New bike light... and more!



skinny_tie

New Member
Jan 12, 2004
10
0
0
eddiec said:
on the topic of lights...

does anybody know if a light exists which is/can be helmet mounted and has leds both front and rear? (ie. white front, red back)... I'm sure I've seen such a beast, but may be imagining it, or it may be back from the dark old days of primitive torch-style lights...

Would be handy for me as I'd like both front/rear helmet illumination to go with the bike mounted, and a single unit would be more convenient than two separate items... Plus I just think it'd be nifty...

The DiNotte Ultra 3 looks pretty nifty.
http://www.dinottelighting.com/ProductLines-Pro.htm
 
T

Travis

Guest
adam85 wrote:

> They sound pretty good. In the "be-seen" category I bought a new
> polaris 5 led front light like this one:
> http://tinyurl.com/nd32y
> for $30 which runs on 2 rechargable AAs. This is for when I don't want
> to lug around the bright but heavy 15w niteflux setup. I'm quite
> impressed by the visibility of this one. Much better than the single
> basta type flashies, which can be obscured by the shifters from cars
> entering from the left or right.


I got my $99NZ lights from Torpedo7 today and after charging the
battery for most of the day used my new lights for my commute home.

First impressions:

The unit has two bulbs, a 5W bulb and a 10W bulb. They operate
independently of one another. The 5W is operated by a button on the
back of the bulb housing, the 10W is operated by a button on the end of
a wire which can be taped onto the handlebars so you can operate it
with your thumb.

The concave bottleneck in the battery is a bit deep for my bidon cages,
as a result the battery rattles around noisily on bumpy roads. This
problem will probably be fixed by taping a wedge of cardboard or
plastic to the bottom of the bottle to raise it 5mm or so in the cage
to my cage prongs hold the thick part of the bottle.

The light is adequate for commuting purposes, though I don't think it
has the guts to illuminate the road adequately at high speed downhill
(though the same could be said of a high end HID). Perhaps I was
expecting a dazzling white wall of light, so the golden torchlight beam
I got instead was a bit underwhelming.

The 5W lamp is adequate for most of the commute except where there are
no street lights, then I turn on the 10W lamp when its needed.

This enables me to do a light power comparison with the 28 LED torch I
bought on ebay for $20 a couple of months ago. The light of my LED
torch is roughly the same as the 5W lamp, though the LED has a much
cooler bluer colour. The light from my LED torch is actually pretty
good I guess, its just a pity it drains a set of 950mAh NiMh
rechargeable batteries in only 45 minutes. I saw no sign of any
dimming in the halogens during my 45 minute ride home. I'll recharge
my LED batteries and just see how the halogen battery pack holds up on
its initial charge for the remainder of the week.

I will, for the time being, keep my LED lamp on my handlebars, it gives
a nice wide beam and when negotiating a particularly horrible patch of
road with lots of glass and nails about I think you can never have too
much light. I think I'll eventually velcro it to my helmet and use it
that way.

I ordered three units, one for me, one for my father and one for a
colleague. One unit doesn't work. After swapping bits around I
identified the faulty component as the wire which joins the battery
wire to the lights themselves. I called Torpedo7 about it and they
immediately agreed to send me a new wire. I told them to hold that for
a couple of days as I was thinking of buying some more stuff and they
could include the wire in the second order.

Altogether, I think it was a good purchase and I'm aware that my vision
of the wall of light was probably more than could be expected from 15
watts of bulbs.

Travis
 
T

TimC

Guest
On 2006-05-02, Travis (aka Bruce)
was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> This enables me to do a light power comparison with the 28 LED torch I
> bought on ebay for $20 a couple of months ago. The light of my LED
> torch is roughly the same as the 5W lamp, though the LED has a much
> cooler bluer colour. The light from my LED torch is actually pretty
> good I guess, its just a pity it drains a set of 950mAh NiMh
> rechargeable batteries in only 45 minutes. I saw no sign of any
> dimming in the halogens during my 45 minute ride home. I'll recharge
> my LED batteries and just see how the halogen battery pack holds up on
> its initial charge for the remainder of the week.
>
> I will, for the time being, keep my LED lamp on my handlebars, it gives
> a nice wide beam and when negotiating a particularly horrible patch of


Did I interpret this correctly: the LED gives a wider beam, and is as
bright in the centre?


