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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #501
    Regular ol' schmo ericmorin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Be sure that whatever setup you arrive at is waterproof. Condensation and simple downpours can lead to interesting results!
    I'm still getting the final kwerks out for waterproofing.. as a whole everying is water-tight.. i siliconed shut the waterbottles and the cords. the only thing I haven't figured out is the seal around the lamp. The o-rings I got aren't too happy when they get heated up so I gotta find a new approach. I'm thinking that I might be able to put an even bead of 100% silicone around the end.. but i'd just like to find a high-temp o-ring

  2. #502
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericmorin
    I'm still getting the final kwerks out for waterproofing.. as a whole everying is water-tight.. i siliconed shut the waterbottles and the cords. the only thing I haven't figured out is the seal around the lamp. The o-rings I got aren't too happy when they get heated up so I gotta find a new approach. I'm thinking that I might be able to put an even bead of 100% silicone around the end.. but i'd just like to find a high-temp o-ring
    Try http://www.sisweb.com/vacuum/o-rings/oring.htm for some high-temp o-rings. I was looking earlier, this looks like a decent place.
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  3. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    Those black rods are called "Space Grips" that I got from Bike Nashbar - URL is http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename= for the "new and improved" version. They're $9.95 US each. Before I had that, I was simply velcroing the lights (on the pipe) to the handlebars. That didn't work so well, because they kept tilting down making it impossible to be seen.
    Becca,
    Do those black grip mounting bars come in pairs? About How much does the set weigh?

  4. #504
    Regular ol' schmo ericmorin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    Try http://www.sisweb.com/vacuum/o-rings/oring.htm for some high-temp o-rings. I was looking earlier, this looks like a decent place.
    Thanks.. I'm also trying to find them locally here too. shipping and handling charges are killing my costs-savings on stuff!

  5. #505
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Becca,
    Do those black grip mounting bars come in pairs? About How much does the set weigh?
    Nope, those grips are sold individually. I have no clue how much they weigh; can't be much though... maybe an ounce or less?
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  6. #506
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericmorin
    Thanks.. I'm also trying to find them locally here too. shipping and handling charges are killing my costs-savings on stuff!
    Save your money...You may be able to make your own o'ring from a flat sheet of rubber or a thick rubber band. Home Depot sells the sheets.

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    Has anyone tried building their own HID lights? From what I've read, they require a little more knowlege than usual, due to the ballast bit. I guess that they will be more expensive than a halogen setup, but can you build them cheaper than buy them? And is it even worth it? Some of the setups people have listed here, and on other istes seem to be pretty good from the reports. Is it even worth the extra hastle and expense for HID units?

  8. #508
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I explored this a bit several months ago. The problem is that you have to buy a HID ballast to drive the lamps. You quickly find out that that is where the expense of HID lights comes from. The ballasts alone seem to all cost at least $125-150. I decided that it defeated my whole purpose to get involved with an expensive, hard-to-obtain part. I suppose you could build a HID for under $200. Unless you really know what you are doing it seems like an expensive gamble to lay out those big bucks for one part that you will not be able to return.

    When it gets right down to it the main benefit of HID is that you get brighter light and longer run time with a lower power draw which means you can use a smaller battery. I decided that I could come very close to HID with a Phillips energy saver bulb MR16 halogen lamp producing 35W equivalent light for 20 draw and get over 2 hours of run time from a not-too-heavy 5ah sealed lead acid battery. On a second bike I have duplicated HID light with a 35W Solux high color temperature ("natural light"/very white) MR16. I use a slightly heavier 7ah sla with this lamp. A 5ah provides just under 1 hr of run time, but I prefer not to draw the battery that hard.

    I do remember coming across some sites that discussed building HID lights for scuba diving and spelunking.

