Bike Power

I've been asking a few questions lately over at stromtrooper.com regarding luggage, comms and power. With an upcoming (1 day away) trip I decided I need to have some accessories powered on the bike. Most importantly, the GPS, so last night I added a power distribution block to my Suzuki DL650A using information from botht he Stromtrooper forum and the canyoncarvers forum.
There is a beautiful setup available from Eastern Beaver Electronics in the US. It contains "Y" connectors so you don't have to splice wire, all the right components and a neat distribution power block (fused) that is also switched (hence the relay) such that it is only active when the ignition is on (it also includes 2 non-switched ports, but that I wasn't too concerned about at this stage). The Y connector connects to the rear brake light as that is only powered when the ignition is on. Furthermore, it is a low current connection, as you don't need much juice to trip the relay !! I didn't purchase this !
I couldn't access the rear brake light connector. On the '8 V-Strom it is located under the coolant below the seat which my big hands just couldn't reach. I wasn't confident enough to do a tank lift without effing everything up. Even if I could reach, I didn't have a connector to use there as odering from Eastern beaver would just take too long (again, the ride was only 2 days away as of last night).

According to the electrical schematic for the V-Strom, there is a wiring harness going to the rear light cluster. It contains a brown wire that is only hot when the ignition is on. This wire becomes a grey wire at the lights themselves. I cut into the harness going along the left side of the bike (if you were sitting on it) to the tail ights, and used a quick splicer into the brown wire. Don't try and use snipe nosed pliars to crush the quick splice (plunge the connector)...I had a few moments of fretting why I didn't have continutity in the splice until I realized that no connection was being made yet...out ocome heftier pliars and..job done!). After the splice was complete, I had my wonderful wife (the non-wonderful one was busy apparently), with her incredibly tiny hands, tape it all up !!
Luckily through this process a friend of mine popped over to pick up some camping gear and got conscripted into this debaucle. Honestly without the extra pairs of hands, this woudl have taken longer than it did.
I started out soldering the relay connections but we soon came to a conclusion that there was a better way!

I found a number of insulated connectors (male and female) at Sayal Electronics. I bought them on impulse when I was getting some other stuff for this project and a little project for my wife (solar powered Ipod charger). They have been a god send. The females fit perfectly over the relay connectors (by perfectly I mean they are freakin' snug !!!) and the automotive fuse (should make changing out a blown fuse TRIVIAL). Furthermore, they will simplify my wiring by allowing me to create short "adapters" should I need to move things around.

Tested continuity where required, ignition, and everything worked...YAY !!

To make the power block, I just took a terminal connector and ground out a groove through the plastic dividers. Half of the block will become positive the other half ground. The grouve I cur would allow me to join all the positive connectors together and all the ground connectors together.

That's just the block so far. I will tidy it up today, pop it into a project box and it's job done. I will probably add another block with a fuse to each terminal, so that each connection isindividually fused. That's not needed for now though.
So now I need to power some devices with this distribution block. I'm not going to have time before the ride to do recisely what I want (powerlett) but I will be able to pull a pair of wires into my tank bag to power my GPS for the trip (via a voltage regulator), so when I get back IU get to add another post about the powerlet socket. I am also thinking of using a USB hub, pulling out the electronics and leaving the USB connectors. Then putting a voltage regulator in there. This will allow me to power all of my USB powered electronics (phone, GPS etc.) from one handy device...more on that later !