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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #1076
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardride
    Hi all, 20w and 35 mr-16's.

    I want to run both lights with a switch that allows one on, both on, or the other on. Not sure what i need. Any ideas or help would be appreciated.

    thanks
    geo

    ps

    also need info on fusing. how large if both lights are on?
    most likely will run the 20w solo most often.
    (20 + 35 watts)/12 volts = ~5 amps With that current you need 16 gauge or better to keep the wires from heating up. 18 gauge is too thin. Use a 10 amp slow-blow inline fuse. try Radio-Shack. I use standard trailor hitch connectors and rigged a Y-connection to control my two lights. There are a lot of persnickety details I leave to others. Try that link another poster gave.
    This space open

  2. #1077
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    Thanks all! Great advice, and insight, schematics for wiring, etc.... Let the wiring begin!

    I have viewed the website posted above (it was one of many while researching) thanks.

    To clarify; I will likely run the 20w most often and solo. The 35w in special situations, only as needed. I may never need both on nor want both on for very long but want the option just in case. As stated by Ken the battery wont last long with both turned on and as MacG said it may be overkill. But this is a learning exerience and it's part of the fun....

    It's been awhile since I've done anything like this (not that it's all that hard) but I seem to recall needing switches that can handle a certain load. Is this true?

    I have some old (I think low voltage?) switches I used to use for wiring guitar electronics. Perhaps they will work if voltage is not an issue. If so they may be a good option (for all) as they are very small.

    Also looking for some sort of quick release mechanism for easily putting the lights on and off the bike. Got some Cat Eye QR light brackets on order. They may be adaptable toward my setup. I'll let you know.

    I'll post a picture or two when it's done.

    Thanks again.

    Geo

  3. #1078
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I would not worry too much about switches. Just get one big enough to be used with winter weight gloves on. If you feel it getting warm use the next size up. DC switches are sometimes 2 and three times as heavy as A.C. switches as low voltage meant higher currents meant resistance heating. That is why Westinghouse beat out Tom Edison in wiring New York and the rest of America. And get outdoor grade AKA water-proof switches.
    This space open

  4. #1079
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    For my various setups, I've used the simple toggle switch. Even with a waterproof boot, the problem becomes how to keep the sides and back moisture free. The waterproof tape works well but needs checking every few hundred miles or so.

    On the next setup, it'll definately be a marine waterproof rocker switch.

  5. #1080
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    I use a waterproof switch from batteryspace.com

    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=2071

    I also have the optronics housings with Phillips 20w 8 degree and 35 24 degree bulbs. I wired a lightbrain twin plus controller housed in a 35mm film canister. The lightbrain soft starts the lights to reduce infant mortaility and allow a Li-ion battery to work. The lightbrain also evens out the lamp voltage to 13.2 for a tradeoff between brightness and bulb life.
    I can only run the 20w for now because I'm saving up for a 5,7, or 12 AH Li-ion battery pack. I'm currently using 14 AA NiMh 2300mah batteries in series. I bought 24 AAs for $28.50 shipped from batteryspace.com. I can repurpose them when I buy the Li-ion.

  6. #1081
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    I tried the LV505 25 watt 4" bulb. They are lightweight and look impressive head-on but I don't like the pattern. I find a 12 degree 20w spot reaches further and also has some good even spill.

    If anyone wants the 2 LV505's I'll send them for the cost of priority mail.

  7. #1082
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtown
    I use a waterproof switch from batteryspace.com

    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=2071
    Looks like a good one.How water tight is the back of the switch housing?

  8. #1083
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Looks like a good one.How water tight is the back of the switch housing?
    Haven't gotten it wet yet - but the back is seemless plastic - looks tight to me.

  9. #1084
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Sorry to jump in out of nowhere, but I am excited about my new "geek project."

    I've been using a power-saving bulb that uses 20W but shines closer to a 35W. I just got a new power-saving bulb, only this one uses 35W but shines like a 50W.



    I also just got a new blinkie. My old one is a xenon stobe rated at one hundred thousand candlepower. The new one is rated at one million!

    None of this is necessary, I know. But the sickness has truly taken me over...

    I compared the two xenon blinkies, and I think I've found the ideal "daytime blinkie." I can't wait to test the run time on the 50W equivalent headlight. I'll post about it when I get the results.
    No worries

  10. #1085
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Sorry to jump in out of nowhere, but I am excited about my new "geek project."

    I've been using a power-saving bulb that uses 20W but shines closer to a 35W. I just got a new power-saving bulb, only this one uses 35W but shines like a 50W.



    I also just got a new blinkie. My old one is a xenon stobe rated at one hundred thousand candlepower. The new one is rated at one million!

    None of this is necessary, I know. But the sickness has truly taken me over...

