dynamo lighting

  • Thread starter Zebee Johnstone
  • Start date



Z

Zebee Johnstone

Guest
Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.

As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
to be going on with, but I want something decent.

I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.

Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?

Zebee
 
T

tony f

Guest
"Zebee Johnstone" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
> few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.
>
> As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
> to be going on with, but I want something decent.
>
> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.
>
> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?


I'm a big fan of batteries, as their light is consistent - well, until they
go flat. When I had dynamo lights (or were they generator?), I had virtually
no light up hills, and amazing light as I sped down hills - especially just
before the electricity generated overloaded the globe. Then I had nothing.
;^)

I worry about forgetting to charge, so got myself into a routine - get home,
hook up charger, then get my gear off. First thing was always to hook up the
charger. Worked for me.

If you do go batteries, try and avoid SLAs - I use them because they're
cheap, but they are really big and heavy. NiCads, NIMHs or Li-ion are much
better, but costly.

Oh, and of course, I would say...

build your own! (some tips at my site below)

Tony F
http://www.thefathippy.com
 
S

Stuart Lamble

Guest
On 2006-03-09, tony f <[email protected]> wrote:
> If you do go batteries, try and avoid SLAs - I use them because they're
> cheap, but they are really big and heavy. NiCads, NIMHs or Li-ion are much
> better, but costly.
>
> Oh, and of course, I would say...
>
> build your own! (some tips at my site below)


Strongly seconded. I managed to destroy the batteries for my lights by
virtue of overcharging: most lights come with an AC-DC wall wart that
supplies a constant current/voltage. No smarts whatsoever, which makes
over- or under-charging a certainty. So I get in one morning, plug them
in, and half an hour later hear a loud crack. 'Twas the plastic shrink
over the batteries splitting because it had got too hot. The batteries
were toasty warm to the touch (as in, I couldn't hold them for more than
a couple of seconds.)

So I went out to Jaycar, picked up a few battery holders and ten size C
NiMH cells, and got to work. Cut off the cable; find a spare bidon; cut
open the top enough for the cable to slide through; apply lots and lots
of silicone to seal it; solder the cables together; and presto: one only
bidon, holding five C cells, capable of powering my lights for longer
than the original batteries. Plus I can use a standard NiMH "smart"
charger -- no more overcharging. Completely waterproof, too, thanks to
the copious quantities of silicone that I applied. Looks funny, but it
gets the job done.

The only complaint I have is that the charger holds four batteries. Oh
well, you can't have everything.

--
My Usenet From: address now expires after two weeks. If you email me, and
the mail bounces, try changing the bit before the "@" to "usenet".
 
Z

Zebee Johnstone

Guest
In aus.bicycle on Thu, 09 Mar 2006 22:06:57 GMT
tony f <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> I'm a big fan of batteries, as their light is consistent - well, until they
> go flat. When I had dynamo lights (or were they generator?), I had virtually
> no light up hills, and amazing light as I sped down hills - especially just
> before the electricity generated overloaded the globe. Then I had nothing.


I understand the later models cope with that. THey have a capacitor
to keep the light on when slow or stopped, and a regulator that stops
overcharging.

Zebee
 
P

Peter McCallum

Guest
Zebee Johnstone <[email protected]> wrote:

> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
> few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.
>
> As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
> to be going on with, but I want something decent.
>
> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.
>
> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?
>
> Zebee


You can still get Sanyo Dynapower dynamos from time to time on eBay.
I've had one on my bike for around 20 years. They work ok, not as well
as hub dynamos but fine for lighting your way. You need to get some good
halogen bulbs to go with it though, and they are not cheap.

P
--
Peter McCallum
Mackay Qld AUSTRALIA
 
P

Peter McCallum

Guest
tony f <[email protected]> wrote:

> I worry about forgetting to charge, so got myself into a routine - get home,
> hook up charger, then get my gear off. First thing was always to hook up the
> charger. Worked for me.


You should be careful playing around with electricity while naked.

--
Peter McCallum
Mackay Qld AUSTRALIA
 
E

Enno Middelberg

Guest
Hi Zeebee,

Zebee Johnstone wrote:
> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?


Go for a hub dynamo. They're expensive but last forever. No wear on any
parts, and more reliable when you need them most: in wet weather. Bottle
dynamos tend to slip when the tyre is wet, and I've heard that even the
more sophisticated models (eg Busch & Muller) will slip in wet
conditions after a while.

