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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #251
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    >home depots site doesnt have this anymore. i also tried Lowe's. maybe ill just over over to the store and actually see if they have it, dont want to trust their site as to whether or not they actually have it.

    Lesson's learned. Whenever someone recommends a specific item like this, get it before they stop making them. Otherwise it's nasty to try to round an equivilent up.

  2. #252
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I'm baaack! Some of you guys have built some neat lights, ie the light head itself, but for those intimidated by that prospect or don't wish to re-invent the wheel, check out the Optronics QH-7CC and QH-8CC driving lights. They cost about $16 per PAIR and use MR-16 bulbs. I prefer the 8 because is has a black plastic body. The 7 is a chrome metal body. One slight issue with the plastic body is that it has ventilation slots what could allow rain to fall right in when the light is mounted up as I do on the bar. I have solved this by fashioning a simple "hood" from black electical tape that leaves the vents open but prevent rain from falling straight in or running in. The chrome bodies have a simple twist off front that makes bulb changing easy. The plastic body uses two tiny screws so is less convenient. I have tried both in my experimentations. Here is a link:

    http://www.optronicsinc.com/competition.htm

    These are small, lightweight lights that have a nut and bolt mount. All you have to do is fashion a simple mounting method. On one bike I am experimenting with 3" spring clamps from Lowes. The have a hole so you don't even have to get out the drill. The clamp can be difficult to squeeze open to get on the bar, but with a piece of inner tube to protect the bar it is pretty secure, easily adjustable and a quick release. The lights come with 50W bulbs which is a bit much for the smaller 4 to 5 AH batteries we all seem to be using. I have found two bulbs that I am very happy with. My favorite is the Solux daylight lights that have a very white light that provides super visibility. The lowest wattage is 35W so I use it on a bike with a 7AH battery and no rear lights yet. These bulbs cost about $6 or $7. Another great bulb is a Phillips energy saving bulb that produces 35W of light with 20W draw and costs about $10. This is working great on my bike that has two rectangular 8-LED truck/trailer marker lights that also have reflective lenses and draw almost nothing. They are available from LED-R-US. Even with the lights off you have a reflector. The two MR16 bulbs are more expensive than standard $3-4 bulbs, but I think they are well worth the price, especially when you consider that they are rated for thousands of hours, or several years, of 1 hr/day commuting. BTW I tried narrow spot bulbs initially, but have gravitated to wide 36 degree floods because they provide plenty of light out front as well as plenty to the sides. The spots were great out front, but I couldn't see the side of the road. It was a bit claustrophobic.
    Last edited by RainmanP; 07-19-04 at 07:30 AM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  3. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    I'm baaack! Some of you guys have built some neat lights, ie the light head itself, but for those intimidated by that prospect or don't wish to re-invent the wheel, check out the Optronics QH-7CC and QH-8CC driving lights.
    http://www.optronicsinc.com/competition.htm

    These are small, lightweight lights that have a nut and bolt mount. All you have to do is fashion a simple mounting method. On one bike I am experimenting with 3" spring clamps from Lowes. BTW I tried narrow spot bulbs initially, but have gravitated to wide 36 degree floods because they provide plenty of light out front as well as plenty to the sides. The spots were great out front, but I couldn't see the side of the road. It was a bit claustrophobic.
    I'll check 'em out cuz I'm starting all over since the last cool bike was stolen. This is the chance to go better and lighter.

  4. #254
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    OK HERE GOES...

    I'm looking for a amber LED (about 1W or less) that can switch as follows:

    OFF
    FLASH


    Ideally the light can run on a hearing aid battery and one on each handle bar for turn signals. http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?sku=17651 This kind seens to only be seen from the back or side of the bike.

    Any clue where to get for something like this with easy on-off buttons and better VIS??

  5. #255
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    not really that geeky - but what do you guys think about the idea to attaching a good flashlight to the handlebars somehow.

    I was thinking of going for something like this:
    http://www.ledshoponline.com/6_led-flashlight.htm

    Don't flame me here okay?

    For those electronically illerate (like myself), wouldn't this be a much easier option? If you bought rechrgeable batteries and charger, wouldn't this method work just as well as making your own light?

  6. #256
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I don't know, VR, I haven't been particularly impressed with what I have read or heard of any of the bicycle turn signal setups. The ones that have integral batteries don't seem weather-resistant or bright enough to be practical for my purposes. In the back of my mind I have been working on a design using amber behive trailer markers on a bracket in back, car flashers, and individual switches bar-mounted near brake hoods. In effect, two completely separate lights. Seems like it should be pretty easy to put together; it's just not a high priority for me.

    Hey, I got what I considered high praise for my front light a couple of weeks ago. As I approach him a pedestrian said "Man, I thought you were a motorcycle with that light!"