I'd be modding that battery though :)

--
TimC
By day I'm an old-school UNIX systems administrator and IT
insultant. -- Carl Brewer on aus.bicycle
 
P

Plodder

Guest
--
Frank
[email protected]
Drop DACKS to reply
"Bean Long" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Well, yesterday morning was a drag. Spent about 30 min, after packing
> off the family, repairing punctures in my spare tubes. The gods have
> been looking down on me a lot lately, possibly since I'm not well set-up
> for night riding on some of the CBR bike paths.
>
> <stuff about my light>
> My current bike light is low on power and has a nasty habit of bouncing
> around in its mount. It makes shite-loads of noise and is rather
> embarrassing on an otherwise quiet bike, but the obvious problem is a
> lack of visibility in front during the ride home. As a result, flat
> tyres about 5 times in the last two weeks (almost all occur as a result
> of riding past the broken-glass-infested Melrose High School bus
> stop)... and many of them in the dark. This is especially un-fun as I
> tend to use up the juice in my light during repair before I get home.
> The light is OK to be seen, but not so good if I want to see. I had to
> get something new.
> </stuff about my light>
>
> Anyway, used up my entire patch kit fixing my spares and find that the
> uni cycle man is closed when I arrive at work. Great! No more patches,
> crappy light and I still have to ride home in the dark!!%&[email protected]#!
>
> Anyway, you may recall multiple discussion threads appeared on a.b.
> about bike lights recently... making your own or which ones to buy etc.
> HughMann pointed out the sale on lights at Torpedo7 (Power Beam
> "Halogen" Headlight system) which retails for $299 NZ and is being
> flogged for $139. I have a think about it and check out other options.
> A few days later Dutch pointed out they've dropped in price again ($99
> NZ). Decide to buy the buggers. Place an order with Torpedo7 on
> Thursday 27th. Get home last night (wet and miserable, bitchin' about
> my lighting) and there's a knock at the front door just as I come in the
> back. "A parcel for you sir". Lights have arrived and I'm chuffed.
> Open the box and gasp with excitement... there's a little patch kit
> inside as well ! :) All's well with the world and I'm a happy man!!
>
> Still have to test the lights on the way home tonight though... watch
> this virtual space!
>
> BTW... Torpedo7 seem to have sold out on the Power Beam lights.
>
>
> --
> Bean
>
> Remove "yourfinger" before replying


Yep - got some for $99 too. I thought the patch kit was a nice touch. I was
surprised at how quickly the package arrived. Hmmm... good prices, good
service... what's the catch?

Cheers,

Frank
 
B

Bean Long

Guest
Random Data wrote:
> On Tue, 02 May 2006 11:58:12 +1000, Bean Long wrote:
>
>> Of course... what else is there to do when the kids have gone to bed.

>
> Hang on, what type of patches are we talking about? Did I just stumble
> into aus.spam.erectile-dysfunction?
>

I always carry a new spare tube and stop riding in case of those sort of
mishaps. Two kids is enough.

--
Bean

Remove "yourfinger" before replying
 
P

Plodder

Guest
--
Frank
[email protected]
Drop DACKS to reply
"flyingdutch" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]
>
> eddiec Wrote:
> > on the topic of lights...
> >
> > does anybody know if a light exists which is/can be helmet mounted and
> > has leds both front and rear? (ie. white front, red back)... I'm sure
> > I've seen such a beast, but may be imagining it, or it may be back from
> > the dark old days of primitive torch-style lights...
> >
> > Would be handy for me as I'd like both front/rear helmet illumination
> > to go with the bike mounted, and a single unit would be more convenient
> > than two separate items... Plus I just think it'd be nifty...

