Illuminating a unicycle.

I’m curious about adding bulbs, leds, glowsticks or whatever to a unicycle
to make it look more interesting in the dark. Has anybody done this with
half-decent results?

To illuminate the wheel I was thinking:

Remove wheel from unicycle Remove tyre and inner tube from wheel. Remove
rim tape? Drill 5mm(?) holes between each pair of spokes (just like the
hole for the valve), 35 new holes in total. Hope doing so doesn’t
substantially weaken the rim (would it?). Place a string of low voltage
(parallel) Christmas lights (going cheap now
:slight_smile: around the rim with each bulb housing poking through a hole. (I’m
thinking a set of 40 lights with 6 cut off, 34 total) Splice some form of
electrical connector onto the string of lights and poke it through the
hole opposite the hole where the valve will go (for symmetry). A circular
DC Jack plug would probably suit this task. Retape rim? covering wire if
possible. (Maybe wider rim tape?) Replace tyre and inner tube, inflate.

This would mean you’d have 34 lights, each between two spokes, pointing
inwards towards the axle. All of the wiring at this point would be
concealed in the tyre (neat, but could this cause problems?). There’d be a
single connector opposite the valve.

The energy-conscious might like to use LEDs but I don’t know how you’d
securely wire them to a string such that, say, hopping on them wouldn’t
cause damage. (34 x Superbright 5mm LEDs @ 2.20V x 25mA = 1.87W so longer
battery life than filament bulbs). LEDs tend not to burn out so they
wouldn’t need to be readily replacable like bulbs.

The question then is how to get power into the tyre to light the lights. I
was thinking along the lines of an axle-mounted battery, preferably
rechargable in-situ so it didn’t have to be removed through the spokes
every time it needed recharching.

If I’ve not missed anything glaringly obvious, I may try this on my rusty
20" wheel (once I’ve secured a replacement).

All comments, questions, suggestions, and observations which shoot this
idea down in flames are welcome. :slight_smile:

Andrew xADF

“Never anger a dragon, for you are crunchy and go well with brie.”

I’m a fan of taking the LED route. You could mount a 6 volt batter under your seat or something.
A quick lighting affect would be to add the valve stem caps that light up.

correct me please because i know i’m about to be wrong.
aren’t there bike lights out there on the market to use your pedal power to provide the ‘electricty’ for the lights? if so, couldn’t you just alter this set-up to use your pedal power to power your lights? as in re-wire it to power your globes not it’s and then attach to your wheel/frame/fork?
i also think that drilling holes in your rim is prob. not the best idea, as it seems to me that it will substancially weaken it, might just be me though.

tim

I worship Jesus

it is you and go eat a hamburger.

> I’m a fan of taking the LED route. You could mount a 6 volt battery
> under your seat or something.
The problem then is connecting it to the rotating wheel. Unless all I want
it for is idling… Brushes could be tricky. AC magnetic wave
transferrence (ie. like a transformer) would be inefficient and tricky
(I’d need some electronics just to get an AC wave) but there’d be no
physical connection between frame and wheel.

Andrew xADF

“skunker” <forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:a0k6rn$k8m$1@laurel.tc.umn.edu
> correct me please because i know i’m about to be wrong. aren’t there
> bike lights out there on the market to use your pedal power to provide
> the ‘electricty’ for the lights? if so, couldn’t you just alter this
> set-up to use your pedal power to power your lights? as in re-wire it to
> power your globes not it’s and then attach to your wheel/frame/fork?
There are dynamos out there. They usually stop outputting when the wheel
stops. Also I don’t know whether the relatively slow speed of the unicycle
wheel would generate enough power to light all those bulbs. Usually a
dynamo only powers one or two. Dynamos are available as wheel-contact
versions (where they sit on the fork and watch the wheel go round) or
in-hub versions which are more efficient but may be impossible to mount on
a unicycle. The adapter for the lights on the Feldhaus Christmas tree says
“Secondary: 24V 16.5VA” - for 80 bulbs. Hence about 7W for 34 bulbs.
(Assuming the rated
16.5VA is typicl not maximum). So they’re more than 3 times more
power-hungry than super-bright LEDs… But prettier because they’re
omnidirectional.

Andrew xADF

> I worship Jesus
I don’t.

You could try making an insert for the wheel, maybe in two or three sections with the lights attached to it. If you are going battery powered I would attach it to the hub somehow.
Glow sticks would be easy enough just attach to the spokes with zip ties or something. Rope lights would be cool. The rope could be woven in and out of the spokes. I think you can buy it by the foot but I have no idea about power source.

