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Compared to other modules in the vehicle, the WMM has poorly designed power filtration and regulation, specifically, it has no reverse bias diode protecting the ground rail. Depending on the current load of the other devices in the shared ground branch, a defective/failing HID ballast can cause negative transients (positive with respect to Vbatt) on the ground wire, crossing that threshold and killing the chip. It need only reach 15v or so for a few hundred nanoseconds before the damage is done.
Just wondering... would you think that a simple 10A diode on the ballast power wire suffice to solve this issue? I may be oversimplifying things a bit, but from my limited electronics background that seems like an obvious solution. Maybe too much so, as I don't have a clue if a plain diode allows this short leaks of reverse current. Using a high quality ballast in the first place is a given, but so many OEM and big brand ballasts have failed on me over the years that taking all possible precautions is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #482 ·
Just wondering... would you think that a simple 10A diode on the ballast power wire suffice to solve this issue? I may be oversimplifying things a bit, but from my limited electronics background that seems like an obvious solution. Maybe too much so, as I don't have a clue if a plain diode allows this short leaks of reverse current. Using a high quality ballast in the first place is a given, but so many OEM and big brand ballasts have failed on me over the years that taking all possible precautions is a good idea.
A diode in series with the ballast supply does prevent reverse voltage spikes, but it does not mitigate the PWM which causes flicker, reduced lifespan, increased EMI, and decreased output. Which is why the KBOWE has both a diode and a capacitor.
 

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What year/model?

Are you using BOW3 or KBOWE?

Have you verified (using VIDA) that the dealership actually applied the flash?
2005 V50 2.4i

NO BOWE or KBOWE, maybe I misinterpreted all this data but I didn't think it was required with the software update.

I don't have VIDA, and have not verified that they did this, I know that the switch works as it is supposed to though. Paid $75 to have it done and the customer service guy knew exactly what I was trying to do.
 

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2005 V50 2.4i

NO BOWE or KBOWE, maybe I misinterpreted all this data but I didn't think it was required with the software update.

I don't have VIDA, and have not verified that they did this, I know that the switch works as it is supposed to though. Paid $75 to have it done and the customer service guy knew exactly what I was trying to do.
Hi
I had the exactly same issue after installing Kensun ballasts - flickering strobe light. I bought 2 small anti-flicker modules on amazon - works like a charm. Those were "anti flicker" only, no bulb cancellation, no canbus jibberish etc, just purely to stop flickering which it did perfectly.
Those are mine, but Im sure any of those type will do. http://amzn.eu/78bifrI
oddly enough, my old ballasts didnt require those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #485 ·
2005 V50 2.4i

NO BOWE or KBOWE, maybe I misinterpreted all this data but I didn't think it was required with the software update.

I don't have VIDA, and have not verified that they did this, I know that the switch works as it is supposed to though. Paid $75 to have it done and the customer service guy knew exactly what I was trying to do.
The software prevents the DRL (~60%) PWM, we are still not sure if it prevents the normal (~90%) PWM as no one with DRL disable has been kind enough to upload a VIDA screenshot reading the values... I suspect that it does not, results being very brand specific (the ones that can deal with it having fewer problems).

It does not solve the grounding issue, and many people have burned out WMMs with DRL disable.

At a minimum, get a pair of BOW3-type anti flicker harnesses. Adding a ground point will help save your WMM when the BOW3 fails (see post #467). Ideally you would build a KBOWE - it is the only method verified to produce safe DC at the ballasts for an extended period of time.
 

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....as no one with DRL disable has been kind enough to upload a VIDA screenshot reading the values... ....
If you can direct me in the right way Im happy to do it - I have Vida and DRLs off, just still very n00bish with the software so no clue where to extract the data from. I did some basic data extraction so far like engine readouts , reprogramming the windows etc but need some guidance where to look for your stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #487 · (Edited)
If you can direct me in the right way Im happy to do it - I have Vida and DRLs off, just still very n00bish with the software so no clue where to extract the data from. I did some basic data extraction so far like engine readouts , reprogramming the windows etc but need some guidance where to look for your stuff.
Sweet!

See this post for context, specifically these screenshots (2nd page will help a lot). In VIDA 2014 with DiCE connected and engine running, go to:

"Diagnostics" (tab) -> "Fault Trace" (sub-tab) -> click "CEM" in the car picture -> expand "+ Lighting" in tree view under "Parameters" (middle tab bar)

Then highlight "Left headlight dipped beam" under the "lighting" tree, click "Add to list" on the lower right hand side. Do the same for "Right headlight dipped beam" and "Light switch position"

run through the light switch positions, taking a screen shot for each (give it 30-60 seconds to stabilize after switching). Then do the same with the car off. In the end you should have 6 pictures, then shoot me a PM and I'll get them posted correctly.

