Anyone built a "doghouse" for your charger? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Nov 6th, 2007, 7:44 am Thread Starter
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Anyone built a "doghouse" for your charger?

I am a po boy and as such, the LT lives outside, under a bike cover. In the warm good weather, I was putting the cover on and pulling it back on the right side enough to put my battery tender on the pass footpeg. Since riding time is getting less, due to cooler temps, I want to leave the tender on it whenever I'm not riding to keep my questionable stock 03 battery up till I get a new one and even after that.

Has anyone built a "doghouse" for their charger? I have been keeping it on a piece of pressure treated wood, but would like to get it under a roof and off the ground. I have access to the metal shop here and can fab almost anything out of aluminum. Have some ideas, but thought I'd see if the pool of talent here had any better ideas first. I was originally thinking a simple house-shaped piece over it, screwed to the ends of the wood chunk. But then when it rains, it may get dirt and much splashed up there. So more protection is in order, I think.

Need to leave room for ventilation, cords, etc.

Any suggestions welcomed.
Randy
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post #2 of 20 Old Nov 6th, 2007, 7:51 am
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I used to keep the charger inside - just extended the output wire to reach the bike. That way the charger and all of the AC wiring remained dry.

Randy Prade
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post #3 of 20 Old Nov 6th, 2007, 7:59 am Thread Starter
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Thought about that, too. It's a possibility, although I am hesitant to extend too much.

Randy
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post #4 of 20 Old Nov 6th, 2007, 10:37 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rando
Thought about that, too. It's a possibility, although I am hesitant to extend too much.

Randy
Right on. Voltage drop as the extension gets longer may not do the job!

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post #5 of 20 Old Nov 6th, 2007, 4:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rando
I am a po boy and as such, the LT lives outside, under a bike cover. In the warm good weather, I was putting the cover on and pulling it back on the right side enough to put my battery tender on the pass footpeg. Since riding time is getting less, due to cooler temps, I want to leave the tender on it whenever I'm not riding to keep my questionable stock 03 battery up till I get a new one and even after that.

Has anyone built a "doghouse" for their charger? I have been keeping it on a piece of pressure treated wood, but would like to get it under a roof and off the ground. I have access to the metal shop here and can fab almost anything out of aluminum. Have some ideas, but thought I'd see if the pool of talent here had any better ideas first. I was originally thinking a simple house-shaped piece over it, screwed to the ends of the wood chunk. But then when it rains, it may get dirt and much splashed up there. So more protection is in order, I think.

Need to leave room for ventilation, cords, etc.

Any suggestions welcomed.
Randy
Well Randy, If I was going to do all that fabrication, I'd probably just go out and buy a plastic mailbox, drill a few holes, seal the openings and call it good.

Whatyathink?

John

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post #6 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 7:04 am Thread Starter
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I was thinking along the lines of a small toolbox. My original idea was nothing more than an upside-down U screwed to the piece of 2 x 6 wood I put it on now. But then I got to thinking about it too much. Some kinda small container would work though.

The fab stuff isn't too hard. Just figure out the shape and bend it up. We got all that stuff out in the shop. I haven't even considered using the CNC router yet... lol THAT would be the true BMW way, wouldn't it?

Thanks
Randy
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post #7 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 8:30 am
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Actually voltage drop isn't going to be much of an issue in this application. Voltage drop is caused by current flowing through a resistor or in this case the resistance of the wire. The greater the current the larger the voltage drop (V = I x R). The closer the battery voltage gets to the charger output voltage the less current there will be and the smaller the voltage drop will be. By the time the charger is in trickle mode there will be so little voltage drop that it really won't make much difference to the charge state of battery.

Extra resistance in the wire might reduce the charging rate but it will still charge the battery.

Run some heavier gauge wire if you are still worried about the voltage drop. You could bury some 10-2 UF burial wire to a weatherproof NEMA box and then just have a short NEMA to Powerlet adapter to go to the Bike. Probably more work than it's worth to protect a $40 charger but some of us are anal retentive .


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post #8 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 9:24 am
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Simple is better.

You said it was under a cover didn't you ?
You could put it in a sidecase or put it in the trunk.

As long as you're only doing the trickle charge it's not going to get very hot.

You could make a little piece of 1X6 and just set it on the passenger seat.. Under the cover...

John

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post #9 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 9:36 am Thread Starter
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I worry about doing that for some reason. Not sure why, but concerned about it nevertheless. HEat, ventilation, etc. Sittitng there for days on end with little or no supervision, except when I check it in the evenings.

Thanks
Randy
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post #10 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 11:51 am
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If it's only a battery maintenance issue. You might consider one of the Battery Tenders. That's just a little power pack. They even make a sealed one that would just lay on the ground.

