Help me overcome my ineptitude with electronics... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Help me overcome my ineptitude with electronics...

In the words of the Starks, winter is coming. And therefore I'm installing heated grips on my versys. But it seems getting the electrical wiring done is beyond my capacity.

I bought the Symtec Motorcycle Grip Heater Kit w/round rocker switch. The rocker switch really integrates well with the versys dash. Got the heating elements installed under my grips.

Wiring is to the grips from the rocker, and is all squared away. Each grip has a ground wire, and a high and low power wire. The center pin on the rocker is 12V power in, the top and bottom pins are low and high power wires to the grips, respectively. Good. Set up according to instructions.

Now, where I deviate from the instructions is by installing a relay between 12V power in on the rocker switch and the battery. I stop at the auto parts store for a relay. Sweet. Pick one up, supposed to be a 12V automotive relay.

I wire the relay as follows:
+12V directly from battery terminal: Pin 30
Power to grips: Pin 87
Ground (directly to negative terminal on battery): Pin 85
Switch 'Trigger': Pin 86

I wired the trigger source to the low beam headlight. I don't want the grips on unless the bike is running.

I started the engine, with the heated grips switch in the off position. Pulled out my multimeter to check the inputs and outputs of the relay.

Measured the following:
Switch trigger & ground: ~14 V (good, because the headlight is on)
Power to grips & ground: ~14 V (good, because the grips are not on yet)
+12V input & Power out to grips: ~ 0 V (ok, good, the relay has a slight voltage drop but the switch has been triggered!)

Now, I flip the switch to turn on the heated grips and test them out. Kapow! Headlight dims momentarily, I hear a little pop, and then the bike continues to run as usual. But the grips aren't warming up. And I may not understand electronics that well, but I understand them well enough to know that when they make noises, something is wrong!

Shut off the bike, and found that the relay +12V input had melted on the inside, disconnecting the power to the grips.

Now I did some investigative work. Busted out the multimeter again. This time I measured the resistance of the grips on their high and low settings. Looks like the low setting has a resistance of ~95 ohms, and the high setting ~90 ohms. According to ohms law, at 14 volts that's only 0.16 amps. And a power flowing through the grips of about 2.24 watts. Now I'm getting suspicious.

That little power would do nothing to the headlights. For that matter, why did the headlights dim at all? I was only drawing power from the battery. The headlights were only for switching the relay on and off. Unless I was drawing orders of magnitude more current than I calculated and was really drawing the battery, the headlight shouldn't go dark like that.

What do you think? Beefier relay that can handle the power (I know this is not the answer, something I did is wrong...)? Or can you spot a mistake in the wiring? Pictures soon.


Also, I know I have been a bad electrician (I'm not an electrician). I should be using a fuse. I was gonna do that later...
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Photos here

Hope these can help... Photo 1 is a closeup of the innards of the relay. Photo 2 is the relay connections wired. Photo 3 is from underneath the dash, of the rocker switch. Blue and white wires are from each grip. Ground is located elsewhere and also connected to the negative terminal of the battery. Photo 4 shows the trigger connection. Note that the trigger is soldered to the BLUE and yellow wire on the headlight, not the black and yellow. Black/Yellow is ground, blue and yellow is +V in to the headlight.
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Last edited by nprecup; 09-11-2012 at 11:16 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 11:58 PM
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Sounds like a short to ground between the hi/low switch and grips. For trouble shooting I would disconnect the "power" to the hi/low switch. Next disconnect the ground connections on the grips. Place the ground led from the multi meter on the metal of the handlebars. connect Red led from multimeter to hi then low wires of grip heater. one side has to be going straight to ground.

The relay's normally are 20-30 amps. power straight to ground is the only way that relay burned up.

The headlight dimmed because you were burning metal in the relay from the battery. Not because you connected the relay engage power from light. But to be safe I would put a low amp fuse (1) to the headlight and a 5 amp fuse to battery connection. I found instructions for those grips and it said 3 amps max draw.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikej View Post
Sounds like a short to ground between the hi/low switch and grips. For trouble shooting I would disconnect the "power" to the hi/low switch. Next disconnect the ground connections on the grips. Place the ground led from the multi meter on the metal of the handlebars. connect Red led from multimeter to hi then low wires of grip heater. one side has to be going straight to ground.

The relay's normally are 20-30 amps. power straight to ground is the only way that relay burned up.

The headlight dimmed because you were burning metal in the relay from the battery. Not because you connected the relay engage power from light. But to be safe I would put a low amp fuse (1) to the headlight and a 5 amp fuse to battery connection. I found instructions for those grips and it said 3 amps max draw.
If I was measuring the resistance of the grip warmers between the switch low and high pins, and the ground, wouldn't that mean there isn't a direct connection to ground? Otherwise I would be reading zero ohms? I'll be taking a closer look tomorrow for sure! Fresh eyes might catch something. Also might have totally botched that measurement of the resistance of the heating elements. Hopefully this issue is something silly and easy to fix.

Thanks for your reply!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikej View Post
Sounds like a short to ground between the hi/low switch and grips. For trouble shooting I would disconnect the "power" to the hi/low switch. Next disconnect the ground connections on the grips. Place the ground led from the multi meter on the metal of the handlebars. connect Red led from multimeter to hi then low wires of grip heater. one side has to be going straight to ground.

The relay's normally are 20-30 amps. power straight to ground is the only way that relay burned up.

The headlight dimmed because you were burning metal in the relay from the battery. Not because you connected the relay engage power from light. But to be safe I would put a low amp fuse (1) to the headlight and a 5 amp fuse to battery connection. I found instructions for those grips and it said 3 amps max draw.
Ok I disconnected power and ground to the grips. Did not find a direct connection to ground in the grips' circuit. With the lead from the multimeter on the high/low setting wires, I could not find a connection to ground. I touched the other lead of the multimeter to metal bits all over the bike, including the negative terminal of the battery. There is no short in the handlebar grips circuit I guess... I'll continue trying to figure it out.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Figured it out. Relay wiring on the inside is nothing like its diagram says it is. Great. Well, off to buy some fuses and a new relay. I'll make SURE its wired right this time!

Turns out the relay was wired so my switch on the grips would turn on the relay, THEN there would be a direct connection through the relay from the +12V power in pin and the ground pin. Power going nowhere but through the relay back to ground. Cool beans.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 05:06 PM
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Glad you found out what the problem was and it did not cost too much to repair.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 06:42 PM
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Ground on the relay does not go to the battery ground. It should go to the frame.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boricua View Post
Ground on the relay does not go to the battery ground. It should go to the frame.
Are these not the same? I thought the negative terminal on the battery was also grounded directly... That is what is shown in the Versys wiring diagram.

Thanks guys. Unless I need to switch the ground, I have them finished. They are hooked up and nice an warm! The work really really well!

Mission accomplished. Side note: This week I also installed galfer brake lines. Huge difference in the feel of the brakes! I flushed my lines a week ago, too, so I could get a good comparison between the rubber and stainless braided lines.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 12:12 AM
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Did you put fuses in? You need a 5 amp from battery to relay in. I would put a 2 amp from headlight to relay. After that I would call it complete.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-13-2012, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Did you put fuses in? You need a 5 amp from battery to relay in. I would put a 2 amp from headlight to relay. After that I would call it complete.
Yes sir! It has them.
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