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-   -   Total Geekiness (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/42629-total-geekiness.html)

vixen2yall 01-27-04 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
<snip>
Kat you are a girl after my own heart!
Rainman's credo for bicycle commuter lighting:
1. There's no such thing as too much light.
2. If they are laughing at you they saw you and didn't run over you.
Kat, what kind of headlight setup are you using?

<snip>
Can't wait to get it all together!
Regards,
Raymond

on my touring bike (francis) i'm using 4 cateye 4 LED systems. they use 4 or 5 AA's and get 200+ hours per batterie change. when i get my trike in (2 weeks and counting, and her name is sheila cause she's coming from australia) i'm planning on just switching out the cateyes as needed.

on the sides of both bikes i've picked up some valve covers (tyreflies or tireflies not sure which spelling) they get 100 hours run time per change and run off watch batteries. tyreflies also makes a lighted wheel reflector which i'm not sure about but i have.

on francis i use 3, 7 LED's on her rear end. one attached to the rack and one on each pannier.

as sheila hasn't arrived yet i've only got things planned for her. going to use the 4 cateyes on her front, tyreflies on the valves and i picked up a 18 LED's system that's built for recumbents. i've also found a neat little set up thats for use w/ those little scooters they have running around. planning on picking up some ground effects for sheila. they run off 2 AA's per side and your supposed to get 50 hours of run time per change out.

and this doesn't even include my sterio system. picked up some creative speakers that run off 2 AAA's and get 35 hours of run time out of them. picked them up at best buy (worst buy) for 60 USD. (they are for laptops.) seeing as they are by far the most expencive thing i've paid for i'm not planning on attaching them w/ velcro like my last set. they are too cool to have go bouncing off the pavement. and seeing as sheila hasn't gotten here yet i'll have to wait and see how i do set them up.

and if that don't confuse ya, i don't know what will. yes i'm eccentric to the max, but if your going to call me a nut.... lets be specific, i'm a cashew!

cheers
kat

LittleBigMan 01-27-04 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rural Roadie
Has anybody found another store that has Pete's power pack?
Iowa seems to not have a Pep Boys store, just plenty of their advertising. Radio Shack has a 5 amp/hour 12v but they want $30. Ouch.

Rural Roadie, PM me and we'll work something out.

Well, tonight I finally got it all rigged together. Two headlights (20W, 35W and 55W combined,) rear tail light (standard auto tail light bulb, 2 1/4 inch wide x 4 1/2 inch long x 1 1/4 inch high rectangular dome,) amber xenon strobe (3 inch diameter, 1 1/2 inch high round dome, 100,000 candlepower, 120 flashes per minute, 0.2 amp input) and a FIAMM car horn, all run from a 4.5 amp/hr rechargable sealed lead acid battery.

My dear wife wanted to see me ride down the block with everything on*. She said 1) you can see the red tail light far, far away, 2) the xenon strobe is highly visible, but won't blind motorists, 3) you can see my red light and yellow strobe quite well from the side angles.

I also did a little waterproofing, but I have a ways to go, yet. I'll probably solder my connections and waterproof them, as well.

* "Everything on" means lights. I don't ride nekkid, not in freezing temps with 20 mph wind gusts. :p

LittleBigMan 01-28-04 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
My dear wife wanted to see me ride down the block with everything on.

This morning it was about 25F with a 15 - 25 mph. headwind. But I just had to try my new lights. It really wasn't bad since I was dressed for it, but the headwind slowed me down so much I had to jump the train.

Anyway, motorists seemed more confident around me than before. They also gave me plenty of space, but that might be because they've never seen a large xenon strobe beacon flashing on the rear of a bicycle, especially on such a chilly morning. :D

When I had blinkies, I'd check them once in a while when I stopped. I would place my hand behind them to see the flash on my hand. Now, with the xenon strobe, I don't even have to look behind me. I can see the flash all around me in the dark. No problem with the directional blinkie beams anymore, this thing is seen in every direction. I can hardly believe it was only $8, and weather-resistant.

:beer:

RainmanP 01-28-04 08:13 AM

Pete,
I stopped by Radio Shack to look at the strobe. Is it the one that looks yellow with a plastic base with two ears with holes for mounting? How did you attach it, and do you have it vertical or pointed to the rear as the guy on the website showed?

