Rowe Electronics Power Distribution Module PDM60: anybody try one?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by John Smallberries, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Steve
    Thanks for posting! It is very cool to have a direct connection with the inventor. Do you have any photos of a PDM60 installed on a bike (with a BMW 1200GS preferred, of course!)

    Are you saying that I could reconfigure the circuits for a different set of current limits, as long as the total draw stays under 60 amps? I assume I could tie two outputs together for 30 amps-right?

    That may be useful to me as my gadget list is as follows
    - Stebel horn (rumored to need 30 amps)
    - full set of heated gear at 15 amps
    - Clearwater Krista LED aux lights at under 7 amps
    - iPhone charger at 2 amps
    - Zumo (I assume to be under 1 amp)
    - tiny aux LEDs - milliamps

    I live west of Detroit. Is there anyone around me that could do this next year?
    :ear
    #41
  2. srowe41

    srowe41 Mr. Resistor

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    You would have to be set up with our "Dashboard" software and programming tool. It would be more economical to send the unit in for an update.
    #42
  3. hooligan971

    hooligan971 Adventurer

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    Looks like a sweet gadget. I see where Steve mentions it was built "by and for a rider" and I'm sure said rider has his own personal requirements for powering his accessories(5A 5A 5A 15A etc..),and that it would work for many others, but I think maybe we should pick a few combinations of options and start a poll thread. Maybe if there is enough interest they would consider taking the favorite configuration in the poll and sell it along side the origional as the ADV model :D giving maybe a better choice for different setups without having to order it then send it somewhere to have it changed.
    #43
  4. srowe41

    srowe41 Mr. Resistor

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    John,

    We have not tried tying the leads together for a larger output capacity but it's an interesting enough idea that we will set one up here and give it a try.

    As for picutures, I don't have a standard GS right now. I can get you images on an HP2, 1200RT or a 1200 Multistrada.

    Steve
    #44
  5. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Steve;
    Thanks. What makes this forum so helpful is people sharing pictures of their rides, bikes and projects. We'd like to see any photos you have.

    PM me if you need help getting the photos posted in the thread. I upload mine to a SmugMug account, then cut/paste an "embeddable link" into the thread from there.

    Craig (aka John Smallberries)
    #45
  6. srowe41

    srowe41 Mr. Resistor

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    That's a great idea....Again, these decisions are ultimately in the hands of Aerostich, but they cater to the ADV rider and should understand where this is going. Bottom line for them is justifying the quantity sold against inventory costs and that plays into it on our side as well. As far as custom configurations, it's no problem from a software standpoint. Hardware mods outside of wire can be a little more challenging.

    Steve
    #46
  7. BMWzenrider

    BMWzenrider The Road Scholar

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    This would be a much better system if it were truely waterproof not just "water resistant".

    I would also prefer if the two modules communicated via a wired plug that also supplied power for backlighting the display on the control unit. As it is, the control unit needs to be opened up repeatedly with six screws to replace the double-AA batteries. Not the best design.
    Garmin manages to have a totally watertight mini-USB plug on their GPS units. They could have used a similar port to connect the two devices and probably reduced complexity, cost, size of the controller (no battery compartment); AND increased reliability (no wireless linking/interference issues), as well as made the controller fully waterproof due to no need for user access inside of it.


    IMHO, the build quality of the distribution box is questionable as well.
    To my eyes, it looks like someone took an off-the-shelf project box and cut it out for the various I/O ports/wires. It isn't sealed at ALL.
    And what is up with the "optional" waterproof roll-top bag as a stop-gap way to keep water out of the distribution module???
    First of all, it is a hokey way to address the issue, and will probably be compromised due to vibrations/rubbing in short order.
    Second, Even the area under the seat can get wet pretty easily in a good rain, if the distribution module is not sealed against water intrusion that bag should be part of the standard package!

    I can <I>sorta</i> understand using the barrel connectors for the heated gear switched circuits, although they really should be pigtails to extend outside of the roll-top bag so that they can be disconnected easily when not in use.
    But for the other two generic switched circuits, barrel connectors make no sense at all. You want something that will be a permanent connection.

    The whole thing just seems like it needed a looking over by a design engineer who actually rides. It seems like it was designed by a software guy... :lol3:rofl
    And that is just what I can see from a quick look at their website... :deal

    Otherwise I can see where it could be an interesting product...
    But that is just my opinion...
    #47
  8. BMWzenrider

    BMWzenrider The Road Scholar

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    Thanks for coming into here and offering to answer our questions! :clap

    I have been adding fuse blocks to my bikes for years, and am always looking for the next, best, thing. :deal

    This is the re-wiring that I did for out_rider's sidecar rig this summer. I am showing off the job we did on his rig because it turned out nicer than what I did for my own sidecar, but used the same fuseblock.

    [​IMG]

    We both have a Hannigan sidecar with dual Piaa headlamps switched thru relays to operate as separate Hi/Lo beams, as well as a high-draw servo-screw motor to adjust leanout, a Can-BUS trailer-light wiring relay package, and some other accessory circuits.

    I think that your module would clean things up nicely, and potentially eliminate at least some of the relays depending upon how it can be set up.

    -----

    One suggestion that I have is to perhaps include longer pigtails for the wires. Or offer a long-wire plug as an option? It would reduce/eliminate splices in the wiring harnesses, which are always a weakness and source of trouble.

    Another would be if you could offer one low-amperage circuit that was always-ON for those of us who do long-distance riding and like to keep our GPS running to maintain our trip-log timers.

