My Lighting Project So Far

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Stoltzee, May 25, 2013.

  1. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

  2. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Tail License.jpg Battery Rectifier.jpg

    Going to have to clean up the wiring, but for now.

    Light Bike.jpg
    RadioShack® 8A/400V Full-Wave Bridge Rectifiers
    Item#: 2062583

    I bought a 1 inch x 3 foot piece of steel at Lowe's for $6.00. You can get different size's also to use for brackets.

    I'm working on front fender mounts like the old Harley s had in case I do ride in the rain. The bikes getting heavier though.

    I used rubberized undercoating on the rear fender, and still haven't seen a crack. The front fender I hesitated on, and developed a crack.

    I used heater hose for the engine mounting, which can be super glued in pieces to adjust up, down, forward, back. I don't have any vibration

    with the 4 stroke. Okay a little, but not like it was when the engine wasn't braced on top.

    Sniff your exhaust. Lean will tingle your nose and make the engine run smooth. Now turn the screw out till it starts to smell. 1/4 to 1/2 turn.

    Great I'm developing proper torque now. I can tell, because the drive belt slips when I gun it.

    I think I can still do 30 + mph's until I put the saddlebags on then its 31 mph tops. I don't want to go any faster anyway. If I was smart I

    would move to a larger sprocket, which would help pull the load, and get up the hills better also.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  3. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    8 Mile test Today

    I rode my bike 8 miles today with the alternator engaged, and the lights on. When I got home the lights were about the same brightness, so I guess the one wire to the rectifier charges OK.

    The light kit, battery, rectifier, and tail cost $60 or less total.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  4. pwr2wh8

    pwr2wh8 New Member

    what's the output of the generator?
  5. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Its A 12 volt 6 watt.

    From what I've been reading here on the forum. It may not last long, but its a cheap replace........After I fix all the other things that don't work right half the time. I think these gas bikes are long term hobbies/money pit.
  6. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    The "Tail Light" has only been used a couple of hours, and is going south, so I don't I think its worth the money.
  7. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    I also attempted to use a bottle generator (what you are referring to as an alternator) to charge a 12v 1.2Ah sla battery. It worked ok at first, but it burned out in just a couple weeks. It may be a "cheap enough replacement" every now and again, but I dont want to replace them every couple weeks. Here is my idea. The wheel that drives the generator is very large. The driven wheel on the generator itself is very small. What this means is that at motor speeds, the generator is spinning twice as fast as it needs to. My theory is that this is what causes it to overheat and burn out. A larger driven wheel on the generator would make it spin slower, hopefully preventing it from overheating. My idea is to use a wheel from an r/c car as a driven wheel for the generator, once I replace it. I've found them on ebay for $25 with free shipping, and plan to order one with my next paycheck. Its kind of a bonus for me actually, because the one I fried was given to me without any mounting hardware and i had to design my own mounts. So I'll be getting a brand new one with all the hardware. But I don't want to spend $25 every two weeks, which is why I'm attempting to make the generator spin slower. I figure this. The generator is designed to produce 12v at pedal speeds. You have to consider the rpm's of the generator at pedal speeds vs motored speeds. I'm thinking that a larger driven wheel should reduce the rpm's closer to what they might be at pedal speeds. If I fry another generator, I'll be ordering a solar battery charger and somehow mounting it to my luggage rack. I found a solar charger on amazon for $20 or so. But I still want to try the generator first. Anyway, just a thought.
  8. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    You should also realize something about a battery's capability to charge and discharge. A multiple cell battery can charge one cell at a time and discharge another cell simultaneously with the proper type of charger, known as a balancer. Obviously a generator wired to a rectifier, though effective, is nowhere near as sophisticated as a balanced charger. Therefore, with this type of setup, your battery can not charge and discharge simultaneously. I say all that to say this. When your generator is running, its actually the generator itself that is powering the lights. I noticed that your headlight bulb is 20w, and the generator is 6w. You will burn that generator up in no time, and possibly your entire electrical system with it. My headlight is 5w, and my brake light is 3.6w. That is also more than 6w, but since the brake light is only on when I'm slowing down or stopping, I don't think it produces enough extra draw to do any harm to the generator. But 20w could actually melt the generator. It may not do any harm at first, but as the brushes start to burn up, it will take more energy and more heat for the generator to produce that 20w. If I were you, I'd find a bulb that was less of an energy pig. Just a thought.
  9. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    That's some pretty good information to know. Thanks. I guess my alternator is still working, but I like the idea of a bigger wheel. I happened to be looking at a solar battery charger this morning too. I have not purchased that light yet either, but for now I'm using 2 LED flashlight heads, and I only use the 12 volt part of the alternator. The brake light has been acting kind of weird, so I may look to a different LED light. The bikes been sitting for a while,because of an engine repair, and this last week I was able to experiment with some LED's. I rarely ride at night if at all, but I do need a daytime running light in this state.
    Link to LED headlight trial.
  10. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    Stick with the led lights, much more energy efficient and brighter too. My headlight bulb has 60 led's in it, and its so bright it hurts my eyes to look straight at it. And it only draws 5w. Without a charging system, my 1.2Ah battery can run my headlight for almost 3 hours, and my brake light (3.6w) for about 4 hours. Of course, it cant run them both simultaneously for that amount of time, but considering the brake light is only on for a few seconds here and there, I'd expect a good 2.5 to 3 hours of continuous use without a charge. My brake light is not as bright as my headlight, but I guess its bright enough since no one has ever rear-ended me.
  11. BigBlue

