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Old 12-16-06, 12:28 AM   #1451
jeff-o
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As posted in a separate thread in the Commuting forum, here is my new tail light:





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Old 12-16-06, 09:41 AM   #1452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
As posted in a separate thread in the Commuting forum, here is my new tail light:
edit: never mind
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Old 12-17-06, 11:32 PM   #1453
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Water penetration into MR16 bulbs?

I've been running my geek system (Optronics/MR16, Luxeon III MR16, NightSun strobe, LED running lights F&R, 5Ah NiMH) for almost a year now. System has worked great, except that after a couple of rides in hard rain I notice water condensation inside the MR16 bulb unit, and sometimes even a little pooling. When this happens my runtime is reduced well below an hour, presumably because the h2o inside is reducing the electrical resistance of the bulb.

Anyone else had this problem? This has happened to me with both SoLux and Phillips bulbs, by the way. I've made no attempt to seal up the Optronics housings, but I'm not sure it would help anyway. It looks like the SoLux bulbs have a little bit of a gap in the sealant between the lens and the glass housing -- basically the sealant goes about 350 degrees around instead of 360, possibly to allow for expansion and contraction of the air inside? Has anyone tried sealing up the gap? Could this cause the bulb explode when it gets hot? For the moment I'll at least try installing a bulb with the "gap" pointing down.
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Old 12-18-06, 08:07 AM   #1454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlowBoy
I've been running my geek system (Optronics/MR16, Luxeon III MR16, NightSun strobe, LED running lights F&R, 5Ah NiMH) for almost a year now.
Can you give a review/source for your Luxeon III MR16 bulb? Brightness compared to halogen, cost, etc?

About the water in your bulb, I agree about putting the gap on the bottom. When I was using the 14 watt sealed beam bulbs, water would sometime get inside the housing; I just drilled two small holes on the bottom for the water to drain out--worked fine.
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Old 12-18-06, 11:05 AM   #1455
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If anyone is looking for good MR16 housings, there is an ebay listing for five of the optronics fog light units. Too bad he isn't listing these one at a time. But so far the bidding is low enough that it's less then the retail price of a single unit.

WHOLESALE LOT OF 5 OPTRONICS FOG LIGHTS HALOGEN RACING (330063605497)
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Old 12-18-06, 12:05 PM   #1456
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well, my commute this am didn't happen because i ran over a chair slider (looked like a thumtack on steroids) over the weekend, and it blew all the Slime outta my tube and made a mess. didn't fix it yet. So the dirt-only Titus is on the roof of my car, in the lot, waiting for 4pm.....
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Old 12-19-06, 07:22 AM   #1457
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You can also buy the Optronics fog lights from JCWhitney. Buy the round ones and ignore that it says it uses an H-3 bulb. I personally bought this light from them and put a Phillips energy saver 20W MR-16 spot in one and 20W flood in the other (I wish I would have put 20W spots in both). I have both mounted on my bike using the spot for the most part with the flood as a backup in case the spot burns out while I am on the road at night. I do like running both though. It makes a very nice light. My battery sources are a 6ah and 7ah SLA battery which will run the single light over 3 hours and both about half of that. I have two batteries, but only carry one. The other is a spare.





http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/I...D:100000201440

I prefer using the Optronics because it requires very little work. The only modification I made was installing a mini toggle switch from Radio Shack on each lamp housing. I then replaced the 50W fog lamps with the 20W Phillips Energy savers. I use the Phillips bulb because they put out 35W of light, but use only 20W of power. These bulbs are expensive ($10.99 ea.) but far superior to the standard 20W MR16 halogen bulb.

I now have another battery that I read about at the beginning of this thread. It is the Vector Pocket Power 6ah battery. I found one on ebay for about $22 shipped. It comes in a weather resistant case and comes with a charger. It has a cigarette lighter connection, so I installed a cigarette lighter plug on my bike wiring harness. Very easy to plug in now.

This is my second attempt at making my own bike light and my recommendation for others wanting to make their own and not wanting to put alot of effort into it. My first lamp was made using the Malibu ($15 ea.) landscaping lamp, but the bulb would vibrate out of the socket. I spent alot trying to make it work and was never happy with it. These Optronics lamps are made for cars, so they are designed for the vibration. I like the looks better as well.

Bill of Materials:
Two Optronics fog lights $22 shipped
Two mini switches $6
Two conduit clamps (light mounting brackets) $2
Two bulbs $28 shipped
Wiring harness $5
Cigarette lighter plug $5
SLA battery $22 shipped
R&D $200. Just kidding. Probably about $100. lol

Total for two bike lights, wiring harness, battery and charger $90

May be able to do this more inexpensively if you can find parts locally and not pay shipping. Another savings is using cheaper bulbs, but your light output will not be as bright. Another savings is not trying to reinvent the wheel yourself. Learn from people on this thread. If someone is having a problem with a particular type of setup, most likely you will too.

