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Thread: Total Geekiness

  1. #1626
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    I want to have a halogen headlight that is normally steady with a button to make it flash.

    I found a schematic here http://www.electronics-lab.com/projects/automotive/003/

    the power source would be 10 AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, and the headlight would be a 25W halogen: http://www.foxelectricsupply.com/con...roductNo=LV505

    I think this would work well with a SPDT relay with the power to the light going through the normally closed connection, so that the light is normally on, and then there would a be a momentary push button switch to turn on the LM555 and make the light start flashing, the button would be remote from the device and mounted on my handlebars.

    I would need to make sure the pot would be able to dial in a rate of 4 flashes per second (legal rate specified by DOT for motorcycles)

    I figure there would be 3 weather proof connectors required, one for the power, one for the remote switch, and one for the light. Maybe a switch to bypass the button and lock it in flashing mode.

    If anybody has any experience with these kinds of circuits or any advice it would be greatly appreciated. I figure I'll test it out on a breadboard and then try to install in something like this: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=family

    or maybe I can find somebody who does this stuff as a hobby to just build the thing for me for a fee...

  2. #1627
    Slow ride, take it easy - Frankenbiker's Avatar
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    I use a Light Brain twin controller for my bicycle headlights. Though it has an emergency function for flashing the lights, I don't use the function because I think it is distracting and confusing to drivers. I also don't think it complies with federal regulations regarding modulating headlight brightness on motorcycles.

    Edit: Oh. You want a momentarily flashing headlight to attract attention. The Light brain is for a continuous flashing mode. Never mind...

  3. #1628
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankenbiker
    Edit: Oh. You want a momentarily flashing headlight to attract attention. The Light brain is for a continuous flashing mode. Never mind...
    yeah I don't think a headlight that flashes all the time is the best option, though I see them all the time so I assume it's legal (for bicycles not motorcycles), I want to be able to press a button to make the light start flashing, if a headlight suddenly goes from steady to flashing that should really help to get somebody's attention in an emergency situation, or just for fun and to show off to my friends

    also I think I'll need to use a 5AH SLA Battery instead of 10 AA NiMH (max available 2.7 AH) or I could use 10 NiMH C cells which are also 5AH but more expensive

    I need a 12 volt system because I also want to hook up a car horn.

    here's another schematic http://www.diylive.net/index.php/200...light-flasher/
    it doesn't use a relay, and no transistor, I have no idea what the transistor is for (I don't know a lot about electronics) but I like the design with a relay since I can see how it could work with a momentary button the way I want
    Last edited by ekitel; 05-08-07 at 04:24 PM.

  4. #1629
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  5. #1630
    Senior Member etothepii's Avatar
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    HI. I don't mean to invade the thread with a tangent, but I was just pondering this. Have you seen those flashlights that you shake up to generate power? I wonder if there is some way to gut one of those to use as a bike light. Could there be some way to convert to motion of the bike into the necessary motion of the magnet? The beam on those isn't really that bright, I guess, but it could probably power some side and rear lights just for visability.

  6. #1631
    Arrogant Safety Nanny
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    Quote Originally Posted by etothepii
    HI. I don't mean to invade the thread with a tangent, but I was just pondering this. Have you seen those flashlights that you shake up to generate power? I wonder if there is some way to gut one of those to use as a bike light. Could there be some way to convert to motion of the bike into the necessary motion of the magnet? The beam on those isn't really that bright, I guess, but it could probably power some side and rear lights just for visability.
    I believe the LED lights like those mentioned in this thread:

    f+r blinkies which do not require batteries

    use the same principal as the shake lights...moving magnet induces electric current.

    Anybody out there correct me if I'm wrong...been a while since freshman electricity & magnetism physics class, heh.

  7. #1632
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    Quote Originally Posted by etothepii
    . Could there be some way to convert to motion of the bike into the necessary motion of the magnet?
    It's called a dynamo

  8. #1633
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairytoes
    It's called a dynamo
    ...and it's been around for like, 50 years.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  9. #1634
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    The dynamo uses rotary motion and does a fine job. The poster wanted to use shaking motion, up and down , different animal. I used a mercury switch for a while to make my tail light blink. Clamp the shake-and-glow light on a vertical axis. Good for warning aircraft. Stick a right angle prism or a mirror mounted at 45 degrees on the front of the light to bend the light beam in a horizontal direction. Verbum Sap
    This space open

  10. #1635
    NJS my life! roughrider504's Avatar
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    Dynamo conversion. This is a cheap way to power a 6v lamp without the use of a wheel dynamo. All you need is a 6v [4 cell] battery holder from Radioshack and some wire.

