Building LED turn signals

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by adamtheha, May 18, 2008.

  1. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    I want to be seen! Here in Alberta, it's a requirement to have a brake light...but where do you get one for a bike? Well, this might be a solution. With an onboard 12v battery, that I'm going to put on a nightly trickle charge, I'm going to build a very simple system using stuff from ebay. I found a flashing light hub, that has two outputs. I'm going to wire left and right into each output, with a switch that controls which side gets power (depending on which way I want to turn).
    For the brake light, I'm going to use a brake lever from an e-bike that will illuminate the lamp when I brake. If I can get it working, I'll post some pics and a video tag with instructions. Everyone should have something like this, for safety reasons...
     

  2. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Check out some of the stuff on http://www.electricscooterparts.com/index.html
    Personally I dont like buying from ebay very much and I've had great luck with that company, They sell the SLA batteries, smart chargers, brake levers with switches, fuses, wire, connectors etc etc etc. I've had a lot of luck with their products their stuff is definitely as advertised and they're quick with answering questions.
    I'd say it would be really easy to wire up a 3 way switch with center being off and right or left activating a series loop with a simple led flasher module and led indicator light.

    Let us know how it works out. Turn signals aren't a requirement here but I'd sure like to invest in the setup just for the safety and coolness factor. Hand signals can be dangerous some times.
     
  3. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    Hey thanks, I didn't realize that they had all of that other stuff. I ordered the brake with switch, the left signal cluster, a 24v flasher, and a toggle switch. I got the signal lights off ebay. I'm thinking about rigging some flashing red and blues just for fun at work (I'm in Law Enforcement), but not for the general public.
     
  4. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Thats sweet are you a motoredBike riding cop?
    Make a police MB, deck it out! That'd be the cooolest!
     
  5. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    I'm not a police officer, I'm a Sheriff. Here in Alberta, there is a distinction. Hard to tell though, we dress like em'. I agree that it would kick some serious @$$.
     
  6. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I lived in PEI for a couple years a little while back. You've got a great country up there. Never been to Alberta though, I heard it was colder than PEI... burrrr.

    If you're having any issues wiring this stuff up just post. Remember to get or borrow a multimeter just to make sure your polarities are correct, especially on the charging port. With the right resistors and other goodies you can wire just about anything up that you could on a car. You better post pictures for us if you get it working :)
    ttyl!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2008
  7. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    Ok, I got a bunch of stuff in the mail, and I also visited Canadian tire. I've learned more than I ever thought I would about electrical connections.
    I have a brake lever with switch, a handlebar grip with signal switch, horn and headlights.
    I bought a couple signal flasher devices from the store, and I've got a couple LED lights on the way.
    I don't want to buy a 12v battery, the cost is ridiculous, can I just connect a bunch of smaller batteries in series to make 12v? Could I use a 9v and 2 x 1.5v batteries? I guess I could buy 2 x 6v lantern batteries. I don't expect my setup to draw much amperage, probably less than one regular light would draw. The lights have resistors, but I will be wiring a 5 amp fuse on the hot wire from the battery pack.
    Anything I might have missed?
    If this works, it would be brake lights and signals for about $70.
     
  8. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

  9. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I wouldn't suggest mixing different kinds of batteries, the 2 6v lantern batts in series will last a very long time but are very large. Given that you want to run a horn large batteries are the best way to go without going rechargeable. A good SLA battery may be $30-40 but if cared for will probably last just about as long as your engine.
    Sounds like you have a good handle on things. Just be sure your polarities are correct and doublecheck everything before making the system "hot." use good insulating connectors and insulate every other connection that just might get shorted.
    Post questions here if you're having problems, we'll definitely be able to figure it out as a group.
     
  10. JohnnyLoves

    JohnnyLoves Member

    I've found the right kind of cordless drill battery can be picked up for 20 bucks, and hooked up for 2 dollars with some simple insulated alligator clips.

