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  1. #201
    Light freak
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    Hey everyone,
    Looks like there issome great building going on! Sorry if I have been neglecting this thread a bit. Been busy travelling for work, dealing with the family during the holidays, and been very busy building my Amoeba LED lights. Trying to catch up, here we go:


    bmadau - Your set up looks great! Did you make your bracket? Sorry to hear about the table mishap. It is amazing the burn you can get from hot glue. Done it too many times to count.


    kapusta - Sorry, but I am not going to be any help here. Myself and my buddies that I built lights for have only used the 20W versions.


    TCW - I haven't ever noticed any increase in the brightness using the energy saver style MR16's. Here is an excerpt that I copied from Sylvania's IR MR 16 series data sheet.

    The high luminous efficacy of the TRU-AIM IR lamp is achieved via thermal recovery. The ellipsoidal tungsten halogen capsule and its special infrared reflective coating ensure that the radiated heat which otherwise would be wasted is reflected back to the lamp filament. Because the heat is recycled within the lamp capsule, less energy is required to bring the filament up to its optimal operating temperature.

    rodar y rodar - Using a fuse is not a bad idea although I have never had any problems without one. As a rule, I always try to keep the number of solder joints down to a minimum as this is usually where you have failures. Still waiting on that royalty check from Harbor Freight, probably in the mail.


    Keep up the good work everybody. I would also to say Thank You, I am very humbled to have this thread suggested to be stickied.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar
    bmadau - Your set up looks great! Did you make your bracket? Sorry to hear about the table mishap. It is amazing the burn you can get from hot glue. Done it too many times to count.

    Keep up the good work everybody. I would also to say Thank You, I am very humbled to have this thread suggested to be stickied.
    Yeah, I work in a sheet metal shop with CNC laser and NC press brakes, so the design reflects what manufacturing capabilities I had on hand. If I worked in a machine shop, I'm sure it would have been a billet bracket.

    I have resolved to go with a dual light setup- 10w low beam bulb and the 20w high beam bulb, so I'm on the hunt for more batteries. One pack of AA batteries doesn't have the max discharge rate to run two lights simultaneously. Light building is addictive, and my poor wife is already rolling her eyes at me...

    Thanks Scar- for the introduction to a new obsession! (my last one was soda can alcohol stoves!)

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  3. #203
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    Scar- no need to be sorry, just do what you need to do. I`m sure everyone here appreciates the fact that you posted your idea in the first place. The pondlight housing is perfect! The rest of it is being built according to everybody`s individual needs and I think it`s really cool to see how many different ways people are adapting the same idea.

    Bmadau- just to be sure I have it straight, you ARE currently able to run a 20W from you 12 X AA pack, at least for a short while? Have you thought about running two AA packs in parallel? More connections, I know, but I looked at bigger cells and kept comming back to AAs because they`re so much cheaper ($ per Ah). One other thing to keep in mind: another site I read is adamant that parallel batteries can not be charged together. They have to be separated to charge, then hooked together again to run.
    Funny thing- I work in a machine shop and sometimes end up machining or welding a piece that I know would be better suited to sheetmetal, but I have very limited knowledge and equipment for that. It sure is a "run what ya brung" world, isn`t it?
    Recalculating....

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Bmadau- just to be sure I have it straight, you ARE currently able to run a 20W from you 12 X AA pack, at least for a short while? Have you thought about running two AA packs in parallel? More connections, I know, but I looked at bigger cells and kept comming back to AAs because they`re so much cheaper ($ per Ah). One other thing to keep in mind: another site I read is adamant that parallel batteries can not be charged together. They have to be separated to charge, then hooked together again to run.
    Funny thing- I work in a machine shop and sometimes end up machining or welding a piece that I know would be better suited to sheetmetal, but I have very limited knowledge and equipment for that. It sure is a "run what ya brung" world, isn`t it?
    Yeah, I figure my max discharge rate is ~2.5A, and one light draws ~2A, so I'm at the upper fringe of batter power but it still should work. I think Dee Eight is doing it too, though his are seperate in battery holders vs. a closed battery pack. I will eventually dip my whole thing in plasti-dip and make it water tight. I do plan to make one big 24 cell 5200mAh pack to run a dual light setup, on 10w low beam, and 20w high beam. Btw, at 14.4v, it's more like 28 ~ 29 watts... I've not heard anything about not being able to charge battery packs in parallel. I figure if you have a charger than can handle it, what's the difference between charging a sub C cell 5000mAh pack, and a AA series parallel pack at 5000mAh? In my little research, I've also found AA's not only to be cheaper, but the lightest grams per mAh option. Sub C's seem to be designed around high max drain rates, for fast RC car acceleration, which is what I think adds unnecessary weight for a bike light battery pack. 4/3 A, or maybe A batteries would be best, but they are also expensive, I dunno for sure though. BTW, I got my batteries off Ebay from a seller in Hong Kong. I paid $1.99 + $13 shipping for a dozen batteries. Not bad, 2680 mAh to boot...

    BM
    Last edited by Ultra Magnus; 12-10-2007 at 12:14 PM.
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  5. #205
    weirdo
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    Good deal on your batteries- I liked my deal, but yours beats it.

    Since the article I read was so insistant that batteries not be charged in parallel, I did a search and found nothing else to indicate that. In fact, I found this
    http://www.batterytender.com/connecting.php
    which has some really good info about different charging scenarios. I still like the other site though, just don`t know why he says that about charging. It`s worth a look too (I think it`s already linked in this thread, but I`m not in the mood to review nine pages to find it).
    http://nordicgroup.us/s78/batteries.html
    The bit about charging is about half way down.
    Recalculating....

  6. #206
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    I was looking at the prices of some of the brand name bike lights and some of the prices were appealing. So I thought I'd try and build one to save some money seeing as I'm a student with limited funds. The pond scum light seems like its perfect for me. Its powerful, doesn't look too bad and its simple to make. The only problem I have now is trying to find a battery that is, A:cheap, and B: can provide me with at least 1.5 hours of burn time.

