Battery for headlight and turn signals, dash cam

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
Hello all, this is my first year riding electric bike fully replacing my car, so i ride 20 miles a day for work and various errands, enjoyment. As winter appraoches i find myself in the dark a lot, and i ride on side streets and the road 50% of the time. I have been using various battery powered lights and recently purchased wireless turn signals because i do not feel safe taking my hands off the bar to make hand signals while turning, i had a few very wobbly situations where i felt unsafe.

My goal is to have a 2nd battery, nothing too big (smaller than a car battery obviously, maybe the size of a motorcycle battery or smaller) that will have the following.

  1. on/off switch for all power to turn signals, turn on back light and headlight.
  2. left/right switch for turn signal like on a motorcycle
  3. Maybe have a switch for the headlight, possibly a headlight with high and low or 2 headlights, a stronger one and a weaker one for trails where i pass people and dont want to blind them.

  1. Front and rear turn signals
  2. Rear red Light
  3. Head Light, High (with on/off switch)
  4. Head Light, Low (with on/off switch)
  5. front/rear camera, screen (already owned)
  6. Maybe one or 2 additional lights, like to light up the ground beneath me, or led strip for extra visibility.
I sadly know very little about electronics and powering them. My boss has more experience and can help me with anything too complicated, and i am very eager to learn how to set this all up. Here is how the rear/front camera can have power:
dv988-power.jpg



The box i was thinking about putting it in is the following, but i am open to suggestions especially if it can be weather sealed, so maybe something like a pelican case with holes drilled for cables? No idea about something like this:
Stout Stuff Field Ammo Box 11.6" x 5.2" x 7.2" Plastic OD Green

ammo-box.jpeg
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
would i be able to hook up something like this to a battery easily? I don't understand where i would plug in the adapters? Could i purchase something to plug it into and the lights into?
possible-bike-switch.jpg

switch-adapters.jpg

 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Hopefully, this will help with some of what you want to do.

What are the voltage requirements for the lights you want to power? Are they all the same? This will determine the battery you need. The switch you show is meant for use on a 12V motorcycle, although it would likely work with other voltages as well. You will need a wiring diagram for the switch in order to connect it properly.

You don't need a big battery to power a few lights and a camera. I assume you want to wire the lights and switch back to a weatherproof box which will also house the battery. The ammo box you mention would probably work but it's likely bigger than you need and it could be awkward to carry on the bike. I would get the battery first and shop for a smaller box to hold it.

I occasionally use a cordless tool battery to power devices on my bike. They are fairly cheap, rugged, easily recharged and come in a variety of sizes. Many come with a built in gauge. In my case, I use DeWalt batteries but almost any brand will work. I use this adapter which will provide 18 to 20 volts depending on the brand. This voltage is suitable for most LED lights:

https://makermotor.com/batadptdw-po...-volt-max-20v-dock-power-connector-10-gauge/? gclid=Cj0KCQjw_fiLBhDOARIsAF4khR1942iGLRghT1I53mQ9_y7_tuEL-jOUT6u_YyqDcgSJo9Y7XFAA-oUaAhcqEALw_wcB

If you need 12 volts for your system, this adapter will provide it using the same 18 - 20V cordless tool battery:


It has a built in light which can be useful when making repairs at night. It also has 2 USB ports to charge a phone or power other USB devices.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
wow interesting, thanks for the reply. I have a few ryobi one+ 18v 1.3ah batteries. If i could use those that would be great.

I found another switch, 12v, that someone supplied diagrams in the review section:
switch-diagram.jpg


I would possibily want to go with the following light:
  • Input voltage: DC 12-85V.Power 20W.
and maybe these tail lights:

Voltage12 Volts


so how would i hook all these things up to a battery? Or am i imagining this wrong? Does everything go to the controllers and that is only hooked up to the battery?
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
i just looked at the dashcam manual, looks like i would be good with everything 12v, it states the following:

Working Voltage DC 5V
Working Current 1000mA~1100mA (DC 5V)

• Connect the Red wire to the positive 12VDC source that is always on. • Connect the White wire to a positive 12VDC source that is controlled by ignition key (also known as ACC port). • Connect the Black wire to the negative source, battery or ground on the bike.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
The project you're building should be completely separate from your bike's battery & controller. No connections to the bike are necessary.