Thanks!!!

The exact menus differ based on VIDA version so you might have to get creative.
 

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Ah, ok, seem easy enough, its just like I did with boost reading etc just a different component.
It probably will be a weekend when I do it but you will have it for sure.
ps - I dont need to switch back to halogen bulb for it, do I?
 

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Discussion Starter · #489 ·
Ah, ok, seem easy enough, its just like I did with boost reading etc just a different component.
It probably will be a weekend when I do it but you will have it for sure.
ps - I dont need to switch back to halogen bulb for it, do I?
HIDs are fine as the everything is working as expected (no BOW, or flickering, etc). PWM duty cycle is based on battery voltage, not actual current. Thanks :beer:
 

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Discussion Starter · #490 ·
Thanks to LizardOfBodom we finally have some data on the DRL disable software update.

It's bad news :(

<img src="http://www.theeshadow.com/files/volvo/pwm_drl/drl_disable_3_tn.jpg"/>

That shows that with the engine on, in LSM Pos 2, even with DRL disable we are showing 80% duty cycle PWM. This was my suspicion, and why I have historically been hesitant about recommending DRLless-only retrofits. At least now there is hard data to prove it.

What does this mean?

The KBOWE is the only truly safe way to run HIDs on the FACTORY wiring. A relay harness / foglight redirect is still viable.

If you have done DRL disable and are running HIDs, I would HIGHLY recommend checking/replacing any error code eliminators, BOW3s, anti-flicker harnesses, etc. They will be destroyed much more quickly than we previously thought.

The overview (page 1) has been updated accordingly.

If you are interested in seeing a plug-and-play commercial KBOWE equivalent, we need to get together and convince a manufacturer there is sufficient market. Not sure what the best way to do that is (I've been trying for years unsuccessfully), if anyone has ideas I'm open to suggestions!
 

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Thanks to LizardOfBodom we finally have some data on the DRL disable software update.

It's bad news :(

<img src="http://www.theeshadow.com/files/volvo/pwm_drl/drl_disable_3_tn.jpg"/>

That shows that with the engine on, in LSM Pos 2, even with DRL disable we are showing 80% duty cycle PWM. This was my suspicion, and why I have historically been hesitant about recommending DRLless-only retrofits. At least now there is hard data to prove it.

What does this mean?

The KBOWE is the only truly safe way to run HIDs on the FACTORY wiring. A relay harness / foglight redirect is still viable.

If you have done DRL disable and are running HIDs, I would HIGHLY recommend checking/replacing any error code eliminators, BOW3s, anti-flicker harnesses, etc. They will be destroyed much more quickly than we previously thought.

The overview (page 1) has been updated accordingly.

If you are interested in seeing a plug-and-play commercial KBOWE equivalent, we need to get together and convince a manufacturer there is sufficient market. Not sure what the best way to do that is (I've been trying for years unsuccessfully), if anyone has ideas I'm open to suggestions!
I hope this is not a dumb question but is there a way to change the duty cycle to 100%? ON my VW i can set the DRLs to 100% and factory i think it was something like 75%. This made the bulbs run at 100% output for DRL. Now the system also has an option disable them for HID set up but that was a factory option.

Is there also a way to tell the car that it has factory Xenon? I think those dont run HID as DRL... or am i wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #492 ·
I hope this is not a dumb question but is there a way to change the duty cycle to 100%? ON my VW i can set the DRLs to 100% and factory i think it was something like 75%. This made the bulbs run at 100% output for DRL. Now the system also has an option disable them for HID set up but that was a factory option.
No dumb questions. Short answer: Not that I am aware of.

To be clear, the DRL disable does disable DRLs, which are activated when (1) the sunlight sensor thinks it is daytime and (2) the Light Switch Module is in position 0. When DRLs are activated, the PWM duty cycle drops to around 60%. This will destroy all error eliminators (including KBOWE) VERY quickly, and most HIDs will refuse to run at all as the average voltage is around 8.5v. With the DRL disable software update, position 0 always shuts off the lights completely (PWM duty cycle = 0%).

With or without DRL disable software, during the day or night, there remains PWM regulation when the LSM is in position 2 (on). Therefore, the DRL disable does nothing except prevent accidentally placing the LSM in position 0, resulting in a destroyed BOWE and/or WMM (say, by a service shop).

What we have found is that this software update DOES NOT modify the "on" PWM duty cycle. We previously discovered that the PWM duty cycle and frequency is shared with all of the exterior halogen bulbs in the car - brake lights, running lights, turn signals, even reverse lights. It is mapped to battery voltage, to ensure that the current flowing through the bulbs is, on average, the same as if the battery voltage was equal to 13.0v. So at 14.4v (for example) the duty cycle will be about 80%.

