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The Heavycycles Guy
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6,785 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just sent this photo of a new LED Taillight that has hit the market. It is a poorly designed rip-off of my Heavycycles light... just from looking at the photo, I can see some obvious design blunders...

Haphazard scattering of surface mount resistors all over the front of the circuit board: For starters, all of our lights use a constant current regulation scheme, as opposed to resistors to limit the current. If the input voltage is anywhere from 10v to 20v, our lights remain at the same brightness... resistors will allow the brightness and current supplied to the LEDs to vary over the voltage.

What does this mean? We can design our lights for max current output/brightness without having to factor in the "safety margin" if a bike is charging a little higher than normal. Also, if you charging system is going poop, the taillight will remain full-bright right down to 10v. If they did not design in a safety margin, the LEDs will be running too hot if the charging system is running a little high. If they did design in the safety margin, their lights will not be as bright as they could be on most bikes.

Another big no-no is putting those surface mount resistors all around the LEDs like that... bad bad bad. These LEDs get hot and the resistors get hot... heat + heat = problems for LEDs. Any of our early lights that used current limiting resistors had through hole resistors, on the rear side of the board, slightly raised up off the board so as not to transmit all of their heat to the LEDs. When LEDs get hot, they will not be as bright, their life will be considerably reduced, and many times, they will just fail after a short time.

All of our current designs keep the heat out of and away from the LEDs as much as possible. A lot of design time and real world experience went into them.

Other things to consider: We thermally polish all of our smoked and clear lenses so they look better than when they came out of the mold. We also have over 4 years of experience with the design and assembly of the V-Rod taillights. We build a light that looks absolutely as good as an OEM light.

One other thing to touch on is that these lights are made by a bunch of no good bastards that screwed me over and then ripped off my designs (poorly at that). These dirty boys were in the business of making billet aluminum parts for bikes and I became involved with them a few years back. They were selling my lights out of their store and I built and wired displays for them to put in the windows. I also completely designed their LED license plate frames... worked with their machine shop (they have NO in house CAD/CAM or machining facilities) to get the plate frames dialed in, designed the LED boards, mounting, wiring, etc... all to get bent over when it was time to go to production. They cut me out of the game and went directly to a contract manufacturer for the LED boards and last I know had some guy named Pat assembling everything on his coffee table.

I walked away from the whole deal and took it as a hard lesson learned about "friends" screwing you over... but it didn't stop there... they began coming out with poor copies of my lights for the Harley's... using my basic designs, that I put a lot of blood sweat, and tears into, but again, cheaply designed. They looked like a high school electronics student had designed the boards... many details not taken into consideration. They have no in house technical abilites and none of the guys there know the difference between a resistor and a hole in the ground... they farm everything out to the lowest bidder, and it shows.

I've been keeping my mouth shut about this for a very long time... some of you have known about these ass-clowns and the shit deal they gave me, but now that they are moving into my V-Rod stuff, I can't sit here quietly any longer.

I'm not telling anyone not to buy one, but know what you're getting before plunking down your green... buyer beware.
 

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Registered
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DrHeathenScum said:
I was just sent this photo of a new LED Taillight that has hit the market. It is a poorly designed rip-off of my Heavycycles light... just from looking at the photo, I can see some obvious design blunders...

Haphazard scattering of surface mount resistors all over the front of the circuit board: For starters, all of our lights use a constant current regulation scheme, as opposed to resistors to limit the current. If the input voltage is anywhere from 10v to 20v, our lights remain at the same brightness... resistors will allow the brightness and current supplied to the LEDs to vary over the voltage.

What does this mean? We can design our lights for max current output/brightness without having to factor in the "safety margin" if a bike is charging a little higher than normal. Also, if you charging system is going poop, the taillight will remain full-bright right down to 10v. If they did not design in a safety margin, the LEDs will be running too hot if the charging system is running a little high. If they did design in the safety margin, their lights will not be as bright as they could be on most bikes.

Another big no-no is putting those surface mount resistors all around the LEDs like that... bad bad bad. These LEDs get hot and the resistors get hot... heat + heat = problems for LEDs. Any of our early lights that used current limiting resistors had through hole resistors, on the rear side of the board, slightly raised up off the board so as not to transmit all of their heat to the LEDs. When LEDs get hot, they will not be as bright, their life will be considerably reduced, and many times, they will just fail after a short time.

All of our current designs keep the heat out of and away from the LEDs as much as possible. A lot of design time and real world experience went into them.

