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PowerLet amp rating and compact air compressors?


EricJRW

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I enjoyed this thread "What I learned about flat tires...a long post...a longer night!" so much so that I started looking for a small compressor (tire inflator) to cary on trips.

 

I thought I found a real deal at WalMart with a Campbell Hausfeld similar to this one on Amazon ( Campbell Hausfeld RP0500 12-Volt Compact Inflator ). In fact, it was the one review at Amazon that led me to WalMart...

 

Now the probem... Per the manual for my RT, the amp rating for the PowerLet plugs is 5 amps. This inflator says "For use with 12-volt DC power outlets rated 15 amps or higher."

 

Sounds like a deal breaker. In fact, even when I look at other options, like the Airman Sparrow (max 10 amps), the current rating is higher what the bike plug is rated for.

 

I'm not one to push things, but is this something that has some margin in it? I like the idea of a powered inflator, but not if it's going to cause electrical problems.

 

Thanks in adavance,

 

Eric

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DavidEBSmith

I've used a little 12V pump off my stock BMW power socket with no problems. On the other hand, I melted the power outlet on the Subaru pumping up 4 car tires with a similar 12V compressor.

 

Are you using the Powerlet plug that's covertible from BMW to car size? That's the only one I see on the website that has a 5 A limitation, and that's because it has a 5 A fuse in it. It might work with the compressor, but it might not. If you use one of the non-convertible plugs, that should be OK current-wise.

 

The Powerlet sockets are rated 16A, the stock BMW socket is connected to a 15A fuse, so it should be good for 15A. (It is on a 15A circuit, right? There was some model that had a 4A fuse on the power outlet).

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Aluminum_Butt

I read the same post and had the same reaction...tramped on down to Walmart and got a Campbell Hausfield 12V compressor. It was mis-priced, too - got it for $10 instead of $20. clap.gif Experimented with it last night, and had no issues on my 04 GT. I used an OEM BMW to "cigarette lighter" converter cable.

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I've used one many times on my 1150 with no problem. On my 1200, I have installed the rear aux socket directly to the battery with a 15A fuse rather than going through the bike wiring. In this way, I can use a regular battery tender because it does not go get "sensed" by the bike electronics and also for using hi amp accessories like the pump. Not my idea, I read it on this forum and it is an excellent mod.

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Like Eric, I have an '04 RT. The owner's manual indicates the current should be limited to 5A. The service manual indicates the fuse is 4A. However, the fuse in my bike (purchased 9/04) is original and rated at 15A (blue).

 

The fuse won't blow below 15A, but the wires seem a little small to carry 15A for an extended time without heating up. Anyone know what the wire ampacity is?

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DavidEBSmith

The things I do for you guys . . .

 

I went out to the garage and got my air compressor off the bike. It's a compact Bell model from Wal-Mart. I have no reason to think it's atypical of small 12V compressors. So I plugged it into my bench power supply and did some tests.

 

Wide open, it draws about 12 amps. Holding my finger over the nozzle to simulate filling a tire, it draws right around 15 amps (with a good bit of variation).

 

So if you're running a compressor on a circuit with a 4 amp fuse, if it doesn't blow you have an amazingly good compressor, an overrated fuse, or great luck.

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Thanks for the measurement David.

 

I was thinking of trying the same thing... Running the compressor directly off my car battery just to see what the amps are.

 

My use of the word "PowerLet" may have been misleading. I am in fact referring to plugging the compressor (with cigarette style plug) into one of the BMW's (PowerLet) accessory sockets (via a still to be purchased adapter).

 

I'm still on the fence on this one... I think I'll do the measurement, but I may also try to find a pump with a smaller current draw. "Max 10" still sounds better than 15, when we are talking only $10 more vs. a higher chance at frying wires...

 

Thanks for all the great feedback. If anyone has pump ideas, I'd like to hear them.

 

Eric

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Like Eric, I have an '04 RT. The owner's manual indicates the current should be limited to 5A. The service manual indicates the fuse is 4A. However, the fuse in my bike (purchased 9/04) is original and rated at 15A (blue).

 

The fuse won't blow below 15A, but the wires seem a little small to carry 15A for an extended time without heating up. Anyone know what the wire ampacity is?

I wonder if BMW is trying to say 5 amps max. each socket and that's why both are on a 15 amp fuse? I guess that still doesn't mean that the wires to each socket can handle 15 amps.

 

Well now I'm thinking of just going direct to battery via alligator leads and not worry about frying anything... As luck would have it, my RT has the "jumper terminals" (left head and behind the battery) already installed. Makes going direct to battery a lot easier...

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