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Old 11-24-2010, 02:56 AM   #16
John Smallberries OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill P.
... I have at least one reservation regarding the PDM60 ...
I sent a note to Ida at Aerostich customer service (she sent me the manual) with your questions. I'll post whatever answer I get. I'd like to understand this as well.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:23 PM   #17
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Answers from Ida

OK;
Ida from Aerostich has answered many of the questions and promised more answers on Friday.

"The Red Power Lead and the Black Ground Lead are 16". The input and output wires are all 18" long.

The Ground connectors that are provided are 18" long and are 14 AWG. The end which slides into the module has two small tabs on the terminal should be facing down towards the Input/Output wires. The other end of the ground wires is bare. (See picture attached)

All of the wires are bare on the ends allowing for splitting to what ever device that would be desired. Connecting the gray wire (plug position 8) to the battery makes all circuits hot all the time."

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Old 11-25-2010, 07:18 AM   #18
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More?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill P.
I, too, am interested in this device, as: 1) I received the Aerostich catalog in today's mail, and; 2) I was thinking about cleaning up my accessory wiring as a Winter project.

However, I have at least one reservation regarding the PDM60 so far. This concerns circuit 1, the circuit that can be controlled by a user-supplied switch. If I understand the documentation correctly (thanks, John Smallberries, for posting that), that circuit is always hot if you enable it to be externally switched. This means, in what I see as a real-world typical application, that someone could come along, hit the switch to turn on your added driving lights on your parked bike, and walk away (or, you, yourself, could forget to turn them off). Right?

Now, you could always add a relay to, say, one of the other two 15-amp circuits, and a switch to the relay trigger, but this sort of defeats one of the major advantages of the electronics of this gizmo.

A couple of other comments. Unless I'm having a senior moment or two, I don't see any specs regarding the lengths of the included wires (the ones built into the connector). Be nice to know that; this would determine how many posi-lock connectors (or similar) you'd need to be working with, to connect all your added farkles.

Last, I'd also like to see some documentation regarding both the type of ground connectors provided and the min/max range of wire sizes they can accommodate. That is, are we talking about screw-downs on the wires, slip-over blade connectors, etc.?

Executive summary: I think it's an interesting concept, I think it has at least one flaw - the user-switchable circuit - and I'd like more details.
I believe your assessment of the externally-switched circuit is correct and a secondary relay tied to one of the other circuits would be needed to ensure nothing works without the ignition key. I found this solid state Hella relay: http://www.rallylights.com/detail.aspx?ID=435.

It's a bit pricey, but would retain the solid-state nature of the project.

As I interpret the photo from Ida, all the connections to any devices (power or ground) are done with the bare wire ends from the connector leads. They include additional leads for direct grounds (shown in the photo) that snap into the unused ports in the connector body. The other bare wire end would need to be spliced into the ground of the device. I see lots of these needed for this project:

http://www.posi-lock.com/positite.html

I plan to wire up my 1200GS with:
- Clearwater Kristas (with their own complex wiring harness)
- power for heated gear
- power for iPhone and/or Zumo
- power for my airbag jacket connection sensor (once the disc battery wears out)

This thing should do the trick. I just want to ensure I do a proper job of routing and attaching to proudly post photos here.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill P.
However, I have at least one reservation regarding the PDM60 so far. This concerns circuit 1, the circuit that can be controlled by a user-supplied switch. If I understand the documentation correctly (thanks, John Smallberries, for posting that), that circuit is always hot if you enable it to be externally switched. This means, in what I see as a real-world typical application, that someone could come along, hit the switch to turn on your added driving lights on your parked bike, and walk away (or, you, yourself, could forget to turn them off). Right?
Why would you connect driving lights to that circuit?
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59
Why would you connect driving lights to that circuit?
On the bikes I've had, I've always connected driving lights to a switch, in order to turn them off when not needed, when idling in stop and go traffic (i.e., when the alternator may not be up to the task), etc.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:56 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smallberries
need to be spliced into the ground of the device. I see lots of these needed for this project:
http://www.posi-lock.com/positite.html
I don't see any need for the Positite connectors unless you intend to submerge your GS for LONG periods of time...