Other things to consider: We thermally polish all of our smoked and clear lenses so they look better than when they came out of the mold. We also have over 4 years of experience with the design and assembly of the V-Rod taillights. We build a light that looks absolutely as good as an OEM light.

One other thing to touch on is that these lights are made by a bunch of no good bastards that screwed me over and then ripped off my designs (poorly at that). These dirty boys were in the business of making billet aluminum parts for bikes and I became involved with them a few years back. They were selling my lights out of their store and I built and wired displays for them to put in the windows. I also completely designed their LED license plate frames... worked with their machine shop (they have NO in house CAD/CAM or machining facilities) to get the plate frames dialed in, designed the LED boards, mounting, wiring, etc... all to get bent over when it was time to go to production. They cut me out of the game and went directly to a contract manufacturer for the LED boards and last I know had some guy named Pat assembling everything on his coffee table.

I walked away from the whole deal and took it as a hard lesson learned about "friends" screwing you over... but it didn't stop there... they began coming out with poor copies of my lights for the Harley's... using my basic designs, that I put a lot of blood sweat, and tears into, but again, cheaply designed. They looked like a high school electronics student had designed the boards... many details not taken into consideration. They have no in house technical abilites and none of the guys there know the difference between a resistor and a hole in the ground... they farm everything out to the lowest bidder, and it shows.

I've been keeping my mouth shut about this for a very long time... some of you have known about these ass-clowns and the shit deal they gave me, but now that they are moving into my V-Rod stuff, I can't sit here quietly any longer.

I'm not telling anyone not to buy one, but know what you're getting before plunking down your green... buyer beware.
Where do I get one (if I really wanted to buy one - which I don't - just want to see the no gooders :).
 

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Registered
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519 Posts
Never mind - I found them suckers
 

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Fisher of Men
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905 Posts
Would not buy from them unless they were members here with A++ ratings! Support Max and your fellow members & lets starve these rip off artists.
 

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durata membro
Joined
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17,603 Posts
Joe,I remember when this went down.I wouldn't buy a tail light from any other company than yours if I ever needed one.
It's kinda funny about the coffee table,I sit at a TV table in my living room w shit scattered all over when I make mine.I could only imagine what it would look like making more than 2 lights at a time.



Elrod on the V-Rod
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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1,084 Posts
Joe -

I'm still saving for one of your lights. I wouldn't even CONSIDER putting one on that didn't come for the Chief No 1 LED tail light man for the V. When I part with my bucks, it will be with someone who is 1130 endorsed!

Thanks for all you've done and let's hope the lil' buggers find themselves on the thumpy end of the stick.

Cheers!
 

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Banned
Joined
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15,036 Posts
RODent said:
Never mind - I found them suckers
Joe did a lot of research when he shopped around for sweatshops to do his lights. He has the most articulate young hands working on his product, and it really shows.
 

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I'll Take Two Please
Joined
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396 Posts
I guess this is as much of a good time as any to mention this. I purchased a Stealth Stage II light from Joe about 2 months ago. After I figured out that Biketronics screwed up the wiring on the load equalizer and fixed it, I got it installed. On a side note, 2 days after I fixed the equilizer, I noticed that Custom Dynamics stopped selling them on their website. They sell Badlands now. Anyway, the stealth looks great on a DX, by the way. Well, the front tabs broke and I informed Joe about it. He fixed my light and cleaned up the lense for me (scratched the lense when the tabs broke) within a reasonable amount of time. At no charge, I might add. Joe is just a plain ol' good guy. Someone who cares about his customers is a rare breed these days. Keep up the good work Joe, and I'll keep passing out those business cards. Oh, and one more thing, friends and money don't mix. You always get screwed over by your supposed friends.
 

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Official bike nut
Joined
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1,099 Posts
Joe:
You need not worry, your lights are quality and more importantly, you stand behind them. I emailed you a couple of times concerning my other bike and if there is any interest or advice with placing an LED in that.
 

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On Good Ol' Nbr7
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7,267 Posts
Thanks Joe. Knowledge is power.

HoldHard
 

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myvrodrocks
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6,021 Posts
Hey Joe - While I understand your urge to sell your product by explaining to us what makes yours better, don't you think releasing all that info is of more damage to you than good?

I mean if they copy the design, they will copy the method...
 

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Friend of Max.
Joined
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21,719 Posts
Joe,

Sounds like you are at a crossroads. Demand is starting to out grow your supply and you will need to automate to become competitive. Screw those bastages. They'll get theirs in the end. I feel for you, man. If you need anything, you know where I am.

RJ
 
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