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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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Old 6 Dec 2008
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Waterproof 12 volt cigarette lighter sockets

Hello all,

I am planning to put one (or 2) 12v Cigarette lighter socket(s) on the bike and wondered what other people had used. ie liked/disliked a brand, home job that worked or not. that kind of thing. Waterproof or water resistant would be best.

I was going to run one socket off the ignition and the second (optional) socket nearer to but not directly from the battery.

I found this link in the HUBB

Thanks in Advance
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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I have one outlet mounted up front that I purchased at a marine parts store. It has a rubber plug to keep water and dirt out. I am going to add another cigarette socket in the rear that is made by Powerlet. It looks to be a little more heavy duty and should run my air compressor and higher amp accessories. Here is a link.

Powerlet Products
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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Made my own. Went down the local scrapyard (junkyard) and had a look in the boot (trunk) of various MPVs (vans). They often have "accessories" sockets in there for cooler boxes, DVD players etc. Found one in a Renault Scenic which has a plastic pop on lid just like the ones shown on those sites. Popped it out and found it fits perfectly inside a Fuji 35mm film canister, the Scenic one even clips in just like the lid does. So drilled a hole in the back for the wire, fitted a small grommet and fuse and voila.

Total cost about two quid.
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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I bought one of the ones in the initial link. Mine is not especiall water proof, but a soaking with ACF 50 and location under my seat seems to do the job. I had planned to fit to my GS before it got wrecked, but since wired it to the Ural. It works fine.

Since then I have bought some brass body socketś of the same style: about £2 from the local hardware store. I have drilled holes in the sidecar body and mounted these. Yet to wire them in but I will then have another two power points in the chair....

One last one drilled into the instrument assembly for a low draw GPS plug and it'll be done.

Biuld your own, or buy one. They are not expensive if you hunt around on the net a bit.

Worth having even if you barely ever use them....
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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The smaller BMW style ones are better as the contacts are stepped so the plug can't move as easily in the socket. They also have the rubber bung that makes them splash proof. John Deere use them in tractors and sell at much better prices than anywhere bike related if you live anywhere agricultural enough to have a dealer.

As far as waterproofing electrics go, in my experience (winter testing trucks is a good place to learn) you need to make a decision. Either keep water out or let it pass through. The worst thing is to use PVC tape or poor connectors that'll allow pools. So:

Keep it out 1: solder the wires onto the connectors even if they have crimps or screws then heat shrink PVC over the top.

Keep it out 2: IP68 connectors. The IP number tells you how well they keep out dust and water. The rubber seals in IP68's need to be fitted correctly, but do work. I have three of these (GPS, heated jacket, heated visor) on the bars instead of the BMW type plugs and they survive as QD's for about three years at a time.

Let it through: Open plastic cage type connectors with 6.8mm crimp on brass spades rot in about 2 years, but are so big it doesn't matter. Mount them so the water passes through and they work.

The BMW type acessory plugs can be a water trap. I'd solder the wires on, heat shrink and drill a 2mm drain hole.

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Old 7 Dec 2008
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Hello mate, i've just fitted one from ebay onto my dr, just search for motorbike 12v socket and it brings up a few and they all cost about 4quid.

I got one with twist lock plugs to prevent anything shaking out when i'm riding and so far it seems very good.

As far as wiring i use both low load pulling equipment such as gps units, but occasionally things like air pumps which draw a higher load, so what i did was to wire direct from the battery to a 15amp normally open coil relay unit and then control this with a switched feed off the ignition. This allows you to draw the load but have it switched off the ignition to prevent you leaving it on when the ignition is off.

good luck.
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Old 7 Dec 2008
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
The smaller BMW style ones are better as the contacts are stepped so the plug can't move as easily in the socket. John Deere use them in tractors and sell at much better prices than anywhere bike related if you live anywhere agricultural enough to have a dealer.
They are also widely used in trucks for all their Mod-cons, intercoms and any-cons. They are generally known as Hella type plugs.
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Old 8 Dec 2008
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We installed the BMW type female plugs (with a spring-loaded flip-down lid) on our bike and then took an automotive 12 v. one-to-two splitter and put a BMW male plug on it. The splitter was removable but it gave us two 12 v. automotive plugs when we wanted to use that type of plug. It could be used in any of the BMW plugs whether in the front fairing or the top box. The BMW type female plugs are much smaller and easier to install in a secure/dry place than the 12 v. automotive type. We used the BMW plugs for our GPS and Gerbings heated clothing. We used the automotive plugs for the computer, phone and electric shaver chargers.

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