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Old 08-22-08, 08:00 AM   #1
trekker pete
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SLA or NiCad/metal

Well, I am now the owner of a box full of excellent lights and paperweights, uhhh, I mean batteries, thanks to my visit to carpediemracing's "fire giveaway". Thanks again Aki for all that wonderful stuff.

I am going to mount a set of the nightsun duals. I hooked them up to my battery charger last night. HOLY CRAP!!!!! those things are bright. There is a 10 watt and 35 watt flamethrower. This should make my early morning 35 mph runs down ellington ave a little less "exciting". They will require a fair bit of battery power, however.

My commute is approximately 2 hrs round trip. 90 percent of this will be on the 10 watt low beam. I could recharge at work, but, would prefer not to.

So what should I get? The light came with a Ni? bottlecage battery. I could get one of those. Or should I get a 5AH or so SLA? The SLA is cheaper and I already have a charger. The Nickel battery is lighter and I might need to buy a charger, but, I think one of the chargers that came with this stuff will work. Loosing one of my bottlecages is no big deal as I get by fine with one bottle of water per commute.

If someone out there has some battery equipment that they might be willing to barter for some halogen lights, maybe we could work something out.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:35 AM   #2
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Well, I am now the owner of a box full of excellent lights and paperweights, uhhh, I mean batteries, thanks to my visit to carpediemracing's "fire giveaway". Thanks again Aki for all that wonderful stuff.

I am going to mount a set of the nightsun duals. I hooked them up to my battery charger last night. HOLY CRAP!!!!! those things are bright. There is a 10 watt and 35 watt flamethrower. This should make my early morning 35 mph runs down ellington ave a little less "exciting". They will require a fair bit of battery power, however.

My commute is approximately 2 hrs round trip. 90 percent of this will be on the 10 watt low beam. I could recharge at work, but, would prefer not to.

So what should I get? The light came with a Ni? bottlecage battery. I could get one of those. Or should I get a 5AH or so SLA? The SLA is cheaper and I already have a charger. The Nickel battery is lighter and I might need to buy a charger, but, I think one of the chargers that came with this stuff will work. Loosing one of my bottlecages is no big deal as I get by fine with one bottle of water per commute.

If someone out there has some battery equipment that they might be willing to barter for some halogen lights, maybe we could work something out.
SLA has one thing going for it...it's cheap. That's about it. The batteries themselves are delicate, finicky, require care in charging, and more importantly, dicharging. And they are heavy They are lead plates after all.

NiMH is more rugged, lighter and carries more wollop for the weight. They perform better in cold and can be deep cycled if needed (SLA will roll over and die if deep cycled).

A bottle battery from BatterySpace is around $40 but consider going with 2 RC 4.2 Ah batteries with charger. Boost the voltage to 14.4V and be truly amazed at the light!
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Old 08-22-08, 12:57 PM   #3
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cycco, will that setup get me to work and back? I suspect it will.

Is building my own pack worthwhile.

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Old 08-22-08, 04:12 PM   #4
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cycco, will that setup get me to work and back? I suspect it will.

Is building my own pack worthwhile.
If you run the 10W for most of the time, it should. The formula for estimating the run time is

hours= Voltage*Ah of battery/bulb wattage.

For a 10W bulb, that should be around 6 hours. With both the 10 and 35 running, your time will be 1.3 hr. Running the 35W bulb will, of course shorten the run time proportionally. (These are estimates and your batteries will take some time to come to full charge...usually 3 or 4 cycles.)

I'm assuming that the system is 12V.
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Old 08-23-08, 05:04 AM   #5
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Lightbulb

I'm assuming that the system is 12V.

Have you ever tried a battery system that was configured for hand tools? I am thinking of the 14.0 v and 18.0 volt batteries.

Last edited by teacherbill; 08-23-08 at 05:04 AM. Reason: oops
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Old 08-23-08, 05:17 AM   #6
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bill,

I had the same idea. It just so happens that my 18V craftsman drill battery fits like a glove in a bottle cage. I think running 18 volts through my 12v system might be a bit much overvolting though. But it sure would be bright for a few seconds!
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Old 08-23-08, 08:35 AM   #7
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I'm assuming that the system is 12V.

Have you ever tried a battery system that was configured for hand tools? I am thinking of the 14.0 v and 18.0 volt batteries.
The only issue is making the connection. You could solder a wire to the pins on the battery but not if you want to use the battery for a tool.
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Old 08-23-08, 10:02 AM   #8
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Actually, I think a fairly wide spade connector would do the trick. I wonder how much trouble it would be to rig up some sort of regulator to knock it down to 12-14 volts. And while I'm at it, maybe a strobe feature. hmmmm.

Damn, my inner geek is raising his ugly head again.

