Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Lights 'round corners

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by ginji, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. So I've been thinking (oh the pain!) about this...

    This is what I figure is the best way of doing something like this, whilst keeping in mind that we don't want to blind other people out there:

    2 extra lights mounted on the bike (common enough), wired through an on/off switch and high beam (ie, when on and high beam is on, they're on, either of them off, lights are off)

    Here's the kicker: when the lights are on, and the high beam is off, we still want a light to turn on when we're going around a corner, so we put in a simple tilt switch that turns on the light on the side we're turning towards.

    So now we have three modes:

    On (with high beam)
    Tilt-o-matic :eek:

    Could work eh?

    (Another option is to have the left hand on regardless of switch states, and tilt-o-matic the right hand side one so it turns the left hand one off when going around a right hand corner, and the right hand one on)

    *waits for Hornet to come in and demand it gets done on his bike*

  2. Sounds like a great idea.

    I have been thinking down a similar path, even bought some LED clusters to experiment.

    I wonder rather / maybe in addition is to use the indicators as a 'on' option?
  3. first i thought, mercury switches are your friend. but then, maybe inertia would keep the mercury from closing the switch.
    idea has merit, i'll think some more.
  4. Great, now I know I'm at least not alone in my crack pot ideas! ;)

    I'd rather halogens, much brighter and clearer, especially if you want it on with your high beam. Cheaper too, but it does drain more power.

    I don't get what you mean? If you put your left hand indicator on it turns on the left hand light?
  5. That's a pretty brilliant idea if you can get it set up and the alignment right.

    A lot of people would pay significant cash to get a system like this on a bike. Seriously good potential business opportunity.
  6. Hmm, I didn't think of the mercury being centripetally pushed to the other side... Depends on the style of the switch I suppose. It might be possible to get a switch the closes still though, or orientate it in another way.
  7. I hear you, but I bought a set of these to play with - cost $15.


    Yeah sort of, so when you are indicating 'left' and lights are on then the left cornering light comes on, and ditto for turning right
  8. Mercuryswitch.

    If you got a mercury switch like that (although I think when I do this I'll be getting a metal cased one!) you could mount it on a slight angle downwards (the end which the mercury is in in that pic would be the downwards one) then when you go around the corner it should close the switch. But if you go around a corner very sharply, or slowly it might not... I wonder if I could do something up with a solid state gyro...
  9. the most accurate sensor/switch would be an accelerometer, but that would require a microcontroller too.
    a mercury switch isnt too expensive, and a far simpler option. buy one, probably just a SPST and see if it works. Im currently watching WSBK and it is hard to properly imagine, but perhaps the centripetal force would actually help make contact, as the force would be downwards, in the direction of the tyres. i think :LOL:
  10. Have you tried them to see how bright they are? What is the claimed brightness?
    I'd rather something I didn't have to think about. It's dark already, and I'm going around corners with possible wombats lurking around it getting read to jump out. Plus any traffic behind you would get confused.
  11. I'll try to take some pics later this week.
  12. or i could finish this Physics prac i'm writing up and do some calculations and figure it out :p

    Micro controllers don't worry me, nor does programming em. But it would be more expensive... (But then again, once it's programmed, it's programmed... could sell em)

  13. i challenge you to a vector fight!
    i will watch in eager anticipation as your invention evolves :)
  14. If you run any of the 55w small driving lights available, you wil find they have more than enough light.
    Being 55w, you will be able to legally leave them on when approaching other traffic, and if you have the aimed for going around corners, they won't be blinding oncoming traffic till you're very close to passing them anyway.
    55w lamps also have teh advantage of not drawing too much current, any bike running at cruising rpm SHOULD have enough spare alternator output to run them continuously.
    I run mine off teh high beam (high beam activates teh relay), and have the main headlight aimed a little high, so it does a fair job on low beam at night, whilst sacrificing some high beam (too high). But because I have the additional lights, I win overall.
    I have found that having the lights mounted as high as possible, and having the right light shining left and vice versa, gives the best results. By having the lights shining from one side to teh other, you have the light higher up on teh bike when leaned over in a turn, which helps a lot. Mounting them high on teh bike means you can reach over and adjust them on teh fly too.

    These were "proof of concept" cheapie Night Stalker brand lights, but have proven very effective. They give a just about perfect pattern for cornering in a bike, not a pencil beam, but not a flood light either.
    Just remember, use a quality relay, weatherproof connections and fuse your power supply to your relay.
    I am however upgrading to some Narva 100mm lamps, purely because I get them at cost now! :LOL:

    Regards, Andrew.
  15. You'd loose that :p I've had to do vectors in 4 out 4 subjects this semester :wink:

    typhoon, I'd seen you'd done that before, and your advice is appreciated, but don't get between a geek and his projects :LOL:

    I'm considering the possibility of lights brighter then 55W, and even then having 3 lights of 55W on at the one time, in a tight concentration might still be blinding to other people on the road, even if legally they're allowed to be left on. And I like the idea of set and forget when it comes to twisties at night ;)
  16. Simple is often the best way. Your idea of switching teh lights independently is a good idea, I wonder if some sort of ground proximity sensor ( I am thinking ultrasonics, like reverse sensors) could be rigged up on either side of the bike?
    It would probably be the most foolproof/readily available/cheap way to detect lean, considering that a bike when cornering, shouldn't have any side loads imposed on it, and pendulums will not detect lean in this case.
    Also, you should check on your alternator before you plan anything greater than 55w, most bikes have about 20 amps spare on a good day.

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. Triaxial accelerometers have dropped seriously in price. There are models that output the acceleration as an analog voltage so a simple Op Amp structure consisting of an analog adder and window comparator would be sufficient. You would not need the complexity of a micro although sometimes with the cost of low end micro's now days it is the cheapest option.

    Hitachi Accelerometer
    Freescale Accelerometer

    These units do detect Gravity as one of their acceleration offsets so this could be used as a datum to indicate the upright position.

    Interesting project idea. :)
  18. Either way, the input voltage to the controller is going to have to be further regulated as well... can't have 12-15V going in, especially not as dirty as a motorcycle regulator puts out..

    I'm glad you like it... I never did like projects everyone has done before :p

    I suppose I could always request samples of various accelerometers and what not... If i recall correctly, a lot of the producers will send limited numbers out for free.

    I should go through my IC's and see what I already have... Haven't looked at them since I was doing EE at uni and that was 4 years ago now.
  19. Freescale are pretty good at samples if not Farnell have this chip in stock I believe. Re Voltage yes these chips are designed to operate at about 3 volts so you would need some regulation to that level. The current draw of the control circuitry is so low that a 3 pin linear would be sufficient. The Accelerometers only come in QFN packages though I believe so I hope your surface mount hand soldering is up to it. :)
  20. you could whip up a program for a nokia N95, they have an accelerometer built in. this could be your telehone, gps & nav, light coordinating multipurpose combo-phone :LOL: