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Old 11-17-05, 10:17 AM   #951
jz19
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Question for MR16s users. What bulbs and beam angles are you using?

I am currently running a 20W 12 degree spot and a 10W narrow flood (I guess a 24 degree). I find the 10W narrow flood useless and have it really as a back up light. I just placed an order for 3 35W Solux bulbs at 10, 17, and 24 degrees to try out. If I like the Solux bulbs I will need to upgrade the battery to a 10 or 12ah to have enough run time. If I don't like the Solux bulbs that much I will probably end up ordering the Phillips bulbs and keep on using my current 5ah battery.

Do we have anyone carrying large (i.e. 10 or 12ah) batteries?

PS: I have by now recognized that by the time I am done with my lights I will have spent a ton of money and time on my lights. Well as a hobby it is not that expensive...
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Old 11-17-05, 10:20 AM   #952
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Btw, forgot to mention that I transformed a Minoura bottle cage clamp into a helmet mount. What you need to do is replace the metal ring that travels inside the clamp with a Velkro strip and use a rubber pad or ring (I use a garden hose rubber ring) between the clamp and helmet to compensate for the helmet surface irregularities. Once you are ready to mount it you close the Velkro and use the clamp's bolt to tighten it firmly. It is rock solid and looks good. I can post pics if this does not make sense in writing.

I have also ordered my second set of Optronics light, now the metal ones. I think the vents on the plastic ones may be an issue under heavy rain and don't want a short at night, under the rain, and 10 miles from home so the plastic ones will be gone and replaced my the metal Optronics this weekend.
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Old 11-17-05, 10:55 AM   #953
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jz19 -- I have the chrome metal lights from Optronics (they gave my first bike a kind of retro look) and I love them. Never had a problem with rain in them although you need to make sure the front ring that holds the bulb in is firmly attached. I had mine pop out one night and had to search the side of a busy street to find it.

I also use a similar 10w and a 20w MR-16 combo on my homebuilt light setup. The 10w does not do a whole lot in streetlights, but it is bright enough to be seen. On the dark trail I ride, the 10w is reasonable at 12-13 mph. Faster than that and I switch to the 20w. The 20w is fabulous although it can be annoying to oncoming cyclists so I try to watch for approaching lights and switch down when I see someone else. I find a 5AH both plenty heavy and plenty of juice for 2-1/2 hours or more of riding without recharging.
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Old 11-17-05, 11:15 AM   #954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz19
Question for MR16s users. What bulbs and beam angles are you using?

I am currently running a 20W 12 degree spot and a 10W narrow flood (I guess a 24 degree). I find the 10W narrow flood useless and have it really as a back up light.

Do we have anyone carrying large (i.e. 10 or 12ah) batteries?
I am using a 20w 36 degree flood. it throws out lots of light to be seen by, but is a bit more diffused than I would like. do you think the 12 deg spot is sufficient on its own without more side lighting? I am thinking of doing a 20w philips and will do a 24 degree unless someone convinces me the spot will do the trick.

I have a 6ah sla battery, so don't plan to boost up to the 35w bulbs.
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Old 11-17-05, 02:57 PM   #955
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I'll check the spread on my bulbs, but I find the 20w spot easily lights up the whole bike trail and its shoulder area. I think it is more visible to cars from the side because it is so much brighter it can contend with headlights. I'll check to see what degree spread I have on mine and post later tonight.
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Old 11-17-05, 08:37 PM   #956
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz19
Question for MR16s users. What bulbs and beam angles are you using?
I use a pair of xenon 10w bulbs of unknown angle -- from http://www.sailboatstuff.com/lt_G4_MR11_MR16.html. They do a good job.
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Old 11-18-05, 01:14 PM   #957
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I use a pair of xenon 10w bulbs of unknown angle -- from http://www.sailboatstuff.com/lt_G4_MR11_MR16.html. They do a good job.
DCCommuter, how do they compare to halogen bulbs?
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Old 11-18-05, 10:31 PM   #958
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Originally Posted by jz19
DCCommuter, how do they compare to halogen bulbs?
It's hard to say because I don't have any 10W halogens. One is less bright than a 20W halogen, but not by much. Two together are brighter than a 20W halogen. Some of that may be due to the fact that the reflector area is doubled with two bulbs.
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Old 11-20-05, 06:50 PM   #959
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Awesome! WOW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jz19
Btw, forgot to mention that I transformed a Minoura bottle cage clamp into a helmet mount. What you need to do is replace the metal ring that travels inside the clamp with a Velkro strip and use a rubber pad or ring (I use a garden hose rubber ring) between the clamp and helmet to compensate for the helmet surface irregularities. Once you are ready to mount it you close the Velkro and use the clamp's bolt to tighten it firmly. It is rock solid and looks good. I can post pics if this does not make sense in writing.
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Old 11-23-05, 08:08 AM   #960
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Just a review on the battery I bought for my geek light. It is model CHUN-100DC02 from that great battery store BatterySpace.com.

