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Lights - specifically tail light - sustainable power

Old 09-19-23, 04:04 AM
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Lights - specifically tail light - sustainable power

All,

I have been using a Sentinel 250 light for a few years now. On my commute yesterday morning it fell off and broke. I took it apart and if I press the bare buttons on the circuit board I can get it to work, but the housing is broken apart and it needs to be replaced.

When on the road what I do with this one is I charge it off a 12v battery with USB adapter.

Since I am in the realm of needing to replace the light - what are others doing beyond charging on commercial power?

The power system I use when on the road is 12v. The rechargeable light I've been using has worked, and is nice for daily commuting, minus all the plugging in everywhere.

Another thought is the various flash patterns are nice. A very high percentage of my riding is on roads - and some very busy roads - so visibility is a significant safety consideration. The 2 modes I use on the Sentinel are the day flash which has a dimmer pulse with a bright flash every 4 or so flashes that I like. The night flash mode has a dim constant light with a slow brightening and dimming light every 4-5 seconds.

A while back I had considered Ebike lights. I don't recall finding lights that had much in the way of flash patterns. Ebike lights = constant power (wired, not wireless/rechargeable). I don't know that I looked in all the right places though...

Thoughts?
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Old 09-19-23, 06:31 AM
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I think for touring without plugging into a motel, campground or restaurant outlet, everyone is using either a solar panel or dynohub with a USB charger. Or, for shorter trips, using a powerbank that was charged at home.

And these days, that pretty much means USB for power.

I use AAA powered taillights, use NiMH rechargeable batteries with a USB powered battery charger.
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Old 09-19-23, 06:43 AM
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I wouldn't want to tour without dynamo lights.
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Old 09-19-23, 02:11 PM
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I would never tour with dynamo lights. They are obsolete.
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Old 09-19-23, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite
I would never tour with dynamo lights. They are obsolete.
And why are they obsolete?
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Old 09-19-23, 02:57 PM
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FYI…There is a lightning forum.

In any event, I use a Planet Bike Grateful Red. There is a battery and USB version. Steady and flash modes. It comes with a seat post mount and a bracket that attaches to a hole in a rear rack, if you have one (which I do). Frees up space for a seat post bag.

I have the battery version. That way, if I accidentally leave it on while out on the road for a couple of weeks or while in the office, I don’t need to worry about charging. I simply carry two spare AAA batteries. In reality, I think the battery version last a couple of hundred hours on flash mode with a fresh set of batteries.
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Old 09-19-23, 04:44 PM
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I use the Dinotte DAYTIME ONLY TAILLIGHT on pulse and a Toplight Line Plus dino tail light for night. I prefer a solid tail light for night time .
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Old 09-19-23, 05:38 PM
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Looks like the dynamo type lights take 6v AC. Does anyone know if they can take DC? Some appear to have a capacitor for continued lighting when stopped for a period of time. That seems to imply that they would at some point rectify the AC and charge the cap with DC, which would in turn power the light off the same DC?

I use a 12v system for various other things so in thinking through this - it would be conceivable to make a converter from 12v to 6v, but it would be DC. I don't think it is worth trying to add an oscillator to create a frequency from which to drive an "inverter" that could replicate 6v AC.
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Old 09-19-23, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite
I would never tour with dynamo lights. They are obsolete.
I would also like to know why.
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Old 09-19-23, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Looks like the dynamo type lights take 6v AC. Does anyone know if they can take DC? Some appear to have a capacitor for continued lighting when stopped for a period of time. That seems to imply that they would at some point rectify the AC and charge the cap with DC, which would in turn power the light off the same DC?

I use a 12v system for various other things so in thinking through this - it would be conceivable to make a converter from 12v to 6v, but it would be DC. I don't think it is worth trying to add an oscillator to create a frequency from which to drive an "inverter" that could replicate 6v AC.
Ebike lights are DC.
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Old 09-20-23, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Looks like the dynamo type lights take 6v AC. Does anyone know if they can take DC? Some appear to have a capacitor for continued lighting when stopped for a period of time. That seems to imply that they would at some point rectify the AC and charge the cap with DC, which would in turn power the light off the same DC?
All LEDs can only run on direct current, the commercial light rectifies the dynamo hub's AC output for the LED. So if you want to put direct current into the light, it'll still come out of the rectifier as direct current.
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Old 09-20-23, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO
Looks like the dynamo type lights take 6v AC. Does anyone know if they can take DC? Some appear to have a capacitor for continued lighting when stopped for a period of time. That seems to imply that they would at some point rectify the AC and charge the cap with DC, which would in turn power the light off the same DC?

I use a 12v system for various other things so in thinking through this - it would be conceivable to make a converter from 12v to 6v, but it would be DC. I don't think it is worth trying to add an oscillator to create a frequency from which to drive an "inverter" that could replicate 6v AC.
I believe that you could run a taillight on 6v DC, but you should ask Peter White, he is the distributor for most dyno powered light brands in USA.

It is my understanding that the taillights have no over-voltage protection, so it would have to be limited to 6v. And because they run a capacitor the amount of current they draw over time varies, it would be complicated if you tried to figure out what size resistor if you wanted to drop 12v to 6 with a resistor.

I like the Spaninga Pixeo for dyno powered taillights, shown in the photo with the optional wire guard on the fender, this is on my light touring bike. The light on the rack is a Planet Bike Superflash and uses a mount that I fabricated.



If you get a Pixeo, the beam is very flat and wide, you have to be careful to aim it so the beam is not too high or too low.

Note that all dyno powered taillights are constant on, not flashing. No switch.
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Old 09-20-23, 03:03 PM
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I recently switched to the KLite. The people I ordered it from made a custom wiring harness with disconnects for splitting the bike in half. They added a resistor so I wouldn't burn out my B&M Toplight Line Plus Taillight.
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Old 09-24-23, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
FYI…There is a lightning forum.
And not a moment too soon.
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