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LED Mod to Honda HS520 Snowblower

CalgaryPT

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#1
I'm a snowblower geek. Started out in the 1970s when I bought an old Craftsman 3 stage "Driftbreaker" to do our local hockey rink in Glendale. (It was missing the muffler, which was the best part for a 12 year old). I've had Toro's, MTDs, Ariens, but these days I am a die-hard Honda fan (of their lawn mowers and generators as well.) I just love their small engine designs (now nicely copied by Princess Auto).

Anyways, not much metalwork in this mod: a LED light on a single stage HS520. In this case I just fab'd a new mounting plate by punching some holes into 0.125 A36 and moving the starter to the side of the new battery box. The box is a simple aluminum project box from B&E in Calgary. Added a Battery Tender Junior spare tender pigtail, fuses for the BTJ output and the LED itself, plus a weatherproof switch. The newer model (HS720) doesn't lend itself to this mod so I need to devise a template that wraps around the handlebar and allows for accurate on-center drilling. I have 15 of these to do for people I know.

Taking off the handlebars is too much hassle. The handle bars are a metric tubing size. I've seen cool templates/jigs that are bored out to the right size, cut in two and have a six inch drill guide to ensure accuracy. I may try this approach. Also looking at a clamp type design that can support the battery and electrics as well as LED for those who don't want to mod their precious Hondas. Some people use tilt switches on the single stage machines or elaborate auger engagement switches with the light. Personally, I like the simple battery tender approach because the purpose of a light is more about being seen than be able to see. So I have mine on at all times.

I do up to 26 properties and learned the value of lights and reflective PPE the hard way.
 

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PeterT

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Premium Member
#2
Nice. I have a very similar 6hp Honda model & it has been one of the best (/necessary) purchase ever made. I live on a corner lot & messed up my shoulder a while back with the triple whammy 1) shoveling a record snow dump manually 2) my son was small & played a year in outdoor rec league (aka Dad snow shovel club) 3) swimming. When I couldn't lift my shaver anymore I knew I was in trouble. Its 90% better but I still have limited motion & occasional stiffness. I snow blow my walks & neighbors too just to be a nice guy. When this unit dies I'm going straight to Rocky Mountain for a replacement... or we are packing up for Phoenix :) Doesn't take too many physio sessions to pay the dang thing on that basis alone.

Anyway, love your idea. I've spotted the odd block heater cord or obstacle before it became a problem because its inevitably dark.

What's the amp-hour capacity of the battery & how long to charge? I've got a motorbike type gel cell that looks about same size.
 

CalgaryPT

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#3
It's 1.3 Ah. Gives me 3+ hours @600 lumens, which is more than enough to get me through early AM snowblowing. I get another 3 hours with reduced brightness. It's lead-acid standard battery from Active Electronics. Takes about 90 mins to fully recharge using a cheap Battery Tender Junior.

I feel your pain (literally) on the shoulder stuff. I use my bigger tracked 2 stage (HSS724 ACTD) when it gets heavy, but love these single stage machines because of the clean job they do down to the pavement, even if I have to replace the rubber augers multiple times a season. The 2 stage has NO operator stress, but doesn't clean as well. My single stage machines clean perfectly, but the vibration after 26 properties leaves my arms burning and tingling for days.

You and I are nice guys I guess. I do all these properties as a snow angel because the four or five elderly folks/single moms I originally intended to help out are spread out and I feel like a jerk for not doing the ones in-between. I looked at charging for it but the liability insurance was outrageous, even though most of my neighbours were willing to pay. I'm the youngest to retire in my neighbourhood so it keeps my busy and helps out others. They pay me in pies, cookies, beer, cakes, samosas, etc. Sadly, I consume more calories than I burn off doing the snow blowing I think.

Adventure Honda has the HS720s on sale and have a few left if you are looking for a new one. I agree with you--one of the best buys I ever made. Even for small lots, it isn't worth the risk and pain to shovel as you get older. Hondas last forever it seems. I'll keep my 520 even after I supplement it with a 720, maybe later this year.
 
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