AUX Electrical help.....

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ShooterDave, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    I'm trying to get ready for an upcoming trip and need some help with the power for my accessories.

    I have a digital camera that has a wall charger for the battery. I was wondering if there is any way to wire in a wall plug? for the battery. Maybe take an extension cord and cut the end off??? I have no idea...

    The other thing I need to wire in is my Ipod. I was just going to take the cord I have for connecting it to the computer and cut it shorter. Then grab the positive line and negative line and wiring them in. The problem I have is that it uses a usb plug, so I don't know which wires are the pos and neg. Is there a usb power plug I can actually wire into the bike?


    I think I've heard of usb plug I can use so there is no splicing of any wires. So I guess what I'm mainly needing help with is the power plug for the camera.

    Any help will be great, thanks.
    #1
  2. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Get yourself a 12V receptacle or several. Cyclegear.com, MotorcycleSuperstore.com, Ebay, Walmart, autoparts stores, and many other places have 12V receptacles made for weathering the elements on a moto. Install 1 or several. Make sure you use an appropriate fuse in the power wire, as close as practical to the source of power (battery, splice into bike's harness, etc.).

    Find out what amperage draw your camera charger is rated at. Then find a little 120VAC-to-12VDC inverter that easily exceeds that amperage output. Find someplace safe from the elements for it. I usually put mine in my tankbag. Plug in your charger and you're all set.

    Do NOT splice in a cut USB cord. USB inputs are NOT 12V like your typical moto's battery. USBs are typically 5V. Your USB devices could be damaged by 12V. Buy a 12V-to-USB adapter. I bought a nice little dual-output one for $8 at a truckstop. Walmart also has them. One output is like 2 amps. The other is 1 amp or so.

    If you're not comfortable with wiring/crimping/soldering/dielectric-greasing/heat-shrinking/taping/testing/looming/zip-tying electrical circuits, watch some youtube videos of similar projects and have an experienced friend show you what they would do.

    Once you get the hang of it, you can re-wire your entire bike and add auxiliary circuit-breaker blocks. :D
    #2
  3. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    Here's a start on the USB. I can't help with the camera charging, but the camera make and model will help. Does it have a rechargeable battery or does it use AA batts like mine?

    http://americancrossroaders.com/

    Oh, and this is where the link in Dave's sig took us in the summer of 2010. Ya didn't think we'd ferget didya? :D :clap :freaky

    35,052 miles.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    Hahaha Not sure if anyone remembered or not. When I took that trip I was but a wee lass. Now I'm a lot better and more confident with the stuff.... mostly. :lol3

    For the USB part I found this....
    [​IMG]

    I knew they existed, just took some digging. Now for the battery charging part.........
    #4
  5. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    This has me a little baffled. Are you saying to use an inverter? Also how would I wire it into the bike?
    #5
  6. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    So here is what I got when I checked out the charger.

    On the back it says: Input: ~100V-240V 50/60Hz 4-7VA 2W
    Output: 4.2V 0.25A


    If what you are suggesting is basically just a "plug" then I'd also like to use another charger I have for a better camera that will also be going on the trip.

    --------------------------------------------------------
    That reads: | Input: 100V-240V AC 50/60Hz |
    | 22VA (100V) |
    | -30VA (240V) |
    | Output: 8.4V DC 1.2A |
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Input: 0.24A (100V) - 0.14A (240)


    Not sure if the input numbers below the box are there to better accurately describe the power or not. Unfortunately I'm not very knowledgeable with electronics and their numbers. When I was on my trip I just took the gps wires and cell phone wires and wired them directly to the battery with some fuses. Other than that I'm haven't really done any other wiring. So I really have no idea what I'm doing here for this "plug". Having seen these numbers, will one "plug system" able to do both of these chargers?

    Unfortunately since time is an issue someone saying "do this" is probably the best option. However I'd like to learn the reasons behind it if possible. All that I currently know about dong this would be an inverter for my car. And of that I know that it takes the cars 12V and somehow turns it into the increased amount of power that a wall socket makes. Then you just plug whatever device into it, and the device brings it down to whatever it needs.

