New lighting system in progress

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Sgt. Howard, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    How do folks, it's me again. Been gathering up LEDs and info on how to use them from a variety of sources (most of it contradictory) and I am finally proceding to build a tail-light unit along with forward turn signal indicators to go with my 6 volt LED headlight. The battery operation on this bad boy will consist of four rechargable D batteries cased in wood with a trickle charger off the Chinese magneto thu diode and thermocouple in battery box (overheating indicates overcharging- thus a wood box to prevent outside elements from keeping the battery cool). Brake lights will activate from action of the front caliper brake. Turn signal indicator will use a (snicker!) xmas blinker bulb to flash. Headlight puts out about 130 lumens of light... I WILL be upgrading, but that's what I have for now.
    Due to the size of my images, these will have to come thu in a few posings. First shot shows raw merchandise- second shot shows the inspirational mating of a 110R Petersom Manufacturing clearance light with a 1.5" PVC endcap. Then there are shots of the LEDs in place and the wireing in the back... heh heh heh.... breadboards?!? we don't need no stinking breadboards!!! :army:

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  2. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member


    YEEEHAAAAWWW!!!! I am having WAY too much fun with this!!! The first two shots show a wired tail light with red lens on board and a turn signal light base with it's three LEDs. The next two pages show the endcap getting trimmed and painted. The wireing is all complete om the units... those suckers are BRIGHT!!! Mounting will allow for a multitude of possibilities, but for now they are going on to a backrack of a Panama Jack. I've been talking to PM about manufacturing these units en mass, we'll see if they take the bait :army:

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  3. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member


    here we see a finished tail assembly- as you can see, the endcaps were cut down to more asthetically pleasing proportions. Origionally I had intended the brake/tail unit to be the same dimentions as the turn signal indicators, but the wireing did not allow me the privilage. As it is, the bigger red unit is actually more pleaseing, more retro than the origional thought... so I will not complain. Interestingly enough, the rough wireing inside was easy enough to insulate with the spray-on schtuff you see in the pix- same people that sell vinyl tool handle dip at ACE hardware. Two heavy coats works wonders- just make sure you hit as many angles as you can.

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  4. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    ad nausem

    Here they are lit up! YEEEEHAAAAAAW! Them puppies are BRIGHT! Next up will be the forward indicators which will mount on the headlight harp. Then the battery box, brake switch and turn signal switch (with blinker). Once THAT is all together, the final step is setting up the trickle charger for the batteries. Any Questions? :army:

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  5. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Good goin Sarge, Those ARE some pretty bright lights.
    I know how much you like making your own stuff, but I thought I'd show this to you. It's cleaner than anything I could make and should work just fine for anything up to 12V. It fits snugly on the bars and looks good too. It has a switch for turn signals, off-on for lights and a horn button.

    P.S. As I recall the Huffy bars are larger than the bars I am using. You might have to open the hole some to make it fit.

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  6. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    I realise that this has been slow coming, but it IS coming! Here are some images of the units as they are assembled on the bike, with NEW ideas about headlight housing and such. The origional concept was to use 4 "D" rechargable batteries... until I saw how much they cost and how little they put out. I have since located a SLA 6 volt operation that is tiny and powerful enough... more on that later.
    The first shot shows the 'conventional' $5 headlight in a 3"PVC endcap with turn indicators. Next you see a set of oblong running lights from WallyWurld, $20 the pair. I pulled the bulb out of them and replaced them with some high-octain LEDS- next shot shows it mounted, then you see it turned on. Nobody will flash you to dim them, but you WILL see the road! The next shot shoes how well they illuminate my darkened shop- shot is without flash

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  7. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    These next two shots show the head and tail cluster of the 'Panama Jack' as mounted- the headlight has the new LED onboard and is considerably brighter... hmf... I could have sworn I took photos of the brake switch, but I am not finding them... oh well, next time...Oh yeah! Look at the brake cable attatchment behind the headlight- you see the small chain? Follow that up and you will see the switch!
    the Old Sgt. :army:

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  8. BigBlue

    BigBlue Active Member


    looking good! Here's a DIY LED headlamp conversion that might be good for a future project. It's for a Hog, but with the right parts, I think it could be scaled to a 5-3/4" Bates style headlamp. Modify the headlamp bulb to hold the LEDs. Of course you wouldn't need as many bulbs in the headlamp as a 7" headlamp. The other concern would be clearance in the headlamp housing for the LEDs.

    Conversion article:

    5-3/4" Bates bobber style headlamp:

    5-3/4" Bulb:

    Cree 450 Lumens bulbs:

    Food for thought,

    AKA: BigBlue
  9. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Hmmmm... 450 lumins for $30? I am trying to keep the whole thing really cheap... but that kind of illumination is hard to beat at that price. Were it not for the wretched white wire limitations I would go with 12 volt as there are several LED replacements in this venue that are PRICEY but also kick fanny insofar as output is concerned.
    Right now, ran into $$$ crunch. Need to sell a bike as I have blown more than I wanted to on R&D for this system.
    the Old Sgt. :army: