Magnets for Better Traffic Signal Detection? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Magnets for Better Traffic Signal Detection?

I seem to have more trouble triggering signals with my 650 Versys than with other bikes. Has anyone found a good set of magnets or some other solution? Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 07:29 AM
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try this. 150 lb Magnet - Lee Valley Tools

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 08:54 AM
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I think most "solutions" have been debunked, other than putting your side stand down on or near the detector loop (the cut marks in the concrete/pavement), which sometimes works but not always. When I encounter a loop that refuses to detect my bike, I just proceed thru after stopping if the coast is clear (and no LEO is visible). Some states allow that by statute, but even in the ones who don't, it would be a major dick move for a cop to cite you, but YMMV. I've actually done it in front of cops a couple of times after signalling to them so they'd understand what my problem was. Of course, if a car is behind you, you can move over and wave it forward to trip the signal.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 10:54 AM
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I proceed through after waiting if the intersection is clear. If traffic but no one behind me to trigger light, I will take a right and turn left or U-turn to continue on my way.

At my local airport, they have a square piece of metal to drop on the detector loop to allow a bike into and out of the parking garage. PITA, but no risk of door dings when leaving a vehicle. Amazingly, when I return, my bike is surrounded by luxury vehicles.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kawafornia View Post
I seem to have more trouble triggering signals with my 650 Versys than with other bikes. Has anyone found a good set of magnets or some other solution? Thanks.
IF I'm early in the AM and no one else seems about, I slow down, then "hammer" my front brakes as my wheel enters that 'circular zone' where the trigger is, as I stop. This probably approximates something weighing SIGNIFICANTLY more than the Versys, and seems to set-up the trigger.

If THAT didn't work, I look at going ANYWAY once it's clear.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 01:30 PM
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Along the same line, on the Indiana and Ohio Turnpikes, the EZ-Pass readers at the gate are not constantly "reading". The weight of the vehicle triggers them to read the transponder signal. That is what the worker told me when my Wee failed to trigger the reader. I now always pick a lane that has a person in the booth since it will also accept EZ Pass. Probably the same for my V.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 07:43 PM
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I believe most traffic signals are triggered by an induction loop in the road. This is a loop of wire under the pavement with a small electrical current running in it. When a ferrous mass arrives atop it, the magnetic field is disturbed which creates an electrical signal. The electronics in the traffic light controller detect the signal and interpret it as a vehicle sitting at the stop line.

When the vehicle moves away, an inverse electrical signal is sent. Thus the controller "knows" that the vehicle departed.

Our motorcycles may have too little iron mass to create a large enough signal for the controller to see. The controller is likely adjustable, and adjusted incorrectly to read motorcycles. If you have a problem light in your area, you can contact the traffic department and they might be able to adjust it.

Running in fast and stopping in the center of the loop creates a larger voltage spike than easing in very slowly. Thus the fast stop may be a valid tactic. A permanent magnet on the bottom of your bike won't have nearly enough oomph to disrupt the field induced by the loop under the pavement. If you built a powerful electromagnet you could try energizing it as you sit at the stop line. Cost/benefit seems unfavorable, plus you'd be carrying around a bunch of extra weight.

In my state the law allows one to go on red if it doesn't turn after some specific time, 3 minutes I think. If the cross road is busy I'll jump off the bike and push the pedestrian crossing button to get the light to change.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 07:54 PM
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I have pretty good success when I put two wheels directly over the induction loop.

If you pull up in the center of the loop, you are effectively maximizing the distance to the loop. Pull up on one side or the other.

Interested to hear if this approach works for others or not.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbclark222 View Post
I have pretty good success when I put two wheels directly over the induction loop.

If you pull up in the center of the loop, you are effectively maximizing the distance to the loop. Pull up on one side or the other.

Interested to hear if this approach works for others or not.


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That is what I do as well, plus keep the rear wheel over the perpendicular line in the loop.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
I believe most traffic signals are triggered by an induction loop in the road. This is a loop of wire under the pavement with a small electrical current running in it. When a ferrous mass arrives atop it, the magnetic field is disturbed which creates an electrical signal. The electronics in the traffic light controller detect the signal and interpret it as a vehicle sitting at the stop line.

When the vehicle moves away, an inverse electrical signal is sent. Thus the controller "knows" that the vehicle departed.

Our motorcycles may have too little iron mass to create a large enough signal for the controller to see. The controller is likely adjustable, and adjusted incorrectly to read motorcycles. If you have a problem light in your area, you can contact the traffic department and they might be able to adjust it.

Running in fast and stopping in the center of the loop creates a larger voltage spike than easing in very slowly. Thus the fast stop may be a valid tactic. A permanent magnet on the bottom of your bike won't have nearly enough oomph to disrupt the field induced by the loop under the pavement. If you built a powerful electromagnet you could try energizing it as you sit at the stop line. Cost/benefit seems unfavorable, plus you'd be carrying around a bunch of extra weight.

In my state the law allows one to go on red if it doesn't turn after some specific time, 3 minutes I think. If the cross road is busy I'll jump off the bike and push the pedestrian crossing button to get the light to change.
I wonder how the new Miata is going to do at the traffic signals with all the aluminum in the ND car.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbclark222 View Post
I have pretty good success when I put two wheels directly over the induction loop.

