$35.00 Heated Jacket Liner (DIY)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by 65 Flathead, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. theWolfTamer

    theWolfTamer Lupie on a Mission

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    Ken, I haven't put it on yet. Still waiting on the controllers! I ordered my first ones from ebay but they didn't perform as the specs said they should. I could barely feel heat from them for my gloves so I just boxed 'em up and sent 'em back. Gonna try again with a higher output controller.

    Once I get the controllers, I can use the stitch witchery to "sew" the shirt to the fleece over the wires. I'm not going bother to sew the wires to the fleece. Want to wait to see if the 30 ft of single stranded teflon wire will produce enough heat or if I need to add more feet in the front.

    I can't decide which is more fun, making the heated gear or making the controllers. Both is a challenge! I'm even going to make a vest for my "motohubby". (If he were the real deal, I'd do the full monty!) Too bad I can't make a little extra cash doing this, I'm going to have LOTs of wire leftover.
  2. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    it's interesting no one has taken this info and used it to make a heated seat or there own heated grips. good thread though
  3. theWolfTamer

    theWolfTamer Lupie on a Mission

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    I've actually thought about grip heaters since I have so much wire left over. Not the heated seat though, it doesn't get cold enough were I live to justify one.
  4. Green427

    Green427 Comfortably Dumb

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    Not worth making your own heated grips, since the basic kits available are only $20, and are ready to install.

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to make a heated seat, especially since only a small part of your body is in contact with the seat...and everything on my body is cold except my ass.

    Goldwings have heated seats, however, their seats are as big as a lazyboy chair.
  5. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Actually having done an SS1000 on a borrowed BMW K1300GT, I gotta say the heated seat was kind of nice. You gotta think of its a use a bit different too. Usually if you are already outfitted with all the heated gear on a normal cold day, you don't need the heated seat, but if you are out riding on a day maybe late in the fall when the days are warm, but the nights get chilly and forgot to bring some warm gear, those built in heated grips and heated seat can be kind of nice to switch on and give you some heat.

    On that SS1000 trip, I was on my way back and the sun was setting. I had been dressed pretty cool since it had been warm, but the sun setting saw the temp dropping fast. I could have stopped and put on some more layers, but using the heated seat and grips, I was able to ride another hour or two staying comfortable before stopping and putting on more layers.
  6. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    So what's the consensus on the best wire to use? I originally read 30 ga. multi-strand hook up wire, then I read about a teflon coated wire, then the 26 ga. nichrome?
  7. Green427

    Green427 Comfortably Dumb

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    Understood.

    I was thinking in terms of a naked bike with a simple fairing, which is what I have. There is constant wind on my legs, torso, arms, and neck, which is where it gets cold, so my ass is the last thing I think about.

    I am sure if you have a full-blown touring bike with barn doors, having a heated seat would make a difference.

    Probably would also help keep shrinkage to a minimum, good for those cold trips to visit your lady....:lol3
  8. Green427

    Green427 Comfortably Dumb

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    I picked stranded 30ga that is teflon coated since stranded wire flexes with less breakage than solid wire. Got a 100 foot roll for about $35 I think. Enough to make 3 jackets plus.
  9. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    [​IMG]

    30awg copper is more flexible and comes teflon coated but has a resistance of around .1 ohm per foot which means you have to sew a metric shitload of it into your garment. If I ever had the need to make pants I'd probably use it.

    My experience with 26ga nichrome has been good overall. It is only slightly more "wiry" or brittle and I cover it myself with 1/16" shrink tube. At around 2.6 ohms per foot, you need a fraction of the wire which, in my case anyway, allows me to build things faster and troubleshoot easier. I use a 54" loop to get about 16 watts - just the right length for a glove. In my jacket, I employ 8 54" loops in parallel for 120 something watts. (overkill) Unlike a single loop, if I incur a break, I lose heat only in that quadrant and I know where to look. I can make (and have made) field repairs easily, even while camping.
  10. Green427

    Green427 Comfortably Dumb

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    I use 30-33 feet of the 30ga teflon wire. It is silver-plated copper. Total resistance is roughly 3.1 ohms for 33 feet.

