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Using a Relay for Corbin Heated seat


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Any electricians out there know why something like this wouldn't work when hooking up the electrics of my heated Corbin saddle to the CANBUS on my 06RT?


RELAY at JCWhitney


I'd like to use the OEM plug (under the saddle) that's controlled by the handlebar switch to power the relay. When there's power at the plug, the relay closes, completing the circuit to the battery.


Any comments welcome.


My butts gettin cold!!! crazy.gif

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I use the same style relay for my driving lights. With the

relay you can power it from the battery. Be sure to use a fuse. Pm me if you do not know how to wire it up.

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It will work fine, but there is nothing special about that particular relay. Run down to your local auto parts store and pick up the same thing for probably less and save the shipping charges at the same time.


One thing I think you're going to find out though with the Corbin heated seat, they get really hot. With just a switch you'll be doing a lot of flicking it off and on.


A Gerbing variable heat controller can be adapted to the Corbin (and others?) seats with a bit of work. That's what we did to both of ours on our 12GS. Now we have variable level heat. thumbsup.gif

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I don't have a 1200 so I don't know what I'm talking about, but are we talking about adding a relay to the heated seat switch circuit to control a Corbin heated seat? The CANBUS module controlling the heated seat circuit obviously must handle enough power for the OEM seat, but not enough for the Corbin seat?

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The CANBUS module controlling the heated seat circuit obviously must handle enough power for the OEM seat, but not enough for the Corbin seat?
Well it's a unknown. Which seat's wattage is higher? But by using a relay the question is moot.
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But why add an unnecessary complication? More connections to fail, one more thing to break.


And maybe it's not a moot point. Funky things happen in relay coils. According to this application note,


When an electromechanical relay is de-energized rapidly by a mechanical switch or semiconductor, the collapsing magnetic field produces a substantial voltage transient in its effort to disperse the stored energy and oppose the sudden change of current flow. A 12VDC relay, for example, may generate a voltage of 1,000 to 1,500 volts during turn-off. With the advent of modern electronic systems, this relatively large voltage transient has created EMI, semiconductor breakdown, and switch wear problems for the design engineer.


Does that JC Whitney relay have good coil suppression built in? I dunno. Is the CANBUS module properly designed to handle voltage spikes from a relay? I dunno. It should be, but ask Steve Knapp if he trusts that it is. Now you may be getting into realms of deeper mystery than whether the resistive heating element in the Corbin seat draws more power than the resistive heating element in the stock seat. Is it a problem? Probably not. Am I sure it's not? No. Do I think the CANBUS module is designed to shut itself off if the heated seat, whether stock or Corbin, draws more power that it wants to provide? That's pretty basic functionality. Does that basic functionality include handling a relay? Either by design or by accident? Dunno.

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Every mechanical relay I've taken apart in the last 30 years has a small capacitor across the coil to absorb the electromagnetic flux from the collapsing field.


If relays were frying stuff we'd have a whole lot of fried stuff on a whole lot of bikes.


But hey, if you want the last word - it's yours...

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But by using a relay the question is moot.


One thing I'm curious about is whether CANBUS will turn the circuit off if it's using too *little* current. Allow me to assume that the rated current of the seat heater in the high position is 5A. Is CANBUS looking for a draw of 5A +/- a given percentage? In other words, would the relatively small draw of a relay coil cause the circuit to be shut down?


Or is CANBUS only going to react to current draws that are too high?


Obviously, on things like power sockets, the engineers don't know what the current is going to be, so those circuits can only have a max draw. But is that true for all of the circuits?

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I don't think we know. I would guess there is no minimum current drain requirement for the accessory socket(s) circuit. But it's just a guess.


ISFA the other circuits, we know the horn one requires a min. drain, at least on ver. 5 or earlier of the software. ISFA the seat circuit- confused.gif

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I read in another thread where someone was using an LED tail light that was drawing much less current that the OEM.


If I remember correctly, the response from CANBUS was a YELLOW warning light (it thought that the tail light was burned out because the draw was so low) but it did not disable that end of the circuit.



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Does the Sargent seat use the OEM pan?


I've noticed that the OEM wiring is of a much smaller gauge than the wiring that came with the Corbin seat.


But, I will probably try going 'direct' before going the relay route.



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No, the Sargent does not use the OEM pan. Sargent seat wire is also much heavier gauge. I bought a matching SAE connecter at Walmart, and spliced into the OEM wiring, very very carefully. OEM wire is so thin you have to be super carefulll. Now, if I sell the bike and get a newer version of the same one down the line, I can put the OEM seat on and use the Sargent on the next bike.

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