If you pull up in the center of the loop, you are effectively maximizing the distance to the loop. Pull up on one side or the other.

Interested to hear if this approach works for others or not.


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This is exactly what I do, stop over the right most metal line and it almost always works.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 12:23 PM
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Yep, what he said! Some are better for me than others, you learn what works and does not after a while. In Illinois if the light does not change after 3 minutes you can legally move through the red light after making sure the way is clear of course. There is a state law that allows this, and I should copy and keep this with me. Gotta do that some day.
This also happens on our CanAm Spyder, a lot more metal surface that the motorcycle. Go figure.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 12:26 PM
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Yep, what he said! Some are better for me than others, you learn what works and does not after a while. In Illinois if the light does not change after 3 minutes you can legally move through the red light after making sure the way is clear of course. There is a state law that allows this, and I should copy and keep this with me. Gotta do that some day.
This also happens on our CanAm Spyder, a lot more metal surface that the motorcycle. Go figure.
As long as you're not in Crook County.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions, as to how/where in the loop to stop.

Fortunately, the 150# magnet is returnable. RR crossings were becoming a problem.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 02:37 PM
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Most lights here have a double loop. I stop on the center of the loops with the front tire on the top line. Sone times it helps to move back and forth a little.
Durring constrution the lines were not visable and I pulled too far up. The cross light turned yellow, then back to green twice. I turned the corner and the first car i passed was a cop. U turn and lit me up, I told him what had happened and after running my info let me go.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 08:20 AM
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Good Point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
I believe most traffic signals are triggered by an induction loop in the road. This is a loop of wire under the pavement with a small electrical current running in it. When a ferrous mass arrives atop it, the magnetic field is disturbed which creates an electrical signal. The electronics in the traffic light controller detect the signal and interpret it as a vehicle sitting at the stop line.

When the vehicle moves away, an inverse electrical signal is sent. Thus the controller "knows" that the vehicle departed.

Our motorcycles may have too little iron mass to create a large enough signal for the controller to see. The controller is likely adjustable, and adjusted incorrectly to read motorcycles. If you have a problem light in your area, you can contact the traffic department and they might be able to adjust it.

Running in fast and stopping in the center of the loop creates a larger voltage spike than easing in very slowly. Thus the fast stop may be a valid tactic. A permanent magnet on the bottom of your bike won't have nearly enough oomph to disrupt the field induced by the loop under the pavement. If you built a powerful electromagnet you could try energizing it as you sit at the stop line. Cost/benefit seems unfavorable, plus you'd be carrying around a bunch of extra weight.

In my state the law allows one to go on red if it doesn't turn after some specific time, 3 minutes I think. If the cross road is busy I'll jump off the bike and push the pedestrian crossing button to get the light to change.
Kind of funny as I should have thought of this, however many intersections I come to have 2 turn lanes, and many stupid people, being on the extreme left would indicate for the car driver to park next to me.

So the reason why parking with the bike parallel to the line is that all these use a change in impedance to trigger, it is AC going through, a magnet would only block 1/2 cycle as it is like DC. Most people on bikes are on a diagonal to the pickup coil. I have many times motioned for a car to approach me as the light wasn't changing. I will now try that, makes a lot of sense to me.
So how it works is the coil of wire is in series with a load resistor and a AC power source, the resistor is non inductive, lets say we have 100 volts AC across the coil and the resistor in series with the coil is 100 ohms= we have 1 amp AC, and wattage of 100 watts. To calculate voltage drop across the resistor we use current in amps and resistance in ohms. So 1 amp X 100 ohms = 100 volts. The instant we place metal of any kind ,( ferrous metal is better) the magnetic field produced by the AC current induces a magnetic field in the metal , which is equal to and opposite the applied force. This causes a drop in current, lets say it changed to 0.9 amps= 100 ohms X 0.9 amp = 90 volts, the electronics detects the voltage drop and changes the signal. Much more involved than this but that is the basics.
Thanks for posting!!
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 04:22 PM
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Kind of funny as I should have thought of this, however many intersections I come to have 2 turn lanes, and many stupid people, being on the extreme left would indicate for the car driver to park next to me.

So the reason why parking with the bike parallel to the line is that all these use a change in impedance to trigger, it is AC going through, a magnet would only block 1/2 cycle as it is like DC. Most people on bikes are on a diagonal to the pickup coil. I have many times motioned for a car to approach me as the light wasn't changing. I will now try that, makes a lot of sense to me.
So how it works is the coil of wire is in series with a load resistor and a AC power source, the resistor is non inductive, lets say we have 100 volts AC across the coil and the resistor in series with the coil is 100 ohms= we have 1 amp AC, and wattage of 100 watts. To calculate voltage drop across the resistor we use current in amps and resistance in ohms. So 1 amp X 100 ohms = 100 volts. The instant we place metal of any kind ,( ferrous metal is better) the magnetic field produced by the AC current induces a magnetic field in the metal , which is equal to and opposite the applied force. This causes a drop in current, lets say it changed to 0.9 amps= 100 ohms X 0.9 amp = 90 volts, the electronics detects the voltage drop and changes the signal. Much more involved than this but that is the basics.
Thanks for posting!!
"that is the basics".
That went way over my head but that's alright. I've known for quite a while that my bike will not trip traffic lights.
Thanks!

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