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Old 01-11-06, 02:03 AM   #1026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDL
Is there a way to test a battery charger...
It may be the charger or it may be the battery. Discharging a SLA battery significantly below 50% of its capacity will most likely cause permanent damage that will manifest itself as reduced capacity and/or an inability to accept a full charge. Try the charger with a known good battery, or try charging the battery with a charger you know is good, then test it's capacity. Here's a chart of (no load) voltage vs. approx. capacity for lead acid batteries:

Lead Acid No Load Voltage vs. Capacity

12.65 = 100%
12.45 = 75%
12.24 = 50%
12.06 = 25%
11.89 = 0%
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Old 01-11-06, 07:51 AM   #1027
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Multibiker

Lead Acid No Load Voltage vs. Capacity

12.65 = 100%
12.45 = 75%
12.24 = 50%
12.06 = 25%
11.89 = 0%
So you're saying a SLA outputing only 11.89 volts has 0% capacity? Dang! So with my battery "fully charged" now I could probably take a multimeter and measure the voltage coming out, yeah? Or can I test the battery charger with a multimeter?
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Old 01-11-06, 08:25 AM   #1028
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Any chance one of you "geeks" know if these halogen bulbs could handle 18 volts?
I have a Dewalt 18 volt battery pack from a cordless drill and the rapid smart charger that came with it. I would like to use this as a power source if possible.

tia
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Old 01-11-06, 08:33 AM   #1029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDL
So you're saying a SLA outputing only 11.89 volts has 0% capacity? Dang! So with my battery "fully charged" now I could probably take a multimeter and measure the voltage coming out, yeah? Or can I test the battery charger with a multimeter?
Ummm welll it may not be so simple. There are diferent kinds of SLA batteries often with different design chemistries and charge/discharge characteristics. Find out who really made the battery. May not be who is on the lable. Get the performance information from them. Yuasa, Hawker, Interstate, whoever. Overseas? good luck. Put the battery on charge with the voltmeter attached to the batttery. Watch the voltage climb and compare to the charge curve for the battery. When the voltage has stabilized you are generally done. More charging just wastes power and can ruin the battery. With a really smart charger you will see the voltage hit a peak - full charge - then drop to a trickle or maintain charge voltage.

OK, now that you are charged, plug in the lights and the voltmeter. Turn the light on. When you have reached the end of discharge voltage or ~80% of full voltage or the knee in the discharge curve STOP and recharge immediately. You now know how long the lights will run. AND if your battery charger indicates full charge before full charge voltage is reached or after full charge it needs replacing.

I am not a real battery expert. Contact the maker, or one of the specialty stores mentioned in the light selection sticky like www.houseofbatteries.com

Last edited by ken cummings; 01-11-06 at 08:38 AM. Reason: CYA
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Old 01-11-06, 09:33 AM   #1030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDL
Is there a way to test a battery charger? I got a Battery Tender not more than 2 months ago and I think it's already on the fritz. It seems like it's not charging my battery all the way. As a result I've had the end of some of my commutes be a little scary 'cause my light was so dim. Last night I left my light on to totally drain my 10Ah SLA battery before hooking it up to the charger. The Battery Tender said it was fully charged in about 2 hours....heh...I don't think so! Any ideas?
It's possible that your battery is damaged, or at the end of it's service life. Also, keep in mind that SLA's don't like to be fully discharged, charged too quickly, or discharged too quickly. These things can affect battery life and capacity. It seems, though, that with your 10AH battery you should have good protection against rapid discharge, unless you're really loading it down with high wattage.

Remember to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer when you get a new battery. Often they'll tell you to charge your new battery slowly for a longer-than-normal period before using it for the first time. They recommend not using the battery before charging it.
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Old 01-11-06, 09:13 PM   #1031
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDL
So you're saying a SLA outputing only 11.89 volts has 0% capacity? Dang! So with my battery "fully charged" now I could probably take a multimeter and measure the voltage coming out, yeah? Or can I test the battery charger with a multimeter?
The values in the chart are approximate. The best thing, as Ken pointed, is to find the manufacturer's specs. Make sure you let the battery stabilize, i.e. disconnect the charger and/or the load then wait a while before you take voltage measurements.
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Old 01-12-06, 08:58 AM   #1032
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Can anyone recommend a dirt cheap housing for a MR11 bulb? You know some techonology cross over idea.

