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  1. #1
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    Compliments galore

    …last night, that is, on the San Jose Bike Party ride. Every time I came up on someone, they would say the same thing: “F**k, I thought that was a f**king car!!!”, or “Holy sh*t man, that’s too bright!!!”. Then again, I had my low unit on (700 lumens or so), my “mid”*unit (1,400 lumens), and my high unit (perhaps 2,200 lumens, still need to properly test). And if that didn’t bug the sh*t out of people, I also was running dual Bosch 12V car horns “overclocked” with 16.51V!!!! I guess I won the lumen pissing match last night. Even our own francois didn’t stand a chance.
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  2. #2
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    lol lumen pissing.

    Don't you find that too much light is actually a bad thing? I hate when it reflects back brightly or if it's foggy, more light is bad. My 750lm light seems just right.
    We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace -Michael Franti

  3. #3
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    No fog here (yet). I actually use them in the daytime, and they are so bright that motorists seem to actually pay more attention (assuming they aren’t talking to underaged girls on their non-hands-free cellphones while driving). I actually have one of those “el cheapo” lumenometers from Deal Extreme, I still need to benchmark the light output one of these days.
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  4. #4
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    I have used the cheap light meter and it seeems OK for comparison between lights but the actual readings may not be spot on actual output. A light or two of known output remedies that well enough for most of us. It is a help.

    I know this is the DIY lights forum, but there isn't a DIY Bells and Horns forum, and you mentioned the Bosch car horns, in the first post so I don't think this is thread highjacking: I want to know more about the horns.

    I looked in a car parts outlet and the current required for car horns seemed a bit taxing to use my light battery. I mean blast someone then run out of power for the lights doesn't work. Sounds like you are running a dedicated battery? Besides voltage, what capacity etc? Does the extra voltage alter the pitch of the horn? How about your ears as the rider? Is the sound directional enough away from you so your hearing isn't impaired?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    I have used the cheap light meter and it seeems OK for comparison between lights but the actual readings may not be spot on actual output. A light or two of known output remedies that well enough for most of us. It is a help.

    I know this is the DIY lights forum, but there isn't a DIY Bells and Horns forum, and you mentioned the Bosch car horns, in the first post so I don't think this is thread highjacking: I want to know more about the horns.

    I looked in a car parts outlet and the current required for car horns seemed a bit taxing to use my light battery. I mean blast someone then run out of power for the lights doesn't work. Sounds like you are running a dedicated battery? Besides voltage, what capacity etc? Does the extra voltage alter the pitch of the horn? How about your ears as the rider? Is the sound directional enough away from you so your hearing isn't impaired?
    My Surly 1x1 actually only runs one horn (made for a Japanese car, got it for $2 from American Science and Surplus), however, my Surly Big Dummy runs TWO horns. The horns came from a car I used to own (1987 Volvo 740 turbo wagon). All I did was wire them together in series, and pop a 6A rated momentary rocker switch in between. The power source is a 14.8V (actually 16.51V) 4400mAh Li-Ion pack from All-Battery.com. The battery pack has a circuit breaker in it in the case of too much current being demanded of it, but it hasn’t kicked in when using the horn. Of course, I don’t totally lay on the horn all the time, rather, a few short bursts is enough. The horns are actually overvolted (stock Volvo voltage regulation system governs the voltage to around 13V) so the 3.51V increase actually is overdriving the horns, the end result being they are slightly higher pitched, and SUBSTANTIALLY LOUDER than they are supposed to be.

    Oh yeah, and my ears for sure ring for a minute or so after using the horns on my Big Dummy!
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  6. #6
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    Thanks.

    Have a just built and being tested 11.1 v 4.8 Ahr Li-ion pack (12.6 fresh off the charger) should be adequate, if not as loud as an overdrive. Cheap anyway. It is for the tailights and as a backup to the main battery. It would be rare for me to use the horn. There have been times, though. Once, maybe more if there are dogs. The pack has a 10A current limit in the PCB, so it sounds like I have a plan.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Thanks.

    Have a just built and being tested 11.1 v 4.8 Ahr Li-ion pack (12.6 fresh off the charger) should be adequate, if not as loud as an overdrive. Cheap anyway. It is for the tailights and as a backup to the main battery. It would be rare for me to use the horn. There have been times, though. Once, maybe more if there are dogs. The pack has a 10A current limit in the PCB, so it sounds like I have a plan.
    Yeah, just don’t expect one of those small Italian air horn compressors to work though, clearly from my testing with the Li-Ion packs they are pulling more than 10A of current since the circuit breaker circuitry cuts off the voltage. I think I am going to need to build my own battery pack that would be 14.8 - 16.5V, but instead of series-parallel (8 cells total), I would go 2 x series-parallel (16 cells total) such that the amperage is doubled, and then do away with the circuit overload protection. Dunno, maybe that would work for a small compressor.
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  8. #8
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    My pack is 3S2P. I had a pair of Fiamme horns in the MGB. From eep-eep to Two tone French horns on steroids! My, that little compressor was heavy. Over 5 pounds maybe 8? Hard to hold in a tight clearance spot with just finger tips. It saved our lives numerous times, from people who did not see us in spite of running our headlights all the time (sound familiar?). Having had the horn button come apart to complete the horn circuit at 2:30 am on a Sunday morning in late January with the temperature hovering around 0 *F with the car sitting in the parking lot of the married student complex was interesting. I can tell you from personal experience that being in close proximity to twin air horns at full cry in order to pull the wire off is not recommended if deafness runs in your family. The reverberations off the brick walls! In the peace that descended many "Thank you's were heard. Not recommended without ear protection on a bicycle.

    I think I'll try the local salvage yard and test using my pack to find an authoritative horn. Shouting 'Look Out!" is too short distance.

  9. #9
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    You two are making me feel inadequate!



    My little honk-honk is way down in the decibel-pissing contest!

  10. #10
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    The only contest that has any meaning for me is that of staying alive to cycle tomorrow.

    If I have to carry the added weight of a car horn, so be it. I have lost 50 pounds so what is a couple of more pounds on the bike? I sure and not into cycling so some idiot can run me over.

  11. #11
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    I hear ya ..... understand ..... go there often ......

  12. #12
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    Being seen and heard is a good idea. Could you guys post pics of your horn setups? Any thoughts by anyone on a compact super loud horn specifically made to mount on a bicycle?

    On my road bike in the middle of the day it would be great to have one for those drivers not paying attention

    We may need to make a new section, DIY Horns!

  13. #13
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    fujio, you mean something like this. Not DIY but I think its loud

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaVolt
    Yes, but it's an Australian site, so everything is usually at least double what you pay in the US.

    Tim

  16. #16
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    With 2 water bottle and a bottle-battery I am running out of places for that pressure bottle. A larger handlebar bag, I guess. 115 dB! Yeah that ought to do it! It's light plastic. If you get low on air, pull over and pump it back up. There is a recumbent rider in Manila who claims this is very effective against feral dogs

    A car horn from recycling, wire and switch from my parts bin will cost less but likely weigh a lot more, and I don't know if it would be louder even with overvolting.

  17. #17
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    Good job Emu, I believe there is an American version of that product. Nice, light, and simple!

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