    Are you in Glasgow, Scotland?
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    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  9. #509
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Save your money...You may be able to make your own o'ring from a flat sheet of rubber or a thick rubber band. Home Depot sells the sheets.
    I was just at Lowe's last evening, looking for an O-ring to fix my Innovations Second Wind IH. I had looked at Home Depot before, and terribly disappointed in how things are layed out in that store. At Lowe's, it literally took me from the time I walked in the door, to go to the plumbing aisle, to finding the O-ring/gasket section, to using the selector sheet to pulling a packet off the shelf - all told, probably three minutes. At Home Depot, I never did find an O-ring that satisfied my mind.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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  10. #510
    Regular ol' schmo ericmorin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glasgow Biker
    Has anyone tried building their own HID lights? From what I've read, they require a little more knowlege than usual, due to the ballast bit. I guess that they will be more expensive than a halogen setup, but can you build them cheaper than buy them? And is it even worth it? Some of the setups people have listed here, and on other istes seem to be pretty good from the reports. Is it even worth the extra hastle and expense for HID units?

    I researched that approach but found the electronics parts to support an HID system starts to make a home-brew kit really expensive. If you really wanted spend some money for researching lights for building kits, investigate Luxeon V Star "Portable version" LEDs for your lamp. I'm researching those right now and a $30 Luxeon star can pump out about as much light as one 15-20 watt halogen, so a couple of those can really give a HID lamp a run for their money for less the price of a ballast, but also have some serious run-times.

  11. #511
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glasgow Biker
    Has anyone tried building their own HID lights? From what I've read, they require a little more knowlege than usual, due to the ballast bit. I guess that they will be more expensive than a halogen setup, but can you build them cheaper than buy them? And is it even worth it? Some of the setups people have listed here, and on other istes seem to be pretty good from the reports. Is it even worth the extra hastle and expense for HID units?

    I looked into it and found it to be quite expensive.

    Here is a Good article about it .

    http://members.misty.com/don/minihid.html

    all the Light Manufactures actually use the same Single source for the Bulbs and Ballast , Solarc
    http://www.solarc.net/docs/products_bike.html

    and here is a Spot you can Buy Them
    http://www.walamp.com/lpd/markets/po...=9943960361230

  12. #512
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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I kinda knew it wasn't worth it, but just wanted to see if it would be possible. I think I'll just stick with the halogen sytem I was planning on building.

    oh, RainmanP, It is Glasgow, Scotland that I live. Have you been here before?

  13. #513
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the Luxeon V's have much smaller lifetimes than the Luxeon I's and III's.
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  14. #514
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    Keep in mind that the Luxeon V's have much smaller lifetimes than the Luxeon I's and III's.
    I barely know the luxeons exist; care to give a crash-course in these things?
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  15. #515
    Regular ol' schmo ericmorin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    I barely know the luxeons exist; care to give a crash-course in these things?
    The Luxeon Star I, III and V are sort of a surface-mount LED light that are "damn bright" the Luxeon I emits about 1-watt of light and is the light-source used in the popular Planet Bike SuperSpot light and I think the Cateye EL-500 Opticube.

    The Luxeon III is a 3-watt emitter that pumps out about 60-lumens of light, and is comporable to a 10-watt halogen under the right conditions.. This is the light source used in the expensive Light&Motion Vega system.

    I think an excellent, excellent light project would be to replace the emitter from the Planet-bike or Cateye with a Luxeon III.. that would be a "damn bright" bike light.

    The maker of Luxeons also have a Luxeon V that is really "damn bright" that pumps out about 120 lumens, but as said before it has a shorter lifespan than the Luxeon IIIs and needs to be cooled pretty good. I don't know of any bike-lights made with a Luxeon V but you can buy several handheld flashlights on the internet made from these around the $80-100 range.

    On the LimeLeds website, the maker of Luxeons, I have see literature on a Luxeon V "Portable" variant that is supposed to have a lifespan and durability of the Luxeon IIIs and aren't as hot. but I have yet to find where to buy them. A single Luxeon V costs around $30 on a cheap end (you can find them on ebay!) a piece.

