• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

Ken's Heated Base Layer 3.0

Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
I've been making my own electrics for 6 years.
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51475

It's that time again.

I applied what I've learned to a new version jacket liner I call 3.0. Old 2.0 is still working fine, I wanted to streamline and tidy things
up a bit. So this time I decided to combine my thermal base layer and heated jacket into one garment. I almost never wear the
electrics without the base layer too. I found this Freeze-out brand zippered top they call a "gilet." Its thick poly fleece lined material
is plenty robust enough to hold the wiring. As before I plan to tuck it in like a shirt to prevent the wind from coming up between my
back and the heat. http://www.cyclegear.com/CycleGear/Street/...CFeJDMgodAS4A8Q
IMAG0678-X2.jpg


For the first time I used a machine zig zag stitch to attach the wires - much neater.
IMAG0679-X2.jpg


I learned the hard way to take it slow with the machine. Once I hit the nichrome squarely with the needle - the needle won. It was an
easy fix. As with the assembly, I used an unshielded butt connector crimped, then filled with solder and covered with shrink tube.
IMAG0676-L.jpg


IMAG0677-XL.jpg


In order to get the snug fit I wanted I had to settle for sleeves that were too short. So I cannibalized my old army surplus base layer
and sewed the sleeves inside to add a couple inches to the cuffs and to make a double layer up to just below the elbow. This worked
out well as the arms are heated only in the bicep area where I feel the wind the most. Also, I left the glove Y-cord out this time and
attached it to my outer jacket. Now I won't have to don the heated jacket just to power the gloves on shorter commutes or milder
temps. Before I was wearing the jacket liner without turning it on about half the time.
IMAG0680-L.jpg


The wiring is essentially the same as the previous version. There are six 54" loops of 26ga nichrome around the body of the jacket
(4 in front, 2 in back) and one 54" loop in the bicep area of each arm. Each loop produces 15 watts. (15 x 8 = overkill)
IMAG0684-X2.jpg


I noticed on version 2.0 the resistance wire would bulge through the hand stitching as the fabric moved.
IMAG0163-L.jpg


This time I did not stitch the top of each section of wire to allow for expansion. I can also give it a pull at the top to straighten it out if
I need to. I hand stitched the wires to the back of the left pocket so I'd be able to store the power pig tail inside. I just machine stitched
through the right pocket since I didn't need it.
IMAG0683-L.jpg
IMAG0682-L.jpg



The power pig tail runs through the pocket for easy storage.
IMAG0643-XL.jpg


Here's a shot of the back. As before I took care to ensure there is no wiring at the belt line so I can comfortably tuck it in.
IMAG0681-L.jpg


I think I'm going to like this one much better.

Anyway, it's all here: http://kphenix.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Hom...acket/i-3N6hX5W

Enjoy!
 

Liteitup

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
318
Location
Waco TX
Decided to try this for myself. Major props to Ken, this is harder than he makes it look. And he answers my stupid questions.
qazaby2u.jpg


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
Bravo Phil! You're on your way. :clap:

I have a buddy on another forum who just finished his jacket using my design. He bought the Gerbing gloves and dual controller. He took a 90mph test ride this morning. It was 28f at his place. He took his first hit of the heated gear crack pipe - now he's hooked. :trust: :rider: He just added 3 months to his "riding season" just like that.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
I thought I'd share this in case anybody needs clarification. Here's a rudimentary diagram. If you are doing the arms too, just add 2 more loops.
The green represents the nichrome. The black and red are 20ga copper or steel stranded wire to supply power to the nichrome.
vest%2001%20%282%29-L.jpg


It is not necessary to heat the arms but if you do the supply wire should also extend well into the sleeves so arm motion doesn't cause the nichrome to flex and break. The arm supply wires will connect in parallel like so.
power%20to%20arms-X2.jpg


Oh, and if you plan to tuck this thing in like a shirt make sure all wiring is done above the belt line. I planned to do this but found in my case it fit snugly enough to prevent cold air from blowing up my back. I just flip the tail up a little to reach the zipper to connect my jacket and pants.
 