    I compared the two xenon blinkies, and I think I've found the ideal "daytime blinkie." I can't wait to test the run time on the 50W equivalent headlight. I'll post about it when I get the results.
    Don't apologize, evolving light projects is what this thread is all about. Today was my first ride with the Phillips power saver spot bulb (20W). With this bulb I will have tried absolutely every bulb that is out there I am interested in trying. I am thinking on taking all the bulbs I have and my digital camera and take pics of the different bulbs in action. Similar to what was done in the "light selection guide" thread. It would save people some time and money to be able to see the different bulbs angles and power draw options.

    Btw, my new tail-light to replace my All Electronic's strobe will be a Cat Eye LD1000. Decided on it over the Lightman strobe mostly based on power consumption and the fact that I only need moderate blinkie power because most of my commute is on bike paths. The Cat Eye should cove rmy needs well enough.

  11. #1086
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jz19
    ...my new tail-light to replace my All Electronic's strobe will be a Cat Eye LD1000. Decided on it over the Lightman strobe mostly based on power consumption and the fact that I only need moderate blinkie power because most of my commute is on bike paths. The Cat Eye should cove rmy needs well enough.
    Ya, I'm almost a little embarrassed to mount the million CP strobe, it's so huge! Darn thing draws about 2 amps, or like having a 24W tail light, so I can't run it with other lights...strictly a daytime strobe, if I use it at all.

    Well, you only go around once in this life...
    No worries

  12. #1087
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Sorry to jump in out of nowhere, but I am excited about my new "geek project."

    I've been using a power-saving bulb that uses 20W but shines closer to a 35W. I just got a new power-saving bulb, only this one uses 35W but shines like a 50W.
    do they really work? and do you have a link to a website for these? brand name?
    (i've seen one but don't seem to have it bookmarked.)

    by the way did a 10 minute test run with one light and it's works great. found a cool plumbing bracket for attaching the light to the handle bars. the optronics are attached to the bracket - easy on easy off. i'll post a picture when it's completed but for now it works. maybe i'll leave it as is, keep it simple

    george

  13. #1088
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardride
    do they really work? and do you have a link to a website for these? brand name?

    george
    bulbs.com

    link:

    http://bulbs.com/products/product_de...nventory=11649

    I tested the 35W energy saver bulb (50W equivalent output) last night using my 5AH battery. With my 2mAH strobe running at the same time (37.4W total) the battery lasted an hour before the light started to yellow and the strobe started flashing more slowly. I try not to drain my batteries all the way, so I stopped the test.

    Since my commute is now longer than an hour, I won't be able to use the brighter bulb for now (unless I upgrade my battery, looking at some NiMH deals on the web.) But I might mount two 20W energy saver bulbs on a three-way switch, so I can use either bulb or both at the same time, which means I can save my "brights" (70W equivalent, or two 20W energy saver 35W equivalent bulbs) for those dark descents.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 02-10-06 at 10:15 AM.
    No worries

  14. #1089
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    None of this is necessary, I know. But the sickness has truly taken me over...
    yeah...it's that survival thing...once you've survived the cages ...it's time to RULE Go for it Pete!

  15. #1090
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    I finally have my geeklight rig more or less finalized. I took some pictures tonight of the lights in action (out on the moonlit rural road) for beam comparison to ambient full moon. The results were frankly awesome. Now that I took the time to see what the high beam looks like to oncoming traffic, I think I'll be more careful about when and where I wield it in the future.

    http://www.basementfreaks.com/galler...d57935f4c10ca3

    Photos of the installation and whatnot are on the way.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  16. #1091
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacG
    I finally have my geeklight rig more or less finalized. I took some pictures tonight of the lights in action (out on the moonlit rural road) for beam comparison to ambient full moon. The results were frankly awesome. Now that I took the time to see what the high beam looks like to oncoming traffic, I think I'll be more careful about when and where I wield it in the future.

    http://www.basementfreaks.com/galler...d57935f4c10ca3

    Photos of the installation and whatnot are on the way.
    I looked at the pics and shuddered. Not at the lights but the snow! At least the white banks act like the white-washed tunnels in mines. Unlit obstacles like rock falls or unconscious cyclists are black outlines against the white and brakes can be hit in time.
    This space open

  17. #1092
    Was that a...Clyde?!? alwier's Avatar
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    If you're into the MR16power savers, check out these links. Philips energy advantage ir (formerly masterline), Sylvania tru-aim IR, and GE Precise IR. They're all PDFs so if you have dial-up, they may take a little bit. Most stores in southern WI don't stock them unless it's a dedicated lighting store, but maybe you'll be luckier. MSRP is nearly identical. Anyway...

    content.sylvania.com/app/display.aspx?id=003673338

    http://www.gelighting.com/na/busines...aving_mr16.pdf

    http://www.nam.lighting.philips.com/...n_brochure.pdf

  18. #1093
    keeper of useful sarcasms dlwilson42's Avatar
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    This is a review of some waterproof connectors from Batteryspace.com. In it I describe the connectors and how I used them to repair my bicycle light.

