Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

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tigcraft
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Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby tigcraft » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:41 pm

As title. I’ve recently treated myself to a premium heated jacket (yet to install) and already have heated grips on several bikes but I’d feel happier if I could monitor the consumption it all uses together. Has anyone had any satisfaction from either a voltmeter or an ammeter as they both do a different job? Eric

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Re: Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby Mjolinor » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:27 pm

I use these for all sorts of stuff like that:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LED-USB-Curr ... H7Dt-bCPyQ

That one will not do what you want, it will only take 9 volts but you can get them that will work at 15 or more which would be suitable, just read carefully before you click buy.

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Re: Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby tigcraft » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:48 pm

Not really what I had in mind. It’s permanent fixture I was thinking about that blends in with the bike

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Re: Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby King Herald » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:27 am

I’d use a small LED voltmeter, so you know the condition of your battery. I have one on my Honda Transalp as I had regulator problems for a while. It’s about an inch across and also has a USB port in for useful use.

An ammeter doesn’t really tell you much, and you should know the current draw of your jacket already, should be in the instructions for a guess.
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tigcraft
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Re: Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby tigcraft » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:28 pm

I’d use a small LED voltmeter, so you know the condition of your battery. I have one on my Honda Transalp as I had regulator problems for a while. It’s about an inch across and also has a USB port in for useful use.

An ammeter doesn’t really tell you much, and you should know the current draw of your jacket already, should be in the instructions for a guess.
This is the start of possibly some other power using accessories not just on face value and I need to know that the battery won’t be powering any of it when the time comes that most items need to be used.

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Re: Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:23 pm

You can use either... or indeed both... but they both require interpretation and careful fitment to get a meaningfull result.

With a Voltmeter, you need to make sure you connect the leads as close. electrically, to the battery as possible and on a circuit that doesn't carry the current to any equipment with a substantial current draw otherwise the results may well be inaccurate (The OEM BMW fitment on airheads isn't so connected and very often isn't accurate). You should be looking for a voltage reading not substantially lower than the reading with the engine running at charging RPM and no additional equipment switched on. In any case, the reading after a decent amount of time at charging RPM should not be below 13.25 volts to keep the battery fully charged

With a centre zero ammeter, you can see exactly what current is going into the battery and coming out of it but it won't tell you the state of charge of the battery itself. You need to use your own judgement to ensure that the charge going in is, on average, substantially greater than the charge coming out. There are basically two types of ammeters. Direct reading full current meters and remote meters. The full current meter needs to be connected directly in series with the battery terminal for all circuits EXCEPT THE STARTER CIRCUIT!!! (If you run the starter current through the meter you'll destroy it!). The connecting wiring needs to be thick enough to carry all of the current going into and out of the battery so you really need to use 4.5mm cross section wires on an airhead (thicker on a vehicle with a more powerful alternator) as a minimum to avoid a voltage drop. A remote meter has a sensor that can be wired close to the battery. This sends a signal to the meter through much thinner wires which makes it much more convenient to fit.

For personal preference, I'd go for a voltmeter every time...

One final tip... if you do use heated clothing and grips (or any other high drain equipment for that matter) make a point of switching them off at least a mile from your destination to ensure that the battery gets a last 'top up' before you switch off.

Rob
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tigcraft
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Re: Heated gear, would you use a volt/amp meter?

Postby tigcraft » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:13 am

That’s nicely explained Rob. I didn’t know there was two types of ammeter too. Cheers Eric


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