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Old 10-30-09, 02:11 PM   #1801
Map tester
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Originally Posted by Psy Guy View Post
On my old bike running a negative/neutral wire from the rear light back to the generator wasn't necessary because I could ground the light to the frame and it'd still work. Not sure if that will work if your setup but it could reduce the number of wires. It might reguire that you ground the neutral side of the battery to the bike frame. I think thats how cars are wired, and why all the neutral wires don't go back to the alternator or battery.
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Nope, it's an aluminum frame. Plus I have the rear light switched with the headlight, so I have 3 wires going to the back.
I am using a very similar setup, and using the aluminum frame for a ground works fine--just make sure you have a good connection to bare metal. I'm now using 2 grounds from the battery, in case one breaks (had that happen, lost all my lights till I figured it out).

Here is an older post of my system at that time (Total Geekiness ). I still use a similar system: headlight is a MR-16 3 LED bulb, LED beehive rear lights, and 5 Ahr SLA battery. Not the fanciest system, but it works day in, day out for years.
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Old 11-01-09, 08:37 AM   #1802
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I am using a very similar setup, and using the aluminum frame for a ground works fine--just make sure you have a good connection to bare metal. I'm now using 2 grounds from the battery, in case one breaks (had that happen, lost all my lights till I figured it out).

Here is an older post of my system at that time (Total Geekiness ). I still use a similar system: headlight is a MR-16 3 LED bulb, LED beehive rear lights, and 5 Ahr SLA battery. Not the fanciest system, but it works day in, day out for years.
That's awesome, I wasn't too sure about using AL as a ground, but heck, I might try it if I redo my wiring. I switched to the 20W bulb, and it's dimmer when seeing it from the front and sides, but it doesn't really look much dimmer when you're on the bike, so I may stick with it.

How bright is the LED bulb compared to the 20W halogen? I might go that route too, it seems to be a good option if it puts out enough light.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:57 PM   #1803
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How bright is the LED bulb compared to the 20W halogen? I might go that route too, it seems to be a good option if it puts out enough light.
It is definitely dimmer than the halogen, but since it only draws about 3 watts, you can 2+ hours run-time. It is fine for a to-be-seen light and for the few dark sections of my evening commute. Maybe I should make some beam shots--but it might be next week before I could take some photos (anybody have any suggestions for camera settings?).
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Old 11-09-09, 01:35 PM   #1804
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2 Cree XPG R5 bin LED's will get you very close to a 20w halogen, if it isn't brighter.
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Old 11-21-09, 09:01 PM   #1805
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Blue Light Special

Modified some lights for my bike using some "super bright" 3V 20mA blue LEDs.

Added four LEDs to the headlight. You can see two of them in the pic:

Should get about 100 hours from the C cells in the headlight. Added a single pole 3-way switch: Off, LED, or incandescent.

With tire touching a piece of cardboard, incandescent mode:

You can see the beam is focused.

Blue LED mode:

Bright but diffuse.

Tail light: added SPST switch & a little perfboard with one LED and 2 N cells. Thats all thatll fit. Expecting 50 hours from the N cells.

Light is on, mounted with a rubber insulated conduit hanger & a shiny mending plate that I twisted in a vise.


Brightness compared to the seatpost LED flasher. The Woho bag is transparent & reflectorized, and the blue reflector is a Stimsonite highway reflector, very bright.

Night pic: fast flasher in the Woho, slow flasher on the seat post, steady blue LED:


My thinking here is that distracted drivers are a hazzard, but, what if I'm the distraction? And what's more distracting when you're driving than flashing red and blue lights?
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Old 11-23-09, 02:54 PM   #1806
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Modified some lights for my bike using some "super bright" 3V 20mA blue LEDs.
My thinking here is that distracted drivers are a hazzard, but, what if I'm the distraction? And what's more distracting when you're driving than flashing red and blue lights?
I would suggest you check your local DOT regulations on the use of blue lights on private vehicles; most states do not allow their use except for very specific reasons (i.e volunteer fire dept, etc). I don't think you would be confused with a real police vehicle, but why give them something to hassle you or give you a ticket about?
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Old 11-23-09, 03:58 PM   #1807
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Blue is strictly reserved for police use everywhere I have ever lived, and you'd get busted pretty quickly. Around here use of blue is seen as tantamount to impersonating a police vehicle. Which is not absurd as it sounds, considering many localities have bicycle mounted officers.

Last edited by GlowBoy; 11-23-09 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 11-24-09, 07:03 AM   #1808
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In Pennsylvania a steady blue light is legal on a vehicle, a flashing blue light is legal only on volunteer firefighters/ dog handlers/ emergency vehicles, etc.
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Old 11-24-09, 10:35 AM   #1809
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In Pennsylvania a steady blue light is legal on a vehicle, a flashing blue light is legal only on volunteer firefighters/ dog handlers/ emergency vehicles, etc.
I see that a blue light is legal on an authorized vehicle: "(3) Blue lights. A vehicle may display blue lights as provided for by 75 Pa.C.S. 4572(a) (relating to visual signals on authorized vehicles). Vehicles described in 75 Pa.C.S. 4572(a) may be equipped with a light-bar assembly using only blue lights." but I don't see where just any vehicle can display a blue light, flashing or not.