    Buckeyheaven, if such a flashlight produces enough light to satisfy you, go for it. I was using a 3 LED headlight until the morning it's light was not sufficient to avoid a fresh diesel spill that put me in the hospital. Now I want at least 20 watts and prefer 35.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  7. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckleyheaven
    not really that geeky - but what do you guys think about the idea to attaching a good flashlight to the handlebars somehow.


    For those electronically illerate (like myself), wouldn't this be a much easier option? If you bought rechrgeable batteries and charger, wouldn't this method work just as well as making your own light?
    Flashlight? Yes...Geek-Dude...you're IN! Mine is a (disassembled) flashlight with the beam portion on the front...and wired to a rechargable drill battery that's in the seat-bag.

    35 WATT bulb, picture isn't too good. http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...chmentid=10992 (more pictures on page #7 of this thread). GO for it!

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    Hi everyone. Is the 20w Malibu light brighter than the 10w Night Hawk Raptor light? It's on sale at Nashbar for only $35. I was wondering if I should get it or attempt to make one myself. This thread have been very informative and helpful. Thanks to everyone that participated

  9. #259
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnRider
    Hi everyone. Is the 20w Malibu light brighter than the 10w Night Hawk Raptor light? It's on sale at Nashbar for only $35. I was wondering if I should get it or attempt to make one myself. This thread have been very informative and helpful. Thanks to everyone that participated
    $35 is a great price, well worth considering.
    No worries

  10. #260
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    "New" bike new issues...I'm starting to order parts for a similar light as built before.

    Problem 1.
    The battery bag is a waterproof binocular case that hangs from the seat rails. What's the best light weight way to lift the bag away from my legs and stabilize the bag?

    Problem 2.
    The 35W bulb comes in 16.8V or 18V. For a 16.8V battery (that'll run a 2nd smaller light), which bulb is best?

  11. #261
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    SunnRider, 10W is not as bright as 20W, but it is pretty good. You might be able to replace it later with a 15 or even 20 if the battery will provide enough burn time for your purposes.

    VR, you could try velcro straps or, perhaps better, nylon straps with the plastic buckles you can cinch down after buckling so you can really snug it up to stabilize. You can get 1" nylon straps as well as the snap buckles and some keepers (the little pieces that just keep the loose ends from flapping around) at large fabric stores like Cloth World.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  12. #262
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    RainmanP
    The velcro straps go around the seat post and suspend the bag from the rails. But the bag still sways (with just the bike lock in it). Maybe to 2 coat hanger wires from the rail each in the shape of an L would work.

  13. #263
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    VR,
    I have always found the same thing with seat/saddle bags; it is hard to really cinch them down so they don't sway. The best solution I have found, which works quite well, it to use the second method I describe above. Once you snap the buckle, you can pull the loose end and cinch that sucker down where it won't move. To get it good and tight you have to hold the strap to keep the whole thing from just sliding, snug it down, slide the strap over to get some more space, then hold it and cinch it again. Easy to do, hard to describe. I then tuck that loose end out of the way. Not only does it keep the bag from swaying and bouncing, it takes stress off the regular straps. Do you have a handlebar bag? That's what I use on my second commuter, and I like it better than a seat bag. I don't actually even use the mounting straps on the bag. I have wrapped the bag neatly in waterproof black cordura, taking care that none of the folds provide an entry point for water, then use two of the straps with snap buckles to cinch it up tight to the bar. It does not move.
    FWIW,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  14. #264
    Telemark! TeleJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunnRider
    Hi everyone. Is the 20w Malibu light brighter than the 10w Night Hawk Raptor light? It's on sale at Nashbar for only $35. I was wondering if I should get it or attempt to make one myself. This thread have been very informative and helpful. Thanks to everyone that participated

    I ordered this light, fantastic deal. When I tested it out it seemed brighter than a car headlight. It provides a wide bright cone of light.

  15. #265
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    Would every fellow geek who built or bought their light) please post:

    Watts, AMPs, throw (i.e. est. feet light shines ahead of the bike) and any cool brag details or stories.

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Hi, all.

    To all my fellow geeks out there, I have a geek-confession to make.

    My charger went bad, so I used another charger I had on hand to charge up my sealed lead-acid battery. I ruined my battery. (For those of who are already saying, "You Idiot," read on anyway, FTHOI. (or he ell f t.)

    Without a battery or charger, and mornings getting darker every day, I had to replace them both. I called "Batteries Plus."

    Jane was very upbeat on the phone. I told her I needed a battery and charger and she immediately asked, "What's the application?"

    "Homebuilt bike light, 12 volt."

    "Will you be racing or commuting?"

    Wait a minute, this question caught me by suprise.

    "Commuting."

    "What wattage is the light on your current system?"

    "20 watts."

    "20? Wow. You might want to go with lead-acid. It's dependable."

    When I got there, I got red-carpet treatment. She took me into the place where they assemble their battery packs. As she connected wires and adaptors to my battery, charger and in-line fuse, we talked a little. Turns out I got a cyclist for a battery-builder! No wonder! (The builder had just gotten back from a tour in Colorado.)

