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Old 03-01-04, 09:20 PM   #176
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both units assembled (all 24 'AA's)

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Old 03-01-04, 09:21 PM   #177
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Old 03-01-04, 09:22 PM   #178
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side view with the 12 'AA' battery pack.
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Old 03-01-04, 09:23 PM   #179
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Right Hand Switch Closeup
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Old 03-02-04, 10:22 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by OhiOH
...I have completed my new lights.

Some of my ‘innovations’ are a) an auto emergency flasher from AutoZone along with a SPDT ‘on off on’ switch for each light so I can have a flashing mode or continuous on each light independently. b) the use of PVC plumbing pipe to keep batteries, switches, connections and flashers 100% waterproof.
Innovations, I love. The whole thing looks neat and simple! (How much did you spend?) The modified fender attachment, the waterproof tubing, the whole thing looks brilliant.
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Old 03-02-04, 11:15 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Innovations, I love. The whole thing looks neat and simple! (How much did you spend?) The modified fender attachment, the waterproof tubing, the whole thing looks brilliant.
Thanks..you got me going....

Price wasn’t really as high of a priority as reliability and serviceability. I’ve returned my NiteRider digital 6v twice and all three I have had had similar issues. And I am sure you realize the dilemma of loosing your lights for a couple of weeks in the middle of the winter.
So, I am sure I spent more than most, but I rationalized it by saying I can always use the batteries (the most expense) for other things and I already had a good charger (about $80). What is reflected below is what I actually have in the finished product. Plus if it breaks, I can fix it.

I came real close to going with the drill battery thing, but couldn’t design a holder that I thought was convenient, plus I really don’t need another drill.

lights $ 22.98
bulbs $ 11.50
wire $ 4.57
connectors $ 10.87
switches $ 8.50
pipe already had
pipe fittings $ 8.25
flasher $ 9.95
batteries (24) $ 83.82
fuse holder $ 3.75
battery holders $ 8.25
TOTAL $ 172.44
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Old 03-02-04, 12:22 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by OhiOH
...if it breaks, I can fix it.
The potential for future upgrades is also wide open due to the availability of 12V accessories. I particularly like the flashing headlight option you came up with.
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Old 03-02-04, 01:04 PM   #183
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I particularly like the flashing headlight option you came up with.
That was a ‘must have’. My NiteRider has a flashing mode and I really like, pardon this, flashing through a busy intersection.
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Old 03-02-04, 09:41 PM   #184
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both units assembled (all 24 'AA's)
Wowa cool! How long does a charge last with all of those batteries?
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Old 03-02-04, 10:05 PM   #185
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I’ve returned my NiteRider digital 6v twice and all three I have had similar issues.
This is my main gripe about bike product$. They just don't hold up. Told my better half, at those prices, I can afford to make *alot* of mistakes at home and *still* come up with a quality product.

I commuted today with mine for the first time. No worries. Because each component went on several long runs separately and held up. Then with everything assembled there was a slim chance that something would run amuck. The light ran like a champ.

Unlike the "engineered" rear turn signals that fell off the *non adjustable* bracket and must stay attached with a dang rubber band and even then may work not work.
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Old 03-02-04, 10:14 PM   #186
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Raymond,
How's your bike light coming?
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Old 03-03-04, 05:32 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
Wowa cool! How long does a charge last with all of those batteries?
I ran the 10 watt for 4.5 hours on all 24 batteries and the 20 watt for 1 hour on just 12, but I really haven’t completed testing yet. Hopefully that gets done on the bike! (Where NiteRider should do their testing).
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Old 03-03-04, 06:29 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by OhiOH
I went with ‘AA’ NiMis because I already had a charger and 20 or so batteries from other things. I set it up so I can go with 1 or 2 battery packs of 12 batteries each which should give me a max of about 4.25 amp hours (I think).
Sweeeeeet. One question: what kind of AA NiMhs do you use? About a week ago I finally got fed up running through AA (non-rechargeable) batteries with my back-up bike light, flashlight, camera and whatnot. It seemed to me I was always out of batteries, so I went to a local department store and bought a set of rechargeables with a decent charger. When comparing the different sets on the shelf I was surprised to find their rated capacities go up to 2,1 Ah (2100mAh), and this was not some fancy electronics specialist store. So I started thinking maybe I could just buy extra rechargeables and use a set of those as a power source for my light... then I came here to find out you have already done that!

Gotta love the Forums...

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Old 03-03-04, 07:39 AM   #189
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vr,
Funny you should ask. I was out of touch all last week. Then yesterday I had a note all all ready to submit when my connection went flaky, and it didn't get posted. I will try again.

OhiOH, your system looks really good! One concern I had about using AAs is charging. I have plenty of NiMH batteries and a couple of chargers, but the prospect of trying to get 12 or 24 batteries charged every night had me scratching my head. I decided to go with SLA primarily to simplify the initial system design and charging issue. I hadn't thought of a flashing headlight though one thing I want to do is set up a REALLY bright flashing LED taillight. I have the light, but I have to work out mounting.

We are using the same Optronics lights. I note your ventilation slits are open. I fashioned a hood from black electrical tape that keeps water from falling right into the vents but still allows for ventilation. I was concerned about water building up inside faster than it could seep out the rather close fitting seam. Since the tape is black it is not noticable at all. I tend to be paranoid about 1) water and 2) physical stability of components (no bouncing or rattling allowed).