I guess two things I am most concerned about in all this are 1) waterproofing the connections and 2) mounting thinks so that the vibration and hard shocks don't snap things off or shake them to pieces. For splices that for whatever reason can't be put out of the weather I am going to look for the liquid tape or some of that stuff that you dip tool handles in. Seems like it should work and provide a tough coating. For connections I am getting some trailer lighting connectors. Those things should be pretty weather resistant, and you can get made up cables for just a few bucks. I found them at etrailer.com, but I am sure they are available at boating places. As an added bonus you can get from meci.com for about 5 bucks a little battery charger with the standard 4-flat trailer connector. I already have one that I have been using.

Another item - harborfreight.com has a submersible light for about $8. It is 12V and appears to take either MR-11 or MR-16 lamp. I have ordered and will report on it when received.

OK, enough drivel for now.
Regards,
Raymond

LittleBigMan 01-28-04 08:34 AM

Raymond,

Yes, the strobe you saw at Radio Shack is the same one I got. I haven't permanently attached it yet. When I figure out how to mount it more permanently, I'll let you know. I'm thinking of getting a lightweight rear rack that will hold everything, including the battery.

I mounted the strobe pointed skyward at a 45 deg. angle because that was the only way to make room for it at the moment. It has a reflector inside that makes it extremely bright when pointed horizontally, but it's still quite bright when pointed at this angle.

Waterproofing the connections is an absolute must. The website Vixen2yall showed us has the best ways of making electrical connections. I hope to complete my setup more professionally later on. Until then, I'm using Liquid Tape to waterproof my connections.

I appreciate your continued updates on resources. I was telling my wife recently that the internet really helps hook people together to share information so that projects like this can be done with as much information as possible.

vrkelley 01-28-04 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
vr,
That battery will blow out 12V lights pretty quickly. Some bulbs can be overvoltaged up to about 20%, but 50%+ is too much.

oh good catch! By "overvoltaged", do you mean that the bulb draws more than the voltage stated on the package??

With my 5w light, oncoming cars dim my view of the road. Opps pothole spotted at the very last second! At 20mph, I figure I'm going about 30'/second. Need a set of lights that'll throw about 100-300' of light. Narrow beam is OK Would like a battery that weighs about 9-16oz (like that 19V/3.9A)

Which bulb can do that? How much throw does your new setup have?

LittleBigMan 01-28-04 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vrkelley
With my 5v light, oncoming cars dim my view of the road.

Vrkelley,

The first thing I noticed about my 20W lamp was that oncoming vehicles did not obscure my view of the road as much. 20W is about all I need, properly focused.

vrkelley 01-28-04 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Vrkelley,

The first thing I noticed about my 20W lamp was that oncoming vehicles did not obscure my view of the road as much. 20W is about all I need, properly focused.

Good to know! Do you run 2 lights on at a time or is one a backup?

Just finished making the bracket, wiring and installing the rear turn signal assy. They don't make front turn signals yet. Which is stupid because the oncoming traffic needs clues about where the heck the bike is going.

Would like a front light (and some how getting front turn signals on the same switch as that rear assy).

My current setup:
1 5w Cateye headling from Scotland ---->MUST GO
1 7LED headlight ---->Great backup light
1 7 LED flasher from Scotland ---->Excellent
1 turnsignal,brake, running light assembly --->Good

RainmanP 01-29-04 09:04 AM

vr,
The website vixen2yall provided has a discussion of running halogen bulbs (MR-11 and MR-16 mainly) overvoltage, which is running 12V lamps with a battery providing 13.2V (10% overvoltage) or 14.4V (20% overvoltage). Light output is increased MUCH more than the 10 or 20%. Though bulb life is shortened significantly, light output increases dramatically. The shortened bulb life is not a big problem since most halogens are rated for 2000-4000 hours anyway. He concludes that overvoltaging up to 20% can be a great way to increase light output. You do have to make sure your other components, like switches, can handle the increase. Hitting a bulb with extreme overvoltage will cause it to burn out immediately.

