Heated Topcase

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Mr_Gone, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,708
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    So I just bought a new Givi E55 topcase for myself for Christmas, and some heated gear, which means I'm good to ride down into the single digits, and I plan on riding through the winter.

    I keep some items in my topcase — digital camera, for example — that I would rather not freeze if I go riding for a few hours. Has anyone come up with a way to keep the items in their topcase from freezing? Or is this a question only an insomniac like me considers at 2:00 a.m.?

    I've considered battery-powered heated socks, cut down the middle to form a heating pad of sorts. Maybe one on the bottom of the case, and one placed on top of my stuff. With a 9-volt rechargeable battery, they should radiate some heat for at least a couple hours.

    Also, tossing in a couple/few disposable heat packs, like those you find in most hunting stores. I don't know if these would radiate enough heat, though.

    I would rather not wire up heating elements into the topcase, as this would mean drilling at least one small hole in the topcase.

    Any thoughts? Any ideas and suggestions would be appreciated. Insults will be tolerated. Questions of my sanity are expected.
    #1
  2. E-town dirt dude

    E-town dirt dude Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    edmonton
    How cold are you riding in? Most electronic equipment will do just fine in cold conditions. It's the batteries that will suffer. Keep camera batteries in your pockets and they will be okay. And realistically....if it's that cold...put the bike away :D
    #2
  3. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,967
    Location:
    Wellington,New Zealand
    i think you need to be careful here.If you have a warm camera and bring it out into cold air,you might cause yourself condensation issues INSIDE the camera
    #3
  4. Leodis41

    Leodis41 I wanna Orange one!!

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Leeds - UK.
    If the camera gear is warm inside and out you will not get condensation forming when you remove it from the top box and case.

    Condensation forms when warm moist air hits a cold surface whose temperature is lower than the dew point of the warm air.
    The bigger risk is when you put the camera back in the top box, if it is cold and damp outside this, dampness will permeate into the top box, after using the camera outside it will have cooled down, so when you put it back in the top box that is when the risk of condensation forming on the camera. This is because the camera will be cold and the air in the top box warm and moist and so condensation could form.

    Keep the top box unheated and if really cold take a spare set of batteries with you.

    Oh and when taking the photo be careful of where you breathe when you get the camera out.
    #4
  5. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,809
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Get an insulated bag for the camera and heat that. It'll use a lot less power.

    Pete
    #5
  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,939
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    Come on, come clean. You're going to be delivering pizzas aren't you? :lol3

    How about just carrying the camera in an inner pocket?
    #6
  7. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,708
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    You got me. I bought my FJR so I can be anywhere in 30 minutes or less. :evil


    #7
  8. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,708
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    I'm riding down into the single digits.

    And I don't need to keep everything in the topcase at 68 degrees. I just want to keep some of the electronics from actually freezing.
    #8
  9. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,380
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    It gets that cold in Arkansas ?
    #9
  10. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8,708
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    It happens occasionally, but rarely. I ride every day, though, unless there's ice on the road.

    Last winter, I don't think the temps fell below freezing more than a half dozen times at night. This year, it's been in teens several times, so I'm anticipating a colder winter.

    But I have a new hobby — photography — so I'm trying to get out more, ride on the weekends, and start learning how to take better photos. So during the winter, that means colder temps.
    #10
  11. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    55,316
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Boot sole liners that are heated. They are flat and draw only a little power. Should be enough.

    Jim :brow
    #11
  12. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,054
    Location:
    NWA
    For two weeks. :lol3
    #12
  13. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,054
    Location:
    NWA
    One problem you can run into is if the camera is several degrees warmer then the outside air, when you pull it out you'll have issues with the lens fogging up and heck, maybe even the sensor I'm guessing. I would think you want to keep the camera at or about the temps of the outside air. Like someone else said, just keep teh batteries warm.
    #13
  14. Leodis41

    Leodis41 I wanna Orange one!!

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Leeds - UK.
    Sorry to correct you but refer to post 4 earlier. Hot moist air hitting a cold surface, not cold air on a hot surface.
    #14
  15. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,054
    Location:
    NWA
    So the reverse, putting the cold camera into the heated top case will cause the condensation.
    #15
  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,317
    Location:
    Hog Mountain

    A lot of people appear to have this reversed.
    A warm camera into a cold environment means it is LESS likely to fog up.
    Of course the cold camera placed into the warm case might fog.

    If you really need to do something, and I don't think you do, just put a light bulb in there and wire it to the ignition switch. A 35 watt bulb on a big METAL socket (to spread the heat) may do what you want. Anything on a small 9 volt battery will only give you heat for a few minutes.
    #16
  17. ddeitz

    ddeitz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    65
    I really don't think you need to do anything, just because your cold and wont function properly without heat doesn't mean your electronics wont ;) I've never had a real problem with electronics and the cold. Ive left my cellphone in my car by mistake in winter I don't even know how many times, I also ride with my camera\cellphone in below freezing weather and never have a problem.

    Source: I live in Winnipeg if it hit single digits in winter here it would be considered extremely warm.
    #17
  18. jenshenrik

    jenshenrik n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Denmark
    Drill a small hole and use a hose to transport some of the engine heat to the box. :D
    #18
  19. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,342
    Location:
    Barrie Ont
    12v car seat pad for 9 bucks.
    #19