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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-07-06, 01:26 PM   #1
mechBgon
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So how's that Nova LED megablinkie in broad sunlight...?

*** Update: pics of the rear of the Nova in post #18, if you're trying to visualize how it can be attached to stuff. ***

Here are cropped shots from my Canon A610 at ranges of about 100, 200 and 300 meters in hazy sunlight, if anyone's curious to see. The camera was at 4x optical zoom for these photos.









There's a bit of grass in the way of the 300m one.

Not bad for something the size of a Cateye LD-1000. Although two side-by-side would be cool, that would be an 8-inch-wide target. Anyway, in real life it's hard to ignore this lil' guy

Last edited by mechBgon; 08-03-06 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 06-07-06, 05:13 PM   #2
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Ow! Ow! shut it off ! I asked you to aim it at Hawaii.

Have you ever noticed the shades or hoods used on school buses to shield the sun from shining directly on the flashing lights ? It makes them easier to notice. Possibly by having that area dark when it is off between flashes?
Maybe even better in daylight without any more light power? Not sure, but it seems logical. I think daylight visible tailights can be a life saver in traffic.
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Old 06-07-06, 05:48 PM   #3
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I am impressed. I mean, that thing is easier to notice than the car headlights in the picture!
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Old 06-07-06, 07:44 PM   #4
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One of my co-workers was standing in the hallway gawking at my LD-1000-plus-NiteRider blinkie combination as I was getting ready to leave work last week. He said "I never cease to be amazed at those lights!" and I said "wait 'til you see my new one, it makes these ones look like TinkerToys "

Well, today I got to show him the Nova from about 40 feet down the hallway. *evil laughter* There were some exclamatory words used that I will not try to reproduce here Even after I put the tail of the bike down for a while so he wasn't in the hot spot, he was still seeing spots.

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I think daylight visible tailights can be a life saver in traffic.
Me too, I don't want to be drafting sydney in The Great Bike Lane In The Sky anytime soon (he'd undoubtedly drop me!). To put it into perspective, a car moving at 60mph/100kph on this highway covers 100 meters in about 3.5 seconds, so look again at the three photos from the bottom one up. 10 seconds, 6 seconds, 3 seconds, passing me. I want the text-messaging kid in the sports car to pick me up on the radar nice and early. And there are plenty of other distractions in the world, ranging from the ubiquitous cell phone, to kids fighting/throwing up/whining, to the CD that the driver is trying to fish out of the footwell, to that road construction that you see in the photos, other drivers, hawks flying in the updraft on the bluff, who knows what. I'm not paranoid, but I'll take proactive measures like extra visibility if I can.

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Old 06-07-06, 09:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon

Me too, I don't want to be drafting sydney in The Great Bike Lane In The Sky anytime soon (he'd undoubtedly drop me!). To put it into perspective, a car moving at 60mph/100kph on this highway covers 100 meters in about 3.5 seconds, so look again at the three photos from the bottom one up. 10 seconds, 6 seconds, 3 se I'm not paranoid, but I'll take proactive measures like extra visibility if I can.
I agree.
You can't control the drivers today, right now. You can control what your bike looks like today. That's just being sensible. You work on what you can change. Not what you can't change.

All things considered............
price, size, weight, power, ease of charging the batteries, cost to keep running (Buying batteries)
etc. That probably is the best bike tailight I've seen so far. Do you have a smart charger for the batteries?
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Old 06-07-06, 10:08 PM   #6
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Wow... I gotta get me one of those now, combined with the HID, I can feel bad for people in front of and behind me.
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Old 06-07-06, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Wow... I gotta get me one of those now, combined with the HID, I can feel bad for people in front of and behind me.
Right on And it's not heavy either, plus it's weatherproof, has a 5-year warranty, and is Made in USA The one thing they could've done better is to make an easy way to bolt it to a reflector bracket, but I suppose not many police vehicles have reflector brackets Do you park your commuter indoors where you don't have to worry about theft, slvoid?

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Do you have a smart charger for the batteries?
I have an 8-hour Radio Shack charger for the 9.6-volt NiMH pack I've been using so far, but eventually I want to switch to that BatterySpace Li-Ion kit with the smartcharger included.
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Old 06-08-06, 05:09 AM   #8
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I got indoor parking.

