steampunk meets ghetto.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    steampunk meets ghetto.

    $75 (total for both units on one bike)
    2x Cree R2, ~440 lumens. ~3hr runtime (more testing on that soon, it runs for a good bit more than 3, not sure how much of that is really usable light for trail riding though).

    Price includes all physical materials, batteries, and seat wedge.

    The 1/2 PVC pipe joiner got too hot, so a fan was added, that just let it make the ride home from work before overheating. Then that was scrapped in favor of copper. It does not go into thermal protection now, and stays at a reasonable temperature. I tried much thicker brass... the only other thing you might get away with is aluminum piping if you can find it. I would have had to order it McMaster-Carr style.

    The copper pipe is 1" dia. and it fist DealExtreme SKU 11836 (not 11386, sorry) almost exactly. It's also about 4 inches long, as this length seemed to be the longest amount that got hot to the touch in 30 minutes. Beyond that length it just didn't seem like it would accomplish anything. Aluminum foil wadding was used to make a tight fit, as was 8guage grounding wire wrapped around the driver/emitter's heatsink.

    A sub-mini toggle switch is used for on/off (each light is wired completely independently). I have rubber covers that I will have to silicone caulk into place (since they only had em for mini toggle, not sub-mini, and the pipe surface is round anyways). I think you'll find mini toggles quite the hard fit.

    An additional hole is drilled behind the switch, a half cm from the very tail end for a zip tie to fasten the wire knot, so it doesn't pull on the solder. This could be caulked too if you care that much. It could also be electrical taped. The ass end is not sealed at the moment, but someday I might make it more weatherproof (including a lens at the front). For now the canned air duster keeps it in shape.

    A conduit hanger fastened to a reflector mount holds the head assembly. In this case a 1inch conduit hanger is used, but that's with the aid of the rubber inserts from the failed PVC joiner (it DOES make it nice, but it's an unecesary cost, go with 3/4 inch hangers for a direct fit). I had to purchase the wingnuts separately (I think you'll find that an acceptable cost) as they came with hex nuts. The unit is now "quick release" if you mount it on a commuter, and are worried that someone is dumb enough to steal on of these pieces... This also allows for both lateral and vertical adjustment.

    The wiring is 18 guage irradiated PVC from some electronics supply store, JB Saunders (where the switches and battery holders are from). The connectors are also from there, 30 cents a piece. They felt snug, and look like they'll keep the elements out of where they mate, to some extent. The back ends could stand to be caulked.

    the wiring is just twisted (by me) pair, wrapped around the frame tubes til it gets to the seat wedge, where a 4AA holder has the leads soldered to the 9-volt-style connectors, and then is zip-tied so they don't pull off. The holder is then wrapped with electrical tape in a special twist-pattern so it doesn't stick to the batteries, but does cover the connectors and solder, preventing a short. Then they just get tossed into the seat wedge. The batteries are 2650mAh NiMH Duracells. Cheap. 4 per light, in series. could get more run time by putting two of those in parallel, or upping the voltage and using 8 all in one holder, who knows, who cares, I'll just carry some spares in a pocket somewhere.

    I have and eviscerated laptop lithium ion pack (4500mAh total at 14.4v, or basically 8, 3.6v ~2000mAh cells--yeah theres 4 of one type and 4 of another) that I will eventually use for beastly runtime, but I'm gonna have to put together a charger on a breadboard, and right now I just don't need that kind of runtime. NiMH AAs are LIGHT.

    The trail photos are from West Magnolia. I will admit I doctored the levels a little bit, because my cellphone camera is just SHITE. But I don't think they're irrepresentative of how it looks. The trail drops in the distance and the hotspots are hitting the trees about 12 feet off the ground... I can get some better pictures with a real camera later, maybe compare them to the Subie projectors.... which are briight. I don't think comparing it to the brights--although a more similar beam pattern--is really fair.

    I just saw the DealExtreme P7 bikelight (complete solution) after building this... after hearing about that **** breaking down and needing repair I don't feel AS bad about these. But these ARE R2s and so should get more bang for your battery.

