> 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
> My Portfolio
> my TechTrek.Tv show
Step 1: Parts & Tools
Helmet: Bern black Brentwood with visor pads for summer: http://www.bernunlimited.com/2007/brentwood.html
Solar Charger: Flexible Solar Battery Charger SolLite-4AA by Silicon Solar. (I used a different case with 3 AAA batteries). http://www.siliconsolar.com/Flexible-Solar-Battery-Charger-SolLite-4AA-p-16199.html
> 2, Giant 10mm Rainbow Flashing LED: Flash slow, then fast, through red, green and blue. Electronic Goldmine: http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G16226
Or if you want a longer run time, use regular single color flashing 5mm bulb, say green in color from the sites below.
> 2, Red Clear 10mm Flashing LEDs. Electronic Express: http://www.elexp.com/opt_6bid.htm
> 2, Yellow Clear 10mm Flashing LED. Electronic Express: http://www.elexp.com/opt_6bid.htm
- You can also buy all the colors and rainbow flashing bulbs here: http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category/340200/Flashing.html
- and 10mm here; http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/products.asp?dept=1093
Waterproof, replaceable bulb mounts. Takes 5mm or 10mm bulbs.
6, White 10mm 24 inch wired mounts: 593-CNX460X24124 CNX460-X02-4-1-24 VCC LED Lens Mounts from Mouser Inc. http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=CNX460-X02-4-1-24virtualkey59300000virtualkey593-CNX460X24124
LED Mount Lenses
Clear Water Tight O-ring Fresnel lenses: 593-HMS462CTP HMS462CTP VCC LED Lens Mounts: Mouser Inc. http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=HMS462CTPvirtualkey59300000virtualkey593-HMS462CTP
Radio Shack: "AAA" Battery Holder (Holds 3 Batteries)
Item #: AC-1100-270-0412
Switch: Radio Shack DPDT Submini Slide Switch. Model: 275-407
3 high quality rechargeable AAAs, Ni-Cad seems the choice of lots of solar products.
9 volt battery snap connectors
2, nine volt battery connectors. http://www.radioshack.com/sm-fully-insulated-9v-battery-snap-connectors--pi-2062219.html
Soft Case: Case Logic MP3 Mini Disc Player Shuttle: http://www.caselogic.com/small_mp3_player_shuttle/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=56457
Black Shoe Goo: To fill in around mounts and reinforce/waterproof solar panel connectors, and soldering and switch on battery holder: http://lifehacker.com/software/household/shoe-goo-super-glue-157137.php
Standard 'gap filling" super glue for LED pre-Shoe Goo mounting, wiring and reinforcing Velcro edges
Standard Black Double sided Velcro
Reflective Velcro bike wrap
black shrink tubing (electronic stores)
Krylon ultra flat black spray paint. (hardware stores, could use gloss Krylon "Fusion" paint too)