Thanks
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Old 01-12-06, 09:52 AM   #1033
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akitakoi
Any chance one of you "geeks" know if these halogen bulbs could handle 18 volts?
I have a Dewalt 18 volt battery pack from a cordless drill and the rapid smart charger that came with it. I would like to use this as a power source if possible.

tia
Being an experimentalist by training, profession and nature, I'd say go to your local big box store, buy a 12V MR11 or MR16 bulb for around $3, wire it to the battery and throw the switch (you might want to put it behind a shield of some sort ). If it goes "phiffzzttzzttt" and blinks out or "POP" and explodes, then I'd say no. But...if it shines like a new sun I'd say you're okay. Your bulb life is likely to be short but it might be a blaze of glory for a little while

I have 12V MR11 bulbs burning at 14.4V and they seem okay. 18V might be pushing it but you'll never know until you try.
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Old 01-12-06, 10:32 AM   #1034
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akitakoi
Any chance one of you "geeks" know if these halogen bulbs could handle 18 volts?
I have a Dewalt 18 volt battery pack from a cordless drill and the rapid smart charger that came with it. I would like to use this as a power source if possible.

tia
Bulb life declines dramatically with increased voltage. My gut feeling is that at 18V a 12V light would burn out within a few minutes. It would be bright though.
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Old 01-12-06, 07:25 PM   #1035
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
Bulb life declines dramatically with increased voltage. My gut feeling is that at 18V a 12V light would burn out within a few minutes. It would be bright though.
That would be incredibly bright for a few seconds. I shorted 12 volts across a 6 volt bulb once. Went in about 2 seconds. The current surge could also be enough to damage the wiring. 18V? Get a voltage regulator. The Allied catalog has lots of them. Tell them what you want to do when you order.

Last edited by ken cummings; 01-12-06 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 01-12-06, 07:42 PM   #1036
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialKev
Can anyone recommend a dirt cheap housing for a MR11 bulb? You know some techonology cross over idea.

Thanks
Go to a hardware store and find some light gauge aluminum tubing that just fits the bulb diameter. Cut a (~)1 1/2 inch piece. Crimp the front edges of the pipe to keep the front of the bulb from falling thru. Cut several 1/4" to 1/3" slits in the back end. Attach a connector and its wires to the bulb terminals. Drop the bulb into the pipe. Fold the slit pieces of tubing in to hold the bulb in place. Attaching the assembly to the handlebar is left as an exercise for the builder. (caution: it might melt the helmet) Add a suitable connector to the wires and put it in. Ride.

Better. There was an ad here last night for a company selling $49 and $59 lamp holders for that type of bulb or maybe MR16s.
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Old 01-12-06, 09:38 PM   #1037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialKev
Can anyone recommend a dirt cheap housing for a MR11 bulb? You know some techonology cross over idea.

Thanks
Any particular reason for MR11? (HID perhaps?) If not, I would advise going with MR16, where you can get a pair of Optronics housings for around $15. The MR16 is a better format, the bigger reflector delivers more usable light at the same power.
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Old 01-12-06, 09:57 PM   #1038
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
18V? Get a voltage regulator. The Allied catalog has lots of them. Tell them what you want to do when you order.
Voltage regulation is advanced geekiness -- it has substantial advantages in lighting applications. If you use a variable regulator you can set up a dimmer for your lights. The trouble I had when I tried it was getting a regulator that can handle the current of lighting, but the Allied catalog has them up to 3 amps. I ordered one tonight and I will report back.
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Old 01-13-06, 10:40 AM   #1039
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TEST MESSAGE

Greetings!

I found this newsgroup when researching the topic of using LED flashlights for bike commuting.

Gosh.. as for the topic.. DIY homemade lights.. it brings back memories where / when I posted in MTBR.COM in December 1999 -- light challenge message board using the very same Malibu / Intermatic LT9 landscape light.

"Make You Own Light for about $50"

Nick Lee
carless since January 2000
Member of the 5 digit club (10,000+ bicycle miles per year every year since)
Sparks, NV 89431
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Old 01-13-06, 11:59 AM   #1040
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Greetings again..

It looks like I was able to post a message to this newsgroup.

I am using the "QUICK REPLY" screen on the bottom of the page. I would like to attach some pics to the message.. Where / how do I do this if not in the "Quick Reply" screen.

One further note on the Malibu LT9 bike light.. Detail instructions (bill of material) were picked up by the bicycle club below.. and additional / enhancements options (helmet mount) was added.

www.geocities.com/b1rdjx88/light.html

I see that better options are now available at Steve S. site.. ie bicyclelighting.com. Steve did a fine job consolidating the information and making it easily available to all.

BTW.. Since the topic line is Total Geekiness.. I will add my 2 cents to the "DORK FACTOR." TOPIC LINE: DIY HELMET MOUNT

In case the narrative is too long to post on this forum and is cut-off, do a GOOGLE SEARCH DIY HELMET MOUNT < $1.00

POSTED TO RENO (NV) WHEELMEN website

October 6, 2003

Hey ya'all

This is a DIY (Do It Yourself) Helmet Mount -- a commuter special!!

