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For those looking for a good place to start to add some lighting to your Sondors, I can highly recommend Blackburn's 2'Fer pack of USB rechargable lights with a rubber clasp.

https://www.blackburndesign.com/lights/safety-lights-rear/2-fer-2-pack.html#.VsI6lxiIcUF

 

The lights have 4 modes on each light, bright white, blinking bright white, bright red, and blinking bright red. I found that the bright white mode is actually brighter then my old headlight from my other bike. So I've converted over to these on both bikes. I get a large amount of light in either red or white mode and they last long enough for most any ride. Plus since they charge via USB, it's easy to plug them in to charge be it via a USB port or even a pocket charger for your phone.

I aim my front light down just a bit so I can see everything around me and the front tire, then use my front light to illuminate everything coming up as I ride. The rear light is bright enough that it makes everything on both sides of me glow so I am very visible. These run around $45 USD for a pair, a fare price IMHO to be seen!

2FER FRONT OR REAR LIGHT 2016-02-15 14-54-25.jpg

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I did some photos last night of my lighting in a more realistic environment. I also took shots of my favorite headlamp that I can highly recommend, the Light & Motion Urban 650. It has 4 light modes, including High (650 lumens, 1.5 hours), Medium (300 lumens, 3 hours) and Low (150 lumens, 6 hours), plus a final pulsing light mode which goes from the High to Low brightness in a pulse mode for visibility. It's USB rechargeable, giving a full charge in just over 5 hours, has side lights that somewhat light-up the road around your tires, and is very easy to mount and to remove if you are worried about theft when you lock your bike somewhere.

I found that used in concert with the above mentioned Blackburn 2'Fer light up front in white mode aimed somewhat down, it provides an outstanding visibility range even in the lower two light modes. I actually ride with it in Medium or Low unless I am somewhere unfamiliar.

I'm attaching a photo of the Blackburn 2'Fer on the street along with the Urban 650 in High mode both with shots down so you can see the tire for a sense of distance and then what you see in front of you to demonstrate its brightness.

The L&M Urban 650 runs under $100 USD, I got mine for $60 on sale at a local bike shop and it was worth every penny.

http://www.lightandmotion.com/choose-your-light/urban/urban-650-kingfisher

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Another nice gimmick for mounting a front light is the Busch & Müller Light Bracket for Fork Crown. Since I want to mount the K3 LCD and the front reflector onto the center of the handle bar, I lack the space to mount my battery front lamp. This light bracket lets you mount any device which is intended for handle bar mounting to the fork crown.

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Nice idea. I wonder how that would work, if it would be steady on bumpier rides? I could love to move my wide area light (the Blackburn 2'Fer) out of the way of the handlebars and cabling. The forks have the hole for a fender that could work perfectly for something like this. I had considered mounting to the neck or the front part of the frame, just wasn't sure where and how.

My bars are a bit crowded right now so getting anything out of there is good. Especially with the shifter I'll be adding too.

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@alienmeatsack The bracket works fine when riding on bumpy roads.

It has a rubber buffer at the lower end which is attached to the arch/fork. This compensates vibrations (to a certain limit) and the bracket keeps being steady. My front light behaves the same way as it would be mounted to the handle bar. The frame of the bracket is made of sturdy plastic and is extendable. I've also seen similar bracket mounts from other manufacturers made of metal by the way. The only thing which I had to pay attention to was the limited space between the upper plastic frame and the cylindrical mount. Since my front light has a pretty large screw for fixating, I had to turn the clamp of the light 180° in order to fit into the bracket mount.

SondorsOwnersForum_Bracket.jpg.da0ef29da

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just installed a kick-ass rechargeable LED light (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X90ZYJ0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00) by Bright Eyes.

The brightness and spread is amazing. Comes with a diffuser lens if you like. The battery pack mounts nicely right below the handle bars with generous velcro straps, but you could attach it lots of different ways. It comes with an extension cord so you could even mount it under the seat if you like. I just used the elastic cords it came with - crisscrossing two of them - to mount it right in the center of the handlebars where they meet the stem. Don't be afraid to stretch them right over the top of the light. I don't have photos of how far this illuminates, but some of the reviewers on Amazon do. Also, it comes with a nice battery operated rear LED REALLY BRIGHT red tail light. About $54 bucks at Amazon. There are two versions of this light. Get the newer, square all black one. Looks nicer.

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On 2/19/2016 at 9:27 AM, alienmeatsack said:

Nice. Can any of those be wired into the LCD/controller to be controlled directly instead of being standalone?

That's my question, too.  The LCD manual says it can turn a headlight off and on if the controller has "headlight drive output function."  I can't seem to find out if that's the case with the stock Sondor's controller.  I have a headlight that's spec'd for 12-85V so it could take whatever voltage the controller puts out...

Edited by Steve Condie
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If I am not mistaken the LCD can turn on brake lights when the brakes are pressed, as well as power a headlight when you turn on the backlight/headlight function.