    I'd like to build a pond scum light with a 20W spot light, Are there any batteries that are both cheap and will provide me enough burn time. Also the charger should also be somewhat cheap, but I can deal with a slow charger as long as it doesn't cost too much.

  7. #207
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    There's no free lunch when it comes to batteries....

    I think Dee Eight has the cheapest battery setup- loose AA's in battery holders. That way you don't need a smart charger- AA's are cheap on ebay, and you can bring extra batteries to swap out on the trail. Make sure you get a min. of 2500mah batteries though.

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambda_drive
    I was looking at the prices of some of the brand name bike lights and some of the prices were appealing. So I thought I'd try and build one to save some money seeing as I'm a student with limited funds. The pond scum light seems like its perfect for me. Its powerful, doesn't look too bad and its simple to make. The only problem I have now is trying to find a battery that is, A:cheap, and B: can provide me with at least 1.5 hours of burn time.

    I'd like to build a pond scum light with a 20W spot light, Are there any batteries that are both cheap and will provide me enough burn time. Also the charger should also be somewhat cheap, but I can deal with a slow charger as long as it doesn't cost too much.
    I just went through the battery buying process for a pond scum setup. To estimate my run time I used the formula shown here earlier:

    Volts of battery x Amphours of battery / wattage of lamp = runtime

    so with a 14.8v, 5 Ah battery, driving a 20w lamp (which apparently is closer to 25w when overvolted) you get

    14.8 x 5 / 25 = 2.96 hrs

    I also am gathering that it is more realistic to expect about 75% of that calculated burn time, so that's 2.22 hours.

    According to all this, a 14.8v, 4 Ah battery would give an estimated 1.73 hours.

    So, look for a 14.8 volt battery with 4 - 5 Ahr capacity.

    The two places I looked were www.batteryspace.com and www.all-battery.com.

    Lots of options there. I see batteryspace has a 14.8v, 5 Ahr NiMH water bottle battery with charger for $76.

  9. #209
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    I forgot to mention, I have a NiCd/NiMH peak charger that I have for my RC battery packs. Would It be ok to use RC batteries to power this type of light? I have three 7.2 volt 6-cell battery packs, but they're only 1500mah, those won't give me the burn time I'm looking for. would higher mah RC batteries be a cost effective power source?

    Also the peak charger has a limitation. It can only charge a total of 8 cells at one time, and thats about 9.6 volts. Would there be anyway to get around this?

    Sorry for the newbie questions, I'm not the most electronically inclined person.

  10. #210
    TCW
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    I get 1.5 hrs from two 7.2 volt (14.4 volts) 3800 mAh RC battery packs made by Tenergy - $40.00 - using a 20 watt bulb. I use four Radioshack 23-440 chargers, can charge eight packs.

    Edit: forgot to mention I picked up three chargers recently from this vendor:
    http://www.markdownalley.com/ShowIte...04&itemid=1789
    Last edited by TCW; 12-12-2007 at 08:36 PM.

  11. #211
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    Thanks for all the information guys. I thought about it and I'm going to use AA cells. I found a lot of rechargeable AA's on ebay for really low prices.

  12. #212
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    Quick question for folks. Once you had all the parts, how long di it take to make the light? How difficult was it to make?

    Thanks.

  13. #213
    Light freak
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    CU-Murph - I was waiting around to see what someone else was going to give you for times, guess not.

    Grinding off inner lip of housing - about 5-10 minutes
    Splicing cable onto light housing/switch - about 15 minutes
    Splicing cable onto battery - about 15 minutes
    Making adapter - about 1/2 hour

    Then just epoxying the adapter to the housing and the handlebar mount.

  14. #214
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    Whee- my charger came in! I ran into a problem with the battery holders but I have an idea to straighten it out- if it works, I`ll post pics and explanations. My work week starts in about an hour, so I`ll be unable to to much more for a while. Hope to have a workable system within another week.

    CU-M, I really can`t comment on the time it`s taken me because I`ve been getting my parts a little at a time and doing whatever work I can with the stuff I`ve got, so it`s taken me weeks. There haven`t been many hours so far. The most time consuming part is still comming for me- I want to fab up a pretty switchbox and nice looking mount because I`m going to leave that permanently on my bike and just take the battery off.

    Anybody looked seriously at SLA batteries? They have some downsides, but they`re probably the cheapest option for the folks whose biggest concern is keeping the cost down.
    Recalculating....

  15. #215
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    My pond scum project.....

    Found out my local HF had them on sale for $7.99 with a coupon. Picked one up Friday and got it together over the weekend. Only road tested it for now, will hit the trail this week. Currently running a 12V/20W MR16 (GE brand I believe-like a 30 degree flood) with 12 Energizer rechargeable NiMh AA's (2500 mAh) in a 8/4 cell pack. My bar mount is an old seat post reflector mount (everyone saves those right? ). The battery pack holder is from a Princeton Yukon light I had. Thanks for the idea scar.






  16. #216
    Light freak
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    Rock on! Looks good.

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOldDude
    My bar mount is an old seat post reflector mount (everyone saves those right? ).
    I never thought of that! I'll have to look and see if I saved one of those from one of my kids' bikes...

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  18. #218
    Grillin' & Chillin'
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    Simple Is Best

    This is all too technical for me. For me simple seems to be the best solution. Scope out this link to a thread showing what I'm assembling for winter riding in Alaska.

    Custom Handle Bar Lighting System
    Grill Meister
    "There were never any good old days
    They are today, they are tomorrow
    "
    - Gogol Bordello

  19. #219
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedsk8_ak
    This is all too technical for me. For me simple seems to be the best solution. Scope out this link to a thread showing what I'm assembling for winter riding in Alaska.

    Custom Handle Bar Lighting System
    Good grief! Talk about midnight sun! Maybe the rest of us don`t need to build any lights- we`ll just call you when we want to go out and you can point that puppy in our direction to light us all up.