    Just in case anyone was looking for a cheap rechargable.
     
  11. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    Thanks just the sort of intelligent thinking that has me addicted to this website!
     
  12. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    I did it! I built my lights and mounted them on the bike! I'm very pleased with the result, but I have some more work to do to get them perfect. I want to solder a cove for them, and seal them from rain and water and vibration. Please let me know what you think, and any ways I could improve them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfjzHUHev0s
     
  13. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    Nice NIce NICE!!! Glad you got them working they look really bright. It's a bummer about the cost of those lantern batteries though. Augi sent this to me in a PM it looks like a good price for a 7ah battery and charger.
    http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=HAN19


    Now about your lights. did you just have to wire up the flasher module with the lights in series and just install a 3 way selector switch or what? This is probably my next accessory after I install my plate light.
     
  14. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    Yes, basically...I bought a moped handgrip from electricscooterparts.com and it has a headlight switch, horn and signal switch. I wired the signal flasher into both sides, since only one side is going at a time. The wiring is a mess, but I've sealed and siliconed it since then. I'd like the back LED to serve as a brake eventually. I'm thinking of designing another system that uses two red lights as both brakes and signals, like a car. You could accomplish this with a 3 way toggle switch mounted on the handlebars. I don't know how to draw a wiring diagram, or I'd do it for you.
    The signals have to be regular halogen lights or the system won't flash with a regular flasher. An electronic flasher is available, but costs more.
     
  15. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    hi adam..

    like yourself messing around making bike street legal aslo using a 12 volt system, if you need a horn go out and get a car horn any bicycle horns available on the market just not loud enough.... be warned though the 12 volt horn even in low tone has 105 descibles... ouch my ears are still ringing will have to dampen the noise just a tinnie little bit.... i had some parts from an electric kit lying around and have been able to use the prewired brake levers to work with my brake light.

    thanks for the thread its helping me get the final parts of my bike in place , hopefully one day this year i will finally get around to putting the setup together.....
     
  16. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I used a scooter horn from electricscooterparts (the silver 12v one) its rated at 105db and works great. It's very compact and just as loud as my car horn. I wouldn't dampen mine, the point of a horn is to be heard. You dont have to draw a diagram though, just letting me know it was on a loop with the flasher was good enough. I'd probably personally buy some 12v rated signal lights as they're supposed to operate with regular car flashers but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Glad to know your experience with that vendor was as good as mine.
     
  17. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    I did purchase the 12 volt lights, but any LED lights will work with both 6 volt and 12 volt. They just won't be as bright. There was a problem with one item that I received, the brake lever with electric switch was wired so that it shut off the circuit when the lever was pulled...exactly the opposite of what you would want! They did offer me a refund when I brought it up, which vindicates them in my books.
    I bought a motorcycle horn off eBay for $15, so now I'm gonna be kicking @$$ on the streets! I'll be able to honk back when cagers harrass me for not riding my bike on the sidewalk.
     
  18. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I used the lashout double lever. I just bought http://www.electricscooterparts.com/images3/LEV-41L.jpg for my next project thanks for the heads up about the switch being open when squeezed. I'll have to check these ones out to make sure they don't have the same circuitry.
     
  19. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    just wondering will you have to put a set of indicators up front as well or do you just them on the back. I ordered that horn from scooter store all i can say on that it has got to be quieter than the car horn even though it has the same db rating,

    My neighbor came over and i almost blew his ear drums out .. we did come up with an idea of putting it on a piece of 4 foot pvc pipe and anyone who tried to laugh at me with their hood or windows down, revenge would be mine.....

    i was real lucky with my rear brake light i had some brake handles from an electric kit i had but never used, wired them up with a $5 walmart trailer light and it works perfectly.
     
  20. adamtheha

    adamtheha Member

    Yeah, my next project is front indicator lights, but one thing at a time, I guess. I can't wait to hear my motorcycle horn!
     
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