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Old 10-02-06, 11:21 AM   #1276
RonH
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I have a question for the "Total Geekiness" group.
UPS is scheduled to deliver my batteries, connectors, and lamps today, so does converting a 2001 NightRider Night Owl headlight (6 volt analog) to a 12 volt system with parts from batteryspace.com count as "geeky"?
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Old 10-02-06, 11:57 AM   #1277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
I have a question for the "Total Geekiness" group.
UPS is scheduled to deliver my batteries, connectors, and lamps today, so does converting a 2001 NightRider Night Owl headlight (6 volt analog) to a 12 volt system with parts from batteryspace.com count as "geeky"?
You're putting homemade lights on a bicycle with plans (i'm assuming) to ride it through the winter. I'm pretty sure you qualify.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:58 AM   #1278
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Originally Posted by Novakane
Erm, sorry I think I need some clarification.
Aren't AA batteries 1.5v? 8 of them in series would be 12v. 10 would be 15v - is that what you meant to say, or did you mean 8 of them?
Nope, I didn't typo, NiMH AA batteries are 1.2V.
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Old 10-02-06, 12:44 PM   #1279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
I have a question for the "Total Geekiness" group.
UPS is scheduled to deliver my batteries, connectors, and lamps today, so does converting a 2001 NightRider Night Owl headlight (6 volt analog) to a 12 volt system with parts from batteryspace.com count as "geeky"?
I never thought I would see the day RonH geeked out his ride. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Your journey to the Geek side will be complete only after you post some pictures.
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Old 10-02-06, 08:08 PM   #1280
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Originally Posted by Map tester
I never thought I would see the day RonH geeked out his ride. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Your journey to the Geek side will be complete only after you post some pictures.
My yes. Remember to change the bulb/emitter to the 12 volt version. I once put 12 volts across a 6 volt lamp and got a whowzer of a light for about 3 seconds then Poof.
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Old 10-02-06, 08:11 PM   #1281
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Originally Posted by jeff-o
Short answer: No. Invest in some 2700mAh NiMH rechargeable AA batteries (10 of them, to make 12V).
I tried sets of 12 AA 2500mah batteries and sets of 14 with a 20watt MR16. They worked very brightly for a short period of time. At 2500mah the math promises over an hour burn time but I didn't even get 30 minutes worth. This was even the case when I hooked up a LightBrain controller that evens the effective voltage to 13.2v.
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Old 10-03-06, 05:00 AM   #1282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Map tester
I never thought I would see the day RonH geeked out his ride. Oh how the mighty have fallen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Map tester
Your journey to the Geek side will be complete only after you post some pictures.
I hope I'm up to the task. I have 30 years experience in medical electronics.

I'll be working on it this week and hope to finish by the weekend. Still trying to decide if I'll mount the batteries on my rear rack or make some sort of mounting bracket and locate them somewhere on the frame.

I may have to make a trip to Radio Shack for two connectors that batteryspace.com didn't include. My bad.

I'll post before, in-progress, and after pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
My yes. Remember to change the bulb/emitter to the 12 volt version. I once put 12 volts across a 6 volt lamp and got a whowzer of a light for about 3 seconds then Poof.
I ordered 12V lamps with the batteries.
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Old 10-04-06, 08:16 AM   #1283
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I think I now qualify as a geek. I have mounted a homemade headlight and electric horn on the front, and an amber strobe on a toolbox/trunk on the rear, wired in two swithces for the lights and mounted them on the toolbox, and a 12v 8amp battery inside the box. My problem is that my horn button doesn't work. Continuity test shows the button is functional, and I have power to the wires, but when I connect the wires and push, I get nothing. HELP! The horn button is a regular after-market, surface mount, auto horn button from Auto Zone.
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Old 10-04-06, 08:34 AM   #1284
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Originally Posted by kjmillig
I think I now qualify as a geek. I have mounted a homemade headlight and electric horn on the front, and an amber strobe on a toolbox/trunk on the rear, wired in two swithces for the lights and mounted them on the toolbox, and a 12v 8amp battery inside the box. My problem is that my horn button doesn't work. Continuity test shows the button is functional, and I have power to the wires, but when I connect the wires and push, I get nothing. HELP! The horn button is a regular after-market, surface mount, auto horn button from Auto Zone.
Do you hear nothing at all, or a small "tink" or "click"? If so, you may also need some sort of driver for the horn. Sometimes these horns need an oscillating current (basically AC current) to operate.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:51 AM   #1285
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Check the horn first--just run a lead off the battery straight to the horn. I have found that if you tighten the mounting bolt on a car horn too much, you won't get a good (or any) sound. I was also having problems with rain getting into the switch, so I put mine inside a short section of mtn. bike tube.
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Old 10-05-06, 11:55 AM   #1286
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I have one lead from the horn to the negative terminal on my battery. The other is from the positive battery terminal, to the button, to the horn. When I remove the button and touch the two wires together, the horn sounds. I used my multitester on the button and continuity is OK. I'm still confused, and I'm no electrician.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:44 PM   #1287
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Originally Posted by kjmillig
I used my multitester on the button and continuity is OK. I'm still confused, and I'm no electrician.
Could you have a short when the switch is mounted on the bike? When you say continuity is OK, do you mean you have a closed curcuit when you press the switch button? Also test the whole wiring harness--hook your tester to the positive on the battery and then on the positive on the horn.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:56 PM   #1288
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Originally Posted by kjmillig
I have one lead from the horn to the negative terminal on my battery. The other is from the positive battery terminal, to the button, to the horn. When I remove the button and touch the two wires together, the horn sounds. I used my multitester on the button and continuity is OK. I'm still confused, and I'm no electrician.
Oh! Weird. OK, get a working switch.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:11 AM   #1289
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Just wanted to post some pics of my new light. Does this qualify me for "bike geek"?