    Looks nice, Old Dude. How are your battery cases hooked up- 9V clips? Any trouble with that part of your system? I bought two 6 X AA cases and two 9V clips and the clips don`t stick on very well. I didn`t want to run around buying every brand of clip and box I could find to get a good combo, so I ended up making contact strips to stuff into each end of the boxes and soldering the wires onto the strips.
    Recalculating....

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Looks nice, Old Dude. How are your battery cases hooked up- 9V clips? Any trouble with that part of your system? I bought two 6 X AA cases and two 9V clips and the clips don`t stick on very well. I didn`t want to run around buying every brand of clip and box I could find to get a good combo, so I ended up making contact strips to stuff into each end of the boxes and soldering the wires onto the strips.
    Yes I'm using the 9v snap clips. Mine are on pretty good. When I road tested it I did a few bunny hops and it held up (the trail test comes tomorrow night). I did solder the wire that runs from the 8 pack to the 4 pack (the pos to neg). This cell pack I'm using now is sort of a temporary thing to see if it all works. If all goes well than I think I might drop some $$ on a 14.4v battery and smart charger.
    I did another light conversion as well with a Princeton Yukon that I had. I dremeled out the innards of the Yukon housing and stuffed an 12V/10W/MR16 bulb in there. I may use my 8/4 cell pack for that if I upgrade the battery on the pond scum.

  21. #221
    weirdo
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    my solution

    Both of the clips I bought fit kinda-sorta on one of the boxes. At least I was able to charge the batteries with that box. Neither clip would even stay on the other box long enough to charge. I ended up cutting contact strips from a piece of flattened out copper tubing, then sanding them down a little because they were a bit on the fat side, finally cut them into the shapes I needed , bent and soldered as needed. Well, I had somebody solder for me. Anyway, the little (unbent) strip shorts from the pos on one box to the neg on the next. Then the L-shaped ones go to the other "ends" of my battery. They`re just stuffed between the AA ends and the springs and the whole thing is taped together so they can`t come apart. I have a few two-wire quick connectors that I`ll put on the battery, the light and the charger so I won`t need to disassemble anything to charge the bats.
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    Recalculating....

  22. #222
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    rodar-those packs look good. I couldn't find any 6 cell packs locally so I went with an 8 and 4 cell pack. The AA's are just a test bed for me though. If all works well, I'll go with a pre-built 14.4 pack and smart charger. I see you're using the Duracell 2650 mAh's.....you'll probably get a few more minutes run time than my 2500 mAh Energizers I'll know for sure tonight how it holds up.

    BUT the real question is.....what to do with the NiteRider Sol that I'm pretty sure is under the Christmas tree right now.

    EDIT/UPDATE: Okay just finished my first night ride with the Pond Scum.......it was awesome. It gave off plenty of light and it (and the battery pack) held up well. I hit a few jumps, couple drops (2-3 footers) and rode a couple large logs. Total riding time was one hour and the light was just as bright when I stopped as it was when I started. I did stop midway during the ride to check the light and as I sat there I could smell the light start to get hot (you know that hot plastic smell...??) As long as I was moving it was fine (ouside temp about 45 deg).
    Last edited by ThatOldDude; 12-19-2007 at 06:39 PM.

  23. #223
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    Custom Lighting

    This setup is pretty cheap. I just fill a water bottle with kerosene and dowse the torch for a flood light. I mounted it to my bars and it scorched my whiskers a bit, still workin out the kinks.
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    New question here.

    How does this light setup handle snow or rain on the Mr16 lens? I am worried about water hitting the glass and making the glass crack.

  25. #225
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin_Riobravo
    How does this light setup handle snow or rain on the Mr16 lens? I am worried about water hitting the glass and making the glass crack.
    Good question. I have toyed around with the idea of using making a plastic lens that would go over the MR16 bulb, thus allowing use of uncovered lenses, and increasing lamp options. I am finding the selection of 10watt MR16 with covers very thin, but have seen many uncovered options. This would also avoid the scenario you are describing of a hot lamp cracking due to exposure to too much water. The whole point of this setup is that it is weather resistant.

    I am almost done with my setup and I hope to post pics soon. I was able to skip the filing down of the o-ring bed in my assembly, and I found a cheap place to get dc connectors so that the whole system is modular and easily reconfigured for different setups and more lights and/or batteries.

  26. #226
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    I have not had that problem yet, and I ride in cold rain all the time.
    Titus X Carbon
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  27. #227
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    So just a little sizzle and steam? I live in Ketchikan, Alaska and it rains ALOT. Didn't want bulbs popping left and right from some rain. Thanks for the insight.

  28. #228
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    I finally finished my light. It may not be pretty but at least it works.
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  29. #229
    You can do it...Come on
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    Lambda looks good to me KISS principle

  30. #230
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    Thanks.

    BTW, what is the KISS principle?

  31. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambda_drive

    BTW, what is the KISS principle?
    Keep It Simple, Stupid



    BTW, it looks like that thing may start the carpet on fire. Be careful!
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

  32. #232
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    I like the in-line switch. Cleaner cable routing. I'm using the waterproof one from batteryspace that everyone else is using (good for a remote), and I found myself wishing I had gotten an in-line one.

  33. #233
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    I also wanted an inline toggle switch, but couldn't find one that had the current rating and weatherproofing. Maybe I just don't know where to look. I figgured the toggle switch would be easier to tell if it was on or not before attaching batteries, and easier to work in the dark with gloves. Oh well, I've got the batteryspace switch now- it's not bad, and it's epoxied in place. Too late to change...

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  34. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmadau
    I figgured the toggle switch would be easier to tell if it was on or not before attaching batteries, and easier to work in the dark with gloves. Oh well, I've got the batteryspace switch now- it's not bad, and it's epoxied in place. Too late to change...

    BM

    I had not thought of that. I am planning on running a 10w and a 20w light. I figured it would be a high and low beam, and possibly run both if the batteries would deal with it, but now I am thinking that if they are both on when I plug the battery in, then I guess it will be like turning on one 30w bulb. Guess I'll have to make sure to plug them in one at a time rather than both at once into the battery.

    Mine, too are epoxied in place. Just waiting for some dc connectors to come and I should be good to go.

