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Old 09-28-04, 06:12 PM   #376
splat
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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!

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.

I think it might have been more homourous to watch me keep riding while trying to put out the fire on my Handlebars !!


And on one night mt Bike ride, where that PVC wes melting pretty goodm we thought we lost 2 of the riders in the group, when they finally showed up they joked they found us by followingthe smell of burning plastic


Now on to the LED"S I assembleb them My self I bought 50 off of eBay for $15 and went from there.

I have seen those pre-made LED lights and wondered how they work. I have also seen the MR-16 LED replacement bulbs any one try those.

as For a 55 watt bulb having used one before , I use d to have people flash me all the time to turn down the light ! I laways took that asa good sign , it meant they saw me, and it kept people from blinding me with there high beams
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Old 09-28-04, 06:28 PM   #377
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I think this is a cool pic , so I'm posting it .
that is me , like you really can see me
riding down a frozen swamp , thank goodness for studded tires



But here is my Hemet set up from last year ( before I broke the Helmet at 24hrs of adrenilin)
the LED lamp ( 25 LEDS at the time ) and the 20 watt Halogen MR16 in a track lighting housing . both attached with Velcro Straps and Zip Ties , maybe a little duct tape.
and fianlly a little Head lamp 5 LED powered by 3 AAA's .
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Old 09-28-04, 08:39 PM   #378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollo_ollo
"i.e. lights cost more than the bike "
Not hard to do if you buy the bike at a thrift store or yard sale!
I got my Moto Grand Touring (very clean) from Yellow bikes. They charge $25 per bike.

Heck, I paid almost that much for my new battery!

I might go in Thursday to buy another cheap (but magnificent) bike, just to build my arsenal (I'll have to modify my light system to be transferable.)

(Back to regularly scheduled programming...)
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Old 09-29-04, 06:16 AM   #379
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Quemazon, irritating drivers with a light has more to do with the angle at which you direct it. If you have it aimed too far out front it will be shining directly in the eyes of onecoming drivers. Just point it down so that the main part of the beam is directed just a few yards in front of you. It will still be quite visible to oncoming drivers without being blinding.

LED MR16 replacement bulb. Well, I got my 48-LED MR16 replacement and tried. I am underwhelmed. It does produce quite a bit of light, but the light is too diffuse. It makes more of a smudge of light than a beam. This particular bulb seems to use pretty vanilla LEDs, ie they may not be "high intensity". The beam of my Cateye EL300 (5 LEDs) seems slightly brighter, but the beam is extremely tight. It is hard to say which puts out "more" light. I took the 48 LED bulb out after one morning ride.
FWIW,
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Old 09-29-04, 08:26 AM   #380
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Originally Posted by RainmanP
LED MR16 replacement bulb. Well, I got my 48-LED MR16 replacement and tried. I am underwhelmed. It does produce quite a bit of light, but the light is too diffuse. It makes more of a smudge of light than a beam. This particular bulb seems to use pretty vanilla LEDs, ie they may not be "high intensity". The beam of my Cateye EL300 (5 LEDs) seems slightly brighter, but the beam is extremely tight. It is hard to say which puts out "more" light. I took the 48 LED bulb out after one morning ride.
FWIW,
Raymond
that is what I was afraid of . I have a SImilar problem , and that is using the High in tensity LED's With in about 10-15 feet it is great after that it just is not a beam. That is why WHen I use that I use it for the Close stuff ( aimed atthe road/trail Right in front of me ) and let the Halogen with the Spot beam go for a the farther distance ?


On that note:
the MR-16's generally come in 3 differnt beam ( at least for the 20watters) configuations
12 degree Spot
20 Degree
38 degree flood


what do most of you use ?
I tend to like the 12 degree spot.

I might have the actually numbers wrong , bit I do know it is spot , middle , flood .
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Old 09-29-04, 08:30 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by splat
I I have also seen the MR-16 LED replacement bulbs any one try those.
Iíve been experimenting with these: http://superbrightleds.com/MR16_specs.htm.
Specifically the MR16-WLX LUXEON LED BULBS. Iíve had the Ď1 watt: 25 Degree Beam pattern - 5500K Correlated Color Temperature - 210ma current draw @ 12 VDCí since late last winter. It isnít quite bright enough to ride 20mph in total darkness, but works ok at slower speeds.. I recently bought the Ď3 watt: 45 Degree Beam pattern - 5500K Correlated Color Temperature - 300ma current draw @ 12 VDCí. I havenít tested it in the dark yet. I did do a runtime test. I was able to run both bulbs at the same time for 3.75 hours full strength and another 15 minutes with some fade. I decided to stop the test in order to keep from running my batteries clear down. (I run 12 AAs).

