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-   -   Total Geekiness (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/42629-total-geekiness.html)

fordfasterr 01-14-07 04:21 PM

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:

http://velocide.com/images_old/2007_...t/p1010096.jpg

http://velocide.com/images_old/2007_...t/p1010097.jpg

http://velocide.com/images_old/2007_...t/p1010098.jpg

phred000 01-15-07 10:27 PM

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?

powerhouse 01-16-07 12:29 PM

What is the biggest, brightest rear safety light available that I can CLIP to the tab on the back of a pannier?

Strobe lights are preferable but I'm considering others,too. I'd like to get one that can be seen during the day!

I welcome your suggestions.

Powerhouse

comradehoser 01-17-07 02:01 PM

Powerhouse--I've seen the movie of the Nova Bull--That really is an insanely bright rear blinkie. Don't know if it's clippable, though.

for my project, I'm getting down to soldering, and I ordered a 14.4v 5Ah pack of C cells from batteryspace to run my overvoltaged 35w project. I will post some pics very soon. When y'all say "overvoltaged 35w is rough on the AA batteries", this means ??? They drain pretty fast and get warm, okay, but does this just mean they will die faster? Or, will they light up the night in a large ball of flame?

Stupid question: is it not adviseable to throw in some variously charged odd batteries laying about the house on top of my bike light battery pack (not exceeding the smart charger's max capacity).

cyccommute 01-17-07 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by comradehoser
Powerhouse--I've seen the movie of the Nova Bull--That really is an insanely bright rear blinkie. Don't know if it's clippable, though.

for my project, I'm getting down to soldering, and I ordered a 14.4v 5Ah pack of C cells from batteryspace to run my overvoltaged 35w project. I will post some pics very soon. When y'all say "overvoltaged 35w is rough on the AA batteries", this means ??? They drain pretty fast and get warm, okay, but does this just mean they will die faster? Or, will they light up the night in a large ball of flame?

Stupid question: is it not adviseable to throw in some variously charged odd batteries laying about the house on top of my bike light battery pack (not exceeding the smart charger's max capacity).

Yes, for small batteries (low Ah rating) high current draw will shorten their life. For a detailed description go here. For your pack, you are pulling 2.4A from a 5 Ah battery which means you are drawing about half the battery capacity per hour. This is actually a pretty comfortable amperage draw for a rechargeable. If you were using a 2.5 Ah battery, you'd be on the edge. If you were using AA batteries (1.3Ah), you'd be killing them in no time flat.

Heat, whether on charging or discharge, is the enemy of nearly all rechargeable batteries.

fordfasterr 01-17-07 05:26 PM

I have since modified my light setup by attaching the 5Ah sla 12v battery to the seat-post frame-mounted water bottle cage.

I re-wired the whole thing and ran the PC power plug underneath and up to the battery power socket.

Pics will be up 2morrow =)

Battery comes right out and seems to be held down very tight all by itself..

So far so good !!!!

comradehoser 01-18-07 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cyccommute
Yes, for small batteries (low Ah rating) high current draw will shorten their life. For a detailed description go here. For your pack, you are pulling 2.4A from a 5 Ah battery which means you are drawing about half the battery capacity per hour. This is actually a pretty comfortable amperage draw for a rechargeable. If you were using a 2.5 Ah battery, you'd be on the edge. If you were using AA batteries (1.3Ah), you'd be killing them in no time flat.

Heat, whether on charging or discharge, is the enemy of nearly all rechargeable batteries.

Actually, my current pack is 12 2.5Ah AA batteries, so I guess I'm on the edge. I think most AA rechargeables nowadays spec at at least 2 and often 2.5Ah (Energizer does).

HardyWeinberg 01-18-07 10:59 AM

boosting my cygo nitro from 15 to 20W bulb doesn't seem to produce a noticeable change. Well, $3 for a bulb at batteryspace.com was worth a shot.

robtown 01-18-07 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
boosting my cygo nitro from 15 to 20W bulb doesn't seem to produce a noticeable change. Well, $3 for a bulb at batteryspace.com was worth a shot.

I changed my cygo nightrover from 6watt to 10watt. In combination with a 8.4v RC battery pack I get blazing white light.

cyccommute 01-18-07 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robtown
I changed my cygo nightrover from 6watt to 10watt. In combination with a 8.4v RC battery pack I get blazing white light.

Going from 6W to 10W won't do much. Your real gain was in going from a 6V (assuming that's what it was) to a 8.4V battery. Overvolting will reduce the life of your bulb but you gain a whole lot of light output for it. By the way, I popped my first MR bulb this morning on an overvolted system. Considering that this is the first time I've burned out a bulb on using the MR-11 bulbs in over 10 years of using them gives you some indication of their ruggedness;)

8.4V might be pushing the bulb a little more. Get some spares.

BikeManDan 01-23-07 11:10 PM

I found a schematic to a relatively simple battery indicator using a voltage comparator IC. Made some good progress today and just need to connect my battery and the LEDs (found a good LED bar to use).

