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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Shoganai, Nov 19, 2012.
I personally would not run power for driving lights or any big amp accessory through the switch. That's asking for a melt down. Run power to the lamps through a relay triggered by the switch.
Sorry if this is too basic. A relay is an electric switch that can be activated by a mechanical switch that might only be capable of carrying a small amount of current. The contacts inside the relay can be rated to handle a much larger load than the mechanical switch that activates it. Relays can be designed to be normally (not energized) open or normally closed contacts. Wiring a normally open relay of adaquate amperage rating to be energized (closed) by a mechanical switch protects the switch and its wires from "melt down", and applies almost full available power (through the relay contacts) to lights (brighter), horns (louder) etc. If wired directly from the battery ( and probably should be fused) with large enough ga wire. Inexpensive 30amp NO relays are available at auto parts stores for $4 to $5.
This is beautiful! Your whole project is beautiful! Love it! You're doing an awesome job!
If your switches are rated at 13 amps (at 12v) then you only need a relay for the things that will draw 13 or more amps.
Amps = Watts/volts so...
A 10 Watt LED driving light = 10 (Watts)/12 (volts) = .85 amps. No relay required. If you are running two of those driving lights from the same switch, it will be 1.7 amps. No relay required.
A 100 Watt driving light = 100W/12v = 8.5 amps. No relay required. 2 lights wired to the same switch would require a relay.
How many Watts are you Piaas?
How many total Watts is your heated gear?
Your fuse panel looks like a Easter Beaver PC-8. It's a nice piece of gear.
It has 6 circuits that are switched, and 2 that are always hot.
I recommend that you do not wire up your panel the way you have it drawn. I would add a relay and a fuse.
A fuse is the weakest link in the electrical system. If something starts to use too much power, the fuse burns, rather than something important. You MUST fuse between the battery and the fuse panel, in addition to the individual fuses.
Here's a photo I stole from the EB website. You don't have to buy this, but you should make something similar.
PC-8 Leads: connect to the EB panel.
Switching lead: connect to a wire that comes on when the bike is fired up (tail light, head light, etc) - This one is V-Strom specific, so it has a connector that fits the factory wiring harness.
Battery leads: connect to + and - on the battery
The red battery lead has a fuse of 30 amps - if the entire load of electrical stuff is more than 30 amps, the fuse will pop. Add all the Watts from all your gear, then divide by 12.
The little stuff like an LED tank bag light will not matter, but you can use 1 for the light and 1 for the GPS just to be safe.
If you come up with 150 Watts, you'll have (150/12) 12.5 Amps, which is less than 30, so your 30 amp fuse if OK. If you have 450 Watts, you'll have 37.5 Amps, and pop a fuse (and your alternator probably won't keep up unless you have a Gold Wing or F150).
Again - the 30 amp fuse is to protect the entire system, and in my opinion, is not optional.
The relay is to protect your battery from you. If you leave the Piaas or heated gear on when the bike is off, you'll kill the battery quickly. The relay is a switch that turns on when it gets power from something else. A relay generally has 4 terminals - little power in, and little power ground. Big power in and big power out.
The little power is the power that tells the relay to let the big power out.
This diagram is a good example, even if it's a little different than what you are doing. In this case, when #86 gets power (from a switch or from your tail light) it allows power to flow between #30 and #87. That way, a little switch can turn on a driving light that is larger than the maximum current draw for the switch. In your case, the relay will turn on the 6 switched circuits on the EB panel. You can add a switch if you like, but unless you are the queen of OCD, you'll forget to turn the switch off some day, and have a dead battery. I recommend triggering the relay (#86) from a wire that is hot only when the ignition is on.
You also have 2 "always on" circuits. I'd power the GPS and tank bag light, and possibly a cell phone charger from these two. On my bike, one is for a SAE plug, which I can connect to my battery tender or a 12v cigarette lighter with a USB adapter. These are always hot so I can charge my phone in camp, or charge the bike battery in my garage.
The others are switched, and they are for your lights, heated gear, etc.
You have a list of the Wattage for all your gear, so now you can determine the correct fuse and wire size for each one.
Divide Watts by 12 to get amps (again).
90 Watt heated jacket? 7.5 amps, so use a 10 amp fuse, but use wire that is rated for more than 10 amps.
Looking at this chart, http://www.cablesandconnectors.com/wiregauge.html
You can see that 20 gauge wire will carry 11 amps (it will drop for really long runs of wire, but that isn't a problem on a bike). You wire would need to be at least 20 gauge or larger for your theoretical 90 Watt jacket. However, if you decided to add heated gloves or pants, you'd need to increase the size of the fuse, and then rewire the bike. Uh oh.
So, if you use a large wire (like 16 gauge), you should have enough capacity to increase the fuse if you add more stuff later.
So, for each item that is less than 13 amps (your switch capacity) run a red wire to the switch from the + side of the EB panel, then run a red wire from the switch to the item needing power.
Run a black wire from the EB panel to the ground on the light, heated gear controller, whatever. The ground and the hot wire should be the same size (diameter, not length).