>
> try this. cheaper and probably better than some in-one units
> this is my setup, refer helmet shots on right:
>
> http://www.boroondarabug.org/pages/lights.htm
>
> PS Torpedo have em on special now too!
> Jeyzoos I need to start chargin these guys commission :D
> PPS BlueProdukcts on eBay have em even cheaper
>
>
> --
> flyingdutch


Picked up a few Knog lights like this at $5 a piece in the chuck-out bin at
Fleets in Fremantle. I use a velcro dot to stick one on my helmet. Easier
than fiddling about with the little rubber bands, especially when they
perish.

Frank
 
B

Bean Long

Guest
Travis wrote:

> I got my $99NZ lights from Torpedo7 today and after charging the
> battery for most of the day used my new lights for my commute home.
>
> First impressions:

<snip>


I'm very happy with the way my lights worked on the way home last night.
Left work a little early so the lights weren't tested in the jet
blackness that you can come across on some of the CBR bike paths but the
outcome was good. As Travis mentioned the 10W lamp can be switched on
when required and this was just right for my requirements although an
upgrade to a 15 W is an option I believe?? Same outcome could be
achieved by pointing both lamps onto the same spot of course.

My biggest beef was getting the lighting angle right and keeping the
screws tight. I thought I had everything set-up just right but a few
bumps along the way shifted the lamps a fair bit. Easily fixed with a
bit more torque on the screws.

Unlike Travis, I had no probs with the battery. Fitted beautifully in
my bidon cage and was easily fastened with the supplied Velcro strip so
it didn't jiggle about. In fact I didn't notice it move once.

> The light is adequate for commuting purposes, though I don't think it
> has the guts to illuminate the road adequately at high speed downhill
> (though the same could be said of a high end HID).


Unless you're travelling faster than the speed of light Travis, then I
think your speed is irrelevant :)

True, this is not a lighting system to create daylight but it seems to
do the job nicely and at around $99 I'm more than pleased. As I assume
Travis was suggesting by the comment above, your spot is relatively
small so you can't see much coming at high speed. Using both lamps can
help of course. No mods required by me at this stage though.

--
Bean "lit"

Remove "yourfinger" before replying
 
Bean Long wrote:

> <stuff about my light>
> My current bike light is low on power and has a nasty habit of bouncing
> around in its mount. It makes shite-loads of noise and is rather


There have been some excellent suggestions for both visibility lights
and illumination lights.

May I suggest the most recent VeloVision magazine from the UK? p27-29
"The lights fantasic" compares two front hub dynamos and three dynamo
powered lights (2 LED, 1 Halogen).

I've hefted a front-hub dynamo, and it feels no more heavy than what
I'd expect for a good rechargable battery. There's an additional
benefit here: its harder to steal a hub out of a built up wheel than to
steal a battery accidentally left on the bike when going into Coles.
Most of the German dynamo lights are permanently bolted onto the frame
and include a reflector (for excellent German bicycling law). The
competitor tested, the Solidlight D-1203 provided the best visibility,
but illumination wasn't really capable of being differentiated between
any of the models. The Solidlight doesn't bolt on at the moment
(urgh).

All modern hub dynamos include Standlight capacity: they stay on when
you stop for 4 to 10 minutes.

Obviously there's a cost of getting a wheel handbuilt or rebuilt, and
if you care, a slight loss of efficiency when the light is on and a
slighter loss of efficiency when the light is off.

Links:
Lumotec lights www.bumm.de
Solidlights www.solidlights.co.uk

Reading & science tests on hub dynamos and ligvhts from the links page
of
www.nabendynamo.de

(I love Velovision, can you tell?)

love and high-visibility during winter,
Sam R.
 
