Author Topic: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel  (Read 1239 times)

Earl Greybeard

  • Earl Greybeard
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Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« on: June 12, 2020, 10:12:14 am »
Greetings all. I have inherited my mother's old Raleigh, and been gradually refurbishing it. It is one of those beauties with a hub dynamo and a tube containing the old battery.

I have now arrived at the lights, and wondered what folk normally do with those? My inclination is to make this a practical bike by replacing the dynamo-driven arrangement with battery-powered LEDs. I would hope this would be a sympathetic update, keeping the old light fittings externally, but converting the innards to LED. Perhaps I could site the new batteries in the old battery tube, and re-use the existing wiring to both lights. I did consider keeping the dynamo running (if it works) and just upgrading the bulbs, but I thought a total change would be cleaner and indeed safer.

My concern is that there might be a horde of collectors out there who are desperate to have lights driven by the original hub dynamo. If any of you had a sharp intake of breath at any of the above, could you advise me please?

Best wishes,

Raymond
Trouble always come in cycles

Dave_C

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 10:16:05 am »
I would think carefully about reusing the wiring unless you know it is in top condition. Copper corrodes easily when wet.

I discovered the other day a G10 LED light whose lense had come off. It sparked a thought about making a bike light. If you can reuse the case and swap out the bulb for a screw in LED module you can produce or have made locally, then the LED might work.

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Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 10:20:46 am »
Thanks Dave. That's good advice. So I could either replace the wiring, or else just have batteries mounted locally in each light.

I am not an electrical expert, so I was hoping as you say to re-use most of the innards of an existing LED lamp. As I understand it, LEDs require a different style of reflector owing to the angle of the beam they project. But I might have to bite the bullet and learn how to solder  :)
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Dave_C

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 10:29:18 am »
In that case. Soldering. Hold the solder iron against the metal part to be soldered. After a sufficient amount of time, mate the solder against the metal part, NOT THE SOLDER IRON. Solder has flux in it to clean the metal being soldered. This melts, but heat it too much and it will burn. Don't inhale the fumes. Older solder has lead in, so try newer solder. Once the metal is hot enough, the solder will melt and 'flow'. Flow means it will flow over the metal to coat it evenly.

Do the same to the bare copper wires, heat wires, mate solder to the wires, and remove the iron once the solder flows.

Then take the wire to the metal. Heat the metal, and once you see both soldered parts 'flow', remove the solder iron. Practice on small disposable parts. Solder is NOT a mechanical bond, only an electrical bond. Ensure any parts bonded to the wire are fixed to something even if it is just zip tied.

Also get a solder sponge, a little water will help to clean the iron.

Good luck. Feel free to ask any questions, no question is stupid.

Dave C

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Dave_C

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2020, 10:32:05 am »
I have an old B&B Lyt front light. The LEDs are blown, but you are welcome to the case and it's lense. Pm me you address and I'll post it off.

Dave C

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 01:48:13 pm »
I would convert to LED and run from the dymano. It's really easy to do with cheap LEDs from ebay. Even the 12V ones run on my dymano. Adding a bridge rectifier will reduce the flicker.
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 02:12:45 pm »
I would convert to LED and run from the dynamo. It's really easy to do with cheap LEDs from ebay. Even the 12V ones run on my dymano. Adding a bridge rectifier will reduce the flicker.
. Definitely an option.  It does make some use of the original facility. Is that the reason you prefer that approach?
Trouble always come in cycles

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2020, 02:18:47 pm »
Why on earth would you want to use batteries when there's a hub dynamo available?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2020, 02:22:53 pm »
Why on earth would you want to use batteries when there's a hub dynamo available?
I agree that my reasoning may be faulty, which is why I am here  :)

1. Light doesn't stop when the bike does (or does it, with the built in battery?)
2. Reduces load on the cyclist. May not be much anyway.
3. I am guessing you get a brighter light with the battery

I don't think it would take much to talk me out of it!
Trouble always come in cycles

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2020, 02:37:05 pm »
Why on earth would you want to use batteries when there's a hub dynamo available?
I agree that my reasoning may be faulty, which is why I am here  :)

1. Light doesn't stop when the bike does (or does it, with the built in battery?)

This is a fair point.  A standlight circuit is highly desirable.


Quote
2. Reduces load on the cyclist. May not be much anyway.

I wouldn't worry about that, unless you're racing.  It'll be of the order of a few watts.  Equivalent to not zipping up your jacket, sort of thing.