I should add that the company (superbrightleds) told me these were not intended for outdoor use, but I thought I would try anyway. I rode once in a heavy snow last winter and many times in rain throughout the summer with no problem. I did put small pieces of tape over the little holes on the front of the light in order to keep water from getting in.
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Old 09-29-04, 09:08 AM   #382
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I started out thinking that the tight spots, 8 or 12 degrees, was the way to go. The throw a nice tight beam out front with some light to the side. Then one morning I needed to swerve just a couple of feet to the right to avoid something and almost hit something else that had not been illuminated at all by the tight beam. I put in a 36 degree flood and realized that it seems to have just as good light out front and really gives me a more comfortable feeling about what lurks out to the sides. These are 35W Solux and 20W draw/35W light equivalent Phillips energy saver MR16. I really like both of these bulbs. The Solux is a very white light intended to produce true colors in museum art displays. I prefer its light to the Phillips, but the Phillips does have the advantage of the lower draw. The Solux lamps are about $6 and the Phillips about $10, vs $3-4 for a standard MR16, but I consider both well worth the exrtra money, especially when you consider that either should last for years.
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Old 09-29-04, 09:49 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I got my Moto Grand Touring (very clean) from Yellow bikes. They charge $25 per bike.

Heck, I paid almost that much for my new battery!

I might go in Thursday to buy another cheap (but magnificent) bike, just to build my arsenal (I'll have to modify my light system to be transferable.)

(Back to regularly scheduled programming...)
And with oil now at $50/barrel here in the USA, we can just about justify any purchase. MAW-HAW-HAW-HAW...Don't know about you, but I'm sitting pretty with my fam how that gas prices are so high.-Virginia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainman
...started out thinking that the tight spots, 8 or 12 degrees, was the way to go... I needed to swerve just a couple of feet to the right to avoid something and almost hit something else...36 degree flood...seems to have just as good light out front ...
Ray,
Guess it would depend where you're riding. If you're on a mt Bike trail, or bike lane the narrow angle is the way to go. But if you're on the street, you need to see the whole lane and maybe a little extra. Not all 36 degree floods will give the same result. The reflector is probably giving a crisp view up close and then fanning out the light for distance.

Last edited by vrkelley; 09-29-04 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 09-29-04, 09:58 AM   #384
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Hi, please help me chose the correct lighting setup. As I posted earlier, I bought a nice little 55W setup from Autozone, but I think I will return it. The main beam is a very tight and very bright spot that drowns out everything around it. I also tried standing back quite aways, and it seemed pretty bright for oncomming traffic.

I have an MR11 (bulb only) that is 20W and 38* beem. The lighting is a lot more even, but I want something a little brighter. So, I'm thinking I'll use a 35W bulb.

The remaining questions are, what size should I use (MR11 or MR16) and what beam angle? For those of you who went with MR11 setups, do you wish you would have gone with MR16? (or vise versa).

Does anyone have a beam angle that they are particularly pleased with?

I've read through this thread and also the nordicgroup site and have a pretty good idea of what I want. I'd just like some opinions from everyone here who has been experimenting recently.

As for the rest of my setup, I have just ordered a flasher and horn from allelectronics, and I have 4.5Ah and 7.2Ah SLA batteries for the powerplant (haven't decided which one to use yet). My commute is only about 20 min. to work and 12min. back. For a charger, I'll use a power wheels wall wart (They work great, BTW). I purchased my 7.2Ah batteries from www.bgmicro.com for $6 each, but now they are $15. Still a decent price, though.

Anyway, thanks for all of your infor so far.
Nathan
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Old 09-29-04, 10:08 AM   #385
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So, VR, can I tell my wife you gave me permission to buy a new bike?
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Old 09-29-04, 12:40 PM   #386
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So, VR, can I tell my wife you gave me permission to buy a new bike?
LittleBigMan's getting the new bike. We'll have to learn from the best on this one!

-V
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Old 09-29-04, 01:13 PM   #387
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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
You can overvolt them as much as 20% and it'll shorten the life of the bulb. There are several links earlier in this thread that discuss the details.

Last edited by vrkelley; 09-29-04 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 09-30-04, 01:09 AM   #388
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vrkelley, I know you can overvolt more or less as much as you like and bulb life shortens accordingly. I have also read the recommendation of 20% being an acceptable trade-off, hence my original idea of using 7,2V instead of 6V.

What I was asking about is if people actually follow the 20% rule of thumb - OhiOH for one does not - and whether they use nominal voltage or measured voltage to estimate. I am sorry if I was not clear in my question.