I've not run a voltage meter against the headlight/brake light plug, but it is only two connectors so I'm not sure if it's just grounding the two lights and you have to run power to them directly and that makes them come on or what. I broke my meter or I'd test it to see if it's completing a circuit, sending power (and how much v/a) or a ground.

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As far as I know, the stock Sondors controller (original IGG bike) does lack a plug to connect a lightsource. But I'm not sure, so if anybody has a more profund knowledge, please "enlighten" us (pun intended ;) ). However, since there are lamps availabe which fit to the system (have a look here), the should be a way to connect those. Maybe you "just" need an updraded controller which has the propper connectors.

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The KS bike's controller also lacks the brakes/headlamp connector as well. It looks like the one in the photo on your link @3D-vice - I considered ordering a horn/light combo to take apart and test the wiring to see what it does.

I want to make the brake lights work and the headlight work with my existing lights. I know just wiring in a relay should do the trick but I have to figure out what the wiring on the controller is doing first. Maybe today I will go get a new circuit testing gadget. I need one anyway for my electronics projects. And it's an excuse to buy some tools too.

I have seen video online of people hacking the stock controller to turn on/off a headlamp, so I believe the circuits are there they just aren't active or wired.

 

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@alienmeatsack Wiring the horn/light combo into the system shouldn't be that difficult. Looking at the picture I posted again, I realized that the orange plug just has two pins, which means that it will just need +/- DC power. Since the combo has this nice switch, maybe you could use this switch to connect your custom lights.

Wiring in the brake light might be more tricky though...

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I was originally under the impression the brake's lights were also somehow activated with the same plug but I am thinking not seeing the headlamps that use the plug fully.

It should be easy enough to find that plugs voltage, which is pos/neg and use that to trip a relay that activates another light.

For the brakes, you could tap into either the left or right brake cables that kill the motor and put a similar relay in or use the connected/broken circuit made by pressing the brake lever to activate the brake lights. There's just a small switch in the brake lever that I believe either completes or breaks a circuit to make the motor stop. Haven't tested it yet.

I was going to use my stock controller hooked up to power to test what does indeed happen, or once my newer controller arrive use that so I dont fry something important. :D

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  • 3 months later...

So I'm working on a motorcycle-lite visibility and safety solution for my fat.

I found this resource on the net http://www.ebikeschool.com/how-to-add-12v-lights-to-your-ebike-without-a-dc-dc-converter/

which inspired a $45 aliexpress order.

Now I wait three weeks . . .

 

The goal is to be able to communicate like a motorcycle with the traffic around me

Constraints I placed:

  1. Power everything from the main battery
  2. Have turn signals
  3. Have brake light
  4. Have head light
  5. Have 'running' lights
  6. As few components as possible
  7. As cheap as possible

Unsolved problems:

  1. Wiring rats nest of hell
  2. Cable management
  3. Mounting solution(s)
  4. Brake light triggered by hand brake(s)

What I have (ordered) so far:

  1. Rear light/Brake light - (received) (actually an all in one - running, brake, turn, license) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/LED-Motorcycle-Quad-ATV-Tail-Turn-Signal-Brake-License-Plate-Integrated-Light/32228901574.html
  2. Headlight (received) - (This actually has a dc/dc converter so can be used directly off the battery if necessary or I want to wire it separate) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/High-Power-18W-super-bright-Motorcycle-Led-light-Fog-White-Headlight-Working-Light-12V-80V-HA10584/32529797128.html
  3. Turn signal / running lights - (received) (four, probably only need two, but spares might be useful). Comes with flasher relay. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4Pcs-Universal-Motorcycle-Amber-Blue-12-LED-Turn-Signal-Indicator-Light-Lamp-Flasher-Relay/32589249013.html
  4. Running lights - (received) (LED Strips in white and red, cheap so I bought a bunch) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4x-30cm-High-Quality-5050-12-SMD-Flexible-Strips-Daytime-Running-Light-Waterproof-Light-LED-Car/32231529351.html
  5. Horn - (received) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Motorcycle-Horn-Electronic-Bell-Motorbike-Auto-Accessories-Trumpet-DC-12V-115dB-HA10754/32584350558.html
  6. Switch - (received) Horn, Turn, Light on/off http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Universal-Motorcycle-Handlebar-ON-OFF-Switch-3-in-1-Horn-Headlight-Turn-Signal-Lights-Lamp-Scooter/32620089161.html
  7. DC/DC converter - step down 36v to 12v - (received) http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-DC-24V-36V-48V-60V-64V-72V-To-12V-10A-Converter-For-Electric-Storage-Battery/32628741594.html

I'm not sure yet if I'll have the running lights in series to add up to 36v and run them on a separate always on circuit, or link it all thru the on/off switch. Lots of options. I decided to get everything 12v. The other V (36, 48 etc) stuff was (a lot) more, and it seemed like the gains in efficiency of no converter were offset by the hassle/cost. There are so many 12V accessories that having 12V just makes for so much future proofing and flexibility.

Has anyone here attempted something like this yet?

