Home Made Heated Clothing

Created: 02/08/2004
Revised: 10/29/2008

Introduction:

I am cold natured and I want to be more comfortable while riding in cold weather. I looked at several commercially made heated clothing, but I was put off by the high cost of the garments. I am always looking for ways to save money; mostly because I have so little of it and want to stretch, my hard earn dollars. I surfed the Internet and found several articles that helped me with my project. I want to thank all the people that were kind enough to post their home made hested clothing projects and information. With their help, I was able to create this write-up, to help me with my hested liner project. If you are thinking about doing the same, I hope this write-up will help you.

Electrical Equations and Info:

Gerbing rates their heated full jacket liner at 77 watts, and Widder rates their heated vest at 48 watts, so I figure that I would shoot for somewhere in between. I am not an electric engineer, so I made sure that I had some understanding of the Ohms and Amperage equations before starting my project. The Ohms Law is a mathematical equation that shows the relationship between Voltage, Current, and Resistance in an electrical circuit. It is stated as:

To solved for amps:   
Amps = Volts / Ohms
Example:
13.5 volts divided by 2.7 ohms = 5 amps
To solve for watts:
Watts = Volts x Amps
Example:
4.5 Amps x 13.5 Volts = 60.75 Watts

NOTE:

When measuring for resistance (ohms) take into account the connecting wire, intermediate cable, and inline fuse holder. A short wire will heat-up quickly and will generate increased heat. A longer wire will heat-up slower and will generate less heat.

Reference Chart (13.5 volt)
Ohms
Amps
Watts
2.0
6.7
91.1
2.5
5.4
72.9
3.0
4.5
60.7
3.5
3.5
52.1
4.0
3.4
45.6
4.5
3.0
40.5

Wind chill factor

Wind chill at a range of wind speeds and ambient temperatures
Speed
Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit
0 MPH
25
30
35
40
45
50
15 MPH
13
19
25
32
38
45
30 MPH
8
15
22
28
35
42
45 MPH
5
12
19
26
33
40
60 MPH
3
10
17
25
32
39

Tools:

All you need are a few simple tools which you probably already have.

  • Large upholstery needle

  • Sewing needle and thread

  • Wire cutter or knife

  • Wire strippers

  • Soldering iron

  • Volt/Ohm meter

Materials:

Beldon Mfr Part#: 83043 002100
  • Hook-Up Wire
  • Conductor Size AWG:30
  • Jacket Color:Red
  • Jacket Material:Teflon
  • No. Strands x Strand Size:7 x 38
  • Conductor Material:Copper
  • Outer Diameter:0.024"
  • Spool Length (Imperial):100ft
Click to Enlarge

Supplier:

Newark Wire Supplier
conn

Connector:             $1.99

 

This connector is small, tough, and inexpensive.

You can buy a 2-pole flat connector at any automotive parts store, or at Radio Shack # 270-026 or 270-025

 

 

Lower Cord:          $1.99

 

I decided to use lamp cord wire, to connect the jacket/liner to the bike's battery, because it is limber and tough. Any 18 AWG, lamp cord wire or the cord from an old iron will work. Radio Shack # 61-2852

11
11

Insulated Large Ring Tongues:           $1.69

 

You can use crimp insulated large ring tongues, to connect to the battery post or what ever you feel is best for you.

Inline Fuse Holder:           $2.99

 

I decided to use lamp cord wire, to connect the jacket/liner to the bike's battery, because it is limber and tough. Any 16-18 AWG, lamp cord wire or the cord from an old iron will work. Radio Shack # 61-2852

Fuse Holder

Push Button Switch:          4.99

 

I found this switch a Pep Boys Automotive Store. I used this switch to control my wife’s jacket.

 

I installed the switch under the right passenger armrest.

Push Button Switch:          2.59

 

This push-On push-Off switch is used for a connection with a relay. The switch is small and can be installd on numberous locations.

 

To install, requires a 3/8" mounting hole.

Radio Shack # 275-1565

Switch

Switch

Inline Lamp Swith:           3.75

 

This switch is available at Home Depot, Lowell, and most electrical and hardware stores.

This swith is used for the simple heated clothing connection. The swith is easy to install.

Heat Controller:           39.95

I have not had the need for a heat controller. If my next heated project is to hot I may consider this option.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

Source: www.hotgrips.com

 

Heat-Shrink Tubing:           2.29

 

I decided to solder all the connections, and finish the soldered connections with heat-shrink tubing. Radio Shack # 278-1627

The Garment:

You can wire just about anything, but here are some suggestions:

  1.  A thin lightweight jacket that is not to loose. A snug fit works better.
  2.  Make sure the jacket, vest, or liner is lightly quilted.
  3.  The winter removable jacket liner is a popular item.
  1.  Study the garment that you will wire-up, and plan the route that you want the wire to have.
  2.  voiding routing the wire over bony areas like the collarbones, shoulder blades, spinal cord, and elbows.
  3.  You need less heat to the lower back, if your bike has a back backrest.

Wire the Garment:

On my first project, I used my Joe Rocket jacket liner. I did not have to have to take apart the jacket liner. I used a large upholstery needle to wire the liner. I found it easier to thread the wire through a section of the liner (12 to 16 inches). Pull the wire out and into again to the next section.

I used 25 feet of wire, for the liner. I did not have to tack the wire in place because the jacket liner has vertical stitching that prevents the wire from moving around. Depending on the garment, you may have to add a stitch to the wire 6 to 12 inch apart, to keep the wire in place.


Thread

 

Click to enlarge

 

I soldered the heating wire to the connector.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Shrink tubing was used to insulate and sure the wire.

I secured the connector at the seam at the bottom left of the liner, with black nylon upholstery grade thread.

Click to enlarge
Click to Enlarge

His and hers heated cloghting connections.

The Switch:

I opted for a relay and push button connection, to control the heat. I wanted a easy to reach button and opted for a handlebar installation. With my left thumb I can turn off the heat without letting go of the grip. 

  1. I made a template out of paper.
  2. Next, I placed the template over a 1/16" thick piece of aluminum stock.
  3. I marked out the pattern and cut the aluminum.
  4. After cutting the aluminum I made two bends.
  5. Drilled a 3/8" hole for the push button switch, and a 3/16" hole for the mounting screw.
  6. Bougth a stainless steal 5m x 55m bolt.
Click to Enlarge
11 11

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

 

The Connection:

  1. The first thing I did was to remove the seat and the battery cover.
  2. Next, I installed my homemade switch bracket under the horn button, but first I had to unscrew one of the 5m screws under the switch control assembly. The original 5m x 45m screw was replaced with a new longer stainless steal 5m x 55m screw.
  3. I soldered a 4 ft section of wire, to the terminals on the switch. Then I ran the wire down the left handlebar and under the shelter and to the seat.
  4. The switch has very little voltage going through it and when the switch is pushed ON the relay will close the circuit allowing voltage to the connector plug. I used a 30 amp automotive relay.

I used a low profile push button switch that I bought at Pep Boys, for my wife's connection, and installed the switch under the right side passenger armrest.

 

First, I had to get an understanding of a relay switch and how it is wired. The Radio Shock 30-amp relay has the following wiring schematic.

 

I interpreted the schematic as follows:

87 – connects to the M/C battery (positive)

30/51 – connects to the positive side of the switch

86 – connects to the ground side of the switch

85 – connects to ground or the master grounding block

NOTE:

The pins 86 and 85 activate the relay's internal switch. Little current is needed for these pins, a 20ga wire is adequate. Pins 30 and 87 are interchangeable and so are pins 86 and 85.

11

 

Simple Connection

 

11

 

Toggle

 

With Controller