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Thread: 12v power source, remote control on/off/mode - headlight ideas and options?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default 12v power source, remote control on/off/mode - headlight ideas and options?


    I am not sure this is the right place for this thread, but since the application is for a bicycle I figured I would start here.

    What I am trying to figure out is a better head light set up on my bike.

    What I do not want are the usual "bicycle" options.

    For some background - I have a Cygolite Metro that I have run for years on the handlebar. For general riding duty it has worked, however I finally got a proper pannier set - including a handlebar bag - and the light + handlebar bag combo do not work. I get reflection off the bag and the map case if I use it, and the shadow of the bag on the ground is another problem.

    I started mounting my Fenix PD35 EDC light to the fork down low. This is a much better set up for me. However, battery life and power is an issue. As the battery runs down the mode will drop to a lower and lower power level.

    I run a 12v battery on my bike for accessories already (12Ah LiPO4) and want to use the same power source for lighting - preferably at its operational voltage (around 12.8-13.2v), however if a lower voltage is required a voltage regulator wouldn't be out of the question to put together.

    I like the size of the PD35 and the light output. Is there something that compares (the LED that is used and the housing) that I can get in a package that I can mount to the bike fork, run off of 12v, and more importantly - remotely control (at least on/off) without touching the light/housing/unit?

    I want to put a switch up on the handlebar or top tube that allows me to toggle the light on/off, but if I could rig up a selector button also that would let me switch between "modes" (power levels, flash sequence) that would be even better.

    Going back to my comment about not wanting the "normal" cycling options - I don't want a wireless controller (ANT+, Bluetooth, what have you), and I do not want a dyno system. I have 12v power (nominal - charge voltage is usually higher) to use. Again, if a lower voltage is required I can work that out, but I am not wanting to switch sources already having plenty of power now.

    Are there "controllers" (board to control voltage, mode, power, etc), torches (LED's mounted on a controller board or their own board), and housings that are out there that may accomplish what I am after?

    I'm even thinking 2 lights would be best - one for each side of the fork to cut down on the shadows cast by the wheel. In this case - 2 torches with 1 controller.

    The PD35, if I understand it correctly, has a mode button on the side and an on/off click button switch on the tail cap for on/off power. It seems like it holds its mode over power cycles. So in this case - in theory - if I replaced the battery with a slug and external wired power (at 3.7 or so volts like the 18650 battery it uses) and left the click switch in the ON position, or bypassed it all together, then I could get the light to do what I want. However, I would have to drill the housing to get wires out of it. Operationally, though, that would appear to get most of what I want - the light size and power with the ability to turn on/off remotely. What it would not do is let me change modes. However, if I could figure out how the mode selection button works and could replace it with wires to a remote switch I could control the modes also, no? I suppose, in the theoretical example here, though, that light does not have many flash modes to select from. What is there is a hard, full intensity flash that is not usable for night riding.

    Ideas? Where do I begin?

  2. #2

    Default Re: 12v power source, remote control on/off/mode - headlight ideas and options?

    There are parts available all over once you know what to look for. Mountain Electronics is a good place to start. I would suggest looking at P60 hosts as a possible start since it is essentially a flashlight ready to be built. Drop in a P60 module and run a power cable from inside, through the tube and out the tail cap with a weatherproof seal and the slip it into a standard 1 inch ring to mount it.

    Solarforce makes good P60 hosts and are usually inexpensive.

    You could also modify a Convoy S2 host to do what you want.

    Maybe also look around at the various cheap knock-offs of better bicycle lights that you could get and hack it to your own use.

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