  16. #516
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    You just briefly mentioned the V's that aren't as hot as the III's... I did read someplace that they put out ungodly amounts of heat. Do we need to heatsink them?
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  17. #517
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    All luxeons need some sort of heatsink when operating near full power. Even the "1 Watt" kind get dang hot. (been there, burned my hand on that...) Luxeon III is about the price/brightness sweet spot right now at around $14 for average grade stars, provided you can handle that heat they generate. I run my Luxeon I's at about about 1/2 to 3/4 power in my projects to keep them and their regulators cool and near peak efficiency. I'm not totally pleased with the regulators I have for them so far.
    Last edited by bkrownd; 11-15-04 at 09:34 AM.
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  18. #518
    Regular ol' schmo ericmorin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    You just briefly mentioned the V's that aren't as hot as the III's... I did read someplace that they put out ungodly amounts of heat. Do we need to heatsink them?

    Yeah headsync is necessary. In most circumstances, just flush-mounting the backside of the star-emitter to a solid metal base is sufficient for the I and III.. not sure how much more you need for the Vs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    You just briefly mentioned the V's that aren't as hot as the III's... I did read someplace that they put out ungodly amounts of heat. Do we need to heatsink them?
    the I's and III's can Live with out a Heat sink , They state in the literature that the V requires one.

    I know I got a III off of ebay and I am playing around with it and it quickly gets hot too. but it is bright!!!

  20. #520
    jab
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    This thread makes for some good reading. I've gotten some good ideas from you all; thanks for sharing.

    I posted some info on my geektitude in a seperate thread: Hello, and my "Total Geekiness" entry

    I'm tempted to add some LuxIII-based lighting in lieu of the Nite Hawk halogens I'm using, but hopefully my desire for tinkering has been sated for the time being.

    Speaking of which, Nite Hawk customer service has been great. The charger that came with my lights was messed up. It turned out to have a bad solder joint on the power supply filter capacitor; when it lost contact, the ripples would give the rest of the circuit fits. I called them up, and they shipped me a new one with no trouble. Good folks, at least the guy who helped me! (Mike H.)

    -JAB

  21. #521
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    Jab that is so totally awesome! What is that sort of gel stuff all over the battery indicator?
    Last edited by vrkelley; 11-19-04 at 05:23 AM.

  22. #522
    jab
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Jab that is so totally awesome! What is that sort of gel stuff all over the battery indicator?
    That's epoxy, just some quick-drying stuff that comes in a double-syringe pack from a hardware store. To apply it, I first placed some electrical tape around the edge of the circuit board, perpendicular to the edge, to act as a form. (You know, like when pouring concrete.) Then, I just mixed some of the epoxy and poured it in until the connections were covered and things looked good and sealed.

  23. #523
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    Quote Originally Posted by jab
    That's epoxy, just some quick-drying stuff that comes in a double-syringe pack from a hardware store. To apply it, I first placed some electrical tape around the edge of the circuit board, perpendicular to the edge, to act as a form. (You know, like when pouring concrete.) Then, I just mixed some of the epoxy and poured it in until the connections were covered and things looked good and sealed.
    So... guess there's no problem with heat then?

  24. #524
    jab
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    So... guess there's no problem with heat then?
    Nah. The battery monitor dissipates a negligible amount of power, in the tens of milliwatts. While the ham-fisted design of the flasher probably burns more power than it should with transistor base currents, that portion of the circuit doesn't generate any perceptible heat either. The real concern I had was the heat dissipated in the flasher's driver transistors (Q2 and Q3), but those fellows are rated pretty high for their small size -- 5A continuous collector current, and 750mW heat dissipation -- while the loads on them are pretty light (~150mA for Q2, ~250mA for Q3). Overall, I'm not worried. *touches wood*

    -JAB

  25. #525
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    Jab,
    Maybe I missed this when the low-light indicator goes on...how many amps remain?

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