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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    Thanks. I agree it was a mistake to use the time-delayed-shutdown BMW GPS power to operate a time-delayed-shutdown PDM60. I'm sure "Thou shalt not use multiple time delays" is carved in a stone tablet somewhere.

    I'll switch to the green/blue diagnostic plug wire this weekend (after the Motorcycle Show!) during my "Phase 3 wire cleanup" job.
    #81
  2. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I think you are right about the interaction between the PWM-modulated heated gear and the PDM60. I found a cleaner solution anyway. I made a short jumper with an SAE plug on one end and the Warm-N-Safe cylindrical female plug on the other. I have another jumper with an SAE plug on one side, directly wired to the battery to connect my tender. When I need heat, I install the jumper (strategically tie strapped to the bike) and plug the gear to a direct (but fused) battery connection. No PDM involved and I avoid a fourth connection on the battery terminals.
    #82
  3. Arby60

    Arby60 Bluegrass Rider

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    Thanks for the braided loom link. There are several types shown on that site. Which do you recommend? Also, would the braided loom be used in place of or in addition to the hockey stick tape?
    #83
  4. Nesbocaj

    Nesbocaj Politicians suck

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    I am running Gerbings jacket and gloves off of one of the 15amp lines, it works fine. If you wanted to you could use one of the 5amp lines to
    throw a relay and wire the heated gear directly to the battery giving you ignition controlled (off and on) heated gear, but I thought the idea was
    to do away with the relays and fuses if possible.

    Time for the guy that built the product to step in........................


    EDIT to add: I also have a set of driving lights on the PDM as well. Completely forgot about them.
    #84
  5. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I took the advice offerred here and did some more cleanup work on my install. The guys at Rowe Electronics were great for questions. The whole setup now works great: PDM60 - Autoswitch - Clearwater Krista LED aux lights - heated gear.

    [​IMG]

    I got an education in all the wrong ways to work with crimp connectors. In the end I did everything with Posi-Lok products and soldered crimps. I know the crimp joints should work without the soldering, but I just couldn't make myself confident.

    I like the suggestion to run the wires under the frame, rather than over. Now the stock BMW wire bundle that runs over top looks out of place!

    I also added an external switch (left over from the Krista install kit) for the non-ignition controlled circuit on the PDM-60. At this time, I don't have anything connected to it. I think I may wire in my micro-USB power supply to recharge my Cardo Scala G4 unit. I haven't been that far from 110V power so far, so it isn't a priority. Here is a photo of the charger I made by canibalizing a small cigarette lighter USB charger:

    [​IMG]

    PowerLet makes a "proper" micro-USB direct-battery connector, but it costs $45. I had this stuff lying around.

    It would look neater (no wires to see) if I used a black plastic mounting panel instead of the lexan. But, again, I had it lying around...

    I still want to see some other installs.


    Thanks for all the advice!
    #85
  6. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to Asphalt!

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    Isn't the purpose of the PDM to get rid of extra relays?????????????
    #86
  7. Nesbocaj

    Nesbocaj Politicians suck

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    Hey Craig, that turned out great! :clap
    #87
  8. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    The PDM60 isn't the driver for the relays. It's main benefit is eliminating fuses, not relays. It has its own internal switching for the power circuits tied either to ignition or an external switch. I needed two relays for different reasons: Canbus and Autoswitch.

    My Stebel horn pulls much more current than the stock BMW horn. I had been warned that just directly connecting the stock power feed (switched by the horn button) would not provide enough current and result in a Canbus fault. So, I tied the horn button to a relay and fed the Stebel current from the PDM60 through that. One of you may tell me that the horn will work fine straight off the Canbus, but I wanted one less thing to worry about!

    The second relay was for the Autoswitch to eliminate the need to add a separate switch on the bars for the Krista lights. The turn-signal cancel button trips the Autoswitch, which trips the relay, which sends PDM60 power to the Krista module. The Autoswitch output is a 12v signal and the Krista module is looking for a switch closure: the relay bridges that gap.

