lights on the cheap

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lights on the cheap

Postby t-bone » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:12 pm

I'm a scrapper. dam good at it too got 2 of my 4 bikes out of the garbage. got the computer i am on right now for a song from the recycling plant.

so after last night's ride when i decided that i needed a good light i started looking at prices. now i'm a cheap guy, but 250 for a good light 20w light is just silly.

so what's left to do but make my own. i found a site that explanes it pretty good
http://bluecollarmtb.com/2005/07/29/build-a-helmet-light/

his set up will work with hal and led but not hid. hid would need a different caseing and socket
there are a lot of different things that you can with this basic plan. tell me if you have any ideas. i think i want a 7w 20w double light
have fun playing

edit: a 18v dewalt battery pack. light weight batterys good life and quick recharge.
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Postby t-bone » Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:40 pm

t-bone
 

Postby t-bone » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:56 pm

after a quick trip to the electric store this is what i came up with.

http://www.t-mobilepictures.com/photos/photo13/cc/32/e5b095d41332.jpg?_rh=7qwz7d00xtvs8ulez6yo7wu72

it is a 20w hal lamp that came out of a low volt track lighting (15$)
a switch ($1.50)
wire
a 12v dewalt batery. (off of my drill)
don't know how long it will last yet but with a 2 hour charge and extra battery it should work fine

so there's my $16.50 20w light i'll probably do some more work on it but it's not bad for half an hour's work.
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Postby brungeman » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:59 pm

t-bone wrote:after a quick trip to the electric store this is what i came up with.

http://www.t-mobilepictures.com/photos/photo13/cc/32/e5b095d41332.jpg?_rh=7qwz7d00xtvs8ulez6yo7wu72

it is a 20w hal lamp that came out of a low volt track lighting (15$)
a switch ($1.50)
wire
a 12v dewalt batery. (off of my drill)
don't know how long it will last yet but with a 2 hour charge and extra battery it should work fine

so there's my $16.50 20w light i'll probably do some more work on it but it's not bad for half an hour's work.


you forgot to add the cost of the battery! If you were to buy that battery outright, it would cost you 50+ bucks!
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Postby t-bone » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:41 pm

the battery in the instructions was $13 and it will run the light for 1:45 - 2 hr
charger was 15 on ebay.

and on a side note i got 2 exstended life batteries charger and drill for less than $50
t-bone
 

Postby brungeman » Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:07 pm

t-bone wrote:the battery in the instructions was $13 and it will run the light for 1:45 - 2 hr
charger was 15 on ebay.

and on a side note i got 2 exstended life batteries charger and drill for less than $50


you are right, the 12 volt batt. from dewalt have come down in price.

I have 2 friends who have made lights themselves, 2 cautions I will give you, don't put the battery in a pack that you care about, and don't ride in the rain. Remnants of John's cammel back after the battery meltdown, are still being blown around the Vermont countryside!
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Postby Intense1 » Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:39 pm

I suggest an "under the seat" type bag to carry the battery.
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Postby t-bone » Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:34 am

i'm working the second phase. right now

for tests came back at 1:15 for one battery. not bad for the size and weight.
but if i switch to a mr-16 led i will have the same lumens with a life of about 2hr at full on. this will also give me a better visual distance. i will have to worry about polarity, a marker will take care of that though.

as for the fire and water ? well i am working below the battery's specks so i won't have to worry about melt down in less i screw up the wires or for some reason forgo the fuse.
and after finish the LED version i start to water and shock proof. that gets tricky because the LED's will burn out if they get too hot and the only way to make sure everything is water proof is by inclosing them (that will cause a lot of heat buildup) i will probably make mine able to withstand rain but not a full dip in the drink. that way i can leave them vented. if i chose to sell lights in the future i will have to work out the water proof problem to stay competitive.I won't have to worry about that for a bit now
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just my 2 cents

Postby ladieu » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:48 pm

Hello,
If you don't feel like hardcore DIY project I have found this headlamp

http://www.basegear.com/brunton-l3-headlamp.html

to be very bright. Plenty to ride with though not as bright as HID... but great on a budget and much brighter than halogen lights.