    The only thing you have to do is solder a wire to the bulb ground. Basically solder a wire from the battery pack to where the end of the bulb sits when installed. The other wire goes from the pack to the bulb like normal. Pics should help explain.

    And you have light!

    I still have to install the on/off switch then everything can get mounted onto my front rack. No more resistance and humming from a wheel dynamo!

  11. #1636
    Top Speed 53.1mph nightc1's Avatar
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    I found a set of lights today at walmart that are for offroad vehicles and racing... they are halogen and 55 watts (assume total, though maybe dual 55's, I can't tell yet). Nicely just $15 for the pair.

    Anyway has anyone tried using lites like this or any other typical automotive lights like foglamps?

    I like the size of em.. they were pretty small... yet would be plenty bright for a bike (and again, would look pretty dang nice at that). I don't want to get in any legal issues .. but they would be mounted like standard lights and not down low like foglights or for more offroad uses.

    Just looking for feedback. The lightspread pattern on the box was pretty impressive.

    Getting the 12 volts is another question all together but there are tons of rechargable options out there in the hardware department and so on to try out.

    Also tail lights. Walmart had a lot of options. Some too utilitarian for my tastes... some were standard running/marker lights that were small. I don't mind having separate reflectors... but anyone use one of the walmart options? One decent one was just $6. And hey they had one that was a skull for mounting on hitches.

    I'm considering a full lighting kit if I start to commute. Safety is paramount. But don't want to invest too much into it if possible. Nicely if I go for the walmart option I could keep em pretty good looking to test out and return em thanks to that return policy if they dont' turn out well.

  12. #1637
    Slow ride, take it easy - Frankenbiker's Avatar
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    The use of fog/driving light housings is popular among homebuilt systems. The lamps can be changed out for 20W lamps easily (which won't drain the battery as fast as the OEM 50-55W lamps). The lamps can be powered by a variety of battery sources such as a (relatively inexpensive) small sealed lead acid battery. Homebrew LED tail lights can be found at most automotive part stores, automotive part stores will provide a better selection of tail lights than WalMart. If you have any specific questions, fire away. That's what we geeks are here for.

    My seriously geeked commuter bike:
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  13. #1638
    Top Speed 53.1mph nightc1's Avatar
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    I read much of the first 6 or so pages of the thread then skipped reading and just looked at the pics posted between there and here ... and maybe read the last couple pages. A pretty good wealth of info. I'm not too worried about a battery source.. there's lots of options out there... just curious if anyone has used those offroad or fog lamps. I like how small they were. Very comparable to those on your bike but more a rectangular oval. I could probably get by with just one of them.

    That's a seriously geeked out bike. I saw one of the pics you posted earlier where the lights weren't shown. I'm considering the whole extra bar up front since there's not really much room on my road bike for lights unless I fabricate some mounts.

    As for a tail light, I'll probably go for something from a motorcycle shop or a shop locally that sells semi truck parts. I'll hit some autoparts stores locally as well and check supply. $15 for two nice offroad lights though seemed like a good deal from walmart.

    So I don't really have many Q's at this point. Just didn't want to invest some $$ on something that might be too unusual in the light geeking world.

  14. #1639
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    The only trouble I see is the battery drain from using 55 watts bulbs. You could tote some big-a$$ SLA battery around, or spend some major bucks on a light weight battery, but my recommendation would be to go with something pulling less watts.

    I have switched to using all LED lights and have been very pleased. I am using the Optronics MR16 driving lights with a 3 watt Luxeon MR 16 bulb, with beehive LED truck marker lights in the back. My battery is down to a 3.6 Ah SLA battery weighing 2.8 lbs. I don't know what my total runtime; I have used it for more than 2.5 hours and it was still going strong.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  15. #1640
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    Where should I be looking for plans/parts lists to make my own blinding LED/low(ish) power headlight? Google starts me off here:

    http://superbrightleds.com/index.htm

    (bf's search function wasn't helping me comb this thread for 'diy led', 'led', or 'l.e.d.')

  16. #1641
    Slow ride, take it easy - Frankenbiker's Avatar
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    Sometimes searching the Internet for associated parts in home brew LED bicycle lights can help narrow the field. For example: searching for "buckpuck" brought up more homebrew systems than a search for LED lights that could include flashlights and other lights not associated with bicycles.

