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PostPosted: July 6, 2016, 3:27 pm 
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Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
I have an idea for a simple mechanism to allow the headlight on the inside of the corner to be steering in the direction of the turn. My thought was to mount the headlights on a post which is allowed to rotate, with a spring that rotates the light inward against a stop. The headlight will be able to turn outward (i.e. right light can turn right, left light can turn left) against the force of the spring, but not inward as it is against a hard stop. A length of wire (or something) would then connect an arm on the light to part of the steering knuckle on the wheel. Basically, this makes it that in a right hand turn the right headlight turns right, while the left stays pointed straight ahead, and vice versa in a left turn. The amount of headlight steering can be varied by adjusting the length of the arm.

I don't know if steerable headlights are all that great, as the only vehicle I have where the light steers is my motorcycle, but there may be some merit in it. This mounting solution allows the headlights to be attached to the frame as they normally are, instead of to the fenders, but still be mechanically turned by the wheels. My thought was that having the outside light stay straight would reduce the amount of lost visibility that is experienced on a motorcycle in a turn as the headlight is aimed down at the ground during a lean.

Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: July 6, 2016, 3:36 pm 
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I think your idea will work, but I avoid driving at night in the Locost. The fixed headlights work okay, but everyone else's are right at eye level. Blinding.


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PostPosted: July 10, 2016, 10:23 am 
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What about what a lot of the manufacturers are using and having a separate light that is aimed more towards the side that comes on when the wheel is turned a certain distance?

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PostPosted: July 10, 2016, 4:32 pm 
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Appleton spots with long handles back to the cockpit.


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PostPosted: July 10, 2016, 7:03 pm 
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I recall reading a rally prep book years ago, and they suggested fog lights mounted cross-eyed (left pointing right and vice-versa) so you would have lighting to the side for turns and a strong flood of light in the center.

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PostPosted: July 11, 2016, 12:39 am 
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ngpmike wrote:
I recall reading a rally prep book years ago, and they suggested fog lights mounted cross-eyed (left pointing right and vice-versa) so you would have lighting to the side for turns and a strong flood of light in the center.

I did that with the aircraft landing lights on the headache rack of my pickup, works pretty decent.
Kristian

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PostPosted: July 11, 2016, 9:23 am 
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When racing in 24hrs races on bikes we would mount two driving lites, one turn left and the 2nd aimed right. We would then connect them to a two-way toggle switch, and switch the lite for the appropriate corner. You could probably do the same thing using a 2nd turn signal arm on the steering column with small driving lites mounted under the headlights. Dave W


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PostPosted: August 4, 2016, 7:04 pm 
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turbo_bird wrote:
ngpmike wrote:
I recall reading a rally prep book years ago, and they suggested fog lights mounted cross-eyed (left pointing right and vice-versa) so you would have lighting to the side for turns and a strong flood of light in the center.

I did that with the aircraft landing lights on the headache rack of my pickup, works pretty decent.
Kristian

In desert racing some of us do that with pencil or Euro beams, but put the crossing point out at the distance where we'd like to have the maximum light. Does a better job of lighting up the sides as well.

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PostPosted: August 4, 2016, 8:45 pm 
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Paging Mr. Tucker!

Center mounted steering light.
Also Dyna Panhard and others.
May not be legal in some states today.

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PostPosted: August 4, 2016, 9:19 pm 
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Re-reading the OP's post I've got a better idea of the proposal. I think that you would NOT want any Motion Ratio in the linkage, the light should turn at the same rate as the wheel. I also think that you'll need to pay attention to Bump-Steer(light) or small bumps might cause a "jittery" headlight thus annoying both you and any on-coming traffic.

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PostPosted: August 5, 2016, 12:09 pm 
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ntsqd, I agree that having it steer while going over bumps would be an issue. The spring would have to be quite strong to hold it against the stop unless it is positively pulled away. Probably a 1:1 motion ratio is the best way to go as you say.

Having a separate light that turns on with a switch or with the turn signal is definitely an easier way to go, though it doesn't have the variability that a steering headlight would - it's either on or off. I know one of the luxury car brands was advertising active steering headlights on one of their models (I think it was BMW) so I don't think there is a legal issue with it.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2016, 2:52 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
Citroen did it, years ago, on the DS model. They eventually dropped the idea. I never drove one, so I don't know how well (or if) it worked.

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PostPosted: August 5, 2016, 3:00 pm 
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Plenty of cars in the 1920's did it then too, only with the lower, auxiliary lights nestled down next to the frame rails just behind the front bumper.

That it died out causes to me to wonder if it's worth pursuing. It is very rare that I've felt the need for more cornering light beyond a set of E codes and perhaps a set of forward aimed wide dispersion ('fog') lights.

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PostPosted: August 6, 2016, 11:22 am 
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My son's Bimmer has them and they are wonderful out in the country at night! They aren't so bad in the city either where he's seen things left by the curb that could have done damage.

It just plain gives you more confidence when driving.

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PostPosted: August 23, 2016, 1:04 am 
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One could wire low-wattage, low-aiming auxiliary cornering lights so that each side would come on with the blinker (but non blinking, obviously), come on as a pair with the brights, and as a pair with a separate 'corner lights' switch.

This would be fairly simple to do, and would provide the extra cornering light at any time you'd need it. Most of the time you're turning sharply enough to want an extra light you'll have your blinker on, and curvy roads at night could be handled with either brights, which would include the cornering lights, or dims with the switch flipped on.

I guess the real question is how often you'd want a cornering light on for one direction, but could not also have it on for the other direction. If you have your brights on, you're just trying to put out as much light as you can and you're not really worried about getting it in other peoples' eyes; so, cornering lights could just be on. In the city, you'll have your blinker on for most turns out of the range of your headlights. I guess that leaves winding roads with traffic. How to solve that problem...

To solve this problem, you could have a 'couple/decouple' for your blinker switch. In position 1 your blinkers would be coupled to your cornering lights (when the headlights are on); in position 2 the blinker switch would not engage the blinkers but only the cornering lights.

Or, you could put left/right flappy paddles behind the steering wheel. Click for on, click for off. That actually might be fun to use on the right road, plus it would be fairly cheap and simple to try.

-Graveyard

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