Instructables

Automatic Bicycle Handlebar End Lights

Featured

Step 7: FAQ's...


Q- I can not find any reed switches, what can I do?
A- Many online vendors ship worldwide. If you do not have a credit card I sugest you call the suppliers directly to discuss alternate payment options.

Q- I do not wear gloves when I ride, can I still use this system?
A- See Page 9 of this Instructable for an alternate trigger that does not require gloves. -OR- See next question.

Q- Can I use a regular on-off switch if I do not want to mess with all the magnet stuff?
A- Yes, the commercial design for lighted bar ends does use standard switches if you want to check them out here for ideas.

Q- Can I mount the lights facing forward if I do not like them pointing off to the sides?
A- Sure, you will need to come up with a way to mount the LED's so they point foward though.

Q- How much does it cost to build a set of these lights?
A- Even if you had to buy gloves, the LED's, a magnet, a reed switch, and some wire it should not cost more than $25USD. I paid $12 for 10 reed switches and a couple resistors from Mouser, $3 for a 4 pack of magnets from Wal-Mart, $3 for a multi-pack of LED's from Radio Shack, and I used wire and gloves I had laying around my house.

Q- I do not know how to solder, will you build a set of lights for me?
A- I would consider it. Send me a private message if you are seriously interested in having one built. Keep in mind that my time is worth money and although materials are only about $25, the price tag for having one built and shipped would be closer to three times that amount. I am consider offering just the parts for sale as a kit that you could buy and assemble.

Q- Is it street legal?
A- You should check your local laws. Personally, I am far more afraid of being run over by cars than I am of being ticketed by the police. If you use certain type of lights, such as flashing red or blue lights, you are increasing the risk of drawing unwanted police attention.

Q- How long do the batteries last?
A- The answer depends on what batteries you use.

Q- Can I install these lights on my _ _ _ _ _?
A- If you have space to mount the lights and batteries and can get a magnet close enough to trigger the reed switch, this system can be installed almost anywhere.

Q- Your instructions did not tell me to wear safety goggles and I accidentally soldered the reed switch to my eyeball. It really hurts.
A- At this point a handlebar mounting is out of the question but a magnet mounted to your eyelid can probably still be used to trigger the switch.

Q- Can I make the lights blink or strobe?
A- Substitute blinking LED's for a simple blink. For a side to side strobe effect I imagine you could use the sink-or-source ability of an astable 555 circuit to create a square wave that would strobe the LED's back and forward. That is well beyond the scope of this project and you would need to enlist the help of someone more knowledgeable about circuit design.

Q- How can I remove the lights if I get tired of them?
A- Just reverse the installation instructions. Pop the handlebar plugs out and remove the LED's from the holes they were mounted in. Pull the whole mess of wiring out through the right side of the handlebars. You can reinstall the old plugs with the holes in them or buy inexpensive replacements at your local bike shop.

Q- I made a bicycle related Instructable, will you link to it?
A- Sure, post a link in the comments section. If it is awesome enough I will add a link somewhere in my Instructable as well.



The next step contains some quotes about bicycles.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!