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12:46 AM
Woot - the lights arrived today. Thanks @SamTheBrand.
 
Yay!
 
 
2 hours later…
2:24 AM
Upon further investigation, most of the bike lights are here. A few must still be in the mail. Light meter came though, so I can start experimenting with that tonight.
 
2:44 AM
@nhinkle Well, if any Light and Motion Urban series headlights show up, mail them to me when you're done testing. ;)
 
3:02 AM
@freiheit haha. No headlights this round, but I may be able to send you one of these taillights once I'm done testing them all ;)
 
3:34 AM
@nhinkle Can never have too many taillights! ;)
 
 
3 hours later…
6:37 AM
I managed to get all but 1 attached to my bike. It looks pretty ridiculous, but as @freiheit said... you can never have too many tail lights!
 
@nhinkle Got the Blackburn MARS 4.0 instead of the 3.0?
 
@freiheit yeah, it was the more recently available one. Is the 3.0 better IYO?
I'm also waiting on a Knog Frog, a Cataye Rapid 5, and a Night Rider Cherrybomb to arrive before doing the full review.
Fun fact: preliminary (i.e. me testing out the light meter to see how it works) results indicate that the 2 watt cygolite hotshot is actually less bright than the 1 watt radbot 1000, and is also brighter than the 1 watt PB Superflash Turbo.
 
@nhinkle It's the one I see around a lot
 
@freiheit hm, interesting. I've only seen a mars of any kind in the wild once or twice; not enough to say whether the 3 or 4 was more common.
 
I guess both have that side-amber light feature, which I like
 
6:44 AM
I did a very casual count on a recent trip biking around during rush hour and about 21/36 riders had a superflash (just judging by the distinctive pattern). It's definitely the incumbent in this race.
 
@nhinkle watt == how fast the battery drains, not how bright the light is
(though checking the brightness from multiple angles would make sense. If you pump out twice as much light in a wider cone, it won't be as bright from straight behind but might be a better option)
 
@freiheit yes, but generally speaking a 2 watt LED is expected to be brighter than a 1 watt LED - efficiency is reasonably consistent between LEDs (and they're almost all made by a small handful of manufacturers I believe).
The angles will be interesting though. I'm still working on figuring out the best way to measure the brightness - especially for lights with multiple LEDs.
 
@nhinkle you'd think a 2 watt LED would be brighter. and it should be, of course. :)
@nhinkle and "attention getting" of a blinking pattern will have to be entirely subjective
 
@freiheit yep. I get to say, "I like that one, it's pretty and makes my eyes feel all fuzzy inside."
Lots of things to consider. Also, mounting mechanisms. Some of them are just terrible.
 
Probably none as bright as this one: store.dinottelighting.com/…
 
6:49 AM
@freiheit I've seen a lot about that light. Didn't order one because they're so expensive, but might consider contacting dinotte directly to ask about a loaner for some testing.
 
(somebody i know that can use industry connections to get stuff cheaper has one of those)
 
Everyone says it's the brightest dang thing they've ever seen, which it probably is.
 
it's bright enough to use as a headlight, in a pinch
 
I want to make my own eventually though. It'll be a separate project. By my estimates so far, I could build a brighter light for less than half the cost. Problem is, you have to build your own power source, which takes some electrical mucking about which isn't as simple as just attaching a prebuilt system. So, it'll take some planning.
But if I can write a good detailed guide, hopefully anyone with just a minimal amount of EE experience could do it themselves.
 
6:52 AM
@freiheit that's pretty cool. You should do a dynamos post sometime!
Anyhow, I need to get going to sleep soon. See ya later
 
cya
 
7:30 AM
@nhinkle - There are some safety questions about DIY projects involving rechargeable batteries. I seem to recall there was a ranty thread partially about this over on bikeforums.net some time back.
 
 
12 hours later…
7:03 PM
I added a few questions to the community wiki cleanup meta question.
 
7:34 PM
@NeilFein yeah, the battery issue is what's primarily been holding me back. I'd really like to avoid a fire erupting between my legs as I'm barreling down a hill at 30 mph. Or in my garage or anywhere else for that matter.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:53 PM
@nhinkle - To continue this conversation - Maybe what people need is a central location to go to and cherry-pick ideas?
Does it make sense for us to open a meta question called "What are some good ideas for blog posts?" Maybe one idea per answer, and people can post "Hey, I've got this one" when they want to write it up?
 
@NeilFein we've toyed with a similar idea on the SU blog - we make a list of posts we'd like to have written at some point, and people say "ooh me!"
 
SFF uses a Trello board for this, but I think that would be overkill.
@freiheit - does this sound like it would work, or would this be using meta for an inappropriate purpose?
 
