Picture of CCFL Bike Wheels! (Now with video!)
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Just a word of caution, this instructable involves modifying CCFL's, which run on very high voltages.  This can be dangerous, so you should definitely take care when you're doing this, you could easily zap yourself pretty bad.

Way back in the day, when I made my first instructable I decided I really liked the idea of wheel lights. The contest I entered had the monkeyelectric wheel lights as the grand prize, but sadly, I didn't win.

When I saw there was a new contest going for ways to "Light up your ride," I knew I had to enter! I went to my stuff drawers, rummaged around, and came up with this. It was a very simple build, from concept to completed in about 2 1/2 hours, and I think the final result looks quite nice. It's not the monkeyelectric lights, but it's still pretty cool!

****EDIT: Per g-ram's request, I've added the video below. Apologies for the low quality, my camera is not very good for night or low-light video. This should at least give some indication of how it looks in real life.

***UPDATE 5/3/10:  If you decide to make a wheel light like this, post some pictures and I'll send you a patch!***

Step 1: Stuff!

Picture of Stuff!
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I have a couple of old dressers full of things that I've horded, dismantled, broken, fixed, saved, and created. My stuff drawers. So, I was lucky enough to have all of these materials on hand. I'm guessing if you had to go to radioshack or the internets and buy everything here, you'd probably be looking at around $20-35.

Here's a list of the essentials:

1 CCFL computer case light with driver board
2 4-AA battery holders
1 Switch
Lots of zip ties
Hot Glue (Of course!)
Electrical tape
kewrw282 years ago
Way to go. It looks first class. No Doubt! Keep up the fine work.
depotdevoid (author)  kewrw282 years ago
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Very nice! Good luck in the contest
depotdevoid (author)  LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
why not use more than one and talk about shutter exposure time
depotdevoid (author)  user5086 years ago
As to why not use more than one, I wasn't sure how long the AA's would last even with just one tube attached. The driver for the CCFL has 2 plugs, you could very easily attach a second tube, but I don't want to be burning through batteries that quickly. What do you mean about shutter exposure time?

this link is abought exposure type it in the address bar
blakiki4 years ago
you mentioned 12v doorbell batteries, I can't seem to find what you're referring to, link please?
depotdevoid (author)  blakiki4 years ago
You sir, are excellent!
depotdevoid (author)  blakiki4 years ago
It's good to finally be recognized for my greatness.
reusesave6 years ago
I made a battery powered LED light that i found and it works and hopefully i can use it on my bike
Gamer9176 years ago
i have an old laptop screen backlight that i will use as a bike light
depotdevoid (author)  Gamer9176 years ago
Good call! Post a picture of the results!
im probably not gonna make it until the summer
depotdevoid (author)  Gamer9176 years ago
Yeah, that's probably a good idea. I made a pair for my brother for christmas, but he says the weather has been so awful he hasn't been able to use them yet.
Yeah, I've done a similar project with a battery pack in the spokes and was worried how it would feel. Turns out no effect really at all. I used LED lights but this neon job looks pretty trick too... maybe I'll try it! Here are some pics and vids of my rig http://www.flickr.com/photos/webcompanion/sets/72157609086688582/
depotdevoid (author)  webcompanion6 years ago
I love the LED's! Those are my usual light of choice, I just happened to have a few of these CCFL's lying around. Thanks for the pictures, your bike looks awesome!
vorin6 years ago
i have an old green ccfl that has been asking for a job, and this might be it.. great documentation
depotdevoid (author)  vorin6 years ago
Great, I'm glad you liked it! Post a picture if you end up making one yourself!
g-ram6 years ago
is it possible we could see a video of this in action?
depotdevoid (author)  g-ram6 years ago
g-ram, I've added a short (about 35 seconds) video to the intro step. Sorry about the quality, it was the best I could do.
depotdevoid (author)  g-ram6 years ago
Yeah, I think I could arrange that. I'll leave another comment when I have.
Zorink6 years ago
depotdevoid (author)  Zorink6 years ago
Hahhahhahaaahhhah!!!!! Oh, that is AWESOME! It's been a million years since I've seen Tron. I remember playing light cycle race on commodore 64. Man, I am old.
I'll be waiting for the lightcycle instructable
pokiespout6 years ago
Awesome! You are so making me this for Christmas.
depotdevoid (author)  pokiespout6 years ago
What color(s)?
Well, you know orange is my favorite. Blue comes in a close second. And your next project should be supercool hoverbike sound effects...