New Heated Seat Question on a GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 6:28 am Thread Starter
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New Heated Seat Question on a GT

Hello:

I have a problem that I would like some advice.

I have a GT with a stock heated seat. I recently had my Russell Day Long Seat refurbished with heat. The Russel Seat typically has its own switch mounted in the seat which I did not have them install as I planed to connect it up to my stock BMW control. However when I got the seat back I found a problem in that the Russell seat has only two wires coming out of the seat while the BMW stock setup uses a three wire combination working off of the handlebar control.

Is there any way I can connect my new seat to the stock control system (and thus have use of the duel heat level control os the stock setup) or do I have to just forget it and wire up a separate controller for the Russell seat. If I could not connect it up to the stock controler, I was thinking about installing a Heatroller using a mounted control on the dash.

Any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated.

Hanshi
2007 BMW K1200LT (black)
2004 BMW K1200GT (grey-green, sold)
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 7:19 am
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Wired ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanshi
...............the Russell seat has only two wires coming out of the seat........Is there any way I can connect my new seat to the stock control system (and thus have use of the duel heat level control os the stock setup).........
The Heat Troller could be supplied it's "hot" (power) wire via the stock handlebar switch's "low" wire. This ensures that the seat is "off" when the ignition is off. The draw of the Russel seat is only 1.5 amps, so the BMW wiring should be sufficient. (The BMW seat can draw slightly less than 2 amps at 14v with 7.4 ohms of resistance. It's 1.6 amps at 12v, but let's be conservative. Here's a neat and quick amp calculator. )

Another way to use the stock switchgear is to add the Heat Troller as described above and have the "high" switch setting bypass the heat Troller and power the seat with the full 12v current. Should the Heat Troller die one cold day a flip of the switch bypasses the problem until you have time to fix it.

No matter how it's done the seat needs to be powered form a source that's off when the ignition is off. Based on the amp draw the Russel won't overtax the BMW wiring, so using your stock switch is ceratinly doable (is that a word?). This link might help understand the stock wiring setup, but it isn't quite what you are after. (link is for a GT seat on an RS).

This would be a fun rainy day project. Good luck.


p.s. If you wish, the Troller could remain hidden under the seat or inside of the side panel. It's only function is to act as a solid state resistor (Does anyone make those? I'm more mechanical than electrical, but I can get by.). Once you determine a good "low" setting you wouldn't need access to the Troller when riding.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 10:20 am
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Another, cheaper idea ...

I thought resistors were "solid state."

Hanshi, although I'm a mechanical guy, here's what I *think* would work: Just add a 2.5 Ohm resistor in series on the low setting wire. Based on Tim's numbers, the high setting on the BMW heating element provides 26 Watts of heating to the ol' backside. Assuming that the Russel seat heating elements have the same resistance (and that's a big if), then a 2.5 Ohm resistor in series with the Russel heating element will provide about 75% of the full heating power on the low setting. When you switch to high, the current will bypass the resistor on the low side and provide full voltage to the seat heating elements.

Based on the LED flashing on my heat troller, I think it works as a timing device, not as a variable resistor. I'm guessing that it applies full voltage to the heating element, but interupts the power based on the knob setting. So at full on, the power is never interrupted, and at a lower setting, the power is interrupted more and more. This is a guess, I haven't pulled out the ol' muli-meter to see what it actually does.

Disclaimer: None of the above has been validated for your specific conditions, but based on the casual numbers and information provided. If you attempt do this, and ruin the seat, or burn up the wiring or motorcycle and burn down the garage, its NOT MY FAULT. Consult a licensed professional or your BMW dealer if you are not comfortable.

V=IR, don't touch the live wire.

PS, how do you had "hard spaces" to this text editor? I tried to show an electrical schematic using keyboard characters, but the text editor throws out extra spaces.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 10:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhhall
I thought resistors were "solid state."
Ergo my "dunno". I meant to say one that doesn't get hot, if that's possible. But then, resistance is futile. Hanshi, place the resistor someplace where it's OK if it gets hot. (i.e., not taped to the bottom of the seat or anything.)



Quote:
Disclaimer: None of the above has been validated for your specific conditions, but based on the casual numbers and information provided. If you attempt do this, and ruin the seat, or burn up the wiring or motorcycle and burn down the garage, its NOT MY FAULT. Consult a licensed professional or your BMW dealer if you are not comfortable.
Ditto.