It's worked somewhat, but people still take some prodding. There's a lot of friction with the blogging process, because of technical reasons (the blog is a PITA compared to regular questions/answers) and more psychological ones ("but blog posts are harrrd and have to be lonngggg and I'm a bad writerrrr", when people don't realize that sweet and short works fine too)
@NeilFein oh it's a perfectly reasonable use of meta
 
@NeilFein I don't see anything wrong with using meta for any blog-running method that it even vaguely works for. :)
 
Okay, I'll write it up.
 
8:56 PM
I just got online and am busy dealing with a whole 2 flags. :)
 
@freiheit oh noez, teh horror!
 
Like, wow!!!!!
Was one of them mine?
 
I wasn't paying that much attention to who left the flags
and actually, it was 4 flags on 2 posts
 
Okay, I posted that thread in meta: Post ideas for the blog
 
9:17 PM
1
Q: Post ideas for the blog

Neil FeinWe've been posting maybe once every week or two on the Bicycles blog. We have a lot of people signed up as posters, but many of them haven't written or finished any posts. Perhaps people just don't have any ideas for posts? After a conversation in chat, we're going to try using meta for post id...

 
@NeilFein you were mentioning battery safety with DIY projects, which I have been somewhat concerned about. Any recommendations on places to find good info on how to power things on your bike without blowing stuff up?
 
It was a thread in bikeforums, I forget where exactly, but I don't think it'd do you much good; it was more pointing out problems than solving them.
Isn't there an electronics SE site?
 
Yeah there is. I've already asked some questions over there, but most of the users there aren't as familiar with the issues of weatherproofing and whatnot.
 
3
Q: How can I safely charge 3 lithium 18650 batteries to use in one pack?

nhinkleI'm working on a project to make my own super-bright bike taillight using an emergency flasher LED (something like this:) The LED package requires a 12V input, but from what I've read from other people who've done this before, it will still work with as little as about 8V. It also uses a 12V m...

 
9:21 PM
The thread I read was pointing out the dangers of using the wrong charger/battery type pairing, and was ranting about how Teh batt3ries will asplode d00d.
 
@NeilFein yep. Charging is the biggest problem. I'm looking for an all-in-one charging/battery solution that'll work, but most of them are pretty dang expensive.
 
Electronics is one of the two sites we ever migrated a question to from Bicycles.SE.
1
Q: How do I build a solar charger for my phone / other devices?

lfrandomI have an HTC Incredible phone which eats a lot of battery, and a cy-fi speaker which I use with the phone. I'd like to charge them both while riding my bicycle, and I think the best choice is a solar charger, so I can avoid carrying along tons of AA batteries. How do I go about building a sola...

 
@freiheit what's the other site?
 
The other was... travel?
 
Fitness.
We had a few incoming questions from travel
 
9:25 PM
 
Looking at battery chargers on ebay... loving the translated warning text
> NOTE: DO NOT CHARGE THE DIFFERENT SERIES BATTERIES AT A TIME, DO NOT PLACE THE WRONG CHARGING MODE, OR IT WILL CAUSE THE BATTERY LEAKAGE OR BOMB.
 
Yeah, that sounds about right
 
> Because the difference between the batteries, some indicator lights will stop in advance, you had better to take out all the batteries when all the indicator lights are off.
woo!
 
Are battery chargers really that expensive that you're considering getting the bargain basement models off of eBay that don't shut off when the battery is charged?
 
9:34 PM
@freiheit i'm still doing research shrug. It's more that full battery packs are expensive, not the chargers themselves.
 
did your research include recharging cr2032s?
 
@freiheit cr2032's don't hold much charge. I'm looking at 18650's.
This article lists the sizes and shapes of some common primary and secondary battery types in household and light industrial use. The long history of disposable dry cells means that many different manufacturer-specific and national standards were used to designate sizes, long before international standards were reached. Technical standards for battery sizes and types are published by standards organizations such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Popular sizes are still referred to by old standard or manufacturer designat...
This looks possible: usledsupply.com/shop/…
 
I was thinking more for tiny things that already exist and take that size battery. like the knog frog light.
you're trying to build your own light with a separate corded battery pack?
 
@freiheit right. ~500 mA, 12V DC
 
sorta like that kinda setup, but cheaper than $700? :)
 
9:42 PM
Exactly!
Anyhow, I need to go for a bit. I'll be back later though. Cheers!
 
:)
Hey, here's a bargain: 1200 lumens for $350. store.dinottelighting.com/…
I have a 200L by this company, and it's already insanely bright.
My wife's LED presentation projector is only 600 lumens.
 
Friend of mine has a 300 Lumen light.
definitely insanely bright
 
Yeah, I've noticed that you can even get alkaline LEDs that are amazingly bright these days.
 

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