    33 feet seems like a lot until you start installing the wire in your jacket, and after an hour of sewing or ironing, you realize you need more. That jacket that I ironed the wire on used 33 feet, and I thought it could use more.

    That is the going rate for the DIY kits available out there.

    http://www.bulkwire.com/wire-cable/ptfe-high-temperature-stranded-wire.html
  11. psychoscot

    psychoscot Heeland Cowboy

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  12. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    Sounds like the teflon multi-strand is what I want. I need the extra length, and would much prefer not having to add my own insulation. 33 feet seems to be the general consensus.

    Thanks!
  13. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    Yep, 33 feet will get you about 55 watts. For a jacket liner, you might consider two 33' loops in parallel. If you're gonna build it, why not over-build it - that's my motto. :evil
  14. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    Odd question for you all; can I add a 2' length (or 4) of say 12 gauge wire in the middle of my 'loop' of 30 gauge wire? I want to add a foot or so of heated wire in front of my knee caps (as they generally get cold quick), but don't want to waste the heat traveling down and back up my thighs (that don't need it). My amateur electrical knowledge says this won't effect anything. The 12 ga. will have no notable resistance, so will not get hot or waste power. But I just wanted to make sure that the 30 ga. that's separated from the rest of the loop would get approximately the same temperature.

    It's a one piece suit liner I'll be wiring. Here's what I'm thinking roughly. The back will be wired about identical to the front from the waist up. Looking for a total of 30-35 ft of 30 ga., and probably 4 feet of 12 ga. for the thighs and the main power line.

    [​IMG]
  15. KEN PHENIX

    KEN PHENIX "CERTIFIABLE"

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    So essentially you'll have six short sections of resistance wire in a series, each having its own wattage. My guess is all the pieces would need to be the same length or the knees will be too hot. I would just run left and right continuous loops 33' each in parallel including the thighs. That will give you 110 to 120 watts max which is not excessive for a one piece suit, especially with a controller. My jacket is 120 watts which is admittedly overkill but there have been times when I got chilled off the bike and enjoyed the quick heat-up. Also, 14 or 16ga supply wire will suffice without the stiffness of 12ga.
  16. theWolfTamer

    theWolfTamer Lupie on a Mission

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    Also remember the gauge of the wire changes how much power it uses.
  17. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    To comprehend this, I'm trying to dumb it down. This heated wire is comparable to the filament of a light bulb, and different lengths will give me different wattages. Google taught me this:

    This drastically helped me picture it, and it basically completely agrees with Ken above. Now, I really don't want to overpower this thing, so doing a parallel circuit is not my first choice. So I have to decide if I want to run heated wire down the thighs, or simply ditch the knee idea. I'll probably just cut my 33 feet of wire and lay it out and see what I can accomplish.
  18. Green427

    Green427 Comfortably Dumb

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    I would NOT put any wire in the shoulder area. Did that on my first jacket and found that since I don't have much fat on my shoulders, the heater burns the hell out of my skin up there. Same goes for inside of my biceps.

    I made a heated vest with 30' of the same wire, seems to do the job very well without all the extra bulk.

    As for running one wire through the jacket and pants; if I were going to do it, I would get a dual troller and separate the circuits; one troller for the jacket and one for the pants. You don't need as much heat on your legs as you do your torso (at least I don't).

    I have chicken legs and wear waterproof, quilted and windproof pants, and my legs never got cold. Toes, did, though.

    Firstgear's dual troller only costs about $20 more than the single.
  19. Green427

    Green427 Comfortably Dumb

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    ?? I paid $26 or something like that for 100' of teflon wire...
  20. theWolfTamer

    theWolfTamer Lupie on a Mission

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    Not sure where you were looking, but I got my wire much cheaper than that. In the end, it cost me something like a penny a foot.