Saturday, June 20, 2009

Taillight Post-Polishing

Imagine what must be going through this poor little guy's head. He sits happily oxidizing away in a French barn for forty years. Then all of a sudden he's dragged out, photographed, advertised on eBay, bought by a Canadian, packed in a box, sent halfway around the world, delivered, unwrapped, photographed, blogged about, sanded, polished, and then—if luck goes my way—stuffed full of LEDs, screwed on to a bike, and ridden many thousands of miles of year.

This state of polishedness is the result of about 30 minutes of sanding with 220, 600, and 1500 grit sandpaper and then Simichrome polishing. He could definitely get shinier—but I'll wait to see if he works as an LED conversion. The problem in that regard is that his lens almost certainly won't come off. I'm pretty sure it's glued on to the aluminum housing. Luckily he has a fairly wide opening at the back (almost exactly dime-sized) into which I'm hoping we can jam sufficient LEDs to make him bright. Maybe just a single, very bright LED? I know shamefully little about lighting.

Below is a photo of his opening (poor guy!), and another of the beautiful Star of David pattern his lens creates.


mcscholt said...

I have a couple of unused 1 Watt red LEDs that I had bought for a similar project. You're wiring the taillight, right? I might be pretty simple to rig something up for you... send me an email.

Anonymous said...

This company makes a smart LED that has the same socket as a regular rear light bulb, but features a pretty bright LED with an integrated Stand-light.

We've been selling them for a while here in Berlin, and they seem to be reliable. For €10,- you could save yourself a lot of head scracthing...


AH said...

The standlight WOULD be nice. But I'm afraid things are rather complicated with this light, and not even one of these plug-in LEDs would work. The "guts-less" state of the light is one thing. The need to make a custom attachment to the frame is another. And so the head-scratching continues!