Has anyone officially 100% found a way yet to run a head light off the white wire yet

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by DeathProof, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. DeathProof

    DeathProof Member

    ive read and read for hours here in the threads and cant get a straight answer its always this will work and that will work followed by no that wont and battery will only work or the light will drain power from your engine blah blah. i got nowhere in these threads on the white wire to light subject. if theres is a way 100% pls share it.

  2. BigBlue

    BigBlue Active Member


    The Holy Grail of the White Wire.

    Here's a link to someone who used the white wire to run LEDs. The system is very limited in the output.

    I've been there and done it - just isn't worth it. So have hundreds of other members on this forum and the other forum. The ignition systems are weak already, so why complicate matters? Rechargeable batteries seem like the norm. I am not trying to discourage you, but give you my honest opinion.

    Good Luck,

    AKA: BigBlue
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  3. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    Same here, been there done that and never posted cos it's easier to tuck away the white wire, and use batteries or some innovation of your own to .

  4. DeathProof

    DeathProof Member

    i thank you guys thats all i wanted to know without the technical go no where mumbo jumbo i appreciate it so no white wire hook up it is then!
  5. Max-M

    Max-M Member

    I considered a dynamo hub recently when shopping for a front drum brake hub for my MB. But after reading about peoples' experiences with those, I decided against it, and bought a regular Sturmey-Archer X-FD 70mm front drum brake hub. It would have been nice to reliably generate my own electricity for head- and tail-lights, but those dynamo units apparently make for a lot of complication in the servicing and reliability of the hub. I've already got enough complication to deal with!
  6. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    The ignition system barely functions as it stands (without drawing current through the white wire); trying to induce a current in the magneto side of the circuit with reduced flux makes things even worse.
  7. The_Guy

    The_Guy New Member

    Anyone ever try hooking a small e-bike motor to their engine and running power off of that?
  8. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Real simple way to answer your question: go to your local home depot or Kmart and get two 300 lumen (12 volt) LED ceiling lights. These generally have an operating voltage down to 6 volts.
    Make a housing for the LED lights to attach to your bike (ideally with some level of water proofing) and run the lights in parallel with one set of wires running reverse polarity on one of the LED lights.

    This will have each LED light running on one half of the AC sine wave (i guess a 50% duty cycle) from the magneto Alternating Current output.
    The same thing works with old style tyre driven, bottle dynamos.
  9. Anton

    Anton Administrator Staff Member

    That's a great idea. I didn't realise that LED's (being polarised Light Emitting Diodes) could run off of AC current. When you reverse the poles on one of the LED's the current at any instance would be flowing through the LED with the corresponding wiring for that cycle. That way the excess current always has somewhere to flow. Also the rate of cycles would be fast enough to trick the human eye into thinking that the LED's are always on. Excellent.... now where did I put my white wire!
  10. tooljunkie

    tooljunkie Member

    cool idea.
    too bad the op has given up on the hobby.
    hopefully someone else can benifit from this.
  11. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Sometimes the most simple ideas are the best: just 4 wires and 2 LED lights and it's "Job Done"
  12. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    I HAVE DONE IT!!!! I need to reverse engineer it so I can explain it, but I have done it! Headlight, tail light, brake and turn signals! YES!!!! IT CAN BE DONE!!! White wire goes thru bridge rectifier balanced with two tank capacitors to a 6 volt SLA battery sold by ACE hardware, the one with 4.5 amphrs of service. From there, you ballast each LED according to its' voltage drop and requirements (usually between 10 and 100 ohms). Three reds for the tail, three reds for the brake- use a beehive clearance light for the base unit and tag the breadboard into the unit with the bolt that mounts it to the plate. Turn signal require four amber beehives (or two amber two red) with three amber LEDs apiece- when you run your leads, ALL negatives go to a common wire- DO NOT GROUND TO FRAME!!!- positives come from appropriate switches. The positive lead that feeds the switch for turn signals, run a green blinker LED without resistor in serise mounted near the switch and visible- this will blink the lights you activate and tell you the blinker is on. I have created a brake switch that works off the front brake and does not require the brake be dissassembled to instal. Works flawlessly. Headlight is a three LED $5 Home Depot flashlight head mounted into a 3" diameter PVC Endcap painted with fusion to match the bike.
    How do I know the white wire works? IT RUNS THE LIGHTS AFTER I HAVE PULLED THE BATTERY!!! And does NOT dim at idle! Can't explain it, don't care to... but it has been nightrunning for a week now without hiccogh!! I will do pix and schematics as soon as I can
  13. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Photos please Sgt. Howard
  14. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Sgt Howard -

