Workshop tales, trials and disasters.
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Hi everybody, I'm new to this forum and fairly new to road biking, so I'll probably be asking lots of questions and I probably won't be to much help to anybody else.
I have an older halogen light set that I used to use on my mountain bike a few years ago, that I'd like to start using on my road bike. Its a 6 volt system using one 5 watt globe and one 10 watt globe. Both globes are MR16. The problem is that it uses a very heavy sealed lead acid battery (Vision CP645 6V 4.5AH) with a really bad frame mount. I'd like to replace the battery with a rechargeable Ni-MH battery pack if possible. So my questions are: What sort of battery should I use, What size battery (a c or d), How many mah is required and How much run time will I have?
That all depends on how long you want the runtime to be.
using 4 rechargable NiMh C cells, you could get 2 hours of runtime.
using 4 rechargable NiMh D cells, you could get 4 hours of runtime.
Both figures are assuming you're using BOTH the 5+10 watt globes at the same time.
Using one of these you could get 1 hour of runtime, and you could parallel two of them together to give you back your 2 hours of runtime. Weight may be more or less the same as with 4 C cells, but using more available batteries - not only that, but you dont need to have batteries in both, you could use just one at a time, if you only were going down to the shops, for example...
Plenty of options... and maybe better than an SLA... But it all depends on what you're asking of your lights.
Edit: for the first two options, the battery holder for the C cells are here and D cells here
Sounds like my Vistalite system.
I bought a 4Ah 7.4v Li-ion battery and charger for mine. The lights burn brighter, the battery is very light-weight and I get about 4 hours run-time when both lights are on. It cost me about $140 to do it.
Now I'm about to buy a pair of LED torches to replace the Vistalite system and use the battery to run them. The LED is much, much brighter than the halogens and I'll get a longer run-time.
I was going to suggest 5 or 6x1.2V 4200mAh NiMH Sub-C's like you would get in a R/C model car battery pack. 6-cell packs and chargers are freely available and relatively cheap from hobby stores, especially as the last 2% of performance that racers pay the big $$$ for you don't need.
Graeme's idea has a lot of merit too.
Graeme, is this something that you would consider would maybe substitute for a set of Ayup bar-mounted lights?
They're much cheaper, and run at about the same brightness(per LED), so yeah, two of them, mixed with a set of rechargable lithium cells could work well.
Obviously not as neat and clean as a Ayup set, but they're certainly a viable alternative.
Pushy (one of our members here) lent me one of the older versions of this torch. I was astounded by how much better the torch is than my halogens. (Yep - one torch is better than two halogens!)
A complete system will only cost me $56 for two (current) torches and two mounts. If the Ayups could come close to that, I'd consider them. However, I already have the battery and charger for the system, so that swings my decision strongly in this direction.
The mountthat Pushy had on the torch he lent me was quite sufficient and only cost ~$2 from the same mob. A couple of bits of Velcro will secure it nicely.
While that one from Fenix looks okay, I don't need the rotation.
I can't remember. You had a couple of torches from Fenix, but I don't know if they were "CE". They were quite small (finger diameter?). While I liked them, they didn't "blow me away" like the one Pushy lent me, but that might have been also due to the ingenious battery pack solution he showed me at the same time (the combination of the torch and the possibility of attaching my Li-ion battery externally left a big impression.)
Apologies to the original poster for continuing taking this thread away from the original request.
The torches that Graeme linked to look like very good value. I was about to jump on the "me too" as there is a discount for buying 3+ units, but then I thought about the batteries. Graeme has a battery system ready to use with these lights while I have none.
$140 was mentioned for batteries and charger, so by the time that is added to the torches, the price is getting close to a set of Ayups. Is there an alternative, cheap reliable way to power the UltraFire C2s?
Lack of daylight hours is my current excuse for minimal cycling during the week and all the good reviews of the Ayups are very tempting to me.
Road - '09 Cervelo S1 | '07 Vivente Lugano | Late 90's Giant Kronos, Dirt - '08 Orbea Sherpa
[quote="Double-Gee Is there an alternative, cheap reliable way to power the UltraFire C2s?
Lack of daylight hours is my current excuse for minimal cycling during the week and all the good reviews of the Ayups are very tempting to me.[/quote]
Yes, there is. Ther C2's will run for at least 2 hours before starting to dim and then go out in another 2 hours or so. I have made up an external battery pack using 2x18650 batteries(us$10) and charger(us$13) an Eclipse mints tin(perfect fit for 2 18650 batteries. I'll post a pic in this thread later to-night.
