A new turn signal/brake light project

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by bigbikeseat, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    I been working on this for several months now. It is a turn signal kit that uses a 6 volt front wheel shimano dynamo hub that recharges a 1800mah 6 volt battery pack. It has an automatic charging circuit. The turn signals use a 6 volt 24 led. The front are amber, and the rear are red. When the brakes are applied, both rear lights come on, but the front amber lights don't. If the brakes are applied, and a turn signal is applied, then 1 rear brake light stays on, and the opposite light flashes. Both front and rear lights flash as turn signals. It works just a like car. The flasher is a 555 timer. The circuit has several pc mini relays rated at 1 amp. With the running lights on and brake lights on, it draws about 750ma. The motorized bicycle turn signal switch was bought on ebay for about 20 bucks. The kit also has a red brake light indicator led that lets you know that the rear brake lights are working. On the mini project box mounted on the middle of the handlebars , it has both left and right green led turn signal indicators that help you to find the off position of the turn signal slide switch.
     

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Terrific! Sounds like a nice set-up.

    You ought to give some photos of key components, or other ways of identifying them, so that those who want to can follow in your footsteps.
     
  3. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    I'm going to put up some of the circuits later....the 555 timer/ flasher, and the automatic charger, but right now I have the prototype mounted on the bike. I'm going to road test it for a little while to make sure it is seaworthy. I'm hoping to have a printed circuit board made sometime in the future. I want to make sure the relays can take the street pounding of the bike. I want to get the cost down too. The front hub dynamo/ disc brake is $250 plus. I want to make my own 6v led lights too, maybe $10 a piece. The ones I have cost $140 for four. With the cost of the relays, resistors and IC's and turn signal switch, this project can easily top $475. If a battery is used instead of the dynamo hub, a tremendous savings can be had. The dynamo hub would be useful for a long ride or night ride . Hopefully I can get the price down to $100 for the whole thing, without the dynamo hub.
     
  4. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    here's a rough copy of the flasher circuit 140408_0002.jpg
     
  5. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    Here's a copy of the automatic battery charger. It is not my design, but I was fortunate to find it on the internet. When it reaches a preset voltage, the relay kicks off, disconnecting the charging circuit. It kicks on at 3.5v, and kicks off at 5.75v, just the way I set it up. SWAGATAM INNOVATIONS is where this circuit came from. 140408_0003.jpg The transistor I used is a 2n 2222.
     
  6. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    Here's a picture of the turn signal switch bought on ebay. 140408_0005.jpg
     
  7. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    Here is a very very rough copy of the switching circuits used to activate the LED lights. The mini pc relays have built in diodes, so I didn't show them on the schematic. 2 relays (4 and 5) had to be added because the turn signal switch was a spst device, and it was not compatible with what I had in mind. 140408_0006.jpg
     
  8. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Is the six volt system bright enough for day light use?
     
  9. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    I built a 12v system the first time around, and it was very bright. The batteries tend to be much larger and heavier, and there is no way to recharge with a dynamo hub, because I could not find one that was 12v. I opted for the 6v system because the battery pack can be small (AA size), and it recharges quickly. The 6v system, with the store bought led lights that I have, seem to be very directional, subject to up and down tilt. The light intensity varies with the angle that you look at it. That's why I want to make my own led lights with reflectors behind the LED's. The amber LED lights don't shine as strong as the red Led lights. Another obstacle is the .7v voltage drop due to the diodes that each LED light has . It is necessary due to the interaction between the lights. Static glitches occur if the diodes aren't used. The brake switch also needs a .05 uf cap to eliminate glitches also. So the answer to your question is The 6v red LED's work in daylight, and the 6v amber ones are marginal. These lights I bought are small. With larger lights, I believe the problem can be overcome.
     
  10. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    I don't know much about caps, resistors, diodes, switching circuits, etc. And I use hand signals for turning. But I did build a very simple 12v lighting system with a battery and a generator to charge it. I will lay out the components the best I can. I guess I'll start with the generator. It's a 12v bottle generator, the kind that spins off the tire. I ran the positive wire from the generator to a scooter regulator. The regulator converts the genny's AC to DC. Then I ran a wire from the regulator to a power distributor, used in car audio, with a 4A inline fuse. The battery, headlight and brake light are all connected to the power distributor as well. The brake light is controlled via a brake lever with a built-in switch, so it's probably already got a cap in it. The headlight is controlled via an automotive toggle switch. The brake lever originally housed a wiring harness that controlled the brake light, headlight via a high/low beam, turn signals and horn. I gutted the wiring harness and dremeled the crap out of the housing until the toggle switch would fit in there. The toggle part sticks out of the hole where the horn button used to be. All components are grounded to the frame. I also made a custom battery gauge. It's the kind designed to fit into a boat dashboard. I took apart an old tail light and epoxied the gauge into the back part of the tail light housing. The gauge has an on/off switch which is a sp/st rocker switch I ordered from sick bike parts. I added the on/off switch for two reasons. One, even though the gauge is only supposed to draw less than a milliamp per hour, I don't want to take the chance of it draining my battery. Two, I don't have to stare at it while driving. The battery is a 12v, 1.2Ah SLA battery. I chose a small capacity battery for two reasons. One, it is small and lightweight. I don't know if you've ever seen a Whizzer battery, but it's the same size as a Whizzer battery. This enabled me to fit my battery on my luggage rack and slide it partway under my seat. It is a little less than half the width of my luggage rack, and I have it secured with a large hose clamp. Two, a smaller capacity battery charges more quickly, so with daily use, it pretty much stays above 13v. It holds a charge well. I have not used my bike all winter, nor have I brought the battery inside to charge, and it's still at 12.5v. I've compared my onboard battery meter to a digital multimeter, and it's accurate within (+/-) 0.1v. Hey, I'm not trying to one-up your project here, just trying to give you some ideas and inspiration for future projects or if you decide to change this one up a bit at some point. Good luck with your project!
     
