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Discussion Starter #1
I`m in the planning stages of installing some basic electrical accessories/mods on my bike and still unsure of several details after as much searching as I could handle, wondering what you folks think about some issues and maybe how you have gotten around the same problems with your own wiring projects. I`m fairly new at this type of stuff but looking forward to a learning experience.

Both Eastern Beaver and Cycle Terminal say the only tool they offer to crimp big eye terminals is the family sized Hero model for more money than I want to spend. Has anybody had luck soldering them onto AWG 12? If so, did you need a monster of a soldering iron? Tons of YouTube demos of people soldering truck battery sized cables with a torch, but I have not yet found anything for the size range I`m looking at. Alternatively, I might ask EB or CT if they will sell me leads with precrimped eyes along with my order. I will most likely be ordering bits from both of those guys anyway.

I plan on putting a fuse box under the fairing and running a single 12g gound line from the battery to that general neighborhood, but not sure how to split it up once I get it up front. Soldered Y connections? Bus bar? How have you guys gone about it? Pics of Jim`s (Eastern Beaver) 3 circuit block look like he does a lot of double wire crimping in the connections to solve that, and it looks very clean, but I imagine that makes for trickier crimping or soldering, not sure if it will be biting off more than I can chew. If I go with a bus bar, I have either on hand or can easily source brass, copper, "mild" steel, or 304 stainless. Which is most suitable? Or is the idea of just tapping holes in a piece of flat stock missing something?

Anything special I need to look for in wire? As the simplest approach, I can just buy a few small packages of primary wire in my prefered gauges from the local hardware store or auto parts shop. I`m also tempted to order "marine" wire from West Marine or someplace, but that might end up being a bad idea for some reason. Any codes or specs that I need to watch for or avoid concerning both the wire itself and the insulation?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I think you have the issues straight. A good crimping tool or a soldering iron heavy enough to get solder to flow in a large mass joint are key. A 100W gun I used on 12ga wiring connections was marginal and I finished them off with a torch. Ground bus bars are easy to find in linear or circular configurations. I like the screw type and used a terminal strip with a strip jumper sheet stamping from Radio Shack on my last bike. I did the same thing with a hot bus by adding a piece of plastic on top. I Velcroed the hot and ground bus to the battery top. You only really need 12ga for long runs to a bus.



On my previous bike, most electrical accessories were at the front so I mounted an Eastern Beaver PC8 there and used the built in hot and ground busses though I still needed a ground bus on the battery.

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Not sure how much the crimper you're talking about costs, but when I did it for a living, we just used regular crimpers and they worked just fine on #12 wire. Burndy, Klein, etc. You should be able to find decent quality crimpers at Lowe's, Home Depot or an electrical supply house such as City Electric Supply. Good luck however you go.


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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I've used a generic crimper for years. A VACCO crimper. I also have those fancy mil spec crimpers in the tool box. You can solder with various irons or a cheapy butane flame blaster from Harbor Freight. You just need to practice a bit.
I have a cheapo 30Watt solder iron but a more powerful one would be nice. You can always moderate a bigger solder iron more easily that lay on a low watt iron for far too long. Don't want to go to sleep waiting for the solder to melt!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, I think I have a plan now. I have on hand a 40W iron, oxy-acet setup with small tips, and some experience in silver brazing small parts- hopefully some of that skill set will cross over to heavy duty electrical soldering. I`ll be sure to order plenty of extra connectors to practice with- might be able to handle the 16 g stuff with the iron, and will buy a heavy duty "dimple" crimper if need be (but the "butt crack" crimps sure do look cool!)

I will also order a ground bus. The hot side I will think I will just make soldered Y splices rather than a hot bus. Since I have two constant and two switched circuits, that makes one Y before the relay and one more Y on each of those ends (one between the relay and the fuses, one more on the original line just before the fuses). At least that`s what sounds best to me. Reasonable or silliness?

Nothing special to worry about concerning wire? I like the selection at West Marine because they sell 14g and 16g by the foot, so I will be able a different pretty color for each hot lead without mortgaging the house for a whole spool of each color.
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/ancor--primary-wire-16-gauge-by-the-foot--P0214064?recordNum=1

I have today off work, will use part of it to draw up a whole proposed schematic including all wire gauges and fuses, all the switches, and connectors, the relay with base, then I can put in my orders. I`m including E.B.`s prebuilt headlight relay and switch harness because there`s no way I can match that.

