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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but what the heck - here it goes...
The new wife is mighty skilled with a needle and thread, and we keep talking about getting heated vests, however she doesn't get kold on her torso, she gets kold on her arms. We started to talk about adding heat "wires" into an exsisting fleece.
So, does anyone have experance with this? Does anyone know where to buy the right kind of wires to make this?

Thanks for the info in advance!
 

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Last time (years ago) someone tried this, they gave it up - too hard.

Gerbing makes heated jackets - torso and arms are kept warm. Get the thermostat, too.

- Bob
 

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Heater parts

After searching for a long time for the right wire I got a kit from here a couple of years ago. It's tough to get the wires into fleece so I used a cheapo quitled jacket and still had trouble keeping for getting hot spots where the wires get too close to your skin. I would look at a heat troller rather than the controller that Kustomkomfort sells, it's not very elegant just a plain plastic box.


http://kustomkomfort.com/index.html
 

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What's your time worth.

I think it would take way more time and trouble to make one than to just buy a heated liner from Gerbings...

I believe the arms are heated in it as well......

John
 

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Adam,
It is a great idea to make your own heated clothing. I have done both nichrome wire and soft multi-strand and have Gerbings to compare them with. Do a vest first (easy) and do not do a jacket until you have some experience. I have strong opinions on nichrome vs multi-strand wire and parallel wiring vs series. You don't need any "kit". If you want the specifics of wire and a dc connector let me know here and I'll respond. If you plan on a vest do one for each of you and use a thin rip-stop and the wiring will go on that and then another layer of the rip-stop for the cover ie lining and "voila". You can make any amperage you want for the required BTU's of sensible heat. Do not worry about thermostats. And, you don't need ohms law or be a basement E.E. to figure what you need. About 15 dollars or so will provide the "fixins" for the hardware part of your project. Your wife may even have the rip-stop in suitable colors. Many riders have a fear I think of doing this............... it is not rocket science and is entirely safe (your only dealing with 13 or 14 volts and less than 8 or 10 amps, more if you build "bottoms" (not at first) and socks (easy). You will luxuriate in exultation :D when you feel that wonderful heat envelope you from something created by yourselves.
 

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The "fixins" for the heat can be ordered from Allied Electronics.
One 100 foot roll of #26 equivalent (19 strands of #38) with teflon insulation) #172619 White cx/100 Allied stock # 293-1291
This is very fine, very tough and quite soft. You'll have more than enough for a vest etc. It'll be about 11 dollars or so. The other thing you need is a matching plug (simple polarized will do) to your requirements on the m/c. I have mine on my left side about belt high and recommend a simple extension to the lower left Lt 12 vdc accessory female unit on the Lt. That simple extension can be bought or made. Ace hardware has excellent spst heavy duty inline switches. Put one in that line that you can switch on/off easily. Later that'll be the location of a thermostat if you like but not necessary. You will need some durable very light material to make a vest (a nehru stand up collar heated is easily done when doing a vest). You want it very light weight and thin. That way this will always be in your top-box ready for the day when the temp takes a nose-dive and it really makes you a beleiver in self-reliance! Give me an idea how much or little heat you want. It is a factor of the ohms per foot but you know that. A zipper front is nice but velcro also works but is not so elegant! If you get nice thin material the whole vest will roll up into a very small pac....... that way it'll always be there. :) You can do a vest in 2 evenings start to finish. You can have the exact same heat as a Gerbings, or more, or less. It is very easy.
 

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I found directions and components in an MOA magazine from the late 80's or early 90's.
Use a quilted insulated shirt (you need layers). Fleece won't do unless you put an extra quilted layer inside it. You need something to hold the 'lacing' of the wire.
Get some 26 gauge wire, solder the end to form a needle, and weave it into the insulated layer of the shirt. Be sure to use LOTS of wire, and don't let them touch each other (1/2" apart is too close). Start and end at about the same place so you can solder a cigarette plug . The heat the wire puts out is a function of the length of the wire. To do sleeves, I would start in the middle bottom of the back, go up the middle, down one sleeve in a looping fashion (down and up), then across the back, up and down the other sleeve, then back to the start.
Start the bike, plug it in, and get warm. It will hardly draw any amps.
It's relatively simple, it works, and you'll wonder why you didn't do this a long time ago!!!
I've done this to an old insulated ski vest, an insulated shirt (x3).
Good luck
Dave
 

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D.I.Y. Heated Jacket for Motorcycling

D.I.Y. Heated Jacket for Motorcycling

Very good directions by Ken Hastie.

For connections go to the Gerbing site and order the extensions in 36" length for 5 bux, or get the fancy coiled one for 15. This will give you both a male and female connector - cut it in half and use one for the bike connection (add an inline fuse) and one for the coat. Or you could splurge and buy the ready made ones for 15-25.

You will have to add an on/off switch to control temp or buy the temp control Gerbing sells now is a pulse based digital one and should work with what you design. Stay away from all the non-digital temp controls they are trouble you'd be better off with a manual switch.

Good luck

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow! You guys are amazing! There is a lot to read, so I will get crack'n!

Looks like there are a lot of great options. Who knows, maybe in 6 months you'll be buying a Jesscar heated vest! :p
 

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It is easier to do the thin material with one side that you can "tag" the wire with a simple stitch to it (you will use many many tags or "basting" stitches to fix the wire to the thin cloth). You need to cut off from your roll ie 60 or 70 feet of the wire and begin at the nape of the neck (top of the back) with half of the wire being looped down to the belt line then back up all the way then back down using tape to hold in place. Try to run out that 30 or 35 feet near your left front pocket. The other 30 or 35 feet do the same and end up also near your left front pocket (keep symmetrical, heat goes where the wire is) Once all the wire is layed out and taped then start basting it (remove tape) when done close up your vest with the other matching material (like a clam shell)That 60 or 70 feet of wire is continuous and becomes your positive and negative terminals on your polarized plug. 1/2 " spacing along your center back is good and very wide below the armpit area and close to half inch along the front zipper area. Some directions advocate for using an insulated vest and needling the wire through it........... I think the difficulty in actually doing this is one of the prime reasons this DIYS heated clothing is never finished, the other was the use of nichrome (don't do it!). The simple and effective way is the best because it works and will be doable (finished) :)
The way I discribe you can get to do sleeves and underwear bottoms much easier and did I mention they pack really well (even better than Gerbings)
 
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