I have been using the standard PosiLock connectors on my sidecar rigs for many years of rain/snow/road-salt abuse with not one single failure.

Just give a squirt of dielectric grease into the end before you tighten down to keep moisture out if you are really worried...
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:01 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill P.
On the bikes I've had, I've always connected driving lights to a switch, in order to turn them off when not needed, when idling in stop and go traffic (i.e., when the alternator may not be up to the task), etc.
yeah.... and then why wouldn't you put them on an ignition controlled circuit so when the key is off and you're inherently not driving, your driving lights for driving are then off? I'm not understanding your logic either.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:06 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spam16v
yeah.... and then why wouldn't you put them on an ignition controlled circuit so when the key is off and you're inherently not driving, your driving lights for driving are then off? I'm not understanding your logic either.
It's my understanding, from reading through the documentation of the PDM60, that:

1) There is a built-in (i.e., you don't add your own relay) provision for adding a switch to only one of the six circuits.
2) And if you make use of that provision, it changes that circuit from an ignition-on circuit into a circuit controlled only by the switch (i.e., no longer by the ignition). Or maybe that circuit is always hot, regardless; I'm not sure.

Of course, I may have misinterpreted the documentation, but I believe I am correct. I am referring to the "Optional switch input" discussion on the second page. It states, when opting to add your own switch, that:

The optional switch input controls the #1 circuit and is for loads up to 15 AMPS. To enable the switch, simply route the blue wire (Connector Pin 1) to a low current SPST (Single Pole Single Throw - On/Off) switch. Route the other side of the switch to ground, preferable on the ground buss of the PDM60. Circuit 1 is not controlled by the ignition trigger wire. This circuit is intended for use with driving lamps or other accessories which you would not likely forget to turn off.

So, by way of explanation, that sums up what I think of as a shortcoming. That is, the device provides one easy method of adding a switch to control one circuit, but that circuit is always hot. And, as they say, it then becomes your responsibility to not "forget to turn [it] off."

I've added Motolights to each of my last three bikes. (I realize they are not great driving lights. I mostly appreciate their rugged construction and use them more for conspicuity than for added illumination for my use. But let's not go there just now, okay?) In any event, I've always had a switch to turn them on and off whenever I felt that it was appropriate to do so, and I've always had them powered via a relay, which in turn was triggered by something that was on only when the ignition was switched on (i.e., they could not be inadvertantly left on, nor could someone flip them on when the bike was parked).

Now - again, if I understand the documention - you can certainly add a relay and a switch to one of the other circuits in the device. But if you do so, you're turning the device into an expensive "manual" fuse block, is all. That is, you're not making much use of the electronics in the device; that is, the device is not functioning as a sort of super-relay for you, and - it seems to me - you might as well just use one of the other less expensive fuse blocks that John referred to in his original post (except that, yes, you still get the benefit of solid-state "fuses"). (And I realize that you could skip the relay, and just put an in-line switch into one of your farkles that's using one of the other circuits, but it's been my experience that putting full juice in a series switch is not a great idea.)

I'm not trying to be cantankerous or a smart-aleck here. I hope I've just made a better explanation of what I see as a shortcoming. I'd rather that there was a provision for just as easily adding an optional switch to something that was still, ultimately, controlled by the ignition. I can see the use of always-on circuits (e.g., an alarm). And I can see the use of no switches on an ignition-controlled circuit (I do this now, for instance, for running lights - I changed the front turn signals from single-filament to dual-filament sockets and bulbs). And I can see the usefulness of adding a switch to an ignition-controlled circuit (e.g., my Motolights). But I cannot see the usefulness of adding a switch to an always-hot circuit; I imagine that someone has a good use for that, but I certainly would prefer an easily-added switch for an ignition controlled circuit.

That's all I'm saying. Make sense to anyone else? Don't any of you have switchable driving lights? And if you do, don't you prefer not to have to remember to turn them off (if they were on) when you turn off the bike? If you answered "Yes" to these questions, or you were adding new lights, wouldn't it be nice to be able to skip the relay and associated wiring, especially if you just spent $109 on a control box?