  11. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    The total cost for my system would be between $160 and 200. Some of the components were given to me for free, such as the brake light housing which is actually an old yamaha turn signal, and the brake lever. Cost of the brake lever and turn signal depends on where you find them, one of my buddies found the lever at a moped/scooter junkyard, and another buddy of mine found the turn signal at a flea market. The power distributor was also given to me, but the most I've seen them go for is about $30 on ebay. I added that into the estimated cost. Granted I don't have turn signals, and that would make the system a bit more expensive, but probably still a lot less than $450 or so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  12. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    I wanted to build the whole thing from scratch. Here are some pictures of it. 140409_0001.jpg 140409_0002.jpg 140409_0003.jpg 140409_0004.jpg 140409_0005.jpg
     
  13. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Ok well, like I said, just trying to share ideas. I usually only think building from scratch is a good idea if it's cheaper than buying pre-made, or if you can get individual components of better quality than pre-made. You said you were worried about some of the components handling a beating, just saying, my system has been put together since last summer, and I only had trouble with two components. One was the first toggle switch I was using, couldn't keep a good connection due to vibrations. Replaced it with an automotive quality switch, no problems since. The other was the first bottle genny, that's another story but suffice to say it's replacement is holding up just fine. It looks like you've done a good job, but unless you're planning to market this setup and the prototype is a test bed, you've gone to some unnecessary trouble and spent a good deal more than you needed to. If you are planning to market that setup, good luck. Very few people here are going to buy a $400 lighting system for a $250 homemade moped. You're better off marketing to hipsters. Not trying to be rude, just telling you the truth. If you can cut the price in half, you might get a few more customers. But considering the fact that a guy like me can build a lighting system without much prior knowledge of circuitry, I'd say the chances are slim. It took me some time to figure everything out, but I did it. I started with two r/c car batteries wired in series and an incandescent bulb for the brake light. Switched those out for an led and an sla battery. It worked better, but I got tired of wall-charging every so many days and decided to build the charging system. My point is, imho, most mab enthusiast will probably buy pre-made lights that run on batteries, such as the cree brand that's becoming ever more popular, or if they want to go all out like I did, they'll do their research, scrounge whatever parts they can, and buy the rest pre-made. There is a certain percentage of people in this market who will buy expensive items, collectors, show-piece quality builders and those who use their money to build fleets of fancy toys. But that's not the majority here. Of course, if you're building it for yourself, then I'm sure you've got your reasons for wanting to do it this way. Either way, I don't mean to offend. Just trying to share ideas and insight.
     
  14. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    The system I made is not like anything that is available on the market, or elsewhere. It is too complicated. The main advantage to it is that it doesn't need a separate brake light. It has 2 rear lights...not 3. When I ride it, I know that no one has a turn signal system like mine. If someone wanted to buy my system, I would have to warranty it, but why would I start a new business venture if I am going to retire next year?? I'm past the days of scrimping and saving. $200, $300, $500, or $1000 for a turn signal system...I don't care. And I don't care if some one doesn't want to spend $400 for a turn signal system because I understand.
     
  15. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    140411_0001.jpg Here's a copy of the shimano dynamo 6v 3watt hub circuit. This is a better charging device than the cheap bottle generators that wear your tires out when they were used in the 1950's. This circuit is for the serious riders that need a solid source of power for their bikes.
     
  16. liamo79

    liamo79 New Member

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  17. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    I get such a good feeling when I see a MB with turn signals. The automobile drivers do pay attention to them too. Does yours have brake lights, or do both flash together? I guess its time to do an update on my project. The dynamo generator schematic I posted needed a bridge rectifier connected directly to the 6V dynamo hub. Then the 6.2V zener, then the 470 uf capacitor.. I'm close to having the PC board finalized by futurelec. The PC relays passed the shock test. I gave them a real good vibration and shock test. No failure for the whole year.
     
  18. liamo79

    liamo79 New Member

    No brake light yet but in th he pipe line, not good with wires and stuff but it seems to work, any idea how to make lights flash, at the moment it just a push button mechanism
     
  19. bigbikeseat

    bigbikeseat Member

    Do you have a 6v or 12v battery? You will need a flasher circuit. At this point, it will start to get technical. Look for a automobile schematic for the wiring diagram. You will have to go with a separate brake light ,and separate turn signal to keep it simple. With the brake light, you will need a brake light switch that connects to the rear brake cable.
     
  20. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    I used a $5 turn signal flasher from autozone for my turn signals. no need for a complicated 555 timer circuit
     
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