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Old 11-10-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
Ratman OP
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Winter's here, electric gear

It's getting cold out there. I safety pinned my homade electric heat shirt into my riding jacket today.....and thought that some other cheap bastids might like to see how I made it.

For this shirt I made it from a perforated sports t-shirt, and cut it down the front so I could pin it into a jacket.

I either use 38 to 40 feet of 30Ga stranded copper wire (uses about 4 amps), or 55 to 60 feet of 26ga (uses about 5 amps). The pictures that follow are of the 30 ga.

Here's a good wire routing....
From odds and ends


BTW you can click on these shirt pictures. That will take you to a page where you can click on a zoom tool, upper right.

Show's short sleeve electric shirt pinned into my riding jacket.
From odds and ends


Shows wires run in left breast and safety pin method as well as electrical connection on left.
From odds and ends


Jacket with arms prepared to put jacket on. Good picture to use the zoom tool.
From odds and ends


Back section...use roughly 2/3s the allotted wire in front and 1/3 in the back.
From odds and ends


Electrical connection come out just to left of belt buckle.
From odds and ends


I securely sew the electrical connection to the shirt fabric. I use heat shrink tubing at the connections to the small wires.
From odds and ends


Remember the closer that your heat gear is to your body the more heat effect you get. If you wore a heat shirt in place of a t-shirt, you could stay warm with a couple amps or less if you use several layers on top of it as well as a jacket.

I like putting my gear between layers where it doesn't require a heat controller. If you have experience with placement...you can save yourself the cost of a controller.

A cheap controller can be made with an electronic flasher by wiring your heat gear to use the flasher or omit it. That will cut you heat down to nearly 1/2.

BTW, 30ga wire is used in household tele extension cord....and 26ga is often used in, in wall, commercial tele wiring, or you can buy 26 ga at Frys.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
9Dave
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Moved to Equipment forum.

Nice work.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Dave View Post
Moved to Equipment forum.

Nice work.
I debated where to put this thread, 9Dave. I reasoned that equipment is something that you buy....and you build things in the garage, unless your wife will let you in the house.

At any rate, thanks for locating it correctly.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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Very nice.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:07 PM   #5
SteelB12
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SO how much did this cost you to make and how well does it work??
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:32 AM   #6
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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 used....it gets confusing.

Wait till you see my heat pants...
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
Maggot12
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awesome

Thanks for sharing...just gotta go hunt down some phone cable
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #8
mwood7800
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I bought a heated jacket from a goldwing guy 10 yr ago for 50 bucks on fleabag. Never seen another one like it , damn thing is silver, insulated, waterproof and nice looking. It does have a gerbing tag. I rode the blueridge last month and the temp in am was 37, all I wore underneath was a t shirt. I wouldn't take 350 for it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Thanks for sharing...just gotta go hunt down some phone cable
Thanks, Maggot12, there's no sense keeping this stuff to myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwood7800 View Post
I bought a heated jacket from a goldwing guy 10 yr ago for 50 bucks on fleabag. Never seen another one like it ,....... ......all I wore underneath was a t shirt. I wouldn't take 350 for it.
Commercial heat gear is good also. I have an old Widder vest that I no longer use since the connectors don't match and I don't know where my homade adapter cable is.

........also I just like making stuff.....and learning stuff, and sharing what I know. I also like finding out what others have done. There's another heat gear thread on ADV with good info in it....like how to make your own controller.....all good stuff.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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Observations

First a word about commercial heat gear. It's good stuff, They usually uses a lot of watts, (something that motos aren't known for a lot of), and together with a heat controller work quite well with not much effort or thought per ride.

...........once you've located a good method of mounting the HC. Also don't forget that using a lot of watts with the commercial gear doesn't leave you much for auxiliary Light, hand heaters, and leg and foot heat.

If you're bike is watt challenged, you can still have all the accessories by making gear that is/are watts frugal.

For instance the red jacket heat liner above isn't nearly as watts efficient as the white heat shirt above. The jacket liner is away from the body, but, in it's defense, it's easy to throw that jacket on to go for a ride if the days not too cold....and you won't be out at night when you might be using your extra driving lights, and on and on.

The shirt can be used closer to your body where the heat does the most good, and extra insulation (like an extra shirt on top, only makes it better. For making the most use of the heat, you wear it on top of your Undershirt. You'd prolly need a HC for that. Remember that you can build whatever you want if the heat shirt is too hot....add a little extra wire to the next one.

You have to be 2 things to make your own gear. You need to be a tinkerer, and you have to realize that you can't buy what you really want.

