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  1. #1
    Glutton for Punishment
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    Dynamo lighting sets?

    I'm refurbishing a pair of early '70s Raleigh Sports for my sister-in-law and her husband. They bought them new, and when she started having hip trouble they were consigned to the back yard under a tarp. Sis has got shiny, new titanium hips now and they want to ride again.

    Both bikes had dynamo light sets, but the dynamo bottle on one was all rusted up. It seems that dynamo sets have pretty much become extinct. Can't find one in any area stores; does anyone still make them? Barring that, how hard would it be to rebuild a dynamo bottle?

  2. #2
    Year-round cyclist
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    I would suggest two sources :
    - http://sheldonbrown.com/harris for the Shimano Nexus Dynohub, if you want to buy it alone and build the wheel yourself,
    - http://peterwhitecycles.com for all your other needs.

    Peter White explains fairly well all generator-based lighting options, their advantages and limitations. I would suggest that you take a good look at that and that you replace the dead generator and headlamp with new stuff from Peter White, as it is much better than the old stuff.

    You could also search for a few of my posts with "Schmidt" on this forum. I have one bike with a Nexus dynohub and two with a Schmidt dynohub; all three have a Lumotec headlight and I am really satisfied with the system, as well as with the service I got from Peter White. I use a battery taillight, which avoids lots of wiring on the bike.

    The B&M bottle generator he sells is a really cheap way to get good lighting without battery concerns.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #3
    Glutton for Punishment
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    The gear at Peter White's website is mighty impressive, but also mighty expensive and a bit too modern-looking for my application. I'm looking for a light set that would look more or less like what the Raleigh had on it 30 years ago; chrome teardrop headlamp, cast metal dynamo, etc.

    I understand they're nowhere near as effective as a modern light set, but I doubt the lights on this bike will see much serious use -- it's more a part of the 'old Raleigh' ambience, like the B72 saddle.

  4. #4
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    The Swiss-made Nordlicht dynamo has a shiny chrome classic look. It is also a very efficient modern model.
    The one on my touring bike is bolted to a braze-on mounting on the seatstay; this is much more effective than a seatstay clamp mounting and solves most of the ills of bottle dynamos.

  5. #5
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Find a bike store that sells used stuff and look for the older Union bottle dynamo sets, I pick these up all the time for less than $10 complete with lamps, they usually work just fine; just spin the bottle first to make sure the bearings are good, you really can't test the output unless you mount it up on a bike first. For replacement bulbs for older Union lamps that use bulbs w/ screw-in bases, I buy from Reflectalight:

    http://www.reflectalite.com/halogenpage.html

    They've got halogen or regular screw-in bulbs for the old Union lamps (halogens: GH93 or GH106, depending on whether you're also using a dynamo-powered taillight; GV605 is their standard bulb). Reflectalite also sells dynamo regulators so you won't burn bulbs out going fast downhill:

    http://www.reflectalite.com/regulater.html

    Reflectalight's service and delivery times are excellent.

  6. #6
    Senior Member saturnsc2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mswantak
    The gear at Peter White's website is mighty impressive, but also mighty expensive and a bit too modern-looking for my application. I'm looking for a light set that would look more or less like what the Raleigh had on it 30 years ago; chrome teardrop headlamp, cast metal dynamo, etc.

    I understand they're nowhere near as effective as a modern light set, but I doubt the lights on this bike will see much serious use -- it's more a part of the 'old Raleigh' ambience, like the B72 saddle.
    check ebay for these light sets--i always see them there...

  7. #7
    Senior Member saturnsc2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Find a bike store that sells used stuff and look for the older Union bottle dynamo sets, I pick these up all the time for less than $10 complete with lamps, they usually work just fine; just spin the bottle first to make sure the bearings are good, you really can't test the output unless you mount it up on a bike first. For replacement bulbs for older Union lamps that use bulbs w/ screw-in bases, I buy from Reflectalight:

    http://www.reflectalite.com/halogenpage.html

    They've got halogen or regular screw-in bulbs for the old Union lamps (halogens: GH93 or GH106, depending on whether you're also using a dynamo-powered taillight; GV605 is their standard bulb). Reflectalite also sells dynamo regulators so you won't burn bulbs out going fast downhill:

    http://www.reflectalite.com/regulater.html

    Reflectalight's service and delivery times are excellent.
    if you find an old union bottle generator, i would like to buy it. i'm looking for a replacement for my old worn out one on my bike that i bought in the 80's. it is a typical aluminum bottle with the name "union" on the black plastic trim over the bracket. HERE IT IS:
    Last edited by saturnsc2; 08-30-04 at 10:10 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    While you are searching, look for a Sturmey Archer "dynohub" wheel which was the top of the line 6v source for your bikes. They are very long lived. I use one on my winter rain bike to drive a modern Lumotec headlight & it has had no problems for 2 years of heavy use. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Glutton for Punishment
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnsc2
    check ebay for these light sets--i always see them there...
    Yup, put bids in on a couple of them. Now the rest of you guys leave 'em alone!

