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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #301
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    For those who are interested, the Science Forum had a similar thread so I posted the question about how to run Rainman's 8LED Trailer array 12V on an 18V drill battery.

    Here is their response.
    http://www.scienceforums.net/forums/...7&page=4&pp=20

  2. #302
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Hey, I just realized I AM using halogen automobile driving lights and a sealed lead acid battery literally strapped to my rack. It appears that Operator's worst fears have already been realized!

    VR, sorry, I forgot to address your question about using the LED light with an 18V battery. I have noticed that some of the LED lights have pretty wide operating voltage ranges, like 6 to 27 volts. However, others, like the MR16 LED replacements sold by superbrightleds.com state a 9-14 VDC range. You really have to check. If I can find any more specifics I will let you know.

    Thanks for the link to scienceforums.net. That's just what I need, ANOTHER internet site to suck my time!
    Last edited by RainmanP; 09-01-04 at 07:40 AM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Hey, I just realized I AM using halogen automobile driving lights and a sealed lead acid battery literally strapped to my rack. It appears that Operator's worst fears have already been realized!
    ROFL. Most of us knew this...we jest kept quiet!

  4. #304
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    VR,
    Just because the lights are bright doesn't mean the driver is!
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  5. #305
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Is there a point we'll get to before people start strapping car headlights with lead acid setups to their bikes? Some of this stuff looks just a wee bit overkill unless you're driving in total darkness or something.
    Well, I've thought about it...

    From what I've read, the newest, most highly-praised (and marketed) bike lights sold today are comparable to car headlights in intensity and cost in the $500 range. Many people have them.

    The most I sport on my bike is a special 20W light that is comparable in brightness to a 35W, 8-degree narrow spot (sent to me by an unusually kind friend, free of charge.) Car headlights are 55W each, for a total of 110W, aren't they?

    In the winter, I ride in total darkness for the first leg of my commute. In addition, I find a bright light makes me noticable to motorists in the rain, under bridges, in the shade, or when lost amidst a sea of other bright lights.

    Finally: can you see the road in total darkness while cruising at 20 mph?

    Try this test: park your bike by your mailbox at night with the headlight on, then walk 220 feet away. Can you see that light easily? Good, because a motorist approaching you at 35 mph. will pass by you 3 seconds later.

    Now, try this test. Park your bike on a busy street where there are lots of cars, street lights, neon lights, distractions, etc. Get a friend to drive the opposite direction, with the radio/cd playing, maybe a little conversation. Ask your friend if he/she ever saw your bike, without telling them to look for it.

    Finally, can you see the road in front of you while cruising at 20 mph. in total darkness?
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 09-01-04 at 09:03 PM.
    No worries

  6. #306
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    As to taillights, I see cyclists all the time with little blinkies. That is, I see them when I get within about 100 feet of them. That is too close when, as my esteemed colleague, LittleBigMan, points out, the overtaking vehicle is traveling 35 mph, or, more likely, 45 in a 35 mph zone. The only blinkie I, personally, have seen in actual use that is visible from long distance is the $60 NiteRider 12 LED that works with their 13.2 volt halogen and HID lights. Interestingly, the $10 7 LED lights sold as "store brand", like Photon, by Nashbar and Performance are surprisingly visible, more so than some of the $20+ ones. Now my 54 LED truck brake light...
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  7. #307
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    I have been having issues about recharging my 12v 5ah SLA battery. I didn't want to overcharge and ruin it , but plugging it in for the recommended time wasn't working. I found a more powerful wall wart (rated at 1 amp) that does the job and a website that gives precise values for how charged your battery is. See Battery metering and look at the table about half way down. You need a digital multimeter to check the voltage, but it seems to be good info.

    RainmanP, have you thought more about the white LED lights? I'm looking for something in a white "running" light, more to be seen that to use to see the road.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  8. #308
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Map Tester,
    I bought this charger from zbattery.com.
    http://www.zbattery.com/zbattery/12bc1000d-1.html
    It works great. Red LED means "charging"; green LED means "charged". Continues trickle charge as needed. You can leave the battery connected as long as you want without overcharging. My 5 ah battery recharges in a couple of hours from a little under half charge. My 7 ah battery doesn't flip on the green light. If I unplug and replug the green LED comes on. It is an old, much used battery; I think that has something to do with it.

