Unique installation on a Segway (advice needed)

AggiePhil

Member
Jul 17, 2010
146
Southwest
Howdy guys. I'm working on a fairly ambitious project to outfit a Segway PT with quality warning equipment. The only systems I see currently used on Segways are small bicycle rigs. I'm instead wanting to go with vehicle-grade equipment. Two LINZ6s to the front, a LINZ6 to each side, two LINZ6s to the rear, a LIN3 tail light, and a Whelen 30 watt siren. This will all be powered by a 12V battery of some sort (haven't figured out exactly what type of battery I'll need yet) located in the handlebar bag. Most of the electrical connections will be located in a small electronics project box that will double as a switch box and mounting location for the front two LINZ6s.


I'm essentially looking for guidance with details such as power distribution, fusing, and connections. I'd like to keep this thread going as the project progresses, serving as a way for me to ask questions of the experts here and serving as a future resource for others who might find themselves faced with a similar project. I will post photos and updates here as things move forward. In the end I think it will be a very nice project, as I'm not looking to rush things and want to ensure that everything is done properly.


So, for the first dilemma I'm faced with as I map things out on paper...


Since there is no chassis ground on the Segway, I'll have to go straight from the negative battery terminal to the ULF44 flasher, various switches, and a few of the lightheads that won't be on the external flasher. What is the best and cleanest way to handle this ground distribution? I could easily just make multiple splices off a single wire (yes, I can solder), but it seems like there should be a better way to do it. Would it be redundant to use a fuse block for the ground distribution? Not sure where to go with this.
 

shues

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
10,241
NW Indiana
You should run one main ground wire to your project box, and then distribute your ground with a bus of some sort.


You could buy a busbar, like this one from Blue Sea Systems:


[Broken External Image]:http://bluesea.com/files/images/product_lines/184.png


You could also use a single post or a set of posts to make your own bus, and terminate all your grounds to it:


[Broken External Image]:http://bluesea.com/files/images/products/thumbs182/2016-2018_182x182.jpg


Also, a terminal strip makes a very good bus, when used with an appropriate jumper strip:


[Broken External Image]:http://www.kwikwire.com/images/Jumper 2.JPG


There is some good discussion regarding the use of terminal strips on the old board: http://www.freeyabb.com/elightbars/view ... elightbars
 

AggiePhil

Member
Jul 17, 2010
146
Southwest
Excellent! Thank you so much...that is exactly what I was needing.


Now for the power connections, do I need a fuse block for the wires going to each of the switches, or can I get away with a bus bar? Whatever I use will need to be as small as possible, as it will be inside the project box. The main power wire going to the project box will of course be fused at the battery, so I'm unsure if I'd really need to have individual fuses for every switch (such as the pattern override switch, low power switch, master emergency light switch, tail light switch, etc.). I do however need to distribute that power from inside the project box.
 

shues

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
10,241
NW Indiana
It could not possibly hurt to fuse the wires for every switch. If you have room inside your project box, do it. If you don't have room inside your project box, make room. You should try to avoid having a single point of failure at all costs.


With a one-fuse system, if something as silly as your tail light shorts out and blows that one lone fuse, you've lost all of your warning power as well. An appropriately rated circuit breaker may be better than a fuse for the main power connection to the battery. However, you should still fuse everything.


Here is a 6-fuse fuse block with a busbar already attached to it for your grounds:


[Broken External Image]:http://www.gandermountain.com/assets/images/products3/medium/870193_M1.jpg


That fuse block is $12 at Gander Mountain: http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/p ... w&i=870193
 
May 21, 2010
1,248
Minnesota

AggiePhil

Member
Jul 17, 2010
146
Southwest
That looks like it'd fit the bill! What's the rule of thumb for fuse ratings on each switch wire? The phrase "fuse for the wire itself, not the device attached to it" has me a bit confused.


And speaking of wire, I have yet to choose the best gauge of wire to use. I've got about 11 wires that need to go in/out of the project box, so I'm thinking about using a multi-pin car stereo wiring harness. Hopefully I can find one with a female plug that can be flush mounted into the bottom of the project box to provide for a clean appearance and weatherproof connection. This will be for the power, ground, three siren wires, headlight power wire, side LINZ6 power wire, rear LINZ6 power wires, rear LINZ6 ground wire, tail light power wire, etc.


