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Old 11-08-12, 05:48 PM   #1
dbg
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Sun spots maybe?

Riding the trusty commuter bike home today (in the dark) and my totally reliable headlight goes dark in the first hundred yards. Everything worked perfectly this morning --front and rear lights fed from a dynamo front hub. I stopped to fiddle the wires a bit but they were solid and the rear light was still working. So maybe it burned out. I still have a rear light and a very bright rotating red light on the front wheel that has fresh batteries and never fails.

Half way home the tail light goes out. Weird, but the load differences, ..maybe the tail light is now burnt. Can't see very well now but that reliable, super bright rotating wheel light means others can see me. A mile from home the rotating light goes dark. That light has never failed me in 10 years -EVER! Three separate lights on two separate systems go out within twenty minutes. I have a puzzle to solve this weekend.
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Old 11-08-12, 06:19 PM   #2
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I'm just glad you live in Illinois right now. If bad luck is contagious you might be the bicycling counterpart to Typhoid Mary. Are they LED or incandescent bulb? I hope the dynamo system is one you can work on your self, I have no experience trouble shooting a dynamo generator and would be in for some digging with my multi-meter and Google usage.

Hope you find the culprit(s) easily, you probably are due for some good luck now, you earned it.

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Old 11-08-12, 07:12 PM   #3
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You may want to check the dynamo and charging system. If it's sending huge voltage spikes, it could be destroying the LEDs.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:09 PM   #4
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It might be solar flaring.

The airbag warning light came on inexplicably in my father-in-law's vehicle that we are using to traverse the US from north to south (Louisianna). Then this morning it did its normal cycle of shining for six second after start-up.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:53 AM   #5
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Glad you have redundency -- although it sounds like even the redundent systems failed...

... But riding in the dark without lights -- even for a short distance -- sounds very unsafe.

Perhaps you should be thinking of updating the whole system with more modern lighting -- but still with redundency.... I know that is expensive -- but still probably cheaper than a trip to the ER...

Just as a starting point: How about thinking about a couple Serfas True 250's as well as a tailight of some sort?
... they provide pretty good headlight style light and the mounts can be moved around and even put on a helmet for emergency use.
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Old 11-09-12, 08:03 AM   #6
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A backup candle and match?

Remind me not to ride with you
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Old 11-09-12, 10:10 AM   #7
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One of those carbide lamps maybe, rather than a candle.

All the redundancy in the world is useless, if they all share the same single point of failure. It might be good to carry spare lights that are not connected to your charging grid, if it turns out that the charging grid was destroying the electronic devices, either by induction-induced high voltage spikes leaking through a bad filter capacitor, or by constant over-voltage from a shot voltage regulation circuit.
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Old 11-28-12, 09:17 AM   #8
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Well I pdated with B&M Lumotec Lyt T Senso Plus headlight and Toplight line plus tail light (both LED) from peterwhitecycles.com and am LOVING them. Amazingly brighter than my previous low end lumotec lights and it's nice to have the capacitor standlight option.

Sooo much brighter than my previous system.
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Old 11-28-12, 10:15 AM   #9
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The current range of Bike lamps are good and in no way as expensive as they were just a few years ago. I used to run a twin 5w Halogen lamp and it was good enough. The Nicad batteries weren't though and it used to get run on just one bulb to save power which did make for some awkward moments. My current twin 5w LCD lamp has 3 power settings and I did a night run early in the year. I did conserve battery life by using on low power uphills and blink in the suburbs with street lighting but the old Halogen lamp would not have got me out of London before I would have resorted to the back up light. Still another 40 to go on a lamp that would not show anything above 50ft in front of me.

So night rides will be your latest assignment then?
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Old 11-28-12, 10:29 AM   #10
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I remember my first night ride when my magicshine battery fully discharged unexpectedly. [Gasp] [Darkness] I had been returning home using a distant MUP that runs through unlighted areas for long straight stretches. It was INSANE riding with no light at even ~15 mpg, wondering what sort of animal (deer?, possum, fox) would run in front of me. It was an adrenaline rush, though.

Now, I have doubly redundant backups, just in case. At least I'll have some light by which to navigate...
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