Edited by Grinchy
more details. Updating parts receipt status
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And adding in the fuse and relays:

  1. High Voltage Relay (received) (may not be needed) for when the controller is 'on'. I don't know yet if the controller sends out 12v or 5v or what or the battery V on it's communications lines. Can always use it in another project later - http://www.aliexpress.com/item/SSR-40DD-40A-DC-control-DC-SSR-white-shell-Single-phase-Solid-state-relay-10A-input/32474500236.html. This requires a tiny bit of voltage reduction (its 3-32vdc switching, and the controller runs 36v. I got a 60v regulator to allow for future upgrades). Use something like this: http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=ZXTR2112FQ-7virtualkey62110000virtualkey621-ZXTR2112FQ-7
  2. 12 V relay (bought two, but on second thought only needed one) (received, and they're probably too big). These are preferred as they come waterproof. Hopefully if the controller does use a less than battery V for communication it is 12V, not sure these will trigger on 5v for example - http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Waterproof-integrated-automotive-relay-12V-4-feet-40A-normally-open-with-a-line-containing-a-socket/32280767590.html (do not order these, instead use the optocontroller for the brake light, number 3 below)
  3. The type of relay needed to use low level ebrake to switch a 12v LED light with a 5v supply
  4. Waterproof Fuse Holders. (received) Just need one, but hard to find just one. Maybe can use the backups somewhere else. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Lowest-Price-3PC-200mm-Waterproof-Fuse-Holders-14-Gauge-ATC-Fuse-Holder-In-line-AWG-Wire/32604503023.html

Sadly this was another $30. Would be $20 if the answer to the relay question was known. (Answer - I'm going with HV relay before the DC/DC converter (if it will fit), and then a 12v relay for the brakes.) (Note after all corrections these parts are about $15 total)

Still need multiconductor wires too . . .

Edited by Grinchy
clarify use of the two relays. I'm going 36v and 12 v at the moment. Receipts update
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11 hours ago, 3D-vice said:

@Grinchy Wow that looks like one hell of a project, man. I'm very curious to see how you gonna run all the wiring (through the frame, parallel to the frame).

I don't know yet. Wiring diagrams are famously messy because every connection is a discrete item, but I think it will be possible to take 12V+ and 'ground' (it's floating . . .) to the handlebars and the rear in a multiconductor wire (maybe 8? in the multiconductor) and limit the duplication. I haven't done the drawings for that yet, but have hope at this stage it will work out. 

I'm concerned about the relays, they are not small, especially the 36v one. I finally found someone on youtube that had the lcd 'lights' contact identified on the controller. He was using a mosfet to drive the sample light. My plan was to use a relay for that, but the mosfet was much tinier. I have to read up on that technology.

Video:

Sondors eBike controller headlight hack

What I don't understand is why some manufacturer isn't selling an ebike light kit. It would be pretty simple to build this for the 'generic' controller which exposes the headlight and brake wires separately. It could sell for $200 or more, easily. Parts are about $70 (retail).

 

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Tack on $2.50 more for a waterproof latching pushbutton 'master' switch (received). I guess this can be ganged with the battery voltage side relay somehow, seems like it needs a separate power to 'close' the relay. I'll have to experiment with this a bit.

All this stuff is coming from Aliexpress, so the three week wait (or more) still applies.

Edited by Grinchy
receipts
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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't wired my bike yet because I'm waiting for my upgraded controller and screen from Lunacycle. I need to see how and where the light connector attaches to the screen or controller? I think I might use a trailer wiring kit that I got on sale from Harbor Freight the other day for $10. There is plenty of medium gage wire, all color coded. A trailer has running lights, brakes and turn signals. If I use a common frame ground I won't need the ground wire but I prefer to use a black ground wire to each fixture. I have tons of shrink wrap to clean up the install and waterproof crimp connectors to make it easy to add parts to the loom. I usually buy this stuff bulk from Banggood.com and have a well stocked electrical "junk" box. BTW, they sell quite a few relays for motorcycles, cheap. They have really good, inexpensive led lights, also. I also bought a 12v to 5v usb converter to install in the loom. I'll post pictures and a diagram when I get it put together.

I bought a 30A DC-DC converter to go from 36 to 12V before I found out that the controller has it built in so I might use it on my 36v hoverboard battery pack to keep the lighting and accessory load off the main battery. I have a bad habit of leaving lights on accidently and would hate to come out of the store and find out that I have to pedal home because while I was leisurely shopping, my battery was quietly going down hill, waiting for me. I plan on installing a switch on the backup battery to switch it in and out of the drive circuit so I can use it as a spare. I seldom ride more than 10 miles so I probably won't use the backup battery much so using it for the accessories will keep it cycling and maybe prevent it from going bad from lack of use.

I see a lot of people using overly large headlights from a motorcycle, like 30W leds. I am keeping my light down to a max of 9W. This is plenty of light and unlike a motorcycle, we don't have an alternator to charge our batteries. Too bad we don't have regenerative charging. Maybe at some future date that will become standard on these motors and controllers when electric vehicles are the standard rather than the exception.

MisterFixIt1952

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