Re: [CR]French "Wonder" rear light

(Example: Production Builders:Frejus)

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 18:57:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Donald Gillies <gillies@cs.ubc.ca>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: Re: [CR]French "Wonder" rear light

In the late 70's, Bicycling! magazine had an article on how to hotrod a french wonder light. The first step was to go down to radio shack and get a 3-cell battery holder. Carefully, using a kitchen knife heated on the stove, trim off a few corners of the holder so that it fits inside the light housing.

The second step was to go to an industrial supply shop and buy some 3.8v or 4.2v or something lights. The idea was, by overdriving these bulbs you could get about twice as much light. They didn't last long (maybe 3-4 weeks), but a box of 10 of them was only about $5.00, and NiteRider lights (or eqiuvalent) didn't exist. Even if they had existed, $5/year is probably less expensive than a NiteRider.

The third step I created by myself, I went to the electronics shop and got something like a 120 VAC <=> 6 VAC converter, and added a full wave bridge and a resistor, and made a charger for my wonder-of- all-wonder light.

When I got home at night, i could plug this charging cord directly into the light while it was on the bike, to refresh the rechargeable NiCD batteries.

I did this all in 1985.

Bike was stolen 2 weeks after I got it all working, *sigh*.

To add insult to injury, all, they took the $100 Helley-Hansen rainsuit (legs zip all the way down the side to remove at the office) which was stored in the Eclipse Professional handlebar bag ... That was the end of my SEKAI 2500 ...

- Don Gillies
San Diego, CA