66% or better

DIY Heated vest/clothing


[Jared] sent in his experiment in building his own heated vest for motorcycle riding. He used some of the ever so common enamel coated wire and some surplus teflon tape in place of Teflon coated wire. So far he’s been testing things out with a bench power supply, but it seems to be working. Despite my love of building my own stuff, I’d probably just pony up for a commercial product. His site is hosted on his DSL, so I’ve put up a mirror here. (with some tweaks to the thumbnails to make them load faster.)

Comments

  1. mattm says:

    hmm, great idea. i’ve thought about trying something like this for snowboarding, except i’m not sure what i’d do for a power supply…backpack power supply?

  2. jimmythecow says:

    as with most good original mods, they can all be traced back afrotechmods :)

    http://www.afrotechmods.com/reallycheap/clothes/clothes.htm

    but ya, still good stuff!

  3. Dave says:

    Hey for the snow boarder, you could buy a portable usb power supply something like 30 watts and it would probably be enough to keep ya warm… But I personally would stick with a commercial product! I don’t want to light my clothes on fire on the interstate @ 70 mph… ouch…

  4. Mouse says:

    Hi, I’ve made much the same thing but used extra flexible wire that was designed for constant movement, even then it would last for just over one season of winter commuting before the wire would fail due to repeated bending. I think that with single stranded enamelled wire this is doomed to failure after just a few trips out in the cold but as a first go prorotype its looking good.

  5. fartface says:

    Wow, talk about doing it the hard way. GO to walmart, buy a discounted electric blanket. Strip out the heating element and then use that (in a different length you cut for 12 volts instead of 120 volts)

    safer, faster, and already teflon coated. We did this stuff at MIT decades ago.

  6. jose lope says:

    Ha ha… good one…

    April Fools, right?

  7. Fry-kun says:

    Bah! They should’ve made a batch of aerogel and insulated the vest with it, instead! Its thermal properties are up the wazoo

  8. Joel says:

    Uh…how about those cross-linked polyethylene resettable fuses? They can be run on any voltage, and will cease passing current when they warm up to the glass transition temperature of the plastic.

  9. pastasauce says:

    Those Black & Decker batteries might be a good power source. It’s the featured item in Woot.com’s fake woot-off. $20. Sorry if I sound like a spam bot.

  10. Sashmo says:

    Hey, what about doing that to your wipers on your car instead?? I know where I live that would be usefull…. Acutally, Im gona make some right now… ahahahah

  11. toopriddy says:

    just don’t wear this on a plane. I was on the Paris to charlotte flight 2years ago that was detained for “security issues on the plane” because of someone’s version of this project. US marshals borded the plane and escorted some people off of the plane for questioning.

  12. momotarosan says:

    for motorcycle riding, how about modfying something like http://www.coolorheat.com/ into a jacket…this way you can heat or cool yourself…to be able to wear a jacket in the summer to protect you in a fall.

  13. zach says:

    Wow, thanks for giving me some great ideas.
    As a Marine we fight in every climb and place (or so the saying goes) and some of those places are cold, very cold. Perhaps i will create my own heated clothing and run it off of a BA-5590/U battery (used in communications equipment). We so many of these batteries that i don’t see why i couldn’t use them to keep me and my fellow Marines a little more comfortable. Keep up the great work and i hope you continue posting your thoughts on this subject.

  14. paul geering says:

    If only a cooling vest were as straight forward.

  15. Joel says:

    >If only a cooling vest were as straight forward.

    In fact, it’s more so, if you’re willing to settle for some combination of heat capacity & evaporative cooling.

    Buy granules of polyacrylamide from (e.g.) Lowe’s garden supply section. You might have to be persistant in asking for help/describing what you want, in my experience.

    Unfortunately, it’s $14 per pound or so, but the good news is it absorbs several hundred times its weight in water, so that a little goes a long way. You can also get similar stuff by sifting the paper pulp out of diaper filling.

    Experiment with some of the powder to see how much it expands, then sew the powder in like a quilt.

    I’ve used a scarf-like thing of this sort (I think it was sold as a “cool tie”) to good effect.

  16. DossierD says:

    These kind of vest exist for quite some time. There are special vesions for motorcyclist and militairy, etc. (search e.g. for exo2).
    The newest ones don’t use wires any more, but some kind of conductive fabric.

    I used an electric blanket which uses a transformer for 16V, and it works fine on 12 Volts.

    A photo is at: http://www.dossierd.nl/ap_warmtevest.html
    (that page is not translated yet).

  17. Coyotecom says:

    That’s pretty cool, I might give it a shot since I just acquired a heated blanket this last winter, and it’s already starting to look a bit thread worn.

    I have an old leather jacket I could try it on in fact. The lining could do with replacing

  18. Brice says:

    I made my own motorcycle vest. I find 65 watts to be very comfortable. I started with a very form fitting vest, picked it up off a clearance rack for about $6. Then used phone wire, it’s about 22 gauge stranded. Very flexible. Get an ohm reading, remember that a running vehicle puts out 14 volts. Then you can calculate how much wire you need for your desired wattage. Solder on a cig plug, preferably with a switch, available at Rat Shack. I used that sticky stitch stuff from the fabric store, and some strategically placed stitches, start with both ends in one pocket, then run the loop out around the vest, be sure on to cross the wires, they will get to hot and end up shorting out. Then just iron-on a liner so the wires can’t shift. I’ve got about 1000k miles on mine, weather down into the mid twenties (F). No complaints.

    BTW, if you pay yourself minimum wage, it’s cheaper to buy one.

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