12v lighting & safety system project-an MBc Community Effort

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by gone_fishin, Sep 3, 2007.

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  1. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    lights & safety have been a major issue with me since i've motored-up. i have both motorcycle & bicycling experience, but there seems to be a whole new set of survival rules for 30mph motoredbikes. i've finally admitted reality & capped off the white-wire forever.

    i've designed this and already made my choices based what i've read here (great contributions by so many knowledgable folks)...i went after a balance of effect/run-time/durability/budget and, as always, "bolt-on-ability"...so here goes.

    i've ordered this: http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0161p?&I=LZ0208

    and i have this...
    matching "union" headlamps,
    most of a pocket-bike harness, thanks to wavy
    (the rubber wedge-sockets on the harness are a perfectly snug fit for the headlights, how lucky!)
    basic bullet taillamp
    (retro-fitted with an auto-grade screw-socket)

    stage 1, a quick & simple light system so i can quit feeling so naked out there:

    battery=12v/4.5ah mini sla
    headlamps= low/5w high/10w xenon wedge base
    taillamp= 5w screwbase.

    total cost for stage 1 = $35

    plans for later:

    12v generator/charger (wait til y'all see how i do this)

    if the generator works out, then i want led running-lights/turn-signals & a horn, not to mention about 35w of headlamp

    soon as i have the battery, i'll start testing circuits and posting the progress.

  2. wavygravy

    wavygravy Guest

    light me up!

    now your rockin augi !! i cant wait to see the results!:smile::grin::shock:
  3. ironwarlock

    ironwarlock Guest

    Ya I like the sound of this. will be waiting to see how it turns out. ;)
  4. try1897

    try1897 Guest

    Hello Augiedog, I'm very interested in your project. I'm also in the process of a light kit of my own. I'm using two sealed lead acid batterys that are 6 v 4.5 AH tied together to make 12 v . together they weigh 2lb.-14-oz. How much does the 12 v weigh? What type of generator are you using? T
  5. Cookie

    Cookie Guest


    Well Augie it is about time you stopped playing with that white tormentor.
    Rember last winter I was talking about getting the battery and head light wellll after I gave up on the pocket bike light I had I went to Wal Mart and got a pr. of neat looking light (19.00) used on cars (halogen) and now at night I have more time to scoot around dipps both human and non human :evil:
    One thing I would suggest is getting a solar panel trickle charger mount that on a school boy rack and after a night or two of running just plug up the charger and forget about it those small trickle charger just did not seem to work for me :D;)

  6. Scottm

    Scottm Guest

    Looks cool Augi, can't wait to see the finished product. I've been thinking of taking the batteries out of my kids electric jeep and mounting them to the rack on the back of the bike. They came with a charger. Kids don't ever use it. I am interested in you generator charger.
    Glad you also get time to work on your own stuff too instead of bailing us out of our messes.
  7. japat100

    japat100 Guest

    drill batterys

    i am thinking of buying a 12 volt rechargeable drill ,find them on special for not allot of money and seems to be cheaper to buy the kit then it is to just buy the battery
    ,,they come with 2 battery and a quick charger maybe 2 hour charge ,, they seem to hold up good ,,also every kind of light ,horn ,signal lights , radio and anything you can think of comes in 12 volts and they can all be bought with low amps ,a extra battery on a long trip or leave one in the charger ,plus you can always use a drill ,, it seems to me a good way to go ,,be interesting to here other members opinion
  8. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    hey, this is my lighting project topic...go start yer own. i will say i considered using a power-tool battery, but i got a lot more ah's for the money with a hobby sla.

    i've had an ordering/shipping problem with the towerhobbies people, so i went elsewhere...ordered a better battery.

    i managed to upgrade to a 12w/7ah for the same price...over a week away, tho, because my paypal takes a while to clear.

    xenon wedge base bulbs are pricey, so i'm gonna try regular 10w/5w auto dome-lights...

    new total for stage 1: $21

    stay tuned.