Just a side note--I'm not trying to give you grief for the hell of it, just don't want to see a fellow cyclist hassled by the local police.
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Old 11-24-09, 01:16 PM   #1810
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...found this...

4310. Motorcycle lighting.
Auxiliary lighting may be added to a motorcycle to protect the driver, including blue dot illumination, standard bulb running lights and light-emitting diode (LED) pods and strips.

(June 29, 2006, P.L.205, No.50, eff. 60 days)

... I'll ask the local LEO for his opinion.
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Old 02-10-10, 10:08 AM   #1811
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I've been using some mr16 fog lights to mount my LED's this year. Just hit a pothole last night and the plastic mount cracked off at the base. Bummer, will have to go buy something to see me through the rest of the season.
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Old 02-15-10, 12:56 AM   #1812
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I bought a 1973 Schwinn Continental a few days ago and since it came with a dynamo-powered head lamp and tail light, I decided to retrofit them with LEDs and hook them up to a battery pack.

The most elegant solution for the lights is to use LEDs that have an E10 (miniature screw) base like the TLE-1S, which is a replacement for a flashlight.

http://www.batteryjunction.com/tle-1s.html

Now the questions: Is 50 lumens going to be enough for me? Are there other places to look for similar (stronger) LEDs that have a base like that? Should I just abandon this approach altogether and use a different type of LED?
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Old 03-14-10, 07:14 AM   #1813
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A new light and sound system for my recumbent

Hi all,
it's been two years since I made my last multi-function compact lighting system for my old bike. It's been working flawlessly for nearly 25,000 miles so I decided to make something similar for my new recumbent bike, only more powerful, heavier and even more complicated. By this winter's end, it was finished.
It's designed completely by hand except control panels graphics.

Including all the gadgets, the whole system comprises:
- 52 transistors (including 14 FET's)
- 21 IC's (double op-amps, timers, pulse generators, triggers, references, DC-DC convertors)
- 175 diodes (including 97 LED's where a bargraph counts as one).

It features some new functions:
- automatic on when the bike gets moving and off after standing still for 2 minutes
- speed-dependent power regulation for the headligt at night
- automatic daylight detection
- high beam with power adjustment
- more powerful stereo amplifier with auto on-off function
- battery voltage meter
- optional beacon
- a real bell
and more.

Some functions are quite complex, like the high beam control. It turns on by the push of a button. But it holds on only if the following conditions are fulfilled: it's dark, the speed is over 9 mph, and the battery voltage is over 12 V. Otherwise, it turns off itself.
The speed detection is done by measuring the hub generator frequency and it's used also for controlling the headlight power at night, and for switching between two different charging modes.
At low speed, a voltage doubler comes in action. In this mode, the hub generator is capable of powering most of the illumination from 6 mph without any battery drain, up to 400 mA. From 9 mph on, it's more effective to charge directly since the generator gives up to 550 mA at 14 V after rectificaton. When the battery voltage exceeds approx. 14.3 V, the charging is interrupted until it drops back to 13.8 V. With this type of charging, the battery in the old system works still fine after two years of daily use.

Here's the photos:
http://generator.rajce.idnes.cz/It_s...he_final_look/

There's some detailed information underneath each picture an you can also zoom in.

If you are curious about some inner secrets, here's some pictures from the making of it.
http://generator.rajce.idnes.cz/Par_..._making_of_it/

Unfortunately, the information in this section is only in Czech but there's nothing important to say.

A sneak preview:
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Old 03-16-10, 02:36 PM   #1814
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I bought a 1973 Schwinn Continental a few days ago and since it came with a dynamo-powered head lamp and tail light, I decided to retrofit them with LEDs and hook them up to a battery pack.

The most elegant solution for the lights is to use LEDs that have an E10 (miniature screw) base like the TLE-1S, which is a replacement for a flashlight.

http://www.batteryjunction.com/tle-1s.html

Now the questions: Is 50 lumens going to be enough for me? Are there other places to look for similar (stronger) LEDs that have a base like that? Should I just abandon this approach altogether and use a different type of LED?
For a taillihgt, it would be pretty much enough if it was a RED LED. A white one placed in that red casing won't look any good. For a headlamp, no way. In that kind of a lamp, any E10 halogen will do much better. And, 1W Luxeon is quite dated. A different kind of LED with a different kind of optics is a way to go if you want more light, but this would spoil the idea of using that old headlamp.
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Old 04-27-10, 05:39 PM   #1815
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I've been running my halogen light setup for two years now and my 7.2 AH sla battery just died. I'm thinking about going to NIMH batteries to reduce weight. I spotted two setups that are interesting:

http://www.batteryspace.com/nimhbatt...ltechplug.aspx and

http://www.batteryspace.com/waterbot...bikelight.aspx . Has anyone used either of these? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Walt
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Old 05-28-10, 12:03 PM   #1816
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Halogen Lamp Assembly / MR-11

