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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There have been a lot of posts about how to get 12VDC for GPS's, cell phones, etc., from a sled that has an AC electrical system. I thought I would post this to detail the most popular options.

1. Tap into the DC power for the APV or fuel pump circuits - while many have done this, I wouldn't. The reason is because these sources run through your ECU and any mistake or short could result in ruining your ecu. That's thousands of dollars retail that is being risked when there are other cheap solutions below. It is your choice though.

2. Build a 12VDC rectifier/regulator. This was the first way I did it and it worked well. The only drawback for me was that this only supplies DC power when the sled is running and my GPS can't switch automatically and shuts off. The cost (about $20) and time to build though is high enough now that there are other better solutions. If you like to tinker with electronics though, I have attached a circuit drawing of the one I built. I sold the sled and the home-built regulator went with it.



3. For those with starters on their sleds, hook up right to the battery for the starter. No brainer here and on my electric start sleds that what I do.

4. Use an aftermarket rectifier/regulator. There are many aftermarket rectifier/regulators out there that will work. I have found though that the ones for the pit bikes and little import ATV's are cheap and work well. Below is an e-bay link to one I put on my sons ATV last summer. It has 4 wires, 2 for hooking to the sled AC (yellow and pink), and 2 for the DC output (red is 12vDC+ green is 12VDC-). It costs less than $10 shipped to my door. I also put a picture in for when the link dies. Note: 2/23/2012 - based on my experiment with number 7 below, this regulator would also put out only about 6 volts at low rpm. This is a sled limitation due to the low rpm output of the stator lighting coil and is nothing wrong with the regulator. If you have to have 12V below 3000 rpm, you could add a 12V rechargeable battery like the snobunje type setup has. You would put the battery at the output of the regulator to get 12 below 3000 rpm to your accessories and the battery will get recharged when the sled is above 3000 rpm.

Voltage Regulator Rectifier For 200 250cc ATV Dirt Bike - eBay (item 330516668132 end time Feb-06-11 11:48:27 PST)



5. Install a snobunje type system that uses a separate small battery. Below is a link to the snobuje system. Cost $40

1075 ELECTRONIC ACCESSORIES POWER CELL

6. build your own snobunje type system and save about 1/2 the price. If you are cheap like me you can get an AGM alarm battery for about $10 and a 75 cent diode and wire one up yourself. As I said earlier I had previously made a regulator rectifier for one of my sleds, but my GPS turns off if I turn off the sled. I installed a battery into the sled that gets charged when the engine is running just like the snobunje setup. What I did was get a UB1213 sealed lead acid battery that is commonly used in alarm systems and installed it under the hood. The battery is about 3" x 1-1/2" x 2 ", weighs just over a pound, and can be installed in any position. I just velcro'd it in a corner I found where it would fit. I then tapped into the sleds alternating current. One lead goes straight to the negative terminal of the battery and the negative side of whatever your hooking up like the GPS or cigarette lighter socket. The other wire from the sled AC goes through a diode and then to the positive side of the battery and then to the positive side of the GPS or lighter socket. There is a quicky drawing I put together attached. You can get a diode at radio shack (I used a 3A 200 PIV rectifier diode-overkill). Do a google search for UB1213 and you can find the battery.




7. (Updated 2/23/2012) Well I did an experiment with the bridge rectifier and the capacitor and it worked as expected. Sort of. The "sort of" is because the output is less that 12V DC when my 2002 Mountain Cat 800 is idling. As near as my bad eyes could read my little analog voltmeter, it runs about 6 or 7 volts at idle (1500 rpm) and as soon as the idle is brought up to 3000 rpm or more, the DC voltage pops right up to 12V. Now according to my service manual, the lighting coil output should be about 7.0 to 7.7VAC at 2000 rpm, so after being rectified it should be 6.3 to 6.9VDC. That part compares pretty well with my experimental results. The service manual also says that the sled's AC voltage regulator is supposed to limit the AC voltage to 13.5VAC which will occur at about 3000 rpm. Plug that into the formulas and the rectified DC voltage should be 12.15VDC. This also compares well with my experimental results. The rectifier used was Radio Shack part 276-1152 (100V, 1500mA). You could use either part 276-1173 or 276-1146 to get a 4A output if desired. The capacitor in the circuit drawing below is to smooth the output so it more closely resembles true DC voltage. The capacitor I used was a 50W 100uF electrolytic capacitor, radio shack part number 272-1044. If you have to have 12V below 3000 rpm, you could add a 12V rechargeable battery like the snobunje type setup has. You would put the battery at the output of the rectifier to get 12 below 3000 rpm to your accessories and the battery will get recharged when the sled is above 3000 rpm.