The LED lights you propose should all work fine using an 18 volt battery. The camera may be a problem though. It would be smart to check with the manufacturer before trying it with 18 volts. You may have to look for a heavier 12V sealed battery such as this one instead:


You'll also have to get a 12V charger.

If it turns out you can use 18 volts, this adapter should fit your Ryobi One batteries:


With the electrical load you propose, you won't get much run time with just a 1.8 AH battery though. You should look at getting a larger size such as these:

https://www.amazon.com/Powtree-Lith...uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl

Check to make sure they are compatible with your Ryobi charger first or consider switching to another brand.

Measure the battery with the adapter connected and look for a suitable weatherproof box. Keep in mind you'll have to mount the box on the bike somewhere or carry in a bag or pannier.

Mount the lights & switch and run all the wires back to the battery box. Drill holes in the box for the wires and seal them with silicone caulk to keep water out. The red and black wire from the above battery adapter (or the 12V battery) provide the power and should be wired to the lights, camera & switch inside the box using the switch diagram. If you're not handy with a soldering iron, you may want some help making the connections.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
sorry when i said hook it all up to the controller, i meant the motorcycle switch that controls all of the stuff, not the controller on the bike. I fully understand this is 100% separate from the bike battery, that is the goal as to keep it separate from the bike. I think the 1.8aH is a little too small, but i will consider purchasing the bigger one or even the lead acid battery for sure. Ok so all the wires go into the the box, or bag, and they are sealed into the motorcycle switch connectors? And than i would connect the switch to the battery? The way that the camera and screen work is that once it gets power it automatically turns on and starts recording. So ideally i would like to have the camera on/off switch on the motorcycle switch.

Also another question is would it be best to make all the connections at one time, or can i add things as i go along? Thanks so much for your replies, its starting to make sense to me now.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
The camera, turn signal, headlight and any other accessories don't have to be connected all at the same time. It just makes it a bit easier if they are done all at once.

Unless you can find a mate for the switch connector, you may have to cut the connector off and solder the individual wires. Once you have all the components, you'll have to get someone to help make up a wiring diagram.

The biggest problem with a project like this is where to mount the battery box on the bike. When I use my DeWalt tool battery, I carry it in my rear rack bag and plug it into the bike when necessary.
P1090070b.jpg P1090072b.jpg

For storage, I keep the components in a small canvas bag:
P1090083b.jpg

Unless you can find a place to hard mount the box on your bike, you may have to use this idea.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
I have a spot that i have in mind that is under the seat, where the bike has a mount for the rear light. Early on i was playing with different carry configurations and tried out strapping the field box to that area under the seat and sitting on the plate that secures the light, and with the field box sitting on it and strapped in to my milk crate it was very secure. So i have that as an option, i will share pictures later. Right now i have my foldable lock mounted to the position and can't put the box there.

I found this one at aliexpress, it seems to be a little better detailed with the wiring info.


H28b762a169c6454989c2d68eaeb110d5N.jpg
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Check the cable length on the switch to make sure it's long enough to reach the battery box.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The OP needs some professional help, IMHO. While DC voltage levels like being discussed here won't harm a person, the currents available from the batteries being discussed can do some real damage, to the battery, the wiring and possibly devices. For instance, I've seen no mention here of circuit protection, aka fuses. So no, the biggest problem isn't where to put the battery. The biggest problem is how to protect against shorts and a fire!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Most cordless tool batteries, including Ryobi, have internal over current protection. A fuse would only be necessary if some other type of battery is used.
It is a good point to consider though.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
thanks for the suggestions on fuses, i will talk to my 2 more experienced people who will be helping me and see what they say.

