$35.00 Heated Jacket Liner (DIY)

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

  1. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    Most electric gear, until recently, was just wires. I wear a long sleeve shirt under my heated jacket, and have never had a problem with burning. Once, I wore a short sleeve shirt, and had some red marks on my arm, but it was nothing to worry about.

    I don't ride when it's near freezing, because I don't want to ride on ice. However, I've never been cold when wearing my electric (Warm n Safe) jacket.

    I live in the Bay Area, on the warm side. It's not unusual to be 80 degrees in Oakland on a summer afternoon, and 40 degrees in SF at night. This is why I have electric gear - I can ride to work in a shirt and armored jacket, and ride home with a shirt, electric jacket and armor. I also ride from here to Southern Oregon a few times a year, and it can be really cold on the way there.
  2. Kestrel

    Kestrel Gear Driven Cams!!

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    Given the colder weather, I figured I'd give this thread a bump.

    I've ridden year round for quite a few years now, and have had my fair share of frigid winter days where heated gear would have been nice. Given my less than massive grad student budget, DIY has become a way of life, and this little project was no exception.

    I selected the Starter windbreaker jacket from Walmart (~ $10) , one of the 12V LED PWM Dimmers (~$5), some 30ga silver plated teflon coated stranded wire (~$8), a couple larger needles from the local hobby store (~$3), and one of the 'battery tender' leads (~$4). I cut the ring terminal ends off the the tender lead, and wired one end into the dimmer, allowing for the SAE end to plug into the preexisting battery tender plug on the bike.

    Total cost came to about 30 bucks. I decided on about 30 feet of wire, and simply threaded it through mesh liner of the jacket with one of the larger needles. This saves a significant amount of time in comparison to trying to sew the wires straight to the jacket, and allows for a little movement of the wires, providing some stress relief. Total time spent was probably about 2.5 hours from start to finish, soldering of the 30ga to some larger gauge wire included. I sewed a small loop of cloth into the edge of the jacket, and ran the larger wires through them for stress relief. The dimmer sits conveniently in the pocket of the jacket. It can handle 8 amps of current, and there is a nice inline fuse built into the battery tender lead, which includes a 7.5 amp fuse, ensuring everything is nice and protected.

    Pictures!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pretty straightforward project, and well worth the thirty bucks. . Draws about 60 watts, and provides plenty of power for most sane winter riding. I typically layer up in a heavyweight thermal top, the jacket, another fleece jacket, and then my linerless First Gear Rainier. The layers don't feel too heavy, and in combination with my jacket, provide good pressure against the heated jacket, allowing for good efficiency of the wires. I had one issue where I accidentally cut a wire a few weeks back, but thankfully it was only a few inches from the end. I simply snipped it off, resoldered the connection, and continued about my business as usual.
  3. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    Nice work.
  4. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the guides.

    Can somebody help me to get the right wire, would love to find it on ebay ect which is very easy to buy and par for small items like that.

    Would something like this work: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320998251394 if I can get it in a 30ft spool?

    The dimmer switch and misc plugs is eays to find. Uh, I have a question regarding the dimmer... If I turn it halfway down, does it only use half the power? (I think it does)

    Anther question, how do you "mount" the string on the jacket, I see not everyone sews it on. Are you just using tape, glue or whatever?

    Cant wait to start adding heat. Want a jacket for starters, dont really know about pants yet, havent decided. Have anyone run their jackets on batteries? With about 5A af current, I can see the limitations, even on lithium batteries. But if you were able to turn down the dimmer to save current it should be manageable.

    Aprreciate the help, which im sure will come. Thanks in advance.:clap
  5. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

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  6. Kestrel

    Kestrel Gear Driven Cams!!

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    http://www.ebay.com/itm/30-ft-Stran...216?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a7c73ecd0

    ^ This stuff was exactly what I used. Seems to work pretty well, and I haven't had any issues aside from the one sliced wire, which may have been my fault.