    And, of course, there are always those of us who need MORE... :evil
    As you can see, I already have an extra external fuse added to out_rider's six circuit panel. Are there any plans for the 8/10/12 circuit model??? :ear
    #48
  9. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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    Just got an email flyer from aerostich showing the PDM60 to be on sale for a few days for $98.10

    I think that they are also shipping to CONUS for a flat $5
    #49
  10. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    That is a great deal. My Santa may have gotten hosed by ordering it 2 weeks ago. Maybe we can work a discount deal with Aerostich.

    I've been thinking and planning for a while now and am convinced this is the right choice for me. One holdback was my new Stebel Nautilus mega-loud horn. It comes with a 20 amp fuse and the PDM60 individual circuit max is 15 amps. I wired up the Stebel on my workbench feeding through a 15 amp mini fuse and could blast away with no problems. I'll try again with a bona-fide amp meter next (need to buy one first - my current multi-meter only measures AC current).
    #50
  11. thetable

    thetable Long timer

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    I saw that, and I still can't come up with a reason to order it. I mean, I want to order this thing, especially with it being on sale, but I can't think of any accessories I have planned for the bike that will need the add on. Help me out here with some ideas, please.

    Radar detector and GPS are running off the bike's aux circuit (7A capability,) and I have enough juice left over to run LED driving lights. Heated gear and SAE connector run straight to the battery, no switching needed.
    #51
  12. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    We are talking about discretionary purchases here - so WANT is a more appropriate word than NEED!

    I can handle much of what I want to do on my GS with a) direct battery connection and b) use of the BMW unused "aux" header connector tied to ignition. This would require me to have four direct battery connections beyond the bike harness: 1) heated gear, 2) battery tender, 3) Clearwater Krista LED light controller, 4) Stebel horn. My iPhone, LED handguard lights and future Zumo could be run off the BMW aux connector.

    I don't like the stack of direct battery connections, but the cheapest way to handle this is with the Powerlet "Termin-8"
    [​IMG]

    The PDM60 is a more sophisticated solution that will give me a cleaner wiring setup and future expansion capability.

    I may add more LED aux lights, radar detector, passenger heat in the future. These are clearly "wants", not "needs".

    So - I have no good argument, but I still want one...:rofl
    #52
  13. cpallen

    cpallen Nearly Adventurer

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    That's funny, me too. My GPS runs off the intended circuit and my heated liner runs off the provided coaxial direct battery connection and I've added a HD cig lighter plug in my glove box to that . My BMW Battery charger plugs in to an aux outlet and I have no plans for lights.

    After buying the Dorsoduro this summer my CFO put me on supervision. So now I am just an instigator/enabler living vicariously off of other people's farkles.
    :wink:
    #53
  14. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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  15. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I will very readily admit that I don't have a lot of electrical expertise. I am also willing to pay to have things installed if I need to. I will also take on a project if I think i can do it without destroying anything.

    So... how exactly would I install this on my 1200RT? I know I need to get into the ignition, but where and how? Or do I just take this to the dealer and have them do it?

    I had a fuse block on my GSA (may it rest in peace) and I'm trying to get all my goodies back. At some point, I need aux lighting, an Autocom and a charging wire to a handheld ham radio. I already have my Gerbing plug wired direct but would not rule out running it through this thing. I may also add a GPS.
    #55
  16. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    We are all waiting for Guru-Steve to post some install photos. Looking at the diagrams, all seems simple enough. Two leads directly to the battery for power and ground. One lead spliced into an ignition-controlled circuit. (On my GS I plan to use the diagnostic plug as it will be close by.). An option is an additional lead to a separate switch for control independent of ignition. After that, power leads to each gadget. You can chose to ground each to the frame or run a dedicated ground lead back. I believe the electrical engineers in the crowd would recommend the dedicated grounds, but the under-seat wire bundle will be bulkier. Throw in a bunch of Posi-Lok taps and splices and you have a plan.
    #56
  17. Nesbocaj

    Nesbocaj Politicians suck

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    A question for Mr. Rowe,

    Is there a need for a diode on the trigger wire for isolation?:ear

    Very cool indeed to have the Inventor's input here, thanks!
    #57
  18. srowe41

    srowe41 Mr. Resistor

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    Nice job on the sidecar wiring.

    The pigtails can be any length you desire. The original version actually had a complete harness on it, overbraided, with leads for rear, center and steering head. The steering head lead had a connector so that the user could install it once and then make changes at will without disassembling the bike....That variant went the way of the dollar sign, but there are virtually no limits on what you can have for pigtails.

    An "always on" circuit can be done...It's simply a matter of programming the unit to do so.

    There are plans for larger units, two of them with more circuits and more AMP capacity. Both will be available some time mid 2011. The PDM60 is at the limit for its size, so you can expect about half again as long as the 60 for half again the capacity and circuits. This is in response to other markets since size definitely does matter on bikes. If you have the room we can accomodate your needs.
    #58
  19. srowe41

    srowe41 Mr. Resistor

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    Hook up your Nautilus and blast away! The horn is intermittent and the PDM60 should have plenty of capacity on a 15 AMP circuit. The worst that can happen is the module will shut the circuit down and indicate a fault and I highly doubt it will happen.
    #59
  20. srowe41

    srowe41 Mr. Resistor

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    For an RT you simply run the power and ground wires to the battery terminals. The ignition trigger goes directly to the hot side of the tail light (I'll tell you later which color) and the rest is hooking up the accessories to the pigtail. It makes a nice clean installation.
    #60