As for the cable length, one says 27" so thats a bit small, would only reach about the midpoint of my frame. Not many places from mid-frame to the front that i could see mounting a small battery and connector. 27" seems pretty short, i wonder what motorcycle people do?
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This project is trivial for someone who knows electricity and wiring, but impossible for someone who doesn't. Given the risk of damaging a battery or equipment, I suggest the OP find someone who knows how to do this. It shouldn't be hard to find someone. Note that a knowledgeable person wouldn't futz with the connectors. He'd cut them off. That same knowledgeable person would use crimp connectors instead of soldering. Assuming you use LED lights, nothing will be drawing a lot of current.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
exactly that's why i'm here,
This project is trivial for someone who knows electricity and wiring, but impossible for someone who doesn't. Given the risk of damaging a battery or equipment, I suggest the OP find someone who knows how to do this. It shouldn't be hard to find someone. Note that a knowledgeable person wouldn't futz with the connectors. He'd cut them off. That same knowledgeable person would use crimp connectors instead of soldering. Assuming you use LED lights, nothing will be drawing a lot of current.
The whole point of me posting here is to learn about the process, find the best solution and see what others think i should or give suggestions on what they would do or are doing. Yes, my knowledge on electronics and electricity is very lacking, but it doesn't mean i shouldn't want to learn about it. The people who would help me do not have time to do research and tell me what lights to buy, they have no idea, they don't bike or even really do motorcycle riding or modifying. There are no real guides out there for telling an electric biker how to best get lights on his bike.

I am just trying to learn and be safe on the road. Kind of shocking that something like this isn't more common in the electric biking world. I am commuting 16 miles a day and ride early morning to avoid traffic and cars. Just trying to get to work and home safely while i am on the road. Getting tired of turning on 6 battery operated lights and having to charge them all. 3000 miles road in 6 months, i'm not letting winter stop me. No car here.

You did suggest something good, which i have heard 1 other time and that is to get LED lights which i will try to do. I am going to start purchasing the lights very soon and i will figure out the best battery and connection option soon.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
Also the main goal of all this is to get wired turn signals, that is basically the main reason. I just want to communicate with drivers without taking my hand off the bar and just using my thumb to control the turn signals
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
exactly that's why i'm here,
Some of us are just curmudgeons but still helpful. Others are just grumpy old men.
Some very basic rules can help most motivated riders to learn new skills. Practice soldering skills using YouTube guides. I’m a retired horticulture director and the only wiring skills were hooking up irrigation clocks and valves. I bought highly rated solder kits like a TS100. Voltlog channel on YouTube has several good reviews for budget soldering stations as well.
For me the learning new skills has made it fun. Don’t let posters steer you away from a lighting project.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Some of us are just curmudgeons but still helpful. Others are just grumpy old men.
Some very basic rules can help most motivated riders to learn new skills. Practice soldering skills using YouTube guides. I’m a retired horticulture director and the only wiring skills were hooking up irrigation clocks and valves. I bought highly rated solder kits like a TS100. Voltlog channel on YouTube has several good reviews for budget soldering stations as well.
For me the learning new skills has made it fun. Don’t let posters steer you away from a lighting project.
Oh. Pardon me for trying to protect the OP from himself and expensive mistakes.

Electrical wiring is not complex. It's not even hard to learn, but there are a number of important considerations for safety that should go into any project, things like circuit protection, proper wire sizing, avoiding shorts from chafing (very relevant for bikes), how to make proper connections and so forth. It's easy for a beginner to lash up a system that will work for a while, until it doesn't, no doubt at night when one needs it the most.

That's why some of us, perhaps with a bit more experience than you have?, are trying to steer the OP toward a more simple solution, with less margin for failure. In this case, it appears the OP wants turn signals the most. He might start with a dedicated turn signal setup, one that doesn't involve learning wire color codes, connectors or soldering, and using stand alone headlights. That way he won't be subject to single point failures either - he won't risk losing everything at once.