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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit- gonna read (re-read) a good bit more threads to learn what others have done first. No need to respond unless you wish. Thanks.



Wondering if you folks would help me understand the electrical mods needed to operate certain devices. Ive never worked on dc anything btw.

I would like to power a gps;
bluetooth device for music and phone;
maybe electric vest;
maybe extra lighting up front;
gopro;

I dunno what else yet.

And I'll bet there's a thread that will help immensely.
My assumption is that I would learn best in my own thread; ask the questions as they come to my head.

So Im ready to order parts and start. I have my own service manual for the '12 adv model.

Thank you,
John
 

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I installed an auxiliary fuse block that hooks to the battery through two large gauge cables. It allowed me to put each gizmo on its own circuit and fuse. I forgot where I bought it but I believe "Eastern Beaver" has them. I mounted it under the seat and behind the battery just behind the plastic divider.

The strom does not have an over abundance of electrical power. The heated clothes pull some amps as well as extra lights (depending on type).
 

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I installed an auxiliary fuse block that hooks to the battery through two large gauge cables. It allowed me to put each gizmo on its own circuit and fuse. I forgot where I bought it but I believe "Eastern Beaver" has them. I mounted it under the seat and behind the battery just behind the plastic divider.

The strom does not have an over abundance of electrical power. The heated clothes pull some amps as well as extra lights (depending on type).
good advice- auxiliary switched fuse block is the way to go.

Easiest to buy a kit, but you can easily make your own from the components (mine cost $15 in parts).

I'd also recommend adding a voltmeter at the same time so you can watch your power consumption.
 

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Wondering if you folks would help me understand the electrical mods needed to operate certain devices. Ive never worked on dc anything btw.
Start with this: On most vehicles the whole chassis is connected to the negative terminal of the battery, and the positive side supplies the juice to the item, via switches or whatever. The metallic parts of the structure are used as part of the electric circuit. That has been the case for ages. This is called negative ground, or negative earth in parts of the British Commonwealth. Some British cars, back when, ran a positive ground system (My 1961 Austin Mini 850 and my equally old Sunbeam Rapier were both positive ground I think, but I could be wrong on one of them - it was a while ago.) A few large North American trucks did the same for some unknown (to me) reason.

So, what relevance has this to you and your VStrom. This sophisticated modern conveyance has an aluminum alloy frame, and components of various metallic alloys. Well, not titanium and expensive stuff like that, but you still need to know that it's not all steel.

The negative part of the circuitry in our beloved wees, vees, glees and whatever the new 1000 is called is done through wires, not the chassis or other components. These are not the good old days. You pass a current through zinc and steel, or aluminum and steel, or magnesium and anything else, or any two dissimilar metals, add moisture, some dirt and maybe some road salt, and one of the metals preferentially corrodes. There are rules and tables as to which one rots first. Neat stuff, actually. (I've seen bumpers on late '70s Oldsmobiles fall off due to this galvanic action. You don't even have to pass a current through some such set-ups - they create their own current. Hey, this is how batteries work.)

Our wonderful modern machines avoid, to a great extent, such problems by using specific ground wires for everything electrical. (Well, except for spark plugs and maybe a few other things).

The gist of this: Don't use the frame, engine or anything else as part of the circuit, even if your grandpa did so on his Desoto. You will probably run everything positive from a fuse block that you install, which in turn is connected to the battery positive post. You need to run all the negative wires back, ultimately, to the battery negative post to complete the circuit.

I'm not sure how others have done this (if they've done this at all). I will tell you later how I have done it (gotta go bed right now). You could run the whole mass of negative cables back to the battery post (a real mess), or to some negative terminal already in place, or to one you install somewhere. I'm interested in seeing what others have done. Let's see!
 

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I think Greywolf and some others mounted an auxiliary fuse block in the front faring then ran their circuits from there.

I have an Adventure Tech auxliary dash (fits around the key) which powers a Powerlet outlet and a Cigarette Lighter outlet (these were on the bike from the PO).

I have an adapter from the Powerlet to a SAE type plug which runs to my tank bag.

I just wired my tank bag using one of these "RV Roof Connector" SAE outlets"
73 SAE Connectors, Plugs, Sockets & Cords

You can purchase them for a lot more money on motorcycle specific sites and they will come with a backing plate and nuts and bolts. I used a large washer, (drilled the 4 mounting holes) for a backing plate and purchased stainless screws and nyloc nuts, for a lot less.

I like SAE because the connections don't jiggle apart like common cigarette lighter type connections. They are worthless if you ride off road at all.

Inside my tank bag split the wiring into two SAE plugs, one will go to a double USB adapter to power the cell phone and charge the Go Pro or Scala batteries. The other is extra for now, but will also probably power USB plugs since that is the standard right now.