I would also like to mention that I just installed a tinted Mueller Windwrap on my Sun EZ Sport. This light setup shines through the fairing just fine and lights the road very well. It does light up the fairing as well, but even that makes it easy to read my computer. Also makes it easier for cars to see me from the side.

Last edited by dgholmes59; 12-25-06 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-23-06, 05:21 AM   #1458
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In case anyone is looking for a big battery for cheap, I just bought a 12VDC 7.2AH from American Science and Surplus for $10.



I also bought a foot pump for $5



Total with shipping was $20.
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Old 12-23-06, 01:18 PM   #1459
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgholmes59
R&D $200. Just kidding. Probably about $100. lol
I think we sometimes forget this item. I spent $62 building a single MR16 headlight with a xenon strobe (still running!) tail light. But the extra gadgets and spare parts and tools and duct tape ... I didn't tally that up, but it was easily $30.
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Old 12-26-06, 02:52 PM   #1460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
Battery is as described, and should give me 1.8 hours to 50% charge with 12v, 20w MR-16 based on this calculator (note: only works in IE)

Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
I also bought a foot pump for $5


The foot pump is a total POS, but it does work and WTH for $5.
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Old 12-29-06, 03:41 PM   #1461
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I finally wrote the instructions for my homemade light using the Optronics fog lights. I thought I would post the link here for those that need help with their own lights. I hope they are helpful.

Last edited by dgholmes59; 01-02-07 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 01-02-07, 02:13 PM   #1462
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holmes:

pretty code, but that's all I got.
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Old 01-02-07, 02:22 PM   #1463
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been pootling around with a homebrew MR16 for a while.

Ordered a bunch of batteries and charger from batteryspace, but my 14.4v overvoltaged 35w bulb melted the pvc housing.

I was at home depot the other day and checked out their outdoor lighting section, and ta-daa! Red Dot aluminum outdoor flood light housing and silicone grommets/covers--results in a perfect fit no melting, and good heat dispersion. I just cut the screw-in bulb socket out, plugged in the ceramic MR16 connector from batteryspace, and cut one of the silicone covers to make a gasket for the bulb. The housing even has a little hole that fits a radioshack toggle real well (with a bit of filing and dremeling of the inside). Housing: $3 or something, silicone covers were 2.

It also has an articulated base that fits great in the clamp part of old bike reflector mounts (with an innertube shim).

I should add it looks pretty pro, despite my attempts to muck it up with duct tape (no soldering iron for me).
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Old 01-02-07, 03:04 PM   #1464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comradehoser
holmes:

pretty code, but that's all I got.
Me too.
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Old 01-02-07, 03:57 PM   #1465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comradehoser
holmes:

pretty code, but that's all I got.
It seems it is a Internet Explorer specific page.
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Old 01-02-07, 04:07 PM   #1466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Map tester
It seems it is a Internet Explorer specific page.
If you use Firefox (like I do) you can get an Add-On called IE Tabs which will render a page using IE. It worked for this.
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Old 01-02-07, 05:17 PM   #1467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgholmes59
You can also buy the Optronics fog lights from JCWhitney. Buy the round ones and ignore that it says it uses an H-3 bulb. I personally bought this light from them and put a Phillips energy saver 20W MR-16 spot in one and 20W flood in the other ...
Could you explain further? Does the MR16 replace both the reflector and the H3 bulb, or do the housings not really have H3's in them?
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Old 01-02-07, 07:03 PM   #1468
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As far as the code, it was made using Microsoft Word so I guess they made it only work with IE. I wonder how I would save it so it would work with other browsers. I know nothing about making this html stuff. I make it in Word and save it in html format. If you have suggestions, I will try to make it work for all browsers.

The Optronics fog lights come with 50 watt MR16 bulbs, not H3's. Just remove the 50W MR16 bulbs and install the 20W MR16 bulbs.
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Old 01-02-07, 07:27 PM   #1469
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Map tester
Can you give a review/source for your Luxeon III MR16 bulb? Brightness compared to halogen, cost, etc?

