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Discussion Starter #1
I've got Battery Tender pigtails hooked up to my bike's battery permanently, and they of course have the SAE connection on the other end and a fuse in the middle. I was wondering if I could just switch out the fuse for different uses? E.g., my powered GPS RAM Mount specifies a 1.5A fuse, can I just pop in a 1.5A fuse and run the GPS off the same pigtails? Then switch the fuse to the 7A one when I want to use the Battery Tender? And if I ever want to run a Powerlet cigarette adapter, can I just make sure to use the amperage fuse specified by Powerlet?

Any problems with this method? (besides I can't use all at once, but I don't plan on ever having to do that)
 

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You should be okay. Atleast with the GPS. But for your Powerlet, I would recommend wiring that directly to the battery with it's own fuse and relay.

It'll end up drawing too much current and you might end up "burning" up the wiring and possibly causing a fire. The battery tender pig tails aren't that thick of a gauge (10/12?). You might want to see what the amperage rating of the pig tail it.

I know the offical Battery Tender pig tails are a bit nicer (thicker gauge or thicker sheathing) than the walmart/black-n-decker charger types.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! It actually looks like the fuse for the Powerlet is same as the Batt Tender (7A). Is there any other reason I shouldn't use the same pigtail - something I'm missing besides current? (high school physics was a while ago :) )

Also, where does one buy automotive fuses? (sounds silly, but i'm having trouble ??? )
 

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Thanks! It actually looks like the fuse for the Powerlet is same as the Batt Tender (7A). Is there any other reason I shouldn't use the same pigtail - something I'm missing besides current? (high school physics was a while ago :) )

Also, where does one buy automotive fuses? (sounds silly, but i'm having trouble ??? )
If the fuse is the same, you should be okay. It's more about the amount of current flowing through the wires. The thinner the gauge (higher the number) the lower the amount of current that can flow safely through. What ends up happening is the wiring gets very hot and will end up melting the sheathing.

The fuses you need a best found at an auto parts store (AutoZone, NAPA etc...) or even Walmart/Target.

Just take your old one in and get the same size.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again man... one more question: it really is safe to charge the battery with the pigtails while the battery is fully connected in the bike, right? I was reading the instructions to the Batt Tender and it seemed to say that if the battery was connected in the bike, you should use the alligator clips and connect negative to the chassis rather than the negative terminal of the battery.

Is there any danger to using the pigtails for charging while the battery is fully connected?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's what the pig tails are for. To charge the battery, without having to remove the seat and hook up alligator clips.
That's what I thought, and that's what I'd always heard... so the instructions surprised me. (Not that instructions are necessarily authoritative when it comes to MC accessories.)

Thanks again. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry, another small follow-up question: what would happen if I just leave the 7A Battery Tender fuse in there instead of swapping out with a smaller fuse for the RAM Mount? When I plug in the RAM Mount (which is supposed to have a 1.5A fuse) is it going to immediately fry itself and/or the GPS? Or is it fine, except for a greater risk of shorting the GPS unit in some way that doesn't trip the fuse (i.e., a short that causes a current above 1.5A but still less than 7A)?
 

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Use a lighter socket to power your gps and you shouldn't have a problem. Most oem power adapters have the appropriate fuse built in. Like wacky said, if your going to use anythng with significant current draw (heated gear, quick charger, etc.) you need to install an outlet with larger wire size and heavy ring terminals. I used 12ga on my installation.
 

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Sorry, another small follow-up question: what would happen if I just leave the 7A Battery Tender fuse in there instead of swapping out with a smaller fuse for the RAM Mount? When I plug in the RAM Mount (which is supposed to have a 1.5A fuse) is it going to immediately fry itself and/or the GPS? Or is it fine, except for a greater risk of shorting the GPS unit in some way that doesn't trip the fuse (i.e., a short that causes a current above 1.5A but still less than 7A)?
If you leave the higher amp fuse in when you connector your GPS, you are risking frying it. If there is a power surge (what the fuse protects against) with the 7amp fuse, your GPS will see all that amperage. THis in turn can damage it.

I would put the 1.5A in when using your GPS. Just to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. I haven't found anything smaller than 2A in the blade-type automotive fuse, but given what you've said that is still better than 7A. I'll grab a couple today at Radio Shack.

