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  1. #1
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    4 x 18650 Battery Adaptor

    Guys,

    Taking inspiration from modamag on this thread I am in the process of making something very similar, only not specifically to go inside maglite type torches.





    Would be designed to take 4 18650 cells, either in 4S1P, 2S2P or 1S4P configuration and would have soldered leads for connecting to whatever light you have.

    Thinking about doing a 2 x 18650 holder too, which would be along these lines





    I don't have machining facilities, so would be casting these in polyester resin.

    Wouldn't necessarily be of professional quality, but hopefully more than adequate.

    Idea is that it would be very cheap, and you could stick in whatever 18650 cells you have, and pop them out for charging.

    Anyone interested in some?

    My other threads on the subject are here (Candle Power Forums) and here (Single Track World)

    Cheers, Rich

  2. #2
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    I may be interested.

  3. #3
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    Nice solid modeling! Looks pretty hard to make w/o a cnc mill however. Guess you will be going the carve from wax and investment cast in resin approach?

    I can't wait for 18650 holders to become available, and for cheap!

    Good luck with the project.

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    I'll take 2 of the 4x18650 holders *queues up*

  5. #5
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    looks good! what kinda price would you be looking at? (and do you ship to the uk?)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkUG
    (and do you ship to the uk?)
    According to his profile hi is from UK.

  7. #7
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    ortelius is indeed correct, shipping to the UK won't be an issue, as that's where I live

    Regarding prices, haven't worked it out fully, but probably in the region of £10-15 ish for a 4xholder.

    I would agree totally - making with a mill, especially a CNC one would make life SO much easier, but doesn't mean it shouldn't be possible without

    I'm hoping the end result will be presentable, might take a few attempts, but I certainly want a few for myself, so fingers crossed I'll get there!

    Will take a couple of weeks, but keep checking for updates here.

    Cheers, Rich

  8. #8
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    While you wait, you could built yourself one of these

    DIY battery holder for 18650

  9. #9
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    Froberg - that looks nice and simple, had I found that in various searches, I probably would have just made myself some of those!

    Another update on the design front - now that I've found a source for battery contacts, I can make the whole thing without requiring a clumsy bolt through the middle, in much the same way as commercial battery holders designed for AA's and the like.





    This will be much simpler, and worst case scenario will require a little bit of Velcro around the batteries to stop them popping out of the holder.

    The downside, is that the configuration cannot be changed quickly between 4S1P, 2S2P and 1S4P. I would pre-wire the units in whatever configuration was required, and then they could be re-soldered to change if required.

    I think the pros out-weigh the cons though, and it should be much easier to use.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers, Rich

  10. #10
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    And now with some fillets and cut-outs to make it easier to get the batteries in and out





    Cheers, Rich

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    Looks excellent - I'll be interested in a couple of units.

    Chris.
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  12. #12
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    Looks nice, will you use spring contacts?

  13. #13
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    I'll be in the UK for the next week and a half. Can you have one ready for me before I leave on the 9th?

  14. #14
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    I had meant to show the spring contacts in one of the earlier images, but accidentally posted a pic of the part, and not the assembly - shown below is the unit with the clips and some dimensions.



    Another suggestion to velcro to hold the batteries in is a bit of inner tube, which would be easier and cheaper

    Johnny, I'm afraid the 9th is pushing it a bit in terms of getting some units complete, I'm still waiting on various materials, and it'll be a bit of trial an error before I'll have parts I'm happy to sell I expect.

    However, it'll only weigh about 30g, so postage shouldn't be expensive.

    Cheers, Rich

  15. #15
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    Right, opinion time guys, do we prefer the one on the left or the right?







    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Cheers, Rich

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    one on the right, we will need to use strap anyways.

  17. #17
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    New question here.

    Right, I think I'm getting close to a finished article

    I'm never going to please everybody by continually asking what people prefer, so apologies if you aren't as keen on the final iteration as some of the previous incarnations, but I consider it to be an improvement.