This helmet mount can cost you less than a dollar to make.

HELMET MOUNT (a "10" on the dork factor)
--------------------------
1. Start with a throw away used inner tube.. you decide on road inner tube or mountain bike
inner tube.
2. Cut to length (varies depending on the distance between the vent holes in your helmet. You need
to experiment here!!!
3. Tie the two ends of the cut inner tube together to complete a circle.
4. Now thread the inner tube through the vent hole of the helmet with the knot on the outside of
the helmet.
5. Bring the two end of the inner tube together on top of the helmet and secure with zip ties or
Velcro cable tape. NOTE: the loop ends of the inner tube must be at least 1" apart or so and
when you use the zip ties to cinch the loops together, the inner tube is stretched to create
the tension needed to hold down the light on top of the helmet.
6. Re-position the inner tube so the inner tube knot fits nicely in the vent hole.
7. The job is done!!!

BIKE LIGHT:
-------------------
Now all you need is to find a bike light or a flash light (preferably with a rectangular barrel
instead of round barrel).

8. Lift the inner tube away from the helmet.. Place your bike light or flashlight under the inner
tube. The tension on the inner tube will keep the light in place. To increase the tension..
Repeat the process and use shorter length inner tube. To make the light even more secure, use
adhesive-back Velcro tape on the bottom of the light and the top of the helmet.

Personally.. I've used a Cateye Hyper HL-1500 4AA bike light. With the natural curved design of the
light.. it follows the contour of the helmet rather nicely.. and the beam is simply the best.

To get a really nice white light -- use (HPR44 halogen 4.0v 1a; 4watts; 200 hr bulb life; 100
lumens; about $32.00 for 10 mail order) with 4 rechargeable 1.2v batteries.

By overvolting this bulb and with a great Cateye optic reflector.. this light puts out close to a
10w MR11 bulb. When overvolting the bulb.. you diminish the life of the bulb to about 20 hours. And
since the Cateye HL1500 has two power setting.. gently slide the switch from low power, pause.. and
then to high power. I found that this extra second saves the bulb from burning up immediately.

I've also used a cheaper and more widely available KPR103 (3.6v , 0.75a;
9.7Watts bulb; 25 hour bulb life; 34 lumens) Krypton bulb ($1.60 for 2 at Wal-Mart). -- The bulb
life is about 2 hours when overvolted .the light output is simply WOW!! -- better than a 5w
Mr11 bulb.

My second choice is the Zefal HF635.. With the 3 bright yellow Leds and a stock
10.6 watt halogen lamp.. and a curved design similar to the Cateye.. the option of running LEDs
makes this light perhaps a better overall choice. The optics on this light is subpar compared to
the Cateye. I've never tried to overvolt this light because I am afraid I'll melt the reflector
on this light.

And finally... If your helmet vents are situated as such that you cannot aim the beam in the
direction of your choice.. I would go to Wal-Mart and spend about $6.00 for a RAYOVAC 2AA flashlight
that has a rotating swivel head. The light comes with clear lens and a red lens. Not much light. But
better than nothing. Be careful with this light. The battle holder cap slides on instead of screws
on -- so you need to use tape to secure the cap to the body of the flashlight.

Enjoy..

Much obliged. Nick Lee Sparks, NV carless since January 2000.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 01-13-06, 01:24 PM   #1041
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Thanks to all who answered my request for MR11 housing. I have two MR16 bulbs built into the Optronics housings but have some MR11 bulbs that I wanted to plav with. I picked up some heavy PVC fittings that fit exactly for about $2. I'll play with that for now.


Kevin
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Old 01-13-06, 04:44 PM   #1042
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For those who are using the Optronics MR16 Driving Lights and still want to extend the usefullness of your 6 volt battery system...

Here is a source for MR16 5W bulb. Contrary to what is stated in bicyclelighting.com, these bulbs / lamps are available in USA. You need not order these lamps from Europe.

The MR16 6V 5W is commonly used in exit / emergency lights. The MR16 10W 6V lamp (which was also available for the Thomas Betts Emergi-Lite) was de-listed sometimes ago. If you are able to find a new old stock on the 10W lamp in USA, please post.

Source for MR16 5W 6V
http://www.exitlightco.com/Merchant2...tegory_Code=LB

Price: Package of 2 for $14.00

===========================

http://emergencylite.com/index.cfm also has these bulbs on page 5 of the lamps list. The part number is 11-256. The catalog also lists the 10w version on page 6 but the lamp is NOT AVAILABLE.

