Step 2: Modify Your Lights

To be able to use the buckle switch (explained later) you will need to be able to switch your lights from a separate switch. To use the solar panels you will need to be able to access the "+" and "-" of the batteries.
This means you need to add a "+", a "-" and a "switch" terminal to the lights' circuits and wires to those to come out of the light's enclosure.
I don't have very good pictures of this, but it would depend on your light anyway.
Generally you can just attach the "-" wire in somewhere near the "-" of the battery compartment. The "+" and the "switch" are a bit more tricky, since you actually need to interrupt the circuit inside the light.
For the front light, I ended up making a disk with metal duct tape cut into appropriate shapes on each side. One side lines up with the battery terminals, and the other with the contacts on the lamp part. The "-" side goes around the disk to connect to both the lamp and the battery side. The "+" side lines up with the "+" of the battery. The "switch" lines up with the "+" contact on the lamp side that would usually line up with the "+" on the battery.
The back light I was able to take apart enough to solder the "-" right onto the battery cradle. I unsoldered the "+" side of the battery cradle from the lamp cicruit and soldered one wire onto the battery cradle and one onto the previously unsoldered wire.

In both cases, test the light after the circuit modification to make sure that the light will run on when the battery is attached while "+" and "switch" are touching. That is, make sure your light defaults to "on". If it does not, you may be able to mess with the circuit further, or you might need to get a different light. Or you could just skip the buckle part I will explain later and switch your light on as you did before.

If the lamps default to "on", find a way to get the wires out of the lamp cases while keeping the cases as waterproof as possible. I went through the rubber membrane that used to protect the switch on the back light. On the front light, where the lamp part screws onto the battery compartment, I filed a recess that the wires can sit in.

You'll need to see what works for your lights.
What helmet did you start with?
It's made by Bell. I don't know which model it is. I don't think it should matter too much.
Is this a safe helmet I ask? Those added modifications stick out, and in the case of ,hopefully unlikely, accident or even hitting a tree with your helmet, it will get caught causing your head to twist? The primary purpose of any helmet is to protect the wearer from shocks and reduce the possible injury and any modification added into helmets may compromise these.
Interesting thought. To be honest, I have wondered that about helmets <strong>themself</strong> in the past. A head is relatively smooth, but here you string something around your neck that adds another 5cm of lever/hook for anything to catch on to. <br/>I am not even totally convinced that wearing a helmet is worth it. Analyzing the risk of me falling of my bike and hurting my head, I think that there are many daily hazards that are riskier where no one suggests I should wear a helmet. Take climbing stairs, or worse, having a shower. But I digress :-)<br/>As for the modifications, I did not change the structure of the helmet at all, and I doubt that double-sided mounting tape would even stay put if someone fell on it. For the concern of any of the attachments acting as a &quot;point&quot; to help penetration by concentrating the impact, I would hope that the helmet could handle that; if not, it might not be worth wearing in the first place. <br/>To me, having the helmet make me more visible in traffic makes it a bit more worthwhile to wear it at all.<br/>Maybe between calebjc's helmet (I see he got a similar comment) and my helmet, someone will pick this up and produce it commercially with nothing sticking out. :-)<br/>
Congrats! Glad I could help inspire.
I can't believe I never thought of stealing the solar panels from lawn lights. I also like how you executed the strap switch. Not that I am biased or anything. Congrats on the prize!

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make stuff and to make things work my way.
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