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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #1476
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    Quote Originally Posted by deputyjones
    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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  2. #1477
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    The 50W lamps that come with the Optronics lights have their own lens. The metal shells are simply shells. Check the physical dimensions of the lens-less lamp and see if it has the same dimensions as the ones that have lenses. The lens-less ones may not fit right and rattle about or something. See if it works, and if it does, fine, but don't take it out in the rain.

    I am also of the opinion that you need to have a lens to protect the hot lamp from moisture. A water drop hitting the hot glass will cause it to shatter. Not good if you're out in the middle of nowhere at night, in the rain... or a stupid bug smacks into it.

    O.T. A Boy Scout thing would be to see if you can use the lens-less lamps to start a fire. A little tinder in the reflector, turn on the light and poof! Instant fire. I don't know...whatever... its late... or is that a McGuyver thing.

  3. #1478
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    question:

    is it advisable to link up a parallel-wired set of D-batteries to a serially-wired set of AAs in order to increase the Ah without increasing voltage? My overvoltaged 35w bulb is eating up the AAs pretty fast, even though they're 2500 mAh.

    also, on a lighter note, I was putzing around with the wiring and shorted 14.4v--the smell of seared finger is awesome.

  4. #1479
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    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    question:

    is it advisable to link up a parallel-wired set of D-batteries to a serially-wired set of AAs in order to increase the Ah without increasing voltage? My overvoltaged 35w bulb is eating up the AAs pretty fast, even though they're 2500 mAh.

    also, on a lighter note, I was putzing around with the wiring and shorted 14.4v--the smell of seared finger is awesome.
    I wouldn't advise it. There's a danger of voltage imbalance, and the resulting smell is just as bad as burnt flesh....
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  5. #1480
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    A 35 Watt bulb is going to eat up those small batteries pretty quick. If you are going to run that large of a bulb, I would advise a SLA battery of 7AH or use a smaller wattage bulb of less than 20 watts. 10 to 15 watt would give you 1.5 to 2.0 hours of runtime.


    P (power) =I(Current) * E(voltage)

    35W/12V = 2.9 amps which is what the bulb will draw at 12V.

    2.5 AH /2.9 amps is approximately 52 minutes but it will be more like 35 min. or less and that will not be full brightness for the 35 minutes.

    I would recommend a larger battery capacity or a smaller wattage bulb if you are worried about the weight of a SLA battery.

    These are only calculated runtimes. I would experiment with the runtimes on the bench before going out with the light because you sure don't want to get out miles from the house and run out of light.

    I run two 20 watt halogen lights with a 6 Ah or 7 ah SLA battery. I only run one light until it gets real dark and then I run both. But I try to ensure I am almost done with my ride because I know my battery is going to run down twice as fast with both.
    Last edited by dgholmes59; 01-05-07 at 06:03 AM.

  6. #1481
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    Thanks y'all.

    Holmes--yeah, I have a 20w bulb, but I looove the overvoltaged 35w--it is painfully bright to oncoming traffic.

    with my current set up, I have about 40-50 mins runtime, more than enough enough for the commute home in the dark.

    However, one of my batteries shifted in the rack a bit and looks like it had a bit of a short, so I think it might be dead, or causing an incomplete charge. My light's only been giving 30 mins lately, just barely enough to get home

    Guess it's time to pony up for the NiMh pack, or go SLA.

  7. #1482
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    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    Thanks y'all.

    Holmes--yeah, I have a 20w bulb, but I looove the overvoltaged 35w--it is painfully bright to oncoming traffic.

    with my current set up, I have about 40-50 mins runtime, more than enough enough for the commute home in the dark.

    However, one of my batteries shifted in the rack a bit and looks like it had a bit of a short, so I think it might be dead, or causing an incomplete charge. My light's only been giving 30 mins lately, just barely enough to get home

    Guess it's time to pony up for the NiMh pack, or go SLA.
    Or you could really show 'em who's boss, and get a lithium battery.
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  8. #1483
    Slow ride, take it easy - Frankenbiker's Avatar
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    Well, I put the Optronics driving lights on my bike this morning and rode over to the hardware store to get some more stuff. Two blocks from my house one of the light's retaining ring fell off and went rolling down the street on its own . Fortunately there was little traffic since it was Sunday and I was able to retrieve it before it was run over. Anyway, I had been forewarned in a previous thread that the retaining ring could fall off, so it wasn't unexpected. However, these lights definitely need to have some type of small sheet metal screw put in to keep the ring in place, or perhaps some electrical tape around the perimeter. *sigh*

    Here is a picture of the housing, etcetera, without the mounting bracket (still on the bike) since there happened to be an inquiry about the housing a few posts above.
    05030.jpg

