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  1. #1
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    Alternative batteries for older Niteriders, please help!

    I've got a pile of old Niterider systems (4 to be exact) from back in the day that I want to revive. My first challenge is just identifying what battery goes with what lamp goes with what charger, which surprisingly, is not as obvious as I thought it would be since a couple of the systems don't seem to be complete. Anyway, I'm wondering if there are cheaper 3rd party options for batteries that will plug right into these systems.

    One is a 15w Digital Head Trip with a battery labeled "Extreme Nickel Metal Hydride", and it looks like NR wants $109 for a battery for that one.

    Another is the lamp only, which is an older dual beam 12w/20w "Classic", and I'm wondering if Niterider's replacement battery: "Battery, Classic 13.2V NiCad w/POP Plug" for $179 is the correct replacement.

    3rd appears to be a 15w Evolution, using the "6v Evolution Smart Battery" for $109.

    I'm hoping some of you home grown lighting gurus can help me out! Thanks in advance! I can post pics of some of this stuff if that would help identify it.

  2. #2
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    I just got done over-volting an older NR Cyclops set up for my helmet. I only had the light head, no battery at all. It really doesn't matter what you get for a battery, just make sure the bulb will match and you get the run-time you need. I bought a 7.2v 4200mAh NiMH rechargable battery from www.batteryspace.com along with a few 6v bulbs and a smart charger. I'm kind of surprised at how bright it is, to tell you the truth. I like it.

    Now I just need to decide what I want to do with the older dual bulb NiteRider I have laying around...
    NKAWTG

  3. #3
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    Hi Finski, thanks for the reply.
    Maybe I'm just too ignorant to go this route... because I'm not sure what I'd be "matching the bulb" to. I believe my bulbs are good, so all I need to do is get a battery that puts out the proper voltage and has the right connector? That's it? So, for a 6v system I gather you can go up to 7.2v on the battery? What about for a 12v system? Does anyone know of a source for basic education on this stuff (don't say an EE degree from a university...as you can tell I passed on that route long ago).

  4. #4
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    A 12v battery would burn the bulb out pretty quick. Stick to 7.2V.

    Or, see if you can upgrade to a 12v bulb?

  5. #5
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    Oh no, I do know that much. I have another 12v NR Classic, so my question is how much can that setup be over-volted....and I guess while we're at it, what are the downsides to over-volting....is it strictly bulb life? Or are there other issues like shorter burn time?
    I may regret asking this questions....but, is there a simple formula for determining run time?

    Some of the DIY systems on here look phenomenal! Seems like I'm most of the way there since I already have the NR bulb/housing... they're not nearly as "cool" as a custom built carbon / aluminum one....but I just want to get out in the dark asap without having to cough up $300.

    Thanks again for the help guys!

  6. #6
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    Yup, match the voltage of your bulb with the battery. Matching connectors are a plus too but not the end of the world if it doesn't because connectors can be changed easily.

    You can overvolt if you want, which will increase the bulb's output at the expense of its longevity. Overvolt 6V to 7.2V and 12V to 13.2V, etc. The more you overvolt, the more light, and the shorter the bulb life.

    While balancing cost and performance, I think NiMh batteries offer a pretty good value and they don't suffer from "memory effects" the way NiCd batteries do. LiPo and Li-Ion are sweet batteries as far as weight/performance but can be pretty expensive. (FYI... NiMh, NiCd, LiPo, and Li-Ion refer to the chemistry of the given battery)

    As far as chargers, the Maha C777Plus is a pretty trick 'universal' charger. It's affordable and will handle pretty much all your battery charging needs for NiMh, NiCd, LiPo and Li-Ion chemistries in the 1.2 - 14.4V range.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    'over-volting' is often a little over rated. I have an older 10W 6v Vista halogen. It's driven by 7.2V of NiMH. Over-volting? Not really, as when you draw ~1.7A (10W/6v = 1.7A) out of the battery pack the voltage drops to like 6.4 or 6.5V. I don't' call driving a 6V bulb with 6.4V overvolting. Neither does the auto industry whose '12V systems' usually run about 13.8 with engine running. A 6V 4.5 AHr gel cell I experimented with dropped to 5.4V, way too dull. There is also some voltage drop along the wires.

    So... Check the output voltage of your battery pack *under load* and *at the light head*. I made up a little jumper cord that lets me measure the voltage and (by interrupting one side with a ammeter) the current and have tested batteries and chargers both charging and running.

    Generally the bigger the cell, the less the voltage drop, as they have lower internal resistance - assuming all other things remaining the same. sub-C's are physically smaller than full C's who in turn are smaller than D's.

    One discontinuity in my calculations though, a C cell is supposed to have about 18 mOhms (milli ohms) or R(internal), so why does it drop nearly a volt at under 2A ? It should drop only 0.018*1.7 = 0.03v

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Park2
    One discontinuity in my calculations though, a C cell is supposed to have about 18 mOhms (milli ohms) or R(internal), so why does it drop nearly a volt at under 2A ? It should drop only 0.018*1.7 = 0.03v
    I, for one, don't have the foggiest idea, Park2! But I do appreciate all your other helpful information..... you too Swift! Thanks guys!

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