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Need help with dynamo lighting setup

Old 02-20-10, 12:12 PM
  #1  
surreal
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Need help with dynamo lighting setup

Hello.

Tried doing a search, and while many ppl seem to have some trouble with these setups, my problem doesn't seem to be addressed.

Here's the whole story. I have a shimano dynamo hub. I bought a Busch&muller lumotec cyo senso plus and a busch&muller dtoplight xs plus online. i wired the whole thing up, spun the wheel. the headlight works great, but the taillight doesn't respond. I figure i must've messed the wiring up, so i cut the wire (they sent a 6ft cord for the taillight, restripped, and crimped together again. Still nothing. Now, i'm worried, so i take it apart again, and my current theory is that there's no juice running from the headlight to the wires that come directly out of the headlight to the tail. i'm thinking this b/c, as a guy without a 6v ampmeter, i'm sitting here spinning the wheel and grabbing the bare wires, in hopes of getting shocked, and i get *nothing*. I thought, hey, maybe no juice is coming out because i'm just sitting in the apt, spinning the wheel by hand. So, i go out for a ride, try to get shocked again-- still, nothing.

I had called the guy i bought the lights from. he was helpful, offered a few suggestions, nothing worked. I'm thinking i might have a warranty issue here, with the headlight being defective, but i don't know if they'll honor it, as i've removed the original spade connectors. I also wanna make sure there's not something i'm missing, b/c i'd rather just make the thing work rather than go thru the hassle of a needless warranty. i emailed B&M directly, but i figured i'd run the situation by y'all while i wait for a response.

Anyone know why i wouldn't be getting any current out of a brand new, otherwise functioning headlight?

thanks,
-rob
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Old 02-20-10, 12:22 PM
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I'm thinking this may be a grounding problm, but i'm not sure if it is and, if so, how to solve it....

tia,
rob
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Old 02-20-10, 03:32 PM
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did your headlight come with a 3W or a 2.4W bulb?
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Old 02-20-10, 03:33 PM
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http://peterwhitecycles.com/wiringinstructions.asp
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Old 02-20-10, 03:35 PM
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Get a cheap multimeter at Radio Shack or on line and check for voltage to the taillight wiring. Maybe you can borrow one from a friend or work associate too. The problem could be in the headlight or the taillight might be defective but w/o a meter it is almost impossible to determine which is the problem. If the headlight works but the taillight does not then you really need the multimeter to check for voltage and continuity.

I have used an identical setup except for using the 4D Toplight Senso Multi without any problems.

BTW does the taillight have a switch that might be in the wrong position? The Senso Multi does have a 3 position switch. Also check that the wires to the taillight are not reversed. The headlight converts the AC from the dynamo to DC for the taillight and IIRC it will not work if the wires are reversed.
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Old 02-20-10, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by une_vitesse View Post
did your headlight come with a 3W or a 2.4W bulb?
The Cyo Senso is a LED headlight. It is designed to work with all B&M dynamo taillights.
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Old 02-21-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
Get a cheap multimeter at Radio Shack or on line and check for voltage to the taillight wiring. Maybe you can borrow one from a friend or work associate too. The problem could be in the headlight or the taillight might be defective but w/o a meter it is almost impossible to determine which is the problem. If the headlight works but the taillight does not then you really need the multimeter to check for voltage and continuity.

I have used an identical setup except for using the 4D Toplight Senso Multi without any problems.

BTW does the taillight have a switch that might be in the wrong position? The Senso Multi does have a 3 position switch. Also check that the wires to the taillight are not reversed. The headlight converts the AC from the dynamo to DC for the taillight and IIRC it will not work if the wires are reversed.
Thank you, everyone for the replies.

I was hoping to not have to buy a meter for this thing, but i guess i'll have to. haha, bought this whole shibang to save batteries, both money and waste. Between the hub, the lights, a meter, and various electric supplies, it'll be awhile before i break even. by then, the switch on the lumotec'll be fried, and the hub'll be at half-life. ah, well, at least the landfills will have slightly fewer batteries in 'em.

I was worried about the switch on the tail-light. it seems to have 2 settings, although "in between" might be a third setting. regardless, i've tried in all settings. I'm pretty sure the problem is with the headlight somewhere after the LED. The headlight glows nicely, but the wires leading from it seem to be dead. I guess i'll need to buy a meter to be sure, but really, it doesn't shock me at all when i ride around the block, trying to electrify myself.

I'm thinking my next move, before i go to radio shack tomorrow, is to unbolt the headlight from the fork, keep it wired to the hub, and lie it down on some rags and see if it juices up then. i'm thinking that the metal mount and metal hardware that connect the headlight to the fork are providing a redundant ground effect, and shorting output thru to the tail. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's the best i can explain my theory. i guess i'll have to go buy some nylon/plastic hardware, too. ah, saving money on batteries is terribly expensive. good thing i pretend to be an environmentalist.

