Anyone remember these bicycle lights when you were a youngster?

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klrman
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Anyone remember these bicycle lights when you were a youngster?

 50 years ago I was really impressed with the dynamo lights on my bike!

They looked similar to these that amazon is selling.

 

 

Edited by: klrman on 09/16/2018 - 01:07
tatasal
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I had two of them on my bike, of course with two headlamps too! Didn’t mind the buzzing and pedal load at that time though, just to have bright lights.

klrman
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haha, I should have thought of putting two on my bike back then too!  I still remember the thrill of getting them, installing them and taking that first test run.  That buzzing sound grinding the wheel and then seeing light come out the headlamp for the first time really made my day.

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Hey, I still got one on my trusty ol’ Schwinn!

Works fine with hotwire bulbs, but when either one goes (reducing the load), the other bulb pops in very short order.

Light was pitiful from the bulbs, but it was amazing at the time.

Never did much nighttime riding, so never really saw any “need” to upgrade, and never much used the lights, but I always wanted to use the generator to be able to recharge cells on-the-fly, a sort of range-extender if need be.

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klrman
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I thought somebody may still have one!  Compared to modern lights, light output on those things would probably look pretty dismal.  I wonder how many amps those generators put out?  Would be fun to see if  they could charge a cell phone or 18650 whilst riding.

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The beam was/is about like a dinky C-cell hotwire flashlight. Little yellowish disc, barely visible reflecting off asphalt. They were always more to be seen than to see anything. That’s why I had/have mine aimed almost straight forward, only a slight dip.

They’re more like constant-wattage devices, load-limited by the winding resistance. Without a load, voltage shoots up sky-high (k·ω, proportional to rotational speed). With increasing load, voltage decreases to just supply the required wattage the device is drawing for the given speed.

So absolutely, you could charge even series Li cells as the voltage would rise pretty fast at even moderate speeds, but at a lower current. You’d just need to pre-regulate the voltage to make sure you don’t fry the charging circuit. And if it’s not spinning fast enough, it’ll just slow down the charging.

The nice thing about hotwire bulbs is that even at a small fraction of their rated voltage, they’ll still throw decent light. A 6V bulb will start throwing light at 2V or less, albeit not nearly as bright. So just start pedaling at all and it’ll start glowing.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Tony Cape
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I was always envious of the kids who had those lights even though I had no need for the lights .My overprotective mom would never allow me to cycle at night.

neo71665
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In the 80s I just had to have one of those so my parents got me one for my birthday. I musta been about 8-9 because at the time I had an old BMX style bike. I wanted a 10 speed but most of my riding was around on our property and down in the woods, not the place for skinny street tires most of the multi speed bikes in my parents price range was gonna buy. Well I wanted it to dodge “things” in the cow pasture. Needless to say at the slow speeds I was riding I still duct taped a real light on the handlebars. That bike like sure looked cool up there in the day light.

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Perhaps this light was one of the contributing factors to our shared flashlight addiction.

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Today I’m still driving around with those lights. Though with an improved reflector and a 6V 3W xenon bulb. In Netherland the 6V 0.5W rear light was traditionally semi-incorporated in the mudguard. That I have replaced with a LED unit, driven by 2 AA batteries. There were three reasons for that replacement.
First – the long cable between front wheel and rear mudguard had a lot to suffer from wear and tear.
Second – as Lightbringer already wrote, when the first (front) light pops, the other (rear) light is sure to follow.
Third – now the rear light keeps on burning when I have to stop at a traffic light. (BTW: 75% cyclists do stop)

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

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1968 Sears bicycle I had. Still can remember the smell of replacing those Rayovac batteries.

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I won’t clap…I can feel pain in my thighs just by remembering old dynamo’s friction. Big Smile

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Tally-ho wrote:

I won’t clap…I can fell pain in my thighs just by remembering old dynamo’s friction. Big Smile

Yeah, and as I posted earlier as having 2 sets in my bike, I remember during those days in my backward country, all bikes were just single-speed, so don’t just make the mistake of using a 12-teeth rear sprocket!

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I had a Schwinn Stingray in the 1960’s with one of those generator lights installed on it. Brings back some great teenage memories.

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atbglenn wrote:
I had a Schwinn Stingray in the 1960’s with one of those generator lights installed on it. Brings back some great teenage memories.

Yep, same on my1969 Schwinn Fastback, light kit, metal flake green with the metal flake green banana seat/handle bar grips that matched, Hi Ride sissy bar too!

The next Christmas I got the Varoom engine/noise maker to put on it, with my first leather motorcycle jacket and Levi Blue Jean boots to boot! Big Smile

OMG Levi Blue Jean boots… Facepalm

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klrman
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tatasal wrote:
Tally-ho wrote:
!{width:43%}https://i.imgur.com/KZDZMEN.gif! I won't clap...I can fell pain in my thighs just by remembering old dynamo's friction. :D
Yeah, and as I posted earlier as having 2 sets in my bike, I remember during those days in my backward country, all bikes were just single-speed, so don't just make the mistake of using a 12-teeth rear sprocket!


Almost forgot about the single speed!  I remember coming home from school everyday in Australia riding up the final big hill to our home zigzagging all the way up because I didn't want to be beat down by it and get off my bike.  It was good exercise and without any training except for riding my my bicycle, I always won the 100 yard sprint every year in my school.  

 

klrman
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Lightbringer wrote:
The beam was/is about like a dinky C-cell hotwire flashlight. Little yellowish disc, barely visible reflecting off asphalt. They were always more to *be seen* than to see anything. That's why I had/have mine aimed almost straight forward, only a slight dip. They're more like constant-wattage devices, load-limited by the winding resistance. Without a load, voltage shoots up sky-high (k·ω, proportional to rotational speed). With increasing load, voltage decreases to just supply the required wattage the device is drawing for the given speed. So absolutely, you could charge even series Li cells as the voltage would rise pretty fast at even moderate speeds, but at a lower current. You'd just need to pre-regulate the voltage to make sure you don't fry the charging circuit. And if it's not spinning fast enough, it'll just slow down the charging. The nice thing about hotwire bulbs is that even at a small fraction of their rated voltage, they'll still throw decent light. A 6V bulb will start throwing light at 2V or less, albeit not nearly as bright. So just start pedaling at all and it'll start glowing.

 

That would be another fun project to start one day.  Would be fun to make a prototype and connect it to my handlebar with a USB outlet for charging lights and phones.

goshdogit
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I didn’t have one, but Bart did. Big Smile

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I had one on my Schwinn Varsity. I just remember all the black tire dust and after wearing out two front tires, taking it off. Being a kid, a tire was a lot of money (and getting a flat because the sidewall suddenly disappeared was no fun), and I decided batteries were cheaper. Don’t remember the light I replaced it with, though.

ETA: Mine was a headlight only, so the generator was supposed to be on the front wheel.

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goshdogit wrote:
I didn’t have one, but Bart did. Big Smile

This is the way I remember my light.
It worked pretty well going down hill. Tired

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My father had one on his bike apparently, and just asked him about it, and it was a pain to work with and install.

I’m way younger than you guys and gals, so can’t really vouch on experience.

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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
I had a Schwinn Stingray in the 1960’s with one of those generator lights installed on it. Brings back some great teenage memories.

Yep, same on my1969 Schwinn Fastback, light kit, metal flake green with the metal flake green banana seat/handle bar grips that matched, Hi Ride sissy bar too!

The next Christmas I got the Varoom engine/noise maker to put on it, with my first leather motorcycle jacket and Levi Blue Jean boots to boot! Big Smile

OMG Levi Blue Jean boots… Facepalm

I used to ride mine around with skin tight blue jeans along with Flag Bros Beatle boots. I laugh when I think what that looked like. Oh yeah, my Stingray was a single speed metallic blue model with a white bananna seat. Unfortunately it go stolen.

klrman
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atbglenn wrote:
KawiBoy1428 wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
I had a Schwinn Stingray in the 1960's with one of those generator lights installed on it. Brings back some great teenage memories.
Yep, same on my1969 Schwinn Fastback, light kit, metal flake green with the metal flake green banana seat/handle bar grips that matched, Hi Ride sissy bar too! p. The next Christmas I got the Varoom engine/noise maker to put on it, with my first leather motorcycle jacket and Levi Blue Jean boots to boot! Big Smile p. OMG Levi Blue Jean boots... :FACEPALM:
I used to ride mine around with skin tight blue jeans along with Flag Bros Beatle boots. I laugh when I think what that looked like. Oh yeah, my Stingray was a single speed metallic blue model with a white bananna seat. Unfortunately it go stolen.

 

I had the ribbed black banana seat with the high handlebars in front all pimped out lol.  Can tell we're  ancient!

atbglenn
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klrman wrote:

atbglenn wrote:
KawiBoy1428 wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
I had a Schwinn Stingray in the 1960’s with one of those generator lights installed on it. Brings back some great teenage memories.
Yep, same on my1969 Schwinn Fastback, light kit, metal flake green with the metal flake green banana seat/handle bar grips that matched, Hi Ride sissy bar too! p. The next Christmas I got the Varoom engine/noise maker to put on it, with my first leather motorcycle jacket and Levi Blue Jean boots to boot! Big Smile p. OMG Levi Blue Jean boots… Facepalm
I used to ride mine around with skin tight blue jeans along with Flag Bros Beatle boots. I laugh when I think what that looked like. Oh yeah, my Stingray was a single speed metallic blue model with a white bananna seat. Unfortunately it go stolen.

 


I had the ribbed black banana seat with the high handlebars in front all pimped out lol.  Can tell we’re  ancient!

This is same one I had except mine had those mini fenders, and of course the generator light and a speedometer. BTW, nothing wrong with being ancient! Proud to be born in 1952!

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Mine looked like this…

But with this Sissy Bar.. Vrroom.. Too Coool! Big Smile

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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
Mine looked like this… But with this Sissy Bar.. Vrroom.. Too Coool! Big Smile

Nice! I’m not sure if the 5 speed model was out when my dad bought me the one I had in 1967. I love the sissy bar!

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Boy, what a fantastic childhood memory this thread brings up. Had this bike @1964. 3 speed. Santa brought it. (My tail light generator was mounted on rear)

Thanks for the memories !! Thumbs Up

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I love that all in one generator/lights! I forgot they made those! Who could forget those 3-speed hubs? Remember they were called English Racers?

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Great thread that brings back fond memories…. thanks!!! Smile

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teacher wrote:
Great thread that brings back fond memories…. thanks!!! Smile

This is a great thread. I love talking to people from my generation about this stuff.

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