T

Travis

Guest
TimC wrote:
> On 2006-05-02, Travis (aka Bruce)
> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> > This enables me to do a light power comparison with the 28 LED torch I
> > bought on ebay for $20 a couple of months ago. The light of my LED
> > torch is roughly the same as the 5W lamp, though the LED has a much
> > cooler bluer colour. The light from my LED torch is actually pretty
> > good I guess, its just a pity it drains a set of 950mAh NiMh
> > rechargeable batteries in only 45 minutes. I saw no sign of any
> > dimming in the halogens during my 45 minute ride home. I'll recharge
> > my LED batteries and just see how the halogen battery pack holds up on
> > its initial charge for the remainder of the week.
> >
> > I will, for the time being, keep my LED lamp on my handlebars, it gives
> > a nice wide beam and when negotiating a particularly horrible patch of

>
> Did I interpret this correctly: the LED gives a wider beam, and is as
> bright in the centre?


Correct, the central spot of the 28 LED torch is at least as bright as
the 5W halogen. There is a bright spot at the centre of the beam, but
the light fans out almost 180 degrees so it also does a good job of at
least partly illuminating to the left and right and would be quite
visible to a driver in a side street that you're about to ride past.

> I'd be modding that battery though :)


Yep. If I can ever be bothered, I'll take the head piece which has all
the LEDs in it and just solder on a couple of wires to attach to a
battery pack with either 3 AA or C batteries, or maybe even six AA
batteries wired in 2 parallel 3-packs.

Now that I have the halogen lights, I use the LED light as a kind of
second high beam for those parts of my journey where too much light
isn't quite enough. If used intermittently the batteries are more than
capable of lasting through my journey.

I am also keeping my 5 LED mini light as well in flashing mode (meaning
that when everything is turned on I have a bright flashing LED, my
28LED torch, a 5W and a 10W halogen all burning at the same time). I'm
one of those guys that is just nutty about lights and reflectors and
I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)

I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.
;)

Travis
 
T

Tamyka Bell

Guest
Travis wrote:
<Snip>
> I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)


Save it for the bikes, that's when it counts most ;-)

> I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.


Ah, one of mine disappeared on the trails in the 24hr race. Or, more
accurately, half of one. I lost one battery and the cover. The base and
the other battery were intact.

Tam
 
T

TimC

Guest
On 2006-05-03, Travis (aka Bruce)
was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> I am also keeping my 5 LED mini light as well in flashing mode (meaning
> that when everything is turned on I have a bright flashing LED, my
> 28LED torch, a 5W and a 10W halogen all burning at the same time). I'm
> one of those guys that is just nutty about lights and reflectors and
> I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)
>
> I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.
>;)


Probably some ****** off blinded guy in the peleton behind :)

But yeah, I hears ya on the N+1 light rule. I think I misheard "bike"
as "light" when I got told about the N+1 rule.

--
TimC
A: Top posters.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
 
T

Travis

Guest
Bean Long wrote:

> My biggest beef was getting the lighting angle right and keeping the
> screws tight. I thought I had everything set-up just right but a few
> bumps along the way shifted the lamps a fair bit. Easily fixed with a
> bit more torque on the screws.


I had that too, but you can tighten them up with an allen key easily
enough.
>
> Unlike Travis, I had no probs with the battery. Fitted beautifully in
> my bidon cage and was easily fastened with the supplied Velcro strip so
> it didn't jiggle about. In fact I didn't notice it move once.


With something stuffed into the bottom of my cage, mine fits nicely
also.
>
> > The light is adequate for commuting purposes, though I don't think it
> > has the guts to illuminate the road adequately at high speed downhill
> > (though the same could be said of a high end HID).

>
> Unless you're travelling faster than the speed of light Travis, then I
> think your speed is irrelevant :)


Actually if you're travelling at the speed of light, the light beams
will still move away from you at the speed of light. One of those
weird relativity things.

