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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 11:18 am   #1
IanNVJ35
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Default Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

I'm sure there are a few members here who cycle - I know I love to go out when I can on my old bike (I'm not a carbon fibre frame racer type of rider).

One thing I see quite often - and at a low price - is old No.800 battery operated lights of different makes. These are well built, easy to use, give a good beam and good visibility - but the batteries are long discontinued. Plus the batteries never made good contact inside. I wanted to get these lights genuinely usable into the future, not just a white elephant.

I worked on this little problem and if anyone is interested, I can share what I did and where I got the parts (with photos etc). I have two, one of the Ever Ready models with twist switch on the top (I fitted this with two Eneloop AA batteries) and one Trehawk - which I fitted with 18650 batteries, metalwork for the bulb rear contact, regulator circuit and 3 Watt bulb. I have this on my bike now.

I have not seen this mentioned anywhere else, but you can get these lights running again and better than new. I personally feel that they are better than LED models as the visible bulb gives 'placement' to the bike in dark conditions, whereas LED's are just a bright mass with little placement for other road users and pedestrians - especially those with impaired vision.

I know 800 to 2D adapters were made, but I have not had much luck with these as the contacts bend easily over bumps and ruts.
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 6:10 pm   #2
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

I think I might know what you mean by "placement" but I don't think the lack of it is down to LED per se.

I would put it down to the fact that they are typically much brighter than a torch bulb, and often have a wider, less focused beam, so they need to be angled downwards to light your way, and the moving pool of light to give the "placement" to other road users. There will be plenty of penumbral light from the lamp to warn others as well. It's when the intense beam shines into your eyes you lose the placement.

I think LED cycle lamps are a great safety improvement when used correctly.

The flashing ones may be a step too far for you, but how would you feel about modifying a traditional one with an LED and a largish lithium ion cell with a charging socket?
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 9:47 pm   #3
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

One off topic post deleted.
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Old 3rd Nov 2017, 12:46 am   #4
IanNVJ35
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
I think I might know what you mean by "placement" but I don't think the lack of it is down to LED per se.

I would put it down to the fact that they are typically much brighter than a torch bulb, and often have a wider, less focused beam, so they need to be angled downwards to light your way, and the moving pool of light to give the "placement" to other road users. There will be plenty of penumbral light from the lamp to warn others as well. It's when the intense beam shines into your eyes you lose the placement.

I think LED cycle lamps are a great safety improvement when used correctly.

The flashing ones may be a step too far for you, but how would you feel about modifying a traditional one with an LED and a largish lithium ion cell with a charging socket?
Actually I am looking into adding USB charging to my Trehawk. Small circuits are available ready made and I have some USB sockets. The easier they are to use the better.

As to LED bike lighting it can be good but too many are poorly implimented so drivers cannnot see where the bike is as the glare and diffuser (part of the lens) breaks up the beam.

LED could be added via one of the excellent MES modules, but I kept it as bulb because I prefer this.
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Old 3rd Nov 2017, 6:26 pm   #5
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

I use a pair of focusable LED lamps on my bike, powered by lithium cells. Essentially the same as 'Bullseye' torches, but incomparably brighter. Old style incandescent lamps might be fine for city use, but are not much good on unlit rural roads, particularly when competing with modern oncoming headlights.
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Old 4th Nov 2017, 12:39 am   #6
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

I have LED lamps on my bike nowadays (front and rear) but only tend to switch the front one on for being seen, rather than to see. If a car comes or I see something moving, I blip it on. It's surprising how quickly one gets used to the darkness, although I live out in the badlands with one street lamp on my route to and from work (I live too near not to cycle there). I could manage comfortably with a 'traditional' bicycle lamp, but would need a fork bracket.

I have an Ever Ready 2 x D-Cell plastic front lamp, which has a ribbed lens from my old bike, but it's a while since I saw one of the plain glass tin Ever Ready (or flashier chromed Pifco) lamps other than on eBay. I might be tempted...

I also have a traditional Miller 6V dynamo set, which was made in India.
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Old 4th Nov 2017, 12:33 pm   #7
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

The better makes of LED replacement bulb give an excellent light output in cycle and other lights.
They are a drop in replacement and available in both E10 and in PR13.5s bases.
These lamps give a constant light over a wide range of supply voltages, this not only gives flexibility in battery selection but also means no dimming/flickering due to poor connections, within reason.

A neighbour has fitted their cycle with dynamo type lights supplied not from a dynamo but from an external battery pack. 6 alkaline D cells give dozens of hours service and power both the front and rear lights.
With 1 watt LED bulbs the light is most impressive.
Rechargeable batteries could be used, but they prefer the simplicity and reliability of long lasting disposables. I would expect the 6 D cells to last at least 60 hours. Two sets last all winter in regular use.
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 3:52 pm   #8
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

I fitted a set of Ever Ready FrontGuard and RearGuard lamps on to my wife's BSA Wayfarer, these are a later type to yours which take a pair of D cells. I've fitted them with 1W LED replacement bulbs from a company called Reflectalite who sell the Nicelite bulbs. They have all types of base available for classic torch and bike lights including dynamo specific ones. The difference is unbelievable, a 1W LED gives equivalent light output to a 6W halogen bulb.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 1:34 pm   #9
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

Just sharing what I have done. I have used it a couple of times already and it supplements the flashing LED one. You can see I have added all the internals (was just an empty box) and even when off, the huge mirrored reflector catches the eye.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 1:00 am   #10
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

Considering the state of the lamp body, that reflector has survived remarkably well!
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 9:56 am   #11
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Default Re: Ever Ready / Pifco / Trehawk front cycle lights

It IS possible to re-create the No. 800 battery, if anyone has a good original bike lamp.
There are three of the correct cells in an AD28 'bardic' battery, and four in the six-volt battery used by road-menders in amber 'flashers'.
The rest is brass strip, cardboard and soldering.
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