Price: $3.95 each but the company has a minimum handling charge of $6.00 + shipping.

==========================
For those who have converted H3 base driving lights to bicycling use, the 6V 25W bulb is also widely available. Again.. bicyclelighting.com incorrectly states this bulb is hard to find.

The H3 bulb is commonly found in 6V 500,000 candlepower spot lights.. The spot lights are commonly available for $10.00 on sale.. Take out the 25W bulb and the 6v 4.5 or 5.0 ahr SLA battery, a wall wart charger, and throw away the spotlight if so choose.

Generally the H3 base driving lights have better reflectors (rectangluar refectors) than MR16 base system.

500,000 candlepower spotlights are commonly on sale at harborfreight.com

Much obliged.
Nick Lee
Sparks, NV 89431
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Old 01-13-06, 05:15 PM   #1043
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I've seen those spots going for as low as $10. You can't get the bulb and battery seperately for that price. The wall wart chargers are crap, but the cord on them is useful in making or modding lights.
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Old 01-13-06, 05:24 PM   #1044
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SLA batteries for YOUR 12v system.

Now let's just say you have made the jump to a 12v system using the Optronics MR16 lamp system. You have now replaced the standard MR16 lamp to a 10w or 20w.

You have price sticker shock on 12+volt NI-MH battery. Dab Nab it.

Need not worry.. SLA batteries are a good alternative and pretty cheap.

Rage Battery ( http://www.ragebattery.com ) seems to have one of the lowest price for Rhino SLA batteries. Use coupon code "JAN5" (for January 2006) to get 5% off.

Buy 1 SLA-2.2aH for $8.45. Dimension 7.01x1.38x2.64 2.20#

The dimension for this battery makes it easy to fit this battery in a 32oz plastic Pepsi / Coke soft drink. You need to do some cutting and taping, but overall very do-able. Dork Factor 10!

Use the bottle cap to install a 2.5mm surface jack (available from ALL ELECTRONICS). Other parts are available there to build your power cord.

http://www.allelectronics.com/index.html

A better option is to find a plastic 3 tennis ball container with lid. You can easily place the 2.2 aH battery in the container.. Use the plastic lid to install the surface mount in-line jack and tape down the lid for weather proofing.

What the hey.. that's still too much work.. heck.. just empty out an 18oz Skippy peanut butter plastic jar without the lid and use it as a battery holder. Sure, the battery will stick out of the top of the jar but the battery will stay snuggly in place in the water bottle cage.

Still.. too much tinkering?

Just buy the Rhino 12v 3.4 ah for $9.65 5.28x2.64x2.64.

Surprisingly this battery fits "just right" into a Blackburn deluxe mountain bike water bottle cage -- Nice and tight. The battery is not going any where.. Just add a Velcro D Ring strap for additional security if you so choose.

While at it.. GO AHEAD and get the Rhino 12V 3.0 aH battery. Just as well. With the dimenison of 5.2x1.3x3.86 this battery fits nicely in a "slim" hydration pack. Because the thickness of this battery is only 1.3 inches.. it makes a perfect battery for your helmet light.

The added benefit of a slim battery is for safety issues. If you happen to fall and land on your back.. It is less painful if you were to land on something size of paperback book instead of a battery in a size of a brick or waterbottle -- Physics.. pressure per square inch)

The slim thickness is well worth the premimum price of $11.95.

More to come..

Much obliged.
Nick Lee
car-free since January 2000
Member of the 5 digit club (10,000+ bicycle miles per year every year since)
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Old 01-14-06, 06:48 AM   #1045
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REDUNDENT GEEKLIGHT WIRING

While experimenting with my own DYI geeklight system, I came up with a wiring circuit that features flexibility and redundency not offered by typical two lead wiring.
Shown by the scematics below (forgive the utter crappiness, there's only so much one can do with ANSI), the wiring harness uses a single common lead - I decided to make it a positive common for eletrodynamic reasons, ie current always flows towards a battery's positive terminal.
Two or more lamps can be used, and it doesn't matter if the lamps are LED arrays, halogens, kryptons, HIDs plus ballast circuits, or any combo of the above.
As shown, a matching battery is used for each lamp; this can be anything, SLA, NIMH packs, nicad packs, alkies or lithiums. Using a battery per lamp doubles the runtime over using a single battery for all lamps.

The redundancy of this system is in that if a lamp or battery fails for any reason, the other(s) operates almost completely independant of the failed lamp and battery.