“Andrew Feldhaus” <Reply@Thread.pls> wrote in message
news:a0j552$m2c$1@news6.svr.pol.co.uk
>>
> The energy-conscious might like to use LEDs but I don’t know how you’d
> securely wire them to a string such that, say, hopping on them wouldn’t
> cause damage. (34 x Superbright 5mm LEDs @ 2.20V x 25mA = 1.87W so
> longer battery life than filament bulbs). LEDs tend not to burn out so
> they wouldn’t need to be readily replacable like bulbs.
>

I’m not familiar with the “Superbright” LEDs, but I would think that they
wouldn’t be bright enough to be seen well over longer distances. Maybe I’m
thinking of the tiny LEDs that I used to play with in electronic kits.
Also, don’t they tend to have mostly unidirectional light?

I bought a NightRider bicycle light with a 4Ah Nickel Metal Hydride
battery that powers a 10W halogen bulb for 2 hours. It was kind of
expensive – $150 for the entire kit. It easily fits inside the hub of my
two unis. It has a cord coming out of the battery that either plugs into
the light or the battery charger so you could re-charge it without
removing the battery from the hub.

Would the weight of the battery affect the ride, especially if it’s off to
one side? I guess if it’s close to the hub it shouldn’t matter much.

> I bought a NightRider bicycle light with a 4Ah Nickel Metal Hydride
> battery that powers a 10W halogen bulb for 2 hours. It was kind of
> expensive – $150 for the entire kit. It easily fits inside the hub of
> my two unis. It has a cord coming out of the battery that either plugs
> into the light or the battery charger so you could re-charge it without
> removing the battery from the hub.

If you drop your unicycle, it’s very tough on the light or the mount. It
would probably work better to use the Nite Rider light with the helmet
mount-or headband if you don’t wear a helmet. Also, with the light on your
head, you can always see where you’re looking. -Mark

Sent via the Unicyclist Community - http://Unicyclist.com

In article <a0k6rn$k8m$1@laurel.tc.umn.edu>, skunker
<forum.member@unicyclist.com> wrote: )correct me please because i know i’m
about to be wrong. aren’t there )bike lights out there on the market to
use your pedal power to provide )the ‘electricty’ for the lights? if so,
couldn’t you just alter this )set-up to use your pedal power to power your
lights? as in re-wire it )to power your globes not it’s and then attach to
your wheel/frame/fork?

There are bike-light dynamos, but they’d be difficult to adapt for this
purpose. They attach to the frame and touch the wheel (either the side
or the middle), then are wired to a light also attached to the frame.
You’d have to devise some interface that would allow wires running down
the frame to power lights attached to a rotating wheel without getting
all twisted.

A better design for a unicycle would be to have a dyanmo in the hub. -Tom

My daughters each have a Santa Claus hat (hat?) with five sequentially
flashing red LEDs (behind plastic stars), powered by a penlight size
battery. Such hats must be cheap now - if still obtainable. You could buy
a few, strip the electronics from the thing and somehow attach to your
spokes close to the rim. If the batteries make your wheel to heavy:
rechargeable AAA size is 1.5 Volts as well - some more DIY required.

That’s the wheel. For the frame, we have something, i.e. a yellow
retroflective strip with flashing red LEDs in it, button-size battery
built-in. It’s meant to be velcroed to your arm, but it doesn’t bother
being attached to a uni frame. You can see one on Jorga’s uni in
www.xs4all.nl/~klaasbil/ACTION_L.JPG (yes partly capitals), where it
lights up because of the camera flash. Come to think, these could also be
in your wheel.

Klaas Bil

On Sat, 29 Dec 2001 01:08:05 -0000, “Andrew Feldhaus”
<Reply@Thread.pls> wrote:

>I’m curious about adding bulbs, leds, glowsticks or whatever to a
>unicycle to make it look more interesting in the dark. Has anybody done
>this with half-decent results?
>
>To illuminate the wheel I was thinking:
>
>Remove wheel from unicycle Remove tyre and inner tube from wheel. Remove
>rim tape? Drill 5mm(?) holes between each pair of spokes (just like the
>hole for the valve), 35 new holes in total. Hope doing so doesn’t
>substantially weaken the rim (would it?). Place a string of low voltage
>(parallel) Christmas lights (going cheap now
>:-) around the rim with each bulb housing poking through a hole. (I’m
>thinking a set of 40 lights with 6 cut off, 34 total) Splice some form of
>electrical connector onto the string of lights and poke it through the
>hole opposite the hole where the valve will go (for symmetry). A circular
>DC Jack plug would probably suit this task. Retape rim? covering wire if
>possible. (Maybe wider rim tape?) Replace tyre and inner tube, inflate.
>
>This would mean you’d have 34 lights, each between two spokes, pointing
>inwards towards the axle. All of the wiring at this point would be
>concealed in the tyre (neat, but could this cause problems?). There’d be
>a single connector opposite the valve.
>
>The energy-conscious might like to use LEDs but I don’t know how you’d
>securely wire them to a string such that, say, hopping on them wouldn’t
>cause damage. (34 x Superbright 5mm LEDs @ 2.20V x 25mA = 1.87W so longer
>battery life than filament bulbs). LEDs tend not to burn out so they
>wouldn’t need to be readily replacable like bulbs.
>
>The question then is how to get power into the tyre to light the lights.
>I was thinking along the lines of an axle-mounted battery, preferably
>rechargable in-situ so it didn’t have to be removed through the spokes
>every time it needed recharching.
>
>If I’ve not missed anything glaringly obvious, I may try this on my rusty
>20" wheel (once I’ve secured a replacement).
>
>All comments, questions, suggestions, and observations which shoot this
>idea down in flames are welcome. :slight_smile:
>
>
>Andrew xADF
>