    The LED dimmers don't necessarily limit the voltage, but rather just limit the amount of time for one 'cycle'. The dimmer cycles on and off at a very rapid pace, which gives you a lower average voltage and current draw from the bike. So, turned down halfway, you're essentially using an average amount of power that should be about half.

    My jacket was done by simply threading the wires through the jacket's mesh liner. Most of the wire is between the mesh and the outer liner.. Every so many inches, I simply threaded the wire through the outside, and then back inside... Here's a photo to show that.

    [​IMG]

    I measured the jacket's dimensions, and estimated how many 'loops' I could do, and how tight the spacing would need to be, in order to ensure I'd have enough wire to 'get back' to the other side of the jacket, where the wire was first threaded in.

    Not running on batteries, but part of the appeal of wiring it right to the bike is that there are no batteries to worry about, and it'll work all day, every day. The wire to the bike has been a non-issue for me. Because I simply slip the controller in the jacket pocket, the plug comes out right around my upper thigh. My battery tender cable comes out from under the seat right between the front of the seat, and the gas tank... So it's very simply to hook up, allows me to move around the saddle during more sporting rides, and doesn't get in the way at all. It's a good setup, especially for the cost.
  7. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Thanks a lot, I just purchased the wire.

    I really like the idea of running on batteries, together with a wireless dimmer. My bikes doesnt have very big stators, and just going wireless would be soo much easier.

    I Havent totally decided on that part yet, perhaps I'll make it suitable for both, depending on my needs. On that note, where do you keep your dimmer? Do you just make the wires long enough for it to fit in a tank bag, in a jacket pocket ect? Do you ever find the need to turn it up and down during a trip? Im kinda trying to ask: How accessible should I try to make it?

    Will look for a mesh liner like that locally, cant wait to get this done. Great thread, and thanks to all you helpfull people :clap
  8. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    From the ebay listing: AWG 30 (0.26mm core) silver plated copper wire with heat resistant Kynar insulation.

    What is the impedance? Standard 30awg is .1ohm per foot. You need to know this to calculate the length of wire you'll need at achieve the wattage you want.

    I do like the idea of threading the resistance wire through a mesh liner - I even bought a cheap windbreaker for that purpose. Next time. It's still easier to make simple repairs to my existing jacket liner since I learned to sew the wires on so they are visible and easily accessible.

    [​IMG]

    Keep in mind that sooner or later you will need to make repairs, maybe even while out on a long trip.

    http://kphenix.smugmug.com/Motorcyc...Jacket/4152228_N9Zwdf#!i=1148232202&k=PCQ3DSX
  9. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

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    I found this carbon fiber heat tape on ebay and thought of this thread. It looks interesting. It doesn't say how to use it, but I'd assume it would be similar to the way the wire is used, except you'd probably need to use some type of connectors clamped to the ends since you obviously can't solder it.

    The price doesn't seem too bad.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Real-carbon...veillance_Gadgets&hash=item4abfea5a8b&vxp=mtr
  10. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    after googling it looks like its used on the farm for hatching eggs. here a link for info http://incubatorwarehouse.com/flex-watt-heat-tape.html
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dUZRwsEjUwY?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  11. MrSandman818

    MrSandman818 INaVANdownBYtheRIVER

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    First gear has up to a 90w jacket.
  12. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    I did the same back in 1973. No electric clothing to be had at that time and wouldn't have had the money anway. I took an old electric blanket, peeled all the wiring out and took a couple of sections out that were proportional in length to 12V compared to the (European) 220V it took for the full length. That got me electric gloves and some sort of jacket for my first long distance cold riding trip from Holland to the Elefanten Treffen at the Nurnbergring in Germany on my CB125. Wires were hanging of of me in all directions, but it worked mostly except for a few hot spots.

    KP
  13. twinsig

    twinsig Been here awhile

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    I read somewhere in the diy world of heated clothing...."this isnt for the faint of heart".....they were right.
    Even with the info from all those who have done this, and generously posted the details, there's still seems to be a good bit of R & D to get it right. Sheesh!!!!! but I'm almost there.