    Next question, is if people could measure the lengths of their 18650 cells, and let me know the precise measurement, I'd be very grateful, as I'm aware that some cells are different to others. With some vernier callipers would be perfect, but make sure to insulate them with a bit of paper or suchlike, I don't want to be responsible for melting any measuring equipment

    Cheers, Rich

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    Looks good - I've got some Ultrafire protected 18650 cells, so will dig out my digital calipers over the weekend and measure.
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  19. #19
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    I vote for the round one. Square one looks to be bulkier.

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    Correct me if i'm wrong but don't some 18650's have protection circuits? and therefore are a little larger?
    Surely the open ended version would allow for both sizes, fitting the smaller unprotected by tightening the nut down abit?

  21. #21
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    Seriously?!? good luck making these parts bro! They would be hard to mold even for the pros.

    KISS is in order here (keep it simple stupi...)

    Use a 4x C" size battery pack holder which sell for ~$2, and make plastic tubes that slip over the 18650 to make them C's. If they are not long enough, make little aluminum end caps to increase the length. If too short, cut the holders down the middle to widen them. Bigger size, but cheap, fast to make and basically light too.

    Or use PVC plastic pipe etc. to fashion up the array. Candlepower or the like had some posts like this but for AA's.

  22. #22
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    The cells which I use have a protection circuit, and are a little longer than un-protected ones. The clips which I am using have a fair bit of give in them, so the plan is to be able to accommodate both protected and non-protected cells, but I wanted to have an idea of a realistic maximum and minimum length which it needs to work for.

    A comment on another forum was where does the protection circuit fit.

    The circuit protection is against over-charging, short circuiting, and over-discharging, which I would have thought would be sufficient. Assuming that you are charging the cells individually, a balancing circuit for ensuring even charge between cells isn't necessary.

    I'm building one for myself, and thought that others might be interested too.

    Obviously it doesn't compare with the type of commercially prepared packs, there is no protection circuit, so if this puts people off, then they should pay the premium of a commercially sold unit.

    sdnative - we'll have to see how successful my attempts at casting these units are - I may be reporting a dismal failure shortly! At which point I'll probably wish I hadn't just ordered 500 battery clips

    Cheers, Rich

  23. #23
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    A Holder Source

    I hope you don't meet failure!!

    Mouser.com is a great source for battery holders BTW. They literally have hundreds of different mount options and array setups. All are very cheap ... $1.50-4 for the most part.

    Check em out. And good luck using their search tool ...lol, over 1 million parts

    ...I usually just dl the entire catalog page and search each PDF page by page! Works better.

    They are very professional also.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkUG
    Correct me if i'm wrong but don't some 18650's have protection circuits? and therefore are a little larger?
    Surely the open ended version would allow for both sizes, fitting the smaller unprotected by tightening the nut down abit?

    As I was looking at 18650's with protection circuits, I read that you don't want to pack multiple cells together that have protection circuits. I think you'd use a single protection circuit for the whole pack.

  25. #25
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    Round one looks better... take a cut up old innertube and push the battery pack inside and tie off the ends like sausage in a tube container. Quick, simple, durable, light in weight, done.

  26. #26
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    I think protected cells are the only ones which should be used in the holder, so I'll be designing around the longer of the 18650s.

    Onto the next issue, although perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little, but who has a dismantled C2 torch they're able to measure?

    I have some Ultrafire C3s, and an MTE P7, but not a C2. If anyone has both a P7 and a C2, and can tell me if the heads are interchangeable, then I'd be most grateful, as it would save me buying another unit initially.

    I've modelled up a tail unit for the C3 and also how I envisage something for a C2, feedback would be appreciated. Due to the diameter of the C3, there isn't space on the tail to fit both a switch and a socket for external power, so I'm planning on just gluing the cable in on these ones.



    On the C2, it's tight, but looks just about doable with both.



    Any thoughts?

    Cheers, Rich

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    Rich, I've one of these C2s - what do you want measuring?

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  28. #28
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    If you're looking for sets of two 18650 cells, check out the Black & Decker VPX batteries. They have two 18650 A123 Systems Li-Ions in them. Relatively cheap these days since VPX has been discontinued if you can find them. They also won't blow up as they're the newer 'safe' Li-Ion chemistries.