EDIT #2: Number 8. Based on the post below by TallCool1, you could just install a rechargeable battery that isn't hooked to the electrical system of the sled and just take the battery in to the cabin to charge each night. See the post below by TallCool1 for more info on this option.[/COLOR]

Right now I have one home brew sno-bunje type setup and two wired right into the starting battery. Note: 2/23/2012 - My new favorite is number 7 above with a battery like the sno-bunje type systems.

I hope this helps someone out there
 

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I have a set up like that with a small dry cell battery

here is the rectifier I use on both of my sleds

01-090-1 - Universal Voltage Regulator

I think I posted how I did this a while back. So far no problems on either sled and having a way to charge the GPS turns on the back light so the screen does not freeze. Last weekend it was -13 in harrison, and I never had any problems with the GPS, it is mounted under the windshield.
 

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Not sure how the other one works so I don't know if its better or worse. This I do know, my system works. I needed the battery because the rectifier on its own would only put out 7 volts. so with the battery installed it works sorta like a car alternator. When off it is around 12.5 volts, when the sled is running it goes up to 14.3, so it charges the battery. I unhook the negative wire on the battery when not in use. The GPS stays on until I unplug it or the battery. I have all of the michigan trail maps loaded on my garmin nuvi, It is very cool to be able to see where you are and whats coming up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep. I ran into the same sort of thing with a rectifier only getting 6 or 7 volts without anything hooked up but the meter. I'm no electronics expert by any means but I found out that if I plugged in a load of any kind the measured voltage popped right up to 12-14 volts. When testing I didn't want to risk my GPS so I used a 12 volt coffee mug. Once I saw that it worked with the mug, I plugged in my GPS and that worked too.

As for the different rectifier/regulators, yours is probably heavier duty and can handle more current. I guess it all depends how much you want to hook up to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You got me curious so I did a little checking. I couldn't find specs for the regulator itself, but of the ATV's it is used on the biggest stator rating I have been able to find is 90 watts. So the regulator would have to be at least that. at 14 volts, and 90 watts that works out to 6.4 amps. So I would say that if you decide to use the ATV regulator I pictured you should limit anything plugged into it to 5 amps or so.
 

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I went through this decision about 5 years ago and ended up going with a seperate battery, from Battery Plus. The battery was about $35 and I had the bracket material and wiring laying around, so not much invested. I made the bracket and attached it to the inside of the cowl near the chaincase. Then I ran a harness using two-prong automotive connectors behind the dash cowl, including a fuse. Behind the cowl I included a 3-way plug that allows me to plug other items in if needed....cell phone charger, light, etc. I soldered a lead from that harness to a 4 pin mic plug near the ignition on the dash. I opted for the mic plug because the male and female ends screw together, and thought that would be best for the bouncing these sleds endure on the trails. I soldered the other mic plug to the gps cord that came with my Garmin 76c. I made a bracket for the gps and mounted it on the bolts for the bar riser.

I opted for the external battery for two reasons......one, I wanted to have power available when our sleds are turned off on the side of the trails.....two, I figured I would screw something up by modifying the sled's wiring and have headaches down the road. This setup has been flawless for many years and miles now. An overnight charge of the battery in the hotel/cabin can last up to two days on the trails. I can either remove the battery at night and take it in the cabin with me to charge, or run an extension cord to the sled and charge the battery while it's in the sled.
 