Bill P. screwed with this post 11-25-2010 at 03:44 PM
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:33 AM   #24
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I have what may be a dumb question. I looked at the specs. on this unit. I see three 5 amp circuits and three 15 amp circuits. It would seem that the 5 amp circuits might be of little use. Kind of like the 5 amp connector on the rear of my GS. Inadequate for any of my needs. Am I way off base here?
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby60
I have what may be a dumb question. I looked at the specs. on this unit. I see three 5 amp circuits and three 15 amp circuits. It would seem that the 5 amp circuits might be of little use. Kind of like the 5 amp connector on the rear of my GS. Inadequate for any of my needs. Am I way off base here?
The 5A circuits would be fine for LED lights, a GPS or an intercom system, but not enough power for clothing, horns or regular driving/fog lights.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:40 AM   #26
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Limitations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby60
I have what may be a dumb question. I looked at the specs. on this unit. I see three 5 amp circuits and three 15 amp circuits. It would seem that the 5 amp circuits might be of little use. Kind of like the 5 amp connector on the rear of my GS. Inadequate for any of my needs. Am I way off base here?
I think this is the most fundamental limitation of the device: lack of flexibility in current fusing.

My initial view was to use the two 15 amp circuits for aux lights and heated clothing. Now that I fully understand the Clearwater Krista lights - I will likely change that. These lights come with a fairly sophisticated control module and wiring harness of their own and recommend a direct battery connection with inline fuse included. This controller is intended to be tied to the ignition, for which one of the 5-amp circuits would work fine. This is overkill. I could tie directly into an ignition-switched circuit as this is only a "turn me on" signal, not a significant current load.

I also learned the my 1200GS has an unused pigtail taped up near the handle bars that provides an ignition-controlled power lead for a GPS. I could use this for my iPhone and/or Zumo (if I take the plunge on this expensive gadget).

So - I may end up having a free 15 amp circuit (still want a fused lead for heat), use one 5-amp for the Kristas, one 5-amp for various aux LEDs (airbag sensor, LEDs on my handle guards, etc.) I may also include a simple USB adaptor to charge my Cardo Scala G4 unit.

I realize I could also forgo this module altogether with the tiniest of fuse blocks being all I really need.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #27
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I recently saw a fancy power distribution unit that has a remote wireless control panel to let you switch on/off any of the circuit and it can be used as temperature control for the heated gear too:

http://www.arborealsystems.com/Dispatch_1.html
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:30 PM   #28
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Display

Quote:
Originally Posted by testrider
I recently saw a fancy power distribution unit that has a remote wireless control panel to let you switch on/off any of the circuit and it can be used as temperature control for the heated gear too:

http://www.arborealsystems.com/Dispatch_1.html
Great idea - obnoxious, huge, ugly-ass display/control unit! It looks like it belongs on a factory-floor lathe, not a motorcycle.

Good to have options!
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:03 AM   #29
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More info from Aerostich

Pete, one of the technical experts at Aerostich, sent me more information in response to the questions posted:

"The PDM (and all output circuits) is grounded by the main ground cable (either to the negative terminal on the battery or to the frame). If a direct ground to a device is desired, you would plug one of the included ground wires (16" black wires with attached connector) into the opening above the corresponding circuit wire and complete the circuit using your own wires and splices.

If driving lights were wired to Circuit #1 they would be able to be activated by passersby (unless, perhaps deactivated by a second hidden switch?) Personally, I think the Circuit #1 would be a good choice for GPS, alarm system, or auxillary power outlet (or all of these). In areas prone to tampering, using one of the ignition switched circuits, might be a safer option for driving lights.

The PDM60 is a very adaptable device, limited only by the creativity of the user. There is almost no way to damage the unit and if something is wired incorrectly will provide you with an error message in which case you correct the problem and reset the unit.

I hope that helps. Let me know if we can clarify anything.

Pete

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Old 11-27-2010, 11:45 AM   #30
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It appears that the positive leads already come attached and the ground leads can be added as needed.
If you only use a few of the circuits you are going to be left with a big bundle of wires,or else you cut them off.
Too bad they don't sent the colored positive wires loose,like the grounds.Then you use only what you need.

Otherwise,seems like a nice system!

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