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    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light

    Bike Cargo Trailer
    Warning Light
    By Gawain Tomlinson
    San Diego, CA
    Disclaimer: If you find this article useful, feel free to use it at your own risk. The author accepts no liability whatsoever for the information contained herein. No warranty is expressed or implied.

    During the cooler months of the year, I do all of the grocery shopping on my bike. For years I have used a kiddy trailer for grocery shopping. Over the years the kiddy trailer started showing its age, with bleached and tattered fabric. I decided it was time for a trailer makeover. I used a contractor plastic site box.


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    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic002.jpg


    Lighting
    I made a fiberglass whip-mounted amber warning light for the rear of the trailer. The first version used a plastic prescription bottle for a lens, and was not very durable. So I built Version-2 using a lens assembly from a commercial warning light, like they use on fork lifts.

    I built an electronic controller which controls all of the lighting functions. I also built an 8 Amp/Hour battery box with a built in charger. 8 AH may seem like over-kill, but I figure I can power and charge laptops, tablets, cell phones, and whatever for a couple of people on camping trips. I plan to put brackets for a 15 watt solar panel on top of the trailer for camping. The electronics didn’t cost much; a few parts from Radio Shack and Home Depot, plus parts I had lying around.

    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic003.jpg
    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic004.jpg
    Lights On
    Warning Light


    Warning Light

    Fork-lifts and off-road vehicles use warning lights mounted on fiberglass whips. With the right lamp installed they are impossible to ignore. The problem is that these lights start at about $70 and go up from there. I decided to build my own warning light.

    If you want to duplicate the warning light, here is how you do it:
    Description Part # Cost Source URL
    PVC fitting 1 ½” X ½ FIPT Reducer Bushing SKU# 744-917
    Model # 438-209HC
    $.98 Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mueller-Streamline-1-1-2-in-x-1-2-in-PVC-Schedule-40-Pressure-SPG-x-FPT-Bushing-438-209HC/100171348?keyword=744-917#.Urd2VPt2_p4
    PVC fitting 1 ¼” X to ¾ FIPT Reducer Bushing SKU# 536-571
    Model # 438-167HC
    $.86 Home Depot http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mueller-Streamline-1-1-4-in-x-3-4-in-PVC-Schedule-40-Pressure-Spigot-x-FIPT-Bushing-438-167HC/100203756?keyword=536-571#
    3/8 in. x 1-1/2 in. Zinc-Plated Steel Fender Washers SKU# 590-720 $.25 Home Depot (In hardware bulk inventory)
    Arlington Industries ½” Nylon Strain Relief SKU# 687-731
    Model#PCG50-1
    $1.52 Home Depot (In electrical)
    Astd nuts &washers CD lamp - 1/8 IP nuts and washers SKU# 217-360 $1.57 Home Depot (In lighting)
    Single Contact Bayonet Base 3/8 Threaded Socket $6.20 Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Single-Contact-Bayonet-Threaded-Socket/dp/B000XVK3RQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387395642&sr=8-1&keywords=Single+Contact+Bayonet+Base+3%2F8+Threade d+Socket
    LED Lamp 1156, 23 x 5630 SMD, Amber $7.99 DDM Tuning http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/1156-23x56301156-23-x-5630-SMD
    Warning Whip Chromed Metal Lens Cap $2.26 Amazon.com
    Checkers Industrial Prod Inc
    sold by SIM Supply Inc
    http://www.amazon.com/Warning-Whip-Chromed-Metal-Lens/dp/B00C7646DM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387432941&sr=8-1&keywords=whip+warning+lens
    Warning Whip Plastic Lens, Amber $10.19 Amazon.com
    Checkers Industrial Prod Inc
    sold by SIM Supply Inc
    http://www.amazon.com/Warning-Whip-Plastic-Lens-Amber/dp/B00C7643BM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1387432941&sr=8-3&keywords=whip+warning+lens

    Note: Do not buy the 1156 lamp on Amazon.com for the warning flasher. The picture on Amazon leads you to believe that you are getting the socket assembly with it. This is not true. You will get just an incandescent 1156 bulb that is useless. The duty cycle on the flasher is so short that it will barely light the bulb, and incandescent bulbs are inefficient anyway.

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    Parts
    Notch washer to mate with ridges inside larger 1 ½” fitting.


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    Double-sided tape the washer into 1 ½” fitting. Open up the 1 ½” bushing to accept the 1 ¼” bushing. Use a sanding drum on the sides, and a cutting disk at bottom. Drill small holes in bottom to let any water drain out.

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    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic010.jpg
    Sand ¾” threads for tight fit of lens. Cut down the height of the 1 ¼” bushing to bottom out and hold the washer in place.

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    Test fit. The smaller fitting should bottom out while holding washer firmly in place.

    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic013.jpg
    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic014.jpg
    Assemble light socket to the washer. Note bend in black wire is to allow motion of center contact after assembly. Glue the assembly together.

    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic015.jpg
    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic016.jpg
    Remove lens & glue PVC fittings together, pull on white wire to make sure washer notches stay seated while gluing.
    Final assembly. Lens is friction fit. Line up notches in lens with slots in socket. Tighten lower connector with a wrench till seated.

    Mask the threads, socket, and wire. Spray paint.

    After building the lamp assembly I cut 25 inches of 5/16” fiberglass rod from an old off-road flag whip. You could use a different size of fiberglass rod, or make a stanchion out of PVC irrigation parts if you wish.

    I cut some ½” long pieces of ½” red shrink fit. I used the short pieces of shrink fit to help route the wires neatly down the fiberglass rod. You can shrink the tubing by heating gently over a gas stove burner, or use a heat gun if you have one.

    Then I put a longer piece of shrink fit over the full length of wires, leaving several inches of rod exposed at the bottom for mounting. You can buy 3 feet of ½” shrink fit at Fry’s Electronics (Frys.com) for $2.50. I used some smaller shrink fit on the lead-in wires to route it into the cargo box. I tied a figure eight (stopper knot) in the middle of the wire lead-in to prevent anyone from stealing the warning light when the lid is locked. I soldered a male RCA connector from Radio Shack on the end of the wire.

    I bought a 5/16” quick disconnect off-road whip mount on Amazon, and mounted it using a heavy duty conduit mounting angle iron that I found in the electrical department at Home Depot. I used two 5/16” mounting bolts with fender washers, washers and lock washers. The holes in the angle were just the right size to accommodate 5/16” jamb nuts to keep the bolts centered in the holes. I used a chop saw to cut off an unneeded hole on the angle, and painted it black.

    Atv Safety Flag Black 5/16 Inch Quick Release Mount – Holder. Atv Safety Flag Black 5/16 Inch Quick Release Mount - Holder : Amazon.com : Automotive
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    Home Depot SKU#537-896 Superstrut ½” Angle Bracket
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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic001.jpg  

    Fiberglass Whip Warning Light-pic002.jpg  


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