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Old 10-17-07, 03:37 PM   #1
ymee
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Using a flash tube as attention getter

Guys,

I was thinking of rigging up a flash tube, i.e. camera flash, to a circuit set to trigger it say every 5 seconds or such, that should be bright enough to catch anyones attention .

What do you all think?
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Old 10-17-07, 05:39 PM   #2
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Drivers would think that you're a really, really, really low-riding school bus.
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Old 10-18-07, 05:57 AM   #3
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The bulb wouldn't last very long, I can tell you that...
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Old 10-18-07, 07:14 AM   #4
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I think you will be better off with a marine strobe light such as [http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...0&classNum=51]
360 degree strobe of course could be mistaken for a school bus but that is the purpose, to be visible and catch attention.

Last edited by wrafl; 10-18-07 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 10-18-07, 08:36 AM   #5
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I think you will be better off with a marine strobe light such as [http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...0&classNum=51]
360 degree strobe of course could be mistaken for a school bus but that is the purpose, to be visible and catch attention.
Thats not a bad device, cost is reasonable as well. Wonder how large it is.
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Old 10-18-07, 08:49 AM   #6
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It's got Velcro straps which would be easy to mount to anything. The one I have is designed to be strapped to a life vest or rain coat. By being creative, you can always fashion a rig to mount it to the seat post or to the rear rack. Along with an inexpensive blinky, the strobe light will provide additional visibility and attention to your night riding. The one I have, the size is about 5" L X 1 1/2" in diameter which hold a single C battery that last for up to 30 hours.
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Old 10-18-07, 08:50 AM   #7
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You could also get a small, lighted stop sign to hold to the side to make all traffic stop.
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Old 10-18-07, 10:30 AM   #8
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Too distracting......people will wonder what the hell is going on. What could it be? A moving camera? A low-riding vehicle? Let's get closer so we can see.

You want to be seen, but not to draw "what the hell is that" kind of attention.
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Old 10-18-07, 12:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ymee View Post
Guys,

I was thinking of rigging up a flash tube, i.e. camera flash, to a circuit set to trigger it say every 5 seconds or such, that should be bright enough to catch anyones attention .

What do you all think?
I'd be concerned about a flashing white light attracting police attention. Forward facing would probably be OK as road vehicles generally have white front lights and there are plenty of bicycles and motorcycles with flashing headlights. At the back though a flashing white light is non standard with the exception of the 360 degree school bus strobe in some locales. Yellow/amber strobes however are well tolerated by police in my experience. They are also the most recognizeable "unusual traffic hazard" indicator being used on barricades, construction vehicles, snow plows, etc.
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Old 10-18-07, 04:52 PM   #10
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A while back I was stopped well off the side of the road on the unlit, 2-lane 55mph portion of my commute trying to take some pictures of my headlight beams with my digital camera. I thought I had the flash off, but I didn't. When the flash flashed, a tractor trailer coming towards me on the other side of the road hit his jake brake and regular brakes and slowed way down. Obviously the camera flash got the drivers's attention, but I'd rather not confuse oncoming traffic to the point they're performing panic stops.
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Old 10-18-07, 05:00 PM   #11
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Good point
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Old 10-18-07, 05:09 PM   #12
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strobes are used on emergency vehicles and thus are not allowed to be utilized by citizens.... anything that might cause confusion is verboten. I'm imagining how bad my night vision wold be if I was riding with a strobe light.
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Old 10-18-07, 06:02 PM   #13
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A flash is a major battery-eater on a camera- I think you'd go through batteries like everything.
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Old 10-18-07, 06:41 PM   #14
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What the heck do you guys think these things are? Hint: xenon strobe. Same thing used in cameras.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=007

AFAIK, amber strobe lights are permitted for use on all slow moving vehicles in most states. Used on wreckers/tow trucks, farm equipment, and bicycles. Not only permitted, frequently required.

Blue &/or red strobes are reserved for use by LE, ambulance etc.

School buses use white since they're neither slow moving or LE. Also white is the brightest.

I don't think any decent cop is going to hassle you for using one of these low output amber (or clear/white) strobes.

They have a major advantage over most bike-specific taillights in that the light is radiated in all directions.

Most pull 0.1-0.2 amps. So they retrofit to a 12v light rig pretty good.

Last edited by seeker333; 10-18-07 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 10-18-07, 09:57 PM   #15
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I loved this thread as soon as I saw some of the posts. Strobes are fine for bicycles, I have been using the same one for over 20 years. I am still using that old amber Radio Shack strobe that cost $15. Potted the parts to keep them from shaking apart. Red and white are OK too, just not blue (California). On a dark street I can see the 60 to 80 flashes a minute bouncing off of buildings I go by. No one, police included, have complained about the brightness and I do get the occasional compliment. I have had a couple of BFers say that the under $10.00 strobes at www.allelectronics.com work for them. Mine runs off of anything between 6 and 15 volts and stayed connected to the big SLA that runs my headlight. Traffic Jammer is part-right; looking at it from a foot or two away is painful so I use it as a tail-light. I have no problem with wheel-suckers on night rides. I had one of those marine strobes. Too expensive, too weak, too slow, sucked up D-cells, and was a problem mounting on the bike.
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Old 10-20-07, 02:54 PM   #16
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As already pointed out, it will use alot of energy

One problem with all tail lighting schemes is that the typical motorist has headlights on, they will light up your rear reflector and other stuff on the bike, no tail light is needed. A rear tail light only makes sense if the driver is incompetent enough to leave the lights off, but still able enough to see your blinking whatever. I see little evidence that distracted drivers will see anything you hang off your bike.

BTW, I do own and use a rear blinky. I doubt it does much.
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Old 10-20-07, 08:12 PM   #17
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It was pointed out that it doesn't use alot of power... At only .1A a strobe would last like 10 hrs or more on a decent 12v batt.
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