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Totally Pennytech rotating Headlight

  1. Nov 29, 2005 #1
    Totally "Pennytech" rotating Headlight

    Hi I just stumble into this forum and I already feel totally at home, I don't have any formal engeniering education but i have years of experience as a industrial designer among other things ,like growing up in Sur America with out acess to millions of resourses,,,

    oh sorry for the Ingles...

    anyway I have a bunch of little projects that i mostlly do for fun and I want to share some of them with you gals and guys...

    again i don't even know if this is the best section of the forum to post this kind of things

    this is Totally Empirical and made with very little resourses (i kind of like it that way)

    actually I call this project "the Moses light", since everytime i use it a path open up in front of the bike.

    for a little background..... motorcycles with fairings, cars, trucks have a very ovius problem with their lights sistems since they are mounted to the frame and not into the steering column, on smaller bikes you can mount the headlight to the fork legs but if the lights and instruments are heavy they make the steering response a little sloppy and heavy (imagine and basket full of bread atache to your bicycle handlebars) since all the load is at the front of the forks, plus is also the issue about the windshield and the airflow changing when the bars move generation unwanted cavitation and turbulence, needless to say i was looking for something in between that let me have a light that aims were i'm turning and i can also control so other people do not suffer from the bring shine,,, actually when I use it as a "Moses light" (on porpuse) i aim at the mirrors of the cell phone distracted drivers or whatever they are doing, so they start to pay attencion when they are driving, and become aware of my presense (on a bike you need to be "Visible" or you will dye) needless to say work like a charm and is a lot less instrusive that some super mega power lights that disperse light everywere and a million times better than a loud pipe specially if you take into consideration the Doddler effect and how the noise is at the "Wake" of the vehicle and not in front of it, another thing to consider is that motorcycles have a limited amount of electrical power so is very important to focus the small amount of energy when you need them the most..

    again this is a very primitive aproach to the problem, all hand build out of spare bicycle parts and pieces of Delrin plastic (my favority prototype material)

    here is how it looks
    going to the right


    going left

    now in more detail,,,
    "Are you taking to ME...."

    exelent when you are looking for adresses, actually this lense was already a spotlight but i modified the focal point to make the beam even narrower, just remenber the light is moving with you so it can be really narrow Beam (with a lot of reach) and still provide exelent visivility.

    this is how it works, i have a "rotator" turret made at the end of a light bar that can move freelly side to side (rotate) mounted on skateboard bearing.

    the little rotator tower is move by this two wires, depending on the direction you pull the wire the light will move the opposite way, it works pretty much the same way a steering works on a old sail boat.

    i have two adjustable (bicycle parts) cable stop for the housings so i can micro adjust them if require, you can also notice the V-brake accordions to protect the wire from corrosion.

    next to the steering column i have another guide that let the wires go into the upper triple clamp were i have another "Pulley" (Black piece on the left hand side) so far the sistem works in a one to one bases, but i'm sure other rathios will also work and provide diferent outcomes, i try some Nautilus cams and other crazy stuff like flooweres(like on a roller cam brake) but they did not bring much benefit)

    as ussual I made the little box out of delrin mostlly ussing my 4.5" grinder and use some used Brass wheels from a old suntour rollercam brake to decrease the friction.

    the second necesary control is the asimut adjuster so the light can be move up and down, i control this function with a small lever
    here show on when the light aims low (almost to the ground in front of the bike if I want too,,,exelent for repairs on other bikes)

    same lever but this time the light is aiming to the sky,,again i can control how much of a angle is require.

    this is a overall view of the sistem "naked"

    the light going down, the pivot for it is just another simple seat crankbolt with some locktyde, works just fine.

    light up and away showing how much flexibility the sistem provide

    Oviuslly is a miilion other more efficient ways to make something like this servos, hydrolics, electronics but the one i made works well enogh for what I need so i never when farder,, actually I did but is part of a patent I can not show you..

    actually is shame i only have this foto, i made this for my KTm 640 adventure, six little dicroic bulbs, mount 3 each on a circle the two circles move at unison,,,Man that project was Fun fuN fun,,,
    the way I see it, why make something simple if you can make it Super Dupper complicated,, at least is fun that way and for sure a great mental exercive not to mension a test for your paccience..
    [PLAIN]http://patineto.smugmug.com/photos/35965-M-1.jpg[/QUOTE][/URL] [Broken]

    well I hope you mega geeks enjoy my little passion and don't judge me to hard for being a "hack" with the years i found that knoing to much about something actually slow you down if not restrict you to a fualt, so i preefer to glide about the math and get it done...

    i just hope the Fotos will load up

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Welcome Ricardo.

    I am not a motorcycle type, so I have no idea if this has ever been done before, but I would say that you should never be worried about low tech solutions to anything, especially if they work. I think you've got a great idea. It was tough to see the light in the first few photos, but the close up made it make more sense. I must say that it looks like you took the lawnmower throttle cable to the next level which I think is great. If it doesn't suffer from any backlash or slop in the cable then I would think you have a winner. After looking at your post, it makes me wish I had more time to do projects like this.

    I especially like the idea of being able to adjust the attitude up for flashing cell phone users and other drivers. I think anything you motorcycle types can do to make yourself safer is a good thing. I have a good friend who is overcoming some serious injuries after getting her front wheel taken out when a car cut in front of her on the expressway.

    Just a couple of quick notes...it's "Doppler" effect, not Doddler. Also, a lot of us haven't reached the mega geek status yet, but we're trying.

    Nice bit of work.
  4. Nov 29, 2005 #3
    the sistem works much better than you will think, when you look at it in the fiorst place, i was albe to build a "Damper" sistem into it, so the light pattern is very progresive, but i still like to improve if i can even if sometimes I get a little lassy.

    Being done before...???
    well Yes is being done before, in fact for many years in the sense many bikes have the light attach directlly to the fork or the triple clamps making the light moves with the steering, but i'm not aware of a similar aproach to the AUXiliary light mount on a platform independent from the steering, is being done in cars, the famous Citroens, the awesome tucker car and I believe also The Dimaxion car from the genius mister Buck mister Fuller, i believe is currentlly available in some fancy BMW and other cars.

    I also try some others sistems , like ussing visco elastic gels (movie light suppy) that can be modufied in sahpe , by elongating or compressing the materials effectlly modifing the focal point, plus other more soffisticated linkage sistems ussing progresive "Nautilus" cams and some other ussing "Blas pascal's" Hydrolic sistems with piston actuators that suffer less from friction losses and can be extended far longer distances.

    I'm also working in a possible patent (so I can not really show you) of a wire less sistem that will be able to be anyware like the roof of a car or anywere you want or need.
    just the remenber the old and very wise, "Necesity is the mother of invension"

    personally i enjoy very much all this kind of work, i think & hope inspires others to follow thier dreams.

    tell me about it,,,,
    i live close to San francisco and the traffic around here is very rutless plus many people get use to the aparent safety and the long cummutes(some people drive 2 hours to ge to work) and end up getting bored and reading magazines, typing on laptops, eating, puting make up, you name it I see it all, plus in california you are alaud to "lane split" a.k.a. share the road and go in between two cars making "visivility" a absolute paramount..

    I was just looking for better ways, since sound is not that useful and then again is not everybodys fault you have a few "Dummies" on the road, i think the light (passive and active) is a far better solution,, just look at this use of reflective tape
    Thanks for the correction and the kudos Fred, did I mension i'm totally dixlexic...?!?!?

    so i have a question,, is this the proper forum to post this kind of projects..?

    Another question is anyway i can make the pictures "able" to be seeing on the tread and people don't need to click on the URL to watch them...??
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
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