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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #751
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    Trailhead makes a smart controller that allows you to run a 12v bulb at up to 20v, with 3 power levels, as well as flashing. It's $23.00.

    http://www.trailheadlights.com/lightbrain/order.html
    Nuts this link doesn't appear to work.

  2. #752
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Nuts this link doesn't appear to work.
    After I posted that link I saw this link (http://www.trailheadlights.com/2co_order.html) and realized that they have ceased production. Sorry 'bout that.

  3. #753
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    I wondered about that battery pack of yours, after seeing it in the pictures. It really looks great! But, I want to go with 12v. I've been on 6v since I put my system together, because I have a 12v block generator attached to the back wheel - giving me a functional electrical system. When I got my NiteHawk headlight, I went to strictly charging the battery with the battery charger, so I haven't even used the generator. That being the case, I may as well go to a 12v setup so that I can make use of the automotive industry's lighting systems.


    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    I use an external Lithium-Ion portable DVD player battery. It's a silver block about the size of a softcover novel. The model I have is rated for 9V and 5400 mAh. With that much power, it can (theoretically) run my dual Luxeon emitters at 700mA for about 7.5 hours. Tail and signal lights wouldn't take that much power, you could probably run them on 250mA if you use some clever series/parallel combinations to avoid wasting power on resistors. With 950mA drawn, the battery would (again, theoretically) run for 5.5-6 hours.

    Just go to eBay and do searches for "external portable DVD battery" and other combinations thereof. You can also buy them at Best Buy for more money. You'll find batteries in 7.2V, 9V and 12V variants, with differing mAh ratings. The great thing about these batteries is that they usually have LED charge indicators telling you how much juice is left, and come with both wall and car charger plugs.

    Here, I've done the work for you. These are all identical to the model I have:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...775500023&rd=1
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...776683145&rd=1
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...775696689&rd=1
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  4. #754
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    Any idea of the weight?
    Ummm... maybe half a pound? I can weigh it on a scale, but you'll have to wait until I'm home from work...

    Now this is strange, I can't seem to find any 12V battery packs now. The biggest on eBay is 9.6V. I'm sure I saw a 12V model, if only I could remember where.

  5. #755
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    OK, I found a 12V battery pack:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...35970&tc=photo

    It features a selectable voltage output, I wonder if that could work as a basic lamp dimmer?

    Also, that 9V 5400mAh battery that I use is a little beefier than I thought, it weighs 13.5 ounces (380g).

  6. #756
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    I wondered about that battery pack of yours, after seeing it in the pictures. It really looks great! But, I want to go with 12v. I've been on 6v since I put my system together, because I have a 12v block generator attached to the back wheel - giving me a functional electrical system. When I got my NiteHawk headlight, I went to strictly charging the battery with the battery charger, so I haven't even used the generator. That being the case, I may as well go to a 12v setup so that I can make use of the automotive industry's lighting systems.
    Batteryspace has some that you might find suitable:

    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...ROD&ProdID=166
    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=1494

    They also have Li Ion packs and a lot more. I found them very good to deal with. They also have a moderated forum where you can post questions.

  7. #757
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Excellent! I'll check them out further after I get up this afternoon. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Multibiker
    Batteryspace has some that you might find suitable:

    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...ROD&ProdID=166
    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=1494

    They also have Li Ion packs and a lot more. I found them very good to deal with. They also have a moderated forum where you can post questions.
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  8. #758
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    Not too shabby, but when it comes to electronics, and batteries specifically, I get kinda leery of eBay. I've had good experiences and one or two pretty bad experiences. This time, I'm going to go with Multibiker's idea. Thanks anyway


    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    OK, I found a 12V battery pack:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...35970&tc=photo

    It features a selectable voltage output, I wonder if that could work as a basic lamp dimmer?

    Also, that 9V 5400mAh battery that I use is a little beefier than I thought, it weighs 13.5 ounces (380g).
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Enough of fostering fear.
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  9. #759
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca
    Not too shabby, but when it comes to electronics, and batteries specifically, I get kinda leery of eBay. I've had good experiences and one or two pretty bad experiences. This time, I'm going to go with Multibiker's idea. Thanks anyway
    Sure, no worries. I'd go with multibiker's suggestion, too.

  10. #760
    timbentdude
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    I built up a lighting system with a shumacher emergency car start system. No body had the vector system (Pep Boys and Autozone). The battery fits in my rack pack, I used the 20 watt malibu light. My question is the battery is a 1.3 ah rated Nicad, what is my run time. I have a 14 mile commute one way and my start time at work is 6am. So pretty much in darkness on four lane road.

