working out lights/brake signal for mi laws

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by oldpot, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. oldpot

    oldpot Member

    OK here in Michigan by law got to have front lights ,signal lights ,working brake , and mirrors, i trying to get the cheapest way to get around this just so when the time comes i can get a registration and license ,
    i trying to get thing organized before i build my bike ,
    i have seen lots of post here and great set up and looks great it would just have to be battery lights etc i would love to have a 12 volt battery set up like a few here have got but i no idea on electrics what so ever ,
    my main concern is the brake and signal lights as i not be riding at night to use the front lights ,
    would this work to get legal here in mi,

    2 of these mounted to to front of bike for front lights

    for signal lights and brake this yes its cheap and some say does not last but might work ,

    or for signal lights

    and brake light

    as anyone got any other offering i can check out . or someone can make me a good set of lights and i pay them heheh .

  2. oldpot

    oldpot Member

    anyone from mi what do you use ??.
  3. Tanstaafl

    Tanstaafl Member

    Just got lighting set up on my trike. Two front lights, $24.00, tail light, 5 bucks, four turn signals, 16 dollars, full wave rectifier diode, 3 dollars, small 12v 7 amp SLA battery, 11 dollars, 12v ac 6 watt, tire driven dynamo/alternator, 30 bucks.

    The full wave rectifier converts the ac to pulsating dc so the alternator can charge (no regulator or capacitor needed) SLA battery.

    The two front lights, (which can light up a stop sign two blocks away) I got two cast aluminum 12v outdoor MR16 halogen lights from Amazon LLC for $7.00 each. Then discarded the halogen bulbs and replaced with Torchstar 4 watt MR16 LED 300 lumen lights, 5 bucks each. SPST dc toggle switch was 4 dollars.

    Tail light is a bright 12v two LED red clearance light from wally world, 5 dollars.

    Turn signals, got from wally world, two amber lenses and two red lenses clearance lights with 12v filament bulbs for $2.00 each. Discarded the filament bulbs and replaced with 12v clear bright 5mm LED lights at $2.00 each. These LED lights have a integral resistor and flasher which flash when 9-12v power is applied. Heavy duty SPDDT dc toggle switch was $8.00.

    Total cost with dynamo, $89.00, without dynamo, $59.00. Knowing now, how very little power the LED lighting system consumes, doubt I would go the dynamo route. I connected one of the Torchstar 4 watt LED lights up to a rechargeable little 9v battery, It stayed fully bright for four hours, and then dimmed down to very low at end of fifth hour.

    Now I knew next to nothing what I was about when first started. But did some extensive reading as to what others have done, and then incorporated some of my own ideas.

    I will be doing a video on the lighting and then post the how I did it details if anyone is interested.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  4. oldpot

    oldpot Member

    cool tanstaafl

    i love to see video of that , i think putting the lights together not the main challenge for me its the wiring up the lights to a 12v battery and putting switchers etc i seen diagrams of them on here but no idea what they mean or where to start i need a basic diagram set up like a.b.c hehe .
  5. Tanstaafl

    Tanstaafl Member

    These are a few photos of trike lighting set up.









    The battery is held in place by industrial strength Velcro. In center of pic is the full wave rectifier, there is also a quick acting inline 1 amp fuse from + to lights which reacts instantly to the slightest short.


    Side view
  6. oldpot

    oldpot Member

    wow great m8 great bike you got there ,so the tire driven dynamo/alternator, runs the front lights and battery runs the others i guess i love to have a set up like that getting the lights etc would not be the problem that be wiring it all up i no idea how i would starts ty for the pics :)
  7. Tanstaafl

    Tanstaafl Member

    No, the dynamo produces ac electricity, which is wired only to the ac positive in leg of rectifier, where it is converted to dc ,and from dc positive out leg of rectifier, flows out to battery. Then all lights are powered by dc.

    It is really quite easy. May be over simplified, but the old adage to think of electricity flow like water through pipes (wiring) still holds true.,d.cGE&fp=f46a8d2a4cc53db9&biw=1152&bih=476

    At a given time you want it to go certain places, but not to others.

    The battery is like a water pressure tank to force the flow.

    A fuse is like a hot water tank pop off valve, it should be first in hot wire from battery to protect from damage to other points..

    Electric switches are like faucet valves being turned on and off letting water flow to shower, sink, garden hose and etc. On/off/on valve (switch) for left and right turn signals, but just a on/off valve (switch) for head and tail lights.

    Just draw up a simple layman’s schematic as to where you want the electricity going to each point (lights) some may be multiple points, which tee off after a switch to different lights. Head and tail, front /rear turn signals lights and etc. Try doing so and think things will become more clear.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  8. Tanstaafl

    Tanstaafl Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  9. oldpot

    oldpot Member

    wow very impressive tanstaa m8 now can you make me one heheh :p
    i read a bit about the electrics and water i understand it but i been checking simple lights set up and i still need like a pic tutorial of them or a simple diagram for me to understand it .i love gardening and know alot about plants ,veg, etc but things like electrics i am stumped .i love of your setup ty for sharing it :)
  10. Thats a nice engine set up..Going motorbike speed wont be too much for that lil alternator?
  11. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    I'm glad I found your post. I bought a 12 volt Dynamo, but it said generator. I've seen lots of rectifiers I could use, but because it was a generator I thought I needed a voltage regulator. I've been racking my brain trying to find the electronics necessary, because here in California I had a Sheriff tell me I needed all the lights also, which makes sense because the lighting falls under Motor Vehicle code, which covers anything that has a motor and is driven.
    I saw some good lights at Wally world also. Would you so kind as to tell which rectifier your using, and where it's available.
  12. Tanstaafl

    Tanstaafl Member

    My Dynamo says generator too, but it is an ac alternator. (see below) If you are installing a SLA 12v battery, it will be self regulating.

    The full wave rectifier to change 12 vac to pulsating 12 vdc I got at radio Shack.

    "Bike | Bicycle Dynamo Generator 12V 6W"
    Misc.; $29.75
    In Stock
    Sold by: BikeWorldUSA


    I am in the process of switching over my turn signal lights using the two led, amber and red clearance lights from wally world for about $6.00 each. (the red one also makes for great tail light) They are many times brighter than the single 5mm ones I started with, which were hardly bright enough on a sunny day. I needed a flasher unit, so got a 12 volt motorcycle one (from, see below) for little over 8 dollars + couple bucks shipping and it works great.

    LF1-S-PIN: LF1-S-PIN Universal Motorcycle Electronic Flasher LF1-S-PIN: Universal Pin Motorcycle Flasher

    ® 2002-2013 Super Bright LEDs Inc.
    4400 Earth City Expressway
    St. Louis, Missouri 63045-1328
  13. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    Thank you very much Tanstaafl for sharing some clarity on these issue's with lights. I see where a trike would be more beneficial when having to add equipment. Told my buddy in New Mexico that if I move there I'll build 2 trikes so we can carry water, and go rock hunting in the desert, but for now I'll work out the problems on my 2 wheeler here in suburbia. Thanks again.