About the water in your bulb, I agree about putting the gap on the bottom. When I was using the 14 watt sealed beam bulbs, water would sometime get inside the housing; I just drilled two small holes on the bottom for the water to drain out--worked fine.
Thanks for the reply. Sorry for taking so long to get back. My Luxeon III MR16 is from http://autolumination.com/mr16.htm. At the time they only offered it in one color, which is fairly bluish so I presume it's the "cool white". It was advertised as having a 100 degree beam, though in practice the majority of light is concentrated into a 15 degree beam where you want it. There's significant overspill beyond 15 degrees, which is actually very nice and provides decent peripheral vision on dark pathways, with a very sharp edge to the beam at about 100 degrees.

Overall light output seems equivalent to a 5-6W halogen, though still less than a 10W. It puts out noticeably a bit less light than my Priceton Tec Apex headlamp, also a Luxeon III but a particularly well designed one. Still noticeably more light than the 1W Luxeon Princeton Tec Eos I use on my helmet. It's enough to light up your path in low light situations at moderate speeds, and still enough to be visible on the pavement in most lighted streets.

I measured the effective current draw at about 4 watts, so it's clearly not the most efficient LED assembly out there. But it's still more efficient than a low-wattage halogen, it's just the right amount of light for my low beam needs, and the beam shape is absolutely perfect, so I'm very happy with it.
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Old 01-02-07, 07:36 PM   #1470
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Link will now work for you guys running firefox. I just tested it with my Unix machine running Mozilla and it worked. I had to save the Word file as html filtered. Enjoy.
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Old 01-02-07, 11:03 PM   #1471
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeezyDeezy
I'm confused... Now I've seen that both the radioshack strobes and the all-electronics ones have failed on people because they can't handle vibration? If I buy one, I want it to last a while. What is the recommendation?

Thanks!
NeezyDeezy and others who have or are considering Zenon strobe units: I have used the same now discontinued Radio Shack strobe for close to fifteen (15) years. The first, all $15.00 of it, failed in a few weeks. When I opened it I found a large (thumb joint sized) capacitor attached to the sircuit board by only two lead wires. I simply brought another unit, carefully opened it and used gobs of simple translucent silicone caulk to brace it. Reassembled it has lasted since the early 1990s. The flash intesity is far FAR superior to any other flasher I have seen. It exceeds the flashers you see on some forklifts one sees in warehouses. One night my headlight failed and I finished the ride down the unlit moonless bike path using the forward part of the 360 degree strobe. When I rode the night rides with the Orange County Wheelmen in Southern California I was told to ride at the back of the pack, my taillight hurt their eyes. If it ever was stolen or broke I would check out the All-electronic strobe immediately, opening one to check for loose parts.

It uses a watt or two, trivial with my 144 watt-hour battery.
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Old 01-03-07, 01:53 AM   #1472
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgholmes59
Link will now work for you guys running firefox. I just tested it with my Unix machine running Mozilla and it worked. I had to save the Word file as html filtered. Enjoy.
My linux box thanks you
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Old 01-04-07, 05:14 PM   #1473
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I just ordered my Optronics lights from JC Whitney and was wondering if you can use an MR-16 that comes without the lens in these lights?
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Old 01-04-07, 07:28 PM   #1474
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
I just ordered my Optronics lights from JC Whitney and was wondering if you can use an MR-16 that comes without the lens in these lights?
I wouldn't, but one probably can. However, bulbs with covers are pretty cheap. No cover also means no protection for a very hot bulb from wet conditions that can shatter it. You can find the 20 watt MR-16s at just about any hardware store. I got mine at Home Depot for like $7 each. Even the local mom+pop hardware stores around here have them on their 4 foot display of "specialty lighting".

+1 on the linux thing by the way. Both my work and home pc have run linux 95% exclusively for years now.

Ken

Last edited by penquissciguy; 01-04-07 at 07:32 PM. Reason: Misread original post
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Old 01-04-07, 07:37 PM   #1475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penquissciguy
I wouldn't, but one probably can. However, bulbs with covers are pretty cheap. No cover also means no protection for a very hot bulb from wet conditions that can shatter it. You can find the 20 watt MR-16s at just about any hardware store. I got mine at Home Depot for like $7 each. Even the local mom+pop hardware stores around here have them on their 4 foot display of "specialty lighting".

+1 on the linux thing by the way. Both my work and home pc have run linux 95% exclusively for years now.

Ken
I think I did not word my question very well. I ALREADY have a 20W MR-16 w/o a lens so I was wondering if I could use that in place of the one that comes in the Optronics light. So, I guess part of my question is does the Optronics light come with it's own lens that is not part of the bulb assembly?

P.S. I am using Ubuntu right now on my laptop (Ubuntu wireless support is awesome) and like it a lot, but the new SUSE version really rocks. I am using that on my desktop and love it.
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