    Yesterday I got either brave or stupid, and pulled that rusted dynamo apart. Got everything cleaned, oiled and reassembled, and now she spits out electrons like nobody's business.

  10. #10
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    If it's put together with screws and bolts, it CAN be disassembled and fixed!!! Congratulations!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member saturnsc2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
    While you are searching, look for a Sturmey Archer "dynohub" wheel which was the top of the line 6v source for your bikes. They are very long lived. I use one on my winter rain bike to drive a modern Lumotec headlight & it has had no problems for 2 years of heavy use. Don
    www.bikeville.com they list a s/a n.o.s. dynohub set like you requested for $120.00

  12. #12
    Glutton for Punishment
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    For that kind of money I could hire a taxi cab to follow me with his lights on.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    I bought mine used on e-bay, two for $35.00 total,no shipping cost as they were local. One I built up a wheel for my Centurion ProTour rain bike & traded the other for a perfect Motobecane bar & stem taken off a Grand Record. Mechanic in the LBS told me he had never seen a Dynohub that didn't work, only drawback is they are Heavy as sin. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member oldroads's Avatar
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    We've got a strong used Sturmey-Archer Dynohub for sale on our site for $30.

    Part number Y0DYNO1 on page:

    http://oldroads.com/fs_p_eng.html

    Vin - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles, Inc.
    http://OldRoads.com
    Vinny - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles - OldRoads.com
    BUY/SELL forum (no fees) - Price Guides - 19 years of archives

  15. #15
    Glutton for Punishment
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    Most bottle dynos have an output of 6V, 3W (or .5 amps). What's the output of a Dynohub -- any higher?

  16. #16
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Dyno hub has the same output. I did have a chance to ride side by side with a friend who has the same Lumotec headlight as mine but powered by a new Schmidt hub generator & we Couldn't discern any apparent difference in light output.
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member oldroads's Avatar
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    Yes, 6 volts on the Sturmey-Archer Dynohub

    Vin - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles, Inc.
    http://OldRoads.com
    Vinny - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles - OldRoads.com
    BUY/SELL forum (no fees) - Price Guides - 19 years of archives

  18. #18
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    The only dynamo over 6V / 3W that I know of is the 12V Dymotec S12. For the kind of money needed for an S12 you could hire two taxis to follow you with their headlights on .

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  19. #19
    Glutton for Punishment
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    Well, I came up with a couple '70s-vintage dynamo light sets at eBay over the weekend, but I'm afraid the experience is turning me into an eBay junkie -- just noticed a gorgeous Brooks B66 saddle...

    Here's another dynamo-related question that came up while I was fooling around with the dynamo I rebuilt: Is the wattage in the headlamp bulb supposed to be different if you're also running a taillight? I cobbled up a taillight with another 6V 3W bulb in it and it had a really poor effect on the headlamp. Is it the case that the total wattage of the bulbs has to equal 6?

  20. #20
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I believe current systems at least are designed for 3w total. Quite often headlights sold for dynamos come with a 2,4w bulb as standard assuming you then hook up a 0,6w tail light to the system. If you do not, you will be better off replacing the 2,4w bulb with a 3w bulb.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  21. #21
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    I believe current systems at least are designed for 3w total. Quite often headlights sold for dynamos come with a 2,4w bulb as standard assuming you then hook up a 0,6w tail light to the system. If you do not, you will be better off replacing the 2,4w bulb with a 3w bulb.
    This is correct. A total of 3W for all lights connected. That's usually 2.4W head + 0.6W tail or 3.0W head w/o tail.

  22. #22
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    Maybe also look for soubitez, I have an old block generator of theirs that will also power a rear light. Here's one on e-bay now (if I post link correctly)- you may have to copy and paste.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW
    Bob Skillman Ellicott City, MD
    1970 Gitane Mixted (wife's)
    1971 Gitane tour de france (rebuild in progress)
    Bianchi Perrigrine (utility bike)
    new Townie Cruiser (wife's utility bike)
    new Bianchi Milano

  23. #23
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Soubitez also made a bottom bracket generator that is driven by the rear tire tread. I have one on my Specialized Touring bike, works great even in the rain. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  24. #24
    Glutton for Punishment
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    How about good sources for bulbs for dyno light sets? Neither of the LBS close to me stock them. Radio Shack has a good assortment of bulbs with 9mm threaded bases, but the voltage and wattage ratings aren't precisely right.

  25. #25
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Reflectalite. They've got what you need, and their service and delivery time is excellent. They've also got an inexpensive dyno regulator if you're burning bulbs too fast, and other links including a cross index for dyno lamps (check the bottom of the web page).

    http://www.reflectalite.com/halogenpage.html

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