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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #351
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    Number four
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  2. #352
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    Ollo
    How about a lot of technical details. Like what sort of bracket worked for the Floodlight. What's that blue bottle in Picture #4. Is that car actually backing up?

  3. #353
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    That's the great part! Look closely at the other picture of the light & you can see the bracket which came on the light. There is a Phillips screw attaching it on each side which can be loosened enough to hold the light while still allowing you to adjustthe beam up & down. Like I said, the bracket is just attached to my bar with a couple of hose clamps: just happened to have stainless clamps in my tool box. This light setup works like a Soviet block weapon, crude but effective! The blue bottle was mentioned by somebody else on this forum, its a "dry" type lube that contains teflon, available from Lowe's at a very reasonable(cheap, cheap) price. I've been using it for chain lube & seems to work fine, comes out liquid then evaporates leaving a dry lube behind that doesn't seem to pickup dirt as quickly as other lubes I've tried & also doesn't wash off right away in the rain. Look for it by their tool section where they have a rack full of various lubricants & grease. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  4. #354
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    P.S. The car isn't backing up, that's an optical delusion!
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  5. #355
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    How did I miss this post!!

    I love this stuff! , I have been running home mades for almost 20 years now.


    Time for me to show off , But a little backgroud. at a Job I had many moons ago. we had a medical instrument that was hideous , and when all the sales Demos came back from the field they had to me made un usable . well in this instument was a 7.2 volt 4 Ah Nicad pack . They were going to have to pay to get rid of them instead My self and 4 or 5 others "took" them off there hands . so I started out with about 30 of these Packs , I'm down to about 10 now.

    here was my first Light
    using 2 - 7.2 volt 4.0 aH batteries . stated that isa Fog lamp with some angle iron and pipe clamps.
    it started with a 55 watt Bulb in it butthat ate batteries just too fast , so It later became a 20 Wtt andthe tail light would be replaced by vista lights , other wise it is a trucks tail light .





    Next I gutted a Cateye , and Put a 20 Watt Halogen in it , worked great in Cold weather . unfortuantly one warm March night it caught fire . I wish I had saved the rest of it ( the reflector and back cover were destroyed ) I actually ran with 2 of these on the bars 1 with a 10 watt bulb , and 1 with a 20 watt.

    and they were powered with the same Batteries



    OK this was another early attempt to "be lit up like a cristmas tree" I still have them and they still work



    OK this is one of my CUrrent lights .
    using a low voltage light from Home depot with a 12 volt 20 watt MR16



    Now this was a good idea but it had heat problems , an 12 volt 28 watt MR 11 , in a Piece of PVC , it suffered a Meltdown . ( this same bulb lived for a long while in a Cheezy flash light case till is finally melted it away. ) and it also put a good melt mark in my helmet.



    This is one that works remarkably well
    I Did not use those batteries ( those batteries are another experiment , using LI-Ion Batteris )
    I carry with with me as an emergency light . it is a 5 watt , 6 volt MR-11 in PVC .
    I can't say enough about this one it is good!



    this is the one I used till Just recently .
    it isa MR -16 20 watt , 12 volt , from a piece of track lighting ( bought at a yard sale for 50 cents )
    I cut the tranformer unit off and strap it to my Helmet and Bingo. and it uses the same Nicad batteries

    I used this in 24 Hrs of adrenilin this past june !



    also Used in the 24 Hr race ( bar mounted ) 45 White Led's ( at this point it only had 28 LED's

    I powered it with 2 - LI-IOn cells in parralel from an Old Dell Laptop. Works very good , But Chargin LI-IOn is a Royal Pain, that is it 's big draw Back. May move it to NiMH or Ni-cad.



    and Now this is my Latest and greatest! an Ebay Special $5 for a Specilized Pro-view , which is a Bad system 12 Wat tBulb , Mad to be powered by 5 D batteries , well get rid of Batteries and use one of my Ni-cad Packs and wire it up Better , and Wa-la ! a Great system !




    comments ? suggestions ? questions ?

  6. #356
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Splat,
    I would love to have seen a video of the flame and smoke trailing behind you as the helmet light melted down!

