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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Anytime my (not waterproof) handlebar bag gets wet I take every thing out and prop it open to let it dry as much as possible. For now I am taking the battery out every day for charging so condensation is not an issue yet.

    I am just trying to fill in one piece of the puzzle at a time. It is great fun, and already I have a VERY nice headlight!
    Rainman,
    You can make a Y shaped connector that can either go the recharger or to the light. Then your battery can just stay in the bag. When you arrive, just swap the leads to recharge.

    Building on your idea...For condensation, you could make your own vents in places that cannot take on water. Or try those Ziploc Veggie bags. Or a marine store has stuff to nix water from boat cabins.

    Here's an except: http://www.ontariorabbits.org/interest/hint_1.htm <---excuse the topic they're discussing!
    >Ziploc Vegetable Bags...each bag contains hundreds of freshness vents that are designed to let excess moisture out, while holding in the right amount of moisture.

    Your bracket sounds similar to mine but I used that pipe aluminum. Wonder if it can retrofit the switch...zzz tomorrow!

  2. #127
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Hi folks!

    Although my battery comes with it's own "weather-resistant casing," it's function is not to be exposed to the elements every day, so I added my own extra weather-resistant case: my daughter's old "Arctic Zone" insulated lunch bag. It has a zippered, nylon-covered plastic box on the bottom that's lined with plastic and is exactly the right size for my 4.5 AH SLA battery. When I arrive at work, I zip it open and out comes the battery (this is a good design because if I ever had to leave my bike outside somewhere I could still take the battery with me to charge when I got inside.) The battery disconnects easily because it uses a cigar-shaped plug for cigarette lighters. You can also use a
    standard plug from a hardware store to make your battery portable. In either case, be absolutely sure to get the polarity right.

    I discovered that my red auto tail light draws more power than necessary. I still have an 1:30 hours run time, but that's way down from 2:20. I discovered the 1156 bulb it uses is available in LED form on the net, but so far haven't found it in stores. Or, I can get the ready-made LED light w/dome for about $10 at Auto Zone. Until then, my commute is only an hour and I recharge at work, so
    the standard 1156 bulb is fine. In fact, it's kind of bright, which is great! But if I had my 'druthers, I'd go with an automobile LED tail light to reduce the power draw.

    My original single-headlamp, 20W system (using my old blinkies in the rear) only cost me $32. Compare that to $50 for a 10W light system.

    By adding an extra 35W light, upgrading the light bulbs, waterproofing, adding bright tail light and strobe brought it up to $82. Compare that to $200 for a dual-light system using 10W and 15W (25W combined,) instead of 20W and 35W (55W combined.)

    Oh, and my $12 car horn was also possible due to the 12V power source. (Should I add a stereo?)
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 02-07-04 at 08:31 AM.
    No worries

  3. #128
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Here's what I found in a quick search. This system is, of course, superior to my $82 system in many ways, except 3--cost, power and rear visibility:

    http://www.night-sun.com/htmldocs/trilight.html
    No worries

  4. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Here's what I found in a quick search. This system is, of course, superior to my $82 system in many ways, except 3--cost, power and rear visibility:

    http://thelight.dontspamme.html
    Hey dig that price. And is it better than yours? probably NOT! The switch seems errr ... It'd nevery hold up for the kind of riding that I do.

  5. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Hi folks!

    Oh, and my $12 car horn was also possible due to the 12V power source. (Should I add a stereo?)
    OK you asked for it! Here's how! Jamm'n!

    http://www.lisp.com.au/~michael/pers...OnBicycle.html

  6. #131
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    OK you asked for it! Here's how! Jamm'n!

    http://www.lisp.com.au/~michael/pers...OnBicycle.html
    Thanks, Vr!

    Hey, I'd like to know where Raymond got a 5 AH battery for $11. What a bargain! And I like his 13.2V overvoltaging idea. I'm looking into that.

    (I guess the smart thing would be to e-mail him, eh? )
    No worries

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Thanks, Vr!

    Hey, I'd like to know where Raymond got a 5 AH battery for $11. )
    I guess the real question is... where are you going to install a cell phone and recharger?

    -V

  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Hi folks!

    I discovered that my red auto tail light draws more power than necessary.
    LittleBig,
    I've heard that you can put a little resistor to step down the amount of power going to the bulb. Don't know what it's called. Maybe the auto parts store could help you. If you find out the details, please post 'em.

    -V

  9. #134
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I got the 5.0 AH battery from zbattery.com. I'm sure you can get one locally for less than $15. The electronics store a few blocks away has them.

    Seems like if you reduce the amount of power you will dim the bulb. I would go with an LED taillight to reduce power consumption. The 8-LED I got draws only 0.05 amps, that's 5 one-hundredths of an amp. It was $6-7 plus shipping from led-r-us.com. They have others, though not with the reflective lens, up to 61 LEDs.

