Light up my life

pearlbeer

New Member
Looking to get more LIGHT for my Radwagon. If anyone know of any good replacement options for the stock light, that would be great. Reviews of the new Radpower HALO light seem so-so.

Another option would be USB handle bar lights, which would be fine as well. However, I currently have my bike stereo charging from the USB port. Has anyone tried to split and have more than one device on the USB? Any other options to get more USB power?
 
For what it's worth, I use an ordinary headlamp on my RadRunner -- i.e., basically a compact yet powerful flashlight that is typically worn around the head with a headband, which is less expensive than typical bike headlamps yet works just as well.

See: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071HW5XQH/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_7?smid=ANOETMJCIED7V&psc=1

The headlamp itself is removable from the headband. I just fastened an old bike pump cradle to my handlebars into which the headlamp snaps perfectly and securely (and can be rotated to control the direction of the beam). I like this option because the headlamp is also easily removable and can be used as an ordinary flashlight in a pinch (e.g., if you are bike camping). These things are also pretty bright (1K+ lumens), have a decently wide throw, and use a standard USB rechargeable 18650 lithium ion battery that lasts a pretty long time on a single charge. Upshot: When I am not using this thing as a headlamp -- e.g., in the shop, around the house, etc. -- I clip it onto my RadRunner for extra light during dusk/night rides.
 
Last edited:

Ccount

Member
I have this light (actually 3) on my bike. It is SUPER cheap (cost: $18), but very good quality. 2000 lumens is very bright! The best part is it will handle a wide range of voltage. I chose to plug mine directly into the battery charge port, which is about 52v, and it works wonderfully. 3 of them literally make it like daylight! DON't run too much current through the controller (ie dont use headlights which draw much current), because it will cook the controller!
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I have this light (actually 3) on my bike. It is SUPER cheap (cost: $18), but very good quality. 2000 lumens is very bright! The best part is it will handle a wide range of voltage.
I chose to plug mine directly into the battery charge port, which is about 52v, and it works wonderfully. 3 of them literally make it like daylight!
DON't run too much current through the controller (ie dont use headlights which draw much current), because it will cook the controller!

Looks like a nice headlight... where did you find the connector for the battery charge port?
 
I chose to plug mine directly into the battery charge port...

Looks promising. Didn't know you could power accessories through the battery by plugging into its charge port. Is this correct? That these batteries can supply/source back-voltage?
 

Ccount

Member
It works great for me. I simply run a wire and plug to the charging port, down the center frame tube, through the frame and to the front. I have installed a push button switch on my handlebar, which controls the 3 headlights. The tail light works fine through the 35A controller, but I don't want to draw too much current through the controller for the headlight, just in case. There is only 16-18v coming to the existing headlight, so it would not be all that bright IF I dd use the controller to control the headlight. You can see the plug in the charging port, and the wire running down the frame tube.
100_3196.JPG
 

Ccount

Member
By the way, the Rad upgraded light is only 500 lumens, and costs $50! The light I show is said to be 2000 lumens! It mounts right to the handlebar, or easily mounts where the stock light is. Bolton does not say how bright their headlight is, but it is $89!! AND, both are out of stock!
 
By the way, the Rad upgraded light is only 500 lumens, and costs $50!

Yeah that headlight upgrade is not a great value. In general, it seems that a big piece of RPB's profit margin derives from selling overpriced parts and accessories. Shipping is no bargain either -- I looked into purchasing a spare tube for my RadRunner @ $12 each -- a little steep, but not crazy. But then when I got to the checkout I saw that they were going to charge me another $12 for shipping! ($24 to ship two tubes, $36 for three, and so on).

For grins I decided to poke around to see if I could find a plug to cannibalize for purposes of adding a headlight like yours -- found one in about two minutes from an old laptop AC adapter that appeared to match perfectly the connector on my RPB charger. So I decided to plug it into my battery just to verify the fit yet which caused a pretty big spark. The battery was definitely turned off, and that adapter has not been used in years -- i.e., it seems highly unlikely that there is any residual capacitor charge on anything like that. But now I am a little spooked about frying a $500+ battery.

Have you experienced anything like this with your headlight(s)?
 
Last edited:

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Yeah that headlight upgrade is not a great value. In general, it seems that a big piece of RPB's profit margin derives from selling overpriced parts and accessories. Shipping is no bargain either -- I looked into purchasing a spare tube for my RadRunner @ $12 each -- a little steep, but not crazy. But then when I got to the checkout I saw that they were going to charge me another $12 for shipping! ($24 to ship two tubes, $36 for three, and so on).