I purchased a Laptop NiMH Universal External Battery 12V 4500mAh and Universal Smart fast charger from BatterySpace.com. It is made of 10 c-cells matched pieces. It is quite large and heavy and weighs about 1.5 pounds. It is small when compared to a SLA battery of equal voltage and amperage.
The battery comes double PVC shrink wrapped for water resistance in a nice neat package. The cord coming out of the battery is quite long and should accommodate most applications although it is thin.
.
It comes with a set of detachable universal connectors with 5 plugs that will fit to most DC rated devices. These connectors look well made.
One multi voltage smart NiMH /Li-Ion battery charger is included for safely charging. Auto cut off switches the charger to trickle charge power when battery fully charged. Just plug it in and leave it. It is not clear from the instructions what charging level I am supposed to use. The sheet of printed instructions that came with the unit are poor. Also, there are no instructions printed on the charger itself. It would be nice if the key instructions and a code explaining what the colors of the LED mean were printed on the back of the charger. I have seen this on other models and it is very helpful.
My other observation and suggestion for charger is the fabrication of the connector and the end of the cord. This connector is used to connect the battery to the charger and to connect the battery to the connectors supplied in the kit the connector is made up of two pins that stick out from the end of a plastic rubber like wire about an eighth of an inch These pins are exposed and are of slightly different thickness. The difference in diameter makes it easier to insert into the female connector that is on the battery. exposed connector. The small nature of the pins and the diameter of the connecter make it a little difficult to use. The exposed pins are thin and split down the middle making it easy to break them off. Also, the cord if thin. The point where the cord enters the charger is well supported by a plastic nub. Heavy rubber would be better as the plastic could break if the charger is dropped.

The power cord is beefy and the connection to the charger is snug but not too tight. The cord coming from the charger to the battery is long enough for most applications. There is an inline fuse. The plastic fuse holder is made of hard plastic and although it is not something that is opened often, these types of fuse holders are know to fail; that is the little nubs that hold the two ends together snap off. The kit comes with three extra fuses..
The battery did not come fully charged from Batteryspace.com. It took about 2 hours to charge it.

I am using this battery for my homemade for Halogen bike headlight. The burning time is about 4hrs.
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Old 11-23-05, 07:24 PM   #961
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz19
Question for MR16s users. What bulbs and beam angles are you using?
I originally thought tight beams were the way to go, 8-12 degree. They do throw a lot of light out front. I found, though, that the edge of the road was completely dark. I always like to be able to see a few feet off the road in case I need to bail. I am now using 24 degree which I like much better. When I need to replace I will probably try 36. With 35W or 35W equivalent lamps there is plenty of light out front.

Right now I am only using a 5 AH battery, but I plan to set up a 12 or so at some point in order to feel comfortable that I can run a 35 or even 50W Solux lamp for well over 2 hours.
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Old 11-27-05, 09:34 PM   #962
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz19
Do we have anyone carrying large (i.e. 10 or 12ah) batteries?

PS: I have by now recognized that by the time I am done with my lights I will have spent a ton of money and time on my lights. Well as a hobby it is not that expensive...
I just built a 10AH 13.2v battery-pack for my HID project. Ended up about $70 for 11 of these nimh D-cells:



Wired them up in series in two rows:



Just about 8" long, so I can stuff it into a 24-oz water-bottle if I wanted. However, I think I'm just going to wrap it in heat-shrink tubing and zip-tie it under my downtube near the BB.
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Old 11-28-05, 10:54 PM   #963
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Do you all run fuses on your homemade setups? I'd like to not run a fuse just because it'd make my wiring organization more difficult. Plus I'd have to change fuses if I wanted to switch back and forth between different bulbs. Do you guys think runnin' w/o a fuse is a big deal?
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Old 11-28-05, 11:27 PM   #964
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No fuses on mine but each circuits has a separate toggle switch.
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Old 11-29-05, 12:40 AM   #965
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Just use an in-line fuse. No need to change fuses, they're just for short-circuits, so a 5-amp fuse will be fine.
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Old 11-29-05, 10:26 AM   #966
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
I just built a 10AH 13.2v battery-pack for my HID project. Ended up about $70 for 11 of these nimh D-cells:



Wired them up in series in two rows:



Just about 8" long, so I can stuff it into a 24-oz water-bottle if I wanted. However, I think I'm just going to wrap it in heat-shrink tubing and zip-tie it under my downtube near the BB.
Nice setup Dannol. Don't know what your roads are like but, because of the weight, you may need to double wrap 'em. Also the diagram looks like its missing a negative lead on row2 (leftmost cell)
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Old 11-29-05, 02:00 PM   #967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDL
Do you all run fuses on your homemade setups? I'd like to not run a fuse just because it'd make my wiring organization more difficult. Plus I'd have to change fuses if I wanted to switch back and forth between different bulbs. Do you guys think runnin' w/o a fuse is a big deal?
I do. It only costs $3 to add one and you only need to solder one additional connection so it is really not a big deal to add one. I have run a 10amp one with anything between 10W and 70W without problems so don't think that you need to change fuses after changing bulbs.
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Old 11-29-05, 02:22 PM   #968
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jz19
I do. It only costs $3 to add one and you only need to solder one additional connection so it is really not a big deal to add one. I have run a 10amp one with anything between 10W and 70W without problems so don't think that you need to change fuses after changing bulbs.