The torch used is not the C2 but the same principles apply to any of the led torches requiring 3.7volts. Tins have been duct taped over the top lip to prevent any possibility of a short.
Apologies to KnightRider, don't mean to hijack your thread. You may want to consider this at 6volts 5amps you get 30watthour ie V x A = Whr So if you are consuming 15watt at 6volts you are consuming roughly 2500mA/hour (somebody please check the math)
They are both P3D CE - one textured reflector on the bars, smooth reflector on helmet. Don't think I actually used them that evening. I have toyed with the idea of running an external battery pack using 4 to 6 more conventional rechargeable AA's or AAA's (these Fenix's can run on 4.2 - 8.4 volts).
Not sure if the Ultrafires are that flexible with their voltages. Meanwhile, for the amount of night riding I do these days, I'll just stick to non-rechargeable CR123's at $1 each from the US. $2 of batteries per torch gives me 3 to 10+ hours of sufficient light
God save the ABC & SBS.....
Interesting thread... shame I came in late.
I too am in a similar boat to a few of you - I spent $$$ on a NiCad based Vistalite Halogen System some years ago and got mightily p!ssed off with after only getting perhaps one seasons worth of usage out of the battery.
I'm still doing my research and deciding which way I want to go (complete kit, or replace battery and charger with later going to an LED torch a-la Graeme)
I spose it largely depends on the brand/model but do the little LED torches need much modifying in order to run a power line in?
Please don't assume I'm on Facebook.
For next time, if you use NiCds, when storing them away you must store them at zero volts. They don't survive being put away with a partial charge very well at all. For my 7.2V NiCd R/C car packs, I used to drain them down with a 47 Ohm wire-wound 5W resistor (the ones encased in a white ceramic block), which I left in place between races until I was ready to charge and race them again. Yes, the resistors do get hot but don't damage the battery. Quite the opposite, in fact.
These batteries go as well as the day I bought them 10 years ago, although I've not used them for several years. Of course, capacities have more than doubled over that time, so they're no longer competitive but they are still great for other duties - like bike lights.
No, its a simple case of drilling a small hole in the barrel of the torch to pass the wire into. A piece of wooden dowel(12mm) cut to a few mm short of the battery length and a thumb-tack pushed thru the end of each wire into the ends of the dowel. You can see one end in the first pic of my previous post. That tack has been trimmed to avoid all possibility of a short. Hope I've been able to explain it well enough. There's no soldering requires at all if you choose not to. In the pics I've used a section of old inner tube to give it some water resistance.
Thanks Les, it's becoming clearer.
But staring at your pics some more I'm still little confused about the wiring off the batteries. To date, I haven't used any other batteries than the classic garden variety alkaline AAA, AA, C etc. NiMH was a watershed for me only a couple of years ago for my first cordless phone! I'm a bit hazey on the configuration of the Lithium 18650s, or depending on the torch, CR123s mentioned.
Since I couldn't find much technical info about the 18650s on the 'net (in my quick look) I am assuming that they have a + and - end, similar to the AAAs, AA, C or Ds. The contact mechanism you have at the top of your Eclipse tin looks to me more like a 9 volt battery coupler where the + & - terminals are next to one another on the same end. Yet, from your photos your contacts appear wired in series - and there is a second wire which looks like it comes from further down the tin case, beyond the initial duct-tape insulation. This bit has me flummoxed.
Thanks for articulating what you've done - it looks a great idea. I think I am going to have to develop a taste for the mints as well
As nice as the Ay-Ups looks - cost and apparent wait ATM are the biggest turn-off.
Please don't assume I'm on Facebook.
I'm gonna have to do a "How to" one of these days, time permitting. 18650s are quite common, usually found in battery packs of cordless drills, laptops etc. The are the same shape as standard AA, AAA, C, D batteries but have 3.7 - 4.2 volts.
The batteries in the Eclipse tin are run in parallel. The + wire is connected to the body of the tin by opening the lid fully thus jamming the bare end of the wire in the hinge of the tin. The - end of the wire has the insulation left on and two tacks are pushed through the wire into a piece of rubber spaced to make contact with the - end of the batteries. You now have output of 3.7v at about 4800mA. Most of these Crees run at 3.7v at 700mAh so a battery pack like this will give about 6.5hours of run time.
Hope it getting clearer.
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