As far as I know, there is no way to official Volvo software to change this. And if there was, due to the hardware it would modify all bulbs, severely shortening their life as P1 run 'hot' voltage wise.

Is there also a way to tell the car that it has factory Xenon? I think those dont run HID as DRL... or am i wrong?
This has been discussed before. Yes, it is theoretically possible to load the factory Bi-Xenon software. However, this software expects a LIN signal from the GDL modules (which are not present in the halogen version, nor are the required wires) and analog signals from the chassis angle sensors (also missing wires). Without these signals, the CEM goes into fail-safe and shuts off power to the ballasts. All could be hacked together, but it is much cheaper and easier to put in the filter. A complete factory retrofit would involve a new chassis and engine harness, new headlamps and GDL modules, the angle sensors, and CEM software.
 

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No dumb questions. Short answer: Not that I am aware of.

To be clear, the DRL disable does disable DRLs, which are activated when (1) the sunlight sensor thinks it is daytime and (2) the Light Switch Module is in position 0. When DRLs are activated, the PWM duty cycle drops to around 60%. This will destroy all error eliminators (including KBOWE) VERY quickly, and most HIDs will refuse to run at all as the average voltage is around 8.5v. With the DRL disable software update, position 0 always shuts off the lights completely (PWM duty cycle = 0%).

With or without DRL disable software, during the day or night, there remains PWM regulation when the LSM is in position 2 (on). Therefore, the DRL disable does nothing except prevent accidentally placing the LSM in position 0, resulting in a destroyed BOWE and/or WMM (say, by a service shop).

What we have found is that this software update DOES NOT modify the "on" PWM duty cycle. We previously discovered that the PWM duty cycle and frequency is shared with all of the exterior halogen bulbs in the car - brake lights, running lights, turn signals, even reverse lights. It is mapped to battery voltage, to ensure that the current flowing through the bulbs is, on average, the same as if the battery voltage was equal to 13.0v. So at 14.4v (for example) the duty cycle will be about 80%.

As far as I know, there is no way to official Volvo software to change this. And if there was, due to the hardware it would modify all bulbs, severely shortening their life as P1 run 'hot' voltage wise.



This has been discussed before. Yes, it is theoretically possible to load the factory Bi-Xenon software. However, this software expects a LIN signal from the GDL modules (which are not present in the halogen version, nor are the required wires) and analog signals from the chassis angle sensors (also missing wires). Without these signals, the CEM goes into fail-safe and shuts off power to the ballasts. All could be hacked together, but it is much cheaper and easier to put in the filter. A complete factory retrofit would involve a new chassis and engine harness, new headlamps and GDL modules, the angle sensors, and CEM software.

I run BiXenon set up in my car, but the BiXenon function is not ON. The low beam Xenon is wired from a separate switch which grabs power from the cigarette lighter and then i have a switch on the dash that I turn on when i need the headlights. This to me was the simplest and best way to get around the PWM issue.
Now yes i do have BOW but i clear it every time i start the car.

Was planning to add some Halogen DRLs but never got around to them.
Seems to be the simplest way to run HIDs. Could be lack of understaning and time to research but hte KBOWE way seems complicated to me.

None the less im glad you guys figured out the PWM situation.

Now if someone could just make KBOWE harnesses and sell them to us that would be awesome, im willing to pay 100$ for one such harness, wouldnt think twice about it.
 

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I run BiXenon set up in my car, but the BiXenon function is not ON. The low beam Xenon is wired from a separate switch which grabs power from the cigarette lighter and then i have a switch on the dash that I turn on when i need the headlights. This to me was the simplest and best way to get around the PWM issue.
Now yes i do have BOW but i clear it every time i start the car.

Was planning to add some Halogen DRLs but never got around to them.
Seems to be the simplest way to run HIDs. Could be lack of understaning and time to research but hte KBOWE way seems complicated to me.

None the less im glad you guys figured out the PWM situation.

Now if someone could just make KBOWE harnesses and sell them to us that would be awesome, im willing to pay 100$ for one such harness, wouldnt think twice about it.
That's going to make it hard to sell the car because the headlight switch doesn't function normally... If you don't want to do the research/ work for the KBOWE, the only other safe way seems to be the "Foglight re-direct", which will also get rid of your BOW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #495 ·
None the less im glad you guys figured out the PWM situation.