    btw-i'm getting a lot of great info here: http://nordicgroup.us/s78/
  9. Stryker

    Stryker Guest

  10. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    thanks, solar will be considered after i construct the actual lighting circuitry...something like this might be doable for all-day riding: http://cgi.ebay.com/New-1-8-Watt-So...ryZ41980QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    or this one, a bit pricey, too: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-5W-12V-Mono...9766586QQihZ020QQcategoryZ41981QQcmdZViewItem

    i still have a hope of using a 12v mechanical generator, i have some homework yet to do on that part.

    battery's been shipped priority, i'll be able to get started soon.
  11. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i have some basic questions about this charger. i'd rather not buy another one if i can avoid it.
    please, no fancy theory or suggestions, i have other options if this one won't do it.


    a) will this work for my 12v 7ah sla?
    b) can i assume the "coded" wire is the positive side? (i need to save the end, so i can't strip it to see for sure)
    c) will this overcharge (or otherwise damage) my battery if not monitored?

    thanks :cool:
  12. az cra-z

    az cra-z Guest

    Should work

    You have a half-amp (500 ma) charger there, often called a "trickle" charger. It'll need to run quite a while (overnight, at least) to put any charge on your battery, very little chance of overcharging. If you have a voltmeter, hook it up while charging and when it reads 15 volts or a little better, it's charged up. You can check the polarity of the charger wires too. Radio Shack sells a simple voltage meter:
  13. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest


    i can't afford a meter, if i could i'd simply buy the right charger...but that voltmeter looks like a nice "wish-list" item for a complete system.

    i don't want to destroy the charger's end, so what i'll do for now is make a tiny adaptor-to-alligator clips thingy. overnight charging is fine by me until i get the rest of the system in play.
  14. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    "no fancy therory or suggestions"

    The pic is of a power supply not a battery charger. Your battery can be charged at .7A and the charger should drive that current at 14V. A single wet cell provides 2.2V, so 6 of them offer 13.2V at a full state of charge.
  15. Dockspa1

    Dockspa1 Guest

    Augie, I went junk shopping the other day, and at our thrift shops I found boxes of these transformers or Power supplies if that is what you want to call them, anyway they were $.50 Each. I bought at least twelve and some had the adjustable voltages on them.
    A bargain, not to be past up!
    Some times you have to ask where they keep them. They come from Phones, Radios, computer junk etc. By law, the voltages have to be stamped on them and watts.
  16. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest



    a) yes or no? no? i need 14v .7a?
    b) yes or no (maybe no longer matters)
  17. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    A 12V wet cell battery or in this case a SLA (sealed lead acid) will charge at a voltage of 13.8~14.1V. Your battery is rated at 7AH and those can take a max of .7A or 700mA.
    A 5AH battery should not be charged at over .5A or 500mA. Kind of a rule of thumb. Some SLA batteries are designed to charge quite rapidly but they cost more than the average bargain SLA battery.

    If you can adjust the voltage of the power supply to 13.7~14V you will be good to go. I am not sure how it will deal with having to deliver its full output for 18 hours, so do keep it cool.
  18. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest


    simple is best, so i'm on the lookout for a 14v/.7a.

    meantime i have a 12v auto-trickle charger i can borrow. maybe i'll just buy a cheapo if it works out.
  19. drimpact

    drimpact Member


    The coding on the wire is not a sure thing, to answer your b question. The only thing for sure is on the power supply you pictured shows the center to be + and the outer to be -. Most of the power supply I have worked with mark the - wire, but this is not always the case.

    I feel an actual charger will work much better, as far as battery life goes , than a power supply. IMHO!
  20. OldPete

    OldPete Guest

    I am not trying to sell anything.

    http://www.allelectronics.com/ > battery charges(on the right)
    Note that the 12VDC @ 500mA (.5A) is two stage so it drops down to a very gentel holding charge rate. See how tall it is? Notice all the open areas for cooling. Tiny power supplies have no venting.
    .5 amp trickel charges for motorcycles have been around for 25 years, so the odds are good at finding one cheap.