    Thanks to all !!
  14. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    Hi guys, I stumbled across this thread when I was searching for nichrome. This is a very interesting thread. Many have learnt by trial and error. The idea about using 30 ft og copper wire has been around on the internet for many years. I didn't really like using copper, as copper has very high conductivity. I believe it's second top silver. Typically, copper is used when you want to minimise resistive losses. When designing heated gear, we do not want to minimise resistive losses. Instead, we want to exploit resistive losses, i.e. we want to have losses work for us, not against us.
    Ken has the right idea, using nichrome. His idea of using loops in paralell is an excellent idea too. If one of your 5 loops fails, loop fails, you still have 80% of the power from the other 5. If you have a single loop, you are out of luck if the lops brakes. Parallel lops also divide the current over several loops. For example, if you wanted 90 watts in your jacket with a single loop, you will need 7.5A in that wire. That's a lot of current. If you have ten loops, each loop will carry only 750mA. Consequently your 7.5 amps ( producing 90 watts) is spread over 10 loops, each with .75 A ( producing 9 watts). A current of 7.5 amp in a resistance wire will produce a loss of heat. This is the reason some of you had their material synge. A thin wire can very hot with a current of even 1 amp.

    It apears that some of the posters thought they could use longer wire for more heat. Longer wire will make less heat. Ken posted a little diagram explaining the relationship between current, power, voltage and rseistance. Never let it out of your sight, although, there are a couple of mistakes in that Pi chart.

    I saw some people using the term resistivity and resistance interchangeable, i.e. to mean one and the same thing. The two are completely different. Resistance of a a given material varies with its length and area of cross section (gauge). where as resistivity of a given material is FIXED at a temperature. Resistance is measures in ohms but resistivity is measured in ohm feet, or ohms metre. Ohm's law, that we have been using to calculate, power, current etc, uses resistance.

    That all the power in the heated gear turns into heat is quite obvious. But how hot will a wire get? That's an important consideration. Generally speaking, a thinner wire (higher gauge number) will get hotter, at the same power and voltage level. So 28 gauge nichrome wire used in a a jacket, will get much hotter than a 26 gauge wire even if both are used to make the same number of watts.

    Those of you who have already made your jacket, using 30 gauge copper wire, probably found that making gloves with 30 guage copper is a pain to say the least. That's because to make gloves with, say 12 watts of power, you need a resistance of 12 ohms. At .1 ohm/foot, that's 120 ft. That's the point Ken was making. Those of you who tried to heat your glove with a 30 gauge copper wire of shorter length were "most likely, burn".

    I haven't decided whether I am going to use 26 gauge 28 gauge nichrome wire. Either will work, you just have to play around with lengths. At the monent, I am trying to determine how hot 28 gauge and 26 gauge wires will get. I can get a good agreement with table of temperatures for 28 gauge but not not for 26 gauge. A rough calculation of temperature can be done using Stefan Boltzman Law of Radiation and equating that to the power. This temperature is the temperature the wire will reach when it's in air. When it's in a jacket, material, it's temperature will be higher. It could also be lower if if the jacket is worn outside in very low temperatures. It all depends on the thermal balance between your body, the power produced by the jacket and the heat lost by the body to the atmosphere. I did a rough calculation of heat lost every second by hands and got a ballpark number of about 6-8 watts. If my assumptions are correct, you should feel comfortable at about 8 watts. But every one is different. When I was in school, I could work on a car in subfreezing weather, Now I cannot. I would probably go for about 10 watts for gloves.
    Based on En;s use of 26 guage nichrome, I have one data point. I will probably use 28 gauge nichrome, but have not made a firm decision yet. I need to change my turn signals and stop light to LEDs fiorst, so that I can make room for some more Amps. I am going to need jacket, gloves and sock linners and my alternator makes only 375 watts.
    The other thing that happenes is that as the wire gets hot, its resistance changes (goes up) because resistivity ( and I do mean resistivity, not resistance) goes up with temperature. So if you design a jacket for 80 watts, you will get less power when the wire heats up. At some point an equillibrium temperature is reached at which the power produced by the packet is equal to the heat lost by the jacket.
    I want to thank everyone in this forum, especially Ken and a couple of others, whose names I do not recall right now. I had no idea that PWM controllers were so cheap. I did know that PWM had made switiching power supplies cheap but had never given a thought to controllers.
  15. twinsig