  35. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I had not thought of that. I am planning on running a 10w and a 20w light. I figured it would be a high and low beam, and possibly run both if the batteries would deal with it, but now I am thinking that if they are both on when I plug the battery in, then I guess it will be like turning on one 30w bulb. Guess I'll have to make sure to plug them in one at a time rather than both at once into the battery.

    Mine, too are epoxied in place. Just waiting for some dc connectors to come and I should be good to go.
    I have a Y connector, more AA batteries and and 10 and 20w bulbs on their way right now, to do the same thing you are. One pack of a dozen AA batteries aren't manly enough to hand 30w of bulbs burning at once, so I'm doing the 24AA battery route. I'm also making two more packs for friends of mine, so I'll have some serious soldering time on my hands.

    On 10w, which more realistically comes to around 14~15w, should burn for at least four hours (maybe five), and I'd use either the 20w alone or maybe the two together for fast sections/descents... Both on at the same time will draw ~3A, and the pack should have a max drain rate of at least ~5A.

    We'll see. It's only money if it doesn't work out! (Try telling the wife that)

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  36. #236
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    I would like to know if I can do a PondScum type conversion on some old NR halagon lights.
    1. Will I damage the digital system in my 12v dual light if I over volt it?
    2. What battery/charger and bulb would work the best? My battery and charger at shot.
    3. My single light is a 6v. Is it worth it to over volt it to 7.5v?
    4. Can I change to a 12v bulb and a 14v batt and charger?
    I know that the mr16 bulb will not fit. I there a 35w 12v bulb that will fit? I have not found one.
    This is all new to me,any help I can get would be great.
    I looked for a post with these questions,but could not find any.
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  37. #237
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    You could probably fit an MR11 bulb in the single light. Though from that picture it looks like it might be a tight squeeze trying to get two MR11 bulbs AND the ceramic connectors to fit in the double light housing.

  38. #238
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    The Niterider halogen setup is already the same as the Pond Scum. There's no reason to change it out, as it uses the same MR11 bulbs as what come with the pond light. Also, I believe that the system is already over-volted. Double check your battery for any sort of label. The 6V system could be (potentially) switched to a 12V bulb, but I'm not sure it would be worth it. If you're looking to upgrade your light, I'd look into the Cree MR11 kits (3 LEDs that fit the MR11 size housing). IMO, its a much better light than the halogens, and gives you significantly more run time as well.

  39. #239
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    Looks good, Lambada. What size is your battery and what are you doing for a charger? Did it come out much cheaper than NIMH AAs?

    bmadau, is your 10W a Ushio? That`s what I want to try next. I`m thinking the 21 deg.

    My light is still under construction- made a really slick switch housing to go next to my left grip and match the shifter on the other side, made up a mounting block and epoxied/screwed it onto the bottom of the pondlight housing and have the wiring more or less done. Now I`m waiting to get my rack into work to weld some mounting stubs on it but the weather just went to crap and I don`t know when I`ll be able to get to it. I tried it out once with the light housing bungied on to my front rack and it worked fine- about 45 minutes to the convenience store and back, so not enough to test the run time. Hopefully another week until it`s all done and I`ll post pics.

    Edited for typos.
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 01-05-2008 at 02:28 AM.
    Recalculating....

  40. #240
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    I am just about finished with my pond scum light. I saw this thread on Friday when I was researching lights and I immediately had to make one. On Saturday I rushed to harbor freight and home depot and got my materials and started my pond scum light. I ran into a problem when I installed the 16mr light, I broke two if the plastic hinges when I screwed the cap back on. I will probably buy another light because of this but it will work in the meantime. But thank you Scar for making such a cheap and powerful light. Has anyone bought a battery pack from local chain stores and not from online? I do not mind ordering but I would prefer just to go by locally and get it done and go ride.
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  41. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Looks good, Lambada. What size is your battery and what are you doing for a charger? Did it come out much cheaper than NIMH AAs?
    It's a bit cheaper than NIMH batteries. I bought a 12V 5amp sealed lead acid battery from the local electronic store for $20 and a float charger for $15.

    cowens677 - nice light, I like your switch, though the wire routing could have been a bit neater.
    Last edited by Lambda_drive; 01-06-2008 at 09:39 PM.

  42. #242
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    I will clean up the wiring once I get a battery and figure out where I am going to wire it on my bike.

  43. #243
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    Mine`s done. (I think.)

    I did the wiring and mounted it all up yesterday while I was waiting for the tow truck driver to call (`nother story). All in all, it came out OK. The mounting is decent, I`m super happy with my switch mount, wiring is butt-ugly, and it works well- you all know how they work and there was no question about that , so I just took it for granted. I still want to have my wife make me some kind of battery bag to velcro under the bars and around the stem. I have the light and switch permanently mounted with a quick connector on the light, the battery, and the charger. For now I just drop the battery pack into my front bag.
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    Recalculating....

  44. #244
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    rodar y rodar - Nice looking build! I wonder what oncoming cars think when they see you coming?

  45. #245
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    My switch mount

    I made it to match the Nexus shifter. Oh, the piece of rubber tube on the rack is to keep the connector clean and out of my spokes when I don`t have it hooked up to the battery. Also, it`s worth mentioning that I had to go back to my battery boxes again. The end broke out of one of them- too much pressure for the plastic, I think. Rather than search out thinner contact material, I clipped off part of each spring. Should be OK now.
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    Recalculating....

  46. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar
    rodar y rodar - Nice looking build! I wonder what oncoming cars think when they see you coming?
    Thanks, Scar. Actually the light on the right isn`t very bright- it`s a 3W Lumotec driven by a hub dynamo. I leave it on almost always except when I`m struggling against a nasty headwind or up a steep grade. The pondscum is just to augment it when I need more. I was figuring to use it for about 5 minutes of my twenty-minute commute but it lights up so much more than the Lumotec that it kills my night vision. I definitely need to try a 10W for the pondscum- that might work out better all the way around.
    Recalculating....

  47. #247
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    I just made myself one of these last night and have to say it works great! My friend is pissed because he just spent almost 300 bucks and a bike shope and mine blows his out of the water.