For grins I decided to poke around to see if I could find a plug to cannibalize for purposes of adding a headlight like yours -- found one in about two minutes from an old laptop AC adapter that appeared to match perfectly the connector on my RPB charger. So I decided to plug it into my battery just to verify the fit yet which caused a pretty big spark. The battery was definitely turned off, and that adapter has not been used in years -- i.e., it seems highly unlikely that there is any residual capacitor charge on anything like that. But now I am a little spooked about frying a $500+ battery.

Have you experienced anything like this with your headlight(s)?
Charging terminals on many battery packs are always live, even with the battery off, hence the spark. I made the mistake of inadvertently putting my batery key into the charging port once. Lots of sparks, but luckily no damage...😖
 
Charging terminals on many battery packs are always live, even with the battery off, hence the spark.

Good to know. Yet sparking of course does not occur when I plug in the RPB charger. So I wonder what is the difference? Neither the adapter I tried nor the RPB charger are grounded when not plugged in (on the other end) to a wall socket. Perhaps the RPB plug is just better insulated or something???
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Good to know. Yet sparking of course does not occur when I plug in the RPB charger. So I wonder what is the difference? Neither the adapter I tried nor the RPB charger are grounded when not plugged in (on the other end) to a wall socket. Perhaps the RPB plug is just better insulated or something???
The charger isn't a load trying to draw power from the battery so no spark due to connecting a load. The charger probably has some 'smarts' built in to help protect the battery as well. No load + some smarts = no spark.
 
The charger isn't a load trying to draw power from the battery so no spark due to connecting a load. The charger probably has some 'smarts' built in to help protect the battery as well. No load + some smarts = no spark.

Understood. But the AC adapter (laptop charger) that caused the spark is basically the same thing -- it's just a cable connected to an AC/DC transformer with some built-in surge suppression/signal conditioning circuitry -- unless plugged into the wall, it is not acting as load either but rather a power source (or at least I don't think so, unless perhaps it is shorted somewhere). At any rate, I guess the thing to do is just cut the connector off the adapter cable -- this is the only part I need. And thanks all the same for your help!
 
Last edited:

pearlbeer

New Member
Ok! I ordered two of the lights you recommended.

So you are saying I should wire the new lights into the BATTERY itself? So if I order the Pigtails you linked, I can wire a "one in two out"?

Can these lights not be wired into the existing outputs?
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Understood. But the AC adapter (laptop charger) that caused the spark is basically the same thing -- it's just a cable connected to an AC/DC transformer with some built-in surge suppression/signal conditioning circuitry -- unless plugged into the wall, it is not acting as load either but rather a power source (or at least I don't think so, unless perhaps it is shorted somewhere). At any rate, I guess the thing to do is just cut the connector off the adapter cable -- this is the only part I need. And thanks all the same for your help!
I misunderstood. I thought you'd used the connector from an old AC adapter to plug an LED light into the power connector. I wouldn't recommend plugging any charger into your ebike battery other than one specifically recommended for your battery chemistry. Laptops often use higher power density chemistries that can accept higher charging currents (but run the risk of more fires!). A laptop charger could damage the bike battery with excessive current.

EDIT- Assuming the laptop charger was unplugged when you test fit its connector into the ebike battery charging connector, there's no way to know what protective circuits the charger may or may not have. It sounds like the charger may have taken a high current discharge from the battery. Use caution, the bike batteries have lots of power!
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I would recommend adding a headlight to the helmet if you ride the streets in low light times. I noticed cars sometimes exiting a side street can't see low mounted bike lights if they are blocked by parked vehicle (no cop, no stop drivers). The high mounted helmet light above the roofs of cars saved me a few times. I use the helmet light to alert the driver exiting the side road, illuminate curves/corners, I can see/avoid low branches not illuminated with the lower bike light on trails, and have hands free when I need to do bike repairs when it is dark.

I even added side LED marker lights because it is hard to see a bike from the side at night with only forward/rear facing lights. Dark garage with only the Brightz Ltd Morphing LED on (Amazon, $13, I use 2 rechargeable AAA batteries):
Radrover light.jpg
 
I wouldn't recommend plugging any charger into your ebike battery other than one specifically recommended for your battery chemistry. Laptops often use higher power density chemistries that can accept higher charging currents (but run the risk of more fires!). A laptop charger could damage the bike battery with excessive current.

Maybe I wasn't clear about this -- I am not trying to use the laptop charger to charge the bike battery. I was simply looking for a spare DC plug that I could remove from the old laptop charger and re-use to rig up a cable to run between the bike's battery charging port and the headlight discussed above. I plugged the laptop charger (loose/unpowered) into the battery simply to verify that this plug was the correct size. Because the laptop charger was not plugged into a wall socket (on the other end), I would not have expected this to cause a spark/short. But for some reason it did.