Liteitup

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
318
Location
Waco TX
I don't think my fingers are made to do this. I can't figure out a way to push the needle through the fabric that doesn't hurt like heck. I just finished the first of eight loops, it'll be July before i finish.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
I don't think my fingers are made to do this. I can't figure out a way to push the needle through the fabric that doesn't hurt like heck. I just finished the first of eight loops, it'll be July before i finish.
The phrase "get a bigger hammer" comes to mind. :lol2: I do use a big-*** needle that my hamfisted fingers can grab more easily. I have even used needle-nosed pliers to push the needle through particularly stiff fabric. You can use iron-on "stitch witch" backing to attach the wires but finding and repairing breaks in the wire becomes a pain. I didn't like that so I quit using it. So I feel your pain. I have paid my dues stitching this stuff by hand and I know it's slow going. I can tell you my wife's sewing machine is my new best friend. ;-)
 

Liteitup

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
318
Location
Waco TX
The phrase "get a bigger hammer" comes to mind. :lol2: I do use a big-*** needle that my hamfisted fingers can grab more easily. I have even used needle-nosed pliers to push the needle through particularly stiff fabric. You can use iron-on "stitch witch" backing to attach the wires but finding and repairing breaks in the wire becomes a pain. I didn't like that so I quit using it. So I feel your pain. I have paid my dues stitching this stuff by hand and I know it's slow going. I can tell you my wife's sewing machine is my new best friend. ;-)

Amazon, reward points for selling certain products at work, sewing machine arrives Wednesday. Really.

I'm saving money now!:eek2:
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
Amazon, reward points for selling certain products at work, sewing machine arrives Wednesday. Really.

I'm saving money now!:eek2:

WOW! Did you really buy a machine!!?? I was about to say if you get all the wiring connected and pinned in place you could just bring it down here and we could do all the stitching in an hour or two.
 

Liteitup

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
318
Location
Waco TX
WOW! Did you really buy a machine!!?? I was about to say if you get all the wiring connected and pinned in place you could just bring it down here and we could do all the stitching in an hour or two.

$80ish

There has been the odd occasion in the past that I wish I had one. Very odd, I have to admit. Maybe I can tell the GF it's a Christmas present?

Thanks for the offer, but the trip would cost more than the sewing machine. Now all I have to do is learn a(nother) new skill.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
$80ish

There has been the odd occasion in the past that I wish I had one. Very odd, I have to admit. Maybe I can tell the GF it's a Christmas present?

Thanks for the offer, but the trip would cost more than the sewing machine. Now all I have to do is learn a(nother) new skill.

Well let's see . . . .

he rides a motorcycle . . . . . .

appreciates old hot rod Pontiacs and single malt scotch . . . . .

. . . . . . and now he builds his own battle gear . . . .

Phil, I'd say you sir are a true renaissance man. :clap:

:rofl::rofl:
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
Wow, this really looks like it would be painful to wear... :giveup:




:rofl:

Nope. There isn't much Cycle Gear branded stuff I could recommend but this Freeze-out base layer stuff is well made and soooo warm and comfortable. So much so I went back and bought the bottoms to go with. Wiring the base layer like this let's me eliminate an extra layer entirely. I'm wearing it right now. This "gilet" as they call it even works as a destination outer jacket off the bike. I just stuff the power cord back in its pocket and It's all good.
 

Liteitup

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
1,845
Reaction score
318
Location
Waco TX
Well, I finally dragged this thing out of the back bedroom and finished it yesterday. No pics, as my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired. Amazingly though, it seems to work!
I realize after rereading this, that I forgot to use the butt connectors for wire splices. I just soldered and taped. Maybe my version 2.0 will have that.

Thanks to Ken for all the advice and help.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2007
Messages
1,023
Reaction score
10
Location
Beaumont, Texas
First Name
Ken
Last Name
Phenix
Well, I finally dragged this thing out of the back bedroom and finished it yesterday. No pics, as my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired. Amazingly though, it seems to work!
I realize after rereading this, that I forgot to use the butt connectors for wire splices. I just soldered and taped. Maybe my version 2.0 will have that.

Thanks to Ken for all the advice and help.

Congratulations Phil! It should be easy to go back and add crimp connectors / shrink tube a few at a time or on an as needed basis. You've got all summer too. The best part is you're up and running. Bravo. :clap:
 
Top