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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #601
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    Quote Originally Posted by jab
    Oh, no! The Geekiness has spread!

    My roomie just geeked up his bike with an absurdly powerful LED taillight, accompanied by a flasher circuit with a brake switch sensor. Attached are some pictures.

    620nm at ~3.5W: it's what's for dinner!

    Covering my eyes,

    JAB
    I love the threading job he did with the zip ties:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...chmentid=20615

  2. #602
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    Now that I have replaced the strobe that I could not get to work with a beehive amber LED, I've turned my attention to the front light. I got a 3W Luxeon emitter (100 degree spread) from http://www.superbrightleds.com/MR16_specs.htm . However, when I put it in the Optronics housing it was a bit too long. I went to Home Depot and tried to fit it into every plumbing device I encountered, including some shower heads. Finally, I remembered reading about a home-built light using a Mag-lite as a housing. This is a total theft of idea, and it doesn't come up when I Google on "Mag-lite" + "bike light". My apologies to the brilliant author of the idea. (http://krabach.info/bike_light/bike_light.htm also uses a Mag-lite, but not quite so elegently.) Basically you screw off the head of the Mag-lite, then take the lens cover off and discard the reflector & bulb, save the lens. Pull the MR16 base out of the Optronics housing, insert the MR16 bulb into the base, then drop the bulb & base thru the front of the Mag-light, put the lens back on and replace the lens bezel. Now you take the handle that you removed from the Maglite head and hacksaw off the excess front end (yup, you are going to waste the switch and nice threaded end. For my light the tail end about 1/4 inch short of the knurled grip was about right. Slide the tail end into the head. I first tried to slide a strip of old inner tube over the joint to hold it together but couldn't, however the struggle gave me a good friction fit which I sealed with silicon tape. Next I took one of the many quick bar clamps I have lying around, messiness is usually rewarded, filed off the dog ears that were meant to hold a light base, ran zip ties thru and then snugged them up of the amputated handle. Hopefully, attached photos will help you see what is done. The resulting light is not light, 9 oz, but pretty neat looking on my bike.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  3. #603
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    Wait a minute, That looks like mine! See it at: WWW.TOURDEPANTS.COM
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  4. #604
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    It Wasn't A New Idea When I Did It Either.
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  5. #605
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I never said it was a new idea, I first saw it 3 or 4 years ago on the web, but Googling didn't turn it up again, so I couldn't give an attribution, which I thought I explained. I missed yours if you posted here, sorry.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  6. #606
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Total Geekdom...
    No worries

  7. #607
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Here's 50 (fifty) watts and about 55 min. run time..

  8. #608
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    Wait Jean, I think you've got me all wrong... I wasn't saying it was my Idea at all, I was only thinking of a cleaver way to say ME TOO! I Hope I didn't offened you. Have a great Ride!
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  9. #609
    But I'm saving $ on gas! OhiOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Beetham Smith
    I got a 3W Luxeon emitter (100 degree spread) from http://www.superbrightleds.com/MR16_specs.htm . However, when I put it in the Optronics housing it was a bit too long.
    I ran into this problem as well. I drilled out the hole in the back of the Optronics housing. It doesn’t look real nice, but works. Your Mag light setup looks professional.

    How do you like 100 degree spread?

    I bought the 45 degree and am pretty happy with it. Currently I am running Superbright’s 3 watt (45 degree) and 1 watt (25 degree) .
    Last edited by OhiOH; 01-09-05 at 09:28 AM.
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  10. #610
    But I'm saving $ on gas! OhiOH's Avatar
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    Hello folks, just thought I’d give an update on some changes that have evolved in my system over the past year. My initial design can be found starting on post #173.

    There are three changes of significance:

    Changed from halogen to LEDs
    I have posts about my Superbright LEDs elsewhere on this thread. After using them throughout the darkest month of the year, I can report my satisfaction. If they made a 5 watt I would buy it and replace my 1 watt (I am running a 1 and a 3), a few more lumens would be nice. But I’m getting about 5 hours (2.5 round trips) from a charge of 12 AAs and that aint bad. By the way, I wrote Superbright and asked them if I could/should use their bulbs like I am and they said absolutely not. But I used them at the tail end of last winter (1 major snow) and all this fall/winter (2 snows and I swear it has been raining for weeks) without problem.