    Any help is appreciated. :freaky
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  7. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    Your USB adapter will be fine for anything that needs to be charged via a US cable. You're camera charger is another story. Like Komando said, you need an inverter to go from 12 volts DC that your bike supplies to 120 volts AC that your camera charger needs. The problem with this is the inverters are not real efficient, and if you plan on doing this on your XRL you're probably asking for charging problems. Not sure where you plan on staying at nights, but could you charge your camera battery at night say at a campground or a hotel? Maybe check to see if the camera manufacture has a car charger option for your camera that can plug into a 12 volt cigarette lighter outlet. The USB devices wont pull many amps and could be left on the battery even with the bike shut off for an hour or so, but an inverter or battery charger for the camera is going to run down the battery in a hurry. Don' leave power to it with the bike shut off.
    #7
  8. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    If you're not concerned about weatherproofing, just wire up a 12V/Cigarette plug to the bike and then use one of these:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    They make a variety of types and sizes. If you use a tankbag, you can run the wire to that and put the 12V outlet in your tankbag. As posted earlier, your bike is making 12V DC. You need an inverter to make it 110AC (typical 110V wall wart) or some type of regulator to make it 5V DC (USB). That Bestek thingy above does both. It's a little bulky, but a pretty simple solution.
    #8
  9. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    I'm using it on my 07 V-Strom 650. Unfortunately power availability is an issue. Currently I have some heated gloves and a heated vest wired into the bike. Both of which I'm sure will be used on my upcoming trip. My girl and I are going from SoCal out to Carlsbad NM and back, plus some extra. Since it has two headlights, I have installed a headlight cutoff switch that gives me 55 watts extra available. So with the vest and gloves running at full power, and the headlight off, I have about ~20-30 watts available. Yes, I have installed a voltmeter to keep an eye on things. My curiosity now is... If I went with an inverter, how much power would it draw? Obviously I can turn things off or down to accommodate for the extra power draw, but are we talking like a huge amount of power or very little? What involved in bumping it from 12V to 120V?
    #9
  10. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    Butters just posted two options for bumping your 12v to 120v. Look at your camera charger, it should have input votlage and amps, and output voltage and amps. Volts x Amps gets you watts. so if your camera charger is rated at 120v ac @ .5 amps (or 500 ma) 120x.5=60 or 60 watts.
    #10
  11. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    Yes I understand that. The numbers I posted in the post above lists exactly what the backs of the chargers read.

    My main concern is understanding the science behind it and what that means for my system. Does the draw from the charger determine what the draw on the system is ultimately going to be? like if the charger only draws 60 watts to charge the battery. Does that mean it will only pull 60 watts from the bike EVEN though its going thru the converter? Doesn't the converter itself put different demands on the bike's system then the charger ultimately does since the charger drops it down to a lower voltage and the inverter bumps it up higher?

    Maybe your are saying it exactly how it should be said and I'm just not understanding it since my knowledge when it comes to electronics and the meaning behind the numbers is limited. How does the converter bump the 12V up to 100V, and what does that do for the wattage?
    #11
  12. screamin injin

    screamin injin FUBAR

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  13. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    From here http://www.powerdriveinverters.com/choose.html

    To determine the size vehicle alternator needed to keep up with a specific inverter, you need to convert AC wattage to DC amperage (the value vehicle alternators are measured in) In the example below, you would need a 91 amp alternator to provide a continuous draw of a 1000 watt inverter:

    Convert AC Watts to DC Amps:
    AC WATTS ÷ 12 x 1.1 = DC AMPS
    Example: 1000 Watts ÷ 12 = 83.33 x 1.1 = 91.66

    once you have the DC amps figured out you can take 12 x the DC amps to find your wattage.

    course,that would make a 150 watt inverter pull about 165 watts, but I would assume that would be at full 150 watt load. Your first charger pulls about 2 watts and the 2nd pulls about 22 watts (you can read VA or volt amps as watts). So instead of using the max output of the inverter I think I would use the load of the device plugged in plus maybe another 5 watts as a wag for what ever heat is built up in the coils. So 27 watts on the AC would end up being around 30 watts on the DC side assuming my math isn't screwed up :lol3
    #13
  14. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    Your humility is refreshing Dave! But the short of it is what JWhitmore posted above. Even more succinctly, those devices simply don't draw much power. I would think even the meekest of charging systems wouldn't have a problem with them. Not to mention, you're just topping off the batteries in the camera and the USB tops out at under an amp for 5 volts (so under 5 watts).