  9. #1484
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankenbiker
    Well, I put the Optronics driving lights on my bike this morning and rode over to the hardware store to get some more stuff. Two blocks from my house one of the light's retaining ring fell off and went rolling down the street on its own . Fortunately there was little traffic since it was Sunday and I was able to retrieve it before it was run over. Anyway, I had been forewarned in a previous thread that the retaining ring could fall off, so it wasn't unexpected. However, these lights definitely need to have some type of small sheet metal screw put in to keep the ring in place, or perhaps some electrical tape around the perimeter. *sigh*
    I thought about the screw thing myself .. placed on the bottom it would also provide for drainage of water that gets inside the housing. What I've found works well instead of electrical tape is Reflectix metallic duct tape. I just take a narrow 2" strip and wrap it around part of the junction between the retaining ring and the housing. Since it's shiny silver in color it blends in with the Optronics housing, and seems to take the heat just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    question:

    is it advisable to link up a parallel-wired set of D-batteries to a serially-wired set of AAs in order to increase the Ah without increasing voltage? My overvoltaged 35w bulb is eating up the AAs pretty fast, even though they're 2500 mAh.

    also, on a lighter note, I was putzing around with the wiring and shorted 14.4v--the smell of seared finger is awesome.
    Wow, that's going to be very tough on batteries. I'm running my (non-overvoltaged) 35W off a 5000mAh NiMH battery pack, and that's pushing the batteries about as hard as anyone should. I think even 5000mAh would be have a hard time handling an overvoltaged 35W very well.

    My system is fully drained in just over an hour (which fortunately is just long enough for me). I've gotten away with that for a year so far, but if the battery pack doesn't make it though a second year I may step up to the next level in power. I think the next level in NiMH is 8000mAh or so ... in which case I'll probably step the bulb up to 50W too! More is better!
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    okay, so what is the advantage of overvoltaging, really? I just did it because I could, but...

    Am I basically just burning stuff out faster?

    I thought there would be some sort of gain for battery life, but if I'm busting aH and heat like a 50w party, why don't I just run a 50watter in there at a marginal extra expense if the housing can take it? I could save a little weight on the batts, too.

  11. #1486
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    Quote Originally Posted by comradehoser
    okay, so what is the advantage of overvoltaging, really? I just did it because I could, but...

    Am I basically just burning stuff out faster?

    I thought there would be some sort of gain for battery life, but if I'm busting aH and heat like a 50w party, why don't I just run a 50watter in there at a marginal extra expense if the housing can take it? I could save a little weight on the batts, too.
    Better efficiency. A given bulb run at 10% over its rated voltage uses about 20% more power than at its rated voltage ... but delivers 35-40% more light. At 20% over rated voltage you draw about 25% more power than at rated voltage but get about 80% more light. The downside is reduced bulb life, but if you're reducing a rated life of 3000-5000 hours to a few hundred hours, a lot of cyclists consider the tradeoff to be worth it.

    http://nordicgroup.us/s78/wattslumens.html

    See the above link for a chart of wattage and light output at various drive states. I believe the lumen figures in this chart are actually wildly optimistic for halogens, but the relative values for rated vs. 10% over vs. 20 % over should be correct.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  12. #1487
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    Connector question for those in the know ...

    When I built up my homebrew system a year ago, I reused the old connectors from a couple of old TurboCat systems. That was fine at first, but those connectors were years old already and a couple of them are starting to fail. I'm planning to rewire my system with new connectors (among other changes), and I'd like to know what experiences others have had with the various types. At batteryspace.com they've got several types:

    Their widest selection is of Mini Tamiya connectors. My charger came with the full size Tamiya, which seems easy to use but does feel just a little bit cheap:


    What they label simply as their "waterproof" connector:


    BEC connectors look nice, but are prewired with AWG 22 wire, which seems a little lightweight for this application.


    Hitec. These seem a little silly since the connectors themselves are 3 conductor, and are also wired with AWG 22:


    Any preferences? My inclination is towards the "waterproof" connectors since they appear a bit more durable.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  13. #1488
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    Batteryspace sells another type of waterproof connector that you didn't list:



    It's the Powerizer 2-conductor waterproof lockable connector. I use this on my lights, and it works very well.
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    Can I swap a 6V/20W halo bulb into my cygo nitro headpiece in place of the 6V15W bulb? Would there be any kind of fire/meltdown risk, or is it just extra draw on the battery?

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    Here is what I've done..

    I'm using a 12v , 5Ah sealed lead acid battery and a Home Depot garden flood light ..

    I hacked and grinded the steak so it fit into my steerer tube and then drilled a hole in the middle and ran a zip-tie to hold it down (and straight ahead !)

    I used old computer power cables and an old computer power supply socket as the quick-disconnect with a 10watt inline fuse.

    The light is 20 watts. and cost $ 9.99 at home depot.
    The battery cost $ 12 at zbattery.com
    The charger also costs about $12 at zbattery.com

    This thing is so bright that it blinds you at almost any distance !!!!! I can't wait to use it !!!!

    pics - 56k dies ...











    Thanks for keeping it geeky !

    (a few more pictures are included in the next post:
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    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Here are the rest:




    Charger wires hooked to a spare PC power cable, this hooks to the battery to charge it up overnight =)




    Connector on the end of the light, it will run from the lamp to my bookbag (and into the battery).

