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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,
As many of you are, I'm looking at or, thinking about, a GPS unit for the AT. I have red many, many posts/threads about using phones and dedicated GPS units and, it's definitely mind boggling/bending on what's out there, what works or doesn't work, and what's compatible, what it will accomplish and all that. But, also like many of you, I'd like to power whatever I buy, by the bikes 12V system. And, as we all know, at least the '18 AT/AS units come with a power socket, at or very close to the top of the left fork tube, just inside the fairing.

But, in its infinite wisdom, HONDA, in the owners manual, does not say whether or not, the power socket is switched power or not. At least I haven't found where it says or not. So, I just buzzed out to the garage where the AT is presently resting from a morning ride and, stuck a male 12V charge cord for one of my HAM radios in it. That male plug has an indicator LED on it that lights up when power is present at the female plug.

When I stuck it in, no LED light. But, turn the ignition switch on and, ZAP, Houston, we have POWER!!! Now, when I cruised through the owners manual, and found that section on that power plug, page 81, it explains all about that plug and, it's limitations etc. And speaking of limitations, in the little bullet section, the number 2 bullet states:

Set the headlight on low beam while the socket is in use. The battery may run down or cause damage to the socket

Are you kidding me?????????????? I can't even run the HIGH BEAM when that power socket is in use? What kind of charging system does the A/T have, one for a mini-bike? Oh yeah, I remember, mini bikes don't have any charging system.

So, what say you folks that have extensive experience with aftermarket electrical demands on your AT's? I'm thinking of purchasing the Garmin Zumo XT and, I have no idea what kind of demand that unit places on any 12V system. I know it's a battery operated tool but, it will need charging now and then. And, if I'm running at night, and need both the high beams AND the Garmin, what am I supposed to do, reach down and shut off the Garmin when I need hi beam?
Scott
 

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I have a Rowe PDM60 and love that thing; have all my lights (aftermarket) and GPS hooked to it. Now with that said, I really don‘t notice much of a drop on my voltmeter when using my high beam. I get about 0.1 V drop with my OEM heated grips. But never noticed my drop/drain when my Zumo GPS is on. Yea it is in essence plugged into the battery but still....
 

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I am quite certain that the warning is in regards to operating at low rpm operation. There are many bikes that won't handle much of an electrical load at idle and will slowly draw the battery down if just idling or putting around slowly. If you are running above about 2K rpm I am sure you will not have an issue. The biggest concern Honda has is for heated gear as typically the load requirements are a lot higher than a GPS etc. I would not be surprised at all that the battery would run down while using a heated jacket and running the high beams especially at low rpm. On the highway it would not usually be an issue.
 

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I am quite certain that the warning is in regards to operating at low rpm operation. There are many bikes that won't handle much of an electrical load at idle and will slowly draw the battery down if just idling or putting around slowly. If you are running above about 2K rpm I am sure you will not have an issue. The biggest concern Honda has is for heated gear as typically the load requirements are a lot higher than a GPS etc. I would not be surprised at all that the battery would run down while using a heated jacket and running the high beams especially at low rpm. On the highway it would not usually be an issue.
I would agree with that. I have run the high beams, auxiliary lights and heated grips and haven't had an issue with the 12v socket. I think under normal riding conditions it isn't an issue.

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Discussion Starter #6
Well gang,
I finally found the specs on alternator output.
" Capacity …………………./ .49KW/5,000 rpm (min)
So, how that actually converts to AMPS (which is all I know about charging systems), I have no idea. One more thing, as most of you know, ALL the lights on an '18 AT/AS DCT are LED so, there's not very much draw on an electrical system from the lighting side. I suspect that running a GPS from that socket is gonna be just fine. I just would like to know just what that alternator puts out, in terms of amps.
Scott
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey DT,
Ya know, I cruised around on the net to find a conversion calculator for that ".49KW" to amps and, what I got when I applied it to the equation, was about 36 amps. But, I didn't know if I did it right. But, even at 36 amps at say, 5,000 rpms which, in my book is SCREAMING that engine, if you cut down the rpms, to say, 3,500 or so for normal type cruising, that would be cutting the rpm by about what, maybe a third, plus or minus. Then simply cut the alternator output by a third and, you get 24 amps. Of course all of this is speculation. I'll give the bike the benefit of the doubt and say 20 amps at 3,000-3,500 rpms. And yet they still say to cut the high beam when using that power socket. Hmmmm. That's why I'm not an engineer. Just doing a lot of guessing here.
Scott
 

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Hey DT,
Ya know, I cruised around on the net to find a conversion calculator for that ".49KW" to amps and, what I got when I applied it to the equation, was about 36 amps. But, I didn't know if I did it right. But, even at 36 amps at say, 5,000 rpms which, in my book is SCREAMING that engine, if you cut down the rpms, to say, 3,500 or so for normal type cruising, that would be cutting the rpm by about what, maybe a third, plus or minus. Then simply cut the alternator output by a third and, you get 24 amps. Of course all of this is speculation. I'll give the bike the benefit of the doubt and say 20 amps at 3,000-3,500 rpms. And yet they still say to cut the high beam when using that power socket. Hmmmm. That's why I'm not an engineer. Just doing a lot of guessing here.
Scott
Hey Scott:

Yeah, I didn't want to assume the output of the charging circuit was proportional with engine RPM. I have no idea.

