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Topic: Niterider Digital Pro rebuild for $100 1  (Read 5197 times)
« on: November 14, 2008, 12:12:10 PM »
DieselSmoke Offline
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So I had my 8 year old setup that cost me almost $400 back then - a dual bulb 13.2v / 32watt halogen unit with a dead NiCad battery in the waterbottle style. The light used to work great, 32 watts of Halogen light is plenty on the bars even in moonless nights, but the battery was long dead and Niterider wants $190 + tax and shipping to replace the old NiCad brick.

I did some searching and ended up rebuilding the pack myself with a Li-Ion battery. All said it cost me $123 for the new battery, universal Li-Ion charger, and incidentals from Radio Shack. I now have a battery that is 1 lb lighter, will last longer, and I can open the can to use the battery for other lights or carry a spare battery with me.

For those who have the older style lights, this is a new lease on life for the old investment. Or, if you're inclined, pickup a used unit on ebay and go at it.

Since the new pack is rated at 14.4v and my tests show it producing 16.5v, the halogens are burning quite a bit brighter than they ever did.

Here's the detail and pics......

I removed the waterbottle head by hitting the seam against the edge of my workbench in 5 or 6 spots around the circumference, then the top twisted off with little effort.

Old battery pack after it was removed from the bottle.



New battery pack (notice a full pound lighter.) It came with bare leads, but I soldered on the snap lock connector so I could disconnect it easily and possibly use the battery for other lights or in my own pack. This pack costs $73 and is rated at 4400 mAH.



Here's a pic of the battery pack and bottle top with connectors, and ready to drop into the bottle. It fits very snug by itself, but I'll probably add some bubble wrap or foam to keep it from moving around when things get crazy.



The Tenergy brand universal charger will work for all Li-Ion batteries and cost $13



I bought a size-N coax plug from Radio Shack to match the one on the Niterider cable, and soldered that to create a custom adapter to connect the bottle to the charger.



And the whole unit connected and charging. Some unused shrink tubing is around the alligator clips on the charger lead, just to keep the terminals from touching.


And there it is, for a little over $100 I'm in business with a lighter, brighter and more flexible setup. This will give me 2.5 - 3 hours of burn time on all 32 watts, and my plan is to create my own custom pack by adding another matching battery pack to double the run time.
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Reply #1
« on: November 14, 2008, 01:02:04 PM »
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Damon, that is pure genius!  You should setup an online store.  Peeps just send you their old lights and you refurbish them in your garage and send them back even better.  You should name your shop - PushMyLightDieselSmokeIndustries.com
Wink

Nice job!



« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 01:04:49 PM by CaptainK29er » Logged
 
Reply #2
« on: November 14, 2008, 01:46:25 PM »
dp_rider Offline
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The only guys I know with a scale like that also use up a lot of zip-lock bagies...
Nice work on the battery conversion.
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Reply #3
« on: November 14, 2008, 01:58:10 PM »
foofighter650 Offline
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Ok you've peeked my interest because I used to race RC cars and have sticks of lithium ion packs and nimh packs I could wire up and just need the light housing
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Reply #4
« on: November 14, 2008, 01:58:55 PM »
DieselSmoke Offline
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The only guys I know with a scale like that also use up a lot of zip-lock bagies...
Nice work on the battery conversion.

LOL, my attorney advised me not to comment  Lips sealed

Damon, that is pure genius!  You should setup an online store.  Peeps just send you their old lights and you refurbish them in your garage and send them back even better.  You should name your shop - PushMyLightDieselSmokeIndustries.com
Wink
Nice job!

It was really quite easy with some basic tools and a soldering iron. I got the basic idea from another post on the net as well, so I gotta give props to that person who's post I could never find again.
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Reply #5
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:00:19 PM »
DieselSmoke Offline
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Ok you've peeked my interest because I used to race RC cars and have sticks of lithium ion packs and nimh packs I could wire up and just need the light housing

There you go, the batteries are the expensive part. Now just go ebay hunting.
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Reply #6
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:10:40 PM »
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I found a good thread on MTBR:

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=8670
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 02:13:47 PM by CaptainK29er » Logged
 
Reply #7
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:19:24 PM »
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I found a good thread on MTBR.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=8670

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Reply #8
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:26:00 PM »
foofighter650 Offline
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what's funny is a i have a projector headlight from a VW GTi w/ xenon bulb and ballast...too bad it's all too bulky can you imagine the light output on one projector headlight?

i just saw your pics if you go w/ more effecient plugs you wont loose some juice through heat...
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Reply #9
« on: November 14, 2008, 02:46:45 PM »
greengiant Offline
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Damon, that is pure genius!  You should setup an online store.  Peeps just send you their old lights and you refurbish them in your garage and send them back even better.  You should name your shop - PushMyLightDieselSmokeIndustries.com
Wink

Nice job!





Wow, I've got a couple of old NiteRider systems (Digital and Digital pro) from about 8 years ago that the batteries were always going dead on.  I think part of the problem was in the fitting where the battery pack plugged into the light itself, and it would kill off the battery instantly...kinda made me lose interest in riding at night when I wasn't sure if I'd have a functioning light or not...
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Reply #10
« on: November 14, 2008, 03:36:01 PM »
DieselSmoke Offline
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i just saw your pics if you go w/ more effecient plugs you wont loose some juice through heat...

Please let me know what would work better. I'm not real experienced with electronics, but I did put an ohm meter on both sides of the connection on a test strand and found 0 ohm's resistance. I certainly don't want to be giving away battery life to heat in the bottle, and would have just soldered the wires together but desired some flexibility.
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Reply #11
« on: November 14, 2008, 03:38:55 PM »
foofighter650 Offline
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depending on how involved you want to get, you can get some higher gauge wiring that'll deliver the voltage more effeciently.  there are dean's plugs that tout zero or close to zero lose
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Reply #12
« on: November 14, 2008, 07:07:28 PM »
... Offline
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Damon, that is pure genius!  You should setup an online store.  Peeps just send you their old lights and you refurbish them in your garage and send them back even better.  You should name your shop - PushMyLightDieselSmokeIndustries.com
Wink

Nice job!





Wow, I've got a couple of old NiteRider systems (Digital and Digital pro) from about 8 years ago that the batteries were always going dead on.  I think part of the problem was in the fitting where the battery pack plugged into the light itself, and it would kill off the battery instantly...kinda made me lose interest in riding at night when I wasn't sure if I'd have a functioning light or not...

Genny, you need to do that conversion for $100. Use your NiteRiders on your bars and double up on your MiNewts for your helmet.  That will give you plenty of light.
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