That would certainly be safe in the sidecase or trunk. But you could probably just lay it under the seat on top of the battery and let the seat rest on it.

Should be perfectly safe. They're internally fused so if anything did go wrong it would just burn out..


Good Luck Rando

John

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post #11 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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I've got just the regular tender. Not sealed.

The "burn out" is my fear. Something go amiss and burn the bike while no one is there to see it. : ) Nothing ever goea wrong while you're watching it.

I'll figger it out. Thanks

Randy
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post #12 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 1:37 pm
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If it was me and I didn't have a place inside for my bike, I would either build a little shack for it big enough to work on it in there. Or if you aren't into building things from scratch I think it is Northern Tool that sells metal buildings pre-cut and drilled for less than $500, I think it was a 10x14.

Once in a while I park my LT in the gazeebo just for fun. It looks cool in there.

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post #13 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 2:24 pm Thread Starter
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I have a 12 x 16 and a 10 x 16 in my yard already. Problem is the Lay of the land. Behind the bldgs is a 10' tall bank. The back edges of the bldgs are sitting on the ground. The doorways are 2' off the ground and the yard falls away from the bldgs. A ramp would have to be 10' long or longer to have easy enough hump to not high center. And the yard isn't all that big to begin with, not to mention having to avoid a maple tree. So I have bldgs, just no good way to get the bike into them. The 10 x 16 was supposed to house the bike, but by the time we got it leveled up, the front was up as far as the other bldg.

So the bike still lives in the yard. I would love to get it inside for maintenance and storage. Just not able to yet.

Randy
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post #14 of 20 Old Nov 7th, 2007, 4:12 pm
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Well thats no good. I would still make a ramp to put it in over winter.

I know how bad it sucks to live on hills. Our home farm is built all around hills too. This is how we fixed the level problem. 2 of our new buildings we pretty much built them into the side of a hill burying everything except the roof. It actually works great because its cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This building is 80' long, I think the walls are 15'. We moved a few tons of dirt


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post #15 of 20 Old Nov 8th, 2007, 7:41 am Thread Starter
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I have been looking in our junk pile here at work for ramp-like things. We often have some 10' pallets (just add deck board surface) and the occasional steel catwalk from dismantled billboards.

May give it a try one of these days. We've been so busy this summer with kids and new one on the way. I've only ridden like 600 miles since that tech session at John Bowles. You rode more than that coming down and going back, I bet.

Randy
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post #16 of 20 Old Nov 8th, 2007, 8:00 am
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yes, I did ride more than that. But I haven't rode as much this year either. Didn't get to ride to the Arctic Circle like I had planned last year. I doubt I will next year either because my brother is getting married in Texas and we are doing a big expansion.

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post #17 of 20 Old Nov 8th, 2007, 8:09 am Thread Starter
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Oh you make me sick.... lol

Kids and family are great, but they tend to cut into riding time.

Randy
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post #18 of 20 Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 8:31 pm
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Low Volts; High Amps; Big Problems

Randy,

If your still running your original battery then you may want to consider replacing it. As you know the LT is electrically dependent to say the least.

Your not saving any money by not purchasing a new battery. What you are doing is over working your starter, alternator and possibly other electrical systems on the bike like the computer etc. These are the big dollar items that dwarf the price of a battery.

Good luck with the battery house,

Scott

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post #19 of 20 Old Dec 3rd, 2007, 9:11 pm
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Loading ramp.

Rando, you should just get one of the little ramps made to load your atv into the back of a pickup.. That'd get you into the little building.. Might even get the front wheel off the ground.


Just put a few haybales in the back in case you don't get stopped fast enough..

Really, never heard of one of the little battery tenders ever catching fire..
But you could put it in a little metal box with just a couple of knotches in it for the cords to come out.. Even if it caught fire it wouldn't get outside the box.

They don't ever get hot enough to cause a problem....

Good luck with the shed issue.. We had to pour a big ramp on the front of mine because the front was about 2 feet off the ground with the back level.

John


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Last edited by JPSpen; Dec 3rd, 2007 at 9:29 pm.
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post #20 of 20 Old Dec 4th, 2007, 7:11 am Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. With limited riding during the winter, I think I'll leave the battery on charge, ride when I can to circulate fluids occasionally -I try to ride it once a month even in the winter. Then come spring, buy a new battery.

For the time being, I found our old mop bucket, which has a roller thing on it, whicih keeps the bucket from sitting flat on the ground thereby allowing the tender to "breathe" and keeping the rain and moisture off of it. As for getting into the building, the wife (and me too)has been cleaning house, which means a lot of yard sale stuff has found it's home where I had originally hoped to house the bike.

Like you, John, my building is about 2' up at the door sill and sitting on the ground in back. And limited room for the ramp in our smallish back yard with big old maple in the middle.

Thanks for the replies guys.
Randy
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