--J
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Old 09-30-04, 06:31 AM   #389
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I use a 20W MR16 "spot" (not sure the degrees), and find it quite adequate. Last night I added an amber xenon flasher from All Electronics ($8) and built a little power distribution point with a couple of switches. It's all working well. I really like the strobe. It's bright enough to be quite noticable without being obnoxious.

The only problem is that I'm using a lead-acid cell that's only 2.3 AH. I foolishly thought that dividing AH by amps would get me hours of runtime. Well, lead-acid cells taper their voltage off pretty badly as they discharge, so even with 1.6A draw and 2.3 AH, by 40 minutes the headlight is pretty orange.

Tomorrow I'm shopping for a 4AH battery, and I'll pick up another charger for at work; gonna need it when it's dark BOTH ways this winter.

Here's the battery charger I use. It's designed to be attached permanently to motorcycle or other batteries, and can be left attached indefinitely. It charges fast but then kicks into maintainance mode so it doesn't overcharge. It says $40 but I've gotten them for about $26 from local discount stores. Wally world probably has something like this.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/P.../p-894/c-10111
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Old 09-30-04, 07:28 AM   #390
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I just got a new 7 Ah SLA battery from Zbattery for $13.87, plus a new plug and forget charger. I will be mounting my old 5 Ah SLA to my wife's bike for her 10 mile round trip--I am hoping we will only have to recharge both batteries at night.

I have been pondering how to add turn signal lights, plus a good brake light to my bike. I think I have found a good source for cheap LED lights, but I have not figured out exactly how to mount the switches for both the turn lights and to actuate the brake light. I admit the brake light is not all that necessary, but I think the turn lights, especially when waiting at a intersection, would be most helpful. I would appreciate any comments on how to mount switches on handlebars.
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Old 09-30-04, 12:53 PM   #391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juha

What I was asking about is if people actually follow the 20% rule of thumb - OhiOH for one does not - and whether they use nominal voltage or measured voltage to estimate. I am sorry if I was not clear in my question.

--J
Juha,
On my other light I overvolted by 15% with no problems (just going by the packaged ratings). It worked fine and the housing did not melt.

For those just thinking building your own lights. Here are 2 previously posted URLs that are pretty handy...
http://www.myra-simon.com/bike/lights.html#overvolting
http://nordicgroup.us/s78/#Myths%20a...ting%20Systems

Last edited by vrkelley; 09-30-04 at 01:16 PM. Reason: posting URLs
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Old 09-30-04, 01:13 PM   #392
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John,
Consider going with a 5 AH sla. They are practically the same size and weight as the 4 AH. As MapTester mentions, ZBattery.com is an excellent source. Look at the 1000ma charger. They are inexpensive and work great. I like that they have a red LED for "Charging" and green for "Charged". With the green LED lit there is still a trickle charge that keeps the battery topped off without overcharging.
Regards,
Raymond

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ridley
I use a 20W MR16 "spot" (not sure the degrees), and find it quite adequate. Last night I added an amber xenon flasher from All Electronics ($8) and built a little power distribution point with a couple of switches. It's all working well. I really like the strobe. It's bright enough to be quite noticable without being obnoxious.

The only problem is that I'm using a lead-acid cell that's only 2.3 AH. I foolishly thought that dividing AH by amps would get me hours of runtime. Well, lead-acid cells taper their voltage off pretty badly as they discharge, so even with 1.6A draw and 2.3 AH, by 40 minutes the headlight is pretty orange.

Tomorrow I'm shopping for a 4AH battery, and I'll pick up another charger for at work; gonna need it when it's dark BOTH ways this winter.

Here's the battery charger I use. It's designed to be attached permanently to motorcycle or other batteries, and can be left attached indefinitely. It charges fast but then kicks into maintainance mode so it doesn't overcharge. It says $40 but I've gotten them for about $26 from local discount stores. Wally world probably has something like this.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/P.../p-894/c-10111
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Old 09-30-04, 01:31 PM   #393
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Splat,

Cool light setups! What sort of light director did you use on this lens to control the beam?
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Old 09-30-04, 02:56 PM   #394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juha
What I was asking about is if people actually follow the 20% rule of thumb - OhiOH for one does not - and whether they use nominal voltage or measured voltage to estimate.
--J
I do use 20% if you go by the voltage listed on the battery. 12 AAs should be 14.4, but they sure test higher than that after a full charge.
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Old 10-01-04, 06:00 AM   #395
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Quemazon,
Check out this website.