    I did not get the $55 54 LED white truck backup light. What I have ordered is a 48 LED white MR-16 replacement for about $18 plus shipping. Seemed like a better idea because it is much less expensive and will pop into one of my existing lights. No need to figure out mounting. I will give a report after trying it out. Based on claims I have seen for other white LED lights of 12, 24, and 32 LEDs I am hoping this one produces light equivalent to a 15-20 W halogen. I will let you know how it works out.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    Last edited by RainmanP; 09-02-04 at 09:12 AM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  9. #309
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    I've been following this thread as it gets darker and I am starting to need light in the AM. I need to upgrade to something that I can ride at high speed in the dark. (avg 15-16 mph with a max pushing 40 on my daily commute) I'm thinking something 15-20w would be good. To cut down on sourcing and running around time I'm thinking of getting a cheap light system and then swapping out to a higher output light/battery. That way I get housing, switches, mounts, wireing and battery bag. Something like this 6 volt system for $19 at Nashbar link


    Plan would be to swap in like a 15w bulb and appropriate 12 volt SLA battery. Any other issues in converting from 6 volt to 12? Comments?

    Or maybe just spend the $35 on this 10 watt, 6 volt SLA system, and if 10w isn't enough upgrade that one.


  10. #310
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I saw that NiteHawk at Nashbar and thought it looked like a nice light at a price that is hard to beat. Your plan to replace the bulb and battery sounds good, but you might be happy with it just the way it is. If you do replace the bulb and battery you will need to get a 12V bulb. All of those lights I have looked at use standard MR11 type bulbs so you can get them anywhere like Lowe's, Home Depot, the corner hardware store, etc., thought sometimes it may be hard to find lower than 20W since these places are selling them for use in home halogen lighting and garden lights. You can order them from places like lightbulbsdirect.com and many other online sources.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    some of the LED lights have pretty wide operating voltage ranges, like 6 to 27 volts.
    Sounds pretty automatic, If they have a range does that mean that a resister is already on-board?
    If this is automatic, I'd like to have 3 circuits:

    1 Front L and and Rear L turn signal and switch (LEDS)
    2 Front R and rear R turn signal and switch (LEDS)
    3 Front headlight (flashlight design as posted previously) and rear LED and switch

    Asked a motorcycle place for help..they thought I was from another planet... Something like this.

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paniolo

    Plan would be to swap in like a 15w bulb and appropriate 12 volt SLA battery. Any other issues in converting from 6 volt to 12? Comments?
    There may be a couple of fit issues. For example with the 15W bulb actually thread into the original ballist? Also will the 12V SLA fit in that battery bag.

    Also at 40mph that bag cannot swing AT-ALL. If the bag doesn't have a strap on the bottom, you'll need an additional strap to anchor it to the frame.

  13. #313
    Senior Member Ceiliazul's Avatar
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    Paniolo, as the nights get longer, more and more geeks are coming out to play.

    I recently pruchased the Nite-Hawk Dual Pro at Nashbar with similar plans to improve it with some new toys. This system is built for twelve volts, which I judged to be a better start for a geek project. I bought this based on concerns that a system rated for six volts would have a smaller margin of error for hacking with a 12 volt battery and lights. Given my "inpert" status, I want as much fudge room as I can get. Also, the six volt light housing might not be prepared to take the heat of a 12 volt bulb. Can an expert shed some geeky darkness on this?

    On another note, I talked to another Nite-Hawk owner, he said that the bulb itself is in fact MR11, but it has some kind of alignment groove. Maybe a standard MR11 would be effective with some help from a metal file, I don't know yet. Any Nite-Hawk owners have experience replacing bulbs on their systems?

    -ceil




    Quote Originally Posted by Paniolo
    Plan would be to swap in like a 15w bulb and appropriate 12 volt SLA battery. Any other issues in converting from 6 volt to 12? Comments?

  14. #314
    dangerous with tools halfbiked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Sounds pretty automatic, If they have a range does that mean that a resister is already on-board?
    If this is automatic, I'd like to have 3 circuits:

    1 Front L and and Rear L turn signal and switch (LEDS)
    2 Front R and rear R turn signal and switch (LEDS)
    3 Front headlight (flashlight design as posted previously) and rear LED and switch

    Asked a motorcycle place for help..they thought I was from another planet... Something like this.
    Do you have a provision for a flasher? I.e. do you want your turn signals to flash? Speaking of motorcycles, you might want to search the net for 'chopper wiring diagram', to get an idea of how to wire the thing. Its not too hard, but having an example to work from can save time & headache.

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    vrkelley: I "assume" any MR-11 bulb would fit into another MR-11 recepticle and it would just be a matter of getting the wattage I wanted and matching the appropriate battery size for the duration I needed??? I doubt I will be pedaling hard down hill when it's dark ... but even coasting I hit 30 so I really wouldn't want 2-3# of battery swinging around! I thought about either adding extra velcro tape, or just putting the whole battery in my Carradice bag; there's plenty of room, though I may have to extend wiring. I am worried about the higher capacity battery fitting what I visually calculate to be about a 6"x3"x1.5" bag. If it doesn't see above about putting the whole thing in my saddle bag.

