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  1. #1
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Busch &Muller Toplight Line Brake Plus

    I was wondering if anybody had experience with this light. The brake light feature is intriguing, if it works.



    Marc
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  2. #2
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    I looked at it but couldn't get hold of it when I was getting my lights so settled for the Toplight Flat S Plus.

    The thing I like about this is that it works on voltage drop as opposed to a physical switch or an accelerometer.
    Not as green as I might be cabbage looking!

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    If I read the info correctly, it actually doesn't look at voltage drop, it looks at frequency drop on the dyno's AC output. Pretty clever!

  4. #4
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    If I read the info correctly, it actually doesn't look at voltage drop, it looks at frequency drop on the dyno's AC output. Pretty clever!
    Yeah, the whole idea sounds clever, I need to order a light for my city bike and am thinking of taking the chance on it. I just wonder; first, does it work and second, how does it look to a driver?

    Marc
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  5. #5
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    well, if it is anything like the other toplights then the normal, "tail light" mode will be excellent. If the brake light is significantly brighter then its defo a winner.
    Not as green as I might be cabbage looking!

  6. #6
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I'll be the first to find out. I'll be getting one from Peter White this week.
    I decided to tak the chance.

    Marc
    Read Simply Cycle

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  7. #7
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I've got the same light but without the brake function. Now I've got tail light envy.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  8. #8
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    Tilt switch to bypass voltage dropping resistor

    Irwin, if when you have yours, can you look inside of it and maybe take a photo for us?


    I could easily be wrong - but I don't think that there is any reason to do anything more complicated than simply have a tilt switch- of course, maybe I am wrong.

    Marketing is very important in user perception of value.

    Here is an example of a tilt switch:



    If it uses the force of deacceleration OR the slowing of pulses from a dynamo, in both cases its a brilliant idea if that indeed buys something important, a reduction in accidents.

    The differences between the two in real life might be subtle..

    For example, if someone was riding down a hill in a vacumn, on frictionless wheels, and was accelerating at the natural rate, there would be no tilt, but otherwise, the rear light would brighten when you went down the hill, even though in fact, you were not braking.

    If it doesn't increase the parts count significantly, and it has the desired effect of signalling when the bike is deaccelerating. hopefully waking up drivers behind them in traffic from their naps or texting sessions, its a good thing™ .

    All in all a significant innovation, and a way to make a lot more money, and differentiate a product.. for next to nothing.. or not...

    If people want to build something using a tilt switch of their own, you can get tilt switches at DigiKey for around a dollar eleven US in quantities of one.

    I'm tempted to give at least that a shot.

    Alternatively, a microswitch with a weight attached to it might work (or the microswitch could be the weight itself..if it was attached by its lever..)
    Last edited by christ0ph; 01-10-12 at 08:49 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Sorry if I am being thick, but I don't understand why you brought tilt switches into the conversation.

    If you are talking about modding a current rear light, that might explain it, but I don't see how a tilt switch would work. Although having said that, there ARE accelerometer based brake lights out there - check out this thread that I started 2 years ago.

    I have thought about making a brake light mod to a dynamo before, but always stumbled at the same hurdle - how to actuate it. In the end, I decided the simplest and easiest method would be either micro-switches to bypass a limiting resistor or potentiometers to vary the brightness even more depending on how harsh the braking was. The problem I found was that the switches would have to be on both brakes to be effective, and single lever dual action brakes are rare. So I gave up.
    Not as green as I might be cabbage looking!

  10. #10
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    B&M's own documentation states that it monitors the dyno's AC frequency, so that seems to be quite clear.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    Sorry if I am being thick, but I don't understand why you brought tilt switches into the conversation.

    Because the effect of deacceleration is identical to that of gravity functionally, 99% of the time. Hold a plumb line in one hand while braking, it goes forward. When you finally finish stopping, its vertical again.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    If you are talking about modding a current rear light, that might explain it,
    Well, yes, that is what I was talking about. Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    but I don't see how a tilt switch would work. Although having said that, there ARE accelerometer based brake lights out there - check out this thread that I started 2 years ago.

    I have thought about making a brake light mod to a dynamo before, but always stumbled at the same hurdle - how to actuate it.
    Two microswitches connected to the brake lines would do it. I would think the easiest mechanical way would be by means of a small wedge that would move with the cable and depress the microswitch when pulled. Or you could use a lever style microswitch above caliper brakes. But the tilt switch approach would seem to me to work fine 99% of the time and fail gracefully (by making the lights brighter) when you were coasting downhill but were not braking.. (but you might well brake in that situation, so brigher lights would be good. A combination of the three, switches on both brakes, plus tilt switch, all additive, as above would still be cheap but even better.


