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Pr0phets How To Series:The Ultimate Tank Bag Setup

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  • Pr0phets How To Series:The Ultimate Tank Bag Setup

    Pr0phets How To Series:
    The Ultimate Day and Distance Tank Bag Setups
    ================================================== ===============
    Inspired by our very own Fast911Ray a clever design for an integrated tank bag with limitless applications. I have taken Rays design (which if you request it from him will come in the form of hand drawn sand scrit on the back of a beverage napkin which will be sent via snail mail) and simplified some of the more complex electrical hook-ups and created one with readily available components from Radio Shack. Enjoy!

    Construct a grab-n-go tank bag system to secure and house all your touring accessories.

    Time and Effort-
    About 1 hour

    Tools & Materials (large touring tank bag) -
    - Exact-o knife.
    - #1 Phillips head screw driver
    - Soldering gun and solder.
    - Bic Lighter.
    - Gorilla glue.
    - Velcro (adhesive backed).
    - 1x Radio Shack triple accessory 12v power adapter.
    - 1x Radio Shack 12v adapter with ON/OFF switch.
    - Joe Rocket Sport Tank bag.

    Tools & Materials (small day tank bag) -
    - 1x Radio Shack 'Y' duplex 12v power receptacle(s)
    - 1x Radio Shack 12v power receptacle extension with ON/OFF switch.
    - Joe Rocket Manta Tank bag.

    Design Guidelines-

    Some ideology around why it is good idea to spend a little time and analysis thinking out your setup with regards to longevity, function and procedure.

    - Cauterizing or sewing access cuts. This prevents the bag material from fraying or unbinding. All cuts should be no more than 5/8 inch in length.

    -Accessibility for external tri-plex power option. It is important that the tri-plex power adapter have a 3-6ft cord with a connector in the center. This alleviates having to cut a slit big enough to get lighter plug through the bag. The connectors are only slightly bigger than the actual cord (see picture below). Egress for external triple accessory power option is accomplished by putting the small connector through the hole then reconnecting to unit. That is why it is important that the adapter have a 3-6ft cord with a connector in the center. This alleviates having to cut a slit big enough to get lighter plug through the bag. The connectors are only slightly bigger than the actual cord (see picture below).

    - Tank bag selection. Any tank bag will suffice for this setup but there are some key elements to keep in mind:
    1. Functionality- Dual YYZ zippers on each zippered section.
    2. Compartmentalization of internal storage for keeping wiring and electronic components out of the way of storage.
    3. Portability- The grab and go ability of the Joe Rocket bags. The sport bag converts to a back pack with padded straps and the small bag has an adjustable shoulder strap.

    Adding ON/OFF switch capability to the triple accessory adapter (Large Tank Bag)-
    Once you have all your tools and equipment together its time we will start with the large tank bag modification and setup as it is a little more involved the day bag. You will need the Radio Shack triple accessory power adapter and the Radio Shack 12v adapter with ON/OFF switch, Solder gun and solder. First we are going to replace the lighter plug on the triple with the ON/OFF plug. Use the Phillips to disassemble the plug and the solder gun to 'disconnect' the connections on the triple plug. Now do the same on the Radio Shack 12v adapter with ON/OFF switch.

    Take the plug with the ON/OFF switch and solder the connections to the triple accessory and reassemble. You should now have a triple accessory with an ON/OFF capable lighter plug. I recommend taking the unit and plugging it into your bike or car and testing it to make sure your connections are good and nothing is shorted. Pay attention to how everything is put together when you take it apart. Keep your exposed wire within the plug to a minimum when re-soldering.

    Radio Shack 12v triple accessory adapter with ON/OFF switch.
    Note mid-cable connectors.

    Modifying the large tank bag-
    No comes the fun part of taking your new tank bag and cutting it up with an exact-o knife. There are two main compartments to the Joe Rocket Sport bag, the lower which will house the all the power distribution, and the main compartment. There are four other sub compartments, top map case, internal zippered mesh pocket, gap between main compartment and lower map case and lower map case.