The third leg on the switch is for a ground, so the indicator light comes on. Connect the ground to the bike's frame where there is no paint, or return it to the EB panel. If you don't care about an indicator light, you can ignore it.
This is getting long winded. Sorry.
A few more tips:
Wire up everything with no fuses installed. The first fuse to install is the one going to the fuse panel. If nothing goes POP, you're on the right track. Then insert a fuse for the driving lights. Test them. If they work, add another fuse and test that circuit. Repeat.
Buy this book if you really want to learn about wiring. This guy is a good author, and teaches you just about everything from zero, without talking down.
Anyway, that's my random 2 cents.
Shoganai don't feel bad about being electron impaired. I've been trying to get a firm grip electrickery for decades. There are good days and there are smoke filled days. The Hella diagram in post #7 is good to ponder. Pretty much any generic 30/40-50 amp auto supply place relay works(I prefer anything but China made). All a relay is is just a heavier duty switch activated by your toggle whatever low current switch via small wires. It'll have the input activation juice sent to it via the toggle. From there the relay will do it's electro magnetic field voodoo electrickery to throw an internal switch/connection to connect the in/out big wires from the battery to the lights, starter whatever. Point being the low amp toggle switch and related small wiring is just to trigger the relays heavier duty wiring...
Sorry not very scientific but don't let a switch rating of ok for 12v, 120v/240v fool you. Its not the voltage that will let the magic smoke escape from the wires, it's the amperage.
If'n I were you I'd do a web search on wire sizes(for short bikes mainly dia/gauge not length)on what wire handles how many amps. If in doubt go with bigger wire.
You're off to a good start by asking for help/opinions, keep up the homework and hopefully others more qualified than me will help clear the fog.
Electrickery major Rule #1: if you let the magic smoke escape from the wires...you be screwed.
but it appears that the switch panel is inset, do you plan on covering it or are all of those switches waterproof? It looks like the inset portion will become a very small pond in a rainstorm.
If the switches aren't waterproof, you're going to have problems if the internal contacts get wet.
John E, hi!
That's a good point about the panel becoming a pond, but I think this panel is vertical on the left side of her K-bike. My guess from looking through the below photos is that it won't pool up water, because it's not really sealed to the outside panel.
Am I making sense?
Very nice work on the switch panel.
Glad to be of help. Getting a handle on 12v electric made me very happy.
Nice panel, by the way.
You certainly have a lot of lighting.
The Piaas are 85W each, and the Crees are 30Watts each, so you're at 230. Most heated jackets are 90W, so you may be using as much as 320 Watts - which is a LOT, and close to 27 amps.
I wouldn't add much more, and I think you should check your bike's alternator to see how much Wattage it puts out. Headlights are usually 55 or 60 each (K bike is a single?). The tail light, ignition, fuel pump, and all that other stuff needs power. If you have a 300 Watt alternator and run all your gear, your battery will discharge. If you have a 4090 Watt alternator, and are on the freeway, you'll be fine, but may discharge the battery around town.
Alternators are listed as Wattage at a certain RPM (usually high) so your 400 Watt alternator may only put out 400 when the bike is near redline, and much less than that at cruising or idle.
I'm going to recommend a small volt meter. There's a few in the vendors forum, and I have one on my Strom (I got stuck with a dead battery once). Something like this:
Wire it to the switched side of the EB panel. You'll want it to read over 13 volts, so if it starts to dip, shut off some lights.
Have fun. Learn lots!
You'll be fine with that alternator and power consumption.
You should be able to easily run the Gerbing and Power-Let from the fuse panel. Not going straight off the battery is why you bought it.
FWIW if you use relay sockets the wiring will be cleaner and more secure, Amazon has them at very low prices if you can't find them locally, also SPDT relays with NO and NC contacts are easy to find and might be handy and also fit the standard sockets. If space is at a premium Eastern Breaver sells micro relays with matching sockets at a reasonable price. As was said a voltmeter would be a very good idea with such a heavy electrical load and a LED type works well to monitor the charging system, will give warning of dropping battery voltage if you are running too many loads...
AND, definitely invest in a quality ratcheting crimper if you don't have one already, your connections will be consistent and reliable...they are not cheap but are well worth it
If the word "waterproof" was anywhere in the description, I'd already own one.
I'm particularly impressed by the schematic. (Although it took me a minute or two to figure out that your fuse block includes a negative "bus".) You've got a lot going on there and gotten it sorted on paper at least.
VERY nice switch panel.
NO is Normally Open (or "off" in English) and NC is Normally Closed (or "on" in English). The relay will turn one terminal off as it turns the other one on. Nobody asked for my interpretation, but there it is.
I have one and it's NOT really a motorcycle product. I had to open it up and adjust the voltage display. The switch for temperature doesn't work so the Fahrenheit display resets every few minutes. It works well on Celsius. For a while it would lose time whenever there was condensation, but that seems to have stopped. (I mean now it doesn't stop. I mean . . . .)