Quote:
PS, how do you had "hard spaces" to this text editor? I tried to show an electrical schematic using keyboard characters, but the text editor throws out extra spaces.
I "draw" in Word and "Snagit", save as a jpg and upload the image. But that's a lot of work.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 12:14 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhhall
I thought resistors were "solid state."
No, they're passive.
Quote:
PS, how do you had "hard spaces" to this text editor? I tried to show an electrical schematic using keyboard characters, but the text editor throws out extra spaces.
Cheap and dirty trick is to set the font to courier ([font="courier"]) at the beginning of the ascii art. Just have to remember to turn the font setting off at the end of the art diagram you're drawing so the subsequent text matches the starting text.



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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 12:36 pm
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Cheap and dirty trick ...
I'd expect that from you!

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 10:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhhall
I'd expect that from you!
Hey...I'm in tech and product support. Work-arounds are a way of life.



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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2006, 10:35 pm
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OK, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I recently helped a friend with a heated seat install on an RS and he used the Word doc referenced in this thread. To our way of thinking, the document--and it's wiring plan--is wrong. The stock GT heated seat does not switch from one element ot the other to change heat level, it runs on one element in low setting and ADDS the second element IN PARALLEL on the high setting. This causes a REDUCTION in the amount of resistance in the seat element, resulting in MORE current flow and MORE heat. Somewhere at home I have an Excel document I sent my friend, it contained a quick and dirty wiring diagram showing how to do the above using a DPDT switch and the correct jumpering. I'll post it when I get home this weekend.....
So pull out your multimeters and start checking the circuitry on the GT heated seat, and check the voltage(s) being supplied to the two hot leads in the GT stock wiring harness connector. Both leads are hot when the switch is in the high setting....

Just another data point, fire away.....

Best,

GTRider
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2006, 1:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTRider
OK, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I recently helped a friend with a heated seat install on an RS and he used the Word doc referenced in this thread. To our way of thinking, the document--and it's wiring plan--is wrong. The stock GT heated seat does not switch from one element ot the other to change heat level, it runs on one element in low setting and ADDS the second element IN PARALLEL on the high setting. This causes a REDUCTION in the amount of resistance in the seat element, resulting in MORE current flow and MORE heat. Somewhere at home I have an Excel document I sent my friend, it contained a quick and dirty wiring diagram showing how to do the above using a DPDT switch and the correct jumpering. I'll post it when I get home this weekend.....
So pull out your multimeters and start checking the circuitry on the GT heated seat, and check the voltage(s) being supplied to the two hot leads in the GT stock wiring harness connector. Both leads are hot when the switch is in the high setting....

Just another data point, fire away.....

Best,

GTRider
Well, yeah. The switch for the comfort set on the GT turns on the low element, then turns on the high element as well. So, you get both. Guess I'm going to have to read that word document...but in the archives, there's one I wrote that offers four settings, if you are good at wiring switches. First, both elements in series, second the high resistance path, followed by just the low resistance path, then finally both. BMW recommends that the high setting be used long enough to get the seat really warm, then just run the low element to keep the seat toasty.

Single element seat heaters can be used with the BMW switch too. Tie the blue wire to the input of the controller, and the black to bypass the controller. Full heat on high, controller-only when on low.

Multimeter? BTDTGTT...



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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2006, 6:02 am Thread Starter
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New Heated Seat Question on a GT

Razel posted:
"Single element seat heaters can be used with the BMW switch too. Tie the blue wire to the input of the controller, and the black to bypass the controller. Full heat on high, controller-only when on low. "

Thanks for the information from everyone.

One point I am not clear on is as per the directions above, how does the trhee wire BMW switch tie into a two wire single element seat (my Russell seat)? It seemes like most of the suggestions to date have focused on wiring a BMW two element seat to the BMW switch.

If I understand what everyone is saying then the two settings on the BMW switch are both full power on - one for each element. So connecting the BMW switch to a single element seat heater would only give me an on/off control using one of the BMW siwtch positions.

I also need to check with Russell as their web page indicates that the heating element has its own thermal switch that keeps the seat at a comfortable 85-90 degrees, and if installed in my seat (I did not have Russell install their on/off switch in the seat as normal as I did not want any switch on the seat but wanted to use the existing BMW switch), the I would not need duel heat settings or even the use of a heat troller to adjust the heat level.

Hanshi
2007 BMW K1200LT (black)
2004 BMW K1200GT (grey-green, sold)
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