USB Ports vs. Parasitic Drain: A Problem? - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Default USB Ports vs. Parasitic Drain: A Problem?

An increasing number of folks around here have been adding USB power points to their saddlebags and into the dash cigarette-lighter-style outlets lately. I've been reading on the forums, for instance, about the convenient saddlebag kit by 3BR Powersports (see https://www.3brpowersports.com/products.php , and scroll all the way down the page to see the "Victory Motorcycle Saddle Bag USB Power Port Kit"). And just yesterday, I saw LILMAGS' similar setup in the right saddlebag, along with a USB adapter he has in the dash outlet. I have a similar adapter for the trunk outlet in my XCT; I use that occasionally, when I need to charge my phone.

So I was thinking, yesterday, of actually replacing the dash outlet with a USB outlet. That is, not merely using an adapter, but taking out the outlet itself and -- checking first for a matching or larger hole diameter -- using something like 3BR's "Panel TAPP" (same page), Astra Depot 12V 1A 2.1A Waterproof Dual 2 USB Port Power Socket (


) or the "SW-MOTECH Double USB port with wiring harness" ( http://www.twistedthrottle.com/double-usb-port-with-wiring-harness ), as both SW-MOTECH and Twisted Throttle are respected outfits).

HOWEVER:

On the Twisted Throttle page, there's this:

NOTE: This device has power consumption with no load and will drain a small motorcycle battery in as little as three to five days if connected directly to the battery. It is recommended that this device be connected to a switched power source or a device such as the Denali PowerHub2 to prevent battery drain when the motorcycle is not running.

A virtually identical caveat is found at 3BR, in the PDF detail pages for its TAPP ( https://www.3brpowersports.com/PDF/TAPP_2_1.pdf ) and Panel TAPP ( https://www.3brpowersports.com/PDF/PanelTAPP_2_1.pdf ):

TAPP quiescent current (power consumption with no load) will drain a small motorcycle battery in as little as three to five days if connected directly to the battery. It is recommended that TAPP be connected to a switched power source to prevent battery drain when the vehicle is not running.

Twisted Throttle doesn't get more specific, but both of those 3BR documents list the "Quiescent Current (no load current): 35mA (0.035A)."

Doran TPMS:

About a year ago, I wrote a review of the Doran 360M TPMS for webBikeWorld. In that article ( http://www.webbikeworld.com/r5/doran-tpms/review.htm ), I noted that Doran states that the parasitic, i.e., inactive, current drain of the unit is "less than 30mA." And I noted that because of that drain, I added a master on/off switch. My intentions were that if I were staying away from home, and also not riding wherever I was for a few days, I might turn the system off. (At home, this is not an issue, because I plug in a smart charger all the time the bike's garaged, whether it's riding season or not. I made this easy to accomplish via a Powerlet plug on the end of the charger wire.)

CLOCK, RADIO, ETC.:

Of course, there are all sorts of constant drains on a parked bike, e.g., the radio presets, the clock, the tripmeters and other dash info, to name most if not all of these. I've tried to find values for these sorts of things. I haven't been successful, but I'm guessing that the total value is smaller than the drain of a TPMS or USB outlet.

SO, THE QUESTIONS:

All of which leads to me several questions:

- Do you folks who've added adapters for the dash or trunk outlets routinely take them out when not in use?

- If you've added the 3BR product or something similear to your saddlebag, are you aware that the leads intended by Vic are always hot? (I wasn't sure, and had to ask about this, myself.)

- In a nutshell, has anyone gone a few weeks with a USB outlet in place or hooked up, without using the bike and without using a smart charger, and experienced any battery problems?

Or are the warnings from Twisted Throttle and 3BR just there for CYA purposes, at least with regard to the beefy batteries found in the Vics?

Cheers,

Bill P.

2012 XCT (SOLD) : HeliBars; Centramatics; PC-V; Lloydz air filter; 11" Madstad; Rivco LED mirrors; Doran TPMS; Stebel horn; Motolights; CustomLED trunk flasher; KewlHeel shifter; CycleOps trunk rack; BeadRider seat; Vibranator bar ends; Passenger grab handles; Powerlet outlets; Handlebar RAM mount; RicZ laydown plate; Brukus SaddlebagSecure; 14" flexible antenna; RAM cupholder on trunk; shock Schrader valve relocation.

Gallery: http://www.billanddot.com/victory-xct/
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 05:14 PM
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I have a bluetooth adapter plugged into a cigarette lighter 24/7 and haven't had a problem with 2 weeks+

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 05:51 PM
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I have plenty of experience with this exact thing. Do NOT hook up a USB port directly to your battery. Period. They speak the truth. Bye bye battery in NO time at all. Tap into a "key on" wire only.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge Redd View Post
I have plenty of experience with this exact thing. Do NOT hook up a USB port directly to your battery. Period. They speak the truth. Bye bye battery in NO time at all. Tap into a "key on" wire only.
Shrug... I guess I better get out and change that tomorrow

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 07:46 AM
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I have the 3BR USB power outlet in my saddlebag and have had zero issue with losing battery power. The bike sat for the entire month of February and cranked right up with full power.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 07:47 AM
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Judge said it. I've not put one on my victory but past bikes have had them and they will kill your battery dead. The problem is that usb runs on 5v so the adapters have internal circuitry to convert the bike's voltage down to a steady 5. That circuitry consumes a small amount of current whenever power is applied to it (kinda like the wall wort for your cell phone charger or any number of other devices at home). If the bike is running the amount of power used is inconsequential but when shut down it drains off your battery. What's worse is because the drain is relatively small it will suck every last millivolt from your battery rendering it completely dead and most likely damaged in the process. Either power the outlet from a switched source, add a switch to the power line going into it, or keep the bike on a tender when not being ridden.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 08:07 AM
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I have had no issues either . I even leave my GPS plugged in at all times . USB adapter in fairing , 2 ports its even lighted .

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LILMAGS500 View Post
I have had no issues either . I even leave my GPS plugged in at all times . USB adapter in fairing , 2 ports its even lighted .
Mags, you leave this stuff plugged in, even if you're not riding for a couple of weeks? And the bike not hooked up to a battery tender or similar device?

Cheers,

Bill P.

2012 XCT (SOLD) : HeliBars; Centramatics; PC-V; Lloydz air filter; 11" Madstad; Rivco LED mirrors; Doran TPMS; Stebel horn; Motolights; CustomLED trunk flasher; KewlHeel shifter; CycleOps trunk rack; BeadRider seat; Vibranator bar ends; Passenger grab handles; Powerlet outlets; Handlebar RAM mount; RicZ laydown plate; Brukus SaddlebagSecure; 14" flexible antenna; RAM cupholder on trunk; shock Schrader valve relocation.

Gallery: http://www.billanddot.com/victory-xct/
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 08:18 AM
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I have a cig USB adapter. It has a little blue LED that turns on when it's plugged in. Easy reminder to unplug when I am done riding



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wspollack View Post
Mags, you leave this stuff plugged in, even if you're not riding for a couple of weeks? And the bike not hooked up to a battery tender or similar device?
Longest was around 8 - 10 days , no tender , fired right over . This could be an anomaly , but routinely sits for days at a time with no issues to speak of , YET .

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