    No machine shop or milling equipment was used in this fabrication. Just a coping-saw/hacksaw, and a drill. You might find some fine rasps helpful too. I left the mig welder and other **** in Chicago...this more resembles plumbing than engineering.
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    Last edited by EmTee; 06-26-2009 at 11:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    Those brackets look abit sharp if you go over / into the bars I'd mount them underneath the bars personally, I do this with all lights keeps them safer in crashes to.

  3. #3
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    Ghetto indeed, but if works in the dark then Extra points for using what's on hand, and keeping it cheap!

    I didn't catch what driver and optic you're using? (DX sku#11386 is a battery)

    I used the same batteries in my 2 x Q5 light with 1A drivers, but found they got hot....couldn't handle the high discharge rate. The fine people here pointed me to the white-topped Duracell 2000mA AAs. Less capacity but they can handle a much higher discharge rate (and they don't run down on their own like regular NiMH's).

    JZ

    edit: agree with Turveyd...the clamps look scary. If you flipped the plastic handlebar clamps, then used hose clamps (like in first picture) with the screw clamp thingy underneath, maybe, that might work....maybe?

    I like the theory of running lights under the bars....out of the way, protected, closer to the ground for better trail detail. But I've never been able to get it to work out on my bike....cables are always in the way.
    Last edited by Jim Z in VT; 06-26-2009 at 07:19 AM.
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  4. #4
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    That's 11836, sorry, fixed above.

    Yes, indeed the cables are in the way down there, I wanted to mount under the stem, and other things, but the way it is here is the only thing that works at the moment... I don't like it completely, and if I can figure something else out I'll use it. I don't think I can really grind those any smoother/safer, as they're already rounded, it's their low thickness that makes them slicey... but on the other hand the mounts aren't that strong, and if I hit my chest against them they'd just break off or slip downward... my face... we'll try to keep that away from them...?

    This is only beta.... alpha was the white pipe... not so great.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    I like the theory of running lights under the bars....out of the way, protected, closer to the ground for better trail detail. But I've never been able to get it to work out on my bike....cables are always in the way.
    I used a scope mount four the body and a weaver rail on a cateye mount to push my light out past the cables. The pic shows the light put all the way out there, but I don't have to put it out that far to keep the cables out of the way. I can have the light all the way back and the weaver rail does a good job of keeping the cables out of the light's beam. The rail was about 5 bucks as was the cateye stuff.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Z in VT View Post
    edit: agree with Turveyd...the clamps look scary. If you flipped the plastic handlebar clamps, then used hose clamps (like in first picture) with the screw clamp thingy underneath, maybe, that might work....maybe?

    I like the theory of running lights under the bars....out of the way, protected, closer to the ground for better trail detail. But I've never been able to get it to work out on my bike....cables are always in the way.
    Just wanted to add, 2 years+ later, that these things are still around, and that often I am too lazy to take them off during day rides, and they hold up okay. One of the head units (reflector, emitter etc) came right out of the tubes once, but it was still completely attached to the wires. Though very early on, probably back in '09 one of the reflectors unscrewed from the base after it dangled out. I did some trail running and actually recovered the reflector. I've put some seam grip along with the aluminum foil to hold it in, haven't really had that problem again.

    Now, in regards to lowering the lights, still haven't really come up with anything to move them, would if I could, but back out here in IL I've had more pressing stuff like welding things to trailers, rally cars etc. But as far as lowering the lights, I'd say bad idea. You get more shadows as "detail" but you have trouble seeing over crests and into dips and things to really know what you're looking at. Why do 4x4's have light bars on top?

    I'd consider something bright on helmet too, at this point, like a Dinotte or an imitation, if only because stopping and pointing your bike down the OTHER way the trail goes---"hmm wonder what's down that way?"---is kinda annoying. Seeing my mounting designs, I'm not gonna allow myself to fabricate something I stick on my head...

  7. #7
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    Nice set up!

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