Your light 19V battery may be attractive to use, but getting bulbs may be difficult and expensive. Check some places like lightbulbsdirect.com to see if you can find bulbs around 18V or so. And keep in mind that you may not find a bulb shape that has a practical light fixture for use on a bike. To me the attractive thing about using 12V components is that you can get any parts you need from local sources like Auto Zone, Radio Shack, and Home Depot at inexpensive prices, and you have so many choices. For my purposes, going with an unusual voltage defeats the purpose of taking the trouble to put together your own system.

Just one old fat guy's take on it.
Regards,
Raymond

LittleBigMan 01-30-04 08:16 AM

Wow, the guy who set up this website

http://nordicgroup.us/s78/

was right about the xenon strobe. Ever since I've been running that strobe behind me, motorists have really given me room, even in the daytime. I really think that running my lights during the day is a lot more effective now. Motorists really take notice of my strobe, tail light and 20W halogen. They frequently wait as I approach an intersection, instead of turning in front of me. This visibility is especially helpful in the late afternoon, when I'm riding with the sun behind me.

As a friend pointed out, there is a difference between being seen and being noticed.

RainmanP 01-30-04 08:49 AM

Yeah, buddy, light 'em up!

FYI, I have found another interestiing product in our quest for light. Phillips makes a line of MR-16 bulbs, maybe called IRC, that produces more light than regular bulbs of the same wattage. For instance, there is a 20W that produces the light of a regular 35W, and a 35W that produces like a 50W. I have ordered on of the 20W and will report how they compare. They cost more, about $10, but with a nominal 5000 hour life who cares, if the light is bright and uses less power?
Regards,
Raymond

vixen2yall 01-30-04 04:49 PM

Really glad to see all the cool things you gents are doing w/ the website i posted. i haven't done anything w/ it yet because i quite honestly haven't had the time or inclination yet.

with all that you gents have done so far. anyone going to post some pictures soon? Please! i'm dieing to see what you've come up with so far. it's got to be the coolest!

cheers
kat

vrkelley 01-30-04 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
Yeah, buddy, light 'em up!

FYI, I have found another interestiing product in our quest for light. Phillips makes a line of MR-16 bulbs, maybe called IRC, that produces more light than regular bulbs of the same wattage. For instance, there is a 20W that produces the light of a regular 35W, and a 35W that produces like a 50W. I have ordered on of the 20W and will report how they compare. They cost more, about $10, but with a nominal 5000 hour life who cares, if the light is bright and uses less power?
Regards,
Raymond

RainmanP,
How many amps is this light? Also what is it's throw. I think I may have found a 100'er for the Malabu but not sure.

vrkelley 01-30-04 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Vrkelley,

The first thing I noticed about my 20W lamp was that oncoming vehicles did not obscure my view of the road as much. 20W is about all I need, properly focused.

Thanks,
I was looking at the Vista lights at the LBS today..cheappy fittings they don't look like they'll hold up under the "KELLEY BOUNCE TEST"

froze 01-30-04 10:38 PM

I got a 12.5 watt dual beam job that runs 6.2 on flood and 6.3 on spot and with both beams on it would burn continously for 2.5 hours or 5 hours on one. I use the flood only for commuting then when I head for the pitch dark bike path I use both for extra safety though even then one is enough, either way I cannot out ride the light even at 42mph (that's not my average in case any of you are wondering). The 6-D battery pack attaches to the frame and can get those D bats anywhere and I'm not tied to a wall. The cost was only $45 and the unit is a Cygo Metro.

Urbanmonk 01-30-04 10:51 PM

I just bought the Cyglo lighting system for $49.99, and it is great. The beam is like the "blue" on the new sedans, BMW, Acura, etc. It's very bright and has a six volt battery which comes in a protective water bottle that slips into your cage. Less hassle, perhaps.
Urbanmonk

RainmanP 01-31-04 05:26 AM

vrkelley, watts = amps x volts, so amps=watts/volts or in this case 20/12=1.67 amps. Is that right electronics whizzes?

vixen, I think I have all my components assembled, EXCEPT, the lights themselves, which must be on the slow UPS truck! Once I get them I will start cobbling together my system. I still have to work out mounting and switches. Initially I will just kind of clamp things on the best I can as I refine the electrical setup, but eventually I would like to figure out a mounting system that is not too difficult to move from one bike to another. And how about some brake lights...and turn signals. The opportunities for geekiness are without limit! I will post some pictures as I have something to show, particularly comparing the light beams of some of the interesting bulbs I have found.