    Improved mounting bracket:
    I ditched my original light mounting bracket and cannibalized the one off my NightRider system. The mounting bracket on my Digital Pro was the best part of the entire system. Easy on, easy off, can fit on any bike in seconds.

    Improved battery container
    My original battery container worked ok, but it wasn’t real fast/easy to get on and off. I went with a water bottle setup using a wide mouthed bottle I could fit my original PVC (pipe bomb) setup into. Works great.

    All in all, the combination of AAs and LEDs works well for me. I have two battery packs built up and carry the spare in my bag. On one occasion I did forget my spare and ran low on power, I stopped at the local ‘Stop and Rob’ and picked up 12 disposables. The light is adequate for me to see and fantastic to be seen, especially when I have that 3 watt flashing. With my NightRider mounting bracket and water bottle battery pack, I can change bikes in minutes.

    Thanks to all the posters on this thread. I love seeing everyone’s ideas, the ingenuity is amazing!
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  11. #611
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Beetham Smith
    Finally, I remembered reading about a home-built light using a Mag-lite as a housing. This is a total theft of idea, and it doesn't come up when I Google on "Mag-lite" + "bike light". The resulting light is not light, 9 oz, but pretty neat looking on my bike.
    Oh so cool. Well it doesn't matter who's idea it was, it's in YOUR bike and you actually made a custom light for your own riding requirements and probably saved a few $$$ too!! Ultra-cool!

  12. #612
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    have any of you guys tried making a light out of those million candle light spot lights like these? http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...gki.0&MID=9876
    would it work? any idea? thinking of modifing one of those... any tips and such for a newbie like me?

  13. #613
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Jean and others who have tried the Superbrightleds 3W Luxeon MR16, what seems to be the problem with fitting this lamp into the Optronics light? Is it simply a matter of being a bit too long? Also, those of you who have had experience with halogen lights, how would you rate the 3W Luxeon's output in comparison to halogen. Equivalent to 10W? 15W?

    I keep looking at those rechargable spots. You can usually get a 500,000 or 750,000 for about $10. The only reason I haven't picked one up to try is that I am having trouble visualizing a sturdy, stable mount. It's one thing to clip on one of the lightweight Optronics lights; it's another to deal with a big chunk with the added weight of the battery. I suppose it would be lighter to use one of the kind with a 12V lighter plug that I could just plug into my battery box; the integral switch would simplify things. Those things are EXTREMELY powerful. You really would have to be careful to keep the beam aimed low so as not to irritate or blind oncoming vehicles.
    Last edited by RainmanP; 01-10-05 at 07:24 AM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  14. #614
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    yea.. that was my biggest problem.. trying a way to mount that thing. i thought some of you guys did it so i could get some ideas..

  15. #615
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I choose the 3w luxeon in the 100 degree spread pattern, knowing that I was sacrificing "throw" for width. I chose to do that for two reasons: I'm old enough that my eyes don't adapt well to the dark outside that restricted little spot I was getting with my 10W halogen spots. Also, I have the sneaky feeling that my spot light doesn't make me all that visible to cars that aren't straight ahead. I would say that the 100 degree spread pattern light is about equivalent to a 5 to 6W halogen spot, but much wider. Given that the 1W nighthawk emitter is as bright as my 10W halogen, I think that if I had chosen a narrower angle it it would easily be as bright as my 15W halogen. As it is, with the 3W on, the spot of the 10W halogen gets lost. I really had meant this to be more of a running light or "be seen" light but I'm finding it pretty comfortable to ride with, as long as I use my helmet 1W also.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  16. #616
    But I'm saving $ on gas! OhiOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Jean and others who have tried the Superbrightleds 3W Luxeon MR16, what seems to be the problem with fitting this lamp into the Optronics light? Is it simply a matter of being a bit too long? Also, those of you who have had experience with halogen lights, how would you rate the 3W Luxeon's output in comparison to halogen. Equivalent to 10W? 15W?
    RainmanP you ask for it you got it,

    “Also, those of you who have had experience with halogen lights, how would you rate the 3W Luxeon's output in comparison to halogen. Equivalent to 10W? 15W?”

