Q. It Ain't No Rheostat! So, just what is the Heat-troller™, heated clothing controller?
A. The Heat-troller™ is a DC (direct current), power controller designed for heated clothing, blankets, pads and other heated products that are powered by a battery. You can think of the Heat-troller™ as a dimmer switch for your heated products. It has a positive off and provides a full range of heat that is constant at any setting, just as a light dimmer switch gives you constant light at different levels. The Heat-Troller is a pulse-width modulated controller with a 1 second cycle time. That means that over a 1 second period, the power is turned on from about 10% to 100% of the time, adjustable with the knob on the controller. When the power is turned on, full power is applied to the load. In the example given, if the heated grip are 16 Watts each and the Heat-Troller is adjusted to 50%, the grips will get 16 Watts for half a second, then no power for half a second, giving an average of 8 Watts of power. The Heat-troller is more efficient than a rheostat because it makes very little wasted heat when turned on. For two 16 Watt grips, the Heat-Troller makes less than 0.1 Watts of heat at 50%. A rheostat would make about 16 Watts of wasted heat at the same 50% setting.
Q. How big is it?
A. The Single Heat-troller™ is 1.5 in x 2.25 in x .85 in or 38 mm x 57 mm x 21.5 mm in size and the case actually tapers so that it fits easily into the hand. It is small enough to Velcro on to clothing, to a tank bag, to a wheel chair and yet is not so small that it becomes hard to handle while wearing gloves or if physically challenged. The Heat-troller™ comes either in a Portable model or a Permanent model designed to mount out of sight with only the switch and L.E.D. showing. This not only works well for mounting in everything from motorcycles to toll booths but can be used to replace the two position switches for snow mobile hand grips and heated car seats.
Q. How efficient is it? Will I waste my battery power by using it instead of a simple on/off switch?
A. The efficiency of the design allows over 98% of the power from your battery to reach your heated clothing. As a matter of fact, we tested the simple on/off switches designed by other companies and in one case found it to lose 25% of the power from the battery by the time the current reached the vest. Instructions for Testing Controller and Switches
Q. With some controllers you can't turn it all the way off. Can I turn the Heat-troller™ OFF? ?
A. When you turn the Heat-troller™ on or off you can feel and hear the positive snap of the switch. Because the Heat-troller™ is a solid state device, the switch controls the electronics not the power. This allows for the switch to have a true OFF position. But even if the Heat-troller™ is left turned on and plugged into a power source but unplugged from the heated product , the most power it will draw is just the power to flash the LED.
Q. I ride a motorcycle in the winter and wear a heated jacket, heated pants and heated socks. My hand grips are also heated. Do I need to but a separate heat-troller for each piece?
A. Some people like the Dual Heat-troller™ for controlling different peices of clothing on the same person. Such as but not only, liner and gloves or liner and pants. It is not designed to run clothing on two people and we do not recommend it used for controlling heated handgrips. If you want to control clothing and heated handgrips then purchase a Single Mounted Heat-troller™ and a Heated Handgrip Heat-troller. We believe so much in this solution that we will discount the price $10 to make the price equal to a Dual Mounted Heat-troller.
Q. Do I need to buy your products to use the Heat-troller?
A. No. It is plug compatible with most heated products on the market including those sold by HD, gerbings, Aerostich and Eclipse.
Q. Why do we not offer the Dual heat-troller for my older heated clothing with the SAE plugs in them?
A. When we first designed the Dual Heat-troller™ we knew there was a potential problem of plugging in the output of the Heat-troller™ to the input of the liner and the output to the pants, in effect plugging the heat-troller in to itself and killing it. So to prevent this we made them with one SAE and one Coax output. But Gerbing and Harley did not want to use that design and so for a number of years we had to deal with people who plugged the heat-troller into itself and killed it. Now that we no longer do business with Gerbing or Harley and we can build things properly, we decided to not offer it.
Q. We heard that someone took one of your old designs to China and had it copied. It even has a bug in it. Is this true?
A. Is it a copy or a knock off? The Circuit is the same as our ver 6. The part designators are the same as on our ver 6 board. It has a flaw in the design so that if you have it turned off, but still plugged to power and ground the output, it will turn the LED on. This to us is a flaw. Maybe to others it is not but we replaced the Heat-trollers we sold with this flaw and only sold them for two weeks before we found the defect. We can provide you with the technical data that allows you to decide if it is a copy or a knock off. So, here is the test since now there is no other way to know if it is a Chinese knock off or not. Take the unit and plug it in to power. Turn it off. Touch the ground ring of the output connector to a frame ground like the handle bars or the metal tank. Does the LED turn on? Do you think it is OK for the LED to be on when the unit is turned off? If so then it is the Chinese knock off.