    The connectors are 2-conductor 18 gauge connectors (part # CN-2Pin-Connect). I began searching for replacement connectors after the battery connector on my Nitehawk Raptor bicycle light became loose. The loose connection meant that every time I hit a bump the light would go out, and I would have to press the power button to turn the light back on. I can't tell you how annoying it is to be riding down a bumpy road, wondering which bump is going to be the one that will turn off my light once again.

    I ordered two pairs of connectors, at $3.29 each. Each pair consists of two connectors. The connectors somewhat resemble trailer light connectors. They connect and disconnect easily. I had to get two sets so that I could change the connector on my battery charger as well as the connector on the bicycle light cable. The connectors are not male and female; instead they are identical connectors that connect to each other. They do have distinct red and black wires, which makes the connections easy.

    Ordering from the Batteryspace website was easy. I used PayPal, although there was also an option to use a credit card. I received an email confirmation of my order, as well as an email notification when the order actually shipped. The shipping notification included the UPS tracking number, so I could watch the package's progress as it came ever closer.

    The installation was simple. I cut off the connectors on the battery charger cable and the bicycle light cable. I soldered on the new connectors and sealed them with heat shrink tubing. Then I opened the battery case, removed the connector, replaced it with the new connector, and sealed it with a hot glue ***. When I was done I had used three of the four connectors, so I saved the spare for for future use.

    I made sure the battery charger worked properly. Since the battery provides DC voltage it was important to get the polarity of the connections right. The little red light on the charger came on, indicating that it was in fact charging properly. Once the battery was recharged I unplugged the charger and plugged in the light. Now for the moment of truth. I pressed the power button and the light came on! I quickly reinstalled the light on my bike, and went for a ride over the roughest streets in town. The light stayed on the entire time, not flickering even once. When I got back I sprayed the connectors with a hose, to check if they were really waterproof. They were, and the light stayed on.

    I can whole-heartedly recommend these connectors. They are simple to install and use, they really are waterproof, and they have returned my bicycle light to being something that I can just connect and use. Find them at www.batteryspace.com.

  19. #1094
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    I ordered a 17 degree 35w 4700k Solux bulb that I've tried with a SLA 12v battery. I plan to use it with a 8 or 12 degree 20w spot in a dual optronics setup. It is a very bright white light with even coverage. I'm using a lightbrain controller and the 2nd setting - approx 66% power is also bright and white. The info for the 50w bulb at
    http://www.soluxlamps.com/lighting/s...Specifications
    is very interesting. It shows that even at 8v the Solux is whiter than the normal 3100K halogen. My quick test verifies this. I'll try it on my next ride to see how it holds up. I think that a single 10 degree 35w Solux might even be the best tradeoff between power and light.

  20. #1095
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    A question and congratulations.

    First, Way to get that $30 gift certificate dlwilson42! I just did the same thing on another forum with a review on the Trailtech light.

    Which brings me to my question. I have a Trailtech light with the controller (lets you use 11.1 v batteries to 14.8 v. Anyway, I get thinking, what if on one of these all night Brevet rides I have a battery problem and need to use alkalines? So I decide to make a battery pack for alkalines. Anyway, 8 cells won't get the light to light for some reason (12 volts right?), but 10 cells will (15 volts). I figure there must be some resistance in the cheap battery pack maybe. My question is if the 15 v will hurt the light. On the website they make a comment about the ballast needing to have less than 15.5 volts so I assume I am OK and they just list 14.8 volts as the top end because that is the highest voltage battery they carry before crossing the 15.5 v threshold. Anyone know if I am seriously going to goof up my light doing this? It seems to me 10 c cells should power that light for around 8 hours or so.

    By the way I am talking about C cell alkaline batteries.

    Incidentally if you want a really nice battery bag, Performance has some on sale (they are what they would call underseat bags). I used the longer variety and it will go upside under your top bar so the strap omes up around the bag and over your bar, then the seatpost strap can go around your headset tube. The one I got holds a 10 c cell battery pack quite nicely.
    Last edited by Paul L.; 02-21-06 at 11:45 AM.
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  21. #1096
    GN BIKN
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtown
    I ordered a 17 degree 35w 4700k Solux bulb that I've tried with a SLA 12v battery.
    I've been using a 17 degree Solux bulb myself for the last 3 weeks, and I'm finding the beam width to be just about right. I've tried the Philips bulbs in 8 degree (20W) and 24 degree (35W). I wouldn't mind something a bit wider than the 8 degree (although even that is wider in practice than my old TurboCat spot), but the 24 degree is just too wide. The issue isn't that the light is getting too dispersed to light things up, but rather that my commute takes me through hills that are often fogged in, and in dense fog the wide beam reflects back too much without lighting up the road. 10-17 degrees seems about right.

