Monday, January 13, 2014

First step in a long project

It doesn't look like much, but that knob sitting between my two 12 volt outlets is the control for the Warm & Safe Heat-Troller® solid state control that will eventually control the Oxford Heaterz heated grips that will be installed in the coming weeks on my Vespa GTS.

As in the past, I will eventually post a detailed project report so that anyone with cold hands and an inclination to fiddle with their bike can have heated grips.

16 comments:

  1. Hi David hope alls well,
    Looks like this new bit of kit will be just the job for those cooler days , look forward to the full installation process.

    Take care
    Len

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  2. Len I am really looking forward to having the heated grips for the beginning of the commute in the spring.

    Don't hold your breath on the project report, it's going to be weeks until I'll be in a position to post it.

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  3. You know what they say about warm hands.... Looking forward to seeing the project progress David.

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    1. Dar Richard's right, you want to look for cold hands to find a warm heart.

      Warm hands is a desirable trait for funeral directors and OB-GYN's ;)

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  4. Isn't it "warm hands, cold heart" or something like that?

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    1. Richard, is that true? I have been accused of having warm hands... maybe I need to have my heart checked.

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  5. I'm listening, David. Looking forward to your instructions.

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    1. Like I said Sonja, don't go holding your breath.

      The next step is to get the OEM grips off and the underneath bits clean and ready for the installation of the new grips.

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  6. David the apparatus looks enormous ... my heated grips work with a very inconspicuous little, hi/off/low toggle switch that nobody ever notices and takes up absolutely no space on the front of my tank. Where the heck do you put this massive dashboard/launch/control? That being said, when you finally get them installed you're gonna love them! When do you install the heated seat?

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    1. Karen, that large piece is just part of the bike's legshield.

      There are heated grips with a simple high-low throw switch. Aside from limiting the ability to choose a temperature that fits the ride, those switches in the low setting continue to consume power from the vehicle at the same maximum setting. They accomplish this with a resistor circuit that starves the grips and shunts off the energy in the form of heat dissipating from the resistor.

      Electronic controls on the other hand like the control that comes standard with the Oxford grips, only take the amount of electrical power needed to maintain the heat setting selected. That means that when the vehicle has a limited electrical supply, such as many scooters and motorcycles do (and you'd be surprised that some very beefy bikes have puny electrical systems), the grips can end up being driven off the battery and can run the battery down so low that the bike won't start.

      The electronic control is much more obvious than the high-low switch, but it does have the advantage of sparing the bike's battery.

      You'll see once the project is done that all that will show is that little rotary knob and the intermittent blinking LED that lets you know what the heat setting is.

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  7. David, you are a masterful craftsman in the implementation of the system into the Vespa parts. I can't even begin to see myself doing what you do. I toyed for a few minutes with installing one of those Stebel horns and thought, "I'll screw that all up".

    I'm interested in your thoughts and experience with the heated grips on the GTS. My only experience with them has been on BMWs where they are HOT! Reports on the Vespa grips don't reflect HOT. I want hot. So expect you to tell me they're HOT!

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    1. Steve, you overstate my skills. There's a lot of trial and error that you'll see when I post the project report.

      As for heat, there's March heat, and January/February heat.

      What I can say is that the Hot Grips on the LX 150, running on the highest setting, became uncomfortably hot. The Oxford grips warn against riding without gloves due to the heat that the grips provide.

      Time will tell, of course.

      What would be an acceptable test of heat production?

      A laser thermometer would be great, but the only person I know who has one is my brother in law and he's in Toronto.

      How about a digital meat thermometer? If you insert it between the glove and the grip, that should be a pretty good indicator.

      I'm open to ideas for measuring output once I get the installation done.

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  8. You are so going to enjoy those grips. Nice placement for the controller too.

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    1. Trobairitz, I know, I know.

      I missed them last season and was back to warming my hands on the head light, sometimes even at traffic lights during my commute.

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  9. David, Oxford has a good reputation, so you will probably be quite happy. You might pick up an Infrared thermometer (pistol looking thing, uses a laser for pointing, not measuring) from Cdn Tire, Princess Auto, etc. I paid about $30 for mine when it came on sale. It's also good for checking sealed window panes - the one that is much different from others without apparent cause may have lost its argon gas filling. They all do after a while...

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    1. Thanks Ed, I had wrongly assumed that those thermometers were wickedly expensive.

      They're great fun when your bother-in-law has an outdoor wood burning pizza oven. There are spots in his oven that the thermometer can't measure because they are off its scale. For the most part, the oven is somewhere between 800-900F. It's cool to be able to point at something 25 feet away and get a reading.

      I'll have to cruise through the local Canadian Tire and see what they have.

      I don't think I want to take readings from my windows. Ignorance is bliss. I am quite content believing that all my nice expensive windows are standing the test of time.

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