Mountain biking lights

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by moparchris, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    ok ive seen a couple of articles around the net (search goole for DIY and homemafe mountain bike lights etc.) about making your own lights and since i dont really have the money to buy a good setup i think i can make one alot cheaper than i could buy a commercial thing for.

    anyone else here made lgihts ?

    ok so far ive just got some parts togeather, i got a 12v 7Ah sealed lead acid battery (would get NiCAD or NiMH but theyre expensive) and also a halogen 50mm sealed 20w globe, it works out to about 4.1 hours running time though it will go dim before that, a piece of aluminium tubing (50mm OD, about 47mm ID) a bit of that speakerwire stuff and thats prettymuch it

    im just gonna make a cap and a plug that are press fit with the lathe then when i put them on ill put a bit of silicone between the joint so its watertight

    i tryed making a cap for it with a piece of PVC but its too flexible and distorts in the lathe chuck

    so yeah thats it for now, i might post some pics of how it turns out if anyone wants...
     
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  2. rek

    rek New Member

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  3. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    yeah ive seen that site, pretty good one, got quite a few little ideas from it :) ive prettymuch finished my light i'll take a pic of it and post it up some time
     
  4. Mr_Kingkillaha

    Mr_Kingkillaha New Member

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    i bought a lame light kit with the generator that goes on your rim (total crap) but i just hooked the wires to a 9v battery (light weight). not sure what sort of runtime i will get, i haven't ridden at night yet. but how much can like 5 batteries weigh? cost me $10 plus whatever a few rechargable batteries will cost, and frame mounting is extremely simple.
     
  5. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    I’m not sure how you would be using your lights on your MTB, but I found that really heavy off-road going , the bike-mounted lights has the beam dances around all over the place & it makes going hard harder. Especially if you’re using bright lights for vision in pitch black. It makes it hard to pick out the bumps etc.
    Seems that the ticket here is mount the light to your helmet, but weight becomes an issue I suppose. Carry the battery in your back pack or water pack if you have one might help.
     
  6. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ok ive prettymuch finished, i just gotta file the bit that bolts onto the pipe so it fits onto the pipe a bit better and ill make a plug out of thin aluminium that will be pushed and glued into the back with a switch and the wires will come out the back, im not sure what sortof plug to use if i do use one at all, my mates ones he bought use a plug like the end of one of those wall adapter things.

    so yeah.. after i put that plug in ive just got to wire it up and put it on the bike ;)
     
  7. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    ok also.. the light i bought is a 12v 20w and someone reccomended a 36 degree beam but i think thats too much i think i'll get something around 16 degrees (i think it was fat hippy's site says he used 16 or 12 degree), what would you guys reccomend ?
     
  8. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    ok so i went mountain biking at night last night for the first time, it was MEAN and my lights are awesome, my mate has some cateye ones that cost $200NZD new, i payed a total of $31NZD on mine and his dont even compare, mine are brighter and light up alot more ground, the 36 degree bulb is fine, im not gonna change it, infact i'd reccomend that angle now.

    ok so now im thinking of making some new lights :D i can get some carbon fibre and make up a housng out of it and use the halogen bulb, i migth try LED's or HID later but not yet. the only problem i have is that i need a battery, im not too happy with the heavy lead acid one

    i was looking at laptop batterys, its the only thing i can think of that uses Li-ion batterys that are around 12v (not that i have to use them but they'd be cool, nicad or nimh would be good also) but most of the ones ive seen are under 12v or have a low amp/hour rating and theyre pretty damn expensive. also i heard laptop batterys dont have a very long life.

    so i have to find a nicad or nimh battery somehow or chuck togeather some nimh batterys in a holder only thing is i want about 6 amp hours and and i dont think thats gonna happen with aa batterys.

    so any thoughts where i could get a battery ?
     
  9. Banatean

    Banatean New Member

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    I use a Cat Eye HL-EL 300 (5 L.E.D. opticube) in combination with a Cat Eye HL-500 (Halogen) and we love them (i got them on my Trek and the wife has the same on her Specialized),they put out good light;the LED one is aimed for high beam and the halogen for low and they lit up the road or trail like crazy.
    Dan :D
     
  10. rek

    rek New Member

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    Re batteries; have you considered rigging together mobile phone batteries, putting them in series/parallel to meet your voltage/current requirements? The chargers and batteries themselves are cheap commodity items (find the phone battery that best fits your enclosure, and hit up eBay to get them cheap) and they are the latest in Li-Ion battery technology.

    Another alternative is to look at electronics parts shops, you should be able to buy bare solder-tab NiMH cells and the like quite cheaply for building your own high capacity battery.

    The "C" size NiMH cells at the local Jaycar (I think they are in NZ too) are 4.5Ah, that's close to your target of 6.. the "D" cells are 9Ah, rig some of those into an old water bottle and you'll be laughing till dawn :D
     
  11. willtsmith

    willtsmith New Member

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    Don't forget that bike companies didn't invent lighting. There are some caving oriented lamps out there that will help.

    There are a new generation of LEDs using a high output "Luxeon Star" bulb. Check Out www.brightguys.com. Also planet bike makes an excellent "Super Spot 1" that makes a nice ambient light field. Combined with a focused light source (like EL-300/500) that can make a nice lighting system that does not require a specialized charging system. Just run it off AA NiMH batteries that can be bought at most stores and recharged in an hour.
     
  12. moparchris

    moparchris New Member

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    http://www.freewebs.com/blahgh/bikelight.htm - my light now (TEMPORARY :D oh yeah and the pic server wasnt working a while ago, should be back up in a few hours.. hopefully)

    ok.. where to staryt lol, i havent been here in ages and ive still got my lead acid battery some alternatives i thought of are..

    portable tool batterys like drills, theres NiMH ones out there that are 12v and around 3ah, theyre probly quite expensive though

    laptop batterys - that would probly be pretty good because theyre (mostly) Li-ion and mostly somewhere around 12v but theyre quite expensive

    theres these for RC stuff... http://www.trademe.co.nz/Toys-models/Radio-control/Cars/Electric/auction-16251578.htm ...the guy selling them there said he can get some 12v ones but it might be a few weeks, i dunno if i will get them yet because i want 2 of them (which would get me 12v, 6ah) which would cost around $120NZD and then a charger.. the cheapest ones ive seen are like $150NZD :eek:

    rek -- i thought of mobile batterys but it would take quite alot of them and i cant be bothered finding some lol, seems a bit fiddly to me... also whats with the ones with like 3 more more contacts ?

    and yeah there are jaycar stores around here, i might go in sometime and see what they've got.

    hmm what else.. ahh.. im doing a 12 hour race in Taupo, NZ at the end of this week (on the 2nd oct) so hopefully my light works good for that ;)
     
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