    Too bad Philips doesn't make that width, although in my living room test the Solux "looked" brighter anyway. On the road it appears dimmer to me, because that's because I'm currently wearing lenses that have a slight yellow tint to them. This wasn't much of a handicap when I was riding with a yellowish light, but now I'm filtering out quite a bit of my new bluer light as far as my own vision is concerned. At least it looks bright to oncoming traffic.

    I went with the the 4100k Solux, by the way. I wanted something bluer than the 3500k, and their specs showed substantially higher output for the 4100k when compared to the 4700k. Their site only publishes specs for the 36 degree version of the (35W) 4100k, but they claim 1529 CP for that light, vs. 1602 CP for the 3300k bulb in the same width and only 510 CP for the 4700k version. I do take these numbers with a grain of salt. Because of how the eye perceives light and color, I'm not sure output figures are necessarily comparable from one light to the next (in the real world) if the color isn't the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    First, Way to get that $30 gift certificate dlwilson42! I just did the same thing on another forum with a review on the Trailtech light.
    I was thinking the same thing. Do they still give you a $30 certificate for reviewing a $10 product? I never got around to posting a review of my battery (which is working great, FWIW), but maybe I'll have to buy another $3 waterproof switch and review it!
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  22. #1097
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    I looked at the pics and shuddered. Not at the lights but the snow! At least the white banks act like the white-washed tunnels in mines. Unlit obstacles like rock falls or unconscious cyclists are black outlines against the white and brakes can be hit in time.
    Eh? Snow is beautiful. Nice pix, too.
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  23. #1098
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    Incidentally if you want a really nice battery bag, Performance has some on sale (they are what they would call underseat bags). I used the longer variety and it will go upside under your top bar so the strap omes up around the bag and over your bar, then the seatpost strap can go around your headset tube. The one I got holds a 10 c cell battery pack quite nicely.
    I got the following frame bag for around $10 shipped. It holds my spares and will hold the 5.5 lb SLA I use for lighting on some trips.
    Nasbar frame bag

  24. #1099
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    I've been using a 17 degree Solux bulb myself for the last 3 weeks, and I'm finding the beam width to be just about right. I've tried the Philips bulbs in 8 degree (20W) and 24 degree (35W). I wouldn't mind something a bit wider than the 8 degree (although even that is wider in practice than my old TurboCat spot), but the 24 degree is just too wide. The issue isn't that the light is getting too dispersed to light things up, but rather that my commute takes me through hills that are often fogged in, and in dense fog the wide beam reflects back too much without lighting up the road. 10-17 degrees seems about right.

    Too bad Philips doesn't make that width, although in my living room test the Solux "looked" brighter anyway. On the road it appears dimmer to me, because that's because I'm currently wearing lenses that have a slight yellow tint to them. This wasn't much of a handicap when I was riding with a yellowish light, but now I'm filtering out quite a bit of my new bluer light as far as my own vision is concerned. At least it looks bright to oncoming traffic.

    I went with the the 4100k Solux, by the way. I wanted something bluer than the 3500k, and their specs showed substantially higher output for the 4100k when compared to the 4700k. Their site only publishes specs for the 36 degree version of the (35W) 4100k, but they claim 1529 CP for that light, vs. 1602 CP for the 3300k bulb in the same width and only 510 CP for the 4700k version. I do take these numbers with a grain of salt. Because of how the eye perceives light and color, I'm not sure output figures are necessarily comparable from one light to the next (in the real world) if the color isn't the same.
    I'll definitely try the 10 degree Solux 35w. Could you post a link to those specs? I'll go with the 4100k if it produces more CP. A 17 - 24 degree narrow flood 20 watt might make a better second light for when I really want to use the battery up. My CygoLite dual 6 watt helmet covers the first 30' now. I usually just use the 6w spot for staring down cars and to reserve power just in case. The 12v 7AH SLA came out of a older UPS and It winds down fast at the 43w - 55w used when both lights are on. I'm hoping a 6150mah 18.5v Li-ion will have the umph to burn both lights for 90 min at 13.2v with the ligthtbrain. I like the extra light when approacing intersections. I notice cars show more respect.

  25. #1100
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    I am going to order a Luxeon 5 watt emitter (8 bucks) and get some
    rechargeable AA batteries and go with that. Luxeon 5 watts are badass LED's

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