As a last thought, GW`s mention of Radio Shack nearly brings tears to my eyes. We used to have a half dozen Radio Shack locations in my area, not one left within 50 miles now. The local electronics supply place also closed, so now we only have my friendly neighborhood True Value (and thank God for them) and auto parts houses for anything Radio Shack-y, or drive two hours each way to Frys in Sacramento. Otherwise, it`s order and wait, little chance to run out and pick up a little something that you forgot about.
 

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Consider fuse boxes for multiple devices. They have built in ground buses and individually fused hot connections. For a few devices only, the Eastern Beaver three circuit solution is one choice with the PC-8 for up to 8 devices.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Forgot to ask...
When ordering from Eastern Beaver, does he send an order confirmation right away? I asked him a few questions almost two weeks ago and have not gotten any reply back. My best guess is that my questions spread into his "I am not an electrical tutor" policy and he ignored them, which I can deal with. The outside possibility that he either closed up shop or is on a very lng vacation concerns me, though- as much as I like his headlight harness, I don`t want to place an order and then wait indefinitely without knowing whether or not it will ever arrive. As long as I know it will eventually come, I can wait with little discomfort.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Consider fuse boxes for multiple devices. They have built in ground buses and individually fused hot connections. For a few devices only, the Eastern Beaver three circuit solution is one choice with the PC-8 for up to 8 devices.
GreyWolf, you're quick on the draw! I REALLY like the 3CS, but shot down that idea for a long list of complications that I will spare you all from. The PC8 is overkill, but might still be my best option if I swap the leads and run it with the small bus switched and 6 hot. The built in groundbus is nice and the screw connections would solve a lot of my connector dliema. I`ll have to mull that one over, might even come out to less money than piecing together.

EDIT: The idea I was considering (still considering) when I started this thread was the 4-circuit MetriPack fuse holder from Cycle Terminal, basically it would be a "4CS" with two hot and two switched.
 

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EB does not do order confirmations.

Cycle Terminal is pretty much a USA local copy of Eastern Beaver's offerings.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rethinking the PC8 option, it now looks like my best bet. I just sent a new email to Jim with one question very specific to his product. If I hear back in the next week or so, I`ll just go ahead and order the whole ball of wax from him in one shot and be done with it. If I don't get any response, I guess I'm back to DIY with mostly Cycle Terminal as a source. Sure hope I hear from EB because the headlight part is a little intimidating, really don`t feel like screwing with (or screwing up) that part. I feel a little schmucky about sending the guy a test question, but with no response to my previous contact after two weeks and no order confirmation, I'm leery of placing an order and then waiting indefinitely to find out whether or not anybody is actually planning to ship it to me.

EB does not do order confirmations.

Cycle Terminal is pretty much a USA local copy of Eastern Beaver's offerings.
The main difference I see is that EB still offers prebuilt harnesses. Apparently CT used to, but now only sells the components. They also offer a slightly different selection including a few bits that don't show up on EB's website and excluding a few that EB does offer.

The PC8 is overkill, but might still be my best option if I swap the leads and run it with the small bus switched and 6 hot.
Brainfart. I was thinking earlier that I needed more than two unswitched, then later decided to just mount the SAE pigtail for trickle charger directly to the battery (with single fuse, of course), so standard 2 hot/6 switched configuration will work fine.
 

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bdesj, just a note.

I (and many others here) have ordered numerous times from Eastern Beaver (PC 8, headlight relay kit, horn relay kit, signal kit, and other stuff) and always received exactly what I ordered. The quality has always been excellent. At least once or maybe twice, I did receive a shipped email from Jim but not usually, it might be related to the total dollar amount of the order. I am not sure.

The one order I still have info for shipped 3 days after order and arrived 6 days after that. I think sometimes he doesn't have the kits in stock and has to make them which can delay the order.



Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Update, mostly to not muddy the waters for future readers whose search brings them to this thread. Jim from Eastern Beaver did eventually answer my first email (strangely enough, has not answered my test question as of today), just took a few weeks. I placed an order through his website and got an "electronic receipt" from PayPal within a few hours, yesterday got notice from DHL that it will be shipping soon. Thanks for the help, everybody.

EDIT: Some question about whether all orders generate a confirmation, or only above a certain amount. My total order was a little over 200 USD.
 
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