Now if someone could just make KBOWE harnesses and sell them to us that would be awesome, im willing to pay 100$ for one such harness, wouldnt think twice about it.
Right - let me emphasize again this only applies to HID retrofit on Stock (OEM) wiring - which is what the majority of people coming from other Makes/Models will try. Thus the big red disclaimer in Post 1 ;)

I agree about the manufacturing. If someone has an idea on how to convince a company like TRS that there is a market segment, I'm all ears. Maybe if we all write in? Last time I tried I got a "we're really busy, ask us later"
 

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Good to hear about the DRL issue finally being put to rest. Sucks for trying to get OEM+ through the light switch, but the DRL situation has been a gray area for far too long. I'm still considering it since I'm still mildly annoyed that my headlights are technically set on all the time. I'll get over it eventually...there's no difference between the two besides low-beam voltage, anyway. DRLs also suck for bulb life :(

Now if someone could just make KBOWE harnesses and sell them to us that would be awesome, im willing to pay 100$ for one such harness, wouldnt think twice about it.
I have some spare time I could set aside to building these. My soldering arsenal is more up to snuff than it used to be now that I know how important a well-maintained tip and proper storage are. I've asked TRS about building one a while back, as well. They suggested that their 10mF setup should be sufficient for even the worst-offending PWM systems.

Ha.

We're really in a world of our own with this 80Hz schtick, so I don't see TRS making us a special set at a reasonable price. Either way, the raw parts are roughly $40 when I bought them back in May. If there's genuine group buy interest, bulk(ish) orders get the parts very cheap per unit. The only 'must-DIY' part is splicing the CEM cables and connecting the KBOWE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #497 · (Edited)
We're really in a world of our own with this 80Hz schtick, so I don't see TRS making us a special set at a reasonable price. Either way, the raw parts are roughly $40 when I bought them back in May. If there's genuine group buy interest, bulk(ish) orders get the parts very cheap per unit. The only 'must-DIY' part is splicing the CEM cables and connecting the KBOWE.
The problem that I've noticed is, the people interested in buying a pre-assembled unit are not inclined to hack up the CEM harness; they want a BOW3-style solution that goes inline with the ballast. That's fine from a technical standpoint (heat and voltage drop aside), but it does significantly increase BOM cost (4x superseal connectors, techflex, an extra enclosure, waterproofing). Factoring in shipping, using a real PCB and a heatsink for the diode, I found the production cost was around $90 in small batches. Thus even doing 10 means $1k up front... The advantage that TRS has is that their suppliers can buy the parts factory-direct in bulk (e.g. superseal connectors there are $0.10/ea vs $2.00/ea here), cut PCBs in house, and probably have 90% of the components on hand. Yes, you can ship them here from china but its 4-6 weeks of shipping time.

That said, if you are willing to put in the assembly/testing/support work I'd be glad to help out however I can.

I think the best path to productization is using Nx10mF caps for redundancy and heat distribution, so 4x or 5x 10,000uF in parallel, laid out flat in a 5-sided potting box roughly the size of a slim ballast. The 6th side would be made of aluminum or copper and act as the heat sink. Something along the lines of this:

<a href="http://theeshadow.com/files/volvo/kbowe_splitv2.pdf" target="_blank"><img src="http://theeshadow.com/files/volvo/kbowe_splitv2.jpg"/></a>

Maybe some smart sourcing could bring the BOM cost down. There's still assembly, testing, and support; and unfortunately I just don't have the time these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #498 ·
For posterity sake (and because eventually I'm going to update the spreadsheet):

Edit: For reference, in March, I installed 2 H11 5500k Morimoto HIDs with the resistor adapter modules that help bulb out warnings. 3 months ago, one bulb would fail to ignite so I replaced it (and the ballast/resistor) with a halogen silverstar bulb.
 

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Arduino programmed to monitor the headlight signal for PWM pulsewidth, decide when to turn on HID's, activate HID's with relay, to avoid bulb warning, either use resistor or connect headlight power to the foglights and let the foglights be your DRL's.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #500 ·
Arduino programmed to monitor the headlight signal for PWM pulsewidth, decide when to turn on HID's, activate HID's with relay, to avoid bulb warning, either use resistor or connect headlight power to the foglights and let the foglights be your DRL's.
No need for arduino, you can use a relay harness directly with a small capacitor to eliminate buzzing. It's not a "plug and play" solution and requires lots of hacking/redirecting/additional wire. You lose independent control of the fog lights, which violates US law of 4 active lights.

There have been a number of electronic solutions proposed over the years, I think one fellow actually implemented this successfully. In general, with increasing complexity comes decreasing reliability, not to mention the additional difficulty of implementation.

I put a lot of time into trying to find a better way, the KBOWE is by far the simplest and most effective solution. It uses the stock wiring safely with a minimum number of components and a large safety margin (headlights are a safety critical system).
 
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