Jump to content
NE0

DIY Fibre Optic Rear light bulb monitor

Recommended Posts

A few weeks ago I was riding home in the dark when a car pulled alongside and the driver shouted various obscenities about me riding without my lights on,...........what he meant was my tail-light was not working....everything else : the headlight, brake light, indicators, horn was all working fine!
Nonetheless, I was unaware!

I'm sure it was on when I left but it wasn't on now!

Without a spare bulb or screwdriver to remove the lens, I nursed it home using the brake light to show cars where i was, and rode home taking my hand off the brake when there was nothing behind me. The journey took a little longer but there wasn't that many cars about at 11pm.

Afterwards, I set about solving the problem. In the first instance, I've now got a LED bicycle light connected to the back rack. so if the rear tail light ever goes off again i've got a 'get me home' solution.

The other aspect was how do you know when your lights are not working?

Seeing the light bulb working when you pull away is fine but if it fails how do you know?

I tried changing the angle of a mirror, but its fiddly and its difficult to see the actual back of the bike, equally head over your shoulder........well you can't keep doing it every minute!

I wanted something at the front to tell me if the bulb was working!


Heres how i did it.....
By chance I saw the red light glowing on the back of my DVD player at home!
It was the optical output!

I then found the short optical cable that went with it and went down the shed!
Sure enough held against the lens the other end glowed red, not brightly but it worked.

With the principle working, I purchased a 2m Fibre optic toslink cable for a couple of quid off ebay and fitted it to the bike.
fo1.jpg

There is no need to do anything to the cable, it's a 100% plastic, no metal parts to rust and it works underwater!

To improve the performance it works better aimed at the bulb. So I drilled the reflector and fixed it in position.
fo2.jpg
I could have easily drilled the lens and plugged it in there too, but fitting it inside looked better.

fo3.jpg
A quick bit of threading from back to front I ended up at the dashboard with little to spare.
a cable tie later and its very discrete.

fo4.jpg

fo5.jpg

I also found leaving the clear rubber protective cap on spreads the light better. it's down to personal choice

fo6.jpg

Its very discrete and gives you that reassurance that the bulbs are working at the back, all visible from the riding position and even better...... uses NO electricity!

The bonus is it glows even brighter when the brake is applied, checking the state of both filaments.

One solution for two bulbs......anagram of one is NEO...........I've called it a NEO-light.
:D


.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seen that before, but props to you for coming up with it yourself. :thumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patent pending" your a millionare " :eusa_dance:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patent pending your a millionare

Not very likely!.......especially now that i've 'published it' for free on the internet! :eusa_doh:

knowing my luck, somebody will see this and then market it, making themselves a millionaire!

but...hey! why would anybody want to buy a purpose made one, when they just need to buy a fibre optic audio cable for £2.........or 99p from ebay via china!!

and now I've been pinned too!!............ :dance:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a chinaeese bike where vibrations kill the bulb and I never seem to notice, will deffo put these on my bikes, thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done NEO :idea:

Keep up the innovative skelectrics on the DT........DT's will live forever........ :hyper:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a brilliant idea! Just after you posted this I went out to the local garage (only 5 miles up the road) and when I got home my back light had gone!! Gonna get some optic cable off eBay and sort it!!

Cheers for sharing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are you drunk elvis? this post are 1 year old ... or... let me think.... you need 1 year to reach a local garage? :))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only just seen them - didnt spot the date!! Still a great idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice idea!

For those who don't have this...or even if you do...you should always check your lights before you go for a ride....for safetys sake! Signals, brakes, running, and headlights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damm well hit a pot hole on the ride home last night!!

took out my rear light bulb!!!

saw the 'light go out' on the dashboard!

Not to worry......turned on the emergency bicycle light LED and rode home!

Put a new bulb in this morning and all working again.

Nice to know it all works, not just in theory!

I'm a happy chappy!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice one :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously dude, you should patent this, im sure Oxford or some other accessory retailer would be interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...