    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    In the end, I decided the simplest and easiest method would be either micro-switches to bypass a limiting resistor or potentiometers to vary the brightness even more depending on how harsh the braking was. The problem I found was that the switches would have to be on both brakes to be effective, and single lever dual action brakes are rare. So I gave up.
    Thats a good idea, but pots would wear out. What would work the best and last forever are the kind of optical sensors you see used in haptics, which can be simulated with two identical LEDs inserted into either end of a piece of transparent acrylic tubing that just admits them size wise (LEDs can both transmit and receive) The tubing transmits much of the light when straignt, less as its bent, proportionately. Wrap the whole thing in black heat shrink and you have a proportionate signal that varies with the degree of bending. Something a bit like this. You can find interface details on LEDs used in receive applications on the net. You might need a microcontroller to give you the output signal you want, but in terms of durability, thats the way to go.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christ0ph View Post
    ... What would work the best and last forever are the kind of optical sensors you see used in haptics, which can be simulated with two identical LEDs inserted into either end of a piece of transparent acrylic tubing that just admits them size wise (LEDs can both transmit and receive) The tubing transmits much of the light when straignt, less as its bent, proportionately. Wrap the whole thing in black heat shrink and you have a proportionate signal that varies with the degree of bending. Something a bit like this. You can find interface details on LEDs used in receive applications on the net. You might need a microcontroller to give you the output signal you want, but in terms of durability, thats the way to go.
    Oooooo. Nice - cheers for that.
    Not as green as I might be cabbage looking!

  13. #13
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christ0ph View Post
    Irwin, if when you have yours, can you look inside of it and maybe take a photo for us?


    I could easily be wrong - but I don't think that there is any reason to do anything more complicated than simply have a tilt switch- of course, maybe I am wrong.

    Marketing is very important in user perception of value.

    Here is an example of a tilt switch:



    If it uses the force of deacceleration OR the slowing of pulses from a dynamo, in both cases its a brilliant idea if that indeed buys something important, a reduction in accidents.

    The differences between the two in real life might be subtle..

    For example, if someone was riding down a hill in a vacumn, on frictionless wheels, and was accelerating at the natural rate, there would be no tilt, but otherwise, the rear light would brighten when you went down the hill, even though in fact, you were not braking.

    If it doesn't increase the parts count significantly, and it has the desired effect of signalling when the bike is deaccelerating. hopefully waking up drivers behind them in traffic from their naps or texting sessions, its a good thing™ .

    All in all a significant innovation, and a way to make a lot more money, and differentiate a product.. for next to nothing.. or not...

    If people want to build something using a tilt switch of their own, you can get tilt switches at DigiKey for around a dollar eleven US in quantities of one.

    I'm tempted to give at least that a shot.

    Alternatively, a microswitch with a weight attached to it might work (or the microswitch could be the weight itself..if it was attached by its lever..)
    I'm pretty sure it's not a tilt switch. My understanding is it monitors the frequency of the input charge and regulates the output accprdingly. It's in the mail now, but I won't be home to.do anything until next week.

    Marc
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  14. #14
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    The reason why I suggested it might be a tilt switch is that inertial force, proportionate to the speed decrease. It seems to be the most convenient force to sense for a great many reasons.

    It makes the most sense economically to do that. But its also so simple and so cheap that anyone can do it. Which in the manufacturing world means its not profitable or patentable. (someone else probably already patented it a century ago! Prior art!)

    Another thought, not all "dynamo powered" tail lights are fed directly from a dynamo.

    In fact, some headlights that Peter White Cycles sells have a nifty feature, a DC output that comes out of the headlight that supplies preconditioned, preregulated DC that also has a standlight function to the taillight.

    So, no AC cycle to measure! Does the "brake light" on the B&M taillight work with the inolight?

    If it really senses cycles, it should not be able to tell when the bike is stopping if fed DC.

    Also, bottle dynamos and hub dynamos put out very different AC, I'd guess, because the RPMs of the hub dynamo are much lower than the tiny bottles which have to spin at least 50 times, probably more, to each one of the hub, adding up, in all probability, to "a higher Hz".

    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    I'm pretty sure it's not a tilt switch. My understanding is it monitors the frequency of the input charge and regulates the output accprdingly. It's in the mail now, but I won't be home to.do anything until next week.
    Last edited by christ0ph; 01-13-12 at 08:13 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Last year showed Busch & Müller Licht24 , the daytime running lights for bicycles. 2011 follows to fit the ideal security complement for taillights: BrakeTec, the "brake light" on the bike.

    At the core of the new technology is BrakeTec into the rear light integrated processor that evaluates the signals from the hub dynamo. Once the speed drops suddenly and significantly, the rear light shines much brighter.
    From B&M's site. So we have hub dynamos specifically mentioned, and a processor that evaluates the signals, which I take to mean the AC frequency.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    True, but if the processor is evaluating the speed signal, it shouldn't matter if it is hub or bottle, as the frequency will still drop when you slow down, even if a bottle has a higher frequency to start with.
    Not as green as I might be cabbage looking!