Quote
3. I am guessing you get a brighter light with the battery

Certainly possible, but you lose the convenience of lighting that's always ready.  A mid-range LED dyanmo light is perfectly sufficient for normal road use.


The challenge is mostly going to be one of optics:  Putting an LED source at the focal point of a reflector designed for a tungsten lamp tends to result in a flood of direct light and an underwhelming focused hot-spot from the reflector.  Which isn't to say it won't be a decent improvement on what you'd get with the original tungsten lamp, as you have so many more lumens to waste.  It would also be an easy retrofit.

My preferred approach would be to gut the innards (optics and electronics) of a suitable modern light and retrofit them to the existing shell somehow.

Alternatively there are modern dynamo lights available in a retro styling that might be suitable.  It wouldn't be authentic, but it would be practical, and you could keep the original light unadulterated on a shelf for that future collector.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2020, 04:13:18 pm »
Nicelite LEDs are available to replace some filament bulbs.  They are way brighter (the red rear LEDs ridiculously so) but focus isn't great in optics designed for a small light source.

SA dynohubs must NEVER be dismantled unlesd you have a keeper ring.  The magnet loses all its strength the moment it is taken out of iron.  It is very magnetically "soft".
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Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2020, 05:40:09 pm »
My preferred approach would be to gut the innards (optics and electronics) of a suitable modern light and retrofit them to the existing shell somehow.

Alternatively there are modern dynamo lights available in a retro styling that might be suitable.  It wouldn't be authentic, but it would be practical, and you could keep the original light unadulterated on a shelf for that future collector.

Thanks Kim. There's some good stuff in there. You have convinced me to try keeping the dynamo. And keeping the original parts for interested parties is a great idea.
Trouble always come in cycles

Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2020, 05:44:03 pm »
Nicelite LEDs are available to replace some filament bulbs...

SA dynohubs must NEVER be dismantled unless you have a keeper ring.  The magnet loses all its strength the moment it is taken out of iron.  It is very magnetically "soft".

I certainly considered just replacing the bulbs, but as you say was put off by the reflector incompatibility. However, from what you say, it might be worth gutting/replacing the headlamp, but replacing just the bulb in the rear.

Don't worry. I had no plans to dismantle the hub  ;D
Trouble always come in cycles

Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2020, 07:20:10 pm »
Google 'replace torch bulb with led'.

It should give you a few options to match against your filament bulb. The lense from my old Lyt might help to direct the light where you need it

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2020, 07:52:28 pm »
Pictures please!!

[edit]
Of the bike.
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that's not science, it's semantics.

Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2020, 08:30:25 pm »
Pictures please!!
Of the bike.
Ooops. Tricky. I will see what I can do. At present, the bike is in pieces in my bike shed. Was there any feature you particularly wanted to see?
Trouble always come in cycles

Earl Greybeard

  • Earl Greybeard
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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2020, 08:31:51 pm »
Google 'replace torch bulb with led'.

Wilco  :thumbsup:
Trouble always come in cycles

Earl Greybeard

  • Earl Greybeard
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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2020, 02:39:19 pm »
Pictures please!!

 :-[ Er... How does one attach images to a post here? The Image button above just adds an HTML tag, and the 'add attachment' option is disabled. Sorry
Trouble always come in cycles

Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2020, 05:02:28 pm »
You need to host them somewhere like flickr, and then use the share function to get a link that will embed in your post. There's a guide somewhere, but I can't remember where - I'm sure it will come up if you search.

Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2020, 05:06:16 pm »
I post mainly from the Tapatalk app. It has an add photos icon when I post.

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Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2020, 09:36:23 pm »
That front light looks huge, you could easily fit a standard LED light in there.

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Earl Greybeard

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Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2020, 09:47:13 pm »
That front light looks huge, you could easily fit a standard LED light in there.
It's even bigger than that. The photo shows only the back part. The lens, reflector and front rim are sitting on my desk here. There is some good working room as you say.
Trouble always come in cycles

Dave_C

  • Trying to get rid of my belly... and failing!
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2020, 09:58:08 pm »
If you bought a B&M Lyt for £15-20 you could just mount the whole B&M light in the case. A clear lense would just allow the light out of the casing

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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Refurbishing lights on a vintage Raleigh All Steel
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2020, 10:25:18 pm »
If you bought a B&M Lyt for £15-20 you could just mount the whole B&M light in the case. A clear lense would just allow the light out of the casing

Get a plus version, and it won't go out when you stop.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...