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...wden/meter.gif
http://www.dwoloz.com/IMG_0125.JPG
Looks neat, huh?


BAM, mess
http://www.dwoloz.com/IMG_0127.JPG

DCCommuter 01-23-07 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwoloz
Looks neat, huh?

Where did you get those resistors? They look like they belong in something with vacuum tubes. It's pretty cool though. How does it work?

BikeManDan 01-23-07 11:22 PM

Surplus store :p All the parts cost me a buck and I figure its recycling otherwise unused parts

Haven't tried it out yet but will report back with results and final pictures when mounted

HardyWeinberg 01-24-07 10:16 AM

One thing, though, switching from a Cygo(tm) halo bulb ($15 from LBS) to the $3 batteryspace.com one, I find that the new one is a teeny bit loose, so I think I want to get a new gasket to keep the headset (or whatever you call it) water-tight. Meantime Cygo has offered to overhaul my light to see if there are any shorts to explain its bulb-eating ways. w/ no replacement, I think I'm better off feeding it $3 bulbs that don't quite fit until the sunny season comes (May, hopefully).

cyccommute 01-24-07 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
One thing, though, switching from a Cygo(tm) halo bulb ($15 from LBS) to the $3 batteryspace.com one, I find that the new one is a teeny bit loose, so I think I want to get a new gasket to keep the headset (or whatever you call it) water-tight. Meantime Cygo has offered to overhaul my light to see if there are any shorts to explain its bulb-eating ways. w/ no replacement, I think I'm better off feeding it $3 bulbs that don't quite fit until the sunny season comes (May, hopefully).

I don't know how Cygos are constructed. Can you cut some gasket material out of silicon to make it fit better? Try finding it at an auto store.

BikeManDan 01-24-07 06:45 PM

Hm

Trying to figure out whether I want the comparator chip running 24/7 or somehow get it to be switched with the lights (would complicate the wiring)
The datasheet says the chip draws 0.8 mA typical. Small enough to not worry about it? My Fluke 83 can't even pick up the amount of draw from it.
The LED indicators WILL be switched with the light though, those draw quite a bit more.

BikeManDan 01-24-07 08:33 PM

Hey, what do you know, it works
http://www.dwoloz.com/IMG_0133-1.JPG
Putting it through its paces now. Have to adjust the resistance to get an accurate LED display (have to run the battery down though)



edit: IT WORKS :D
http://www.dwoloz.com/IMG_0134.JPG
Im planning on now mounting the light bar into a project box with some other controls and my cyclocomputer. Using cat5 cable for the LED run.

BikeManDan 01-28-07 06:26 PM

Making some excellent progress
Went to 3 hardware stores today but finally found some nylong fasteners to attach my light. The light and bracket consist of an 11w Intermatic LV500 (found at Home Depot, 2pk $10), a bracket I never used from an Ikea bed frame bent into shape and secured with nylon screws and rubber and 3/4" conduit hanger for attaching to the handlebars. Had to go on a mission for some kind of non conductive fastener otherwise this kind of mounting couldn't work.

http://www.dwoloz.com/IMG_0137.JPG

http://www.dwoloz.com/IMG_0140.JPG



I'll be running two of these mounted to the bars

Starting work on a project box for housing the on/off switch, dimmer slide and a computer

vrkelley 01-30-07 01:56 PM

Has anyone tried Fiber Optic lights? I'm working on a project to improve close-up visability for Right and Left Turning cars to see the bike better. What started out as joke turned into a project.

http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/263446-how-light-whole-helmet.html

Ideally, it'd be good to get the whole helmet glowing. Now I'm not so sure. Last night checked out some left over phosphorous paint that is used on fishing lores but beyond say 10' you can't see the glow at all.

vrkelley 01-30-07 02:01 PM

Dwoloz, These are good steady fasteners. On mine, I wrapped it around the stem and bored the hole bigger to loaded a toggle switch through the back. Adding the dielectric waterproofing paint and tape also.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwoloz


comradehoser 01-30-07 02:26 PM

vrkelley: see my responses in the original thread. makezine has instructions on how to hook up EL wire.

DCCommuter 01-31-07 12:26 AM

Dwoloz --

I ran a setup like that for a while and I want to warn you about two problems I had. One was that the light has no shielding toward the back and enough light escapes to be annoying. The other is that the brass tabs eventually fatigued and the light fell off.

What I graduated to was a tractor light housing that I got from JC Whitney (it's in an earlier posting). It cost about $10 and solves both problems.

BikeManDan 01-31-07 02:59 PM

Tractor light, eh. Sounds interesting, could you post a link? (not too interested in digging through this monster of a thread)

vrkelley 01-31-07 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by comradehoser
vrkelley: see my responses in the original thread. makezine has instructions on how to hook up EL wire.

It may be too late to get the pre-made Fiber optic lights, but I can still clone the shape (around the helmet). :D

DCCommuter 01-31-07 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwoloz
Tractor light, eh. Sounds interesting, could you post a link? (not too interested in digging through this monster of a thread)

I feel for you. Here's the link:

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w..._525434_525434

(The link in my original post is dead anyway).


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