BTW, the Shimano DH-3N71 (the one I have and am completely happy with)
costs $139 at St Kilda Cycles, not a huge investment. You will have to
build it into the wheel, though.


Cheers,

Enno
 
B

Bruce Dickson

Guest
Zebee Johnstone wrote:
> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
> few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.
>
> As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
> to be going on with, but I want something decent.
>
> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.
>
> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?
>
> Zebee


I have a Shimano DH-3N71 hub dynamo and a Lumotec halogen light. I like
it, It works very well. You get full brightness from about 12km/h so
it's only up very steep hills that I'm going slower than that. I have a
battery LED flasher on the front as well for when I'm stopped at lights
etc. The light has a regulator in in so you don't blow your bulb if you
go fast. The one bad point is bulbs are $10 each and only rated to last
100hrs. Have a look at stkildacycles.com.au they seem to be the only
Australian shop that has much in the way of dynamo lights online though
someone might know of somewhere else.

Bruce.
 
R

ray

Guest
Zebee Johnstone wrote:
> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
> few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.
>
> As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
> to be going on with, but I want something decent.
>
> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.
>
> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?
>
> Zebee

Any bike lighting system has its gremlins. I gave up on dynamos after
years of running them and went over to rechargables. The dynamos are
okay when they're new, but tend to get cranky as they get older,
bearings with Sanyo Dynapowers were always fun, when in fact it didn't
have any (I destroyed a spare one to find out).
Sidewall runners have been clearly shown to have more running resistance
than tread runners, but tread runners can jam on MTBs due to large
amounts of dirt, or slip in wet conditions, so you can't win.
Hub dynamos are of course the smoothest, least resistance and most proof
against grot, but there is a weight penalty and they cost as well. If
you wanted one for the long term, that would be the way to go I think.
Cheers,
Ray.
 

SuzieB

New Member
Oct 15, 2005
282
0
0
Zebee Johnstone said:
Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.

As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
to be going on with, but I want something decent.

I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.

Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?

Zebee

I don't know much about dynamo lights but want to extol the virtues of the light I use on my bikes. Last night was the first time I had tested the front light in true darkness. Normally I just have the light flashing in the morning when it's getting light already just for added visability. I bought the CatEye HL-EL400 which is great for me as I have two main bikes that I switch between and the light is easily moveable and can be used on the handlebars or helmet.

There are 3 white LEDs in the light which I discovered last night are bright enough to illuminate the road ahead when it's dark if you use it on the constant light setting. As a flashing light it also works brilliantly. It's not going to be the solution for mountain bikers on a dark single track but for urban use I think it would be enough to make sure you miss the nasties on the road. It's run time is 160hr (flashing) or 80hr (constant) and it weighs 76g with battery.

http://tinyurl.com/5dfaf

Good luck with finding a suitable light and enjoy the riding! :D
 

Poiter

New Member
Apr 3, 2003
122
0
0
Zebee Johnstone said:
Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?
Zebee

Not wanting incur the roadie wrath by mentioning the "R" word but wont your new "bike" have a 20" front wheel?

For long Audax rides on my R******** I use either
- two separate 3 watt Luxeons running off 3x C-cell alkalines or
- My SON disc/dyno hub with a 3 watt E-6 light and a luxeon as a standby

My dyno hub is built for 20" wheel (less magnets?) and puts out some good riding light with the E-6 even at low speeds.

The 3 watt homebuilt Luxeon lights put out the equivalent amount of light and can be self built for about $60 with some DIY cobbling. No electronics involved, but you have to use alkaline batteries which last for up to 18 hours by experience.
SON 20S hub
3 Watt Luxeons
Lots of stuff on lights
Pete
 

flyingdutch

New Member
Feb 8, 2004
5,700
0
0
PS i can atest to the virtues of running one (preferably more)
of the little single LEDs on your helmetif riding in traffic.

You get seen far better above cars and you can turn your head and 'tell' entering traffic of your presence also.
cheap as chips and get you noticed VERY well.

Flying"illuminated"Dutch
 
Zebee Johnstone wrote:
> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
> few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.
>
> As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
> to be going on with, but I want something decent.
>
> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.


While that is a genuine consideration...it's not much of one thanks to
the wonders of ridiculously low-drain LEDs.