Would the wires on one of those stereo harnesses be of a sufficient size for this use? I don't guess anybody has a lead on one offhand? All the ones I'm finding are for a specific vehicle and only have one side of the connector (I need both).
 

amccullers

Member
May 22, 2010
575
Wetumpka, Alabama
Here is the fuse block I used on our brush truck, its smaller in size(may save more space) and has 8 fused connections. I got it from my local battery distributor that has all sorts of wiring products also. You should be able to find these anywhere, can't remember the price.


ai170.photobucket.com_albums_u259_amccullers_P1010006.jpg
 

AggiePhil

Member
Jul 17, 2010
146
Southwest
The project box and RAM mount to attach it to the Segway accessory bar have been ordered. I tried to select the switches I'll need when I placed the project box order, but Allied had too many to choose from. I'm looking at 8 switches total, some of which need to be on/off toggles and some of which need to be pushbutton momentary. All SPST. They will also need to be outfitted with rubber switch boots. Allied had about 100 of those to choose from too. :eek:
 

AggiePhil

Member
Jul 17, 2010
146
Southwest
I know I'm bringing back an old thread here but I have another question...


Is it bad practice to combine multiple wires into one and then run that single wire to the fuse block? Reason I ask is because I'm trying to reduce the number of wires I have running through a certain area on the Segway and if I could get away with going from having three wires to just having one, it'd make things a lot easier. I've done this before and gotten away with it but I'm not sure if it's considered to be an acceptable practice. Thanks.
 

mjw357

Member
Jun 17, 2011
188
OHIO
AggiePhil said:
The phrase "fuse for the wire itself, not the device attached to it" has me a bit confused.
Basically you want to place the fuse as close to the power source as possible. If there is a short in the wiring, the fuse goes. Since you are going to have short runs, the wire guage on the device itself will be a good guide for wire size to use. Fuse as recommended by the device manufacturer.
 

LawMan902

Member
Mar 29, 2011
288
FL, USA
I don't by any means consider myself a "professional upfitter", but I have a good bit of experience, not only with emergency equipment, but with general automotive wiring (I have built quite a few race cars as a hobby), as well as car audio when I was younger. I can say from my experiences that when done properly, your method will be fine, provided you aren't doing this for high draw items. I personally do that on my installs on lower draw LED lightheads, and I have never had an issue. I have actually combined up to four tir3's. Basically I just combine the leads coming off the LED heads (16 or 18 gauge) and tie them into one larger "feed" wire. I do just recommend soldering everything and using heatshrink wherever possible. Don't know what everyone elses take on this is, but as I stated before, I have never had any issues...
 

EVModules

Member
May 16, 2010
864
Deer Park, WA
I wouldn't even have bothered with a fuse block, distribution block, barrier strip, or the like. I'd just use two in-line fuses, one for the siren, one for the lights. The lights are generally very low powered with wires purposefully over sized due to the ease of making connections anyway. It's acceptable to crimp 2 or 3 wires into one connector provided that you take all precautions AND do it correctly.
 

RyanZ71

Member
Jun 14, 2011
1,001
Denver, Colorado
I got a block similar to below without the ground bus bar from NAPA for $14.00 last week. I have a 10 Guage power lead running to one of my batteries with an in-line 30 Amp fuse. I currently run a Amateur radio rig and CB off of the block, and was going to add an Edge 9000 and control box off of it as well (if I can ever figure out the problem with the lightbar) If I can find one similar to what Gander is offering or was offering.. (they are sold out) it would save some room in the stock factory center console in my Sierra 2500.

shues said:
It could not possibly hurt to fuse the wires for every switch. If you have room inside your project box, do it. If you don't have room inside your project box, make room. You should try to avoid having a single point of failure at all costs.

With a one-fuse system, if something as silly as your tail light shorts out and blows that one lone fuse, you've lost all of your warning power as well. An appropriately rated circuit breaker may be better than a fuse for the main power connection to the battery. However, you should still fuse everything.


Here is a 6-fuse fuse block with a busbar already attached to it for your grounds:


[Broken External Image]:http://www.gandermountain.com/assets/images/products3/medium/870193_M1.jpg


That fuse block is $12 at Gander Mountain: http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/p ... w&i=870193
 

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