    Tank bag description diagram.

    First task is to get the triple accessory adapter situated in the lower compartment and cut the hole for external egress. On the tank bag lower compartment is a band of plastic about three inches high that is partially integrated in the wall of this compartment for structural integrity. This is a good platform for tie wrapping extra cables or mounting devices (MT100 or AutoComm).

    Lower compartment.

    Make an incision for the triple accessory adapter where indicated in the diagram below. A quarter inch incision is all that is required followed by applying a quick burst of flame to cauterize the edges.

    Incision placement diagram.

    You can also make the cuts to route all the cables to the various or compartments and sub compartments following the aforementioned process. Next using velcro strips and Gorilla glue begin placing Velcro mount points around this compartment for things like retaining extra cable or holding objects in place etc. When you are done you should have a tank bag that is ready for accessory deployment with one external and several internal cuts with Velcro mount points throughout the bag based on your personal design.

    Equipping your tank bag-
    Once the glue has dried now you can begin the process of installing your accessories throughout the bag. The diagram below shows the logical layout of possible devices. The important thing to remember is that each device is will require:
    - Power.
    - Audio.
    - Misc peripheral (XM antenna).
    The number of devices may be affected by your audio controllers capability.

    Logical tank bag diagram.

    Lower compartment with power and MIT100 deployed.

    Main compartment power and audio deployement. Note V1
    with audio remote in zippered mesh pocket.

    Alternate V1 mounting location for visual determination.

    Ready for touring.

    Other Considerations-
    The advantages to this design are fairly obvious and very handy if you tour alone:
    - All control or tactile elements are on the left side to allow for manipulation while riding. Ipod and XM sit in the main compartment so all I have to do is open the the velcro flap and with one hand I can change stations or devices etc.

    - Keeps expensive electronics out of the elements and away from prying eyes.

    - It takes less than a minute to 'gear' up and roll (from naked bike to full cability tourer). Mount, power hookup, audio and your off.

    - Grab and go design allows you to take it when you are going to be away from your bike. If you travel alone this is an important consideration for securing your expensive electronics.

    - The Joe Rocket Sport bag converts to a backpack in case you have to walk or hitch out of an area.

    - If you want to trick the design out you could use rubber grommets on all the incisions and plastic conduit to manage your wiring. If you have access to laptop cases with the velcro padded dividers, these can be used to further compartmentalize your bag.

    - Storage of all additional power adapters, chargers or support equipment can be kept in the lower compartment leaving the main compartment for frequently used items and electronics.

    I have found the design to be extremely capable and intuitive. It is limeted only by your imagination just don't leave it sitting at the gas station for someelse to admire.

    Day Bag Implemetation-

    If you want similar functionality in a smaller packeage here is the setup for a Joe Rocket Manta bag that works well for weekend blasts. Lacking the audio capability of its big brother this version simply requires you to manually move the helmet connector to the accessory you need to hear. THis setup was designed around a riding agenda rather than a fully funtioning touring bag setup. For instance, on the weekend you may 'ride' somewhere to ride so you listen to the happy chirps of your V1. Upon arriving at the ride location you want to add music. I have switched devices while riding so it is possible.

    ON/OFF capable powerlett extender and Y adapter.

    The unique thing about this implementation is that it uses the dual zippers on the bag to facilitate connection to power and the other comparments which means you don't have to take a knife to your new tank bag although you could if you wanted to.

    Inside showing power adapter layout.

    Fully functional day bag with Ipod, XM and V1.

    The Manta bag comes with a shoulder strap for bipedal transportation. A quick and easy setup will have you out the door and riding in no time. Both designs permit easy switching between implementations as needed.



    Links to other "How to" threads by Pr0phet-

    How to: Dash Mount a 12v Powerlett

    Discuss this topic
    AFM #869