Intro: Tail Light and Blinker Setup for Motor Bicycles
OK here we go this is a basic step by step that will help you understand how to do this project. Not Exactly how to do it because it will be different for everyone. (sound familiar its Zooms moto) Hope you can get how to do this and ill see many more pictures of peoples working brake light and turn signals!! HOPE THIS HELPS!!!
To understand this project you need to have a basic knowledge of the 555 timer and how to use it. I have found numerous websites that give detailed information on how to use one and how to wire it all together.
This one is my favorite.
Step 1: Basic Info
A 555 timer is basically an on or off circuit and chip that turns an object on for a time period and off for a different calculated time. The website above has a very simple way of determining the resistors and the capacitor values.
The way that I did the brake lights are taking two separate 555 timers with the same values for the resistors and capacitor on the two separate chips I wired them together and made it so that when you flick a three way switch to the left it runs current through the 555 for the left light and makes the left light blink 3 times per second. The same principal for the right blinker and 555 circuit.
A few things to consider before starting this project
1. Your power can come from any battery with the voltage between 4 and13v. The reason is because the 555 timers you will use can only handle that range. I chose to use 6volts because the motor puts out 6.1volts from the white wire and it will theoretically charge my battery.
2. The lights themselves need to be LEDs because they are very bright and versatile when it comes to voltage. When you go to walmart or an auto supply store the lights that you will buy are set up for 12volts. This means that they are using an incandescent bulb that needs 12v or the LEDs have a resistor that brings down the voltage so that the LEDs wont blow up.
3. The entire job is custom!!! You can find pre-made ones that will work but you have unlimited possibilities when you build your own lights and timers.
Step 2: Parts List
1 brake light (Walmart)
1 set of blinkers (motor sport supply store is where I got mine)
Radio shack items
2 555 timers
2 555 IC Sockets
Several strip boards (board to solder the parts too) (doesn’t matter what one you can figure out how to make it work for you, there will be cutting involved)
Bridge wire (small insulated wire follow the steps on the website in the link above)
LED’s (pick what you want) ill explain later how to use ohms law later in the post so you don’t blow them up)
1 momentary push switch
1 three-position switch
Bracket of some sort to hold all the pieces together (I went to Home Depot and used a flat Simpson plate and two corner braces and bolted them together and pipe clamp thingy to hold it on the bike
I think that’s it that’s all I can come up with off the top of my head!
Step 3: Blinkers
First step is to take the guts out of your lights. Your doing this because if your using a battery that is less that 12v then you cant use the original light bulbs because they are for a 12v application and I used 6v and it wont work! (If you get lights that have LED’s then you can change out the resistors for a value that fits what your trying to do. Use OHMS law to figure out your resistor value. If it’s a simple set of lights it should be easy. Ill leave it to you to figure that out, or ask me later and ill explain)
Once you have the guts out of the light you are going to be left with a “shell” and your going to be using that to place your LED’s into. Take one of your strip boards and mark out how big the strip board needs to be to fit in the shell. You want to make sure that its small enough so that LED’s will fit on top and the lens will shut on top without damaging the LED’s. Make it small enough so you have clearance on the top to put it back together. Make sure your marking it on the non-copper with a sharpie.
Then place your LED’s on the board in the pattern you want and make sure the polarity is right with the cathodes all on the same side so they will all work. The negative side is the short lead. Make sure they are all on the same tract and the positive leads are all on a different one. If you mix it up the LED wont work. Solder it together and solder wire leads on the tracts so you can have power going to the light. Then feed the wire back into the housing and use Hot Glue to attach it inside the housing or shell. Hot glue doesn’t transfer electricity so you’ll be fine putting a big glob of it and pushing the LED board into it to hold the board in place.
You are done making one blinker so repeat the process on the other one.
This is a picture of the 555's with the wire from the switch the red white and black. Red is the left blinker the black one is the hot and the white one is the right blinker. The red one is the felt side of the switch and the white is the right side of the switch
This is the blinker with the LED board and the hot glue holding it in place. There are two black wires going from this board i built to the 555 timers the negative side goes to the negative track on the 555 board and the positive wire goes to the output pin of the 555 timer AFTER THE RESISTOR! the resistor is in between the 555 output pin and the wire going to the lights.