$35.00 Heated Jacket Liner (DIY)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by 65 Flathead, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    Thanks Yaatri, I am honored. I made my first pair of glove liners 5 years ago and I'm still at it. Everything a found on the web was based on 30awg copper except one reference to 26ga nichrome. I located bare wire which I learned to cover it with 1/16" shrink tube. I tested my 54" / 15 watt sections to see if the wire would get hot enough to melt the shrink tube. It never got too hot to handle, in fact not even hot enough to shrink the tubing but the radiant warmth was excellent. My 15w glove liners were adequate down into the low 20's however, I did have to turn my controller all the way up a few times. Later I used two 15w loops in each glove which allows me to heat the gloves very quickly if my hands get cold while I'm off the bike and gives redundancy in case one wire breaks. I also carry spare glove liners on long trips.

    I have incurred a number of breaks in the nichrome. Call it a trade off for the luxury of 2.6 ohms per foot. Once I altered my original jacket design which concealed the wires and stitched them on so they would be visible and readily accessible, repairs became easy. I use unshielded crimp connectors and then fill them with solder and cover with shrink tube. I carry connectors and a crimp tool for quick repairs while on road trips and solder them when I get home. My jacket liner is grossly overbuilt @120w max so it works well even if one loop goes out.

    I have needed my 15w insoles only at sustained highway speeds in the low to mid 20's - but they're great. Unlike most I've seen, I put most of the heat across the tops of my toes where I felt the cold most.

    Anyway, my designs are in no way perfect but tested and workable. Until a better material and technique comes along, "the path of least resistance" :oscaris to continue to use and maintain this design. I'll be happy to share my experience good and bad further. There is also a good amount of information in the captions under each picture in my smugmug.

    http://kphenix.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...-Jacket/4152228_N9Zwdf#!i=242565001&k=3N6hX5W
  2. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    Thank you, multistranded nichrome is what I am searching for. Al I have turned up is Alibaba listing Chinese bulk supliers
    Yes, it was you. Thank you for that link. Some manufacutrers/suppliers do like talking to DIYers. One supplier in New York sent me some headless bolts, threaded at both ends with unthreaded portion in the middle. I needed it when I broke one while putting back the throttle body on my Mazda Millenia. I was working in the dark with a flashlight and learnt a lesson that never try to do anything under conditions when your frustration s can easily take hold.
  3. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    Overall, excellent job Ken. I have a few comments though. With one 54 inches long loop of 26 gauge nichrome will give you about 12 watts. A single loop of about 40 inches will give you 16 watts. Two 54 inch loops in parallel will give you 24 watts.One 40 inch loop will get hot to touch, about while 54 inch loop will not. A 51 inch or so single loop of 28 gauge will give you 8 watts and two of those in parallel will give you 16 watts. These numbers are different from what you found out. This could mean that either the resistivity of nichrorme or battery voltage that I used in my calculations are different from yours. I can calculate how hot a wire could get when it's placed in still air at standard temperature and pressure, but not when it's sewn on to a material. It would get hotter when it's not in free air as long as the air temperature is close to the standard temp. It would not get as hot, may even remain cool to touch if the ambient temperature is very low. When the wire is sewn on to a material, the temp in the wire's environment is not as low as the air temp, which could be as low as 20 to 30 degrees. The temp of surrounding material determines how hot the wire will get. Assuming that the temp of the surroundings is close too the body temperature, the wire will get hotter than it would when in free air. If these assumptions of mine are reasonable, 26 guage might be better that 28 gauge, as far as theoretical calculations go.
    A determioning factor would the lenght of wire needed for the layout you prefer for your gloves. Choose a gauge that would produce about 10-12 watts for that length.
    If people do want to use copper, be prepared top use loads of expensive copper of lower gauge (around 40 or lower). You will need unmanageable length of copper wore. Using copper for the jacket and nichrome is workable too, without the advantage of paralell loops for your jacket. But the advantage of going completely nichrome over copper is that the former is cheaper, you need to buy just buy one type of wire, with plenty left for experimentaion and repairs.
  4. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    We have all been talking about heated gear for winter. For people in the south, cooling jacket would be a good idea too. In principle, it could be done using something called thermo electric materials. Thermoelectric materials can be used to make electricity from temperature differences between two objects or vice-versa, heating or refrigeration from electricity. You might have seen thermo electric coolers. Their efficiency is quite low, but their main advantage for cooling is that unlike a regular refrigerator, there are no moving parts to brake down. Using thermo el;ectric materials to heat is sily, as resistance heating works pretty good. The main advantage of theromoelectric heating and cooling is that the same jacket can do both.
    It works like a heat pump, which extracts heat from one source and dumps it into another. In a regular heat pump, working substance is the refrigerant, while in thermoelectric materials, the worki9ng susbtance is electron gas in the a p-n junction, A diode, for examp-le is a p-n junction too.
    ABout a dozen years ago, I had come across a thermoelectric alternator, which used exhaust heat from a truck to produce electricity, whicch met all electrical needs of the truck, including lighting and ignition.
  5. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    Well I can certainly see you thrive on this stuff. But at least in this application, it isn't necessary to over-analyze the characteristics of the resistance wire. I think the "pretty good ain't half bad" rule applies. :rofl

