> See 45 second video of helmet
> 2-minute video of construction and use
> Charge time: 5-8 hours in full sunlight to charge 4 AA batteries. I used 3 AAA batteries, so it charges in more like 4 hours. It will charge in bright cloud cover as well.
> Runtime being tested, but so far, seems like several hours.
> Replaceable 5 or 10mm LEDs, flashing or not, in O ring sealed mounts.
> Flexible weatherproof solar panel.
> Detachable batteries and panel for use as a AAA battery charger for camping equipment like headlamps that use 3AAA batteries.
> Removable the AAA batteries can be easily taken out and charged in wall if needed, or regular AAAs can be used.
I thought this would be a well-suited application of solar powered trickle charge panels. I only ride at night about an hour a week, so during the day the helmet can sit in a window and charge. Helmet mounted lights also free me from having lights mounted on my bike that need to be detached to keep from being stolen. It works in the rain and so far is always charged when I need it.
This project could be done in many different ways and I spent a lot of time trying different parts and ideas. The key breakthroughs for me were to use 3 AAA batteries, vs the 4AA's that came with the Solar Panel because they were a better balance of weight to the right amount of power and milliamps. I ended up using a simple soft case Velcro wrapped to the helmet, and relied heavily on Black Shoe Goo! (I think it's the new duct tape). Most of the work was getting an easy rapid prototype idea to work rain or shine, for months on end, and be versatile with replaceable parts. I kept it flat black because the helmet is flat black, so chips don't show. And I'm in New York City, where black is the default color.
Good luck! Let me know if you come up with better ideas.
Caleb John Clark. Made at NYU, Tisch School Of The Arts, ITP dept. for Build in Despina Papadopoulo's Softness of Things class
Oct. Nov. 2007
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