    Some of the thirty-two examples from a WebFerret search under "buckpuck":

    http://www.mouldy.org/projects/High-Power-LED-MTB-Light
    http://buttersideup.com/DIYcycleLEDs
    http://www.outsider.plus.com/bikelights.html
    http://www.instructables.com/id/E2K9BN5EDKEUBYRD9V/

  17. #1642
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    My Attempt at a homebrewed light

    I picked up one of those halogen yard lights from Home Depot, with the 20W bulb. I removed the part that is supposed to go into the ground--the "spike"--and put it into the vise. I wacked off all but 2mm of the spike, leaving a bit of material and the "round" portion that would normally stop one from pushing the spike further into the ground. On the side with the most material, I removed all of the spike material--but left three sides of the "spike".

    Then, I removed the front reflector bracket from the bike, and placed it against the round area that was now flat. I located the hole dead center, marked it with a center punch, and then drilled it out so that a #6 or so screw would go through (first bolt I found on the bench). The reflector bracket thus is screwed to the remains of the spike; and the three remaining sides of the spike keep the works from spinning around.

    I was pretty happy with myself, so I quickly slapped some Anderson Powerpoles onto the light, grabbed a 7Ahr battery and threw it into a fanny pack, and took it for a quick spin. Wow, 20W simply blows away the dual Wallyworld lights I ran years ago. I might have to try bulb swapping, maybe find a more focused one--but the stock 20W one makes a huge cone of light. I bet a second super narrow focused light for fast riding would be a great compliment; but I think it might be just fine for 15mph or so.

    I think I have a pair of ok 7Ahr batteries, and I tend to not ride for more than a hour, so I'm not too concerned about reducing the output down (only need 1 battery at a time). I'm not sure where to mount the battery yet; what I might just do instead is run the wire down the frame and just wear a fanny pack. The Powerpoles disconnect real easily, so it may not be a problem in a crash situation. Or maybe I'll find the right bag for this eventually.

    Now time for the battery and rear light.
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  18. #1643
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Has anyone used the www.taskled.com Nflex regulator for thier LED's? If so I'd like to know those that have used the UIB (bike mode) when you're using the momentary switch to toggle in between brightnesses how do you go down a brightness or do you just cycle the brightness from low-to-high then it repeats from low-to-high again?

    Or does it go low-to-high then high-to-low?

    Thanks.
    Zero_Enigma

  19. #1644
    Senior Member intrepidbiker's Avatar
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    Wow! I just finished reading ALL of the past posts on this thread!!!
    I was waffling about getting a Nite Hawk Dual Pro lighting system... but I think I'll be going home-brewed instead.

    I'm eagerly awaiting delivery on a new F5 Enduro by Rans bicycles. It is a short wheelbase recumbent.
    My commuting time will vary as I move around the country very frequently. Currently, I'm looking at probably an hour to an hour and a half of lamp time for commuting.

    Because I'm going recumbent, I don't think that a standard bike light system's wires will reach from my handlebars to my bottle cage or to my mid-ship rack.

    I'm thinking of going with the opitronic driving lights, a 20w Phillips high efficiency bulb for regular riding, a beehive red LED in back and the Pocket Power 12 Volt DC, 6 amp hour, Portable Power Supply.

    Some questions...
    For the people using the Pocket Power 12volt Portable Power Supply, how has it faired over time? Any problems? Still love it? It says that it's 4lbs... but that seems a little light for everything it has. How much does the full kit weigh?

    DCCommuter, you made a reference about switching from 2-10w headlights to a 20w halogen bulb and an LED bulb. How is the new combination working for you?

    I'm trying to find a beehive rear LED light. Any links? How much amps does it draw?

  20. #1645
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    intrepidbiker ,

    Welcome to BikeForums. Also you my friend have got some serious time on your hands to read all that. I stopped reading fter the 12th page. Faster to just ask a question and have a link pointed for you if someone knows the answer.
    Zero_Enigma

  21. #1646
    Senior Member intrepidbiker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the welcome. I only work 3 days a week (12.5 hour shifts), so I can use some of my extra time to enjoy my geekiness.

    I have to admit that I did get a perverse joy following everyone else's attempts. It gave me ideas for what I want (and not want). I should thank Wilbur Bud for directing me over to here.

