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  1. #1
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    Rear LED Flasher.

    Since my close call last Sunday, I've been thinking of amping up my rear flasher. I found a pair of 4" Red LED strips at Wally World in the automotive section. I figured I'd pick the brains of the mad scientist collective here to figure out how to power them as flashers...

    Help?

    Rick
    Due to recurring injury, I no longer have a yearly goal. How far I go is how far I go.
    As of 8/10 - Bike: 482.9mi Walk/Run: 136.7mi Weight 253.5

  2. #2
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    Most of my geezer group rides with Dinotte taillights. I haven't seen anything brighter including auto brake lights. They ain't cheap, but worth it.

  3. #3
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Buy an actual bike light. A Cygolite Hotshot or a PDW Danger Zone are both < $30 and will be more effective than the automotive thing.

    You can get the automotive thing to work, but they require 12 volts and if you want them to flash you're going to have to either use some automotive flasher which will draw more power than the LEDs do, or build some circuitry. You'll wind up with a big mess of batteries and circuitry and spend more money than if you just bought a bike light in the first place.

    I could provide schematics; whether you want to carry a 12 volt battery or use a boost converter is up to you, but I think any solution is going to cost more than just buying a proper light.

    If your idea of bike lights is what you find at wally world, you should take a look elsewhere. Proper bike lights such as those I mentioned are very bright.

    Also, do not think that just because you have a light that nobody could miss means that some idiot still won't hit you.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  4. #4
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Mars 4.0 Rear Light - Blackburn Design Very strong and very visible in a daylight.

    Mars 3.0 Rear Light - Blackburn Design Strong, usable in daylight and better visibility under different angles.

    Both lights are water proof, long lasting battery life, and tested by me for the last 3 years. Winter, summer, bumpy roads and trails... Lights are always on, even on the trails, day and night. The mount is awesome and I couldn't be happier with the them.

    0260090000073.jpg
    BL475MARS3.jpg
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

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  5. #5
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    For what it's worth, I ride regularly at night. I run 4 tail lights. Two are Planet Bike Superflash, one is a Cygolite Hotshot, and the fourth is a Foxfire light. I have a Superflash on the left seat stay and one on the back of my seat bag. The Hotshot is one the seat post, and the Foxfire is just above the brake bridge. In addition to the lights, I wear a safety vest with reflective strips. When I'm really on my game, I wear reflective ankle strips. Thus far, these measures have been effective.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I found a pair of 4" Red LED strips at Wally World in the automotive section...
    ....figure out how to power them as flashers...
    DC 12v is the first guess, it being automotive ..

    seems a more direct route is buy something the Chinese made that you just install, and put a couple flashlight batteries in ,
    thats what others seem to suggest.

    you save the receipt? DIY electronic circuit design might be in over your head.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    The simple solution is to run them directly off a small battery pack with 4x 18650 Li-Ion batteries in series, no sophisticated circuit needed (add a switch for simplicity). Car electrical systems actually vary all over the place, so I suspect the lights won't have any trouble dealing with the slightly higher voltage. No clue what sort of battery life you'd expect. Make sure you figure out how to waterproof the connections. Getting the lights to flash will be dramatically more complicated.

    That said, I'd say its probably smarter to invest in a good bike light. There's some really bright ones out there that will be simpler.

  9. #9
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
    The best part at 44 seconds...guy playing on his bmx in the middle of a street " I'm Zack, and I want you to be seen "
    Other than that a pretty cool idea and great safety gadget for commuters . They just need to make it strong enough.
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    It might pay to use a PVC pipe and mount it across the back of your bike, effectively widening the bike. Space the flashers evenly along the pipe.

    There is at least one delivery bike guy in my neighborhood who uses a very wide front basket, and he has two white flashers in front, on the edges of the basket. The setup is very effective. For some reason, it looks like he has sparklers on the bike.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  11. #11
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Just bought Cygolite Hotshot 2w light. Install one and you will be all set. Extremely strong light with great light patterns.
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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  12. #12
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Quick comparison of 2 very popular tail lights. Solid and proven Blackburn Mars 4.0 with 1 Watt LED vs. CygoLite HotShot with 2 Watt LED ( premium version with up to 500 hrs of run time, and 5 customizable modes ). Both are considered as a "day time" tail lights. ($20-$30 as of today)

    Bicycle Tail Lights Cygolite HotShot 2 Watt vs. Blackburn Mars 4.0 1 Watt LED Comparison - YouTube

    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult."
    Reading without understanding is useless

    "Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial." - go figure lol

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