The system is also flexible in how it's operated.
You can keep it simple and turn all lamps on/off with a single switch on the common lead:
---------------------
| |
| - |
# Batt1 * Lamp1
| + |
| S1 |
---------^-----------
| |
| + |
# Batt2 * Lamp2
| - |
| |
---------------------


or you can put switches on each lamp's hot lead for independant switching:
S1
---------^-----------
| |
| - |
# Batt1 * Lamp1
| + |
| |
---------------------
| |
| + |
# Batt2 * Lamp2
| - |
| S2 |
---------^-----------


Or control each lamp independantly with hot lead switches, and all on/off with a master switch on the common.
S1
---------^-----------
| |
| - |
# Batt1 * Lamp1
| + |
| MS |
---------^-----------
| |
| + |
# Batt2 * Lamp2
| - |
| S2 |
---------^-----------


Feel free have geeky fun and modify this circuit in any fashion your noodle can come up with. Don't worry, it's got a GNU licence on it.
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Old 01-14-06, 01:40 PM   #1046
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My first attempt to attach pics to the message.. failed...

Here it goes..second try

My helmet light..

1. Front: 3 Led 3AAA light
2. TOP : 1W Lexeon 3AAA spot light.
3. Rear: Vistalite Tailwind 3 Led 1AAA

Handlebar lights using what I call "BOW TIE" shape handbar -- available from Nashbar.com

1. 2 Nite-Hawk 12v 12w light top of handlbar (outfitted with Cateye space 533-8730 and attached to handlbar with standard cateye handlebar mount.

2. 2 Cat-eye EL-200 under the handlbar. Not currently installed on handlebar.. but on front rack.

3. Nashbar amber blinkie fastened to handlebar stem facing forward.

4. Eyeball bell to warn traffic. Mirror under handlebar for safety.. and of course, plenty of reflective tape on front rack, and rear rack.

Helmet lights are available here..

http://www.axshop.com/products.aspx/category-63/
for front helmet light

http://www.szwholesale.com/3w-3-led-headlamp-p-99.html (new 3w version) and old version as well.
for top helmet light.

Rear Vistalite no long readily available.

Much obliged.
Nick Lee
car-free since January 2000
Member of the five digit club (10,000+ bicycle miles per year every year since)
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Old 01-14-06, 01:46 PM   #1047
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Oops..

I failed to describe.. that I also have a Radio Shack two way radio pouch on the handlebar stem..for my ICOM amateur ham radio or from my frs radio.. I carry the Motorola Talkabout T6310 because it has a FM radio so I can listen to music.

I can accomodate a larger radio on my front Blackburn rack..secured by a cargo net bungie cord.

I will be posting my six commuter bikes and trailers in another commuter tread..

Much obliged.
Nick Lee
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Old 01-14-06, 05:05 PM   #1048
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Many of the folks here seem to like the option of having a 12v strobe for a rear light..

Personally, I don't like the extra power cables..

Here is my setup..

1. Nashbar rack pack.. reversed.. Two Nasbar blinkie installed on webbing hand sewned on the rack pack.

2. Vistalite on Ascent Rack... Originally I had the 18 led safety emergency light.. but because of the weight, it broke off the reflector bracket on my rack on the other bike.. so I didn't want to chance it here.

http://www.familydefense.com/giantsafetyflasher.htm

3. Leg band with hand sewn webbing for amber 2aaa Nashbar blinkie. Nice and tight.. even at 120 rpms). Cool index 100.

For those who still swears by a strobe.. here is a 2AA strobe / flashlight.. A great Star Wars light saber...plenty of style points.. No geekiness here.

Garrity S300GST06A Multi-Function Safety Light with Strobe for $12.00

http://www.buy.com/retail/Product.as...cs&dcaid=15938

Much obliged.
Nick Lee
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Old 01-14-06, 05:18 PM   #1049
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Still not seeing what you like..

This the Optronics Qh-7CC setup on my other bike..using the front fork reflector bracket..

If you still want more geekiness.. Here is one setup using a Dorcy 4AA flashlight.

Using Cateye spacer 533-8730.. I screwed the spacer on my front Blackburn rack (flat surface). I used the same handlebar mount clamping to a PVC pipe.

Repeating the process, I screwed the 533-8730 onto the flat side of the Dorcy 4AA light and then using the handlebar mount on the PVC pipe..

The Dorcy 4AA can accomodate a MR16 lamp.. and I install a MR16 lamp holder in the flashlight and a surface mount 5.5mm x 2.5mm jack on the back end..

Since the light is translucent yellow.. it has great side visibility.. Great setup for a 10W MR16 lamp.

Much obliged.
Nick Lee
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Old 01-14-06, 05:20 PM   #1050
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Oops..

Here is the Dorcy Flashlight setup
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