    Right now, I'm trying to think of how to attach my lights to the bike. I'm thinking of attaching a mount to the front deraileur post... does anyone have any links to extension arms?

    Or, I would like to remove the plastic plug on top of the front deraileur post and slip a short handlebar stem into it (if it would fit) and attach the lamps off of that. Anyone have an F5 Enduro? Can you tell me the diameter of the post?

  22. #1647
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intrepidbiker View Post
    Thanks for the welcome. I only work 3 days a week (12.5 hour shifts), so I can use some of my extra time to enjoy my geekiness.

    I have to admit that I did get a perverse joy following everyone else's attempts. It gave me ideas for what I want (and not want). I should thank Wilbur Bud for directing me over to here.

    Right now, I'm trying to think of how to attach my lights to the bike. I'm thinking of attaching a mount to the front deraileur post... does anyone have any links to extension arms?

    Or, I would like to remove the plastic plug on top of the front deraileur post and slip a short handlebar stem into it (if it would fit) and attach the lamps off of that. Anyone have an F5 Enduro? Can you tell me the diameter of the post?
    Bike mount options

    There are some options above.
    Zero_Enigma

  23. #1648
    Senior Member intrepidbiker's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of going with the opitronic driving lights, a 20w Phillips high efficiency bulb for regular riding, a beehive red LED in back and the Pocket Power 12 Volt DC, 6 amp hour, Portable Power Supply.

    Questions:
    1. Do I have to worry about grounding my lighting system if I use the Pocket Power battery pack? If I understand it right, I should just be able to plug everything into the cigarette lighter plug the pack comes with.

    2. Is the 10amp fuse too big, too little, or just right for what I want to do?

    3. Does anyone know the diameter of the front deraileur post on the F5 Enduro by Rans? Will it fit a handlebar stem?

  24. #1649
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    If there are two wires, then I would not tie any of them to the frame of the bike; no real reason to do so. I would wager that a dedicated return wire (rather than using the frame) would have lower voltage drop.
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  25. #1650
    Slow ride, take it easy - Frankenbiker's Avatar
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    Congratulations Intrepidbiker on reading the entire TG thread. There are so few of us true geeks who can claim to have attained that merit badge (myself included).

    I got my beehive LED lights from LED-R-Us. http://www.led-r-us.com/fmlights.shtml
    I had to make brackets from sheet metal I got from Home Depot to mount the beehives (see images). I used tin snips and a Dremel to make them. Insert lamp into bracket, turn 90 degrees and use some silicone to keep it in place. I got the pigtail from the local NAPA store. I haven't had the chance to see how much current the lamps draw.

    I switched from two "normal" halogen 20W MR16 to two Philips Energy Saving 20W lamps (8 degree) a few weeks ago. The color temperature is a little more yellow than normal halogens so it gives the impression of being dimmer. However, a side-by-side comparison in my darkened garage showed that it definitely significantly brighter than the one I replaced, but a narrower beam. Don't be worried that the length is 2.00 inches rather than the 1.875 inches for normal halogens because the lens on the front of the bulb isn't flat, it bulges outward a bit. I purchased them from bulbs.com. They are supposed to last 5000 hours. We'll see.

    http://www.bulbs.com/eSpec.aspx?ID=1...=Halogen+Bulbs

    The only downside was that they cost $11.49 each plus shipping. So, of course I bought two. One of the bulbs was defective and glowed dull orange when I installed it and had some form of condensation inside the sealed lamp. I called customer service and they sent a replacement bulb next day shipping at no charge. I was impressed.

    There is no need to ground the lighting system to the bike's frame and I would discourage doing so. It gives you much more area to possibly short out something if you drop a connector and it touches the frame. Bvvvvt. Fry that fuse!!! Plugging into the cigarette lighter should work fine. A ten-amp fuse is probably just about right. Either go with a slo-blow fuse or a circuit breaker instead of a fast-blow fuse. I found out through experience that a fast-blow fuse will instantly trip if the SLA battery is low on charge and a small "spark" occurs when plugging it into the charger. Grrr. I went with a circuit breaker that resets itself. I think its better than fishing around in a toolkit for a replacement fuse in the dark out in the middle of nowhere, especially in the winter with gloves on and a howling wind with blowing snow…

    I use 3/4 inch electrical conduit clamps lined with old innertube rubber as extensions on the front and back to attach my lights.

    Welcome to the geekiness.
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