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That little adapter seems like a pretty slick easy solution to this problem. 1A is plenty for any USB device and even two, since a typical USB slot can only provide half that. I seem to remember seeing something similar in the Cat accessory catalog for a cig lighter outlet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That is simply a cord, nothing more.

On many sleds, particularly older ones, the electrical system operates on AC (Alternating current), as opposed to DC (Direct Current). Depending on what you are running, the AC current may need to be rectified, or partially rectified into DC current. A simple cord like the one posted doesn't do that.

If you decide to use a simple cord like the one posted you may be OK, or maybe not, depending on the device plugged into it. If you are using a device that has a cigarette lighter adapter, then it was designed to be used with a 12 V DC supply like a car has. It may or may not work if fed AC. With the rectified system I know that I will be OK.

The choice is yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You guys keep talking about your particular sleds as if every sled is like yours. None of my sleds have 12v to the fuel pump because none if them have electric fuel pumps. Even if my sleds had electric pumps I would not tap in there The 12v for those electric pumps comes from the ECU. Tying in therebis in my opinion risking your multi-thousand dollar ECU to power a GPS. If you want to risk that then it is your choice but I wouldn't do it. If you had bothered to read the entire thread, you would see that all of this was already covered.
 

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John, are you charging your battery with your sled now? Which way has been best for you? The thought of having the sled charge my battery is attractive, I just don't want to screw anything up.

BTW, my niece just married a guy from Dewitt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
John, are you charging your battery with your sled now? Which way has been best for you? The thought of having the sled charge my battery is attractive, I just don't want to screw anything up.

BTW, my niece just married a guy from Dewitt.
On my 2002 Mountain Cat I have the #7 system with a battery where the sled charges the battery and it works great. My personal choice is to have a battery that is charged by the sled. The first one I did I built the more complex regulator rectifier (#2) and it worked great too, but I now see that as overkill. the #7 style setup with a battery has worked great too on many many outings now. The only time I actually put a charger on the battery is at the beginning of the season. The #6 setup also works great and is a little simpler.

I just bought a new sled this year.I haven't done anything on the new sled (2013 XF800 High Country). I just didn't have the time yet since I bought it mid season. This summer I plan to make a mount for my GPS and then I will have to do a little checking. The new sled already has a 12V cigarette lighter accessory style plug. I have not checked yet to see if that puts out DC or AC. I assume it puts out DC but will check to be sure. In any case I will be putting the little 12V battery on the sled and I will hook it up so that the sled charges it. The question is whether I can just tap into the wires going to that accessory plug, or if I have to set up a sno-bunje style setup for it. I will post what I wind up doing, but it may not happen until the fall when I start getting stuff ready for the new season.
 

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All you need is an SAE 2-pin (Battery Tender® type) connector and an adapter.

I've been using one for over a year now with no problems. I use it for my GPS, iPod and cell phone.

You can pick it up on-line at: Index
I know this is old but I missed this, how was this installed? Was it just plugged into the stock harness via yellow and brown wires?
 

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I've used the original schematic several times now to make power available for GPS's. I used that circuit for a Magellan that needed 5v (using the 5volt regulator instead of 12v). All parts can be had through Radio Shack (at least they used to be not sure of the current parts status as I noticed they've cut back on a lot of electronic items). I've used that circuit for thousands and thousands of miles. Maybe 10 years now at least. I like all the ideas on here though and am going to save this link for future use.

Steve
 

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Alright, I get the part about adding the rectifier in, I've done it on an old 98 zrt 600 but just as discussed there is no power during idling. I got a second sled and need to build this yet again. My question to you is how do you wire the rectifier in to the battery? Is it rectifier dc + to battery -, battery + to dc device +, then dc device - to rectifier -? Not sure how to wire this job. Any advice or sketch would help. Also, will this eventually damage the battery due to low voltage and amperage from the rectifier? Thanks!
 
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