Go away geek!!! Go away!!! I haven't time for you now.
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Old 08-23-08, 03:42 PM   #9
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Actually, I think a fairly wide spade connector would do the trick.


Off to the electronic store in search of the "proper spade" connector. I plan on trying it on my 12 volt system before I invest in (14 volt) dual batteries to try on my extra 12-volt halogen driving lights. This could prove very interesting for my morning commute to school.

Just found out that I have 25 years in. Somewhere I read that work is the 8 hour resting period between rides..... My commute is really strange. 8 miles to school, 35 miles home....
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Old 08-23-08, 08:30 PM   #10
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After dicking around all afternoon trying to get a 6V and 12V light to run in series with my 18V drill battery, I have given up on that idea. I ended up blowing up a few 6 V bulbs.

I have decided to try a different idea for my very early (5AM) sunday morning commute. I have the 18V battery hangng upside down between the aero bars. I will strap it in nice and tight, throw the spare battery in my backpack and hit the road. The bars will have to be angled in such a way that I won't be able to drop down into them, but, oh well. Guess I'll have to tough it out.

So if anyone is in ellington/vernon/south windsor Ct not so bright and early tomorrow and see's some idiot with a craftsman ghetto headlight setup, that'll be me.

Hopefully it'll work OK. If not, I think I got most of the pothole locations memorized by now, so, I think I'll be fine.

Wish me luck.
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Old 08-23-08, 10:05 PM   #11
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Gee, someone else with a NightSun light. Its' been years. Mine is over 18 years old and the bulb holder is metal so I can run 50 watt halogens. If I had the $$$I'd use NiCads or Lithium. SLAs do not bother me as several pounds of batteries are insignificant compared to my body weight.
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Old 08-24-08, 10:48 AM   #12
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I hear ya, ken. I hear ya. What an extra 5 lbs in battery when you could lose that by staying off the carbs for a week.

I may still go the SLA route and consider it a training aid.

Do you have the dual set up with the 10/35 watt bulbs? What are you currently running for a battery?

BTW, my craftsman 18V headlight worked awesome this morning. Wonder if I can upgrade the incandesent bulb to a halogen or led without melting something?
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Old 08-25-08, 03:34 AM   #13
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BTW, my craftsman 18V headlight worked awesome this morning.

Did you have to change batteries on the "dark-side" of the ride?
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Old 08-25-08, 04:05 AM   #14
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About overvolting: many manufacturers overvolt their halogen lights by 20% or so, meaning they connect a 12V light to a 14,4V battery for example. You get significantly more light with only slightly shortened bulb life. Going beyond that (like the +50% one would get with a 12V light and a 18V battery ) will not provide hugely better output, but bulb life will drop drastically.

LEDs require specific, fairly accurate voltage, so overvolting is not the way to go there. I believe it's the same with HID lights.

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Old 08-25-08, 05:46 PM   #15
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bill,

My morning ride to work was accomplished easily on a single battery. I used the light probably between 20-30 minutes. I suspect it would go the entire 45 minutes if neccessary.

Still considering buying/building a regulator so I an use it with my dual nightsun lights. I was thinking about maybe mounting both 18V batteries in the water cages running them in parallel to a regulator.

Any info on such a regulator, preferably with strobe capability would be appreciated.
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Old 08-31-08, 06:00 PM   #16
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It's about time to do something. I am kinda leaning towards the SLAs for a few reasons.

First off, I'm a cheap sob. And I already own a decent charger. Couple of them, actually. So, I could keep one at work to top things off.

Second, A few extra pounds will improve my hillclimbing abilities.

I do have one concern. I don't want to kill the SLA by deep cycling. My solution is to go with more battery than I need. The prices for a 7ah are pretty similar to 4ah. I suspect I will use about 2ah for the round trip, so, I would guess that a 7ah battery wouldn't be taxed much at all and should enjoy a reasonably long life.

Any suggestions/recommendations/flames welcome.
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Old 08-31-08, 06:48 PM   #17
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How about wiring 6 x 2V cyclon J-cells(5 AH) to give 12V or 7 to give 14 volts and using a hair drier to shrink a clear plastic drink bottle around them. Then zip tie them into a water bottle cage. Cyclon (nee Gates) cells are tolerant of deep discharging and recharge quickly. Very rugged as well. My original Night-Sun used a pair of 6 volt D-cell battery packs. Yes sure NiCads and NiMH are nice but pricey for me. I'd save lithium for Paris-Brest or RAAM.
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Old 09-03-08, 06:43 AM   #18
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ken, where can I get the cyclon cells? How expensive are they?
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Old 09-03-08, 06:13 PM   #19
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well, I ordered the 7Ah SLA training aid from batteryspace today. After dragging that thing along with the other junk I cart to work and back, for a few months, I ought to be in pretty good shape.
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