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Old 01-08-2006, 01:39 PM   #1
HellSickle OP
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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-
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Old 01-08-2006, 04:08 PM   #2
Yellow Pig
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I've heard of using a flasher relay for the low power setting of the vest.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:35 PM   #3
GregInBoulder
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This has the potential of being a truely interesting thread

Just don't sign on as a drummer for Spinal Tap.
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:05 PM   #4
SATEX
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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.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:24 PM   #5
HellSickle OP
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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.

-Jeff-
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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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
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:03 PM   #7
Lobby
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What you do guys mean "threading" the wires through the mesh? Could you possibly post pics?
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Old 01-09-2006, 07:38 PM   #8
Cheap Ryder
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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.
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Old 01-09-2006, 10:37 PM   #9
HellSickle OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobby


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.

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-
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:12 PM   #10
Fred H.
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I used the wire mentioned in the first post in this thread. It is Belden Teflon coated 30 gage stranded silver plated copper wire, purchased from Mouser for $25 for 100 ft.

Mouser Part #: 566-83000-100-09
Manufacturer Part #: 83000 009100
Manufacturer: Belden CDT
Description: Hook-Up Wire 30AWG UL1213 WHT
Page: 858, Data Sheet
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:24 PM   #11
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Hey, Fred,

I suffer from "frozen toe"(old injuries) so was really interested in your insoles.

How many feet of wire did you use on the insoles, and how hot do they get? I assumed from your comments they were a bit warm. Have you tried to wire in series yet? Direct switch or modulator?

Some of this is still a bit confusing to me. Does more wire add heat or reduce heat?

I've done some experimenting on warming my frozen toe. I run around barefoot till my toe aches then warm it up with a heating pad.

High heat feels good but makes my feet swell.

Standing on the pad will warm the feet, but takes a long time for the great toe to recover.

The pad on top of the foot is good at keeping the foot warm and needs less heat.

I'm considering makeing a tongue to fit on top of my foot. My boot has a lot of room.

I could just make an oversock, but I would feel the wires, besides I can't find one big enough. I would need a thin sock size 15-16.

Hold on now, the wheels are turning as I type this. Split a dress sock and stitch it to an inner sole. I may be able to gain a bit in size and have a padded bottom, hmmmm. Wires on the outside of the sole and on the inside of the sock. Now I can change socks as necessary and not have to constantly wash the electrics. I hate dirty socks.

any constructive comments are welcome
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:05 AM   #12
Fred H.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetourist
Hey, Fred,

Some of this is still a bit confusing to me. Does more wire add heat or reduce heat?


Hold on now, the wheels are turning as I type this. Split a dress sock and stitch it to an inner sole. I may be able to gain a bit in size and have a padded bottom, hmmmm. Wires on the outside of the sole and on the inside of the sock. Now I can change socks as necessary and not have to constantly wash the electrics. I hate dirty socks.

any constructive comments are welcome
A short wire gets real hot over a smaller area due to the low resistance (direct short) and high current.

A longer wire has more resistance, so it will draw less current, and heat to a lower temperature, but the heat will be applied over a larger area since the wire is longer.

It is a balancing act to getting the wire length right. You need it to get hot enough to provide heat, but no so hot to burn, and you really want to minimize current draw to no more than what you absolutly need so you don't make the electrical system work too hard. You also have to keep in mind how you want the heat spread out, since more wire will be needed to get the heat spread over a larger area.

To sum it up, a longer wire has more resistance, so it will draw less current, provide less watts, and heat to a lower overall temperature accross the length of the wire. A shorter wire will have less resistance, and will draw more current, provide more watts of heat, and get to a higher temperature.

Also, keep in mind, that the closer the wire is the skin, the less heat you will need, so you can reduce the wattage needed, and increase the effectivness by keeping it closer to the skin. However, if you put the wire right against the skin, you will probably end up with one spot that feels real hot, and another that is cold. So again, it is a balancing act. You need a thin layer of material between you and the wire. Not so thin that the wire will burn, but not so thick that it slows the heat transfer.

I don't know if this will work out on the underside of the insole or not as it has to heat up the insole and gel before the heat transfers, but it does make for a nice uniform distribution of the heat once it gets warm. I will have to do some more experimenting before I decide on the final design. I may have to move the wire to the top side of the insole, even though I would rather have it on the bottom.

Your suggestion about cutting off the top portion of a sock and attaching it to the front of the insole to provide heat for the top of the foot sounds like a good idea, and I may try that.

I initially used 10ft of wire, but I don't think that is enough, even with two wired in series. I will increase it to 15ft per insole and see if that reduces the current draw enough. This will mean with two insoles in series, the whole circuit will consist of 30ft of wire. I will test this out and let you know how it goes.

Fred H. screwed with this post 12-04-2006 at 08:19 AM
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:14 PM   #13
thetourist
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Thanks Fred, I think I finally got it. Long wire...spreads the heat out, short wire...arc welder. Looks like I need to order up some wire.

what is the best way to connect these tiny little wires? Will they solder? I don't want to let the smoke out.

gzzzzzht
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:39 PM   #14
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A couple of weeks ago somebody smart posted here about a $40 down-filled jacket from Target that he wears over his heated liner, and under his jacket.

I bought one of these on sale for $35 at Target, and finally had a chance to try it today, cruising at 80mph in ~40 degree damp weather, with my Gerbings jacket liner underneath and HeatTroller set on low/medium. WARM AS TOAST! This is as comfy as I've ever been in winter riding conditions and was money well spent. I usually have hot spots with the Gerbings, as I usually have to crank the heat up. With the goose down insulation, however, the HeatTroller is on lower setting and makes no hot spots. The down holds the heat in and distributes it nicely.

Therefore, for those who are considering making their own electrically heated gear, you may want to seriously consider this Target jacket as a fine candidate into which to install your hot wires. This thing packs pretty compactly, and does not look bad, either. Has a high color to keep the neck warm, drawstring waist, and velcro tabs at the cuffs. Available in several two-tone colors, including blue/navy and charcoal/black. Check it out.

RSL screwed with this post 12-04-2006 at 08:51 PM
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:44 AM   #15
Uncle Pollo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL
A couple of weeks ago somebody smart posted here about a $40 down-filled jacket from Target that he wears over his heated liner, and under his jacket.

I bought one of these on sale for $35 at Target, and finally had a chance to try it today, cruising at 80mph in ~40 degree damp weather, with my Gerbings jacket liner underneath and HeatTroller set on low/medium. WARM AS TOAST! This is as comfy as I've ever been in winter riding conditions and was money well spent. I usually have hot spots with the Gerbings, as I usually have to crank the heat up. With the goose down insulation, however, the HeatTroller is on lower setting and makes no hot spots. The down holds the heat in and distributes it nicely.

Therefore, for those who are considering making their own electrically heated gear, you may want to seriously consider this Target jacket as a fine candidate into which to install your hot wires. This thing packs pretty compactly, and does not look bad, either. Has a high color to keep the neck warm, drawstring waist, and velcro tabs at the cuffs. Available in several two-tone colors, including blue/navy and charcoal/black. Check it out.


I told ya you would love it.

25 f ... t-shirt, electrics on "2", down jacket, lined leather jacket,
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