brace yourself, winter is coming. To prevent myself from freezing while winter driving, I decided to tune my motorcycle with a seat heater, alias “butt warmer”.
This modification if very simple, but took some time to make it practical in terms of usability and maintenance.
List of materials:
This is the schematic. The box contains an LED, which is used to indicate the status of the heating element. Because the switch is not connected to the ignition key, the heater will continue working, even if the motorcycle is not running. A problem of this wiring scheme, if you forget to turn of the heater, it will completely drain the battery!
Advantage of this scheme is the ability to directly hook up a charger to the battery, without needing to remove the battery from the vehicle.
Put everything in a little box, seal it, so the box is waterproof. Also add two connectors, male and female, so accidentally cross the wires is excluded. If you cross the wires, you will see the result, because the LED is always on, the heater will be able to be switched on and off normally.
Put the heating element on top of the seat, seal it with protective cover and solder a connector to it.
Hide the connector to the battery underneath the box (to loosen the box, only 2 screws need to be removed). Leave the connector to the seat above, to it can be easily disconnected.
Riding with the heater:
My first impression was very bad. I soldered everything together, threw the switch and nothing happened. After 2 minutes the heat started, but just by touching it with my hands, it felt very cold.
So i decided to do a little test ride, with outside temperatures of about 12 – 5 *C. I was wearing a jean and on top of it protective trousers. The system works perfectly, even trough the large amount of clothes! Because of the large heating area and directly sitting on the pad, it takes about 1 minute to heat up. After 3 minutes i needed to switch it off, because the temperature was very hot 😉
Because of the mounting position, i can directly switch the heater on while driving with ease. Switching off is even simpler, because by closing the protective cover, the switch will also move to off position.
This modification is very simple, works great, costs about 50€ and a weekend with some free time. It’s a good addition for winter drivers and may be removed in about 20 minutes.
This article displays just some pictures made from a simple two wire jacob’s ladder with steel wool cover. The steel wool ignites and creates hot arrows shooting from the center of the spark gap.
Some pictures from my smallest Tesla coil, driven by a fly back transformer from an old TV and a 555 timer IC. This machine works at about 15kHz, and drives a single IGBT450 FET, with an operation Voltage of about 12V.
i did some research on the electronics of my sidecar, a URAL Ranger ( or Gear Up in the US) model year 2014. This machine uses an electronic fuel injection (EFI) instead of a standard carburetor. Unfortunately this means some additional reverse engineering to get full access to all aspects this machine.
1.) Which connector is being used?
The “protection” cap is also a working connector, but i didn’t want to use it, so i ordered another one from RS-components. (RS order number 511-0168)
Molex MX150L – 6 Pole / MOLEX 19418-0011
link to shop
In addition to the connector, it is mandatory to insert the pins. (RS order number 511-0067)
link to shop
2.) How to connect to a remote OBD device?
I used a OBD (on board diagnostics) cable extension 1m from ebay, which i cut in half and soldered the pins according to the schematic below
Molex connecter – OBD Pins
1 CAN HI – 6 CAN HI
2 CAN LO – 14 CAN LO
3 BAT GND – 4 chase GNDand 5 signal GND
4 BAT + – 16 Supply Voltage
resulting in the following cable
3.) Readout data from the motorcycle
For reading out the data i am using a DIAMEX Scandevil. This is a handheld ODB scanner, so no additional software is needet to read out data from the motorcycle. It is also possible to insert a SD card and store sensor values directly on the flash drive, while riding the bike.
My first tests worked out great, i was able to detect both EFI units, read out the sensor values like RPM, outside temperature and ignition timing.