    Thanks
    Tim

  11. #761
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    I use a SLA Emergency lighting back-up battery. It's pretty small and rated at four amps per hour, It seems to run my 20 watt malibu type light for nearly an hour before there is any noticeable change in light output. Does less amps per hour mean longer or shorter run time? I woul like to know as well. Thanks! 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

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  12. #762
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Some notes about batteries for the previous two posts. Batteries are rated in amp hours, which is so many amps for so many hours. Watts equals amps times volts, so to calculate theoretical run time, take the rating in amp hours, multiply by volts to get watt hours, and divide by the wattage of the bulb to get hours. So in Tim's example, 1.3ah, 12 V, 20 W bulb, we get 12 x 1.3= 15.6 Watt hours, divided by 20 watts = 0.78 hours, or about 45 minutes.

    But -- and it's a big but -- this is the theoretical capacity. The real-world capacity is probably no more than half of that. The big reason is your battery won't last very long if you discharge it all the way. A typical battery might be rated for 10,000 cycles at 5% discharge, 350 cycles at 60% discharge, and 5 cycles at 90% discharge. Also, the rated amp-hours is under the best possible conditions -- the ideal temperature and most efficient load. It's unlikely that you would achieve those conditions in practice.

    So Tim, I wouldn't run that light more than 22 minutes if you want the battery to last.

    Even so, amp hours is a good measure for comparing batteries. The higher, the better.

  13. #763
    timbentdude
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    Thanks DCcommuter I thought I goofed on that battery maybe I'll put a 10 watt bulb in to help me some. I'll start looking for a higher amp hour rated battery. It was a very simple project to play with, LBS lighting system prices are too high for budget.

    Thanks again
    Tim

  14. #764
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Other conditions apply to life of battery, like chemical used for battery and if it is designed for deep cycles. If using a Nicd battery, these batteries need to be cycled (charged and discharged) occasionally to keep them from obtaining a memory. Memory is if you discharge battery 25% each use and recharge, the battery will get conditioned to this cycle. Nimh and Li-po are not supposed to obtain a memory. With a battery designed for deep cycles, I can probably get 75+ recharges at 90% or greater discharge. Also make sure your charger matches your battery type. A slow charge (saturate) gives longer run time, a fast charge produces more voltage (power) but less runtime. Also a fast charge and discharge produces heat, which lowers battery life. OK DC 101 is over! Any questions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by timbentdude
    Thanks DCcommuter I thought I goofed on that battery maybe I'll put a 10 watt bulb in to help me some. I'll start looking for a higher amp hour rated battery. It was a very simple project to play with, LBS lighting system prices are too high for budget.

    Thanks again
    Tim
    Yeah, I would definitely recommend looking for something better than a 1.3Ah ni-cad. That's just about the bottom of the barrel when it comes to rechargeable batteries! Get at least a nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) battery with a rating of 4500mAh (4.5Ah) or more. Lithium is better, but more expensive.

  16. #766
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    Great answers! I have been using a 6V 3W headlight. I use a LA 5AHr battery. My light draws about 1/2 amp/hr. Theoretically I should get 10 hours out of my battery. NOT! I have had my system for quite a while. I chose the lame 3W halogen to get more run time. It really isn't very bright.

    I'm looking at a 12V battery and light set-up now. I also think the NiMh batter is a better choice with the Lithium being the best (but most expensive) battery. I'm still looking at lights.
    Jharte
    Touring...therapy for the soul.

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    Luxeon has just announced newer, brighter white LEDs. Basically, they can handle more current being pumped through them, so they can be brighter. Now, all you need is a 3.5V, 1A supply and a big ol' heatsink for the LED.

  18. #768
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    OK, here's the 2005 model of my geeklight. This is mounted full time on my inclement weather bike.

    This light:



    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...4&storeId=6970

    Attached with this bracket, to the handlbar stem (I took off the metal piece on the bracket):


    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

    I replaced the stock bulb with a 25 watt halogen (LV505) from Home Depot. http://www.foxelectricsupply.com/con...roductNo=LV505

    For the tail light I used this (It's just screwed onto a piece of aluminum angle on the rear rack) :


    http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...-3A&type=store



    The battery is a 2.2 Ah SLA from zbattery.com (http://www.zbattery.com/zbattery/bp2-3-12.html) plus their matching charger (http://www.zbattery.com/zbattery/12bc500d-1.html).

    This setup actually looks pretty slick, almost non-geeky, except for the fact that there's this motorcycle-sized headlight on the front and a forklift light on the back. The front light is nice in that it is well shielded and casts no light backwards. Total cost was about $50, plus about $30 to ship from five different sources, plus wire and connectors I had lying about, plus about a million hours of my time.
    Last edited by DCCommuter; 06-01-05 at 11:03 PM.