Once you've developed the skills and knowledge to make heat gear, for another 10 dollars and an afternoon, you can whip up another new idea to try out on your next ride.

I've probably made 10 pieces of heat gear. The first 5 weren't robust enough physically. Like for instance I used solid wire for the first one. The wire kinked and broke. It took me a while to learn how to splice small
wire and make the connector connections.

All these teething issues are what I'm trying to save you from. I hope this help someone. And I freely admit that I won't make my next shirt like I made the last one, and my methods aren't the best way. I just documented them here to give you all more ideas to start with.


While I'm making this post let me give you a couple pictures of my hot water heater for coffee, soup, dried food, or....
I started out with a 1 Qt thermos (thrift store), and added some wire (enough to use 10 amps of juice)
From odds and ends


That's 26 ga wire and about 40 ft of it....The lead in wire has to be long enough to get into the liquid. Takes about 30 minute of riding to boil 2 cups of water.
From odds and ends
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #11
rjsurfer
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If your bike has a small stator like mine there are a few things you can do to allow heated gear to work properly without discharging your battery.

HID headlight saves you 30 watts or so.

LED brake/running light, good for 10 watts.

LED turn signals a few more watts.

Run direct 12 or 14 gauge wire from your reg/inverter straight to battery.

Install voltmeter, worth it's weight in gold you can continually check the charging voltage. Even better get a current meter, a little more involved install (you need a shunt) but it tells you whether your charging or discharging your battery in no uncertain terms.

Turn your heated gear off about 5 minutes before your destination just to top off your battery before shutting down.

If you have a 2 headlight system install a cutoff switch to turn one light off.

Get the kick start option if it's available on your bike

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsurfer View Post
If your bike has a small stator like mine there are a few things you can do to allow heated gear to work properly without discharging your battery.
All good ways to save watts, RJ. The trouble is that if you're into making heat gear because you want to save money, Then these watt savers eat up your bucks since they are kinda pricy.

That just means you have to put thought into the route you want to go. The first step is having a good idea what your bike will put out.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
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.
My 'stich jacket came with a simple in-line switch. Sounds like it would be inconvenient to turn the juice on then off then on then off then on and on and on, but it works well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
The shirt can be used closer to your body where the heat does the most good, and extra insulation (like an extra shirt on top, only makes it better. For making the most use of the heat, you wear it on top of your Undershirt. You'd prolly need a HC for that. Remember that you can build whatever you want if the heat shirt is too hot....add a little extra wire to the next one.
Thanks for this thread. I've been thinking lately about why a jacket is the wrong piece to heat. I believe my ideal would be a full-zip thin sweater or full-zip bicycling jersey (sans rear pockets). My jacket has pockets and multiple layers and whatnot that make it a versatile jacket, but the cost is that it doesn't work that well as an inner layer. It is not exactly bulky and not exactly stiff, but it is still bulky and stiff enough to be a jacket and not a shirt.

The main stumbling block that I have to making an electric inner layer is the routing of the wire. I usually tuck a wind layer into my pants to eliminate any gaps. Lack of gaps is good for keeping out cold, but I haven't figured out how to route wires through it. Wire routing will be different, of course, for each rider and each combination of clothing.

EDIT: PVC insulation is usually rated to 105C, or a bit over boiling temperature. Silicone up to 150C, and teflon up to 200C. & Mouser offers wire with very-high strand counts, i.e. 24ga with 19 strands of 36ga. Most common, though, is 7 strands which is a bit stiffer.
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Grinnin screwed with this post 11-13-2012 at 05:52 AM
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
My 'stich jacket came with a simple in-line switch. Sounds like it would be inconvenient to turn the juice on then off then on then off then on and on and on, but it works well.

EDIT: PVC insulation is usually rated to 105C, or a bit over boiling temperature. Silicone up to 150C, and teflon up to 200C. & Mouser offers wire with very-high strand counts, i.e. 24ga with 19 strands of 36ga. Most common, though, is 7 strands which is a bit stiffer.
Thanks for adding to the thread, Grinnin. I've used on/off switches also. As it may take 10 minutes or more to cycle from too hot to too cold if the switch is easy to operate, it works well.

Once you get the heat layer closer to the body the on/off time shortens quite a bit.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:37 AM   #15
bomber60015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Thanks for adding to the thread, Grinnin. I've used on/off switches also. As it may take 10 minutes or more to cycle from too hot to too cold if the switch is easy to operate, it works well.

Once you get the heat layer closer to the body the on/off time shortens quite a bit.
I agree -- the switch has an added benefit -- mine has nover malfunctioned, and if it did, say, in themiddle of a long, lofe changing ride, I could fix or replace it easily, damn never anywhere.
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