This is what I did today

With this build-up, I am trying [as I have with my other cycles] to keep things neat–in this case, the wiring for my lighting system. Rather than using my DiNotte lights, I’ve decided to use a wheel dynamo. Back in the day, we simply called it a generator. I had one on my 3-speed English Racer. So, where will it [the generator] go? I installed it on the back wheel of my RANS Stratus XP. My English Racer had the generator up front. Therefore, I want to do the same on Fay. The questions are, how to neatly get the wire to the back for the taillight and where shall I place it? On my RANS SXP, I routed many wires in a vinyl tube that I secured to beneath the bottom tube. Such will not look neat on this bike.

After a lot of thought, I decided to place the wires in a small conduit. The best I came up with is a brake cable housing in the rear derailleur channel [since I’m doing a fixie & single speed build]; but, can it carry a pair of wires. I don’t think so. Now, how do I neatly get 2 wires from front to back?

Wait! Why not use the bike as a wire and then route one wire. Hey, that will work. Now to check the frame’s continuity. Two issues, the anodized seat post and the front fork. I cleaned a spot just beneath the seat [on positioning: I always want my taillight as high as possible] and then cleaned large areas below the maximum extension line so that the seat post is electrically a part of the frame. Several continuity checks and we now have good contact. I’d like to have the wire welded to the post. The problem with the fork is that some of the powder coat covered areas that precluded “electrical” contact with the frame. Scrap, scrape, and we have continuity–wire to fork. Very good!

Now, to get a longer piece of cable housing–done.

I spent a major part of the morning fashioning a bracket for the taillight that allows me to angle it as needed, based on seat position, and accommodate the cable housing. I have a bracket where a back caliper brake would go to keep the brake housing [now conduit] taunt. Pulled the wire. The wire ends are positioned for connection to the respective lights. I’ll cover any exposed wire with black heat shrink tubing.

I expect the lights to arrive early next week. Tomorrow, the Topeak Handlebar Bag and the REI order are scheduled to arrive. I’ll add a gallery of pictures sometime tomorrow–03/20. I trust my words here are sufficiently descriptive to allow understanding of what I’ve done.

Author: jalexartis

Avid cyclist, who loves photography, technology, blogging & cooking...

4 thoughts on “This is what I did today”

  1. Hi Jim,

    eventually i would expect the electrical contact between the seat post and frame to go bad on you, as they aren’t meant to be electrically connected. eventually corrosion will set it.

    i recommend that you drill a hole somewhere in the frame and use a sheet metal screw for a terminal (on a seat stay maybe). the SMS will bite into the metal from the inside of the tube so you don’t really have to scrape anything. it’s a lot easier to seal up a hole with a screw in it too. you can run a wire from that screw up to your rear tail light to use as the ground terminal and you don’t have to worry about what happens with the seat post eventually. it would be a disaster to have it fail suddenly on the darkest night….


    1. Hi MJ,

      Thanks for the idea. I may do that, I’ll see how this goes for a while. I’m looking to minimize wires. I don’t expect to ride this bike at night. It’s my fun bike that I setting up as I remember bikes in the ’50s & ’60s. When I ride at night, I do so with multiple tiers of lighting. I’ve been there when I was on my last tier and miles to go to get to the day’s destination. If I do so, It will be on the seat stay or the support piece between the two. At this point, I do not want to mar my paint. Still, a worthwhile idea. How long before corrosion set in? Hey, THANKS MJ! –jim


    1. Me also. There’ll be a bit more accessorizing this week. I hope to have component pricing and order for a 1st of April arrival. Thanks for checking in and leaving a comment. Take care MJ. –jim


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