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Old 06-13-2011, 12:50 AM   #1
SuperCruise OP
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Alternative heated grip controller

My Oxford heated grip controlled failed on me 1/3 of the way into a 21 000 km trip. I never liked the push button control pad, the buttons being too awkward to push and the LEDs too hard to see in all but the darkest of conditions. As such, even though I could have had the controller replaced under warranty, I decided to put an analog controller in.

First up, out with the old:



Being a long weekend here in Oz and a desire to get the job done completely over this time, I went for a kit controller from Jaycar instead of having to order and wait for something like a Heat-troller. The one I purchased is here: http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KC5225 at a cost of $A25, plus another $A12 for an external potentiometer, knob, kit box and mounting hardware, so a pretty cheap project all up.

My kit assembly skills were somewhat rusty, but my previous life 20 years ago of being an electronics technician pulled me through. So, despite my work area looking like this:



I managed to produce this.



The circuit is a simple pulse width modulator, which in layman's terms very quickly switches the heated grips on and off, with the controller potentiometer setting the on to off time (more on = hotter). The circuit worked as advertised, but I was not happy that max power happened at only a half setting on the potentiometer whereas I wanted max power at max setting. One strategically placed 4.7K resistor later and the controller performs as I desire, not to mention protecting the circuitry against a possible controller shorted out by water.

The hard part (for me anyway) is the physical mounting of this stuff. Fortunately, it was pretty easy as the Super Tenere has a nice spot on the left hand fairing side to mount the potentiometer, as shown:



There is plenty of space under the seat to mount the circuitry as well as it being one of the more water resistant compartments on the bike. The kit box I bought is pretty water tight but those protruding wires will need silicon sealant to make sure water doesn't get in, something I will do when I am happy that it is working for at least a couple of days.



You'll note that I have the power switch on the kit box, not mounted near the control knob. The beauty of this controller circuit is that with the knob set to minimum the grips are essentially off so there is no need to have a switch and associated wiring mounted up front. So the switch really only required for seasonal changes, which is a good few months off yet here in Canberra, and is easily enough accessible under the seat.

Anyway, the control system works as desired with the min setting having no heat, the max setting giving the heated grips everything and the easy to access knob being able to set anything desired in between. I am very happy with the result and that Oxford controller will never be back to haunt me again.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:31 AM   #2
chammyman
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good mod.

I would be worried about the transistor not having a heatsink though.

Or maybe thats just because I melted something recently as I never fitted a heatsink, "it'll be fine" were the famous last words before meltdown
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:36 AM   #3
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I just bought a small PWM on Fleabay and built it into a factory switch blank.







With an LED of course:

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Old 06-13-2011, 07:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chammyman View Post
good mod.

I would be worried about the transistor not having a heatsink though.
If they used the right FET, it will run cold.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:07 AM   #5
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I built a controller for a pair of heated gloves, the transistor didn't build up any real heat. Just run it for a bit and feel the transistor, if it's running cool just go with it, if it feels hot, get a heat sink.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MotorradMike View Post
If they used the right FET, it will run cold.
Not only that but there are two transitors feeding the FET that speed up its switching and hence further reduces the power it has to dissipate. The kit instructions say the controller can deliver up to 10A without having to heatsink the FET. The heated grips draw about 3.5A max, so all is cool.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
I just bought a small PWM on Fleabay and built it into a factory switch blank.







With an LED of course:

Had I the patience, I would have gone the pre-fabricated PWM like you did but I did have fun putting it all together. I had nice warm hands for the ride into work today
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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The control box on my Oxford hot grips continually drew current. I thought it was the alternator not working but, with help from an mate, I managed to diagnose it to the grip control box.

Buying another set of Oxford Grips is not an option. This is the third set I've had and, whilst these lasted much longer, they don't actually get that many more uses before they failed.

Being an absolute gumby ("tell me everything about boats, fella - I know nothing!!") I need some guidance, very specific guidance, in replacing the switch.

I'll start at Jaycar. I'll copy out the list of bits & go from there.

Then, you blokes may be able to clear up the jargon you all use as I proceed.

Fingers crossed.
Don't think I'll actually be needing them for another 5 months. I've got a bit of time to contemplate the errors I will be making.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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I'm right there with you fellas. My 990 came with Oxford heated grips from the PO, and guess what? The controller box thingy failed. Not the buttony part but the one the buttony thingy connects to. When I took it apart it had seeped water inside and destroyed the circuit board.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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Since I liked the variable heated grips in my post above so much I decided to do it to another one of my bikes. $4 shipped "LED Dimmer" from China on Fleabay:




The whole box wouldn't fit under my dash pad so I removed the controller potentiometer, soldered some longer wires onto it and painted it with epoxy to "waterproof" it. Then I hid the rest of it in my fairing.

This was when I first installed it. I've since replaced the controller knob with one from Warn-n-Safe 'cuz it looks nicer.



I also added a 3mm 12V LED above it so I know it's working and also to make the knob a little easier to find at night.

Been working great for the last few months. Since they're only $4 I bought a couple of spare LED dimmers to have around as backups in case it ever fails.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:44 PM   #11
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Hi, just a thought.

Anyone of you thought of using a simple DC brushed electric motor controller? Just like in RC planes or cars?

I tried it once on a spare headlight. A simple 10A DC Brushed speed controller with a servo tester attached. This is what came up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Eog7...4&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=panVm...3&feature=plcp
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:26 PM   #12
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So, after I discovered that $5 LED PWM module, I had to give it a try.
So far, on a bench, everything works just fine.
On the other hand, I've been wanting to try those 3d printing services for quite a while now - so this was a perfect opportunity. A few hours in a Skethup, and we have this:


I sent the model for printing... a week later I get this in the mail

Pop the potentiometer in there:

...

... attach a thumbwheel:

And we have this:


The actual board will go in a separate box under the faring.
The camera flash makes it look more textured than it really appears, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:01 AM   #13
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That's pretty cool. How much did it cost to have that little box and knob made?
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by duck View Post
That's pretty cool. How much did it cost to have that little box and knob made?
About $40 including shipping. I actually realized afterwards I could have probably done it in half the cost if I connected all parts with small links in one model file - and then just cut them apart.

Naturally, when all costs considered, it's not significantly cheaper than bying a premade one. Hey, journey is the destination :)
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
Since I liked the variable heated grips in my post above so much I decided to do it to another one of my bikes. $4 shipped "LED Dimmer" from China on Fleabay:




The whole box wouldn't fit under my dash pad so I removed the controller potentiometer, soldered some longer wires onto it and painted it with epoxy to "waterproof" it. Then I hid the rest of it in my fairing.

This was when I first installed it. I've since replaced the controller knob with one from Warn-n-Safe 'cuz it looks nicer.



I also added a 3mm 12V LED above it so I know it's working and also to make the knob a little easier to find at night.

Been working great for the last few months. Since they're only $4 I bought a couple of spare LED dimmers to have around as backups in case it ever fails.
I like this solution, which I will use if my Jaycar PWM kit ever gives up the ghost. Thanks,
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