  19. #769
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    To be road-legal, I want to put a red LED taillight on my bike, tied into my 12V system. I'd like to use something that is comparable in brightness to an automobile taillight (I consider myself a vehicle). I'm considering something like the model 1284R from www.LED-R-US.com. There's lots of sites that sell LED lights, but I haven't been able to find one that talks about power consumption or brightness ratings. Anyone have any experience with this one or other ones?

    Thanks.

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    Multiply the number of LEDs in the light by 15 or 20. Most LEDs consume a maximum of 20mA, so my multiplying my 20, you will get the worst-case scenario current draw in mA. The voltage rating should be listed with each light, just multiply that voltage by your calculated current and you will find the amount of power it takes to run the lamp. Just make sure you don't mix up A and mA...

    Also, are there any auto supply stores in your area? Most of them will probably have a selection of auxiliary LED tail lights for trucks and trailers. You can at least save on shipping this way, and you'll be able to hold the lamp in your hands BEFORE buying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCCommuter
    To be road-legal, I want to put a red LED taillight on my bike, tied into my 12V system. I'd like to use something that is comparable in brightness to an automobile taillight (I consider myself a vehicle). I'm considering something like the model 1284R from www.LED-R-US.com. There's lots of sites that sell LED lights, but I haven't been able to find one that talks about power consumption or brightness ratings. Anyone have any experience with this one or other ones?

    Thanks.
    I have used the PT-R56 and ST-R61 from http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...?product=TRUCK. They draw about 30 ma. in tail light mode and about 350 ma. in stop light mode. They are very bright on axis and adequately bright off-axis. See msg. #714 Total Geekiness to see the PT-R56 installed on my bike. The LED tail light units use a standard pigtail connector.

    In my next version instead of a tail light unit I will use three red Luxeon Stars with optics that provide a more suitable beam pattern.

  22. #772
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    I am using two of these beehive marker lights (9 LEDs) on back, along with a yellow strobe. They are almost painful to look at directly, and they are quite noticeable off-axis. I got mine from AutoZone or Pep Boys for about $10 each. To mount them I epoxy a bolt and the wiring pigtail on--I just duct tape around the light to make a form and fill it with a whole package of quick set epoxy glue.

    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  23. #773
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    OK, here we go, at long last the pictures of my bike light.

    Click here for the photos!

    There are eight of them, each is 250K, so I can't post them here.

    Cool light, eh?
    I use one of those same lights for my main light, but I use NiMH AAAs and recharge after 2 trips (I have 1.5 hour commute each way, back home in the dark). One thing that I like about them is they are focusable. Oh, and I also redid the terrible soldering job (dunno what they used for solder, sure wasn't anywhere close to eutectic) and insulated the bottom of the diode from the PCB. There is scope for a short circuit in their design!! The metal bottom actually can touch the PCB track which has plated thru holes on each polarity precisely under that metal bit, I don't know how the heck these things actually work at all except by accident. I also centered the diode nicely in the middle and modded the AlOx PCB so it seats nicely on the heasink and not on the contact which seems like an afterthought butchered in. And put thermal grease on it.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    I use one of those same lights for my main light, but I use NiMH AAAs and recharge after 2 trips (I have 1.5 hour commute each way, back home in the dark). One thing that I like about them is they are focusable. Oh, and I also redid the terrible soldering job (dunno what they used for solder, sure wasn't anywhere close to eutectic) and insulated the bottom of the diode from the PCB. There is scope for a short circuit in their design!! The metal bottom actually can touch the PCB track which has plated thru holes on each polarity precisely under that metal bit, I don't know how the heck these things actually work at all except by accident. I also centered the diode nicely in the middle and modded the AlOx PCB so it seats nicely on the heasink and not on the contact which seems like an afterthought butchered in. And put thermal grease on it.
    Yep, I had to do all that as well. Actually, I replaced the stock LED that was in there with a genuine Luxeon part, and let me tell you they make all the difference. When I bought a three-pack of those lights, each one was a different colour. But the Luxeons I bought are the exact same colours AND brightness, it's really quite amazing. I modified two as in the pictures, but the third I converted to a light for my wife's bike with three clamps and a few screws. That light still uses the original chinese LED and AAAs, though it definitely has a bluish tinge.

  25. #775
    jur
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    So are the Luxeon 3W ones brighter? Did you check LED current for the two cases? Be interesting to know how the currents weigh up...
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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