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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #1526
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtown
    I bought that tractor light and sent it back because it was sealed - I couldn't change the bulb. It was also too heavy.
    For a nice, small, light light, look for the NiteRider NR 50 Sport. It's made for using with c or d cell batteries. It has only a 5 or 7 W MR-11 bulb in it but it's also pretty cheap...about $50... with the mounting hardware and cable. But you can swap out the bulb for a 15 or 20 W MR-11 (about $3) and have a great light. I use the NiteRider heads all the time and they are very rugged and nicely weather proof.
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    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    I bought a red xenon flasher from allelectronics and got it today but its light is rather...pink opposed to red.
    Is this normal?
    Will either exchange it for another red and hope its actually red or get the amber version

  3. #1528
    Senior Member sherpa93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    For a nice, small, light light, look for the NiteRider NR 50 Sport. It's made for using with c or d cell batteries. It has only a 5 or 7 W MR-11 bulb in it but it's also pretty cheap...about $50... with the mounting hardware and cable. But you can swap out the bulb for a 15 or 20 W MR-11 (about $3) and have a great light. I use the NiteRider heads all the time and they are very rugged and nicely weather proof.
    Heres the NiteRider NR50 Sport on closeout for $24.99

    http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=108378
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  4. #1529
    A Serious Mountain Biker uphillbiker's Avatar
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    hHh Intensity MR11

    OK guys,

    I'm sure the answer's all ready in here, but don't quite have the patience to read all 15,000 posts.

    If you're buying MR11 bulbs for building your own light or replacing burn out ones, is there any meaning to the phrase "high intensity"? That is, are some halogen bulbs more efficient than others? If so, what is the most efficient halogen bulb out there? Regretfully, I bought a bunch of bulbs 5 W 6 V MR11's from 1000bulbs.com thinking they were all the same.

    When applying a greater voltage to a bulb to obtain more performance at the expense of the life, how do you calculate the expected life for the increase in wattage?

  5. #1530
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphillbiker
    OK guys,

    I'm sure the answer's all ready in here, but don't quite have the patience to read all 15,000 posts.

    If you're buying MR11 bulbs for building your own light or replacing burn out ones, is there any meaning to the phrase "high intensity"? That is, are some halogen bulbs more efficient than others? If so, what is the most efficient halogen bulb out there? Regretfully, I bought a bunch of bulbs 5 W 6 V MR11's from 1000bulbs.com thinking they were all the same.

    When applying a greater voltage to a bulb to obtain more performance at the expense of the life, how do you calculate the expected life for the increase in wattage?
    I'm no expert at bulbs but i've had very good luck purchasing from lightbulbs05 on Evilbay. I'm running 10w 6v (at 7.2v) and 20W 12volt (at 14.8v) and like them both, good even beam, nice looking, no issues.

    As far as longevity, rule of thumb is % increase in volts = % decrease in life. ie 10% more volts = 10 % less light.

    7.2v on a 6v rated bulb (20% more volts) should decrease life 20%
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  6. #1531
    A Serious Mountain Biker uphillbiker's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks again for the help.

    I'm really not happy with 1000bulb.com ones for selling me such crappy bulbs compared to those at batteryspace (which are really good if they're similar at all to Nightrider’s). So I'm just going to power the snot out of them on a 9 volt source (bulbs are 6 volt).

    Also, there's another question on a slightly different topic. Sorry if there's a better place to ask this question, but have any of you guys tried the Trail Tech 30W HID light?

    I just got one and am very happy with it’s initial performance. However, one thing caught my attention is the manufacturer recommends a power source of 12 volts minimum. Now, I know that batteryspace.com sells it with a lithium pack of 11 volts, but still--are there any issues with running these off lithium batteries. I know one thing the bulbs really hate is insufficient voltage, which causes hard ion impacts (or something) and destroys the filament. It seems like you might your lithium pack could get low enough to still have 1/3 or more power left but be at a voltage that cuts down the bulb life.

    My goal is to make this bulb last as long as possible and I'll buy a whole new battery if necessary.

    What do people think?

    Thanks again.

  7. #1532
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    Cheap MR11 bulb woes

    Uphillbiker, I have the same question about finding quality MR11 bulbs. I bought a Hikari one (same brand as sold by lightbulbs05) last year, and the beam pattern is awful, with terrible dead spots and bright spots. My primary commuter light is MR16 based, but my MTB light is still MR11, and I'm wondering if there's anything better out there. All the bulbs associated with bike light companies (NiteRider, etc.) are rated for either 6V, 7.2V or 13.2V -- not 12V, and everything else I've found is el cheapo.
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  8. #1533
    Senior Member kgatwork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphillbiker
    Hey, thanks again for the help.

    I'm really not happy with 1000bulb.com ones for selling me such crappy bulbs compared to those at batteryspace (which are really good if they're similar at all to Nightrider’s). So I'm just going to power the snot out of them on a 9 volt source (bulbs are 6 volt).

    Also, there's another question on a slightly different topic. Sorry if there's a better place to ask this question, but have any of you guys tried the Trail Tech 30W HID light?

    I just got one and am very happy with it’s initial performance. However, one thing caught my attention is the manufacturer recommends a power source of 12 volts minimum. Now, I know that batteryspace.com sells it with a lithium pack of 11 volts, but still--are there any issues with running these off lithium batteries. I know one thing the bulbs really hate is insufficient voltage, which causes hard ion impacts (or something) and destroys the filament. It seems like you might your lithium pack could get low enough to still have 1/3 or more power left but be at a voltage that cuts down the bulb life.

    My goal is to make this bulb last as long as possible and I'll buy a whole new battery if necessary.

