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Discussion Starter #1
The price they are asking for one seems a bit high. Anyone make their own? Seems like not much more than a dimmer switch and a LED in a box, or am I missing something.
 

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You're missing a lot. Simply "dimming" the power would cause a serious heat issue and cause a fire.

The power delivered to the clothing uses PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) to "pulse" the power and the "dimmer" as you call it adjusts the frequency to which the power is pulsed to the clothing.

Go ahead and save some money and after either you or your bike catch on fire, let us know and we'll nominate you for a Darwin award. :tongue:

Seriously, spend the $100 and do it correctly.
 

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Yep, you're missing something. A wall dimmer operates on AC, bike operates on DC. Wall dimmer uses the sinewave of the AC to trigger a solid-state relay (SSR) on and off to modulate the amount of power fed downstream to the light. There is also some circuitry to vary the amount of voltage going to the trigger to the SSR to vary when it actually turns on and off. Wall dimmer will not work on DC - once it turns on the only way to turn it off is to unplug it.

The bike controller uses a PWM (pulse width modulated) system. Similar to a wall dimmer, but you also have to have a clock or oscillator circuit in the system to provide the on-off control trigger signal.

You can find plans online for building one - personally it wasn't worth my time to make one (I've done them when I was younger). I have the dual controller, and am happy. By the time I had found all the parts, made a box, put it together - could have bought a couple of gerbings.

Remember, you're paying for the Research and Development (R&D), the patenting, the production, the distribution, the wages of the worker, and eventually some profit to the designer/builder/owner. And don't forget the shop owner who has to buy it, have it sit in inventory hoping someone will buy it, and be out of that money till someone does buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep, you're missing something. A wall dimmer operates on AC, bike operates on DC. Wall dimmer uses the sinewave of the AC to trigger a solid-state relay (SSR) on and off to modulate the amount of power fed downstream to the light. There is also some circuitry to vary the amount of voltage going to the trigger to the SSR to vary when it actually turns on and off. Wall dimmer will not work on DC - once it turns on the only way to turn it off is to unplug it.

The bike controller uses a PWM (pulse width modulated) system. Similar to a wall dimmer, but you also have to have a clock or oscillator circuit in the system to provide the on-off control trigger signal.

You can find plans online for building one - personally it wasn't worth my time to make one (I've done them when I was younger). I have the dual controller, and am happy. By the time I had found all the parts, made a box, put it together - could have bought a couple of gerbings.

Remember, you're paying for the Research and Development (R&D), the patenting, the production, the distribution, the wages of the worker, and eventually some profit to the designer/builder/owner. And don't forget the shop owner who has to buy it, have it sit in inventory hoping someone will buy it, and be out of that money till someone does buy it.
Thank you for the civil and non-insulting response. Too much for our super moderator I guess.
I have to get an adapter from my insoles to my vest and was wondering if I could incorporate a controller, but I will just fit a simple on/off switch.
 

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Thank you for the civil and non-insulting response. Too much for our super moderator I guess.
I have to get an adapter from my insoles to my vest and was wondering if I could incorporate a controller, but I will just fit a simple on/off switch.
You're welcome for the response - and the moderator was using sarcastic humor - something that is used A LOT in the military so I just thought it was funny.

Nothing mean was meant by it - just standard banter and harrassment.

I used to use an on-off control for a heated vest grampawinger was kind enough to give to me for the cold rides we go on. While I appreciated the warmth, was constantly turning the unit on and off to prevent either freezing or boiling. Once I got the controller, life was much easier. The cost quickly fades from memory, the ease of use stays.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
probably well worth the expense if I planned frequent use, but I am in south FL. Need it for one trip, hope not to use it at all.
 

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You're welcome for the response - and the moderator was using sarcastic humor - something that is used A LOT in the military so I just thought it was funny.

Nothing mean was meant by it -
just standard banter and harrassment.

I used to use an on-off control for a heated vest grampawinger was kind enough to give to me for the cold rides we go on. While I appreciated the warmth, was constantly turning the unit on and off to prevent either freezing or boiling. Once I got the controller, life was much easier. The cost quickly fades from memory, the ease of use stays.
I've grown used to the harassment.

Hey Jerry,
Would Tourmaster work with a Gerbing controller?
thecruiser
 

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I've grown used to the harassment.


Yeah, but you're an easy mark - like shooting fish in a barrel. Problem is you like it... :twisted:


Hey Jerry,
Would Tourmaster work with a Gerbing controller?
thecruiser
Last I heard, the answer is yes - uses the same round coaxial type plug.
 

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sanibel, what you described in your original post as a "dimmer" is actually a power rheostat, and they were used for many years to adjust the heat on heated gear. Power rheostats have a lot of serious drawbacks. They are large, expensive, and get extremely hot, meaning that it is hard to find a place to put them. The introduction of PWM controllers about 20 years ago rendered them pretty much obsolete.

PWM controllers like what is used for heated gear are not overly complicated as far as electronics goes, but they are still advanced projects, and they aren't for anyone without electronics experience. There are a lot of experimenter's kits and sample schematics out there. But by the time you paid retail for all the parts, wiring, and connectors you need, it would not be worth the hassle. It is more of a hobbyist project than it is a way of saving money.

At a minimum, you should at least install an on/off switch, but to tell you the truth, that is going to get really old in a hurry. Heated gear is a real benefit, even if you don't use it much. Being able to set the temp right where you want it makes things so much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thamks for the education

I had wondered how these work. We used to use a monster rheostat doing stage lighting years ago. Little potentiometers I saw all had low power ratings, now I understand due to heat.
Bought this on eBay. For $6, it is worth a try. 10 amp pulse width modulator. Looks pretty similar to the advrider post pics. I will need to fit it with an on/of switch also.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-40V-10A-Pulse-Width-Modulator-PWM-DC-Motor-Speed-Control-Switch-Controller-/400586595552?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d44d25ce0
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Done, seems to work, voltage varies like it ought to and insoles get hot. Cost about $14 in parts, box was $3, module was $6, and the wires were $2/$3. I set it up with the connectors I need to fit my gear, no adapters needed.
 

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My original investment in heated cloths, was a homemade liner for wearing under coat or jacket. Did not know anything about electric clothing, and the time I had to put into sewing every two inches the wire onto the vest was beyond cost logic. Then sew a liner over it, and built a controller twice the size of a commercial one. Second issue was what connector type to use. Long story short it worked GREAT ! Next season I just bought a set of Gerber heated gear and 98% happy. Other 2% was one problem with a heater wire across back of coat, to hot, and Gerber did a great job of fixing it for postage only ! So a warning also, if one spot is really hot, it is an issue and not normal. This time was a really warm spot, but not burning hot type; but after eight hours of use a first degree burn would show up on back. Kept thinking my wife was just using the heat to much. My experience is just go buy the commercial unit in the long run !
 

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Thanks for the link! Just ordered one for my seat heater!

I had wondered how these work. We used to use a monster rheostat doing stage lighting years ago. Little potentiometers I saw all had low power ratings, now I understand due to heat.
Bought this on eBay. For $6, it is worth a try. 10 amp pulse width modulator. Looks pretty similar to the advrider post pics. I will need to fit it with an on/of switch also.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-40V-10A-Pulse-Width-Modulator-PWM-DC-Motor-Speed-Control-Switch-Controller-/400586595552?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d44d25ce0
 
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