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Thread: ST1100 - USB outlets/4-port 12V outlet mod

  1. #1

    ST1100 - USB outlets/4-port 12V outlet mod

    Good day all,

    With the exception of wiring in two 12V outlets on my bike (one always live at the triple tree, one live with ignition under the seat to allow me to charge devices securely under the seat/in the saddlebags/trunk), this is my first mod to the bike.

    First, the parts:
    2x 60inch USB extensions $1 each at Dollar Tree
    http://www.usbcables.com/white-usb-extension-cables.html

    1x 2-USB-port 12V adapter $3 at a flea market
    http://www.laptop-battery.co/Car-Charger-Adapter/2-Dual-Port-USB-12v-Car-Charger-Adapter-for-Ipod-MP3/4/p-20316.html

    1x 4-port 12V outlet strip $5 at a discount store
    http://www.amazon.com/Outlet-Platinum-Cigarette-Lighter-Adapter/dp/B00065L1O8
    (The closest I could find: mine actually has a separate control box, with four LED-lit switches to turn each outlet on and off, saving battery power {See my pics})

    1x long zip cord Surely there is one laying around somewhere

    So, for under $10, I now have four outlets, each with a on-off switch, to power my radar detector, GPS, 2x USB ports, and one open port for now. The supplied websites are more so for pictorial aid, not necessarily the exact items/price I used.

    First, I took off the front covers of the ST. First is the five screws of the windshield, then the three screws holding the "inner screen" insert. I removed the headlight adjuster knob by undoing the screw, and removing the various retaining parts, and pulling the cable inside the fairing, leaving a square-shaped hole where the knob used to be.

    I then put the 4-port 12V outlet inside the space behind the headlight assembly, but in front of the dashboard assembly. (First picture, 3237a). The ports are angled upward, to keep rain/dirt from being flung up into the ports. I zip-tied the unit to a thick wire harness connected to the dashboard assembly. Into the first port, I plugged the 2x USB port adapter, and ran the extensions to the square hole where the headlight adjuster used to be. When I double-stacked the ports, they were the perfect width, but too tall, for the hole. So, I powered up the bench grinder and took of the ports down clear plastic. This made the double-stacked ports JUST fit into the hole. If you go too far, don't worry, just shim one of the ports up with electrical tape, or tape the two together while shimming. (Second picture, 3235a). Not too bad, looks very clean: a cover could be made, but I figure this setup is essentially safe from water damage/conducting, due to being under the fairing/windshield. The benefit of a on/off switch will further help prevent damage: in bad weather, kill the ports. I opted to NOT tape the two ports together, because (Third picture, 3240a) now I can pull one or both ports out of the hole, run them to a tank bag or into one of the glove boxes, or both. If you opt to do this, be sure to bundle up the excess wire inside the fairing and tie them up, that way the cables do not vibrate down the cowling and tangle up in your spokes or melt on hot metal. ;P

    From here, I just plugged the 4-port strip into my previously-installed 12V outlet. If you do not have one yet, you can either wire the 4-port strip directly to the battery (assuming the strip has fuse protection), into the fuse box, or into the "accessory fuse" box, which turns on and off with the ignition, preventing any connected device from draining the battery when left plugged in on a parked bike. Since I have individual on-off switches for the outlet strip, I am opting (for now) to leave the strip live at all times.

    Next, I mounted the on/off switch assembly to the dashboard, under the windshield, to protect it from wind/rain/dust. (Fourth picture, 3239a).

    Reassemble everything, and there you go. I now have 3, 12V devices that can be powered, protected from the weather, with on/off switches, and two, moveable, USB ports to charge devices where ever they happen to be on my bike.

    Also provided is my cockpit, as it stands at this date. I have a $12 weather resistant GPS mount on my handle bars (eBay), I strap my MP3 player onto the hydraulic clutch reservoir, a Y-splitter going to my GPS and MP3 player, running under my seat to a 3.5mm extension, allowing me to listen to both my music and GPS at the same time (and an added benefit is that when the GPS talks, my music actually gets over-ridden: with just a $2 y-splitter!), radar detector on the dashboard, and a self-fabricated cross shelf to mount my 10MP digital camera to record our rides, and whatever else needs to be mounted. :P

    Thanks for reading, hope that helped all you tourers out there. Any questions or comments, lets hear 'um!

    <=UPDATE=> After a three day 1k mile motorcycle camping trip through highway, mountain, gravel roads and dirt roads, two of the connectors vibrated out of the 12V outlets. Solution: shim the male connectors with electrical tape. Wrap electrical tape about three revolutions around the shaft of each male 12V adaptor. Push/rotate back into the outlet strip and vibrations should no longer be an issue.


    -Jaeger
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Jaeger; 07-25-2012 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    Carl Custer's Avatar
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    Re: ST1100 - USB outlets/4-port 12V outlet mod

    Very nice. FWIW, I have two always live "cig lighter" outlets on top of my farkle shelf. They were purchased at Wally Mart. I use them for the two GPS' (Good to keep the GPS' on when you stop to fuel). My third outlet is the fused "SAE/trailer" connector to the battery. I have a SAE/trailer to cig lighter adapter that plugs into that. Again it is comfy to keep the heated gloves on when you stop to fuel.
    Carl in Bethesda
    '96 ST1100, 83' 'Ceptor, '85 700 Sabre, '88 NX 650

  3. #3

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    Re: ST1100 - USB outlets/4-port 12V outlet mod

    I just installed two 12V outlets into the left side pocket that are wired hot all the time. Saw no real reason to add dedicated USB ports since one can easily buy a plug-in adapter for those. Will post to my gallery when I get pics uploaded.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter nhdiesel's Avatar
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    Re: ST1100 - USB outlets/4-port 12V outlet mod

    Nice clean install!

    Only potential issues I see are the hidden location of the outlet strip- those plugs WILL vibrate out after a while, and you won't be able to push them back in with the strip hidden. Even my vertical one on my left fairing pocket does it every 500-1000 miles. I have a habit of pushing the plug in during gas stops. The other would be making sure the USB adapter has enough power to charge the devices. The link you provided didn't mention how much power it puts out. For smaller devices this wouldn't be a problem, but I have had issues charging my phone if I didn't have a good enough adapter.
    Proud member of the Dark Side. 205/50ZR17 GYTT
    IBA #47373

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