  48. #248
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    chris15706 - Great story, thanks for posting.

    Shine on!

  49. #249
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    It is finished!

    So, my dual Pond Scum helmet light is finally finished. I'm quite happy with the results, and I did my first night ride last night. I went with one 10w and one 20w bulb. the 10w was bright enough for about 75% of the ride, only needing the 20w for the faster sections. We did a two hour ride, and then my lights burned on high for at least another 30mins before they went dead. Total weight is around 1056 grams, 286 for the light head. the rest is wire and battery.





    I've got a lot going on in back because I wanted it to be a modular setup, incase I want to mess around with one light on the bars, one on the helmet, or just have one on the bars by itself for commuting.




    Here's a cleaner simplified version I made for a buddy of mine- it's all wired together so they can't be seperated, but it's cleaner and a bit lighter (ha, ha.. light-er... yeah, I'm tired)




    During the project I ended up making one small battery pack, and three big 24 cell versions, one for me, two for my riding buddies. Building battery packs is quite easy once you get the hang of it, though I'm not yet getting the run times I think I should. Also, the brand of lightbulb makes an enormous difference in light output. I'll post beam shots of different brand bulbs later, maybe I'll brave the cold tonight and shoot them... For example, I got some Sylvania IR 25 degree series bulbs, posted elsewhere in this thread, and they are pretty nice bulbs, with a wonderful light pattern. Then I got some Phillips indoor 20watt spots and they put out less light than my 10w low beam!

    BM
    Last edited by Ultra Magnus; 01-21-2008 at 02:28 PM.
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  50. #250
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    Great! But you left me with a few questions,
    1- Do you have it set up so that both lights work on high, or switch from the 10 to the 20? I`m building a dual PS (bar mount) now and thinking that it would be a convenient way to compare bulbs if I can switch them independently.
    2- Do you know the beam spread of your 10W, or at least whether it`s flood or spot?
    3-Any chance you tried wrapping foil tape on the Phillips like somebody else (Scar?) did a few pages back?
    4- What sizes are the battery packs and which did you use for the ride you mentioned above? Your run time seems pretty good to me unless it was a monster battery.
    Recalculating....

  51. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrench Monkey
    I would like to know if I can do a PondScum type conversion on some old NR halagon lights.
    1. Will I damage the digital system in my 12v dual light if I over volt it?
    2. What battery/charger and bulb would work the best? My battery and charger at shot.
    3. My single light is a 6v. Is it worth it to over volt it to 7.5v?
    4. Can I change to a 12v bulb and a 14v batt and charger?
    I know that the mr16 bulb will not fit. I there a 35w 12v bulb that will fit? I have not found one.
    This is all new to me,any help I can get would be great.
    I looked for a post with these questions,but could not find any.
    You have 2 great lights there - Don't mess with it too much. I have the digital NightRider dual like you and a buddy has the 6V. I am assuming the 6V is NOT the digital headtrip (15 10 and 5 watt "modes")
    Your questions:
    1. That system was originally nicad 12V - You can run it with 12 Nimh (13.2V) and it will be awesome and brighter than it was before. I believe the soft start built in will protect the bulbs to a certain extent, but I have one that has been running for a year on the original bulbs at 13.2 and it's 8 years old total. The new batteries made it an awesome light again. It's heave compared to the new tech, but still a solid light.
    2. 13.2V NIMH - pack or bottle battery from batteryspace or allbattery and get the smart charger in a combo - I left the cables and connectors it came with to use with the charger and drilled a hole in the cap to use my niterider wiring. DO NOT use a 4 cell 14.8 with the digital - there have been reports of people destroying the electronics and if there is a risk, it's not worth it. If it were not the digital, I would say do it, but you have to get the battery with a poly switch to handle the spike in current when the light first turns on - stick with 13.2. here's mine:
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/mjzraz/BikeLight/photo#5157569301805709298"><img src="http://lh6.google.com/mjzraz/R5Nd9DqWt_I/AAAAAAAABII/7aUc55LjnWI/s288/IMG_7108.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/mjzraz/BikeLight">Bike Light</a></td></tr></table><table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/mjzraz/BikeLight/photo#5157569310395643906"><img src="http://lh4.google.com/mjzraz/R5Nd9jqWuAI/AAAAAAAABIQ/ABsJ7Z-zuS4/s288/IMG_7109.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/mjzraz/BikeLight">Bike Light</a></td></tr></table>

    3. Yes I would overvolt the 6V with 7.4V (assuming it's not the digital headtrip) and use a 2 cell li-ion pack and it weighs next to nothing and you can use it as a helmet mount or velcro the battery to the stem.
    4. You can, but not worth it - that battery will be 2X the cost of sticking with 7.4V
    35 watt question: I wouldn't bother - runtimes will go down. You can get a 10, 15, or 20 watt 6V bulb HERE.
    If I were you I would get 13.2 for the dual which when overvolted gives more light and makes your 32 watt more like 35-40 and get a 7.4V pack for the single light and use it as a helmet light and get a bunch of spare bulbs to have on hand or try out.

  52. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Great! But you left me with a few questions,
    1- Do you have it set up so that both lights work on high, or switch from the 10 to the 20? I`m building a dual PS (bar mount) now and thinking that it would be a convenient way to compare bulbs if I can switch them independently.
    2- Do you know the beam spread of your 10W, or at least whether it`s flood or spot?
    3-Any chance you tried wrapping foil tape on the Phillips like somebody else (Scar?) did a few pages back?
    4- What sizes are the battery packs and which did you use for the ride you mentioned above? Your run time seems pretty good to me unless it was a monster battery.
    I'm sorry, I wrote that post in a bit of a hurry... Yes, on high I run both bulbs. I don't think I need to, but I did anyway. The 20w by itself is pretty bright. I couldn't find any 10w spots, is the Blulb Bright brand, $2 bulb from Lightbulb Emporium. I think's its like a 21 or 24 degree spread. I do intend to very soon get the same Sylvania bulb I have now in a spot version for my high beam. I didn't mess with any foil tape or anything on the Phillips bulbs, the Sylvania's are just far superior to mess around with the Phillips. And my battiers are Powerizer 2600mAh AA's from Batteryspace. 24 cells in series parallel makes for 14.4v 5200mAh pack. On the 20w by itself, I figure I should get 2.5hr runtime, but only get 2hrs, 1:45 on high (Both lights) but only get 1:15. Maybe the cells need to be exersized more, I dunno. Mabye AA's just don't deliver max mAh under higher current loads... There was a post with discharge rates of AA batteries on candlepower forums, and it looked like the effective mAh rating goes down under higher current loads...


