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Thread: New Gerbing MP controllers- advice needed

  1. #1
    lubbent
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Madison, WI
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    18

    Question New Gerbing MP controllers- advice needed

    I have tried to use a Gerbing MP (the newer microprocessor one - serial number ends in MP) single controller for a Gerbing jacket liner on my R90/6. The is the second one (first one replaced by dealer) and the problems are identical with both. After less than a mile, it flashes red, indicating a short or overload. But there really is none. On my R75/7, I have a dual controller (MP), and there is no problem. The R90/6 has an electronic VR, and an S fairing with voltmeter, and I can see it regulates just fine. Both bikes have the controller with a Gerbing 2ft extension, after the controller, running under the tank back to the seat area, where I plug in my vest with or without a 4 ft coil. With either my wife's jacket liner and coil or with mine, it flashes red. They are both new so either they both are bad (not likely) or the controller is bad. If I don't use the 2 ft extension, it flashes red. If I move the controller to my R75, it flashes red. So with either liner, any or either or no cord, either bike, it (i.e, both did this) flashes red. The only time it doesn't flash red is when nothing is connected to it. Not very useful Has anyone gotten a Gerbing single MP controller to work on an airhead? Or on any bike? Or are they really making a lot of bad ones? I find this hard to beleive, but I'm about out of ideas. I talked to Gerbing and they said there should be no problem with running both a 2ft extension and 4 ft coil, and indeed there is none with the dual MP controller. They also said they have never heard of any problems with their controllers, so implied it must be me, but every piece electrical, from the battery harness to the controller and back, is from Gerbing.

  2. #2
    Registered User richardak's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Fairbanks, AK
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    296
    Mine flashes red if the battery voltage goes low such as when the bike is started. But I have noticed that it will also flash red after a long stop with the engine at idle and headlight on. Just turning it off and on resets it again. This only seemed to regularly occur when it was really cold out. Cold as in below 0F.
    1983 R100RT hacked w/Cozy Rocket My blog
    2012 Ural Patrol
    Airhead #10576

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Jan 2013
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    NW Arkansas
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    I think what you will find that if you turn it off then back on it will work fine. It has to be turned off when you turn on the bike if it is on switched power anyway. Kind of annoying feature. My old style does not do this either.

  4. #4
    Jack Herbst
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oro Valley, AZ
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    586
    Quote Originally Posted by 9662 View Post
    I have tried to use a Gerbing MP (the newer microprocessor one - serial number ends in MP) single controller for a Gerbing jacket liner on my R90/6. The is the second one (first one replaced by dealer) and the problems are identical with both. After less than a mile, it flashes red, indicating a short or overload. But there really is none. On my R75/7, I have a dual controller (MP), and there is no problem. The R90/6 has an electronic VR, and an S fairing with voltmeter, and I can see it regulates just fine. Both bikes have the controller with a Gerbing 2ft extension, after the controller, running under the tank back to the seat area, where I plug in my vest with or without a 4 ft coil. With either my wife's jacket liner and coil or with mine, it flashes red. They are both new so either they both are bad (not likely) or the controller is bad. If I don't use the 2 ft extension, it flashes red. If I move the controller to my R75, it flashes red. So with either liner, any or either or no cord, either bike, it (i.e, both did this) flashes red. The only time it doesn't flash red is when nothing is connected to it. Not very useful Has anyone gotten a Gerbing single MP controller to work on an airhead? Or on any bike? Or are they really making a lot of bad ones? I find this hard to beleive, but I'm about out of ideas. I talked to Gerbing and they said there should be no problem with running both a 2ft extension and 4 ft coil, and indeed there is none with the dual MP controller. They also said they have never heard of any problems with their controllers, so implied it must be me, but every piece electrical, from the battery harness to the controller and back, is from Gerbing.
    Mine just smelled like burning wires and burned up. Second one burned up the jacket. Jacket replacemnt and controller now work but the sleeves are horribly small. If I wear it I get cramps in my wrists. Sleeves on this Jacket (XXL) are only half the size of the others. I should say the knitted raglon part of the sleeves. I had so much trouble with this product during thier transition last fall from WA to NC I do not want to contact them again. I just stopped wearing the Jacket. I am sure they sewed on the XXS raglon sleeves to the XXL size Jacket. It is a real struggle to just get my hands through the sleeve opening. I have not found anyone who is willing to attempt altering this. Some day when I get over my anger I may try to contact them again. It has been eight months since my purchase.

    Jack
    "All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific."

  5. #5
    Touring Rider
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Casa Grande, Arizona
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    68
    I have the single controller and it works fine for me. I plug it into the jack on the left fairing, hook the controller with the belt clip on the leather case (an option) to the tank bag rail where it is easy to get to, and stay toasty warm. I do note that it flashes while in operation. Try adjusting the temperature knob. Does the flashing rate change? It appears to control the temperature by pulsing the power. Low settings... slow flash. Higher settings... faster flash. I have never turned it up all the way but would guess that at max heat the light stays on. The reason that it does not flash when the load is not plugged in I suspect is that it does not see a load so it does not operate.
    Gary
    Casa Grande, AZ
    2011 R1200RT

  6. #6
    lubbent
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    18

    Still a mystery, still not working.

    First, thanks to everyone for their input. Unfortunately, none of that has helped yet. It still doesn't work. First, the flashes on startup are red-green (low voltage), not red-red (short or overload), and I don't get low voltage lights. Even If I try, like turning it on, having the headlight on, and then cranking. Second, this is an airhead (1975) and I don't know if that is important or not, but I know the original controller I sent back worked fine on another bike (but not on either airhead- the other is a /7 engine). I do know it pulses (green or yellow-greeen) in normal operation, rate dependent on level. The failure mode is that just when I am starting to feel some warmth, it cuts out and flashes red. I can reset it, and works for about 30 seconds, or less, and cuts out again. During this entire time, the voltage regulation is fine- I have a voltmeter in the S fairing and it is rock steady. As long as I have about 3000 rpm, it doesn't even pulse with the power pulses generated by the controller, or the turn signals, unlike before I replaced the rotor (bad) and the VR (now electronic) about a year ago. To see if wiring had anything to do with it, I tried as someone suggested and used just it, connected to the harness, not run anywhere like up by the handle bars, using the belt clip and the failure mode is identical.
    The very curious thing is that the dual controller, which Gerbing insists is just two singles sharing an input and in one case, does not do any of this. It just performs. So I think the controller microprocessor is getting some kind of input from an airhead charging system, which apparently is in perfect shape, but maybe which is dampened or cancelled because of the shared input. I know that is grasping at straws, but I am at that stage.
    So to get back to where I started, does anyone have one of these on an airhead, /6 or /7 era, or with that charging system?

  7. #7
    lubbent
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    18

    Smile Gerbing MP controller mystery solved

    Well, it took a while (and longer for me to post here), but I found out the problem. Gerbing single controllers are evidently not compatible with airhead charging systems. The dual controllers are NOT just 2 singles, but have different damping circuits. It took a while for Gerbing to fess up on this. They maintain that airheads have 'noisy' alternators, which is something I never heard of. Many years ago I put two on a oscilloscope (my R75 that I had all the problems with the controller with, and a 1974 R90S) and they were picture perfect in waveform, so I don't know what Gerbing means. The dealer swapped me a dual for my single and all is well. But I thought I might caution anyone with an airhead to just spring for the dual controller.

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