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Old 11-11-2012, 08:32 AM   #6
Ratman OP
Lucky Rider
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Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Baja is good
Oddometer: 1,211
Originally Posted by SteelB12 View Post
SO how much did this cost you to make and how well does it work??
We're talking shirt (thrift store, $2), wire and connector, under 10 dollars. The shirt provides good heat. It make riding down to 45degrees comfortable. It won't burn you as long as there is a layer of cloth between you and the wires.

Vinyl insulation is good to 160 degrees....I imagine it maybe gets up to 120-140.

Here's a tip....if your jacket allows much of an air pocket between your body and the heat shirt, it doesn't work as well. Keeping the shirt next to the body is important.

I've safety pinned three 5" strips of elastic onto the side of the jacket under the arms, each side in order to tighten the jacket to my body. It's worth the effort if it's cold and your jacket is blousey.

If its already too hot, then just add another shirt under the jacket. I try to avoid heat controllers, as they are too complicated for me.

But some days are too cold for this system. As you add more layers under the heating element, the heat shirt gets farther from the thing you're heating (your body). That's kinda working against you.

So since these things are so cheap, I made another shirt out of the same Material that is stand alone. This a pull over that goes over an undershirt....or can be pulled over an undershirt and another shirt to cool it down a bit....often 2 undershits beneath is the ticket.

It can also be hooked in conjunction to the above Jacket because it has 2 connectors in parallel....which uses less than 10amps. Not often would you need both connected at once. I usually connect my heat pants to one of the connectors.

Stand alone heat shirt...
From Odds and ends

These pictures are zoomable...
From Odds and ends

Twin connectors sewn firmly to the shirt....
From Odds and ends

A few uses of these shirt and you soon can estimate how to use them for the conditions that you know that you'll be riding in that day. This last shirt is so small that I can pack it with me almost anywhere on the bike for emergency use.

BTW, an easy way to string the wire into these shirts is to get a 5/64ths piece of wire 8" long. Drill a small hole in one end to super glue the wire into, then sharpen the other end. Now you are ready to string wire.

Another tip is to mark your wire with a marker pen every 5 ft so you will easily know home much wire you have gets confusing.

Wait till you see my heat pants...
Ratman.......Pete .... My Solo Continental Divide Ride
....and of course, Luck beats good...
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