    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  53. #253
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    bmadau - Nice looking builds, very clean!! Looks like you will probably be building more after others see them.

    I wonder if the supplier of the pond lights saw an increase in sales for 2007 and is wondering why? Keep up the great work everybody.

  54. #254
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    How hot of a soldering gun do you guys use to make your battery packs? Oh yeah, and nice build by the way.

  55. #255
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    I did a google search on building RC battery packs and found a fair amount of information, a lot of it contradictory. There seem to be two factions on the subject, the solder clan vs. the spot weld clan. The sodler guys say you can get away with it if you use at least a 45watt soldering iron with a chisel tip, and only apply the heat to the batter for no more than 5 secs. In reality, it only takes one or two. Then quickly touch the soldered area with a cold piece of metal, like a screwdriver (I used pliers, the same tool I was using to hold the connectors in place while soldering). The spot weld crowd imo are the elitists, because they say you need a $400 batter spot welding device that almost isntantly zaps tabs onto the ends of the batteries w/o any heat propagating to the insides of the batteries.

    Now, I could not quickly find a 45 watt soldering iron wiht a chisel tip. So, I took a gamble and bout the biggest one they had at my local Radio Shack, 40w wiht a pointy tip. I bought a spare tip and ground it to a chisel point. I had no trouble wiht this setup. I could apply solder to the ends of the batteries in less than two seconds. It was a tedius job, but fun in a sadistic kind of way. Building three battery packs, 72 cells, that's a lot of soldering. I mentioned in another post I learned to be cautious the hard way. It's hard to realize that 24 AA cells packs quite a whallop. I inadvertantly let one of my connector pieces roll under my battery pack, shorting two of the cells. One cell went into thermal runaway, and I just tossed it outside until it settled down. So, I lost four cells, but the rest of the pack seems fine. The simple solution? Cover the bottom end of the battery pack wiht wide masking tape to prevent shorts. Or just keep a tidy work space, but still, it only takes 30 secs. to cover the bottom the battery pack with tape- 3 days and $$ to order new cells.

    So, here's how the process went- first, grind the ends of the batteries slightly with the dremel, supposedly helps the solder adhere. Then, quickly tin all the ends of the batteries. I found this easier after hot glueing all the cells together in their proper arrangement. Now, take that 50' wire that came with your pond light, and strip 12" or mor sections at a time, twist it up, and then apply solder to the length of it. Now, cut that up into about a million 3/4" lengths. Now's the fun part, pick one of your connector pieces up with your favorite needle nose pliers (I used my Leatherman Charge with the Ti handles, 'cuz Ti is cool), hold it in place, and touch with the soldering iron- it will melt the solder in the wire and on the tinned end of the battery almost immediately sticking it in place. Remove soldering iron, and press down with cold point of needle nose pliers to suck out residual heat. Repeat, over and over again. Be certain of how you are wiring. It's a lot harder to remove a misplaced connector than you may think. Good luck!

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  56. #256
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    I hope I didn't kill my batteries because I tried to solder with a radio shack cheapo soldering iron and it did nto go so well. I deffinately went past the five second limit on a couple of batteries. How do you know if you killed the battery? My charger is coming in the mail right now so I guess I can wait and try to charge it and see what happens.

  57. #257
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    A pic of my battery pack after soldering... I couldn't tell you (cowens677) how to tell if you damaged a cell... What wattage soldering iron were you using? Did you use a chisel point?



    BM
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  58. #258
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    I picked up a light for Harbor Fright this morning.
    (Tip: Go to their web site before you buy anything from them. Many times items are on sale on-line but not in the stores. Print the page with the sale price and the store will honor it when you take it in. I saved $4 on the light.)
    Making a simple bolt-on bar mount for it.
    img_0766_sm.jpg

    img_0767_sm.jpg

    img_0768_sm.jpg

    I love having access to a metal shop!
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  59. #259
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    This looks like fun...I'm going to build a dual pond scum bar mount setup...

  60. #260
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    Hmmm... That tubing with braze ons looks strangely familiar, Shiggy. How is it going to mount? Good tip for looking online first. The pondlights run $12 at my local HF- maybe I`d get it for the standard $8 by printing the online page sale or no sale.

    Side note: If HF can sell the whole shebang even for twelve bucks, it ought to be about the price of a bag of potatoes if they sold the housing without all the crap that gets thrown out. I wonder why somebody doesn`t market plastic MR16 and MR11 housings for DIYers. They could even go whole hog and make it with a more mount freindly style, then ship the silly thing without having to pay shipping a heavy transformer, a zillion feet of lamp cord, a useless no-glass bulb, and all those stupid little colored filters. Probably be a fairly limited market, but I imagine they would be able to move them consistantly. Personally, I would prefer less even at the "low enough" price that it currently runs just to avoid feeling guilty about sending 80% of my purchase straight to the landfill.
    Recalculating....

  61. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Hmmm... That tubing with braze ons looks strangely familiar, Shiggy. How is it going to mount?
    I will post a pic tomorrow. I already have the mount on a bike for a different light.

    Good tip for looking online first. The pondlights run $12 at my local HF- maybe I`d get it for the standard $8 by printing the online page sale or no sale.
    That is what I did. No questions asked. They just made the price change.