Allelectronics has a "HALOGEN LAMP ASSEMBLY W/ AUTO LIGHTER CORD" for $5.65. http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a...ER-CORD/1.html The catalog copy says:
Tough, heavy-gauge plastic assembly with a 12V, 5W, MR-11 halogen bulb. Originally part of a bicycle headlight assembly, it would also make a fine auto map light. Plug into your auto cigarette lighter, and you're ready to go. Lamp has an adjustable metal clip. Lamp housing has rubber O-rings between cord and lamp socket and appears to be water-resistant. 1.65" diameter x 2.08" long. 10' cord with cigarette lighter plug
It somehow seems like cheating on this thread to use something that was "originally part of a bicycle headlight assembly" but I suppose one can break out the soldering iron to replace the lighter plug, etc.


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Old 05-31-10, 05:10 AM   #1817
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Allelectronics has a "HALOGEN LAMP ASSEMBLY W/ AUTO LIGHTER CORD" for $5.65. http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a...ER-CORD/1.html
Oh that's legit! I'm going to buy one right now! Thanks.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:28 PM   #1818
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I'm getting ready to build my setup, and I love some of the ideas I'm getting here... I'm only up to around page 40 of reading, but then this came up today in my RSS and I had to share: http://www.instructables.com/id/Elec...Mountain-Bike/
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Old 08-15-10, 09:52 PM   #1819
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Well, after intermittent reading over the last week or so I have finally read this entire monster thread, and am now working to amass the parts required to make a proper light setup for my bike. Right now I have a 10w TrailTech HID 12degree flood headlight, two cateye tl-ld1000 tail lights (one on rack, the other on seatpost) and a smaller red "tail light" (not sure it's big enough to deserve the classification) I mount on my belt, all steady, and a small cateye LED light mounted on my helmet, which I call my "dashboard light". I have a 4500mAh NiMH from batteryspace, which should manage for a while, although it's old enough that I'm monitoring performance now that I am back to riding (I tend to ride to get from A to B, and haven't needed to get around as much for a while.)

I have gotten hold of a pair of the Optronics lights (QH87CC metal housing), and am planning to set one of those up as a high beam. I also am looking at getting a tail/brake light from Super Bright LEDs, and also setting up some turn signals (their sequential arrows signals look quite attractive, as centerline reference would no longer matter. They are kind of expensive, though. I'll make sure to report back if I use them.) I have some other ideas that I will share when they are complete, but which I think thoroughly qualify for the "Total Geekiness" thread title.

It'll probably take me a month at least to really start putting things into action, but if I'm not checking in and you want to know my progress go ahead and PM me.

Thanks for the wealth of knowledge accumulated in this thread - I doubt I would have gotten the Optronics lights or some of the other lights without it.

Tor
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Old 08-17-10, 08:39 AM   #1820
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyUZw...os=5vzLXiRZfXk
LOW DOUGH bike light
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Old 08-28-10, 08:36 AM   #1821
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love the way all u throw money at lighting, whenn all u need is 2 clamps and a flashlight of some sort.
never knew $3.00 was too much to spend
http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.823
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Old 08-29-10, 07:09 AM   #1822
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love the way all u throw money at lighting, whenn all u need is 2 clamps and a flashlight of some sort.
never knew $3.00 was too much to spend
http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.823
All you need to do is commute nightly in an urban environment to realze that you are gonna die unless you put some more serius wattage on your bike.

$3.00 lights are great and have many uses and you sure get alot more than you used to. But as a primary bike light for a commuter they are inadequate

penny wise and pound foolish. thanks for the link it's been a while since I browsed their accesories. I do run one of their cheap blinkies as a backup.
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Old 08-29-10, 06:57 PM   #1823
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Resurrecting this thread, I finally got around to upgrading the lighting rig to LED bulbs, and man! I'm loving it. I got some 4W MR16 bulbs from Deal Extreme, and I've got 2 of them mounted now. They are bright enough to where they will temporarily blind you if they're pointed right at your eyes at night. However, they give excellent ground coverage, and were only $10 for each bulb.

Here's a closeup of the lights themselves. I had to modify the housings to accept the longer LED bulbs.

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Old 09-10-10, 02:05 PM   #1824
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Wow, those DealExtreme lights sure do sound like a great value. Would you be able to say how their brightness compares with, say, a 20W halogen MR16? Also, how's the beam width?
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Old 09-10-10, 04:24 PM   #1825
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Wow, those DealExtreme lights sure do sound like a great value. Would you be able to say how their brightness compares with, say, a 20W halogen MR16? Also, how's the beam width?
I can't vouch for the flashlights, but I have a 20W MR16 halogen I can put next to these... if you like, give me a day or so and I'll A/B them for the forum's posterity. The beam width is close to the standard flood pattern (60 degrees, I think? Will have to check)
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