    twinsig Been here awhile

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    Morning yaatri,

    Sounds like you have a good understanding on the science of heated gear. I have a few suggestions on trial and error that might be useful.
    Two things mainly,
    ONE- the garment must be a snug fit. I ended up using a long sleeve thermal sewn into a jacket.
    TWO - I used about 27 feet of the 30 awg. and the temps were easily adjustable.
    Had difficulty getting the proper temp in parallel configs,

    Good luck with your project bro,
  16. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> A very good morning to you too twinsig. Yes, I do understand the science, but what counts is whether your design works. Theory is good, but a jacket that works is better.
    Thank you very much for your tips.
    The reason you could not make parallel configuration work is because you were using 30 AWG copper. One thing to keep in mind when using parallel configuration is that a parallel combo works in a way that's strange. If you connect four resistances of 3 ohms in series, the total resistance in the circuit is 12 ohms. But, if you connect four 3 ohm resistances in parallel, the total resistance is 3/4 ohm.
    Single loop of 30 AWG copper, (30 ft long), R=3 ohm; current=4A and power=48 watts.
    Four loops of 30 AWG copper (each 30 ft long), R=12 ohm; current=1A, power=12 watts
    Four loops of 30AWG copper(each 30 ft long) total R=3/4 ohm; current=16A; power=192 watts. In parallel combo, each loop has a current of 3A and produces 48 watts, for a total of 192 watts.

    Parallel combo will not work with 30 gauge copper unless each of your four loops is 120 feet long. Then each of the four loops will have R=12 oh, I=1A and power=12 watts, for a total of 48 watts.

    If you want to use parallel combo, you will either use a lot of 30 gauge copper or 46 gauge wire for four loops, each loop about 63 inches long to produce the same power as 27 ft of 30AWG copper, in theory. But, in reality, a wire so thin will get quite hot, and might even melt, not to mention that it will be fragile. So Ohm’s law gives you guidance about how much resistance you need to produce certain thermal power (heat). You have to select proper length and gauge, not just to get the right amount of resistance, but you also have to make sure that the wire does not get so hot that it would melt.
    Copper is one of the best conductors there is besides silver and, of course super conductors. Copper’s conductivity is 65 to 90 times that of nichrome. Since conductivity is reciprocal of resistivity, nichrome’s resistivity is 65 to 90 times that of copper. For the same gauge and length, nichrome’s resistance is abo0t 65 to 90 times that of copper.
    I have a question for Ken. Did you measure the current in a 54 inch loop of 26 gauge wire? What was the resistivity of your nichrome? Using resistivity of 1.1 x 10 ^-6, I get a length of about 40 inches while you indicated that you needed 54 inches. I do get the same number for ohms per foot. (2.617 ohms/foot) Different nichromes formulation van have different resistivity.
    I still have not made up my mind whether to use 28 gauge or 26 gauge nichrome. Ken’s choice of 26 gauge might be the best, byt I am not 100% sure about it. A 26 gauge nichrome wire, that is 54 inches long will produce 16 or so watts of power, but if it’s placed in free air, it would be barely warm. What I mean by free air is that the wire is surrounded by air at standard temperature and pressure 20 degrees Celsius or 68 degrees Fahrenheit and normal atmospheric pressure. The wire would radiate the heat to its surroundings and maintain a steady temperature. But when it’s covered by jacket material, it would not be able to lose that power so easily, hence the temperature would rise to a comfortable temperature. 28 gauge nichrome wire would need about 25 inches for 16 watts and rise to a temp of 480 degrees (F). I am afraid, it might be too hot. I will probably go with 10-12 watts each for the gloves as I do want to save the amps. The new pair of horns I got draws a lot of current too.
    Twinsig, since you have made one with 30 AWG copper, you can make another one with nichrome. A glove made with 30AWG copper would cost a fortune and weigh a lot.
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  17. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,252
    Location:
    Boone,NC
    Yaatri,