>“Never anger a dragon, for you are crunchy and go well with brie.”
>
>
>


“To trigger/fool/saturate/overload Echelon, the following has been picked
automagically from a database:” “IG, M-x spook, bird dog”

you could mount the battery under your seat, and have the wire running down the post, and maybe it would be possible to build a unit that make with the wire on the spokes and allow it to spin, it is difficult to explian, but imagine how the handle bars are set up on freestyle bike, the cables for the brakes go through it and it allows it to spin. I dont know if ive made any sense, but the idea would work, but its probably to difficult to do, and would cost too much, plus you would probably lose too much power in the connection, maybe sombody can better explain what i said, ohh well

I have these lights, and they are pretty cool. Click Here

The light look pretty nice, but what im I going to do with the second one???

if youre riding on stage you can get glow in the dark tape and put strips of it all over the uni. have a black lite shining on the stage.

that’s easy, buy them up in bulk, drill your holes through the rim and find a bolt or something like that, which is the same thread pattern and size/shape as the normal tire valve and have heaps all around your rim. if the above makes any sense, i should look good.

Tim

i worship Jesus

Greetings… and Happy New Year to everyone !

I came up with a great way to light up our whole clubs unicycles a few
weeks ago for a night parade in Windsor, Ontario. I used a battery powered
string of 15 red L.E.D.s and zip tied them to the spokes. The battery pack
was rested on the hub and taped to the spokes. There was a on/off switch
on the battery pack to turn them on and off. Everyone in the club who rode
the parade also put a set of lights in their spokes. I bought 30 sets from
a craft store here in Canada called White Rose. The price was just 5.00
each !!! They looked great as 24 Toronto Unicyclists rode the parade route
in the dark. Jeff Groves rode his trials unicycle and hopped a couple of
feet without any problems with the lights or battery pack. Carl Hoyer had
kids from the crowd lay down and he jumped over them without any problems
with the lights as well. They held up very well. They use 2 C batteries
each and many hours of use didn’t show any decrease in the battery power.

Additional note: We had the pleasure of Teresa and Sem coming across the
boarder from Michigan to watch our club ride the Santa Claus parade.
Thanks again !

Try your local craft store for a set. They are great !

Darren Bedford Toronto Unicyclists

We had 15 or so riders in the First Night parade last night in Santa Cruz.
Everyone of us had those battery powered sets of lights, some 2 or 3. I
had one set in my spokes and two around my body. I used tape to hold the
battery box and each of the lights to a spoke - very easy and secure. We
bought the lights on Dec 26 for only $2/set - regularly 5.99 I think.
These are also 2 C cells and lasted fine for the duration of the parade -
I think we looked pretty cool.

—Nathan

“Darren Bedford” <darrenbedford@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:3C32243D.828E6A5D@sympatico.ca
> Greetings… and Happy New Year to everyone !
>
> I came up with a great way to light up our whole clubs unicycles a few
> weeks ago for a night parade in Windsor, Ontario. I used a battery
> powered string of 15 red L.E.D.s and zip tied them to the spokes. The
> battery pack was rested on the hub and taped to the spokes. There was a
> on/off switch on the battery pack to turn them on and off. Everyone in
> the club who rode the parade also put a set of lights in their spokes. I
> bought 30 sets from a craft store here in Canada called White Rose. The
> price was just 5.00 each !!! They looked great as 24 Toronto Unicyclists
> rode the parade route in the dark. Jeff Groves rode his trials unicycle
> and hopped a couple of feet without any problems with the lights or
> battery pack. Carl Hoyer had kids from the crowd lay down and he jumped
> over them without any problems with the lights as well. They held up
> very well. They use 2 C batteries each and many hours of use didn’t show
> any decrease in the battery power.
>
> Additional note: We had the pleasure of Teresa and Sem coming across the
> boarder from Michigan to watch our club ride the Santa Claus parade.
> Thanks again !
>
> Try your local craft store for a set. They are great !
>
> Darren Bedford Toronto Unicyclists