To paraphrase Steve Martin in The Jerk, "And that's the only thing I need, a connector for my GPS, that's all I need. And a connector for my battery charger, that's all I need. I don't need one other thing. I need this, a connector for my air pump. And this, that's all I need. And I don't need one other thing, except... "
Wouldn't it be great if all these electronic accessories used the same connector, a weatherproof connector, a conveniently mounted connector that could be easily unplugged yet stay connected during rough riding. Well I'm not too bright about these things and I could be wrong, I often am, but I think I found a solution: MSD WeatherTight Connectors.
|MSD WeatherTight Connector allows ZUMO mounting bracket to be easily removed.|
On my BMW F650GS, I wanted to add a connector to my GPS wiring so that I could easily and completely remove my mounting bracket and get rid of the six feet of wire coiled up under my faux tank hard wired directly to the battery. And I wanted to be able to use the same connector to plug in my battery charger which had an SAE plug lead just long enough to clatter around under the faux tank but not long enough to plug in easily. And I wanted to use the same connector for my air pump so I could air up after riding off road: It used a cigar lighter plug.
First order of business was to run leads from the battery to a convenient mounting point for the connector. I zip-tied a pair of 14 gauge wires along the existing wiring harness through the frame, up the fork stem, out along the right handlebar and double zip-tied a female connector to the cross brace. This put the connector within inches of the GPS.
|MSD WeatherTight Connectors allow battery charger and air pump to be easily plugged in.|
It's nerve wracking to cut your GPS power cord off eight inches long, but that's what I did. Then I relocated the Garmin inline fuse to the newly shortened line and installed a male connector. The battery charger had an SAE plug. I saved the SAE plug and wired its lead with a male connector. That way I can use the SAE plug for the charger on another vehicle or use the SAE lead as an adapter for the motorcycle. The air pump had a cigar lighter plug. I cut the wire and put a male connector on the pump and a female connector on the cigar lighter plug so I can still use the air pump on other vehicles. Because each accessory has different fuse requirements, I did not run my wiring through my fuse block or put in an inline fuse. Instead, I use the fuse specific to each accessory with its respective accessory. Remember to put the little silicone seals over the wire before you crimp the pins and stab them into the plugs.
The MSD two-pin connectors I used had an "A" and "B" pin. The first plug I wired had the hot lead stuffed into the "B" socket, so "B" became my positive terminal for every connector. "A" sockets would be neutral. I used a voltmeter to double check before plugging in my GPS. Apparently the nice folks at MSD Ignition think that their customers are pretty savvy about wiring because the connectors have no instructions. When I emailed MSD Ignition to complain, they sent MSD Installation Instructions: WeatherTight Terminal Installation Tips and some extra seals and pins to me. Great service.
MSD WeatherTight Connectors are available in a variety of pin configurations. The pins, seals and male and female connectors are available separately or in kits. I used a pair of needle nose pliers but a proper crimping tool would be nice. The extractor tool and extractor picks would have allowed me to save a connector I built wrong while I was learning and would be handy if you think you may be doing a lot of this. MSD WeatherTight Connectors may be available at your local auto parts house. I ordered mine online from Summit Racing, a company I have enjoyed doing business with in the past.
And that's the only thing I need, a connector for my GPS, battery charger and air pump. That's all I need. And an electric vest, that's all I need. I don't need one other thing. I need these; hand warmer grips. And this, that's all I need. And I don't need one other thing, except...
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