Plus I have 3 NR rear tail light mounting brackets with the quick release thumb screw that I can use.
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Old 06-08-06, 07:30 AM   #9
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Very nice, thanks for the pics.
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Old 06-08-06, 10:40 AM   #10
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How much and where can I get one?
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Old 06-08-06, 11:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by daredevil
How much and where can I get one?
I got mine from here: http://strobeguy.safeshopper.com/80/2425.htm?688 I emailed the guy to ask which was better, the Whelen TIR3 or the Nova BULL, and he replied the next morning (saying they were both excellent and that the Nova had more flashing modes) and the order was shipped right away, so +1 for that outfit. There are some more suppliers listed here, the prices are all pretty close: http://www.strobe.com/buy.asp

And then you need a battery of some kind. It'll run on a 9.6-volt RC car battery if you happen to have one. If I buy a new battery & charger, I'm going to get the 11.1-volt Li-ion 4000mAh battery/charger kit from BatterySpace: http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=1996 But I've spent my toy budget for this month
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Old 06-08-06, 02:57 PM   #12
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Sorry if I'm a bit slow on this. I just have a couple of cheap little blinkies, this is all kind of new to me and I couldn't tell my looking at the web site. Does this come with any kind of battery or does that have to be purchased seperately? Is it the type of battery you would see with your typical front light? Like a battery pack and where do you mount yours. On my cheap blinkies, there's a built in clip that simply snaps over a tag on the seat bag or trunk rack. How did you mount yours?

Again, I apologize for asking you to talk me through this.
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Old 06-08-06, 04:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daredevil
Sorry if I'm a bit slow on this. I just have a couple of cheap little blinkies, this is all kind of new to me and I couldn't tell my looking at the web site. Does this come with any kind of battery or does that have to be purchased seperately? Is it the type of battery you would see with your typical front light? Like a battery pack and where do you mount yours. On my cheap blinkies, there's a built in clip that simply snaps over a tag on the seat bag or trunk rack. How did you mount yours?

Again, I apologize for asking you to talk me through this.
no this doesn't come with a mount kit...mechBgon has been building this light for the past couple weeks or so. You have to buy your own battery pack (he's using an RC car battery from radio shack) and make a mount of some sort. But anyone with some basic skills and imagination can do this. I already have plans to make my own. I was going to wait till winter, (when I ride during dusk/dark) but on further reflection, I think I'm gonna build one as soon as I can afford the light (probalby next month)

Question for you mechBgon...

I saw in one of your early photo's what looked like 4 wires coming out. You had also said something about a sync wire...so i'm guesing the wires are positive, negitive, sync and switch? did you have to buy a switch to switch between flash mods as well? or how does that work?

Thanks for this find, I can't wait to build mine! :-)
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Old 06-08-06, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NM-NewRoadie
no this doesn't come with a mount kit...mechBgon has been building this light for the past couple weeks or so. You have to buy your own battery pack (he's using an RC car battery from radio shack) and make a mount of some sort. But anyone with some basic skills and imagination can do this. I already have plans to make my own. I was going to wait till winter, (when I ride during dusk/dark) but on further reflection, I think I'm gonna build one as soon as I can afford the light (probalby next month)

Question for you mechBgon...

I saw in one of your early photo's what looked like 4 wires coming out. You had also said something about a sync wire...so i'm guesing the wires are positive, negitive, sync and switch? did you have to buy a switch to switch between flash mods as well? or how does that work?

Thanks for this find, I can't wait to build mine! :-)
Hi NM-NewRoadie My ISP-based photos and video seem to have vanished, so I apologize if you went looking for the photos and couldn't find them. Anyway, the black and red wires are ground and positive, and the blue wire is the mode-switching wire. To cycle through the modes, just touch the blue wire to the positive one (so a momentary-contact switch would be good for this). Each time contact is made, it switches to the next of the eight modes. The yellow wire is the 1Sync wire and lets teams of lights sync to eachother (or the opposite, they can alternate too).

When I get home, I'll take some photos of the mounting fittings, and attach them in a post in this thread so they aren't reliant on my ISP.
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Old 06-08-06, 05:20 PM   #15
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So what sort of battery life do you expect with this? If you are recharging them, how long can you go before needing a recharge?

I must say that's the most impressive blinkie on a bike I've ever seen. Even if it wasn't originally designed to act as a bicycle light!