I'm using a set of LED lights (about $50 for the pair, plenty bright,
each runs on three AAA's), I have been for several months, they get
used at least a couple of times a week, and the batteries are still
going strong. I don't expect to need to remember the charger more than
a few times a year.

--
Craig Motbey
1985 BMW R65LS "The Beemer"
Dodgy second hand mountain bike "Malaria"
 
S

Spiny Norman

Guest
On Thu, 09 Mar 2006 22:06:57 GMT, "tony f"
<[email protected]> wrote in aus.bicycle:

>
>"Zebee Johnstone" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:[email protected]
>> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a


>>
>> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
>> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
>> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.
>>
>> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
>> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?

>
>I'm a big fan of batteries, as their light is consistent - well, until they
>go flat. When I had dynamo lights (or were they generator?), I had virtually
>no light up hills, and amazing light as I sped down hills - especially just
>before the electricity generated overloaded the globe. Then I had nothing.
>;^)


In the 1950's I had a Raleigh with a hub dynamo which worked great, on
the down tube was a holder for (from memory) three or four D carbon
cells. When you were travelling too slowly for the dynamo to light the
front and rear lights the carbon cells took over. The batteries lasted
for ages and I presume used something crude like a diode to regulate
thier use.

I can't believe that 50 years later it is not posible to duplicate a
far more efficient system than that for a bicycle using a generator,
a few transisters and some Nicads/ NiMH (whatever) C cells. You would
think it would be fairly simple to regulate the voltage to the lights
and perhaps even use any surplus power to charge the C cells

Modern LEDS give out so much light and use so little power that a
battery of 6 each front and rear should be doddle to power.

Regards
Prickles

Timendi causa est nescire
This message only uses recycled electrons
 
Z

Zebee Johnstone

Guest
In aus.bicycle on Fri, 10 Mar 2006 15:04:46 +1100
Poiter <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Not wanting incur the roadie wrath by mentioning the "R" word but wont
> your new "bike" have a 20" front wheel?


It's Giro 20, so yes. The hub dynamo needs to be special for that?

Oh, and if aus.moto can cope with Guzzi riders,
melb^h^h^h^haus.bicycles can cope with recumbent riders.

Had the first ride on it tonight, wonderful! Still working on the
setup, I think I have the seat angle and distance right as I'm pushing
against my back not my backside and not feeling like I'm sliding, but
the bars need some more fiddling.

> 'SON 20S hub' (http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schmidt-lumotec.asp)
> '3 Watt Luxeons' (http://users.cyberone.com.au/heal/LUXEONLEDS.htm)
> 'Lots of stuff on lights' (http://www.audax.uk.net/lights/index.htm)


Thanks for that!

Zebee
 
Z

Zebee Johnstone

Guest
In aus.bicycle on Fri, 10 Mar 2006 14:11:57 +1100
SuzieB <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> flashing in the morning when it's getting light already just for added
> visability. I bought the CatEye HL-EL400 which is great for me as I
> have two main bikes that I switch between and the light is easily
> moveable and can be used on the handlebars or helmet.


Easily movable is actually one of the things I *don't* want.

I really dislike the way you have to dismantle your bicycle if you go
anywhere. If it's going to be transport and not a toy, it has to be
convenient. Taking heaps of stuff off every time you stop and lugging
it about with you is ridiculous.

I've got the non-quick-release wheels and seat, any lights will have
to be capable of being left on the bike so it takes a determined thief
with tools to rip the bits off. It won't be left all day like that,
but I'm damned if it will take longer to park it than the errand
takes!

Zebee
 
P

Plodder

Guest
--
Frank
[email protected]
Drop DACKS to reply
"flyingdutch" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]
>
> PS i can atest to the virtues of running one (preferably more)
> of the little single LEDs on your helmetif riding in traffic.
>
> You get seen far better above cars and you can turn your head and
> 'tell' entering traffic of your presence also.
> cheap as chips and get you noticed VERY well.
>
> Flying"illuminated"Dutch
>
>
> --
> flyingdutch


Seconded. I have one that attaches with those velcro sticky dots. Easy on
and off. Fuzzy bit on th ehelmet so you don't pick up all sorts of grot when
you put your helmet down. I learnt that after my partner's dog took a liking
to my helmet. Took me ages picking the bits of dog hair off the velcro
before I twigged and changed the dots...

me
>
 
P

Peter Signorini

Guest
"Zebee Johnstone" wrote:
> Well, the bike is here, so I'll have to get used to riding it for a
> few days then start the ride to work acclimatisation.
>
> As part of that, I have to get lighting.... I have some cheap lights
> to be going on with, but I want something decent.
>
> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.
>
> Anyone have any experience with dynamos? I know I can go hub or
> bottle, I expect I'll go bottle. Any recommendations?


