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Old 08-05-13, 02:19 PM   #1
errantlinguist
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Electricity 101 for dynamo lighting

I have a dynamo-powered incandescent front light for my bike, and I have no idea how to connect it, and I am amazed that after hours of searching, it seems no one on teh Internets has ever thought to explain how to connect a bike light beyond "take some insulation off the wires and stick the metal stuff inside the light, then screw it on". I have no idea what any of these parts are called, so I just took a picture of the insides:



So basically electricity has to get to the middle part, where the light bulb sits. On my old light, there was simply a small hole in the plastic sleeve for the bulb which you stuck the wire into, and voila! Magical light! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem so simple with this model. I tried sticking the bare wire into that clamp on the right side, and then letting the clamp pinch the wires, but it didn't light up that way. So how do I place the wire so that current actually reaches the filament??? Thanks.

P.S. I'm also no longer sure if the bulb housing is "in" correctly-- it fits in both with the clamp on the right side and on the left side, and I can't remember how it was when I got it...
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Old 08-05-13, 06:04 PM   #2
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The greenish/bronze colored tabs appear to be the contacts that the wires need to connect to. One from the "hot" terminal on the dynamo, an one from the ground terminal. Some instructions say you can use the frame as the ground but that is only with steel frames, and even then using the frame as the ground is iffy.

What brand and model is that?
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Old 08-05-13, 08:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by errantlinguist View Post
I have a dynamo-powered incandescent front light for my bike, and I have no idea how to connect it, and I am amazed that after hours of searching, it seems no one on teh Internets has ever thought to explain how to connect a bike light beyond "take some insulation off the wires and stick the metal stuff inside the light, then screw it on". I have no idea what any of these parts are called, so I just took a picture of the insides:



So basically electricity has to get to the middle part, where the light bulb sits. On my old light, there was simply a small hole in the plastic sleeve for the bulb which you stuck the wire into, and voila! Magical light! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem so simple with this model. I tried sticking the bare wire into that clamp on the right side, and then letting the clamp pinch the wires, but it didn't light up that way. So how do I place the wire so that current actually reaches the filament??? Thanks.

P.S. I'm also no longer sure if the bulb housing is "in" correctly-- it fits in both with the clamp on the right side and on the left side, and I can't remember how it was when I got it...
Why did you need to take it apart? I don't think that's a normal installation procedure.

Seriously, can you put it back together? That's the first thing. Those brass tabs are the contacts with the bulb. They're essentially the "non-user-servicable parts." They either go straight through the plastic shell to provide outside terminals for attaching the wires, or there are some other metal pieces that go outside. When the shell is closed you should have two pretty obvious places to attach wires with some means to latch the wire so the light actually stays shiny.

Making any sense yet?
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Old 08-05-13, 11:18 PM   #4
errantlinguist
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They either go straight through the plastic shell to provide outside terminals for attaching the wires, or there are some other metal pieces that go outside. When the shell is closed you should have two pretty obvious places to attach wires with some means to latch the wire so the light actually stays shiny.

Making any sense yet?
Errm, sadly, no: If it looked so simple from the outside, I probably wouldn't have taken it apart (no guarantees, though). There are only two holes in the shell itself, and no way to actually thread the wire into those holes and have them stay-- they simply lead into the inner cavity.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:09 AM   #5
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Most dyno's have two connectors. Plug the cable harness into that fitting. By whatever method/means, get the + wire from the dyno to the center point on the bulb and get the other wire to the threaded metal part of the bulb. If the bulb is good when you spin the wheel, then you will have light. No rockets need be sacrificed!
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Old 08-06-13, 09:25 AM   #6
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those look to be the kind of contacts where you pull back the tab, put the wire through the hole, and then let loose of the tab. It shouldn't matter which wire goes in what hole, unless there is a ground path back to the frame.
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