But that's not the issue. The issue is that the faster you are going,
the longer your stopping distance. If there is a branch across the
road, you want to be able to see it with sufficient advance warning to
be able to brake.

The brightness of a light diminishes with an inverse square law,
meaning that to see twice as far out you'll actually need a light four
times brighter. If your 5W lamp provides a good bright spot on the
ground 5M in front, the 10W one will not be bright enough to provide
the same brightness 10M ahead, you'd actually need a 20W lamp for that.

If you're careening down a hill in total darkness at 70kmh, it will
take many tens of metres to stop, far beyond the reach of even the
combined brightness of your two bulbs. In other words, you can't
safely ride at the kind of speeds a road bike can hit on a hill or with
a good sprinter riding it because objects on the road will appear out
of the gloom in less distance than you can stop.

To get sufficient light you'd need the kind of setup that rally cars
carry, a whole bank of HIDs. No mere bike light is going to be up to
it.
>
> True, this is not a lighting system to create daylight but it seems to
> do the job nicely and at around $99 I'm more than pleased. As I assume
> Travis was suggesting by the comment above, your spot is relatively
> small so you can't see much coming at high speed. Using both lamps can
> help of course. No mods required by me at this stage though.


I agree, its good value at $99NZ. A very good purchase and I'm happy
with it, though it would take a lot more than a couple of halogens to
satisfy a true light geek/Safety Nazi like me. I'm not sure any system
on the market today would.

The system should last a few years, I hope, Cateye claim next year
they'll have LEDs brighter than today's HIDs. They've got three years
to develop them, bring them to market and then reduce the price so
they're an affordable mass market item. :)

Travis
 
T

Travis

Guest
TimC wrote:
> On 2006-05-03, Travis (aka Bruce)
> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> > I am also keeping my 5 LED mini light as well in flashing mode (meaning
> > that when everything is turned on I have a bright flashing LED, my
> > 28LED torch, a 5W and a 10W halogen all burning at the same time). I'm
> > one of those guys that is just nutty about lights and reflectors and
> > I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)
> >
> > I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.
> >;)

>
> Probably some ****** off blinded guy in the peleton behind :)


Actually I noticed it missing when I got to the office after parking my
bike in the luggage room of a hotel where I had been to a morning
seminar. (As a financial planner, I have heaps of those). I called
the concierge to ask them to look around for a red tail light in the
luggage room, but they didn't find one.

Either it fell off somewhere in the journey back to the office, or the
concierge nicked it. I'm not sure which, because I'm pretty sure it
was on the bike when I parked it and I'd been riding around with that
light for a couple of years and it had never shown any sign of coming
loose...

Travis
 
B

Bean Long

Guest
Travis wrote:
> TimC wrote:
>> On 2006-05-03, Travis (aka Bruce)
>> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
>>> I am also keeping my 5 LED mini light as well in flashing mode (meaning
>>> that when everything is turned on I have a bright flashing LED, my
>>> 28LED torch, a 5W and a 10W halogen all burning at the same time). I'm
>>> one of those guys that is just nutty about lights and reflectors and
>>> I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)
>>>
>>> I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.
>>> ;)

>> Probably some ****** off blinded guy in the peleton behind :)

>
> Actually I noticed it missing when I got to the office after parking my
> bike in the luggage room of a hotel where I had been to a morning
> seminar. (As a financial planner, I have heaps of those). I called
> the concierge to ask them to look around for a red tail light in the
> luggage room, but they didn't find one.
>
> Either it fell off somewhere in the journey back to the office, or the
> concierge nicked it. I'm not sure which, because I'm pretty sure it
> was on the bike when I parked it and I'd been riding around with that
> light for a couple of years and it had never shown any sign of coming
> loose...
>
> Travis
>

Funny you should mention it... there was one lying on the side of the
bike path on the way home last night... and it was still flashing!