Thanks again. :rock:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why dont you use the cig lighter adapter for the gps? then you wouldnt have to swap out the fuse every time.
The cig lighter adapter makes things bulky imho - it would mean I need to either use the OEM car adapter for the GPS which I'm sure is not weather-resistant and has no headphone out (I'm using a Garmin Quest - which itself means I have limited options). With the SAE pigtail connection, I can go straight to the RAM Mount with more robust wires straight from the battery. Although I agree, the cig lighter adapter makes for a more flexible connection -- I would be able to charge my cell phone too with a simple car charger.

I only use the Batt Tender in the winter, and I don't have any heated gear, so the fuse swapping would probly only happen once a year.

Feel free to let me know if I'm missing something though... :ears:
 

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Yeh, i gues i never thought about that only having to change twice a year, thats not so bad then. I bet a 2A fuse would be fine, most products have decent safety factor in their products.
 

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Alright, I had to sign up just to post to this thread to help shed some light on this fuse dilema. There seems to be alot of misinformation here that needs to be cleared up. Fuses are NOT there to protect the equipment, they are there to protect the WIRING. There is no need to take the 7 amp fuse out to run the GPS. There is no difference in risk running a 7 amp fuse versus a 1.5 amp fuse for that load providing all of the wiring that you are using is of the same gauge. Fuses do NOT prevent spikes or surges, they are not line filters. They only blow when subjected to loads significantly higher than there rated capacity are present.

Relate it to your house. You do not change the fuse (or breaker more likely) depending on whether your charging your electric razor (very small load) or your wife (or gf) is running her hair dryer (very high load). It is all handled by the same capacity fuse (or breaker), becuase all of the loads that you are running are below the maximum capacity of the wiring used in your house, and the fuse (or breaker) that is used to protect that wiring.

So in short, keep that 7 amp fuse in there all the time and save yourself the aggrevation of swapping it out. While putting the smaller fuse in will not hurt anything, it does not really help anything either, and cuts down on your riding time.

Kevin.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for joining and posting this man :) I did have a feeling about what you said, exactly cuz of the analogy you used -- circuit breakers in a house are not switched around based on what you plug into that circuit. They are kept the same, and it's usually something much higher than what any individual electrical appliance uses (except high-wattage stuff like microwaves, refrigerators, space heaters, etc.).

But, I already bought the 2A fuses. Oh well, might as well use them.

Jay/GC

Alright, I had to sign up just to post to this thread to help shed some light on this fuse dilema. There seems to be alot of misinformation here that needs to be cleared up. Fuses are NOT there to protect the equipment, they are there to protect the WIRING. There is no need to take the 7 amp fuse out to run the GPS. There is no difference in risk running a 7 amp fuse versus a 1.5 amp fuse for that load providing all of the wiring that you are using is of the same gauge. Fuses do NOT prevent spikes or surges, they are not line filters. They only blow when subjected to loads significantly higher than there rated capacity are present.

Relate it to your house. You do not change the fuse (or breaker more likely) depending on whether your charging your electric razor (very small load) or your wife (or gf) is running her hair dryer (very high load). It is all handled by the same capacity fuse (or breaker), becuase all of the loads that you are running are below the maximum capacity of the wiring used in your house, and the fuse (or breaker) that is used to protect that wiring.

So in short, keep that 7 amp fuse in there all the time and save yourself the aggrevation of swapping it out. While putting the smaller fuse in will not hurt anything, it does not really help anything either, and cuts down on your riding time.

Kevin.
 

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The reason being is that that is a constant 120v source. There are no variances surges or anything at your house. with a battery the voltage can be anywhere for 10 to 14 easily and the power sent out varies even more. The fuse will help make sure that the device does not get surged which is the reason why the manual tells him to use a 1.5 A fuse. A DC battery circuit and a AC house circuit are nowhere near analogous. Just keep with the 2 A fuse and you will be good to go!
 

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The reason being is that that is a constant 120v source. There are no variances surges or anything at your house. with a battery the voltage can be anywhere for 10 to 14 easily and the power sent out varies even more. The fuse will help make sure that the device does not get surged which is the reason why the manual tells him to use a 1.5 A fuse. A DC battery circuit and a AC house circuit are nowhere near analogous. Just keep with the 2 A fuse and you will be good to go!