I'm cheap so I took a cheap walmart cigarette light to double USB adapter, opened it up and simply clipped the wires that normally would have received power from the cigarette lighter outlet and soldered in a SAE plug. The pig tails simply come out of the adapter where the + button was. If that doesn't make sense I can post some pics.

I also ran new power up to the handle bars from the battery for my Warm & Safe Heatroller.

If you're handy with a soldering iron and have some heat shrink these are easy projects. If it's all new to you.....do some more reading.

Tim
 

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It's better if a fuse block is used instead of a distribution block. You can fuse each device that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for info guys- theory to save a buck to parts wisdom.

Lets say Id like to electrify my tank bag (not even mounted yet WM Rainier) and have a fusible block as a starting point.

Lets also consider the ease of removing the bag- especially as I consider the Fall trip to Mex and Guatemala.

Thanks.
 

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If you know what you want and where you want to mount it I'd power everything other than the heated gear through the EB PC8.

However if you don't yet know what you may want for devices an electrified tankbag can make it much easier to try out various devices without having to install dedicated power leads.

For heated gear I use a fused SAE connection straight to the battery that doubles as a battery tender lead.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
For heated gear I use a fused SAE connection straight to the battery that doubles as a battery tender lead.
That sounds like a good idea.

And to be quite honest, Im assuming that Ive come to know whats best. But Im sure there are circumstances/scenarios that you all understand that would be better for me.

The bottom line is:
A. I learn the bike's electrical system;
B. Establish a quality system for the devices with local and touring in mind.

John

*I live an hour north of Chattanooga Tn; Id be more than happy to meet up to learn.
 

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perArdua's post is very important. While the negative side is bonded to the chassis, Suzuki did that for us, and we don't want to do it again.

Keep in mind the job of the fuses or circuit breakers, both in the vehicle and in home. Their job is to protect the wiring from overheating and maybe starting a fire. Excess flow of electricity through a wire causes overheating. The fuse will blow under the excess conditions, open the circuit, and protect things. You want the fuse in the positive wire as close to the power source--in our case the positive source which is the + battery terminal--as can reasonably be done. You pick the diameter of the copper in the wire depending on what it will power. This is called the gauge of the wire. For example, if you have lights that pull 16 amps (or 192 watts), you'd need #14 gauge wire* (smaller numbers are bigger wire) and a 20 amp fuse. You won't have this much draw. All the electronics are very low amperage. For the other stuff, look at the label for the electrical load. Watts = volts x amps. (*A size smaller than household wiring is OK, 'cuz the wires aren't in an insulated wall without cooling.)

Eastern Beaver is a strom rider in Japan who puts together kits that have all the right connections and are very well done. Highly recommended. His 8 circuit or 3 circuit kits do a great job. VStrom

While it is common practice to talk about positive and ground in vehicles, I feel it is clearer to use the terms positive and negative. Nothing is actually grounded on a vehicle--actually run to earth. Household wiring is very different where there is an actual safety ground that is run to earth.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again for sharing.

Id like to get an eastern beaver kit. Which one? And what other parts?

My approach will be to obtain parts and utilize the service manual, Mark Zimmerman's "Essential Guide to MC Maint" and you forum chaps in this endeavor.

Rashnak- thanks for the helpful diagram and links. Looking into those today.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just ordered the eb pc8 and HL relay.

Still need to work out the batt tender/heated gear config. I assume someone has told me how- just gotta go back and find it.
 

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Just ordered the eb pc8 and HL relay.

Still need to work out the batt tender/heated gear config. I assume someone has told me how- just gotta go back and find it.
Don't know if you're aware of the VStrom Gathering not too far from you, at the Iron Horse in Robbinsville, NC, in May. Lots of members going (1st one for me), and I expect it'll be a great venue to see what others have done with their bikes, in terms of mods and electric.

http://www.stromtrooper.com/events/158641-v-strom-gathering-east-may-15-18-2014-a.html
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the info Barry. Dont know if I can make it- son's high school grad weekend.

I'll look into it though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Finally working my way back around to the electrical.

Wanting to add the accessories to accomodate saftey and cold weather for touring - aux lights, heated gear, phone, gopro, etc.

Is it wise to start with understanding total amp capacity and choose devices based on total power consumption?

Thanks,
J
 

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If you want to run heated gear, keep extra light wattage down. It's electric motors and heat that eat power. If you use lights that don't get hot, like LEDs, they use less power. In extreme cases, you could run two 10W LEDs and cut out one headlight. You have about 125W-150W extra over stock to play with. Choosing low wattage heated gear doesn't make much sense as low watts means low heat. Just turn the controller down. It is important to mount a voltmeter or some other voltage indicator to make sure you are charging rather than discharging the battery. 12.6-12.8V is breaking even. Compare the mounted voltmeter to a hand held voltmeter on the battery so you can include any error factor.
 

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Eastern Beaver fuse box on sale in the Sale section. I saw it this morning!!
 
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