    What do people think?

    Thanks again.

    I have a trailtech MR16 HID and use a 12 NiMh battery pack that I made from some discarded sub-c cells I found at work. Its a very bright light

    It has failed once already, luckily I had my 12v halogen helmet light. I used the light approximately 12 commuter hours when the light failed to stay on for more than 20 seconds. The night it failed I was on a fun ride and had just run the one pack till the cutoff voltage of the light was hit, approximately 10.5 volts under load or 1 hour 10 minutes of run time. When I put the light on a second pack, thats when my problems started. When I got home I put it on a freshly charged pack and a 12v 10Ah SLA battery with the same results. I spoke with a Trailtech tech and RMA'd it back. Turn-around was approximately 1 day after they received the unit. I got it back and they replaced the bulb and installed a re-strike ballast new for 07'. The light seems to be working fine now but I only have about 6 hours on the unit now. Time will tell.

  9. #1534
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwoloz
    I bought a red xenon flasher from allelectronics and got it today but its light is rather...pink opposed to red.
    Is this normal?
    Will either exchange it for another red and hope its actually red or get the amber version
    ^^^^ Anyone? Need to know whether to exchange for another or get the amber

  10. #1535
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwoloz
    ^^^^ Anyone? Need to know whether to exchange for another or get the amber
    I don't have the red one, but the amber one is more white than yellow.
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  11. #1536
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Pink does sound odd. I haven't gotten one of their strobes having used the same Radio Shack amber one for nearly 15 years. Try having a friend with good color vision look at it at night from 40 or 50 yards away. My amber light seems almost white when I am right by it. If it is still pink consider wrapping a few pennies of clear red tape or plastic sheet around it first. If that fails consider getting an amber one, keeping the pinkish one for back-up or run it along with the amber one.
    This space open

  12. #1537
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    12v solar panel for recharging batteries...

    I have been looking on ebay for something to recharge my spare batteries during the day...

    Does anyone know of a GOOD and reliable charger that is weatherproof ? , something that can charge a 12v 5ah sla battery?
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  13. #1538
    A Serious Mountain Biker uphillbiker's Avatar
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    Batteryspace has some good size 12 volt solar pannels, including one that is flexible. I don't know which place is the best.

  14. #1539
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    I'm working on making my own blinky now that will run along side a xenon flasher. Thinking of mounting the LEDs just under the saddle

    Created a circuit that alternates flashes between two banks of LEDs (plus one acting as a protection diode). Will scale up to a whole lot of LEDs; Im planning to use about 20.
    Pretty basic stuff, few transistors and a 555



    Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcUDzX6UaQY

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    Quote Originally Posted by uphillbiker

    I'm sure the answer's all ready in here, but don't quite have the patience to read all 15,000 posts.
    That caught me. I had to look it up. I think it's 1500.

  16. #1541
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Does anyone know of a good led blinker circuit (perhaps on ebay?) that will blink continuously or possibly strobe continuously ?
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  17. #1542
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfasterr
    Does anyone know of a good led blinker circuit (perhaps on ebay?) that will blink continuously or possibly strobe continuously ?
    You can get blinking LEDs... How many LEDS do you want to have flash at the same time (I assume, in sync with each other?)
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  18. #1543
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    You can get blinking LEDs... How many LEDS do you want to have flash at the same time (I assume, in sync with each other?)

    I currently have a large 4 led trailer tail-light hooked to a 5ah 12v slab. I want to make it flash / strobe all the time...

    It is currently just always ON.
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  19. #1544
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfasterr
    I currently have a large 4 led trailer tail-light hooked to a 5ah 12v slab. I want to make it flash / strobe all the time...

    It is currently just always ON.
    In that case, you might just want to replace one of the LEDs with a flashing LED, which will make all four LEDs flash at the same time. You need to be able to solder, though.

    At least, I'm about 95% sure this is what will happen....
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  20. #1545
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    In that case, you might just want to replace one of the LEDs with a flashing LED, which will make all four LEDs flash at the same time. You need to be able to solder, though.

    At least, I'm about 95% sure this is what will happen....

    the existing 4 LED's are on a pcb with 12v resistors and such...

    How would I wire in a regular blinkie LED to that circuit ?
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  21. #1546
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfasterr
    the existing 4 LED's are on a pcb with 12v resistors and such...

    How would I wire in a regular blinkie LED to that circuit ?
    Well, you'd desolder one of the LEDs, and replace it with a blinking one.
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  22. #1547
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    Well, you'd desolder one of the LEDs, and replace it with a blinking one.

    Understood !


    Thanks =)

    Now, where can I get a bright flashing led to solder in there ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfasterr
    Understood !


    Thanks =)

    Now, where can I get a bright flashing led to solder in there ?
    Got any good electronics hobbyist shops in your city? EBay is sure to have what you need, but by the sime you add shipping and stuff it'll be cheaper just to buy another whole light!
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  24. #1549
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    Well here's the schematic I used. Employs a 555 timer IC to pulse the LEDs



    It gives a 6V input but you can use any voltage as the input, just need to adjust your resistor values on the LEDs so they don't get too much current

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwoloz
    Well here's the schematic I used. Employs a 555 timer IC to pulse the LEDs



    It gives a 6V input but you can use any voltage as the input, just need to adjust your resistor values on the LEDs so they don't get too much current
    Yup, that circuit will work just fine. If you only need to drive four LEDs, you can even skip the second LED bank (driven by the 2905), the 220 ohm resistor, AND the 3053 transistor. The 555 timer can drive up to 200mA, ten times what you'll need to run four LEDs.
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