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Hi I was wondering if I would install HID lights in my t-cat would the HIDs take more power to run than the stock bulbs I'm wondering because if I am using the lights and plow this winter along with handwarmers would this drain the battery way to quick or would I be o.k with this set-up. Any help would be great.
 

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I beleive on start up the require the same amount of power. How ever once they start to burn @ full intensity they actually require less.
 

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The HID's should draw less as nwngunner mentioned. But no matter what light setup you use, when you are constantly winching with hand warmers on your lights will flicker. I actually boiled over my factory battery. Even running a industrial Caterpillar 12v battery, my HID's flicker with constant winching.
 

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The specifications for the product should show the wattage or amperage rating of the kit. If given wattage, then the amperage is.. Watts divided by Voltage. All ratings are specified at 12 volts, even though your charging system would deliver 13.5 to 14.5 volts with the engine on just use 12 volts in your calculations.

For instance the stock bulbs draw 25 watts or a little over 2 amps each. On high beam with all four stock bulbs would be 100 watts of power consumed. The amperage would be 100/12 = 8.3 amps. I looked up the specifications of 1 brand of 2 bulb HID kit and it claimed the kit consumed 3.8 amps, each bulb draws 1.9 amps or almost 23 watts each. About the same as stock lights. Where you would save power with HID is 2 HID bulbs would put out more light then all 4 stock light bulbs. (Some ATV's use 35 watt bulbs and others have upgraded to 50 watt bulbs. The calculations would be the same and result in higher amperage loads. Four 35 watt bulbs would draw about 11.6 amps & Four 50 watt bulbs would draw about 16.5 amps)

The wattage of the stock magneto puts out a maximum 325 watts at 5000 RPM for the bigger 500cc arctic cats and up. The 400 cats put out only 220 watts at 5000 RPM. Both would produce less power at lower RPM's. 325 watts at 5000 RPM at a charging voltage of 13.8 volts would roughly be about 23.5 amps. For the 400 cats 220 watts at 13.8 volts would be almost 16 Amps. Although not specified, its probably safe to assume that at 2500 RPM the magneto output would probably be about 1/2 of it's rated maximum.

If the total wattage drawn by all your electrical accessories and ignition exceed the wattage from the magneto. You are discharging your battery. A 2500 lb warn winch with no load on it draws 15 amps or approximately 180 watts @ 12 volts. When fully loaded at a 2500 lb pull they draw 157 amps or 1880 watts @ 12 volts. So pretty easy to see why a winch will dim you lights and drain your battery very fast. A 12 volt 20 Amp hour battery should be able to deliver 20 amps or just 240 watts of power continuous for 1 hour or 200 amps for 6 minutes before its considered in a state of discharge.

A 2500 lb loaded winch then, pulling 157 amps with the engine off will drain the battery in about 7-1/2 minutes of use and will not last much longer with the engine running. A battery is considered discharged when the battery voltage is at 10.5 volts. Repeated or excessive discharge cycles can destroy your battery. Thus the reason so many have battery problems. The PC680 battery is only a 17 amp hour battery so a fully loaded winch on a fully charged PC680 is only going to last for only about 6-1/2 minutes. However the reason the PC 680 is so highly recommended is that it can handle excessive discharges without receiving as much damage. It's a tougher battery to use if you constantly abuse your batteries. Take steps not to abuse your battery and even the stock battery will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WOW thanks for that write up, I think after reading that I will go ahead on the hid light kit and also get a pc 680 battery right away, I don't do a whole lot of plowing maybe at the most 45-minutes to 1- hour at a time then put the t-cat in the heated garage with the battery tender on it so I would think this set-up would work. What do you guys think.
 

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (goblish @ Nov 14 2009, 10:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
WOW thanks for that write up, I think after reading that I will go ahead on the hid light kit and also get a pc 680 battery right away, I don't do a whole lot of plowing maybe at the most 45-minutes to 1- hour at a time then put the t-cat in the heated garage with the battery tender on it so I would think this set-up would work. What do you guys think.[/b]
You should be Ok if during that 1 hour of plowing total winch motor on time is at a minimum and you are not driving your battery to a state of discharge or below. The weight of the blade will increase the amperage draw and you should be getting some excess amperage from the charging system. Discharge cycles can do damage to a PC680 as well but not as much and they can handle a lot more deep discharge cycles without failure. Knowing what your charging system puts out, and knowing the amperage draw of your accessories and taking steps to prevent deep discharging the battery is the key to battery life. Myself I try to be kind to my batteries and select a battery with the higher capacity. The Odyssey is only 17 AH. I've found 20-22 AH batteries on the internet for 1/2-1/3 the cost of an Odyssey, that what I tend to look for even though they may not take the abuse an Odyssey will take.

No matter what battery you use, or how big it is, your lights will dim when you run the winch. Without the winch running and the engine running, your lights are getting about 13.5-14.5 volts. They will be brighter at the higher voltage. As soon has you press the winch button and if the winch is pulling more power then the charging system is currently putting out minus the accessory load on the ATV the battery voltage will drop to about 12 volts or less and the lights will dim. The radiator fan drawing about 7.5-10 amps will also dim the lights on a loaded charging system, just the nature of these small engines. No way around it. live with it.

Additional things you can do is plow in low range to keep the RPM up so the magneto is putting out more amperage and less load upon the battery. Use the minimum amount of lights as you can. Raise your blade only enough to clear the ground when backing up to reduce winch motor on time. Plow during daylight hours as much as possible. Be kind to your battery even a stock battery will work. I've seen where some have installed dual 100 watt driving lights, added additional strobe lights, 100 watt backup lights, run their stereo amplifier, hand warmers plus run all four stock lights at the same time and they wonder why their batteries fail. Add up the wattage of all accessories and subtract from the magnetos output wattage and its easy to understand. On ATV's equipped like this, they need to install a permanent battery charger and have a long extension cord while plowing.

Battery tenders are great. Recommend using one, I use a timer where the tender comes on for 24 hours or so every 7 days on my motorcycles that are stored all winter without starting. If I were to plow daily or often with the ATV, I'd probably just leave the tender connected or reconnect immediately afterwords for at least 24 hours. Never let a battery set at less than a full charge for an extended period. I did read on the PC680 web site that the PC680 does require a higher charge rates to maintain it then a normal stock battery does. Odyssey markets their own battery tenders for their batteries because of this. You can get the charge specifications from the Odyssey web site if you do not want to purchase their high dollar charger/tender. I think in the fine print, Odyssey only warranties their battery if a charger/tender meeting their specifications is used. Then again how would they know? Many here use the $20 Wally world 1.8 amp tenders on the Odysseys with no perceived problems.

Recharge specifications and maximum charge rates are printed on the side of most batteries or included in the paperwork. It's there for a reason.
 

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Great information from Wyo. Do yourself a favor and listen to him.

A couple other things I'd like to add to this discussion. The wiring harnesses on these quads is adequate for electrical equipment that came on the quad when new, but not much more. So when adding auxiliary lighting or any aftermarket electrical equipment, run a dedicated fused circuit for the device/s. I also recommend using relays whenever possible. If you do use the stock wiring system to like switch on the auxiliary lights, then it's a real good idea to use a relay to keep the load off the OEM wiring.

Buy good quality relays and switches, waterproof if possible. Heat shrink and seal all connections. Soldered connections are best, but heat shrink sealed butt connectors are ok.

Do your wiring right the first time and you won't have to re-wire it on the trail.
 
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