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-   -   Building electric clothing (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113134)

HellSickle 01-08-2006 01:39 PM

Building electric clothing
 
Being an Anal-hypen-Retentive engineer and cheap-ass, I've decided to build my own electic jacket.

Cost so far:
$10 - clearance pile jacket at Target
$20 - 100 ft spool of 30ga wire with teflon insulation
$4 - clearance nylon warm-up jacket with mesh liner.

My plan is to use the nylon warm-up jacket inside-out as the liner. This will place the mesh lining in the middel. I'll weave the 30 gage wire thru the mesh, so no glue or stitching will be required.

From the following site, and from my own calcuations on wire resistivity, it is estimated that 30 -40 feet of wire will be required. The more wire, the lower the power.

http://www.shadowriders.org/faq/electricvests.html

I found that Newark no longer carries this wire, but I found it at the following site:

http://www.mouser.com/index.cfm?&han...10000&crc=true

I plan on attaching the liner to the jacket with minimal stiching at the sleeves, and perhaps along the bottom of the jacket.

I'm still debating on whether to run wires down the arms, or keep it just on the torso. I was orginally going to just build a vest, but realized that if I needed a heated vest, I would most likely be wearing a jacket at the same time.

The only remaining hardware to get is a power connector. I can guarantee that I will sometimes forget to unplug before dismounting, so I need an easy release plug. I'm going to check out some large audio jacks to see if they can handle 3-4 amps of current.

If I don't spontaneously combust, I'll post a pictorial report as I put everything together.

-Jeff-

Yellow Pig 01-08-2006 04:08 PM

I've heard of using a flasher relay for the low power setting of the vest.

GregInBoulder 01-08-2006 05:35 PM

This has the potential of being a truely interesting thread
 
Just don't sign on as a drummer for Spinal Tap. :lol3

SATEX 01-08-2006 06:05 PM

I made an electric vest just about a year ago. It worked great, but while using it on its maiden voyage, I had a nasty crash out in the middle of nowhere in West Texas. When the Life Flight EMT's got there they had to cut it (and my almost new $600 Dainese jacket) to get it off of me.

I healed the broken bones and punctured lung, got the bike fixed, and replaced the jacket with a much cheaper but still effective replacement.

Wanting to blame anything else but my riding skills for the crash (dual sport ride on dirt road, hit rock, thrown off and hit bigger rock, etc.), so I've decided that the electric vest was bad karma. Dual sport riding is supposed to be elemental and somewhat self-abusive, and it was just wrong of me to be comfy and warm while my riding partner was miserable and cold.

I still have lots of the Belden Hookup wire, and when it gets cold out I think about tempting fate again.

HellSickle 01-08-2006 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yellow Pig
I've heard of using a flasher relay for the low power setting of the vest.

The AHR part of me really likes this. I could put in a voltage divider, but then I'd just be throwing that excess power away.

So, it sounds like others have tried this before with the same 30 gage wire. I'll watch out for rocks.

Mainly, I want something that will fit easily under my 'stich for winter commuting. The 'stich is a little tighter than it was when I first got it 8 years ago. :D

-Jeff-

mayday 01-08-2006 09:16 PM

Having the same "cheap" (my wifes' term,I prefer thrifty) gene, I just did the same thing. Bought the kit off ebay that had the wire and a couple of connectors, bought a cheap, lined golf jacket at a discount store; threaded the wires through the jacktet, down the sleeves and on the collar.
Really pleased with the result. Nice warmth diffused throughout. So far, I found the need for a controller a lot less than some of my other accessories (chaps, boot insoles) and so far on/off cycles are not frequent.
Having the heated sleeve/collar turned out to be more pleasant than I would have thought and would now consider a requirement.
Total cost; $45cdn for kit, $14 for jacket, $5 for switch

Lobby 01-09-2006 12:03 PM

:lurk

What you do guys mean "threading" the wires through the mesh? Could you possibly post pics?

Cheap Ryder 01-09-2006 07:38 PM

Magnetize your innards
 
Won't this DC current wrapped around your body turn the iron in your blood into a magnet? I have used electrics for years, wouldn't be without. Where I work we sell one of the major brands and their heat controller just pulses the current at a slow rate for low and a faster and faster rate till high is on all the time. When I ride I turn the stuff on when it is cold and turn it off when it gets warm. One time I wired up some electric socks, you know the kind that run on a couple of D cells. I used a light bulb to drop the voltage and ran them off my bike's battery. Everything worked fine till the bulb got shorted across and I had 12 volts going to my electric socks meant for 3 volts. Did I mention I was wearing buckle up motocross boots? I ended up with the bottom of my toes branded by this little red hot wire.

HellSickle 01-09-2006 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lobby
:lurk

What you do guys mean "threading" the wires through the mesh? Could you possibly post pics?

I'll do pic's as I go along. I'm still looking for the right liner jacket. It will be a windbreaker with one of those mesh liners.

The wire is .020" OD. I plan on taking 30' of wire, working out a budget for front, arms, and back, and weaving the appropriate length thru each section. Once the wire is woven into the liner, the jacket will be turned inside out and sewn inside a light pile jacket.

My wife is making sure that my life insurance is paid up. :D

It's a pretty simple exercise in math. The wire has a fixed resistance per foot. Power = V^2/R. V=12. R is taylored to give the proper power. I'm shooting for 30-40 W for the entire jacket. The less wire, the higher the power. I'll probably want about 30-35' of wire.

-Jeff-

HellSickle 01-09-2006 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheap Ryder
Won't this DC current wrapped around your body turn the iron in your blood into a magnet? I have used electrics for years, wouldn't be without. Where I work we sell one of the major brands and their heat controller just pulses the current at a slow rate for low and a faster and faster rate till high is on all the time. When I ride I turn the stuff on when it is cold and turn it off when it gets warm. One time I wired up some electric socks, you know the kind that run on a couple of D cells. I used a light bulb to drop the voltage and ran them off my bike's battery. Everything worked fine till the bulb got shorted across and I had 12 volts going to my electric socks meant for 3 volts. Did I mention I was wearing buckle up motocross boots? I ended up with the bottom of my toes branded by this little red hot wire.

Sorry, that would only happen if my body were really, really, really, really, rich in iron. The screws in my knee and staples in my insides are stainless, thus would make poor magnets. :D

Hey, maybe it will be easier to trip traffic signals?

-Jeff-

Hair 01-10-2006 06:39 AM

When you think of it you could just wrap up in an old electric blanket. Convert the plug and you are good to go. :lol3

ZZR_Ron 01-10-2006 07:06 AM

Screw that flasher stuff. Do you want the schematic for one of my vest controllers? Simple and effective. You have to order a special transistor though, they have a low "on" resistance, which means you don't have to use a heat sink.

Yellow Pig 01-10-2006 07:28 AM

Just us a road guard vest as a liner to weave the wire through, then stitch that into a fleece jacket.

Lobby 01-10-2006 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yellow Pig
Just us a road guard vest as a liner to weave the wire through, then stitch that into a fleece jacket.

What's that?

Flood 01-10-2006 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lobby
What's that?


I guess he means this:

http://www.bge.de/bge/m93/bild1.jpg


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