Someone provided the link to the wiring strategies on peter white's site. I've already read it a few times. it provides some insights and leads, but no actual solutions. to be sure, everyone's setup is going to be different, so Peter can hardly provide an actual cut-n-dry wiring schematic, but i'm still kinda wishing i'd never bought this stuff.

Anyway, thank you for the advice so far, everyone. Hopefully, someone else has been thru a similar ordeal, and can offer some other possible solutions.
-rob
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Old 02-21-10, 01:27 PM
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and, to clarify, tatfiend is correct: the CYO led lights are compat with tail-lights. They don't even use up the 2.4w.

the headlight is super-bright, and rather trick-looking. Seems well-made, except that the rotary switch is totally pants and seems on the verge of breaking if anyone ever uses it. I think i'll leave it on "senso", which supposedly lights up only in the dark, but it lights up bright even at high noon on a sunny day. ah, well

-rob
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Old 02-21-10, 04:33 PM
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If there are any ham radio guys you know this is the perfect little assist for them to help you out on.

-Bicycle mobile Ham Radio guy.
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Old 02-21-10, 04:45 PM
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you know what? my main trail-ridin buddy's dad is into that schtuff. I'll give him a try!

thanks!
-rob
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Old 02-21-10, 05:01 PM
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Post #5 said that the headlight is rectifying this AC to DC. I'd look at that. It might be using a bridge recifier, and if so, they can be fixed or replaced without too much trouble. I wonder why you dont just have an AC bulb in the taillight? "Simple" is better here!
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Old 02-21-10, 07:46 PM
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I had problems with a B&M Seculite taillamp off my Edelux, and I finally just ran the taillamp wiring (the stock wires are really long) right down to the hub directly in with the rest of my lights. Works just fine now.
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Old 02-21-10, 10:06 PM
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Surreal;

The output of the CYO headlight wires to the taillight is only 6V DC. You are not even going to get a tingle from that by touching it except maybe by touching both wires to your tongue while spinning the dynamo. Skin resistance is just too high for any feelable current flow at such voltages normally.
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Old 02-22-10, 08:04 PM
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worked today from 8a til 10p. no chance to hit the radio shack, or visit any radio hams. i'll get a multimeter and come back here with my findings.

thanks again
-rob
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Old 02-23-10, 02:48 AM
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You may also want to draw up a wiring-diagram of how you have the lights wired up. Standard practice is to draw two lines across the top & bottom of a page with ground on the bottom. Then all your switches and bulbs will typically have an attachment to the line on top or bottom. The frame of the bike is typically used as the ground-plane, so only a single wire needs to be used for the taillight.

Without knowing exactly what kind of voltage is coming out of the headlight, we have no data to work with.
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Old 02-23-10, 08:42 PM
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I find that some taillights with standlights can take some time to light if they have not been run recently. It takes a little while to charge the capacitor and it can seem like the light is not getting power if you are just giving the the wheel a few quick spins.

Of course you might not have it wired correctly, as noted above. If you are planning on only using one conductor to the taillight, make sure you are able to get it working using two, first. Sometimes the headset will block the ground return.
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Old 10-04-10, 02:41 PM
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I have a problem with my lights setup. I bought a AXA HR sidewall dynamo, B&M Lumotec plus headlight (halogen with a LED standlight function) and B&M Seculite plus taillight. The dynamo has four wiring holes, two for currents and two for grounds. I wired the front light with a single wire and the taillight with a double wire plugging the ground wire from the taillight to the dynamo´s ground hole, and both lights worked fine at the first ride. However, as I went for a second ride a few hours later, the lights were dead.

It seems that the taillight doesn´t work at all anymore, and the front light works only if the taillight isn´t plugged to the dynamo. I´m a total beginner with electrics, and now clueless. What could be a solution? Is it possible that the taillight has blown somehow?
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Old 10-04-10, 05:50 PM
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Hi.

I did finally get my lights working, which made me very happy.

May I suggest that you run a wire from the headlight to the tail, rather than using the extra outputs on the dynamo? I went to peterwhitecycles.com, to check out your light. I cannot tell from the picture if it has leads to a tallight, but if it does, it might simplify your loop. Also, peter says that this headlight is designed specifically for the SON hub. Weird, if B&M would make a light that isn't compat with their own sidewall dynamo, but i thought it might be worth bringing up.

Be patient. These things always take some fiddling at first.

-rob
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Old 10-04-10, 10:59 PM
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b_e_r_s

Try hooking up only the taillight to the dynamo and see if it works. If not then the taillitght could have died but I would also check the wiring for continuity. IMO most dynamo lighting problems end up being wiring related.
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