    I realize copper isn't normally used for heat element wire. From my experience using Nichrome elements in my glass annealing ovens is it becomes brittle after heating, to the high temps we use with glass. I don't know how the thin gauge Nichrome wire will be used at the low temps for heating clothes.

    Copper is soft and flexible. It is "work hardened" by hammering & stretching when a jeweler shapes it, and then it becomes soft again when annealed by heating it to a red color. I'm not sure about Nichrome. Will it endure the stresses of constant bending?

    Since we only need low temps, the melting point of the metal used isn't a concern.

    Do you know what type of wire is used for commercially manufactured heated gear? I would use whatever metal they have determined works best, since they obviously have more at stake than we DIY guys do.
  18. Yaatri

    Yaatri Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Near Washington, D.C.
    Good point. I too am concerned about brittleness of nichrome. I think nichrome is brittle when when new. I had done a quick calculation of how much force nichrome wire of certain gauge can stand before breaking. It's quite small. I will have to do the numbers again. It's the possibility of the wire breaking that parallel loops are a b etter configuration. Now if it's going to break very frequently, it can be annoying. I have been looking for nichrome wire with insulation or for some tape that I can use to insulate the wire myself in order to avoid sharp kinks.
    You are quite right that copper is less likley to break. Copper is ductile, malleable and soft.
    Copper could be used but you would have to use really thin wire, which again brings up the problem of integrity.
    As far as integrity goes carbon fibres are the best. But their resistivity is much higher than that of nichrome, so you have to use a mesh or fabric. Someopne posted a link here for that.At $16 plus shipping for one metre, it's quite expensive. Carbon fibre fabric is the way to go for durability.

    As far as melting is concerned, it's an important and serious consideration. We are producing heat and have no weay of controlling the temperature directly. All we can do is control power. Metals, which both both copper and nichrome are, have very low specific heat. You will be surprised how little power can raise the temperature to way above melting point if the wire is not thick enough.
  19. twinsig

    twinsig Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Middle Alabama
    30 awg nichrome stranded (7/38) is commonly used and it does flex with ease.
    I will post my very brief summary of mine this weekend, maybe, the only Web unit i have I'd this Droid.
    I gotta do my taxes as well, oh boy!!

    One more thing, the nichrome should be PTFE (Teflon) insulation 200+ degree rating
  20. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,252
    Location:
    Boone,NC

    I posted the ebay link to the carbon fiber heat tape. I didn't search for better sources, but you likely could find a better price. I have sometimes found industrial suppliers and sometimes even manufacturers offer wholesale prices to even small DIY tinkerers (I use the term "prototype") like us. Their tech support guys are often very helpful and even excited to help inventive, creative people experiment with their products. (Of course you can also run into the opposite attidude, and they only want to talk to big $$ companies or engineers.)

    I've used carbon fiber insulation in my studio that is rated over 4500f. The company I got it from I think was National Carbon Fiber, in OH (I think, it's been a while). They may be a sourse for the heat tape, or can tell you where to look for it. I'd ask the supplier for advice on using it, and it never hurts to ask for samples. Sometimes a sample can be enough for your whole project,... but other times it's barely enough for evaluation.

    I think I recall that the ebay listing said it was from Russia. I'd assume it was from a surplus stock. Maybe you can find a surplus stock here in the US, if you do a little internet searching. You might run across a stockpile of it for peanuts...