    BigBlue Active Member

    Here's an Instructables on how to build your own bike generator:
    A rack mounted generator, running on brake surface of the bicycle wheel sounds like a good idea. Look at the size of his generator wheel! By the way, the author of the above Instructables has 3 versions of his generator.

    Here's some more information on bottle generators with circuits and information about adding a capacitor:

    Here's another thread explaining how to calculate the charge rate of your lead-acid battery (see post #10):

    BB, I think your onto something by installing a bigger wheel to slow the generator down. Heck, if a Dremel can produce 41 volts, how much is the generator producing with a motorized bicycle.

    Good Luck,

    AKA: BigBlue
  12. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Yes, I think this is the way to go also. I don't think I've gotten a good charge from the bottle either. 3 hours is plenty of time, and with a solar charger it would keep things charged adequately to be safe.
    I was reading statistics on bicycle accidents, and the percentage of rear hits is only 3%. The majority of bicycle VS auto is from the bicycle not being visible when approaching an intersection (Too close to the curb). They say to stay in the middle of the lane where motorist are looking for vehicles to be. In my state its the law to have a day time driving light on any motorized cycle. Do you have a picture of your headlight, and possibly a link.
    Thanks Butterbean.
  13. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    OmG! 41 volts on a Dremel. Definitely asking for trouble. Thanks BigBlue
  14. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    This is my headlight but it didn't come with a bulb. This is the bulb I ordered for it and this is the bulb I ordered for my brake light keep in mind that this is a moped headlight, designed to mount to forks that have mounting brackets, so if you want to order the headlight, you will need to fab your own brackets if you dont have a fork that has them. I'm using motorcycle forks that have the brackets for mounting. My brake light is an old yamaha turn signal. I don't know how much people pay attention to my brake light, but I like having it anyway. I found the bulb for my brake light on ebay for $10 less with free shipping.
  15. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    My plan for the generator when I replace it is to run an r/c car wheel with a rubber tire directly on the braking surface of the rim. My rear brake is coaster, so it wont interfere with anything. The smaller diameter of the rim itself compared to the tire, along with the larger drive wheel, should reduce the rpm's of the generator enough to keep it from overheating and burning out again. I feel pretty confident about it.
  16. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    On the subject of the generator's output, I've got the generator hooked up to a mini-charger from Wonderful Creations (an ebay store that sells lighting accessories for motorized bicycles). The charger has a built-in regulator and rectifier, as well as a 4A glass fuse, so I'm not worried about overloads. The only purpose of using a larger drive wheel on the generator is to reduce its rpm's so it doesn't overheat again. The charger was given to me along with the generator.
  17. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    I was pondering using a bulb like that a while back. The 1156 will fit the headlight I have. Now I'm wondering how many LED's are made to replace other bulb type sockets.
    Thanks ButterBean again.
  18. BigBlue

    BigBlue Active Member

    Here's a few expensive products for generating power or controlling power on a bicycle that I found on Ebay:

    Didn't even want to put that stupid plastic box that runs off the chain. Looks flimsy and waiting to fall apart.

    Here's a cool dynamo on Ebay:

    AKA: Big Blue
  19. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    I like those Sturmy Archer hubs. All of those are expensive, and I'm cheap. Think I will order a charger, and if need be add another battery.

    Here's a charger someone else here showed me, but I was looking at one for a few dollars more this morning, but its gone already.

    I also saw a 12 volt solar charger at HF that would fit on top of the rear rack. I was thinking of using the solar when riding, and the other charger over night. These 2 items combined would be less than $30.00 US.

    I enjoy playing, and working on my MAB. I also think this forum is half the fun too.
  20. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    balancer only works when you use a LIPO pack not sealed lead acid as he is using.