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I have Piaa 35W driving lights, htd vest and grips and a gps on the 650. I add up the wattage in my head when I turn any accessory on and keep the total below 100 watts. This means I can't have all those things on at once. Is this good enough? Or am I missing something important by not having a voltage meter?
 

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I have Piaa 35W driving lights, htd vest and grips and a gps on the 650. I add up the wattage in my head when I turn any accessory on and keep the total below 100 watts. This means I can't have all those things on at once. Is this good enough? Or am I missing something important by not having a voltage meter?

As long as the battery keeps starting the bike every day, I think you're doing fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As long as the battery keeps starting the bike every day, I think you're doing fine.
Thanks. But when I'm in Alaska next month and the bike doesn't start on the Dalton Highway, this won't make me feel all fuzzy inside.
 

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I'd recommend adding a voltage meter. Even if you don't have a lot of electrical farkles, it can notify you of problems early.

You can mount one most anywhere you want. I think the Datel VM is the best. I got mine from www.digitalmeter.com. Mounted it under a dash shelf using 3M VHB tape, which is a lot like welding it on.

http://www.stocrallies.com/pictures/veestar/datel.gif
 

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You can pickup a digital voltmeter meant for monitoring a 12v battery that shows voltage and alarms if it drops below charging voltage for $10 from Canadian Tire.
 

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Thanks. But when I'm in Alaska next month and the bike doesn't start on the Dalton Highway, this won't make me feel all fuzzy inside.
Helps when you flesh the story out.


I commuted this winter running Gerbring Jacket and gloves. No problems with charging.

I did an experiment running jacket gloves, and socks, and found that all of them on high took the charging right to the verge of a loss.

By my calculations my 2007 DL650 has about 130 watts of excess capacity. At that point the charging system is breaking even, neither charging nor discharging..

This is normal running condition. I didn't figure with brake lights or turn signal activated as they are temporary draws.
 

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I have Piaa 35W driving lights, htd vest and grips and a gps on the 650. I add up the wattage in my head when I turn any accessory on and keep the total below 100 watts. This means I can't have all those things on at once. Is this good enough? Or am I missing something important by not having a voltage meter?
A voltmeter is mandatory. You're going to Alaska? You are insane to run that much wattage and not have a voltmeter. For your trip, it doesn't matter if you duct tape a multimeter to your fairing, get a voltmeter.

The voltage you want to watch for as you ride is whatever the voltage is when your bike is off. On my Wee that is 12.6V. Below that is not good. You will manage your accessories a lot differently and a lot more confidently if you have a voltmeter. And if trouble starts developing with your electrical system, it is likely you'd see it soon enough to do something about it like turn down your load or turn around while you have that option.

I mean, come on, you're going to be in ALASKA, riding along the friggin DALTON? What if you are using too much power? And you don't know it? You don't see trouble coming when all it takes is a voltmeter? And a little less power consumption? The wolves that come by to eat you will feel like you deserve your fate :mrgreen:.
 

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Wolves don't eat people. It's the frickin' bears that come out of the woods at night and recalibrate voltmeters that are the problem.
 

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I have the same unit.



I haven't sealed it but put it in a protected spot under the dials and its lived there without problems.

 

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I use this one on my bike, works well.

http://www.amotostuff.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=4-239&Category_Code=dl650_electrical

It's not waterproof so I siliconed all the holes in it. It still gets some water in it but has not been effected, it dries out just fine.

That looks like the same one Aerostitch sells, I was gonna get one till I read the reviews on the aerostitch website

http://www.aerostich.com/product.php?productid=16951&cat=265&page=1



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I have the same unit.


revel22, in honor of your trip to the great white north, you can have my unit like this one, if you want. I got it for another bike and it has only collected dust in a drawer. PM me an address to send it to if you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ok. Done. I ordered the battery monitor from adventuremotostuff. The glowing LED variety--- green, amber, red. Looks easy to install. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. You know, I posted this comment right after spending, maybe, $3000 for farkles, maintenance on the Vstrom, etc, etc over the past 3 months to get ready for Alaska. And then the trip will cost another $3000-$4000 I figure. I think UPS and FedEx must have stopped at my place 20 times in the past two months. So, when I posted this comment I was thinking I don't want to buy or put another thing on this bike because I'm tired of it already. But, wisdom is a more forgiving instructor than foolishness.
 

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Ok. Done. I ordered the battery monitor from adventuremotostuff. The glowing LED variety--- green, amber, red. Looks easy to install. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.
That's the one I use. Works great. The colors indicated in the add don't match the sticker that comes with the unit. The sticker is correct.

I noticed on my recent trip that my output regularly drops to between 12.0 and 12.6 at idle or at low RPMs but recovers quicly when rolling again. Prolonged periods of low RPM riding and or prolonged periods with the engine cooling fan running made me wish I'd installed an on/off switch for my aux lights (55W).

Enjoy your trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's the one I use. Works great. The colors indicated in the add don't match the sticker that comes with the unit. The sticker is correct.

I noticed on my recent trip that my output regularly drops to between 12.0 and 12.6 at idle or at low RPMs but recovers quicly when rolling again. Prolonged periods of low RPM riding and or prolonged periods with the engine cooling fan running made me wish I'd installed an on/off switch for my aux lights (55W).

Enjoy your trip.
Vstromper,
Do you mean your driving lights don't have an off switch? They come on with the ignition and stay on? Isn't that already 110W being used up of your surplus? I would put 35W bulbs in if you can like my Piaa 004x unit uses.
 

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I'd recommend adding a voltage meter. You can mount one most anywhere you want. I think the Datel VM is the best.
+1 The Datel is a great tool. I've got mine on the inside curve just south and west of the speedo. Even if you have zero farkles, you need some kind of trouble indicator. It saved me from turning off my engine one night when the battery was too low to re-start.
 

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Vstromper,
Do you mean your driving lights don't have an off switch? They come on with the ignition and stay on? Isn't that already 110W being used up of your surplus? I would put 35W bulbs in if you can like my Piaa 004x unit uses.
Yes. I used a 5-pin Bosch relay triggered off the accessory feed. The driving ights are on when the ignition is on. I can unplug them should the need arise but in three years and 36k miles I have not needed to. I could never find a waterproof switch I liked so I never wired one in. I usually just run the lights and the GPS all the time (and my new LEDS). I add a phone charger occasionally and figure I will unplug the lights if I ever need to use my compressor.

The 55W lights are cheap ($15) and I don't think the bulb is replaceable but I'll check. My light (Back-Off Voltage Monitor) is steady green (over 12.8V) over 1200rpms and goes to steady red (12.0 to 12.6) at stops unless the turn signal and/or brake is on. Then it flashes red (under 12V) Then when I take off from the light it is green again within a few seconds.
 

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+1 on the Datel unit. It's epoxy sealed and very waterproof. I mounted mine in a plastic box which is attached to the center of the handlebars, you see it right below the ignition switch. I had this on two VFR's and it is now working well on the wee. Sorry for the image quality, had to use the flash in the dark garage.

 
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