This last week my dad, Michael Dauenhauer and I built the second version of the light cycle. We now have it installed at the IncSys office.
We based it off of the original design by Brian Waldron (a Gonzaga University student) and Dr. Robin Podmore. We stuck mostly to the plans but have added a few improvements.
* We added a plywood base to secure the frame to.
* Since the design calls for a general alternator, the way it gets secured to the frame is determined by the available bracketing on the alternator itself.
* Instead of attaching the alternator to the cross brace, we attached it to a 20″ frame that can be slid looser or tighter. In front of the this frame we put a wedge system that simply tightens the belt. We did notice that the belt stretched after about 2 hours of combined pedaling, but we should be able to easily move the wedges to the new appropriate length.
* We noticed that the angled ledge that the bike’s chain stay rests on still allows some movement when the bike is jostling around while being pedaled. We are going to add U-Bolts instead of the ledge.
* A front stand that prevents the front of the bike from moving around will also be helpful. This will be designed to fit the drop outs of the bike’s front.
A few remaining issues we had:
1) A method of determining the %charge of NiMH rechargable batteries will be important. Is there a low cost approach?
2) Our system has a battery setup that places 10 1.2v rechargeable AA batteries in series. I would like to know any information on charging these batteries and if there is any problem with charging them if the battery levels are not the same. Also, what are the negative side-effects of overcharging?