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Old 11-30-12, 02:28 PM   #1
bennelson
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Default DIY Heated Coat

I don't have a basement, and my garage is detached and NOT heated (heck, I can see daylight through the walls in a few places...)

I've gotten sick of being cold while working outside on projects, so I built myself a heated coat!

Out of pocket costs was about $5. That was for a heated massaging seat cover from the thrift store. I can run the heated coat on wall power, car 12V power, and I even rigged it up to run off my Craftsman lithium drill battery!



More on my blog. http://ecoprojecteer.net/2012/11/heated-coat/

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Last edited by bennelson; 11-30-12 at 02:34 PM.. Reason: youtube video
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Old 11-30-12, 06:07 PM   #2
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Interesting idea Ben. How well does that one pad/heating element work for keeping your entire body warm?
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Old 11-30-12, 08:52 PM   #3
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How long does the battery last?
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Chipping away on a daily basis.

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Old 11-30-12, 10:28 PM   #4
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The heating element pad spreads out to a fair amount of the back pretty well. With the zipper closed, it does a fair job of heating the torso.

Having something in the arms of the coat would be nice too though.

I don't know how long the battery lasts... I haven't run it down yet. I don't know the exact AH rating of the battery, but just by looking at it, it must be at least 2 amp-hours minimum. The heater draws 3/4th of an amp, so a two hour run time should be no problem.

Even after a really bad snow storm, it's never taken me more than forty minutes to shovel the driveway.
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Old 12-01-12, 02:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
I've gotten sick of being cold while working outside on projects, so I built myself a heated coat!
This is just such a great idea on so many levels!

I love the thrift store re-purposing angle, I like the DIY angle, and most of all, I like the angle that you brought the heat close to where it is needed, so you need less of it.

And multiple power sources, also.

Awesome, just awesome!

Best,

-AC
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Old 12-01-12, 07:02 AM   #6
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As long as you don't let any wires that would normally be a significant distance apart in the length of wire touch, it won't short out but you do need to be careful that you never get the beginning and the end of the length of wire near eachother.

Also if you aren't satisfied with the heat output at 12v you could always raise the voltage a few volts to add a little more heat. I might do exactly what you did but with my experience of using my 12v electric seat heater and the fact that most coats are insulated fairly well, I don't think I'd need to add additional voltage, I'll probably maintain the same switch for hi/lo and be sure to not run over the normal max voltage of a car's 12v system for the controller electronics to not burn up. That way you could still have control of reducing the heat. Although I'm not sure what method they use for the low setting, could be a crude 1 second on, 1 second off type thing. I have a mattress pad heater in my house that outputs 18.5v and uses a PWM where it will cycle every 2 seconds and vary the on time in increments so the lowest setting is about 1/4 second, wait 2 seconds, another 1/4 second. I'd imagine creating such a PWM circuit is possible but at the same time once you get warm, the coat has insulation and you could turn it off and wait until you are ready to turn it on to add a little warmth again as the temperature swing up isn't too fast.

Great idea Ben. There are some people who use a low voltage heated blanket setup with their EV to add heat to their battery pack in their EV in a similar way wiring up the wires under the cells and far away from any HV conductors.

I just need to find a coat to do this with, I don't want to cut up my daily coat since I don't usually get too cold in it unless I'll be outside for a long time. Might be a good thing to use a thrift store coat or a cheap Wally World one.
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Old 12-01-12, 08:42 PM   #7
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Part of the reason why I used this coat is that it was old and beat up, and I wasn't afraid to screw it up.

So far, for heating control, I just unplug it if I get too warm. Works fine. Nice and simple.
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Old 12-02-12, 01:57 AM   #8
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That's a great Mod/Hack, they actually sell coats like that, powered by Milwaukee power tool lithium batteries.
Your not gonna find one for 5 bucks though, good idea!
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Old 12-02-12, 09:59 AM   #9
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Yep, I saw this one at the store the other night.

It looked really nice, other than the cost.



When I saw it, I had already wired up the coat and had it rigged for wall power and car power.

The Milwaukee jacket takes small lithium batteries from their cordless tool system. It reminded me that I had that ONE Craftsman 12V lithium battery, and then I rigged up the coat be able to run from that.
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Old 12-30-12, 03:06 PM   #10
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Any updates on this Ben? Any tips for others looking to do the same thing?

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