bike electrification part one

What do you do when its snowing and biking season is rapidly coming to a close, yet not enough snow for ski season? Bike Electrification, of course!

The recipe:

  1. CCFL’s (cold cathode fluorescent lamps) & LED’s from
  2. 12v SLA (sealed lead acid)  battery from
  3. Lots of miscellaneous parts from Radio Shack
  4. Lots of miscellaneous parts from Lowes
  5. Lots of PBR and other assorted beverages to get me through this
  6. A miserable weather day to keep me inside

The build:

In a nutshell, there is nothing really complex about this, other than getting power to the lights, mounting them, and finding a way to keep everything together.

I used a BP5-12 SLA 12v battery from 5 Amp-hour storage capacity. I wired in an inline fuse holder with a 3 Amp fuse in case I shorted something, big dummy wouldn’t go up in flames. Here, I’m testing the LED lights that will be installed on the back “V-Racks.” Yea! They work, I get my sparky badge!

The LED is mounted in a plastic project box from Radio Shack. The LED lights have a controller box, and on the face plate of the project box is a power switch and an “effects switch” that cycles through the various effects…

LEDs were mounted on the frame with velcro ties, with a small pad of double sided mounting tape to hold them in place.

I routed all of the cables to the main box on the left side of the rear wheel in heat shrink tubing. I could have used an old road bike tube also.

The main power distribution box houses two terminal strips, a main power switch, 4 individual light bank switches, and the inverters for each of the CCFL lights. Here is the top panel with the inverter power supply cables and switches mounted…

and the box mounted on big dummy…

the turquoise boxes are the inverters, 2 CCFLs per inverter except for the front “liquid style” CCFL, which has higher power and can only have one lamp plugged into its inverter. I put strips of an old bike tube around each inverter to give them some airspace and get a tight fit.  The inverters jack up the voltage to something like 600v AC, but a very small current like 5mA.

Somehow I’ve got to get all of those guts into the main box…

I did it, and you can see the main power switch and the individual switches for each of the light banks.

And a closeup of the rear LED switch and effects cycle buttons…

Lights were fastened with zip or velcro ties, and double sided mounting tape…

And the battery is stored in the velcro pouch in the sidebags…

When I flipped on the power switch…


Total load amperage is about 0.9 amps. With a 12v power supply, its about 10.8 watts. Battery life should be about 4-5 hours between charges.

More pictures on flickr at

part two??? we’re going musical… stay tuned…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s