Tour Master Synergy 2.0 has PWM pulse controller like heat troller?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Buster452, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Buster452

    Buster452 Been here awhile

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    Ok, so I shot an email off to Tourmaster asking them about the controller and whether it was a pulse or rheostat type controller. The answer I got back wasn't clear, just "it used less power at lower settings".

    I figured a quick test was in order. I looked at my multi-meter and it doesn't measure amps. Bummer...then it struck me. I have an old 13.8vdc 20A power supply hanging out in the garage that has a built-in ammeter from back in my Ham Radio days. I got it warmed up, took the leads for my electric gear off my bike and hooked them up to the power supply.

    One click on the Syngergy 2.0 controller with my jacket plugged in yielded a bouncing ammeter. It bounced less the more clicks I went up until it was steady at full power. Hrmm, maybe the meter or power supply is bad? So, I hooked up my slime tire inflater. The inflater drew 2.5 amps steady. Power supply OK, meter OK.

    It appears that the controller that comes with the Tour Master Synergy 2.0 heated jacket is actually a pulse type controller and not a resistance type.

    Can someone else confirm this bit of good news? If confirmed, then I won't have to go spend the $$$ on a heat troller to save watts/amps.

    Also, at full power at 13.8VDC, the jacket was drawing 10amps (un-calibrated meter). The manual says 64.8W (5.4A at 12VDC) and I was expecting 4.7A. Could be the pulse width causing a faulty reading or my ammeter sucks. Either case, is there someone else with this gear that could take some better measurements?
    #1
  2. rjsurfer

    rjsurfer Been here awhile

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    It's PWM.

    I keep an eye on my bike's voltmeter and it goes up and down according to load, when I hooked up my amp meter to it maxed out at 5 amps then quickly dropped when the jacket warmed up.

    Ron W.
    #2
  3. Buster452

    Buster452 Been here awhile

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    Thanks I sent an email off to tour master specifically asking if it is pwm. If it is, that should be in the sales literature. I think its a big selling plus they're missing.
    #3
  4. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal Midlife Crisis Man

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    Most likely they aren't making a big deal about the technology behind their controllers, because then you, as a thinking person, could easily go online and find out that the exact same technology can be had for much much less $$

    For instance, this little baby works perfectly for your heated clothes.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/330779073667?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    #4
  5. Buster452

    Buster452 Been here awhile

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    That "little baby" is pretty big though when you put two of them together and compare them to the controller that came with the gear.

    I was thinking about going that route and permanently mounting speed controllers on the bike to control circuits for heated gear. If I have a PWM controller though, it's a moot point and I'll just stick with what I have.

    Buster

    #5
  6. GHO100

    GHO100 Crazy George

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Speaking of PWMs:

    This one does just as well as the one posted above: http://goo.gl/CcR91

    Can be had on ebay for less than $4. Another $2 for a small project box from radio shack, and you've got a really nice controller.

    However, this one is my favorite so far:

    http://goo.gl/wnW4m

    Edit: Added ebay link: http://goo.gl/8DK4r

    [​IMG]

    The unit lives under the seat, or where-ever, comes with the correct coax connections already, and has a waterproof remote control (internal rubber seal). Panel mount the 1 pigtail or have a single wire exposed to plug into. (I recommend a little rubber nub to keep it from rain/elements)

    Stick a magnet on the back of the remote, or velcro, and you have a wirelss heat controller with only 1 wire to connect getting on and off the bike, for less than $8.

    :super
    #6
  7. Buster452

    Buster452 Been here awhile

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    I saw that remote control unit. Seems like a good idea until I wonder whether I can run two of the units without the remotes interfering with each other.

    I got impatient today and broke out the tools. Here are the inerds of the dual controller that comes with the Jacket. Looks like PWM to me and not just a bank of resistors or rheostat.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Buster452

    Buster452 Been here awhile

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    Ya know, the more I look at this picture the more pleased I am with this. Looks like a solid design.

    1. Utilize multi-position rotary switches with on-board resistors instead of potentiometers to control the pulse width. More durable than a potentiometer. Sure, it's not infinitely variable power, but it's more durable.
    2. Looks like they added a capacitor to smooth out the on-off-on-off pulses. Smart, less wear on the heater elements and probably quicker warmup on lower settings.

    I don't see a need for me to go penny tech some motor controllers to control my heated gear now.
    #8
  9. V-Tom

    V-Tom Been here awhile

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    I'm happy with my Synergy II Jacket and Gloves.

    Is it possible that the unit draws much more initially than later on? I recall reading their literature saying that the jacket and gloves are self regulating so you don't have to worry about them overheating. And it seems toi me that when I first turn it on it heats up pretty quickly and then feels like it maintains the temperature. Could it draw a lot when first started to get the temeperature up and then back down? Would your measuring reflect that? (I know very little about electricity so please excuse my ignorance in this.)

    Thanks,

    Tom
    #9
  10. allonsye

    allonsye ("lets go!")

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    OK. Loved mine until after the 3rd ride, it stopped working. How do I determine if the controller is bad or a short in the jacket?

    I have a solid amber light on the left and a red on the right that illuminates on the controller. No lights when turned full CW to stop. I have an old extreme version Heat-troller in the parts bin I could use but would that require linking some of those wires coming out of the jacket together?
    #10
  11. revitup

    revitup Been here awhile

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    I've got the same jacket, stopped working after about two years....who knows what the problem is. I did fold it up tight to pack it away in the pannier the odd time but it should have lasted longer than this. Not impressed.
    #11
  12. V-Tom

    V-Tom Been here awhile

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    For what it's worth i returned my Synergy II Torumaster gear. I found that it ultimately was cheaply made with wires breaking. Tourmaster was very good at giving the compnay I gbought it from a full credit for my gear.

    ..Tom
    #12