    =)




    Last edited by fordfasterr; 01-11-07 at 05:27 PM.
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    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    Excellent idea with the AC recepticle, I may have to borrow it

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    Connector question for those in the know ...
    When I built up my homebrew system a year ago, I reused the old connectors from a couple of old TurboCat systems. That was fine at first, but those connectors were years old already and a couple of them are starting to fail. I'm planning to rewire my system with new connectors (among other changes), and I'd like to know what experiences others have had with the various types. At batteryspace.com they've got several types:

    Their widest selection is of Mini Tamiya connectors. My charger came with the full size Tamiya, which seems easy to use but does feel just a little bit cheap:
    I have a couple pairs of RC batteries with these connectors. I wired a matching connector to my helmet light 6v system. I also wired a double connectors in serial to work with my DIY 12v system.
    What they label simply as their "waterproof" connector:
    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    My 12v system uses these connectors on the battery, several pairs of optronics housings, and the lightbrain controller. I also have a 2 Tamiya connector <==> waterproof connector as stated above. I found them for $1.50. I like them because they're polarized and one unit provides two connections.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwoloz
    Excellent idea with the AC recepticle, I may have to borrow it
    I just got to work.. I used the light the entire way in the dark -pre-dawn time..

    My purpose for getting this light is two-fold, the same as everyone else I think (to light up the road, and to make me more visible to drivers and hopefully reduce / prevent left-hooks).

    It works as advertised. Some have said that the standard bulb that is included with this light is more of a floodlight (which is what it says on the box) and that one can swap the bulb for a direct-fit "spotilght-type" bulb.

    What is the part # for this spotlight bulb ?


    I noticed that the beam is very spread out. I pointed the light a bit lower to get a good view of the road ahead, but the most I can get is 20-30 feet (very VERY bright) but I would like something that can light up the road further ahead.

    I am certain that drivers can see it, because I stood in front of it from far ahead and I was still blinded from 50 feet + ... I'm certain it is performing its intended duties as advertised... I just want MORE !
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    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgholmes59
    A 35 Watt bulb is going to eat up those small batteries pretty quick. If you are going to run that large of a bulb, I would advise a SLA battery of 7AH or use a smaller wattage bulb of less than 20 watts. 10 to 15 watt would give you 1.5 to 2.0 hours of runtime.


    P (power) =I(Current) * E(voltage)

    35W/12V = 2.9 amps which is what the bulb will draw at 12V.

    2.5 AH /2.9 amps is approximately 52 minutes but it will be more like 35 min. or less and that will not be full brightness for the 35 minutes.

    I would recommend a larger battery capacity or a smaller wattage bulb if you are worried about the weight of a SLA battery.

    These are only calculated runtimes. I would experiment with the runtimes on the bench before going out with the light because you sure don't want to get out miles from the house and run out of light.

    I run two 20 watt halogen lights with a 6 Ah or 7 ah SLA battery. I only run one light until it gets real dark and then I run both. But I try to ensure I am almost done with my ride because I know my battery is going to run down twice as fast with both.

    Once you know the aH and the amp draw, how do you calculate the run-time ? ??
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    Nevermind, I figured it out lol =)

    run-time = ((volts x amph)/watts)

    teeheee
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  22. #1497
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    Can I swap a 6V/20W halo bulb into my cygo nitro headpiece in place of the 6V15W bulb? Would there be any kind of fire/meltdown risk, or is it just extra draw on the battery?
    There shouldn't be any heat problems but your run time is going to be cut down. The 20W bulb will draw 3.3 A while the 15W bulb will draw 2.5 A. If you have a 3.3 Ah battery, you'll lose about a half an hour with the 20 W bulb. In other words, you'll lose about 25% of your capacity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    There shouldn't be any heat problems but your run time is going to be cut down. The 20W bulb will draw 3.3 A while the 15W bulb will draw 2.5 A. If you have a 3.3 Ah battery, you'll lose about a half an hour with the 20 W bulb. In other words, you'll lose about 25% of your capacity.
    I think I can live with that.

    Thanks!

  24. #1499
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    I picked up a 4 LED tail light. (got it for $ 12.99 at the autoparts) but the same light is available online for $ 4.99 (from what I've seen)...



    I hooked it up to the rear reflector / zip tied to the rear fender.

    I wired in parallel with the front light. (now it is permanent .. =( )

    Take a look:





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  25. #1500
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    I've ordered up the pieces for my bike-light-to-be. I've gone with what seem to be the "best practices" around here: 5Ah deep-cycle SLA & charger (zbattery.com), optronics lights (jcwhitney.com), xenon strobe (allelectronics.com), 20W energy-saver bulb (bulbs.com), waterproof switches (batteryspace.com). (I also ended up getting a couple more bulb types at bulbs.com, wires & connectors at allelectronics.com)

    ...of course, I ended up ordering from 5 different places. Total cost before shipping: about $100. Shipping: $36. Ouch. So my question is: are there any places out there where I could have gotten more of these things in one place, without having to spend $6-$8 for shipping at 5 different places?

    It's too late for me now, I've already put down my money, but anyone have suggestions for where I might have gone?

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