• 08-31-2004
    Andy M-S
    1 Attachment(s)
    Foggy Ride/homebrew lighting system
    This morning's commute was kind of foggy (see below) and gave me a chance to test out my new headlight :) . In fog, it works as a "be seen" light, but in the dark it throws a nice beam.

    Quick details: The headlight is a BiSy light head mounted to the front brake bolt, wired up to a Qualcomm Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Nominally, the halogen bulb is 3w, but I did some measuring, and with the Qualcomm battery, nominally 7.2v but actually a little higher, the light is taking in a little over 4w. The battery is in a Topeak Alien holster that is velcro'd to the side of the stem--almost invisible, and weighs less than a pair of AA alkalines.

    If the battery lives up to expectations, I should be able to get just under two hours out of a charge.
  • 08-31-2004
    High Gear
    Pretty cool
    What was the total cost of the whole set-up and where did you get all the parts. I may want to try this if it's cost effective.
  • 09-01-2004
    Andy M-S
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by High Gear
    What was the total cost of the whole set-up and where did you get all the parts. I may want to try this if it's cost effective.

    I think I paid about $25 for the BiSy head and mount from Pete White Cycles...I upgraded the bulb from 2.4w to 3w for another dollar. The Qualcom battery and charger cost about $12-15 from All Electronics (www.allelectronics.com). I added phono jacks to the light and charger, and a phono cable to the battery, for another $4 or so.

    I have been warned, correctly I suspect, that the life of the bulb will be dramatically reduced (from around 100 hours to more like 20) by such overvolting...so we'll have to see how that goes.
  • 09-01-2004
    KeeponTrekkin
    Very Creative ...
    Could it be set up to use disposable batteries too? Is Radio Shack another possible source of bits and pieces?

    Tx
  • 09-01-2004
    Andy M-S
    Yep
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KeeponTrekkin
    Could it be set up to use disposable batteries too? Is Radio Shack another possible source of bits and pieces?

    Tx

    Sure. You could set up a battery pack using a Radio Shack battery holder and 4 of your choice--AA,C, or D batteries. That should give you longer battery life as well. And Radio Slack is a great place for such parts. Just get the headlight from Peter White, then build a pack to run it.

    HOWEVER...

    The nice things about Lithium Ion batteries are (1) rechargeable, (2) small, and (3) related to 2, of course, extremely high energy density.

    The downsides of Li Ion batteries are that they really are very expensive if you don't get them surplus, and they're picky about charging. And, in this case, since the bulb is being over-volted, it's likely not to last as long. (Hmmm...I've got to look into the possibility of a regulator module!)

    That's why $12-15 is such a great deal for a battery and charger. If you try to pick up a similar battery new, it'd probably run $30-$50.