    I swapped out my 1w LED and put in a 20w Halogen spot (I don’t have a 15w). Took the obligatory pictures, got my @ss out of bed early enough to be sure I was riding in the dark all the way this morning with one Optronics fitted with the LED and the other with the halogen.. The results are in.

    I think the 3w LED 24 degree beam is equal to a 20w spot halogen. As you know the colors are different so it is somewhat a matter of preference, but they are so close as far as being able to see the road/path it is a tossup. One thing I found interesting was: if I had the halogen on and turned the LED on (both lights burning), I could see a difference/improvement, but if I had the LED on and turned the halogen on there was no perceptible difference. Again, this may be simply due to color. I took some pictures, but they are too big to upload.

    “what seems to be the problem with fitting this lamp into the Optronics light? Is it simply a matter of being a bit too long?”

    Yes, it is the length. You may be able to see my solution on the last picture I posted above. I just cut of the ceramic thingy and attached a copper connector that slips over the bulb pin. Then I drilled the hole in the backjust a bit bigger.

    I think I’m going to get a 3w 100 degree on Jean’s suggestion and replace my 1w.
    You can go somewhere to bike or you can bike to go somewhere.
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  17. #617
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    Where do I get the L.E.D. 3-watt 100 degree MR 16? It seems like it would last almost seven times as long on the same battery as my 20 watt halogen. Would this be a correct assumption?
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  18. #618
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Ritz, look up the page a few posts. Jean has a link to the site.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  19. #619
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    Oops! Thanks RainmanP.
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  20. #620
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    What a wonderful thread, so much info and so many creative ideas! My winter project is to build a lighting system for my Speedmachine. Two systems, actually -- running lights and a headlight. The running lights will be a permanent part of the bike and will comprise turn signals, a tail light and brake light. The headlight system will be removable so I can take it off when I don't need it.

    I'm still making the preliminary design decisions right now and will post as I progress.

  21. #621
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Okay, this makes me want to go out and get a 3W Luxeon bulb and replace the 10W bulb in my headlight. I'll have a brighter headlight and lower battery usage - winning combination!
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  22. #622
    Long Live Long Rides
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    OK, just a little geekiness. The LED isn't as bright as I hoped. I found another one that may be brighter. The battery fit great between the rack front and the seat stays. I've had this battery for about 3 years (6V, 5AHr Lead Acid). It's getting a little old. I'll probably replace it this spring,
    Jharte
    Touring...therapy for the soul.

  23. #623
    Long Live Long Rides
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    The switches were fun. I found out the LED like power only one direction - just like diodes (duh!). I had to rewire to send power from the bottom of the bulb and exit the side.
    Jharte
    Touring...therapy for the soul.

  24. #624
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    Okay, this makes me want to go out and get a 3W Luxeon bulb and replace the 10W bulb in my headlight.
    If I remember correctly (always a big "if" at my age) you are running NiteHawk Duals. Those bulbs are physically smaller than the MR16 Luxeon's I found so you can't do a direct swap. I've used the NiteHawk Duals since 2000, and have found them to be reasonably good lights at a very economical price. My 3wLuxeon was $56, plus $20 for the Optronics lamps that I used for the base only, plus $15 for the Mag-lite that I chopped down, and $20 for the battery pack and charger. So for $111 I've built a long running system, then add the $35 tailight, and $24 for the fork mounted marker lights, and $12 for the car horn and button and we reach a total of $182. At least in my hands, home-made does not equal economical.
    Nor is it as light weight as a commercial system. With 2 SLA batteries, and my emergency winter gear, my winter commuter weighs in at 57 lbs (yes, 25.9 kg). I try to think of it as training for touring, but I need to tour for that to be real.
    Help grow the future of cycling in the world. Volunteer at your local "earn-a-bike" program. In the Boston area http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/about

  25. #625
    Long Live Long Rides
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    With all the stuff I have on my commuter, I try not to think of the weight. To add salt to injury, I carry a 3 lb laptop to work every day. It is comfy, though. I also tour with it. And it's paid for!
    Jharte
    Touring...therapy for the soul.

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