Alternative heated grip controller

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by SuperCruise, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. SuperCruise

    SuperCruise Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    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:

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    I managed to produce this.

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
    #1
  2. chammyman

    chammyman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    423
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    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 :rofl
    #2
  3. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    I just bought a small PWM on Fleabay and built it into a factory switch blank.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    With an LED of course:

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,022
    Location:
    Mallorytown Ontario
    If they used the right FET, it will run cold.
    #4
  5. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    787
    Location:
    Southern CT
    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.
    #5
  6. SuperCruise

    SuperCruise Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    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.
    #6
  7. SuperCruise

    SuperCruise Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    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 :D
    #7
  8. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,738
    Location:
    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    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.:hmmmmm
    #8
  9. mikeegee

    mikeegee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    Omaha, and I most definitely know why.
    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.
    #9
  10. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    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:

    [​IMG]


    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
    #10
  11. MarcinJ

    MarcinJ n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Ruda Slaska, Poland
    #11
  12. MaestroPNW

    MaestroPNW Me!

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Greater Seattle
    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:
    [​IMG]

    I sent the model for printing... a week later I get this in the mail :clap
    [​IMG]
    Pop the potentiometer in there:
    [​IMG]
    ...
    [​IMG]
    ... attach a thumbwheel:
    [​IMG]
    And we have this:
    [​IMG]

    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.
    #12
  13. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    That's pretty cool. How much did it cost to have that little box and knob made?
    #13
  14. MaestroPNW

    MaestroPNW Me!

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Greater Seattle
    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 :)
    #14
  15. SuperCruise

    SuperCruise Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    I like this solution, which I will use if my Jaycar PWM kit ever gives up the ghost. Thanks,
    #15
  16. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,005
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    heres my home made controller for my heated vest, good for 15A.

    3055 NPN transistor on a strip of aluminum screwed to the battery box:

    [​IMG]


    500 ohm pot to control the base current:

    [​IMG]

    it turns on when I plug in the vest, turns off when I pull the cord. the cord rolls up on top of the air box when not needed. I had the parts so cost was zero.... I'd guess $10 if you had to shop.
    #16
  17. mbfj40

    mbfj40 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    173
    Location:
    Modesto, Ca.
    Hi You-all,
    I went the easy route. I'm using a Gerbings Two channel controller that's supposed to run your heated jacket and pants. I made up a mount off of the mirror perch on my G650XCountry and velcro'd it to the mount. No issues with the velcro so far, my thoughts were to provide a "safety breakaway" in case of a mishap. I positioned it so I can reach over easily with my thumb and adjust it on the fly. I run the bottom control for my heated grips (sourced from a Buell Ulysses) and the top control has a pigtail that comes out in front of the seat to hook up to my heated jacket. Works awesome and is 100% variable from full off to full on. Little built in led lamps blink fast or slow depending on yer heat settings.
    Going strong for he last 18K miles in all weather. Bike's just back from a ride and pics taken prior to washing.
    mike

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. reepicheep

    reepicheep Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Just stumbled on this thread...

    I'm on "rev 4" of a design for a cartridge heater controller now that uses PWM, but does so based on a closed loop temperature sensor. Its all micro controller based, so it is quite clever about how and when it runs.

    Rev 3 is on my Uly now and working great, but I scaled it all down to just fit in the bars, and that made the whole mess a bit fragile and fussy. Rev 4 is going to be a box back outside the bars (like rev 1 and 2 were), but with an LCD showing information... just cause I can. :)

    The circuit is pretty much done, the PC board is mostly laid out, and I have most of the code in various places from previous versions, I just have to do some mixing and matching.

    Packaging it is my big blind spot now. Weatherproof enclosures that look nice and work well but that don't break the bank are hard to come by... particularly now that i am putting a 16x2 LCD display back on it.

    If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them. Its currently under $20 of electronics parts, so a $30 enclosure seems crazy, but maybe that's just the reality of the situation.
    #18
  19. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,022
    Location:
    Mallorytown Ontario
    If it were me I'd be happy to spend the $30 just to make it look good.
    If you consider your time ...

    Have you considered getting a 3D print done?
    I bet there are companies happy to do the first one free.
    #19
  20. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,426
    Location:
    Helltown
    First off, Spudrider and ThumpnRed get all the credit for these ideas. I'm just passing along the info. I'm by no means an electrical expert. Challenged is more the correct term so if my terms are quite correct...oh well. :lol3

    Some of us on the XRL thread in thumpers have been experimenting with different options(well I was just following along and copying them) instead of using the ceramic resistor and switch on the Tusk brand heated grips we all bought when they were on sale for $9.99!

    A couple of us added a relay so the battery wouldn't drain if we forgot to turn them off.

    One option, I used along with the relay, was to use a heavy duty car signal flasher to replace the resistor. No heat to melt anything and would take abuse where as the resistor wouldn't.

    Then Spud found another option. We are getting ready to try this dimmer in place of the resistor/flasher and the switch. I'm going to velcro it to the dash so I'll be able to slide my finger along the knob to dial in a comfortable level. Spud has checked to make sure it can handle to power.

    I'll report back on his findings as I'm going to wait a while to install the dimmer on my set up.
    #20