    BTW it seems you should be able to make a battery chargers or at least light tester from the transformer.
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  62. #262
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    Good Morning shiggy. I recognize you as a Disciple of Dirt member (sometimes I can be slow). Been working with Sasquatch and Albee and some lights, you may have even seen them. I know you shot me a PM about some info. I spent way too much time the other day surfing thru Disciple of Dirt ride photos in the Oregon forums. Wow! You guys have some great looking riding up there and a tight group of riders. Riding, camping, holiday get togethers, trail building - that is so cool. Just wanted to say hello, if you ever have any questions or anything shot me a PM.

  63. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Hmmm... That tubing with braze ons looks strangely familiar, Shiggy. How is it going to mount? ...
    The pics.

    I made the clamp on mount for a TrailTech HID. I leave the mount on the (light) bar and remove the light by removing the single bolt.
    img_0777_sm.jpg

    The Pond Scum with my mount hardware works better on the other eyelet. I could use both lights on the same mount.
    img_0781_sm.jpg

    img_0782_sm.jpg

    img_0783_sm.jpg
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  64. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar
    Good Morning shiggy. I recognize you as a Disciple of Dirt member (sometimes I can be slow). Been working with Sasquatch and Albee and some lights, you may have even seen them. I know you shot me a PM about some info. I spent way too much time the other day surfing thru Disciple of Dirt ride photos in the Oregon forums. Wow! You guys have some great looking riding up there and a tight group of riders. Riding, camping, holiday get togethers, trail building - that is so cool. Just wanted to say hello, if you ever have any questions or anything shot me a PM.
    I learned about your efforts from Sas. I like your LED lights but it may be a while before I can get a set (or two or...). Would love to do an ultra-compact bar and helmet super system.
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  65. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Would love to do an ultra-compact bar and helmet super system.

    That's the system that Albee just got from Scar. 2 light heads (1 flood and 1 bar) and 3, 3 hour batteries. He took it out tonight, and was very pleased. Considering Albee typically runs 2 HIDs, it says alot that he thought the LED Amoeba lights were as bright or brighter, and a "better quality of light" than his regular set-up. I was running my Amoeba flood on my bars to compliment my L&M HID, and they work great together. Still, I'm tempted to dump the HID while I can, and get a 2nd Amoeba.

    Thanks again Scar, the Amoeba kicks butt!
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  66. #266
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    Alright, would anyone here be interested in just building me a light!?!
    I read through most of this thread, but to be honest, this kind of tech stuff just isn't my thing.
    I saw that some of you are building them for your friends, anyone looking for a new friend?!LOL!

    Seriously, anyone? PM me.

  67. #267
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    FYI - The pond light is listed on the Harbor Freight website right now for $7.99 http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47604. Print it out and take it to the store with you, they will honor the internet price. Good time to stock up for friends or spares.

  68. #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightnut
    Alright, would anyone here be interested in just building me a light!?!
    I read through most of this thread, but to be honest, this kind of tech stuff just isn't my thing.
    I saw that some of you are building them for your friends, anyone looking for a new friend?!LOL!

    Seriously, anyone? PM me.
    Tech stuff? AA batteries in a pair of ready made plastic holders or a couple of remote controlled car batteries, a tube of epoxy and an old reflector mount, a Dremel motor, a few crimp connectors from the local auto parts store if you don`t want to solder and you`re rolling. You don`t even need to put a switch in if you don`t want to mess with that. Just go for it!

  69. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Tech stuff? AA batteries in a pair of ready made plastic holders or a couple of remote controlled car batteries, a tube of epoxy and an old reflector mount, a Dremel motor, a few crimp connectors from the local auto parts store if you don`t want to solder and you`re rolling. You don`t even need to put a switch in if you don`t want to mess with that. Just go for it!
    Have you seen the number of posts on this stuff? Each one with a different link to a different supplier. And with as many variations of lights and set ups I've seen, my head is spinning!
    No thanks.

  70. #270
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    I have got one of my Pond Scum set-ups up for sale. It is just collecting dust. Check it out.

    http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...t=18548&cat=27

  71. #271
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    Added pictures to classified ad







    Classified ad - SOLD
    Last edited by scar; 04-09-2008 at 05:37 PM.

  72. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightnut
    Have you seen the number of posts on this stuff? Each one with a different link to a different supplier. And with as many variations of lights and set ups I've seen, my head is spinning!
    No thanks.
    That's why you have to read through the tread more than once, weed out the bad info, take notes on the good, and have at it. On my first time through this thread I though half was written in Greek, but it all worked out. It gets easier when you start buying a few components here and there...

    BM
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  73. #273
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    :d :d :d

  74. #274
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    Well I got to use my Pond Scums for the first time tonight (purchased the set above from scar, thanks scar!!!) and these things are bad ass!

    I ended up only using the one light (spot) most of the time and only switched the flood light on for faster downhills or when I was the front rider. These things are great.

    I think the only thing I would consider doing differently would be to mount the on/off button as a remote on the handlebar rather then mount it on the back of the light fixture.
    There were times as we approached a downhill section where I wanted to just use my thumb to click on the second light, but had to remove my hand from the grip and look down to push the button while riding at speed and this was a bit hairy to do.

    Mounting the button as close to my thumb on the bar so I could just hit it without looking or removing my hand would be sweet. I'll be working on that soon.

    Anyway, just wanted to give some feedback on these great lights. You da man scar! Thanks again!

  75. #275
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    Whiter bulbs?

    The light from my Pondscum lights is a bit yellowish, and I was wondering if I could get a whiter light by using a different bulb perhaps?

    Any suggestions?

    Don't get me wrong, I love these lights and how bright they are, I just thought if I could get a whiter light by simply switching out the bulbs for a different brand or something, I'd try it.

    Thanks.

  76. #276
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    Hey fightnut - The yellow color is inherit with all halogens. That is why HID beacame the rage for a while. Try running it at the recommended 12V's and you will really see the yellow. The whitest halogen bulb I ever ran was a JetLite MR11. They don't make a MR16 version. The bulb will get yellow as it gets older. Overvolting speeds up that aging process. May be time for some new bulbs.

    Here is some facts on MR16 Halogen bulbs for some lite reading -
    http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/programs/nlpi...6/abstract.asp

  77. #277
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    Li-Ion Battery for Pond Scum??