    Since voltage is not a constant, subject to alternator/stator output at any given RPM, I arbitrarily chose 13.5v for my calculations which would be a more accurate representation of a motorcycle charging system at highway speed. An even 12 volts at anything above idle would signify a deficiency. I can drop to a lower gear while maintaining a constant speed and actually feel the gear get warmer.
  6. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    I used 28awg insulated stranded copper wire. 40' in my jacket gives me 75w @ 5.4amps. Im figuring 14v(alternator puts out 14v above 1500rpm) I am using a controller to turn down the heat. Works GREAT!!!

    Thinking about making my own grip heaters. Just wrapping 30' in series around each grip with 16awg between. Then cut up an old bicycle innertube 4"length and roll it over the wires. That gives me 60' total. Should be 50w@3.6amps with a cheap controller to turn it down if needed.

    I have a BUNCH of wire left over and its in the vendors section. Great deal, check it out.:deal
  7. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    So, you caught me. It's certainly true that what matters, in the final analysis, is how well it works. Your experience is valuable in the sense that I would like to try to avoid the problems you have encountered with wire breaking. Your wires carry over an amp of current. That's a lot of current. That's why I had asked you about how hot your wire got.
    It's also true that your design is quite good. I am simply trying to make it better, if it's possible.
    As to the pretty good ain't half bad rule, I am a prisoner of my habits. We all have vices. :lol3
    Lower current will make your wires last longer. It will require more loops in parallel, which will aslo increase reliability through redundancy.
    Your choice of 13.5 volts is quite reasonable. But when you put all the load of your heating gear, that output will drop.Since I haven't bought nichrome wire yet, I wanted to confirm the cause of discrepancy between your numbers and mine, which can come from different source voltage or different resistivity ( which is a variable too). I was using 12 volts because it's a 12 volt system nominally as what you will get will be closer to that when you load your system to the max.
  8. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    Here are a few 100'+ rolls. Going to take one to the post office in an envelope to see if I can ship it that way and try to get the shipping price down. :thumb
    [​IMG]
  9. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    Post office says shipping will be about $3.00 anywhere in the lower US.
  10. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    Since Applied Electronics is not my strong field, I have a question regarding controllers, I have seen really cheap LED dimmers on e-bay.
    There is one for 12V and 12A (144 watt)
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC12V-5-MOD...587896?pt=US_Car_Lighting&hash=item484bdf8ff8
    and
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dimmer-DC-1...266901?pt=US_Car_Lighting&hash=item416e0db755
    The latter is a 12 V 8A giving 96 watts. Even though, the former is cheaper, cost is not the driver here but the size and weight. Can anyone comment on the differences between the two above? It's possible that the former is not a PWM design so that it might not have a a full range of duty cycle, but there isn't enough information there to tell what the difference is.
    Thanks once again to advance to every one here.
  11. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    I just ordered one of the first one you mention. Not much too loose for $2.46 shipped. I will try it on my glooves and keep you posted,

    KP
  12. MaestroPNW

    MaestroPNW Me!

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    Haven't tried to former one, but have about 5-6 of the latter ones laying around. One has gone into my heated grips install, another will go into AUX LED lights dimming.
    One thing to be cognizant about it is that the output is funky with relation to the ground.