    I asked if they always gave service like this, or was it because I was a cyclist. I was told it was because I was a cyclist, but I think it might have been a joke...might have been... I told a friend and he said, "No, you've just become jaded by poor customer service." That, I'm sure.

    Anyway, I spent $45 on battery, charger and fuse, all custom-built and fully assembled. It's pretty nice. Thanks, and see you again in about a year to spend $20 on another battery.
    No worries

  17. #267
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    I bought my last 2 lead acid bike batteries at Batteries Plus also. Not quite such bike oriented service as you got but they had what I needed & the price was OK. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  18. #268
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    In response to VR's request:

    Primary commuter:
    Headlight - Optronics QH-8CC driving lights. Small for cars, perfect for bikes.

    Lamp - MR16 (pretty standard) Halogen, specifically Phillips Halotone Masterline ES (Energy Saver) 36 degree flood. This lamp provides 35W equivalent light for 20W draw.

    Taillights - Two LEDs-R-Us 8-LED truck/trailer marker lights with reflex lenses that are NHTSA-approved reflectors even with the lights off. These lights draw something like .035W, almost nothing, even for two lights.

    Battery - 5AH sealed lead acid.

    Secondary commuter:
    Headlight - Optronics QH-7CC driving light. Similar to QH-8CC, but chrome plated metal body rather than plastic.

    Lamp - MR16 Halogen, Solux Natural Daylight 4700K color temperature (very white) light, 35W, 24 degree narrow flood.

    Taillight - None on bike, Lightman Xenon strobe attached to Nathan reflective cycling vest.

    Battery - 7AH SLA
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  19. #269
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    ah ain't got no love (translates: I don't have a bike light 'cuz it was on my stolen bike)

    Most of the parts have arrived and I'm gonna try and build another. They were hard to get and it doesn't appear that the 5200 has the same shape to install the mounting bracket...

    Ray, your light sounds cool! Do both of those lights go to the on-board 12V battery?

    -V

  20. #270
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    VR,
    All headlights and mounted taillights run off the 12V. The Lightman strobe uses 2 AA.

    BTW, has anyone ever seen anything like a standard 12V plug (car cigarette lighter type) that has threaded cover for watertightness? That is, the female has exposed threads around it, and the male has a threaded cap and O-ring to snug it down and provide a weathertight seal, but you could still use a regular male plug without the threaded cap? Even though there are smaller plugs, I like to stick with this type of outlet on my battery box so I have the option of plugging in other accessories if I need to, say, for instance, a car charger for my cell phone. I have seen female 12V outlets with spring loaded covers and males with a seal. I guess that might be the best I can do. Right now I just have pretty standard outlet and plug, and I have a "rain cover" of heavy nylon Cordura over the battery box and plugs to keep rain from hitting anything directly. It has worked fine, I just keep looking for refinements.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  21. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    ... a standard 12V plug (car cigarette lighter type) that has threaded cover for watertightness? That is, the female has exposed threads around it, and the male has a threaded cap and O-ring to snug it down and provide a weathertight seal, but you could still use a regular male plug without the threaded cap?
    Boating stores have these boots but they'll probably have to order it.

    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    >> "rain cover" of heavy nylon Cordura
    Very innovative for someone who doesn't sew. I'm making a backpack cover along those same lines including the Scotchlite.

  22. #272
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    VR,
    I will keep looking for the outlet plug combination I tried to describe, but I have not found anything like it at any of the boat stores I have tried. The main brand of such things that all boat stores seem to have, is Marinco, and they don't have anything.

    Don't be too impressed about the "rain cover". It's just a square of fabric large enough to fold down the sides of the box, neatly folded at the corners (like hospital corners on a bedsheet), held in place by the nylon straps that tightly clamp the box to the rack. One corner is not folded and tucked; it forms a tail of sorts that covers the plug. I have ridden in some pretty serious downpours with no problem.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  23. #273
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Okay, my turn! I have been inspired to 'roll-my-own' light system by the great information in this thread. I used an Intermatic LV505 25 watt sealed beam headlight from Home Depot (2 for $18), a Vector Pocket Power 12 SLA battery ($20 total with recharger), a 8 LED taillight from AutoZone, and a Velleman HAA40 Amber Strobe ($9). The strobe, taillight, battery and switches are housed in a cheap plastic toolbox strapped to the rear rack. The headlight is connected with a trailer connector so I can remove the box and leave the headlight on the bike. I used the mount for the front white reflector to attach the light to. The switches for the lights and strobe are accessed from the small yellows doors on the top of the box.

    I want to thank all on this thread for their efforts and sharing of information.




    Last edited by Map tester; 08-24-04 at 01:40 PM.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  24. #274
    Rider in the Storm
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    That's a pretty cool setup.

  25. #275
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Very nice! I may be stealing a few tips from you as I continue my refinements!
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

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