--
Bean

Remove "yourfinger" before replying
 

Treadly

New Member
Jan 11, 2006
48
0
0
Bean Long said:
Travis wrote:
> TimC wrote:
>> On 2006-05-03, Travis (aka Bruce)
>> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
>>> I am also keeping my 5 LED mini light as well in flashing mode (meaning
>>> that when everything is turned on I have a bright flashing LED, my
>>> 28LED torch, a 5W and a 10W halogen all burning at the same time). I'm
>>> one of those guys that is just nutty about lights and reflectors and
>>> I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)
>>>
>>> I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.
>>> ;)

>> Probably some ****** off blinded guy in the peleton behind :)

>
> Actually I noticed it missing when I got to the office after parking my
> bike in the luggage room of a hotel where I had been to a morning
> seminar. (As a financial planner, I have heaps of those). I called
> the concierge to ask them to look around for a red tail light in the
> luggage room, but they didn't find one.
>
> Either it fell off somewhere in the journey back to the office, or the
> concierge nicked it. I'm not sure which, because I'm pretty sure it
> was on the bike when I parked it and I'd been riding around with that
> light for a couple of years and it had never shown any sign of coming
> loose...
>
> Travis
>


Funny you should mention it... there was one lying on the side of the
bike path on the way home last night... and it was still flashing!

--
Bean


Just as well nobody saw it! (Rolleyes)

Treadly
 

Treadly

New Member
Jan 11, 2006
48
0
0
Travis said:
TimC wrote:
> On 2006-05-03, Travis (aka Bruce)
> was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
> > I am also keeping my 5 LED mini light as well in flashing mode (meaning
> > that when everything is turned on I have a bright flashing LED, my
> > 28LED torch, a 5W and a 10W halogen all burning at the same time). I'm
> > one of those guys that is just nutty about lights and reflectors and
> > I'm following an n+1 rule with my lights... :)
> >
> > I've also got two tail light flashers, I had three but one disappeared.
> >;)

>
> Probably some ****** off blinded guy in the peleton behind :)


Actually I noticed it missing when I got to the office after parking my
bike in the luggage room of a hotel where I had been to a morning
seminar. (As a financial planner, I have heaps of those). I called
the concierge to ask them to look around for a red tail light in the
luggage room, but they didn't find one.

Either it fell off somewhere in the journey back to the office, or the
concierge nicked it. I'm not sure which, because I'm pretty sure it
was on the bike when I parked it and I'd been riding around with that
light for a couple of years and it had never shown any sign of coming
loose...

Travis
And what about the concierge? Are you going to make amends for the bad thoughts you had about him? Perhaps you can think some good things about him to compensate.

Treadly
 
T

Travis

Guest
Bean Long wrote:

> Funny you should mention it... there was one lying on the side of the
> bike path on the way home last night... and it was still flashing!


Its definitely mine, send it over post-haste... :)

Travis
 
T

Travis

Guest
Treadly wrote:

> And what about the concierge? Are you going to make amends for the bad
> thoughts you had about him? Perhaps you can think some good things
> about him to compensate.
>
> Treadly


Sure, if Bean returns my tail light all will be forgiven. If not...

:)

Travis
 
B

Bean Long

Guest
Travis wrote:
> Treadly wrote:
>
>> And what about the concierge? Are you going to make amends for the bad
>> thoughts you had about him? Perhaps you can think some good things
>> about him to compensate.
>>
>> Treadly

>
> Sure, if Bean returns my tail light all will be forgiven. If not...
>
> :)
>
> Travis
>

Sorry Travis... I was going too fast and didn't stop for it!
:)

I have another look for it on the way home tonight.

--
Bean

Remove "yourfinger" before replying
 
T

Theo Bekkers

Guest
"Treadly" wrote
> TravisAnd what about the concierge? Are you going to make amends for

the bad
> thoughts you had about him? Perhaps you can think some good things
> about him to compensate.


I've got a mate who works machinery maintenance in a large building in
Perth. Anything that goes missing goes home with security personnel.

Theo
Who's watching the watchers?