 1520's short circuit current is 2 mA, it will be less when it's anywhere near 1000v and yeah, the cap is in parallel to add current for a brief period of time + the megger has some capacitance itself.

You want a short circuit current no greater then 20 mA at maximum.

But yes, just a few mA will stop your heart if it goes through it just right, and 1000v can certainly get it there, don't kill yourself :)

Well yeah..I wasnt really thinking of HIS safety when i wrote that......but it looks to me that if he connects that source up he will fry the strip for sure, and probably light the fuel too! The 20mA figure is misleading. Thats probably a stated maximum rating, for very short duration on the Fluke...and in reality probably never approaches .01 of that...but im guessing.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #74
JoelWisman
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Originally Posted by qman8 View Post
Well yeah..I wasnt really thinking of HIS safety when i wrote that......but it looks to me that if he connects that source up he will fry the strip for sure, and probably light the fuel too! The 20mA figure is misleading. Thats probably a stated maximum rating, for very short duration on the Fluke...and in reality probably never approaches .01 of that...but im guessing.
20 mA, as in 0.020 amps, is the MAXIMUM short circuit current you would want to send through the fuel strip sensing circuit.

Voltage is immaterial to melting or burning things up as long as your power source is limited to no more then 20 mA

You are not trying to heat the circuit trace with current, you are trying to create an arc across where the circuit trace is broken between the laminated layers of plastic.

The strip sensing circuit, when working, is around 2,700 ohms. A power supply that is "current limited" to a maximum of 20 mA will fall to 54 volts once the broken part of the circuit is bridged. (ohms law for voltage I*R=E (I=intensity of current, or amps. R=resistance, or ohms. E=electro motive force, or voltage))

So we now know from ohms law that a voltage source that is limited to a MAXIMUM of 20mA will in fact supply 54 volts once the higher voltage arcs across the break and creates a carbon trace or whatever it does that fixes them.

To find Power, which it the case of this resistive circuit will also be heat, ohms law says (I*E=P (P is for power, otherwise known as watts)) 54*0.02=1.08 watts.

1 watt is not going to melt the strip or the sensing circuit in my opinion.


Now, if the strip were delaminated, or there was so much capacitive current that it melted through the strip, you bet, thats a good ignition source for anything flammable! So is the fuel pump which has carbon brushes that arc the whole time the bike is running, as are static discharges that occur between the body of the tank and metal parts such as the pump all the time.

Why don't gasoline tanks blow up all the time??? Simple, fuel vapors inside a tank are normally not in a flammable state because they lack oxygen. In other words that might seem more understandable to mechanics, the fuel mixture in the tank is normally to rich to ignite.

The lower flammability limit of gasoline is 1.4%. Uncompressed, anything less then a 1.4% gasoline to air mixture won't ignite.

There is also an upper limit. Anything more then 7.6% fuel to air and it also won't ignite.

Atmospheric pressure and many other variables have an effect, but only small ones in regard to conditions a fuel tank will be in.

On a cool spring day, gasoline mixtures in a fuel tank will be upwards of 50%

Now, if the tank is nearly empty and you have been blowing air in the open cap for a while, you might get a boom.

If it is negative 50 degrees F out and the cap is open, you probably will get ignition because this is so cold that the fuel is not evaporating, but at any sane temperature, gasoline rapidly evaporates and turns any sealed container into a vessel that is WAY to fuel rich to ignite let alone explode.


This principal is why as a child you could make molotov cocktails with gasoline, light them and let them burn all day without a boom till you tossed them and broke the glass. This is why when you poured too much alcohol in your spud gun, it wouldn't light. This is also why when you drilled a hole near the bottom of a 55 gallon drum, dumped a bunch of trash, wood and gasoline in, and lit it from the hole, you lost all the hair on your arm and burning logs and trash rained down in a 75 foot diameter. The top of the vessel was open so you DID get a flammable, or in my case, explosive mixture.

A note on flight 800 who's center tank exploded in NY as I recall. Jumbo jets run on kerosine. Kerosine does not start evaporating in mass till around 130 F, so jet plane tanks are normally too lean to ignite but when nearly empty and heated by all the things that heated that tank climb into the flammable range. This would have never happened if planes ran on gasoline.

Lastly, a note on all the cars that blow up on TV. That is TV, it is not real and not one single person from Hollywood would know reality even if it crawled up their ass and died. Those cars explode because special effects guys hook remote detonated explosives to their fuel tanks. The boom is from the bomb, the fire afterward is from the fuel that was blown around after the bomb flattened the fuel tank, which is the same thing 60 minutes did when they and Ralph Nader were trying as usual to destroy American car manufactures on behalf of the Asian manufactures they are paid lobbyist for, but I'm getting far afield now

At normal temperatures in a sealed gas tank (cap closed), gasoline will not ever burn or explode.

I have been wrong before, so if you think this may be one of those times and you don't wish to become a screaming alpha, remove the strip from the tank before working on it, font create any sparks are have any static discharges as you do cause once the cap and fuel pump access is removed, theres plenty of air to support combustion in the tank :)
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #75
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Joel,

Will you be going to the BMW MOA rally in MO this July? Sure would like to meet you !!!!!

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