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+1 for the new Smiths Electronic Gauges

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by lcrken, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Madnorton

    Madnorton VIP MEMBER

    Jun 9, 2008
    Chris Zet likes this.
  2. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Interesting! Being a sucker for minimalism, that appeals to me. But, being a bit of a Luddite, I have a few concerns that’s perhaps you can elevate:

    Does it matter where it’s mounted? Is under the tank ok or does it need to be ‘visible’ to the sky?

    Is there a long delay whilst it finds satatiltes when switching on?

    How good is coverage? It would be a pain for it to not work in places.

    What happens in tunnels?
  3. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    or does it need to be ‘visible’ to the sky?

    I have one under a plastic dash and a screen on a car, so inside a plastic headlamp would be fine

    Is there a long delay whilst it finds satellites when switching on?

    First scan takes the longest, then as long as you have not moved then the subsequent ones take seconds. Trailer the bike to a new location 100's og miles away and it will do a full scan on first startup.

    That Andover Norton one looks very much like the Aliexpress one I linked too.
  4. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Thanks Kommando. I’ve not got a plastic headlamp shell tho!

    Best location for me would be either under the tank, or down beside the battery somewhere.

    Any thoughts from anyone on whether either of these would work ok?

    I saw your link, personally I’d be happier buying from AN if their offering is known to work well with the Smiths etc. I’ve also got someone more local to complain to if it doesn’t !!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  5. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    But how do you know how fast you’re going when you wheelie...?
  6. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    May 26, 2010
    I have a simple app on my iPhone for that!!
  7. gortnipper

    gortnipper VIP MEMBER

    Nov 11, 2013
    I used to work for a Sat Nav company a few years ago.

    We came out with an aluminum shelled windshield mount device, and there was significant interference to the GPS chip compared to the plastic shelled version. I wouldnt put the it under the tank. Also, best reception is due to the orientation of the chip. So, on side may be worse than flat, updside down, etc.

    GPS modules are dependent on "seeing the satellites" (usually need two) , but can be compensated for with software or hardware.

    For example, you get significant "bounce" in an urban (or other) canyon where there is high signal reflectivity and an indirect signal path (such as satellite low on horizon - which is almost always the case in the Southern Hemisphere). This can be stabilized with an accelerometer and/or software.

    The same is true of being in a tunnel - you will lose the signal once a bit inside, but an accelerometer will keep track to a reasonable degree whilst in it.

    As for signal acquisition time, it depends. There are timecodes in the GPS signals from the satellites, and the chip manufactures sell features to enable those to be re-used so that you dont have to re-download the acquisition data from the satellite on each re-start. But, those chips cost more. And if the tables are older than ~4hrs or so, the satellite has moved on and you need to reacquire anyhow. There are also chip sets that acquire the data more quickly than others. Those chips cost more. This can also be compensated for by re-using "last known good" position and assuming that as a start point while you re-acquire a satellite signal - so you can effectively hide acquisition time.

    I wouldn't buy a GPS speedo for my Commando.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  8. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Feb 6, 2009
    You can't be a Luddite if you've gone to all the trouble of setting up a drive on your front wheel.
    But that aside, let's see how you did it!
  9. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Oh dear, you’re learned opinion seems to back up my Luddite hunch almost perfectly!