If my summer commuting continues into fall/winter commuting, I'll need to look into doing something similar.
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Old 06-08-06, 06:17 PM   #16
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3 watts @ 9 volts is 1/3rd of an amp. A 3 amp battery pack would give you about 8 hours of battery life.
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Old 06-08-06, 07:12 PM   #17
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In flashing modes it'll go longer than steady-on, too. I did a test run with my 1600mAh battery pack and it managed about 10 hours on flashing mode, and then the battery's voltage began to sag when the light was firing (I had an analog multimeter hooked up). So for me, that would get me through almost a week of normal commuting (normal meaning "the most direct route").
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Old 06-08-06, 08:24 PM   #18
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As promised, here are pics of the blinkie's mounting stuff. One of the pics shows all the parts, including the black neoprene gasket in the foreground and the black plastic bezel in the background. The pic of the rear of my bike shows the mount that I made out of some translucent polyethylene plastic, with the Nova's screws coming out (and large-diameter washers on the other side of the plastic for support). The screws do go into the light all the way, I left them extended so you could see them.

I ended up using a 9.6-volt NiMH radio-controlled car battery & charger from Radio Shack, which is about US$25. They sell a compatible plug that can be soldered to the red & black wires of the Nova, so you just plug the Nova into the battery and it runs. Someday I may wire up an on/off switch too. I put the battery in my rack trunk.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blinkie1 001.jpg (69.5 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg blinkie1 003.jpg (56.6 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg blinkie1 002.jpg (64.3 KB, 83 views)
File Type: jpg blinkie1 004.jpg (86.4 KB, 142 views)

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Old 09-23-06, 06:06 PM   #19
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mechBgon, congrats on the light and thanks for the awesome idea! I've got a Cateye 1000 right now, but was thinking about stepping it up a notch, or five.

I'm wondering what you had to put more work into though, the wiring (getting it ready so that it could plug into the battery), or the mount? I'm thinking that the only place I'll be able to put one on my MTB will be mounting it to the seatpost.
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Old 09-23-06, 06:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmalaundry
mechBgon, congrats on the light and thanks for the awesome idea! I've got a Cateye 1000 right now, but was thinking about stepping it up a notch, or five.

I'm wondering what you had to put more work into though, the wiring (getting it ready so that it could plug into the battery), or the mount? I'm thinking that the only place I'll be able to put one on my MTB will be mounting it to the seatpost.
The wiring is a cinch, can you do basic soldering? If so, get the Nova, and solder this plug to the black & red wires:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...tId=2062132&cp

Then plug it into the rechargeable battery in this kit. To change the firing mode, you just brush the end of the blue wire against the battery's red wire momentarily to flip from mode to mode:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=family


The mount was a matter of brainstorming a location for the darn thing. If you want to do a seatpost mount, you might want to get a Whelen TIR3 instead, in the vertical-mount variant: http://strobeguy.safeshopper.com/80/2288.htm?39 I haven't personally tried the Whelen yet, but I'm sure it's awesome too. And with the vertical mount, you could just get slightly artsy-craftsy with a regular stainless-steel rear rack extender and a couple of nylon reflector brackets from the local bike shop.

One thing about these, they're fearsomely powerful (duh) so having it mounted too high could be real hard on people in a small car if they're right behind you in a left-turn lane or something.
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Old 09-23-06, 07:26 PM   #21
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Mech, instead of "brushing the wire" just attach a momentary switch to it.

If the light switches constantly between flash and solid, then what you can do is attach an accelerometer to the frame of the bike and have a circuit switch between flash or solid whenever it detects deceleration (braking).
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Old 09-23-06, 07:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Mech, instead of "brushing the wire" just attach a momentary switch to it.
That would work too, if I weren't such a lazy bum What I really need worse is a remote ON/OFF switch (and now it has one) so someone in a lowered Civic doesn't road-rage me if they're stuck behind me in a left-turn lane, with the Nova at eye level.

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Old 09-23-06, 07:36 PM   #23
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I prefer to use the 2-connector rubber trailer plugs.
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...,_18_AWG_.html
I ordered a handful of these last week when I ordered up a replacement strobe
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Old 09-23-06, 07:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
That would work too, if I weren't such a lazy bum What I really need worse is a remote ON/OFF switch so someone in a lowered Civic doesn't road-rage me if they're stuck behind me in a left-turn lane, with the Nova at eye level.
You can get a cheap wireless door bell and rig up a remote switch. Otherwise, order some flat wiring, tape it to your bike's frame, and use a quick disconnect at the end with a switch zip tied to your handle bars.

If you want, I have some maintain and momentary switches on hand that I can send over to you.
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Old 10-18-06, 11:35 AM   #25
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I ordered a few of these which look like just the thing for controlling the Nova. It has one on-off rocker, and a momentary rocker switch right next to it. The only problem is that it isn't waterproof so it wouldn't be appropriate for a handlebar mount without a boot or something.
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