Powerlet Socket Issue- Looking for Feedback - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-14-2008, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Powerlet Socket Issue- Looking for Feedback

So, my heated vest stopped working while riding today.

When I got home, I measured the Powerlet socket with a voltmeter, and it read about 8.5 volts.

Strange...

I took apart the socket, and I found that the negative/ground tab had broken off cleanly from the socket body.




So, I started thinking about why this could have happened. It did not get bent or damaged during installation or otherwise, and I had everything sealed in heat-shrink tubing.

Then I remembered reading something in the forums about needing to avoid grounding to the bike's frame on V-Stroms, apparently because the main frame is made of aluminum and the rear sub-frame is made of steel. Doing otherwise causes undesirable side-effects of some sort.

The Powerlet socket threaded body is metal, and is bolted onto my mounting bracket, which is mounted to the sub-frame. Without even thinking about it, I completed a grounded circuit to the frame when I installed the socket.



So, I have some questions...

1. Could grounding to the frame like this have caused the metal tab on the socket to weaken in some way, enough to cause it to break? There was no evident corrosion.

2. Has anyone else experienced issues like this related to grounding to the frame?

3. Any ideas on how I could fix this grounding issue? I could possibly make the mounting bracket out of plastic. It may also be possible to find a Powerlet socket made out of plastic. I want to keep the Powerlet plug-in capability, as well as the solid mounting method.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-14-2008, 08:47 PM
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That looks like a vibration caused break. Dissimilar metals corrosion happens to the more active metal in contact with the less active metal. An aluminum frame member would exhibit corrosion where it contacted a steel frame member and bolt in the path between the Powerlet and the battery ground. If the Powerlet ground was connected to the battery negative or a fuse block ground, it would be a much better path to ground and probably would be a good enough method to avoid corrosion. If "good enough" isn't good enough for you, the Powerlet would need to be insulated from the frame.

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-14-2008, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

It is feasible that it broke due to vibration, yet the 2 sockets were installed about 300 miles ago, so they are pretty new.

The 2 socket grounds are wired directly to my Blue Seas ground, which is directly mounted to the battery. It makes sense that this direct ground wiring would minimize any corrosion through the mounting bracket.

I can be happy with this current setup. I just want some experienced reassurance that if I install a new Powerlet socket the same way (easiest fix) I will not be repeating another failure due to corrosion, and that I am not damaging my frame or electrical system.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-15-2008, 02:47 PM
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E-Nigma....

I had a similar thing happen to a Powerlet outlet I mounted in the same location as you. My outlet became damaged and bent due to striking the chain guard when the rear suspension compresses. I removed a bit of plastic from the chain guard to create enough clearance for this not to happen again.

~TR~
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-16-2008, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistn'roads View Post
E-Nigma....

I had a similar thing happen to a Powerlet outlet I mounted in the same location as you. My outlet became damaged and bent due to striking the chain guard when the rear suspension compresses. I removed a bit of plastic from the chain guard to create enough clearance for this not to happen again.

~TR~
TR, after looking at the location of the mounting, I think you are spot-on with the diagnosis. I am going to trim the chain guard. Gotta love forums. Thanks.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-16-2008, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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I took some stationary video to see how much I could compress the rear spring while bouncing on the seat.

I could not even come within 2 inches of touching the cut-down chain guard. The un-compressed clearance is about 4.5 inches. It makes me even wonder if it would be possible to make contact with the un-modified guard. I guess it's feasible with a passenger and a good-sized bump or curb.

Cut-down chain guard (still waiting for the replacment Powerlet socket)

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-30-2008, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Nigma View Post
I could not even come within 2 inches of touching the cut-down chain guard. The un-compressed clearance is about 4.5 inches. It makes me even wonder if it would be possible to make contact with the un-modified guard. I guess it's feasible with a passenger and a good-sized bump or curb.


Cut-down chain guard (still waiting for the replacment Powerlet socket)
Depending on how close the chain guard gets to the plug you might want to try the PSO-007 plug since the connectors are actually soldered on and exit the side rather than straight back.

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