One bonus is getting 300 hours out of 4 D cell batteries (which fit nicely in camel bak)

I attach it to the helmet with some velcro that I got from lowes for about $7.
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Postby dropthehammer » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:25 am

I've just begun looking at helmet/bike mounted lights.... was pleased to find this post as I'm very into homebrewing things.

This posts appears to be a little stale, was wondering if you have any R&D updates ?

I recently purchased a 3-D cell Mag-Lite with the 3watt LED for my vehicle. This thing seems bright enough and kind on the batteries. Noticed you can purchase the 3 watt LEDs separately for upgrading from the legacy halogen bulbs. The replacement bulb module has a built-in regulator and cost around $19... http://www.maglite.com/LED_Mod.asp
Image


Quick thought i just had would be to take my 3 cell mag light apart, figure out a way to mount the lens and a fabricated bulb socket to a helmet (or handlebar), then make an umbilical to the battery housing / light socket. Could tear the glass out of a spare halogen bulb and solder in power leads on the flashlight housing end... the existing battery housing would slip nicely into a camelbak or mounted to a bottle carrier.... hmmm.

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Postby Intense1 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:07 pm

The single LED bulb won't be bright enough to use as a light. I purchased a dozen of them with plans to machine a housing and cut down a magnifying glass for a lens but have not had the time to mess around with it. I planned to use AA size NiMH batteries to cut down on weight.
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Postby dropthehammer » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:56 am

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Postby pratt » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:05 am

all that and he forgot the rear blinky....
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Postby dropthehammer » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:45 pm

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Postby Diamond Jim » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:18 am

Many many (did I say many?) years ago there was this dude Galen from Jim Thorpe, PA, who showed up for a night ride with a 12 volt car headlight bolted to a plank, which was zip-tied to his handlebars, and a messenger bag full of Makita powertool batteries. Sure, it weighed a ton, but every time he came up behind me I thought there was a Honda Civic passing me.
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Postby kikawhat » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:29 am

Whoa, someone around here knows Galen? I've never actually met the guy but I have ridden his eponymous route (Galen's Surprise) a couple times probably will in the next week or two as well
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Postby Diamond Jim » Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:54 am

Anyone who was hanging out with Dirt Rag back in the day knows Galen. He was a standard fixture at most Pennsylvania mountain bike festivals. He had one of the first full-suspension mountain bikes I'd seen, a Cannondale. I keep meaning to get back to Jim Thorpe. It's been a good 7 or 8 years since I rode there.
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Postby xjoex » Thu May 17, 2007 9:53 am

I made this light and have used it many times, it's cheap about $13 all together and takes maybe 1 hour to make. The batteries last about 4 hours.


http://www.instructables.com/id/E44DM16 ... /?ALLSTEPS
Image

And I rode thorpe two weeks ago, I just rode the switchback trail, but if anyone knows the skinny on the trails I'd really appreciate some more info.

Image

thanks,
-Joe
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Postby kikawhat » Thu May 17, 2007 11:49 am

I was in the Jim Thorpe Area two weeks ago, should have said something. I've got pics of that mine/ ledge as well and I've actually seen people consider riding it. I could lead you on the ride known as Galen's Surprise, which isn't all that difficult, but better than the switchback.

The ride from Summit Hill to Jim Thorpe rocks, but I don't know it well enough to lead, but I know people who do. Broad Mountain/ The American Standard is also very cool, but I don't know those trails either.
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Postby dropthehammer » Thu May 17, 2007 2:46 pm

On the topic of cheap lights... Recently went on a daytrip to spelunk through the Rockland and Kennerdell Tunnels on the Allegheny River R2T. Simple lightweight and somewhat bright lighting solution used for this was to zip tie my 3 cell AA LED mini-mag to the helmet. The new LED mini-mags tout a 3 watt Luxeon LED and is as bright or brighter than my blackburn x3 without the weight.
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