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CASE HISTORY: Lightwire Bike Wheel Luminations
by Larry Breed


ITEMS USED: One bike wheel + 20 feet of el wire plugged into a strobing driver.

Lightwire Bicycle Wheels
   Details of Bike Wheel Design by Larry Breed

ATTACHING THE LIGHTWIRE: The Lightwire is mounted radially from the inner face of the rim next to a spoke, toward the hub, then back to the rim, two spokes over, then along the rim to the second spoke over, and repeat. That wiring uses about 14 ft of the el wire.  The rest of the Lightwire is mounted in a spiral, which quietly expands as you ride, seeming to lay down a line of light on the playa. It isn't affected by the strobing, so you get two very different effects at once. Note that the Lightwire does not follow a spoke going to the hub, because spokes aren't truly radial. Instead, I fastened a small circle of copper wire in the spokes near the hub, and the Lightwire anchors to that small circle so it's aimed precisely at the center of the hub. Note also that the segments running along the rim are concealed in shrink tubing.

Larry Breed's Lightwire Bike Wheel

LIGHTING EFFECT: Playing with the strobing drive produces all kinds of movie-wagon-wheel-going-backwards effects. If you spin the wheel and watch as it slows, the "spokes" travel backward more and more rapidly until after a moment of visual confusion you see spokes traveling forward again.

 

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