Notes: Optronics driving lights, 20W spot, 20W flood, 7AH gel cell, Target box, misc parts from junk box. All told I spent about $85, including the charger, but not counting the front rack (I used the rack all summer for donut duty).

Last photo from the front about 150 ft away. Bright light is the spot, light to the left is the flood (or it may be a reflection), and the light above them is a dual beam 6V CyGlo for comparison.



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Old 10-09-06, 07:49 AM   #1290
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It's true. You've been geeked.

How did you attach the box to the rack? I found that plastic boxes end up cracking far too easily when I drill through them and anchor them down to something...I solved this by going to outdoor conduit. See my setup on page 43.

Where did you get the 7AH gel cell? Are you happy with how it works?
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Old 10-09-06, 08:21 AM   #1291
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It's true. You've been geeked.

How did you attach the box to the rack? I found that plastic boxes end up cracking far too easily when I drill through them and anchor them down to something...I solved this by going to outdoor conduit. See my setup on page 43.

Where did you get the 7AH gel cell? Are you happy with how it works?

I used 4 tie wraps. I'm really looking for some other more removable method, but I had these in the parts box. I lined the box with 1/2" closed cell foam, I'm hoping that this will reduce the vibration form the battery, and reduce cracking of the plastic.

I just bought the battery and charger at the "Battery Store". If I like the way the lights work I'm planning on an upgrade to NiCd or NiMH at some point. Not enough experience yet to form an opinion on how it's working. Only about 1/2 hour on it so far.
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Old 10-09-06, 08:24 AM   #1292
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anyone here use the lightbrain and understand it? if so, I was wondering what the web page said about not being able to use a strobe with it. Is there any way around this, or do you need a seperate battery pack and fuse to run your strobe, or can you just run a seperate line from your batter for it? Im thinking I would just make a smaller battery pack for the strobe, as Im going to go with 12 volt strobe, and really dont want to send 14.4 volts into it.

Also, Im torn between going with a dual 20w and 10w or just going 2x20w with one spot and one flood, any suggestions? I have read most of the geekpages, but some are older and not sure what current thought is on the subject.
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Old 10-09-06, 08:41 AM   #1293
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if so, I was wondering what the web page said about not being able to use a strobe with it. Is there any way around this, or do you need a seperate battery pack and fuse to run your strobe, or can you just run a seperate line from your batter for it? Im thinking I would just make a smaller battery pack for the strobe, as Im going to go with 12 volt strobe, and really dont want to send 14.4 volts into it.
For the strobe, run a separate connection to the battery pack that bypasses the controller. The 14.4 volts won't hurt it.
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Old 10-09-06, 09:50 AM   #1294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiankur
anyone here use the lightbrain and understand it? if so, I was wondering what the web page said about not being able to use a strobe with it. Is there any way around this, or do you need a seperate battery pack and fuse to run your strobe, or can you just run a seperate line from your batter for it? Im thinking I would just make a smaller battery pack for the strobe, as Im going to go with 12 volt strobe, and really dont want to send 14.4 volts into it.

Also, Im torn between going with a dual 20w and 10w or just going 2x20w with one spot and one flood, any suggestions? I have read most of the geekpages, but some are older and not sure what current thought is on the subject.
I have a lightbrain that works well. I use a 18v battery so the (14.4 or 15.6) version 12v cutoff and other protections are moot. I have multiple optronics housings with 20w and 35w bulbs. The 35w are mostly various degrees K Solux - whiter light.
My advice is to use 8 - 11 degrees for spot and 15 - 20 degrees for flood. The spillover on even a 8 degree spot takes care of the first 10 yards.
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Old 10-09-06, 10:56 AM   #1295
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Horn blows...

I finally got my horn to work by using a button that specified "low voltage." Scared the crap out of my kids when I tested it sitting in the garage. Now I'm a happy camper...er...cyclist. I still don't have pictures of my setup but will try to get those soon.
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Old 10-09-06, 06:35 PM   #1296
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I finished my "new" headlight/battery setup today.

This is the old 2001 NiteRider NiteOwl light (10W, 6V) and battery.


The "new" light (10W, 12V) and battery.


The lights mounted on the bike.


I changed the battery connectors to Molex. I didn't like the original connectors (in the second picture, above)


The batteries mounted on the rack.


The whole bike.


I'll be changing all the white zip ties to black after my next trip to Home Depot or Fry's Electronics.

I'll probably use large hose clamps to secure the batteries rather than zip ties.
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Old 10-10-06, 07:13 AM   #1297
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Very geeky Ron, we are so proud (sniff, sniff).

I was going to make a comment about the white zip ties, but you will be taking care of that issue soon. While you are out at Fry's, you might want to look at some of the black heat-shrink tubing for the wires on your stem--would make in blend in more and adds a bit of 'rub-though' protection.

kjmillig: glad you got your horn to work--I didn't know there were 'low voltage' horn switches. I scare myself all the time when working on the front end of the bike and I accidently hit the horn switch.
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Old 10-10-06, 11:56 AM   #1298
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I'm also thinking about buying (if I could remember the soure) a small flat rack for the front of the bike. I saw one in a post on BF. The batteries would then be moved to that rack and all the wiring would be at the front. No more wires on the top tube, etc.
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Old 10-10-06, 02:40 PM   #1299
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Do you mean something like this: Nashbar front rack
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Old 10-10-06, 02:40 PM   #1300
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Quote:
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I'm also thinking about buying (if I could remember the soure) a small flat rack for the front of the bike. I saw one in a post on BF. The batteries would then be moved to that rack and all the wiring would be at the front. No more wires on the top tube, etc.
Would something like this work for you?
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