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

I have tried both the QH-7CC and QH-8CC, 7 is chrome plated metal, 8 is a sturdy plastic. Otherwise similar and both work fine. Just depends on whether you want a chrome look or a black look. I have not found them locally, but Optronics will sell them to you if you give them a call. Either costs only about 15 for a PAIR, and both use MR16 lamps. They come with 50W lamps, but I put in either a 35W Solux or the 20W draw/35W light Phillips energy saver. To me these lamps make it hard to justify trying to design your own housing. They are fairly small, inexpensive and come with a mounting bolt. You just have to make or buy a simple clamp of some sort to attach them to.
Regards,
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Old 10-04-04, 09:44 AM   #396
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Yesterday, I bought the bracket and made the switch and bracket for the front light similar to MapTester's drawing. But some of that waterproofing liquid "electric tape" dripped on the waterproof boot switch and melted a small hole in it. There goes $5.

Having trouble finding LEDs wtih min LED and MAX reflector + refractive housing (like the a car tail light). The ones on the school bus, seem like are ONLY LEDs with a cover.

The current VISTA has a great reflector. It'd be cool to wire some VISTAs or CatEyes in parrellel but there seems to be no way to make a home-made brackets that'll hold up.The MFG bracket is on it's last leg after just 500 miles.
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Old 10-04-04, 01:02 PM   #397
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VR: try giving the vistalight customer service people a call. I did this a few years ago to request a new bracket for one of the two lights that came with a "night stick" system. One bracket broke during installation when I stupidly overtightened it. I called them, fessed up & asked for a new bracket. they sent me a complete new light assembly! No charge. Can't hurt to ask. Don
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Old 10-04-04, 05:49 PM   #398
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OK ,

Now Battery Charging. I have been charging my Ni-cad cells for years using a Basic Trickle charger. A couple of years ago I moved up to a "RC Car" Quick Battery charger.

well My Ni-cad (6 Packs ) Cells are 15 + years Old I started with 40 I'm down to 15.

so I have come up with this great Idea of Making a Peak Charger.

What I have done So far:
I had an Old 386 mother board in the basement , I attached a Power supply ,FLoppy drive, Video , HArd drive and a MetraByte DAS-4 A/D Board .
I installed DOS 6.22 on it . Installed the DAS4 software, now it can act as an 8 Channel +/-5 Volt Voltmeter , the demo software hasa stripchart recorded.
next I added a Big power supply , Using a Voltage divider I attached it to a Volatge Channel , Next I put a 2 ohn 20 watt Resistor in series and attached it to the AD and and finshed the circuit with the Battery. now I can Watch the Voltage ( and Amperage) as the Battery charges. The AD card also has some IO ports I plan to hook a relay up to them to turn power on and off.

Right now it is all Manual , next I need to programm the compouter to turn the power on and aoff , monitor the time and Current going into the batter y ( so I can Determine how much charge each cell contains after charing. and when The battery Pack has reached Peak Charge.

Long term I plan to take some of my Older Battery packs that have one or 2 dead chells take them apart and charge Battery cells indivually to Make Pcks of Matched cells.

Thoughts ?
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Old 10-04-04, 06:24 PM   #399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splat
OK ,

Now Battery Charging. I have been charging my Ni-cad cells for years using a Basic Trickle charger. A couple of years ago I moved up to a "RC Car" Quick Battery charger.

well My Ni-cad (6 Packs ) Cells are 15 + years Old I started with 40 I'm down to 15.

so I have come up with this great Idea of Making a Peak Charger.

What I have done So far:
I had an Old 386 mother board in the basement , I attached a Power supply ,FLoppy drive, Video , HArd drive and a MetraByte DAS-4 A/D Board .
I installed DOS 6.22 on it . Installed the DAS4 software, now it can act as an 8 Channel +/-5 Volt Voltmeter , the demo software hasa stripchart recorded.
next I added a Big power supply , Using a Voltage divider I attached it to a Volatge Channel , Next I put a 2 ohn 20 watt Resistor in series and attached it to the AD and and finshed the circuit with the Battery. now I can Watch the Voltage ( and Amperage) as the Battery charges. The AD card also has some IO ports I plan to hook a relay up to them to turn power on and off.

Right now it is all Manual , next I need to programm the compouter to turn the power on and aoff , monitor the time and Current going into the batter y ( so I can Determine how much charge each cell contains after charing. and when The battery Pack has reached Peak Charge.

Long term I plan to take some of my Older Battery packs that have one or 2 dead chells take them apart and charge Battery cells indivually to Make Pcks of Matched cells.

Thoughts ?
Iím jealous. Youíre a genius.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:45 PM   #400
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Iím jealous. Youíre a genius.
I guess it takes one to know one.

I confess he lost me after the part where he said, "What I have done So far:"

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