    If it was me, I wouldn't even really concern myself too much with the load because it is so small. But one thing I would do is wire it through a relay trigger by switched power, or at least through switched power. That way you don't run down your battery when you park your bike and leave all those electrics still running.
    #14
  15. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    OK I think I need to explain what I'm doing a little better. The usb port is for the ipod I'm going to be charging up at the dash while listening to it while riding. The inverter is for the two cameras that my girl is bringing on the trip with us. One charger is for the big $1000 camera, and the other is for the simple point and shoot camera. Each use a rechargeable battery, not AA's. I was planning on putting the inverter, and chargers under the seat so they can charge while we are riding. I was also going to route the connections thru my fuse box which will make it a switched circuit that will be off when the ignition is also off. So no need to worry about it draining the battery.

    I am getting a little overwhelmed with the whole numbers and volt, amps, watts, and what not. Which is exactly why I plugged everything in the way I did when I went on my trip around the country, and why I have done the same for this bike. I'm beginning to think it will just be easier to plug them in when we have the chance. I didn't have a charger for my phone/music device for over a month when I was on my big trip and got along just fine even though that was using a massive constant draw. So I'm sure I will be just fine with a simple camera.

    The main reason why I was wanting to charge off the bike is because we very rarely stay at hotels. When we travel its on the cheap. So being able to power everything you have with you off the bike, means you are totally self sufficient other than food, water, and gas. Makes camping and being off the grid much easier. :evil
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  16. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    I think I should clarify myself with this. I'm not at all worried about the draw of the charger itself, because we use a heated jacket that draws way more power than the charger ever will. I'm just worried about how much the inverter will draw in order to do its thing that will in turn power the charger.

    Thanks for everyones help by the way. I have a pdf to go now read on inverters... :lol3
    #16
  17. Walterxr650l

    Walterxr650l Long timer

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    Dave as long as you are only running the inverter while you are riding, you should have no problems. (You do need an inverter, a chunk of extension cord hooked to your battery won't work.) If your volt meter shows the volts dropping to low, just shut something off or turn it down. I once left my cell phone plugged into my inverter over night. I figured charging the phone wouldn't be enough draw to drain the battery. I was wrong. Got up the next morning to a dead battery. Luckily I only had to push the bike a few feet to where I could use a gravity starter to start it. So make sure you are camped up a hill if going to use the inverter while stopped.

    Walter
    #17
  18. ShooterDave

    ShooterDave Adventurer

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    Haha unfortunately parking up hill wont work. If the battery is dead on a Strom, you're screwed. Bump starting is not an option. One of a very short list of things I don't like about the Strom 650.

    I figure at this point I'll throw it in if I have the time to do so before we take off. If I don't have time then o well. My girl has never been able to charge her camera while on the road before, so this will not be any different. I do know that if I do hook one up, it will be wired to the "switched" circuit of the fuse box.

    I figure I'll just wire in a 12V accessory "cigarette lighter" under the seat, and plug the inverter into it.
    #18
  19. Walterxr650l

    Walterxr650l Long timer

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    If you ever find yourself with a low battery, don't write off trying the bump start. A battery can be to low to turn the starter, but still have enough juice to fire the engine if it is turned over by some other means.

    Walter
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  20. tdvt

    tdvt Been here awhile

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    I don't know specifically what brand/model cameras you're thinking of taking, but I would start by looking at car chargers offered by the manufacturer first.

    All the wall chargers that you've listed do is to drop household AC down to a low voltage (4.3 & 8.4 by your previous post) & also rectify it to DC. Your bike already puts out DC & the voltage is also higher than either device requires, so simple circuitry can deliver the right voltages.

    Using an inverter seems like a very round about way to recharge your stuff. The inverter would step up your moto power to 120V & convert it to AC. Then your chargers would switch it back to DC & step it down to a lower voltage than the bike. I know it seems plug & play but I'm sure there's a more efficient way.

    Depending on the plugs your devices have, there are probably aftermarket auto chargers out there that would work off the shelf.

    This would also be a simple build for an electronics guy (I only dabble once in a while).

    If I were faced with this problem, I suppose I would look for the proper auto charger first. Failing that, I'd buy some generic chargers of the right output & splice on the right connectors to hook up to the stuff I wanted to recharge.

    If that didn't work, I might brush up on voltage dividers & just build one.
    #20