    Thanks for sharing that.
  10. blaisestation


    Apr 10, 2008
    I use a gps speedo and love it.
    i have the transponder on the inside of my head light ear .
    wouldn´t even know it was there unless i pointed it out .
    Normaly boots up in around 30 secs, at the most a minute.
  11. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    May 26, 2010
    I should add my front wheel is from an aprillia pegaso the forks are Yamaha fz750 but with a Smith's speedo drive cheers
  12. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Mar 15, 2009
    I've had a GPS speedo on a bike (not a Norton:rolleyes:) for several years now, and have mixed feelings about it. The sensor is mounted on top of a plastic rear fender behind the rider, and has a good field of view. It does take a while to acquire the sats when first started, and you can't move the bike during that period, or it doesn't acquire. I don't find that a big problem, but it is kind of annoying. It does lose the signal sometimes in the local canyons, but by then I usually know how fast I'm going by looking at the tach, so that's not really a big issue either. The real inconvenience is when the bike dies at a stop light, and has to be re-started (electric starter). For some reason it loses the signal during the re-start, but I can't usually just sit there stopped in traffic to wait for it to re-acquire. The bike is a highly tuned ex-race bike, and does occasionally die at abrupt stops, so I find this property kind of annoying. Still, overall, it mostly works ok. The real solution would be to do some fabrication so the original mechanical speedo works again (changes to the rear wheel deleted the speedo drive), but the GPS works well enough that I haven't put much priority on doing that.

    As I said, it is several years old now, so the newer designs might be significantly better. I don't think mine has all the features described above by other users.

  13. B+Bogus


    Jun 28, 2009
    Aircraft avionics have the same problem due to battery volts drop during the start cycle. The solution is a DC-DC (boost) Converter which holds up the supply voltage to key equipment. There seem to be a few automotive converters out there, but I haven't got any answers as to which one would be most suitable - not sure how many watts the GPS needs?
  14. Torontonian


    Dec 28, 2009
    My units have the MK 111 squiggle.
  15. KiwiNeill


    Jul 25, 2011
    Mine too, speedo runs off the supplied sender to Yamaha twin disc front wheel gearbox and 18" radial. Works perfectly once the required calcs are done from circumference and code inputted. Adjustable to any wheel or tyre size.
    Speed spot on with gps and mileage too. Sender wire taped to left Aeroquip for uncluttered looks.
    Very good products and no sign of leaks or condensation over 5000miles.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  16. eskasteve

    eskasteve VIP MEMBER

    Sep 24, 2012
    Has the lack of waterproofing been addressed in later releases of the electronic speedo? I don't want to shell out the bucks for something that needs an immediate modification to make it work as intended. Silicone, as applied by me, is never a neat or pretty sight.
  17. Fullauto

    Fullauto VIP MEMBER

    Apr 13, 2009
    I'm not going to take the chance. I'll have my bike back in a week or two and I'll be applying the silicon.
  18. MexicoMike


    Jan 31, 2010
    I received my Smiths E-gauges. I didn't realize - probably through lack of paying attention - that the speedo as delivered comes with a sensor that screws into the OEM speedo gear. Removing that gear was one of the main purposes of the change to E's.

    Where can I obtain the reed switch or similar device being referred to that will work with the Smiths? I'd prefer not using a GPS sensor unless it would work from inside the fastback tailpiece. Also...re GPS speedo...doesn't the display get erratic/go to some non-sensical number if the signal drops out/returns - like going through a tunnel or between tall buildings?

    The GPS (Garmin Chartplotter) speed on our boat would sometimes indicate as much as 10 knots while the boat was docked in a covered slip because the signal would come/go and the boat had moved a few feet just due to slack in the lines. Once, on a very windy day, it indicated over 700 (yes, SEVEN HUNDRED) knots while sitting at its slip. ;)
  19. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Oct 4, 2013
    Have you seen this page where you can buy the hardware you describe: http://www.puca.co/accessories.html

    If you talk nicely to Matt at cNw he might sell you an exquisite sensor holder and large nut that you can put a magnet into, look closely at some rear wheel shots on his web site to see what I mean.

    Or, Tom Kullen does a neat kit using old speedo drive housing with guts removed and magnetic internals fitted.

    The Matt option is perhaps the neatest / trickest, but will require some DIY input unless you’re running negative earth (that’s how Matt builds em), whereas the Tom option is the simplest, its a bolt on solution.
  20. tomspro

    tomspro VIP MEMBER

    Jan 25, 2014

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