    Basically, it has a high side ("+") wired to the output straight through, and modulates the output on the other side ("ground", or "-"). So, if you were to ground the "-" side of the output, which is sort of a natural thing to do for a properly designed appliance, in this case, you'd be shorting it. No big deal in a lot of applications to keep that side isolated from the ground, just something to be aware of.
  13. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    People have used the larger one, and added wire to the potentiometer to install it on the dash (with the controller elsewhere).

    The small one looks good, but I like to have a visual reference about how often the PWM is on. An LED that flashes with the heat is nice to have.

    Expect extra long shipping times. China is closed for two weeks, and there's a HUGE backlog once the holiday is over.

  14. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    Yesterday I just made up a temporary grip heaters. I used the 12v 8a dimmer. I also used 54 feet of 28awg teflon coated stranded copper wire cut in half(27' per grip). I used lamp cord to connect them to the dimmer. After wrapping the grips with wire, I used an old bicycle inner tube to put over the wires to hold them in place. It works great.

    54' of 28awg =3.5 ohms and at 1500rpm my alternator puts out 14v. So 14v/3.5ohms=4amps.....14v x 4amps= 56w. You guys up in the super cold could use less wire and get it hotter and turn it down if need be.

    Nice and warm. I cut off the front part of the mounting plate and painted the whole thing black. I also drilled a hole and installed a red LED.

    Remember wire is cheap. $5 per 100' PM me if you need wire.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  15. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    Nice job. I love the LED touch. This is exactly what I thought of when OaklandStrom wrote that he likes to have a visual feedback. So you have your grips in series. If there is a break in the wore, you lose heat in both your grips. To wire them in parallel, you will need a lot of wire. That's why I am inclined towards nichrome. You have a more even distribution of heat with long wires though. There is more heat loss at the edges of your windings than in the middle. You could save your turns a bit farther apart in the middle than at the edges for more even heat distribution,
    I can't afford 56 watt for my grips, gloves, or insoles. I am looking at 10-12 watts and would need 228 feet of 28 gauge copper wire for that.
  16. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    The only problem with nichrome that I have found is that its not insulated. I have Kuryakyn ISO grips. The nichrome would short on it. If you have rubber grips, you need to make sure the wires dont cross or "holy bat fire" You get a short. I dont think the wire will break. its held in place by the inner tube. I do have enough wire to do 54' per grip but the grips would be gettin huge. Also, its damn near impossible soldering nichrome.
  17. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    Thanks. That would be great.
    I was wondering about the size. Circuit could be miniaturised, but how does the smaller one handle the heat? Heat sink adds to the size in the latter. it consumes 1 watt of power, which has to be dissipated through the heat sink. Maybe the smaller one consumes very little power and doesn't need a heat sink? It would have to be a different circuit. Simple miniaturisation would make the heat dissipation problem more severe. No?
    Thanks for pointing out the quirk. Basically, the gear will have a floating ground. Since the low side of the heating element is connected to the -ve of the battery, it's still grounded.
  18. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    After compairing my buddies Gerbing controller to the ebay LED dimmer, the Gerbings is smaller. The Gerbings is lighter than the LED dimmer too. The circut board in the Dimmer is about the same size as the gerbings control. I dont think there is room for a heat sink in the gerbings controller unless that resistor looking thing is a heat sink. I didnt want to pull the circuit board out of the white stuff to look at the other side...Sorry
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Excuse the dog hair everywhere.....
  19. F6BANGER

    F6BANGER Adventurer

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    The connectors I used for my heated grips....$12 for 10 pair, you dont need 10 pair unless you plan on doing more [​IMG]
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Female-5...ables_Adapters_Connectors&hash=item3f18e3e1e0 Female

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Male-5-5...ables_Adapters_Connectors&hash=item416723bd31 Male
    Note: These connectors are 2.1mm which you can use with this dimmer as long as you dont go over 5amps. http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-5A-0-10...917?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2577b56a6d The white ones are cheaper. [​IMG]
  20. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    60 watts ıs a bıt too low for my comfort. But ıf you are sure that there ıs no way ın the world that your cırcuıt wıll go over 60 watts, ıt should be fıne.