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    I like the idea of this tail light. Maybe someone who gets one can get a video showing how it looks both with and without braking? I.e. to see how different the amount of light is?
    Last edited by kgidley; 01-16-12 at 12:05 AM.

  18. #18
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    Yes, but that is a lot of trouble and expense to go to just for a marketing reason.

    My own "processor" is telling me that its their choice- sell tens or even hundreds of thousands for cheaper, and at the same time let people see that its something they can retrofit into their existing lights for a few bucks, DIY,

    OR far fewer,

    perhaps only hundreds or thousands for more - at a much higher margin, with a sort of deceptive approach, add a few bucks to the cost while not killing sales of their other existing products.

    Or, maybe, they simply have decided to call the inertial switch (sounds better than tilt switch, doesn't it?) a "processor".

    Evidently cars and trucks wheel revolution frequency processors (WRPs or WSS's) are inertial switches, used on their fuel pumps.. to prevent explosions.. (The ones used in antilock braking systems are there for a different reason, to sense when the wheel does NOT stay in sync with the ground vector.)

    After all, computer processors are just aggregates of thousands or millions of switches!

    Similar situations exist in medicine, with literally hundreds of cheap and effective cures or treatments for serious illnesses languishing in obscurity, ignored, or even thrown away by companies, for similar reasons. Too cheap and too effective.



    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    True, but if the processor is evaluating the speed signal, it shouldn't matter if it is hub or bottle, as the frequency will still drop when you slow down, even if a bottle has a higher frequency to start with.

    Last edited by christ0ph; 01-15-12 at 10:22 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by christ0ph View Post
    Yes, but that is a lot of trouble and expense to go to just for a marketing reason.

    My own "processor" is telling me that its their choice- sell tens or even hundreds of thousands for cheaper, and at the same time let people see that its something they can retrofit into their existing lights for a few bucks, DIY,

    OR far fewer,

    perhaps only hundreds or thousands for more - at a much higher margin, with a sort of deceptive approach, add a few bucks to the cost while not killing sales of their other existing products.
    Look, the electronics you need to do it the way B&M says they do it cost maybe three bucks. Quantity one, retail price. Buy a bunch, they're cheaper. There's no reason for them to lie about it, and use a markedly inferior method that wouldn't be any cheaper. I've seen strange conspiracy theories before, but this one is pretty high on the list.

    There's a simple test to see what the thing really does: Pick up the generator wheel, spin it, and see what happens you put on the brakes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    I've got the same light but without the brake function. Now I've got tail light envy.
    LOL same here

    Andrew

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    LOL same here

    Andrew
    me three. I need to buy generator lights for the new bike. This is on the short list, though I'm waiting to here first hand reports. (hint...)

  22. #22
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christ0ph View Post
    Yes, but that is a lot of trouble and expense to go to just for a marketing reason.
    Pic10s, in quantity from Digikey, cost less than $0.50, and are much smaller than a tilt sensor.

    My own "processor" is telling me that its their choice- sell tens or even hundreds of thousands for cheaper, and at the same time let people see that its something they can retrofit into their existing lights for a few bucks, DIY,

    OR far fewer,

    perhaps only hundreds or thousands for more - at a much higher margin, with a sort of deceptive approach, add a few bucks to the cost while not killing sales of their other existing products.
    I can't think of a single company using the former approach that did better than their competitor doing the latter.

  23. #23
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    Actually, I realized that dscheidt is right on the cost. So, why not do it. Electronics is cheap. People I know increasingly self-manufacture all sorts of super complex high tech devices using household appliances like irons,convection ovens and fishtanks (in a quite technically sophisticated manner)

    Quote Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
    Look, the electronics you need to do it the way B&M says they do it cost maybe three bucks. Quantity one, retail price. Buy a bunch, they're cheaper. There's no reason for them to lie about it, and use a markedly inferior method that wouldn't be any cheaper. I've seen strange conspiracy theories before, but this one is pretty high on the list.

    There's a simple test to see what the thing really does: Pick up the generator wheel, spin it, and see what happens you put on the brakes.

  24. #24
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Well, I finally got back to installing the light we have been kicking around awhile. I was out of town on some urgent family business, but it was waiting for me when I got back. I figured if it worked for me it would work for anybody, I use a Spanniga tire driven dyno. Wrong brand, ancient tech, no latest greatest nothin'. The damn thing works, very nicely as a matter fact.I posted a review on my blog and I am really glad I bought it. $20 bucks, hell yeah!

    Marc
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  25. #25
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post

    There's a simple test to see what the thing really does: Pick up the generator wheel, spin it, and see what happens you put on the brakes.
    You'll spin your fingers bloody. The capacitor has to be fully charged before the chip can output the excess for the brake effect.

    Marc
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