    Yesterday I put on my prototype bracket and mounted my light and a toggle switch. I even found a boot to keep water out of the switch. The boot replaces the switch's mounting nut and forms a weather tight seal. I used some of the sealed wire nuts for the exposed connection for right now. It was raining on the way home, and everything worked fine. If I have a chance today I take a close up picture of the bracket. It doesn't look bad at all. Still have the battery in my bar bag for now. Next phase is to create a bracket for mounting one or two of the LED taillights and strobe.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  10. #135
    Rider in the Storm
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    Just thought I'd interject to say I'm curious how your end results turn out with respect to both durability and aesthetics. I'm entertaining the idea of building a high-powered, low cost light system, but, in addition to correct function, I would want a fairly sharp looking result.

    Each of your efforts and trials will undoubtedly save me from much trial and error. I would also like to see your arrangements if possible. In other words, I'm just chiming in my request for final specs and pictures if possible.

  11. #136
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    [QUOTE=RainmanP]
    Next phase is to create a bracket for mounting one or two of the LED taillights and strobe.
    [QUOTE]

    If you already have a rack on your bike, you can usually attach the lights to the back end of the rack. But I don't know how to attach more than one set of lights to the battery.

  12. #137
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    vr,
    My rack has a little bracket for a blinky, but it is too lightweight for what I have in mind. I have devised something out of 2"x1/8" aluminum bar that should do nicely. Still have to drill the mounting holes and attach it.

    I have ridden the last 2-3 days in a constant light rain, and everything is holding up nicely. I mounted the headlight and the toggle switch with boot on the bracket I made. It is working great. The switch is not totally sealed, but I did wrap a piece of innertube around it to keep spray off of it. Nothing can really get into any of the electricals.

    Aesthetically, it doesn't look bad at all, though eventually I hope to refine it a bit. For now I am still experimenting with how the pieces go together. Once I am satisfied I will start finalizing the package as a whole, physically, electrically, and aesthetically. I promise to get a pic of the bracket, light, and switch as soon as I can.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  13. #138
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    BTW, the Liquid Tape is great for sealing every kind of nook and cranny that might take in water or humidity. So far, so good!

    No worries

  14. #139
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pete. When I get everything finalized I plan to solder and Liquid Tape all appropriate connections. For now the weatherproof wire nuts are great for splices I may decide to re-do.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  15. #140
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    As promised here is a pic of my light on its bracket. As described in an earlier post the bracket is just 1 1/4"x1/16" aluminum bar bent to form a clamping action with space for the switch in a somewhat protected area. You can see that the part where the light is mounted is where two layers of this light (and therefore easy to work) bar comes back together. The double thickness is sturdy and quite stable enough for this light. The light head is an Optronics QH-8CC driving light available directly from Optronics.com. The light uses a 12V MR-16, probably the most common lamp for low voltage fixtures of all kinds, and therefore easily available in a variety of voltages and beam spreads, from $3-10. Right now I am using a Phillips Energy Saver bulb that draws 20W, but produces light equivalent to a regular 35W. The switch and protective boot are Gardner Bender available from Lowe's. The card for the switch doesn't have a model number, just Toggle. It is SPST rated for 6 amps at 125V. The blue you can see peeking out from under the innertube "skirt" are the sealant-filled, weather resistant wire nuts, also from Lowe's. There were two kinds, super ones that can be buried, $3+ for 6, and the ones I got which were about a buck and a quarter for 6. The gold colored cord will be gone; it was all the store had when I was anxious to get some. I have since gotten some black 18 ga, 2 conductor that I will be using. I will also be using a shorter screw under the light to get rid of that unsightly excess length. Screws/nuts are all stainless 10x24. The black "nut" you can see just a bit of in the corner formed by bar and bracket is actually a plastic know with threaded insert, also 10x24, which is easy to unscrew by hand. I had planned to put one under the light as well, but I drilled the hole just a little to close to the vertical bit of bracket. I plan to fix that on the next iteration so the bracket can be removed without tools.

    The battery is housed in a handlebar bag which I have removed for a better view of the bracket. The battery and all connections are also inside a weather resistant bag inside the bar bag for more protection because my bar bag is not waterproof. The plan is for battery and connections to reside in a box on the rear rack eventually.

    I can't think of anything else. Questions?
    Regards,
    Raymond
    Last edited by RainmanP; 02-12-04 at 02:43 PM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  16. #141
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Questions?
    Regards,
    Raymond
    Yes, Raymond. I would like to know if you could post the link through which I can order those Phillips MR-16's that draw 20W but produce 35W equivalent light (and the 35W that produces 50W light.)

