Nov 10

November 10, 2005

16 days to go!!

I have to show you this light - it's freaking awesome man! Most of the credit goes to Matt Weaver who has done the research and was able to tell me exactly how to build the worlds most powerful portable bike light. It's a 35 watt HID car light powered by a 7200 mA lithium polymer rechargeable battery. The HID light is 30% brighter than a halogen at the same power consumption and burns cooler. Ben found this slick little halogen car light that is intended to mount on your bumper and I replaced the halogen bulb with the HID bulb. The HID lamp also requires a ballast and an igniter.

I cut some holes in the frame an recessed the ballast and lithium ion battery into the slots with Velcro. I wanted to make sure that this weight was centered in the middle of the bike. I positioned the battery pack as far back as I could go to get some additional weight in the back (the bike is very nose heavy).

The light is bright - I mean really way bright. On a test ride tonight after dark, the HID was lighting up the trees at the T intersection 100 yards in front of me.

My concern about light is the 12+ hours I will be riding in the dark. My head is fairing low in the streamliner and I can't see much of the road directly in front of me so I really need a super bright light. This one should do the trick.

The 7200 mAh lithium batteries are from BatterySpace.com. 7200 mAh should give me from 2 to 2.5 hours of light so I bought 3 of them so I can continually charge and rotate during pit stops. According to Bill Gaines from the HPVA, I am allowed to CHANGE my batteries, but I am not allowed to remove them. This means that I must ride the daylight portion of my event carrying 3.5 pounds of light, ballast and batteries:


This is also pretty darned neat: A new product that Ben found from 3M called Command. It's like velcro, but both sides of the mating surfaces are the same. What makes it perfect for connecting fairing shells to the side of your streamliner frame is they don't stick until you press them together.

The problem we were having with Velcro, is as soon as you have one part of the fairing touching the frame, the velcro tabs would start sticking together making it nearly impossible to move the shell into a better position. The Command strips allow you to slide the shell into exactly where you want it to stay, then you press down on the tabs and they 'click' together. Same thing when you remove a shell - once the tabs are parted, they slide against each other easily.


Here is an additional shot from Ben at the track the other day (click for larger):


the final final final final FINAL, FINAL, FINAL, FINAL, FINAL to-do list:

1. Notches in shells to fit on stand
2. Landing gear hatch (new lid)
3. Landing gear hatch test (100 times open closed frominside the fairing)
4. Silicon bag leaks
5. New Velcro?
6. Night test with canopy on and HID. set angle
7. Cut hole in nose for HID (after night ride test)
8. Duct hose
9. Car fit - and build whatever structure required
10. Canopy opening trim
11. holes in frame for new batteries, ballast and igniter (wait until new batteries get here)
12. Jason spare SRM
13. Logo to AK for output
14. Stick on logo
15. Prep spare wheels
16. Crr test with spares and tubulars??
17. Front chain guide / der smallest gear?
18. AA cockpit light (find one and hook up to switch)
19. AA battery charger (for radios and cockpit light)
20. Email crew schedule
21. Naca duct fog test???
22. Tighten HEADSET (custom tool)
23. Build charging panel (HID batteries, radio battery charger, iPODS, SRM charger)
24. Prep spare HID (or just use halogen)
25. Velcro pee bag
26. Audio books / playlists
27. web cam recorder
28. find 23 tooth MTB gear in case


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