I'm not sure what kind of entry level electronics class you took in school, but you clearly do not understand the purpose of fuses. And even less about the relationship of AC to DC. It was not my intent to post this to start an argument, only to clear up some things. People come to this forum (myself included) to learn new things, and hopefully learn the RIGHT things. Unfortunately, there are no entrance exams to qualify to post information. This is the first topic I felt compelled to reply to because it is a topic I know very well, not because I was bored and needed to talk. So let me try to explain this one more time.

Let me try to do this in order of how you stated it:

All electricity (AC or DC) is subject to variations in voltage. This is known as voltage drop, and it is present whenever a load is running. The higher the load, the higher the voltage drop. I do not know why you think AC has no voltage drop, but it does, just like DC.

Secondly, as far as variations and surges go your house is FAR more likely to experience a voltage variation or surge than your car or bike. The reason for this is simple, you, and all of your neighbors, are sharing the same power. The voltage in YOUR house will easily DROP if some of your neighbors are running very high load demands. Sometimes just your own AC unit, or high powered circular saw, or maybe even your well pump if you have one, is enough to cause the lights to dim in your house while it kicks on. This is a variance so large you can SEE it. If you measure the voltage coming in to your house at different times of day, and different times of year, I assure you you will get different results. Typically house voltage varies between 110-120 volts easily. And as far as surges, it is well known that lightening can easily go through a houses electrical wiring and fry anything in its path. This is why you can (and should) buy surge protectors for anything you want to plug in to your house and not fry in a lightening storm. Now as far as the bike, the only person using that power is YOU, so you are not going to see any loads that you did not put there, making that source of power much more consistent that that of your house. Also, you will not be subjected to a lightening surge through your car or bike, making these systems immune to that as well. So I'm not sure why you think a surge is a problem on a bike?

And third, here is a point you REALLY need to understand: FUSES ARE FOR PROTECTING THE WIRING, NOT THE EQUIPMENT. This is not something I made up, this is a fact. Fuses do NOT prevent surges, fuses do not control voltage, fuses do not limit the power going to the load in any way, shape, or form UNLESS it blows. There are devices that filter and condition voltage, but a fuse is NOT that device. What this means, in basic terms, is that a GPS running off of a line with a 7 Amp fuse will draw EXACTLY the same load as that same GPS running off of a 2 Amp fuse. The amount of current that is drawn by the running GPS is determined by the GPS unit, and ONLY the GPS unit. It will draw the EXACT same load no matter if a 2 amp fuse is used, or if a 20 amp fuse is used. The only purpose for the fuse is to keep the wire from melting and causing a fire, or other hazzard as a result of a failure of the insulation. This is the purpose for matching a fuse to the gauge of wire being used. Now, some manufactures may choose to use a smaller fuse than the wire gauge will allow, lets say they use a 5 amp fuse instead of a 10 amp fuse. They do this only to create a little extra saftey margin for the wire because they know that the load they intend to operate will not exceed that amount, NOT to protect the equipment being used.

And, just because I think you are missing this point, I will separate it on its own. The GPS will NOT draw more power that it is designed to draw UNLESS it has ALREADY suffered a malfunction. In which case, it may THEN cause the fuse to blow. The fuse WILL NOT prevent the GPS from "blowing up" first. This is why the fuse does NOT protect the equipment, just the wire.

And there is nothing wrong with using a house analogy to shed some light on the bike wiring. Electricity is electricity. Unless you want to start talking things like induction circuits, or EMF, or other things that are AC specific, all of that which I have used for explanations are perfectly analogous.

Having said all of that, I will end basically the way I ended my first post. And that is to say that there is no problem with using the 2 amp fuse to power the GPS, it will not hurt anything. However, there is NO REAL BENEFIT either, just the wasted time of changing it. If you want to change it, that is certainly your perogative to do so, but I at least would like you to understand the reason you are changing it, and the reason you do not need to change it, so you can make an informed decision and do it for the right reason, not because of some false sense of security you feel you are gaining.

Kevin
 

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I concur with Orange 4x4. The fuse is to protect against over-current of the weakest link in the circuit, which typically is the wire. Keep the 7A in all year around.
 
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