    No worries

  17. #142
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Your wish is my command, sir!

    http://www.bulbs.com/products/produc...ucts&class=840

    And if anyone is interested in the Solux bulbs that produce a crisp white light check the following link. The higher the color temperature - 3500K, 4100K, 4700K, the whiter the light. I can attest that the 4700K throws beautiful white light.

    http://lightbulbsdirect.com/Merchant...de=SoLux+Bulbs
    Last edited by RainmanP; 02-12-04 at 07:49 PM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  18. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    As promised here is a pic of my light on its bracket. As described in an earlier post the bracket is just 1 1/4"x1/16" aluminum bar bent to form a clamping action with space for the switch in a somewhat protected area.
    RainMan, you rock! My bracket is the aluminum pipe bracket. It holds the light well but I like your idea of combining the switch on the same bracket. Mine can't do that!

    Also mine attaches to the stem instead of the handlebars. Wonder if that'll limit the light's throw? Hmmm....been busy at work etc and cycling! Will probably finish all this weekend. Then I'll post a picture or two.

    Even tho, I'm an engineer, I never had "shop" at school so don't be expecting as cool of a light as this!

    Regards!
    -Virginia

  19. #144
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Your wish is my command, sir!
    Halelluja!

    Bless you, sir.

    No worries

  20. #145
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    I know what you mean, Virginia. My dad thought trade classes were a waste of town for a college bound student. What I wouldn't give to have taken wood shop, metal shop and auto shop!

    Stem should be fine, I would think. I wouldn't like it because when I walk my bike I usually hold it by the stem with one hand. Once I get my battery out of the handlebar bag and back on the rack I may look at devising a bracket that attaches like a spacer under a threadless stem and hangs down so it would work on bikes with either centerpull or caliper brakes.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  21. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP

    Stem should be fine, I would think. I wouldn't like it because when I walk my bike I usually hold it by the stem with one hand. Once I get my battery out of the handlebar bag and back on the rack I may look at devising a bracket that attaches like a spacer under a threadless stem and hangs down so it would work on bikes with either centerpull or caliper brakes.
    Ideally, an rod bar that suspends horizontally from the handlebar would be cool. Then a line of turn signals, lights, and goodies. Like this!

    LT ---Centerlight ----- RT--AccessoriesLIKE GPS

    Then ditto for the back ...and all on one battery.

    Right now, I'm just going to do the KISS approach (keep it simple) but allow enough wire so that it can be lenghtened. It's best to have a perm bracket so stuff isn't dropping off on the streets!
    Last edited by vrkelley; 02-13-04 at 02:57 PM.

  22. #147
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    vr,
    I was thinking more of just two lights up front, though only burning one at a time most of the time. But the back will have three, 2 of the 8-LED reflector lens lights that only draw 0.04 amps, plus one 61-LED burner that draws about 0.4 amps in the center. I have one of the 8-LED refllectors. I just ordered another of these and the 61-LED. The 8 LED are just marker lights, the 61 is actually a NHTSA-approved brake-turn-tail light. Initially I am just going to hook it up as the constant on brake (brightest). Later I plan to add a flasher to the big light, but the 8-LED lights will be constant on. I just put on my new bracket, 18 inches wide to accomodate the 3 lights though only the one is in place right now (8-LED centered). Already I feel like I have reached levels of geekiness heretofore unimagined on this forum. When I add the other two lights I will be untouchable! Oh, yes, Rainman WILL be king.
    Last edited by RainmanP; 02-13-04 at 02:47 PM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  23. #148
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Already I feel like I have reached levels of geekiness heretofore unimagined on this forum. When I add the other two lights I will be untouchable! Oh, yes, Rainman will be KING.
    Long live the King!

    I hitherto pledge my allegiance to Lord Rainman, King of Great Geekdom!

    (LBM kneels, Rainman touches him on the shoulders with a strip of wire.)
    No worries

  24. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP
    Already I feel like I have reached levels of geekiness heretofore unimagined on this forum. When I add the other two lights I will be untouchable! Oh, yes, Rainman WILL be king.
    Rainman,
    No worries...Not even close! Dude I'm miles ahead of you in that dpt!
    And I suspect you're just getting started. You'll get the two lights on and... something else will come to mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by RainmanP

    Oh, yes, Rainman WILL be king. MWA-HAW HAW HAW....

  25. #150
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    Progress is steady. I had to remake the front bracket to hold the switch. The switch seats in the bracket nicely and is waterproof.

    Problem with the connectors on the battery. So I'll have to switch to a simpler battery. Old one has a post and it's next to impossible to keep good contact. The Firestorm drill battery has a slide in contact. This battery will be used also.

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