When choosing a fuse...if I go with the 5amp mini glass (5x20mm) fuse....what rating do I want since we're running 12VDC; 125VAC or 250VAC?
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Old 12-02-05, 03:03 AM   #969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
Nice setup Dannol. Don't know what your roads are like but, because of the weight, you may need to double wrap 'em. Also the diagram looks like its missing a negative lead on row2 (leftmost cell)
Yeah, I was thinking about throwing in an old section of inner tube inside the shrink-wrap so that there's some padding between the battery and frame. Maybe some foam might work too. Or I might just strap a bottle-cage under my downtube in that location so that I can remove the battery easily... we'll see...

I think the battery's wired correctly. The left-most cell on 2nd row connects its +positive end to the -negative of the cell above. Then its -negative end goes to the +positive terminal of the cell to its right. All the cells are in series with the only free terminals being at the end of the series..
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Old 12-02-05, 07:46 AM   #970
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ok... i've been reading this thread for awhile now and i decided to make my own lighting system. i'm almost done and i've got some questions.

1st: i've gone through two different lenses(they both melted due to testing without a fan) and i'm on my third lense... the third being actual glass. it seems to be working great.... but, i would like to drill a couple of tiny holes in it for ventilation.. is this possible? side note: it will be rare that i actually ride in the rain. sprinkle, yes.. but no heavy rain.

2nd: i've used the same bulb(MR11 12v 20w without the lense cover) through all of the testing... after the first lense melting, i noticed that the base of the bulb that is supposed to be white, is half gone. now, at this point the white substance is almost completely gone AND the very tip of the bulb is turning a black/purple color. side note: the tip of the actual bulb is not touching the glass. Does the white substance relate to the life of the bulb or is there another factor/problem i'm missing??

3rd: the testing i've done has been in my workshop at 65- 80 degrees and i'll be riding in 35-70 degrees. and a wind factor will come into play while riding. should i not worry about the light bulb/lense overheating b/c i'm only testing it at a stand still?

light unit info: i'm using a mag light, yes... the big one. I cut 2 inches off the end and connected it to the bulky bulb end. that way, i can have access to it in three ways(1.the end screws off(where the batteries would normally slide in), 2.i can simply un-attach it from the bulb holding body, and 3. I can simply unscrew the bulb end) it's actually pretty cool. i'll have to take pictures of it.

battery system: i'm using a 5AH battery from radio shack.

options: i'm thinking about getting an MR16 bulb with the lense cover and trying it out for fit. the lense opening on the mag light is very close to 2 inches. so, i could try that if the MR16 runs cooler.... I have no idea.


any help would certainly be appreciated,

thanks,
Rich
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Old 12-02-05, 02:09 PM   #971
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Wheels4, why don't you just buy the MR11 bulbs with the lens on them?

http://www.buylighting.com/subcat.asp?catid=185
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Old 12-02-05, 03:36 PM   #972
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I have been reading the posts here and didn't believe that there were that many others who build bike lights. I use 12volt halogen bulbs for the front and a Whelen LED visor squad car light on the rear. The rear light is amber/red. People at work tell me they can see me over a mile away with no problems and they sometimes think its a squad car or wrecker. Some have even said, that if you ever get hit, I will testify in court that the person must have been blind not to see you. I run this with my 14.4 volt dewalt cordless drill battery.
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Old 12-03-05, 03:30 PM   #973
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jbone, i would... but, that would leave a gap in the opening for rain. i'm still in the testing phase... so, i'm going to try an MR16 to see if it will fit.

thanks for the website though.

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Old 12-03-05, 04:58 PM   #974
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Wheels4,

A MagLight head is PERFECTLY sized for an MR16 bulb. I am working with a covered bulb (GE edison 20W, 15o beam angle, also available as 40o), so as not to have a melted plastic cover; it is necessary to have a bit of spacer between the front screw-on ring and the bulb to prevent rattling.

How have you mounted the light?
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Old 12-03-05, 07:21 PM   #975
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austex, if you pm me your email addy... i'll email you pics of it with details. it's hard to explain without the pics.

but, i can tell you it is mounted with a quick release and that part of it works great.
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