    Seriously, though, folks, did you assemble your own LEDs on that light? I just put a 48 LED MR16 replacement in one of my headlights. I will be trying it for the first time tomorrow and will post a report. It seems pretty bright but obviously weak compared side by side with the 35W I usually use. I am figuring it to be about like a 10W. I don't know if I can be happy with that for regular commuting, but it might be adequate where battery life is at a premium. I need to hook it up to a meter to see what it draws. Will report on that too for anyone interested.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  7. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
    P.S. The car isn't backing up, that's an optical delusion!
    Yeah I know!

  8. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Splat,
    I would love to have seen a video of the flame and smoke trailing behind you as the helmet light melted down!
    Yeah and if only we could harness our "flame" stuff. NOW that would get driver's attention!
    Ollo and splat Awesome setups!

    Gotta get a move on...I've only started assembling the bike parts for the next light. I installed the rack (for tail light) and finished the battery bag. But Trek carbon 5200 doesn't seem to have any place to mount a light bracket below the handlebars.

    Looking for a bracket that'll mount here (click to zoom):

  9. #359
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    VR,
    How about using a "space bar", one of the little bars that clamp to the handlebar to provide more mounting space for lights, computers, etc.? Performance has their own brand and Nasbar sell one by Minoura. You can point them wherever you want up, down, straight ahead. Then you could mount your lights on them using whatever means you can create.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  10. #360
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Hi there. Glad to see this monster of a thread is still going strong!

    My Vistalite 2200mAh battery just died. It had been suffering for some time now, providing only 40+ minutes of burn time with a 10w MR11 halogen. So me and mechanically inclined friend put the old battery out of its misery yesterday, tearing it completely apart to see what it was made of. I was surprised to find only 5 cells inside the stick, as I always imagined Vistalite's "HOT" technology basically meant overvolting. Does not seem to be the case here, this thing provided the nominal 6V.

    While we were at it we also cannibalised an old plastic frame pump, which is now being converted to a battery holder. I cannot use the sleek nightstick housing, because there's not enough room for AA batteries (rechargeable NiMH) I plan to use. Besides, the old battered Zefal looks ueber-geeky to me .

    If all goes well, I will be able to velcro the Zefal into Vistalite's frame mount, use original wiring and connectors between battery and lamp, and as a bonus be able to charge each cell individually. This will hopefully increase battery life, as I now seem to go through 1 battery setup every 2 years or so (our cold winter may have something to do with this).

    If this fails, I will try out a bottle dynamo / dynohub -setup. The dark autumn nights are already here, and currently I am relying solely on my backup white LED, so I need to get this done fairly quickly. Today I'll go to store to buy what little I need - a couple of rechargeable AA's, some sealant for housing and perhaps some wire. I'll post pictures of the project later.

    --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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  11. #361
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Juha,
    Replace the 6V bulb with a 12V MR11 of your choice then use a 12V battery. Works like a charm. I have done it.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  12. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    VR,
    How about using a "space bar", one of the little bars that clamp to the handlebar to provide more mounting space for lights, computers, etc.? Performance has their own brand and Nasbar sell one by Minoura. You can point them wherever you want up, down, straight ahead. Then you could mount your lights on them using whatever means you can create.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    Raymond. This is as good start. I need about 1/4 what they're selling...Just need a stationary bracket and clamp that never moves once adjusted. I think a small PVC elbo would hold the light housing but can't seem to envision a clamp that will work on the picture below. Anyone got an idea what these clamps are called?

    *click on the picture* Don't know why picture keeps shrinking....

  13. #363
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    N00b here, this thread has been alerting me to the importance of lighting, even if I've shaken my head at some of these posts, i.e. lights cost more than the bike

    I know I'm getting there though, because as I rode through neighborhoods Saturday night, I heard two different groups of kids say, "Cool! Look at the bike!"

  14. #364
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    PT,
    Welcome! Yeah, you'll really get to know what works and what doesn't from this thread. A good light takes time.

    Edited...phasing came out all wrong. Sorry...The above is what I meant!
    Last edited by vrkelley; 09-27-04 at 07:32 PM.

  15. #365
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Right now, my setup is: One 20-watt MR-11 narrow spot (which is engineered to perform like a 35-watt, all I can say is, "Wow,") my yellow xenon strobe strapped upside-down under my seat (identical to those you hear about in this thread, cost me about $8,) powered by a 3.4 AH lead-acid battery. The 3.4 fits neatly into my old Vistalight battery pouch. And of course, a fuse.

