Hard-wiring a Spot?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by huzar, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

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    Any solutions out there to wire up a Spot to bike power instead of using batteries? I'm told that the Spot doesn't have an external power input, so it would have to be wired in through the battery compartment? :ear
    #1
  2. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

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    ? Anybody ?
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  3. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    I haven't given it a bunch of thought but considering it only has 2 aa's, it aint running 12v so you're gonna have to knock the voltage down. Batteries last so long it's ridiculious, any gas station has AA's, 2 spare AA's weigh nothing and take no space so packing spares is a non issue. Plus there's no where to plug in so you'd have to butcher the case some how. I know it's not what you asked and I'm sure it can be done but I can't imagine bothering.
    #3
  4. BeachMoto

    BeachMoto Been here awhile

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    SPOT recommends using Lithium batteries in their units. I just replaced my set from 24 months ago and they were still going strong. I think a set will last you better than a year.

    You are looking at around $2-3 per YEAR.
    #4
  5. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    I routinely convert battery-operated things to hard-wired stuff...usually AC-adapted for anything around the house that doesn't move much, I figure why use batteries.

    For on-the-bike hardwiring, it's even simpler.

    It's a quick trip to the Radioshack to pick up an LM317 voltage regulator, and associated resistors. The basic simple circuit construction you're interested in is even printed on the bag the LM317 is packaged in. Pick up a project box and breadboard while you're there, and some connectors so you can hook it up & disconnect it conveniently. Wire it up so that your 12v current is dropped down to 3v, and you're golden. Dirt cheap.
    #5
  6. wibby

    wibby BrotherFromAnotherMother

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    Mine have been going for 2 years

    I've left it on for weeks and weeks, still on original batteries
    #6
  7. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

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    I change the batteries in mine once a year just to play it safe. I carry a spare set with me, they will become next years new batteries if not needed before then. I just swapped out the batteries after lots of use last year and the start of this year. I put the old ones in my handheld backup GPS and it shows them still at full power. I could always rob them back if I really need a third set.

    I can't see a good reason to want to wire it to the bike, but anything is possible if you really feel its needed. I'd look for a car charger adapter for a phone that has the correct voltage output to use. You may need to have batteries in the SPOT to stabilize the power, which would likely mean using a rechargable AA of the correct type to suit the charger.

    Seems more complicated than its worth, but good luck with the project.
    #7
  8. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    Perhaps you may want to use the SPOT away from the bike at some point (boating, hiking, etc), for the low battery use it has, I would be hesitant to start cutting or hacking the case and compromise seals or ability to use away from a 12V source?

    For GPS and other devices that eat batteries (typically a few days), different story.

    However, it is entirely your choice so please don't take this advice as a criticism, just a thought.


    #8
  9. dacrazyrn

    dacrazyrn ED RN Adventurer

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    Whoops! Had an accident. Bike is down the cliffside, your not. Now what?
    #9
    SnowMule likes this.
  10. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

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    Well, if the SPOT had been in the RAM cradle then it would be down the cliff side as well, regardless of whether it is hard-wired in or battery-powered.

    Thanks to those that contributed technical info -- the new SPOT apparently takes 3 AAA batteries, and will last 6-7 days on tracking mode. I'll put that to the test next week when I go to WestWest and the MT1000 :D
    #10
  11. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    As others have said, why bother and mess you the case.
    You could put your spot in your pocket and it would still work on batteries, in the rare even it disappears over a cliff and you don't.
    #11
  12. Lost Roadie

    Lost Roadie Rider

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    I typically got almost 3 weeks of daytime tracking + daily OK message from the 3 AAA super lithium batteries in the SPOT II.
    YRMV


    Have fun on the ride!
    #12
  13. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    You'll never cover every little what if, but unless I'm in imminent danger of death in this scenario my loved ones will find me before morning because of the system I have in place. Hopefully everyone else has one too.

    What if you foget to turn your tracking on and get knocked out and can't press help? OMG I better get a second SPOT for back up, carry a sat phone at least one big machette (from the knife thread), a couple cans of bear spray, probably at least 2 guns in case one jams or gets lost. Oh shit I ride a KTM I better have a water pump kit, fuel pump, and a slave cylinder too, how could I ever get home without? Oh man I need extra gas too, since I can't read a map or ask directions and plan I'm gonna carry a litre since that's the amount that will make the difference. Ahh fuck it I'm gonna stay right here in the blanket cave on my bed with a flashlight, it's much less scary than living life. dacrazyrn this wasn't directed at you just a vent at some of the paranoia I see on here.


    Edit, sorry for the rant and hijack, I'm a jerk off. lol
    #13
  14. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

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    For me it's SPOT, cell phone, and wallet. Each one has a pocket.

    The bike doesn't have to be down a cliff or something dramatic to be un-reachable. Your bike could be 10 feet away over clear ground and you could still have trouble getting to (or finding) your SPOT depending on the extent of the damage to your and/or your bike.

    But I must admit though, I don't leave that tracker on constantly. I wish you could configure it to send less frequently if you wanted. One ping every 4-6 hours would probably be fine for me. The default setup drags battery too much.
    #14
  15. dacrazyrn

    dacrazyrn ED RN Adventurer

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    I am a good Boy Scout, avid hiker, survivalist, and week + long backpacking type, so I do prepare for everything that could possibly go wrong, and usually have things to remedy those problems. Almost everything I take has at least a dual purpose in use. So a lot of the paranoia you see may just be good planning, and not relying on someone else to save your butt.
    And yes, I do carry a machete with me and sometimes a gun, too! :D
    Venting is good, trip :thumb:
    #15
  16. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    You can sure cover allot of ground in 4-6 hours though and be no where near the last location.

    Fixed it for ya, but there's no replacement for good planning like you say.
    #16
  17. TomDac

    TomDac Been here awhile

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    reviving this thread...

    got a spot 2 recently.. got it so I can use the tracking function and my friends/family can see where I am. I wish it could be changed to every 15 or 20 minutes, but alas.. that is not the case... Also, I wish that there was a hardwire option.. That way, i'll never had to worry about batteries.. I bought this thing specifically for my motorcycle trips and it'll stay in the cradle when I'm riding. What if I take a 3 week trip up to Alaska? I don't want to have to worry about batteries.. or packing extras..

    I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron... if someone figures out a way to do this, please post...
    #17
  18. PackRat

    PackRat Huey Guns

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    I had a Panasonic FRS radio that I hardwired by making a plastic block the size of the battery pac with brass contact strips and small teflon wires through a small hole in the battery case cover to a correct power source with an SAE 2 prong connector. I also bought another battery cover so I could put it back stock.

    On the other topic....as a helicopter pilot flying over water, I came to the conclusion that "If it ain't tied to my ass, it will not leave the aircraft with me" school of thought for survival gear! Your results may vary....


    .
    #18
  19. Callahan

    Callahan Long timer

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    I think you are trying too hard and then possibly the Spot will not be waterproof and you may not then be ablet o use it remotely to the bike. :eek1
    #19
  20. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    I don't know about the spot 2 but on my oldie with fresh lithiums you wouldn't even need to consider turning it off for 3 weeks. No problem at all, if you need more batteries they're available every 1-1.5 hours all the way there.
    #20