Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review: The Big Logs

Here's my collection of giant logs that fell across my commute over the past year:

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Headlight Friday!

Completed my new dynamo headlight!  Here's some pictures of the fabrication and details-

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Light Status Update

So I finally put in an order with to get the necessary components to complete the headlamp I already started.  I also decided I need a better dynamo headlight since I am currently using fairly outdated LEDs.  Gonna take a bit of machining to get both light housings completed.
I am using Martin Pilom's Circuit number 7.
I built the circuit on the protoboard to get a feel for how much space I will need in the headlight housing.  There aren't too many components to the circuit, but the capacitors take up a bit of space.  I also plan on including a simple standlight circuit for some stopped lighting.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Post Hurricane

, originally uploaded by rackntroll.

Some big ones down on my commute!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Headlight Hacking

The simplest of conversions, a 3W Lux III LED, and a bridge rectifier.  No standlight.  The lens is 25x6 degree.  Gives a nice wide spread which my Planet Bike dynamo light seriously lacked, but doesn't throw the light very far.  I have other lenses I can play around with.  Ideally I would like to keep the 25x6, and add a second LED with a narrower beam, but there is not a whole lot of room in the housing.  I could maybe make a rectifier out of diodes to save some space and fit a second LED.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Battery Junk

Couldn't do any machining to the headlight housing this weekend, so I worked on some of the electronics.  This is a simple op-amp comparator functioning as a low voltage indicator to prevent me from over discharging the AA NiMH cells I will be using to power the headlight.  I easily yanked the circuit from the internet.  I may add additional circuitry to give a second level of battery charge, or use a different IC to give a full LED bridge displaying the power level.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

And so it continues....

Did some more work to the body.  Bored it to depth and ID for the LEDs and optics.

Put a big square hole in the back of the body for the LED driver.

Snug fit, gotta somehow squeeze 2 wire to pop through to the front side to feed the triple LED assembly.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

And so it begins....

Started on a housing for a new headlight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Headlamp Re-Fixification

After-work riding has been getting cut short, much less daylight available, just wait until the clocks get set back, jeez.  So I suppose it is time to scrape together some "reliable" lighting.

I had 2 okay lights that both needed some work.

The light on the top is homemade that I copied from an Instructables.  That one fell apart a couple years ago, the epoxy securing the LEDs to the heatsink got pulled off by some tree branches. The light on bottom is a Cateye DoubleShot.  It has just lost a lot of its punch, and it always had kind of a crappy beam pattern.

After building the first light way back when, I purchased a bunch of other LEDs and things to build a second light and battery. but that never happened.  Soooooooo I had some lighting components "in stock."  The Cateye light housing and battery pack are both great, maybe I could jam some new LEDs and lenses in.

Start by gutting the headlamp.

The new LEDs, I had to file them down to get them to fit in the housing.
Also the new lenses, the hexagonal ones, compared the old lens between them.  The total stack height of LED/lens assembly was shorter than the original so I turned (2) 3mm aluminum pucks. That way the housing holds everything together nicely.

Soldered in some longer wire leads.  Two Luxeon III (now discontinued) in series, being driven at 700mA.

Screw it all together.

All the soldering was done with my dad's soldering gun.  This thing is the Cadillac of all soldering guns.  
140 Friggin Watts gets things soldered, QUICK!  

Here is the beam shot of the upgraded Cateye.  Not pleased with the light output, but the lenses are a nice improvement.  Maybe I will turn this into a generator headlight.  Or get some newer LEDs for it.

I also made a super janky repair to the homemade headlight, I just screwed the epoxy down to the heatsink to hold it all together.  Here is the beam shot for comparison:

I may be able to squeak a bit more light out of the Cateye Re-Hash. The LuxIII's that are in there are rated for 3W so they can handle almost 1500mA of current, the Cateye battery pack is rated at 700mA.
Now, on the other light, it is using a 1000mA driver which is driving the 4 LEDs at 500mA each, which according to the datasheets should be driven at 350mA.  So if I use battery pack A on headlamp B, and battery pack B on headlamp A, the homebrew light will be just about as bright as it is now, and the Cateye Re-Hash should be even brighter since i will be able to drive the 2 LEDs at 1000mA.
I made an adapter cable to use the cateye battery with the homebrew, and it works great.  It will have considerably longer battery life also bc it is a higher voltage battery pack.  I have yet to fashion an adapter to see if I can get more light out of the Cateye.   I'm thinking I should just get some new cable ends to make everything cross compatible.   Time will tell.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Boring Picture Post

Just some random shots from last week.

Rocking dropouts are nice. 

Phil Wood spoke roller gets used just about everyday.  So nice to have.

Tubeless cross/road wheels.

Fork/Rack/Hub detail.

Pretty good commuter bike.  Will eventually replace.

Broken brake lever clamp.  This time it is my bike that broke.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Trying out some new things.  I've tried to make a hooded style in the past but it just didn't look right.  I like this one though.  For reference the tube is 1/2" and so is the connector.  That is an M6 bolt.
Maybe if things work out these will materialise into some racks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

time for an update

About 10 or more of these letters to the Fairmount park demon were posted along a short section of my commute to work,
This bike is really great.
Homebrew from a buddy.  (well actually they make it at work so it's "workbrew" I guess)
Had to modify my S-Works chainring spider to get it to fit properly.  Maybe someone should tell Specialized?!
Really really old brake cables that came out of an Atala.