I haven't done anything new on my system in the last couple of weeks. I did open my semi-sealed battery box for the first time to check for moisture after 2-3 weeks including several rainy rides. Nice and dry so I feel pretty good about it. And the battery hadn't shifted a bit. It is basically held in place by the pressure and friction of layers of mousepad clamped in place by the top of the box. I do have a rectangle of industrial strength Velcro attaching it to a side wall, but it is probably not really doing much. Still, I feel better with a little insurance.
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Old 03-03-04, 08:41 AM   #190
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Juha
"One question: what kind of AA NiMhs do you use?"

See this site http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/BATTS/BATTS.HTM there was a pointer to it from http://nordicgroup.us/s78/. Steven M. Scharf the author of that site suggests an ‘amp hour per $’ analysis. I have more money than time so I bought the Powerex 2200s.

RainmanP
“but the prospect of trying to get 12 or 24 batteries charged every night had me scratching my head”

My charger has a place to plug a battery pack in like people use on remote control cars. It can do up to 12 ‘AA’s at a time. When I built my battery packs I used the same plug (available at Radio Shack with the remote control car stuff) so I can just plug all 12 in at once. I was a bit concerned about charging too so I decided to build 3 packs, charge 1 at night and one during the day while I am at work . I really only need both battery packs in mid December (I hope).

“I fashioned a hood from black electrical tape that keeps water from falling right into the vents but still allows for ventilation”

Thanks for doing the research on the Optronic lights, I was watching your reports with great interest. When I saw your picture I ordered them right away. With a handle like RainmanP it is no wonder you would worry about water in your lights. I did notice your hood and gave it some thought, but haven’t acted as yet. I started to do something and then decided that if it can hang under the bumper of a car open like that why not on a bike. But I haven’t made up my mind either way. Are you getting much heat buildup?
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Old 03-03-04, 10:40 AM   #191
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I ran the 10 watt for 4.5 hours on all 24 batteries and the 20 watt for 1 hour on just 12, but I really haven’t completed testing yet. Hopefully that gets done on the bike! (Where NiteRider should do their testing).
Yeah it's good to just let the thing run in the various modes while the the bike is just sitting there. That way you'll know it's capability up front instead of on some dark trail or rainy street.

My 18V runs 2.75 hours until totally dead. The ni-cad expert said you can drain each cell down to .09V...like I'm going to disconnect every cell in the case to find out???? He said don't run 'em dry because it fries the battery. So I plan on running it 1.5hrs between charges.
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Old 03-03-04, 10:45 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by RainmanP

I tend to be paranoid about 1) water and 2) physical stability of components (no bouncing or rattling allowed).

I haven't done anything new on my system in the last couple of weeks. I did open my semi-sealed battery box for the first time to check for moisture after 2-3 weeks including several rainy rides. Nice and dry so I feel pretty good about it.
Ditto. There's nothing like having something drop off or fail while in traffic. After building this light, I have a great appreciation for the reliability of cars. While driving a car, who thinks about lights, unless maybe the bulb is burned out.

Anyway, that's my goal: Think about the riding, technical, and destination. Outside of regular maintenance, rely on the components.
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Old 03-03-04, 12:10 PM   #193
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Test to be edited later.
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Old 03-03-04, 09:00 PM   #194
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The potential for future upgrades is also wide open due to the availability of 12V accessories. I particularly like the flashing headlight option you came up with.
Pete,
I think he has the right idea since new cars are slated to go to 24V systems soon. When I go to upgrade, I'll be looking for the 24V stuff.
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Old 03-04-04, 06:52 AM   #195
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Pete,
I think he has the right idea since new cars are slated to go to 24V systems soon. When I go to upgrade, I'll be looking for the 24V stuff.
I think he has a 12V setup. If 24V is the wave of the future, 12V will still be here for at least 10 years. 24V would not be that hard to convert to if need be down the road.
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Old 03-04-04, 08:21 AM   #196
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I think he has a 12V setup. If 24V is the wave of the future, 12V will still be here for at least 10 years. 24V would not be that hard to convert to if need be down the road.

You are correct, the two 14.2 battery packs are wired parallel. I would/could change the wiring harness pretty easily to go series and bump to 28.4. I (unfortunately) am old enough to remember 6v cars and how long their accessories (both of them - radio and lights) were around after 12 volt became the norm. A web site on Battery Wiring for those interested.

http://www.otherpower.com/otherpower...ry_wiring.html
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Old 03-04-04, 07:37 PM   #197
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I think he has a 12V setup. If 24V is the wave of the future, 12V will still be here for at least 10 years. 24V would not be that hard to convert to if need be down the road.
Right-o and we all know that more is better
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Old 03-10-04, 12:56 AM   #198
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Hey Pete,

Dig this bike set up...with a real horn too!
Flash Flag safety
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Old 03-10-04, 09:54 AM   #199
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vr, that pic is from a link on the website you found with the good light advice.
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Old 03-10-04, 02:48 PM   #200
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vr, that pic is from a link on the website you found with the good light advice.
Raymond,

Yep, it's buried in the "depths". Let's see what Pete comes up with. I'll bet it'll be cheaper, smaller and better :D
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