Personally I've been yery happy with my Busch & Muller S6 dynamo. It is a
side-wall unit but runs with very low friction. Full output comes on at 10
kmh or less, and it has a built-in zenner diode to regulate high speed
output. Using a Lumotec headlight also by B & M it gives a nicely focused
narrow beam that very conveniently illuminates the width of a 3m bikepath
and sprays some light further out. The light is easily visible to other
traffic for a full 180 degrees. I use Vistalite Super Nebula and Eclipse
LED lights for the rear, but for a headlight I got cheesed off by losing
batteries to the shelf life, as I don't ride at night very ioften, so don't
have a charging routine, but when I need the lights I want them to work.

For around town street use I reckon that a good dynamo is very suitable -
bolted onto the bike, always there and ready to go. Years ago I used the
iconic Sanyo Dynapower for many years, but the B & M system is at least as
good from a low friction point, and their light optics seem vastly better.
Cost for the S6 is a bit steep ($160 for the dynamo), but it's less than
half the cost of a Schmidt hub setup.

--
Cheers
Peter

~~~ ~ [email protected]
~~ ~ _- \,
~~ (*)/ (*)
 
Z

Zebee Johnstone

Guest
In aus.bicycle on Fri, 10 Mar 2006 23:30:48 +1100
Peter Signorini <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Personally I've been yery happy with my Busch & Muller S6 dynamo. It is a
> side-wall unit but runs with very low friction. Full output comes on at 10
> kmh or less, and it has a built-in zenner diode to regulate high speed


How does it go in the wet? I've heard bottles slip?

The cost of the hub did make me blink, a bottle seems a more
reasonable proposition.

I expect I'll need lights over the next few months, but can also see
that for 3 months of the year at least I won't, and shelf life might
annoy me then. It's the convenience that draws me to a dynamo,
although I suppose it shouldn't be too hard to fix up a homebrew light
setup where the battery is hard to nick.

Zebee
 
T

Travis

Guest
Zebee Johnstone wrote:

> I am very much inclining towards dynamo lighting as batteries have to
> be recharged and I am sure I forgot my head once when I was running
> late, so forgetting the charge is almost a given.


I had a similar idea and so I took the mounting bracket of an old
battery powered incandescent bike light and glued and screwed it onto
one of those windup LED torches. (Bought my torch from Bunnings for
$30. Its a bright five LED torch. I actually bought it for other
purposes but decided to mount it to my bike anyway. It unclips from
the handlebars easily though and still is useful as a domestic
flashlight.)

Before I commence a night time ride, I spend a couple of minutes
turning the crank in order to build up enough charge to run the torch
at high brightness for a while. Then, when I'm stopped or just
dawdling along at a low speed I turn the crank a bit more to top up the
charge.

The light lasts for hours with a couple of minutes charging, but the
brightness drops off a lot. At first its a very bright light and it
illuminates my path quite nicely, but after several minutes it drops
off so much that its not really lighting my way. Its still bright
enough for cars and other cyclists to see me, just not bright enough to
actually light up where I'm going.

If I'm riding on a well illuminated road or path, its not really an
issue. When I'm cruising along I take the opportunity to turn the
crank a bit to light it up. Also, if I sense an obstacle ahead and
want to check it out I can also crank up the light then and while I'm
turning the handle its very bright.

Not recommended for use where you require sustained bright illumination
of your path, but for the purpose of just having a bright light for
others to see you, it does the job.

However, the drop-off is starting to annoy me, and I just spent $20
getting a bright LED bicycle light from ebay. It has 28 (!) LEDs in it
and runs off AAA batteries, so I'll get some rechargeables. I'll
report back to the group when I receive it to advise whether its any
good or not.

As another person in this thread noted, LED torches are much more
energy efficient than incandescent torches, so the batteries last a lot
longer.