    (PS - I thought I posted this earlier today - but I seem to have killed it somehow!)
    #88
  9. katego

    katego Been here awhile

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    I'm in the middle of a very similar project on a R1150GS. Is the need for a 2nd relay a requirement with the PDM60? Doesn't the Krista harness have a relay built in? (my kit includes eastern beaver PC8, Autoswitch, and krista lights)

    -k
    #89
  10. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    My install included 2 relays, but they have nothing to do with the PDM60. The Kristas do have some sort of internal relay that clicks on when the two external switch (red) wires are connected via an external switch. The PDM60 simply provides fused power (although the Krista module power lead comes with it's own fuse - that I didn't use.)

    I used a relay on the Kristas to enable the Autoswitch. The Autoswitch creates a 12v signal when the turn signal cancel button is pushed. I routed that signal to a relay which replaces the external switch for the Kristas. I mis-spoke in my earlier post as the relay does not provide POWER to the Kristas, but replaces the external switch. Power comes directly through the PDM60 from one of the ignition-switched circuits.

    There may be another way to skin this cat without the relay. As I read the schematic, the Krista module needs both an ignition-triggered 12v input AND the external switch closure to fire the lights. I now wonder if we could just permanently joined the external switch wires and routed the Autoswitch output to the Krista ignition wire. The Autoswitch has a separate ground lead for the 12v output that is intended to go to the low side of the relay coil. I wonder if that were connected straight to ground only, if it would work.

    You could contact the Krista people to see if that would work. I know the relay method works fine and I have no intentions to rewire.

    Also, if the GS stock horn circuit can flow enough juice for the Stebel without a CanBus error, I wouldn't need the other relay either. Someone could give that a try and let us know if it works.
    #90
  11. katego

    katego Been here awhile

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    Yeah. Last night when I got to the part where I needed to connect the autoswitch to the krista harness I started scratching my head. I thought that the autoswitch would be a direct replacement for the switch in the krista kit. I have put in an email to clearwater for clarification.

    -k
    #91
  12. katego

    katego Been here awhile

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    Here's the answer from Clearwater.

    (great speedy support, and one more good reason to spend the extra $$ on this product).

    #92
  13. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    This is a more elegant solution, to be sure. The Autoswitch instruction sheet shows it being used to operate a relay and I just followed along. I wish I'd thought to email the Clearwater guys first! Oh well - a future opportunity to simplify my wiring.


    Thanks!:clap
    #93
  14. Rev Kiecker

    Rev Kiecker Been here awhile

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    Just called into aerostich and it sounds like they are still waiting from the manufacture to get new units - another 2-4 weeks. Ugh. Sounds like the manufacture is making a slightly updated unit that aerostich is waiting for. Not sure what all is being updated....perhaps they can chirp in here and let us know.

    Hopefully it comes sooner rather than later otherwise I might have to go with another product.
    #94
  15. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    I just tried to order mine from Aerostich and got an email back from them saying...

    "Thank you for your recent order.

    The PDM 60 is on back order at this time. Right now we do not have an ETA. They are being manufactured but we have not heard from them as to when they should arrive here. As soon as they are in stock, we will ship your order out to you.

    I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
    "


    So, after getting Steve's contact info from John Smallberries (Thanks!), I emailed him to ask what was up and he replied (VERY QUICKLY... Thanks Steve!)...

    "We made some significant revisions (improvements) to the product, which backed up deliveries a bit. We are hoping to ship the first week of April.

    For the immediate future you need to purchase through Aero. We will be happy to support the product direct after the sale.

    Thank you for your interest in our product. I will try to get a picture of the revised part so you can see what we did to it."


    While I'm bummed I won't be getting my PDM60 this week, I'm glad Rowe Electronics will be shipping the new units the first week of April and and excited about the improvements.
    #95
  16. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    Here's the description and photo from Steve of the new, improved PDM60...