But yes, if one assumes (wrongfully or not) a linear-ish relationship, then I speculate 21.5 A @ 3000 RPM, or more or less what you estimated.

I guess Honda knows this is an issue on that circuit, otherwise they would have not posted a recommendation (or warning?). All I know is Honda recommends limiting the accessory socket to a 2 A load. Maybe this is higher on the ATAS models (7.5 A?).
 

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Set the headlight on low beam while the socket is in use. The battery may run down or cause damage to the socket

Glad to know that, I go no owner's manual with USB the dealer installed in my AT.
It has been great.
I have not ridden at night while charging, but will remember to keep the RPMs up!
 

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Set the headlight on low beam while the socket is in use. The battery may run down or cause damage to the socket

Glad to know that, I go no owner's manual with USB the dealer installed in my AT.
It has been great.
I have not ridden at night while charging, but will remember to keep the RPMs up!
You should be fine (without extra RPM) with a widely available non-quick charging 12V-to-USB socket accessory. I speculate this is what you have.

Arguably, maybe even the quick ("Q") charging could be "okay" since stated maximum currents are typically rated at 5V at the USB output, but I have not tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well Gang,
You boys have confirmed my suspicions. And one of those is that, I suspect that Honda put the really low limit on that 12VDC power plug so that folks won't plug in an electric lawn mower and follow their kids mowing the lawn or pasture. So, plugging in a potential GPS unit surely ain't gonna tax that charging system and or that plug. I wonder, since the lighting on the old A/T is all LED, just what it takes, ELECTRICALLY, to run it? That is, there's a fuel pump I'm assuming, and anything else involved in running the IMU or ECU (if it has one) and what ever.

Let's just say, it takes oh, maybe 10 amps to run that bike, at any speed, at any rpm. That would potentially leave at a minimum of around another 10 amps, even at the lower calculated rpms of around 2,000-3,000. And, based on all our theories, it would leave even more amps, around 30 more, at 4,000-5,000 rpms. Now, this is all a guess you see. So, this is all kind-a interesting.
Scott
 

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I don't think there is much to worry about with a GPS. An alternator (unlike the genators that we enjoyed on 70's Guzzi's and BMW's, is not a linear device with RPM. Once off idle, they are putting out most of their potential current.

Just be sure to dim your light at stoplights (if I am facing you across the intersection, at least!) :cool:

For what it is worth, I plugged one of these goofy USB chargers with a voltmeter and amp meter that displays one or the other every few seconds. I find my Samsung Note 8 draws about .5 amps when thirsty, tapering down to around .2 amps while naviagiting on a full charge.

adapter with volt/amp meter

When I crank up the heated grips to max, volts doesn't move, ususually between 12.8 and 13.1 when running down the road.

Bought it because I learned the DCT no likey low voltage, and thought maybe I could get a little warning when the new battery is about to fail, this time, unlike the last time.

Put my aftermarket 12v lighter outlet on the Eastern Beaver PC8, with a 10 amp fuse, just incase I want to run a compressor from it or something. (Or maybe a very small electric Bar-B-Que!);)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Beowulf,
I surely thank you for that info. I'd like to get one of those little meters but, that one you linked is unavailable. I might try and look other models up to see if there's any. Thanks also for that info on the A/T's alternator output. Very much appreciated.
Scott
 

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Typical alternator charge curve from 2006 XR650. AT will have higher power.
Volts x Amps = Watts
Described more completely here
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I am quite certain that the warning is in regards to operating at low rpm operation. There are many bikes that won't handle much of an electrical load at idle and will slowly draw the battery down if just idling or putting around slowly. If you are running above about 2K rpm I am sure you will not have an issue. The biggest concern Honda has is for heated gear as typically the load requirements are a lot higher than a GPS etc. I would not be surprised at all that the battery would run down while using a heated jacket and running the high beams especially at low rpm. On the highway it would not usually be an issue.
Willy concurs with bdalameda - the OEM 12V socket is switched, so key off = 12V socket power off. The socket has a power limit of 7.5 amps at 12V, or 90W. The 7.5 amp fuse is buried in the front fairing--not readily accessible--so Willy is careful about what gets into that socket.

Maybe there is a chance that low stator RPM can lead to a low power level on the 12V circuit so when the high beam is on, the rest of the electrical system may start to pull battery power as well. Willy will check this situation the next time he has the battery compartment open. If this is true, just don't idle the bike with everything electrical running for many, many minutes. Once you get riding the battery will recharge as needed.
 
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For clarity to Forum folks:

The optional accessory 12V socket is limited to 2A at 12V. This is according to Honda. Further, the year 2018+ optional accessory 12V has no built-in fuse (maybe the fuse is elsewhere?). The pre-2018 year version of the accessory did and the accessory wiring harness was different.
 
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