    Gives me a little more than an hour's run-time. I'll probably have to go with a 5 AH battery next time, since smaller batteries lose capacity more quickly.
    No worries

  16. #366
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    "i.e. lights cost more than the bike "
    Not hard to do if you buy the bike at a thrift store or yard sale!
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  17. #367
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    Hey Ollo- that 55W is a pretty cool setup. How's it working out?

  18. #368
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Hey vr, I have been thinking about your clamp problem. I drew a diagram of a possible solution to your clamp needs. It isn't the most elegant solution, but this is a geek thread! Another way might be to use an old brake lever housing, removing the handle but using the clamp part. Anyway, let us know how it goes, and of course, please post some pics of your setup.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  19. #369
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Juha,
    Replace the 6V bulb with a 12V MR11 of your choice then use a 12V battery. Works like a charm. I have done it.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    Raymond, that might be looming in the future... but as it is I am fairly happy with the amount of light and the beam pattern of the 6V/10W. So I am going to see this upgrade through first.

    I taped my battery together enough to do a test burn yesterday. With 5 (nominally) 1,2V AA batteries wired in series I got close to 70 minutes of burn time, which would be ok. What surprised me was that fresh from the charger the five cells produced a tad over 7V. I had originally planned to run 6 AAs, but apparently that would take the voltage close to 8,5V. From what I've read, running a 6V bulb at 7,2V is ok. But over 8V - I dunno.

    How much do y'all overvolt your halogens and have you actually checked the voltage you get from your power source?

    --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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  20. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    What surprised me was that fresh from the charger the five cells produced a tad over 7V. I had originally planned to run 6 AAs, but apparently that would take the voltage close to 8,5V. From what I've read, running a 6V bulb at 7,2V is ok. But over 8V - I dunno.

    --J
    The rating on the battery always seems a little lower than the actual charge. The actual charge can be as much as 10% higher than the rating on the package.

  21. #371
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    Quote Originally Posted by Map tester
    Hey vr, I have been thinking about your clamp problem. I drew a diagram of a possible solution to your clamp needs. It isn't the most elegant solution, but this is a geek thread! Another way might be to use an old brake lever housing, removing the handle but using the clamp part. Anyway, let us know how it goes, and of course, please post some pics of your setup.
    Yeah, your hose clamp idea and brake lever housing will probably work better than the zip-ties because don't get a good grip around the bike tubes and the light housing is rectangle.

  22. #372
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    VR: yesterday was extremely foggy & I rode the "Yellow Flash" in to work. Heavy fog reveals the Yellow strobes make a circle front & rear as I ride along. The 55watt cuts through the fog nicely but I noticed a some beams of light going upwards at about a 45 degree angle. As I rode along I daydreamed of possible ways to add some kind of a polished reflector shroud to the top of the light so I could deflect this light down to the ground. The flood type light has brighter & softer areas in the beam pattern & this could even it out. Needs some more thought. Don
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  23. #373
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
    The flood type light has brighter & softer areas in the beam pattern & this could even it out. Needs some more thought. Don
    You can buy silver reflectant spray paint and make your own reflector insert or enhance the one you've got. Places like Ace hardware sell it. It might be good to copy or reuse a reflector from an old light...factoring in heat.

    My guess is that you'll need to narrow and lower the beam. Be sure you have a good seal on the housing otherwise water seeps in.

  24. #374
    But I'm saving $ on gas! OhiOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha

    How much do y'all overvolt your halogens and have you actually checked the voltage you get from your power source?

    --J
    I run my 12v halogens (and experimental LEDs) at 17.4 off the charger (12 AAs).
    I don't have a lot of hours on them as yet, but by the end of next week they will be busy boys I think.
    You can go somewhere to bike or you can bike to go somewhere.
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  25. #375
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
    The 55 watt flood type light is more than enough for the dark part of my commute.
    For any of you out there who use 55W lights, do oncoming vehicles ever flash their brights at you? How often? I bought a 55W setup from Autozone for $20 the other night, but I don't want to install it if it will be so bright that it will irritate other drivers. My commute is fairly short (4 miles each way), but is all either steep up or steep down. On my way home I often reach speeds of 35-40mph, so I'd like to have a little extra distance on my light. I have a 7AH SLA battery, so the 20 min. commute each way shouldn't be a problem.

    Nathan

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