    Ceiliazul: My understanding is that 6 volt connections have to be more heavy duty than 12 volt as they carry higher amp loads. I also think heat would be related to wattage rather than voltage. But since I would be increasing wattage by 300-400% it is a valid concern. Hoping that cooler ambiant temps and airflow would help with this. Plus the 2nd 6 volt system I pictured appears to have the exact same housing as the 12 volt system you got ... just a single instead of a double. Visually the lamp housing itself appears pretty much identical to the 10 watt 6 & 12 volt ones, just grey instead of black. My gut feeling is that all these housings were originally designed for higher power applications and have been "depowered" for portable battery use on bikes.
    Last edited by Paniolo; 09-02-04 at 02:29 PM.

  16. #316
    Senior Member Ceiliazul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paniolo
    My understanding is that 6 volt connections have to be more heavy duty than 12 volt as they carry higher amp loads. I also think heat would be related to wattage rather than voltage.
    Thanks for clarifying, I would have had to pull out my old physics book tonight to figure that out. You're probably right about the housing being universal design, that makes mass production easier. That said, the $35 10 watt is a good buy! I'll check out the Nite-Hawk "alignment groove" tonight to see if a standard MR11 fits without undue effort.

    -ceil

  17. #317
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    VR,
    I really can't speak to the voltage/resistor issue on the LED lamps. I just remember recently seeing a lamp that I'm pretty sure had something like the voltage range I mentioned. Darned if I can remember where I saw it. It was a specific bulb so, as I said, you can't generalize it.

    6V vs 12V - Yep, a 10W bulb in a 6V system would be pulling about 1.66 amps. In a 12V system a 10W bulb draws about .83 or a 20W bulb draws the same 1.66.

    VR is right about bag swing and bounce. A battery is a pretty heavy load, and it has connectors of some kind. You don't want it bouncing around. I have a 7 ah battery in a small handlebar bag on one bike. I have it lashed up pretty tightly to the bar with a nylon strap and buckle. It does not move.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  18. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfbiked
    Do you have a provision for a flasher? I.e. do you want your turn signals to flash? Speaking of motorcycles, you might want to search the net for 'chopper wiring diagram', to get an idea of how to wire the thing. Its not too hard, but having an example to work from can save time & headache.
    Cool idea. For the turn signals, I'd buy the whole assembly including the waterproof housing. In the Pacific NW, rain is a real issue. I'll check out the those diagrams.

  19. #319
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    Dang it, I went to order the raptor at Nashbar today but it went up $15 to $49 overnight. For $50 I think I'll just build a 2 lamp 12 volt 30 watt system for about the same price, but 3x the lighting and with 12 volt so adding good tail lights and horn if desired is ez.

  20. #320
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Light porn:

    http://www.ledsupply.com/powerpuckkit.html

    $62 for a single 5W or quad 1W Luxeon kit
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  21. #321
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    Also, can anybody suggest where to get good NIMH AA and AAA batteries cheap? I need another 6-8 of each, which is about $50 retail. I found a place selling 12 AAA and 12 AA "generic" NIMH's in a combo package for $22, but...are they comparable in quality to Eveready?
    I got the bulk pack of NiMH 12 AAA (750 mAh) and 12 AA (2000mAh), 24 batteries, for $29 shipped from all-battery.com. We shall see.

    bkr
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  22. #322
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    Light porn:

    http://www.ledsupply.com/powerpuckkit.html

    $62 for a single 5W or quad 1W Luxeon kit
    I bought a couple of these regulators, six 1W Luxeons, and some lenses to play with. ($115) I'm going to try making my own lights.

    One of the issues to investigate will be whether generic AA NiMH batteries will be happy pushing 0.75 amp through the system without overheating or voltage droop. The docs I've read suggest that's getting near the upper limit, but still in the safe zone. Otherwise I can just get a brutish 4000 mAh 12V NiMH battery pack w/ charger for about $30 from batteryspace.com. Yay, new toys!
    Last edited by bkrownd; 09-07-04 at 04:43 AM.
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  23. #323
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    ugg I've got some re-thinking to do on the back lights. Tonight a guy was riding on the shoulder with a 5LED vista blinky.

    With the line of traffic ahead of us and all those brake lights, I barely saw the guy and I was on the passenger side!!!! I'm pretty sure the driver didn't see him until he was less than 200 yards behind him.

  24. #324
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Honking big rear reflective tape/strips everywhere should improve that situation.
    --
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  25. #325
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Here's the LED headlight design I'd like to "borrow": (link to another outside forum's bike light thread)

    http://tinyurl.com/6fltt

    A very clean, easy and effective design.
    --
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