To those of you who have recommended various reasonably priced bike lights your suggestions are appreciated but miss the point of the exercise. First and foremost to me is the fun and challenge of assembling a nice light setup from easily available, inexpensive components that provides a lot of light for the cost. I, personally, want a 12V system rather than a 6V sytem because it will drive more powerful lights at half the amps and there is a plethora of small 12V SLA batteries from which to choose, depending on how much light one wants and for how long. So I guess one person's hassle is another's interesting challenge. The ride is more important than the destination.

vrkelley 01-31-04 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urbanmonk
I just bought the Cyglo lighting system for $49.99, and it is great. The beam is like the "blue" on the new sedans, BMW, Acura, etc. It's very bright and has a six volt battery which comes in a protective water bottle that slips into your cage. Less hassle, perhaps.
Urbanmonk

Blue? What sort of throw does this light have?

vrkelley 01-31-04 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
I, personally, want a 12V system rather than a 6V sytem because it will drive more powerful lights at half the amps and there is a plethora of small 12V SLA batteries from which to choose, depending on how much light one wants and for how long. So I guess one person's hassle is another's interesting challenge. The ride is more important than the destination.

.

I'm starting to favor the 12V also just for the upgradability and quality parts. My pet peeve is bike accessories. They're usually poorly thought out, and don't hold up under the KELLEY stress test. Most everyone on here probably has their own "stress test". Mine is...

KELLEY stress test = commuting 25m/day*3days a week in rain. Potholes included.

vrkelley 01-31-04 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
vrkelley, watts = amps x volts, so amps=watts/volts or in this case 20/12=1.67 amps. Is that right electronics whizzes?

True. I probably didn't ask the right question. Question is If you do the over voltaging...does the formula for determining how many amps change slightly?

Edited: O found the answer back on this page http://bicyclelighting.com (from a previous post). I'm new at this can you tell?

RainmanP 01-31-04 03:24 PM

Hey, when it comes to roll-your-own lighting, I guess we are all new! Now you have piqued my curiosity again. I will have to check more into the overvoltaging. I have been wondering if it's possible to hook a couple of D cells in series with a 12 SLA to achieve the 14.4? I would suspect that there might be some issue with hooking different types of batteries in series. I know I could do 12 Ds, but then you have more pieces to deal with, even in holders. Electronics whizzes, please help. Allister are you there?

LittleBigMan 01-31-04 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
I would suspect that there might be some issue with hooking different types of batteries in series.

Your are right, don't do it.

vrkelley 01-31-04 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RainmanP
Hey, when it comes to roll-your-own lighting, I guess we are all new! Now you have piqued my curiosity again. I will have to check more into the overvoltaging. I have been wondering if it's possible to hook a couple of D cells in series with a 12 SLA to achieve the 14.4? I would suspect that there might be some issue with hooking different types of batteries in series. I know I could do 12 Ds, but then you have more pieces to deal with, even in holders. Electronics whizzes, please help. Allister are you there?

Probably not wise wise to mix the battery types. What sort of conditions made you decide to upgrade???? Although after hitting Home Depot today, I'm either going to go with a 14.4 NIMH (and overV) or keep looking for a smaller SLA. Because of the hills, winds and speed that I travel, I don't have the luxury of getting a full 4lb 12 V battery.

LittleBigMan 01-31-04 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urbanmonk
I just bought the Cyglo lighting system for $49.99, and it is great. The beam is like the "blue" on the new sedans, BMW, Acura, etc. It's very bright and has a six volt battery which comes in a protective water bottle that slips into your cage. Less hassle, perhaps.
Urbanmonk

Enjoy!

:)

vrkelley 02-01-04 09:45 AM

LittleBigM,
After much searching, a light bulb went off. We have 2 drills sitting around. Why not just buy 'nother battery, and hook up a headlight to that.

The one drill happens to come with a Craftman flashlight. 16.8V battery and a xenon bulb. Looks good and shines into the neighbor's yard (about 120')...problem is there's a strange black spot in the middle of the beam pattern. The light is nearly new. Do you think a MR16 would work without melting the lens cap????


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