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pointing out some of the changes you will notice that we eliminated the
    connector on the body of the device and moved to a short pigtail with an
    indexed connector. This makes mounting easier and gives the user much more
    flexibility for the install. The pins are simple to remove so that the user
    can delete wire positions as needed easily.

    Added a dedicated connector for a battery tender/charger hook up. This is
    NOT a high amperage connection. It is intended for low load maintenance
    charging only.

    Removed the heavy ground from the device. A ground buss is supplied with the
    device to go direct to the battery. It has a ring terminal and you can stack
    as many grounds on it as you wish. We recommend that you instead ground your
    devices to the factory ground points found on all motorcycles. These are
    easily identified by many brown wires leading to a screw or hex head bolt on
    the frame of the motorcycle.
    </pre>------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [​IMG]
    #96
  17. V-Stormer

    V-Stormer Bush Basher

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    [While I'm bummed I won't be getting my PDM60 this week, I'm glad Rowe Electronics will be shipping the new units the first week of April and and excited about the improvements.[/QUOTE] Narisco Lopez

    Ha, ha, ha, . . .bwa,ha,ha,ha :rofl ....First Week of April??? Good F&&^%^g luck! I ordered mine last November, told then that is was on backorder and wouldn't be available until mid February, oh wait - mid March . . . oops - mid April, so here we are now in mid May and still "no ETA"!!!! Six months of excuses! :mad?

    Both the manufacturer and the distributor dropped the ball and failed miserably in my view. Aerostich didn't even put up the fact they were out of stock on their website until well into this year! If I delivered a project at work like this, my ass would be fired. So I'm firing them!

    I've abandoned hoping to use this product and gone back to using a reliable old fuse block that won't need the whole thing to be replaced if one part fails anyway. Fix the problem, put in another fuse (that you can find anywhere) and you're on your way. Sometimes technology just gets in the way. My advice (in the words of Tony Soprano) "forget about it!"
    #97
  18. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Something definitely sounds fishy here with all of these delays.

    I can report that mine is running fine after five months of riding.
    #98
  19. GeckoRider

    GeckoRider Been here awhile

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    Big bummer. Glad I saw this thread though. Was going to wait but if the ETA is Never at this rate I will have to spend my cash some place else. Now back to the drawing board to sort out what will work for me.
    #99
  20. SmileyO

    SmileyO Sorta n00b

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    I saw this thread in early January when I needed some kind of power distribution for extra lights and gps and phone. March 5, 2011 (Saturday), chose the Aerostich PDM because I liked the idea of solid state, and the fact that I wouldn't have to buy fuses should one short. Got online, saw it was available, and ordered it...man was I excited, a new project!

    March 7th (Monday) I was told it was it was backordered but would be shipping in 3-4 weeks. No big deal, it was rainy and cold, not really in the mood to work outside...man, I was STILL excited, and could wait.

    May 11th, wrote to aerostich to find out what the scoop was since I didn't have the PDM yet, they said it was still on backorder, but expecting it soon...man, I was NOT so excited, but I guess I could wait.

    May 12th, wrote back to aerostich to find out what "soon" meant in calendar days, and said I was starting to get frustrated with the continual delays. I was told aerostich is expecting them "in the next two weeks", and the "the manufacture had a delay in one of the parts that were included in the manufacturing process", along with an apology...man, now I was getting annoyed...and definitely losing my patience.

    June 1st (just under 3 weeks later), I write again to aerostich, and am told "The PDM 60 is still on back order", and how it was frustrating to them and their customers not to have an accurate ETA from the manufacture...man, now I am f***ing pissed.

    TODAY, June 1st, night, I write to tell them to refund my $ including any shipping and tax.

    Now to aerostich rep's credit, she was cordial in the email, but vague on time frame.

    So to make a long story short (too late), and to borrow my Texan friend's colloquialisms, you have a better chance of a 3 legged horse winning the Kentucky derby than you do getting the PDM 60.

    So it's back to square 1 to find a comparable alternative. (3 months waiting and all I got was this crummy tshirt...oh wait, I didn't even get a tshirt!)