    Congratulations! Many have tried yet you were first to make a working system! Good for you! Keep testing and let us know from time to time how you keep improving it. And what configuration does not work is just as important, like too many lights. . . . .

  15. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    As promised

    Here we are- this will be done as a serise of posts as these are BIG PICTURES

    Attached Files:

  16. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Yea, those first four are a tail light in manufacture- the breadboard will be epoxied to the ring mount- Here we have the 'HotBox', a bridge rectfier with two 1ooo mF tank capacitors to even out the pulse. Fancy soldering, eh? And these 'hotboxes' are strictly to run WITHOUT battery. White wire and motor ground go to sine wave symbols, Positive and negative are clearly marked. Capacitors cross the pos/neg, pos to pos, neg to neg (neg has a stripe on tank). From there it goes to battery.
    The last photo shows the left side of the battery box that's on the 'Panama Jack'- the upper 'box' is only a mounting board, the lower box is the 'Hot Box'. You can see the wires here...

    Attached Files:

  17. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Here you actually see the battery as well as the battery box- plus a close-up of the switch for the brake and the control switch I bought for $4 a pop and cannot find any more ... but no matter. Such things can be fabricated or improvised easily enough. And yes, I like to show off my fancy woodworking skills- the finish here is 'Ipswitch Pine' with four layers of spar varnish. I hope the nomenclature of the battery comes across well- it is a common ACE hardware item.
    My next step will be to do the schematic in 'Paint' so it can be replicated by nearly anyone... oh yeah. ELECTRONICSGOLDMINE.COM is where you want to go for LEDs, Bridge rectifiers, Tank capacitors, resistors, death ray phasors... er, no- they don't have those... anymore... some bozo at BATF&E got wind of it and there was a real... charley foxtrot... and NO I will not sell MINE! Anyways, they sell electronic gizmos by the pound. Minimum $10 order will give you a shoveload of stuff! You do hafta know what you are ordering, tho... no tech support. They assume you know what you want... kinda iffy in my case, but cheap enough I don't worry

    Attached Files:

  18. Heathen

    Heathen Member

    I've been using stock led dynamo bicycle lights for over a year of the white wire on engine.
    The lights i use is made by bush + muller (www.bumm.de) and are sold by a lot of companies, not sure of the americas though.
    the one i use is one of the cheapest one lumotec lyt sense plus, and it pretty good, lets me see where i'm going + if the engine stalls the light still keeps lit for a minute or so(stand light). it puts out about 20-25 lux. they do have more expensive versions with up to 40-60 lux.

    for more info look here(german reseller): http://www.roseversand.com/products...list&count=16&order=topseller#anchor_products

    fyi these lights are for ac power (6v/2.5-3watts) only, they wont run of a battery(dc power)

  19. Heathen

    Heathen Member

    ok, so after a few months of thinking, learning and tinkering this is what i came up with. It started with that i wanted just turn signals, but it turned into a full blown electrical system.

    (to much to write into this forum.)

    hopefully this might help someone else to

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  20. jsph7501

    jsph7501 New Member

    dont take power from your engine i went to walmart and got a solar charging head and tail light in the long run much better idea.