    I have become a very big fan of scar's Pond Scum concept but am having just one problem: the battery. Initially you suggested using a NiHm battery pack that would supply approx 1 - 1.5 hours burn time using two lamps. Later in this thread you wrote that you would have preferred to have used a Li-Ion battery pack. My goal is to have a 4 hour burn time and I also want a lighter, smaller battery pack. So, it seems I'm looking for a Li-Ion battery pack ~ but which one?

    Every Li-Ion battery pack I look at doesn't seem to want to play nice with the over-volting 14.4v system. I was hoping someone (scar?) may have figured this out already. This is the final obstacle in my way.

  78. #278
    I win.
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    You could go with something like this: 14.8V 5700mah

    The problem with the halogens is that they're power hungry. So finding a huge capacity battery to power two lights for 4 hours is going to be expensive and impractical. You could do it with one light but two might be a bit much.

    From my 5000 mah Nimh battery I get about 3 hours of usable light. Only problem is that it's a boat anchor. Weighs about 3 lbs and when strapped to my bike I can really feel it.

    Another possibility could be this battery: 14.8 4400 mah
    It's not prewired with a connector and finished off like the other one but it's a little cheaper and lighter as well. It has a 4.2 amp cut off compared to the other ones 7amp.

    If you have any more questions let us know!

    EDIT: Doh! Sorry just read this about the first linked battery
    # This battery is Regulated to 12V (working), 11.1V (cut-off). So it won't burn light bulb.
    Sorry about that but that makes it a no go for overvolting!
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  79. #279
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    Thumdar - Popper252 answered your question. I only suggested maybe using a Li-Ion battery without looking at the specs, sorry about that.

    Check your PM's, I have sent you some info on a possible solution to your lighting needs - the Amoeba

  80. #280
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    Very good information, thank you.

    I just got off the phone with BatterySpace.com and had a very good conversation with one of their reps. Man.., those people are pro's!

    Clearly the Li-Ion battery pack is the way to go. I wanted as much burn time as possible at the lightest size and weight. Of course I was going to need a charger as well so, this is the unit I just now bought:

    Polymer Li-Ion Pack: 14.8V 5700mAh (Trail-Tech Female plug) + 1.5A Smart Charger.

    The battery pack runs at 14.8v unregulated, comes with a charger, so, it was the logical choice. Since I'm building a Pond Scum system, I needed the right connector for the light cable, so.., I bought one of these, too.

    Connector:Trail-Tech Male Waterproof Coaxis Lockable Connector with 4' Coil Cord for Bike Light
    .

    Total damage with UPS ground shipping: $128.22.

    Yep ~ it's already becoming quite a bit more expensive then what I originally set out to achieve, but after all I've read, I think I'll be pleased with the result.
    Last edited by Thumdar; 09-12-2008 at 10:19 PM.

  81. #281
    I win.
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    Awesome and congrats!

    The great thing about those high capacity batteries is that if you ever decide like you want to go the LED route you can always transplant them later.

    That battery right there running 3 leds at 1000mah (full power) will last you 6.5 hours!!!

    Turn the leds down to 800mah (which is still really darn bright!!!) and you get almost 8 hours of run time.

    That's impressive!

    Although with 2 pond scums you'll be set for a very long time!
    09 Giant Anthem X3
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  82. #282
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    nice work people, GE make a 50W 15° bulb with double metal coating for lower loss which you can overvolt to ~16.8V to get a hell of alot of lumens (and heat) i used one to make a high beam once running from 14 NimH Sub C 3Ah's - just a thought if anyone wants a massive high beam.....

  83. #283
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Seems like just buying a cheap magicshine would be just as cost effective and probably a better set up

    I DO respect the creativity though..

  84. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk
    Seems like just buying a cheap magicshine would be just as cost effective and probably a better set up

    I DO respect the creativity though..

    You do realize how long ago this thread was started, don't you? WAAAAY before the magishine was ever conceived.

  85. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightnut
    You do realize how long ago this thread was started, don't you? WAAAAY before the magishine was ever conceived.
    And I bet there are pondscums still happily working 3 years on!

  86. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit
    And I bet there are pondscums still happily working 3 years on!
    Yep, mine still works.........and it's for sale.

  87. #287
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightnut
    You do realize how long ago this thread was started, don't you? WAAAAY before the magishine was ever conceived.
    Besides that, putting your own hand into it is much more rewarding than writing the check and opening the box.
    Magic Shine? Apparently it works, but what fun would that be?
    Recalculating....

  88. #288
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    I love my version of the pondscum after 3 seasons still going strong. one of the brightest lights on the trails. $125 for complete system (bars and helmet)

    Plus since you built it, ya know how to fix the thing after going a$$ over teakettle.
    Titus X Carbon
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  89. #289
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    looking for a dual pond scum light set up anyone interested in making/selling to me?

  90. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by AeR0
    looking for a dual pond scum light set up anyone interested in making/selling to me?

    PM sent.

  91. #291
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    I love my Pond Scum light. It took a bit of engineering but I came up with a simpler and more sturdy handlebar mount (The purchased mount broke when I crashed). I just used the old handlebar reflector mount, removed the reflector and it has two holes. Drilled two holes through the light housing an installed socket cap screws. It doesn't rotate which is good cause it doesn't rotate while I'm riding. Will post up pics later.

  92. #292
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    Led?

    Has anybody out there converted their pondscum to led with a MR16 LED?

    What is the brightest MR 16 led for this purpose???

    Thanks
    Titus X Carbon
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  93. #293
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekkamaki View Post
    Has anybody out there converted their pondscum to led with a MR16 LED?

    What is the brightest MR 16 led for this purpose???

    Thanks
    Thought about this myself. I still use one of these for my commuter, and a longer burn time would be nice.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  94. #294
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    IT looks like Harbor freight stopped selling this light fixture after so many years on it's shelf. Has any one come up with a replacement housing ?

  95. #295
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    Ah memories

    Looks like they finally got overtaken by LED's.


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