Friday, May 24, 2013

Sargent rear seat cover

Since I have changed my front seat to Sargent with different design from original BMW seat I decided to change the rear one as well. Since the price of Sargent rear seat is pretty high and due to the fact that I ride all alone most of the time, I have decided to buy only the Sargent cover for OEM seats. This costs only about 1/5 of the price and provides the same look as Sargents... Just two pictures for comparison:

Original BMW R1150GS rear seat
OEM BMW R1150GS rear seat with Sargent cover

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunday afternoon in America (quarry)

Finaly! My bachelor thesis was submitted last friday so the weekend was perfect for a ride. We rode together with my father and his R1200GS to abandoned limestone quarry called "Velká Amerika" which means "Big America" in Czech - it is also known as Czech Grand Canyon. Is located just few kilometers from Karlštejn castle and about 20km from Prague. It provides magnificent scenery. It was used several times by filmmakers for some western movies etc.
The quarry is about 800m long, 200m wide and 80-100m deep. Part of the quarry is flooded - the depth of the lake reaches up to 18 meters.

Velká Amerika quarry
Coffee break on a way back home

Monday, May 20, 2013

Relay controlled power outlet on my BMW R1150GS

As I mentined in previous entry/article about the Samsung Battery pack and gadgets charging problem on journey, here is my solution:
Scheme of wiring
I want to place my battery pack into detachable topcase behind the rear seat. That is why I want to place the connection of the power outlet from the topcase into the toolbox under the rear seat (in some waterproof way if possible). The scheme of the circuit is described above.  
Prepared wiring (with connector) going to the rear seat tool box,
12V car power outlet socket (that will be placed in topcase),
relay embedded in a plastic box (which is placed under the tank)
So here is everything ready. Now the most difficult part - finding 12V cable that switches the lights on (I am not sure if it is the side light or dashboard light). The connector with lights is located on BMW R 1150 GS under the gas tank. There is quite lot of cables and connectors in two rows above each other. The one with lights is in upper row of connectors, on right-hand side (from riders view). Then you have to find the proper pin of the connector.
Trial and error method to find the 12V side lights wire
Better if you check it on your own - if it is the same as for me (funny is how ABS is blinking :))
Here it is: left bottom corner pin (from riders view)
After finding out that the pin that switches on the lights is in left bottom corner (of above mentioned upper right connector) from riders view. The last picture (above this paragraph) is taken from handlebars back. Since the connector is waterproof I removed the cable insulation from the cable that is soldered to this pin about 2-5cm (1-2 inches) behind the connector. After removing the insulation I could solder a new cable that is controlling the relay. Then I insulated everything back again. I fixed this "relay controlling cable" on several places to ensure its position and gave the tank back to its place. The relay is placed under the tank as well to reduce the possibility of short circuit caused by water. So everything is done, covered and works perfectly. 
Everything charges only when the lights are switched on - so that solves the problem of lack of energy for starting the engine, when you forget something connected to the power outlet (for example overnight).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Samsung battery pack for all electronic gadgets

Because the everyday electricity source is almost necessity of today's world (mainly due to smartphones) and that usually means a problem during travelling on motorcycle - mainly when camping. For that reason I decided to buy myself some battery pack that could charge my electronic gadgets that I use every day on my motorcycle trips. That means of course my smartphone, GoPro camcorder, helmet intercom and maybe some other in the future. Most of those gadgets are charged with some kind of USB connector (so it can be charged from computer, electricity adaptor or even 12V car power outlet. 

Samsung 9000mAh Battery Pack and my Galaxy Nexus
When riding a motorcycle I do not want any cables hanging on handlebars or to my pockets, or even having a cell phone in topcase or something. For that reason I decided to buy a battery pack that would charge from 12V power outlet when riding (I have to work on this circuit with some relay that will switch on when I start the engine) and when I reach my destination or during the night it can charge what I need.
The best price/performance ratio seemed the Samsung Battery Pack with 9000mAh (the capacity is for 3,8V internal battery - but don't worry the output has standard USB with 5V and something between 1-2A) - that means capacity of 34Wh. Which should be enough for charging my cellphone 4-5 times! It costs here in Czech Republic about 50 Euros (that's about 60 USD). It is charged through USB mini connector (the producer claims that it can be charged with current up to 2A and voltage of 5V which means really fast charging). And it can charge your devices through standard USB female connector so you can use enclosed short micro USB cable or some special cable for some of your devices. The dimmensions of the battery pack are similar to the pack of cigarettes.

Size comparison with pack of cigarettes
Short test: The battery pack was charged during the night with standard (I believe some old OEM Nokia) charger. In the morning the battery pack was used to charge one smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3 mini). It was charged from 19% to 100% in 2 hours, 5 minutes (which is very similar to standard charging time when normal charger is used). 
Then there was a pause for two or three hours and another smartphone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus) was charged from 20% to 100% in 2 hours and 15minutes (again very similar to OEM charger). After that test the Battery Pack indicated still 3 of 4 LEDs so I believe that it was somewhere on the edge of 1/2 and 3/4 of its capacity. So really great result.

So I managed to charge 4 smartphones without any problems.

What to say as a conclusion? Great product with great reputation of manufacturer and what's more: for great price.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday morning ride to the earth-fill dam

Since I do not have too much time for riding (I am finishing my bachelor's thesis at university), the only possibility this week was the sunday morning. So me and my father took our bikes and went for short ride (about two hours of total time). We visited quite interesting water structure - the earth-filled dam Švihov that is also known as Želivka. This structure supplies Czech capital city - Prague with drinking water via 52km (about 32 miles) long gravity pipeline with diameter 2,6m. There are few pictures - sorry for the image quality - it's just cellphone photo.

Water outlet at the toe of the dam
Our bikes at the toe of earth-fill dam
The closest picture that I was able to take (through the fence)
Tailwater channel and the concrete weir for measurements of discharges