  29. #29
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    I agree with Todd, the A123 cells are great, I use a pack with the M1 size cells and they deliver a good amount of steady power. The only big issue to be aware of with these cells is that they need a special charger (or a charger with a charging algorithm for a123/LiFePO4 cells). They do not come with protection circuits and they have a lower nominal voltage than LIon (3.2V vs 3.7V IIRC). On the plus side you don't need to worry about them popping and they are only made by one company (so you get consistent quality). You can have a chance of bringing them back after an accidental deep discharge (unlike LIon).

  30. #30
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    Rich, how do you plan to connect the tail to the light head? IIRC they are both female threaded.

  31. #31
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    The tail will be connected to the head by a thread, the same as the body would be.

    Just to clarify, my bottom picture is of 2 tail units, one pointing each direction.

    Head has a female thread, body has a male, have to work out exactly what size and TPI yet though.

    Electrical connection for the positive (negative is through the body) may vary somewhat between torches though, so will have to research some more.

    Harpoon, the C2 you've linked to looks exactly the same as the MTE P7, so thanks for the offer of measuring, but I don't think it's necessary.

    Cheers, Rich

  32. #32
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    Progress was made over the weekend.

    I finished the pattern for the battery holder (the quality looks appalling, as it's a shiny painted enamel finish, but hopefully shouldn't be too bad in the flesh)



    poured the first part of the mold (AAA batteries to provide location between the 2 parts of the mold)



    and then poured the 2nd part of the mold.



    The moment of truth will be the demold, and seeing if the silicon has any nasty big voids/air bubbles!

    I was hoping to cast my fist finished article this weekend, but the 16 hour setting time of the silicon makes it a rather slow process.

    Cheers, Rich

  33. #33
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    Well, you will all be delighted to know that the demould went successfully, especially as I was too impatient to wait for the full 16 hours curing time!

    2 halves coming apart


    The 2 halves


    Quite a few air bubbles on the lower part of the mould


    Due to how I poured the mould, I should have anticipated where the bubbles would be trapped. I've filled these with a tiny amount of silicon, so we should be good for the first cast shortly.

    Cheers, Rich

  34. #34
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    Looking good!

    Count me in for a couple!

  35. #35
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    What did you make the pattern out of?

  36. #36
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    The pattern is mainly made from 3mm card backed foam, and thin cardboard. All carefully cut and glued together. The central tube is formed from a felt tip pen. Quite time consuming, and needs to be very accurate, but nice and simple, and nothing expensive. Lots of PVA glue, and a coating of spray paint, and it came out pretty well. If I was being super critical, it isn't quite as square as I'd like, but should be fine in use. Pretty rigid and durable too, I was surprised that it survived the demould process, so I'll make another mould so that I can cast several holders at the same time.

    Cheers, Rich
    Last edited by turboferret; 12-09-2008 at 05:58 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quite the DIYer you are. Nice work! I've used a vibratory table when doing casting and lost form investment casting, works well, but obviously not readily available.

    Did you try tapping the side with something light at all ...light rapid vibration often helps the bubbles travel upward and outward. Or find something that shakes and put it against it.

  38. #38
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    I did tap the mould a fair bit, but I think due to the shape, I hadn't fully considered how bubbles would actually escape - they were effectively trapped against a ceiling. Never fear - mould number 2 is currently curing, so we'll see how that turns out!

    Cheers, Rich

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    Be extremely careful not to introduce air when you mix the silicone. I know...easy to say, hard to do.

  40. #40
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    Hold one of those detail sanders (with the sanding pad removed obviously) against the mould. works just like those vibrating pokers that they use to settle concrete.
    When I die, I want to go like my Grandad, peacefully, in my sleep - not like his passengers - shouting and screaming!

  41. #41
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    The big moment for the first pours in polyurethane resin arrived last night, so an update with lots of photos!

    The resin sets remarkably quickly, to the point where you need to work pretty fast.

    Ready for demoulding - you can see some resin has managed to find its way out of the bottom of the mould, as I hadn't sealed it up sufficiently.


    The start of the demould process - was rather tricky as I hadn't used any release compound


    The cast part and intact (big relief) mould


    Bottom end


    Top end showing a few voids - this was due to a combination of not enough runners, and some of the resin seeping out of the bottom of the mould


    Top end in a bit more detail


    With battery clips and batteries installed


    Batteries are a pretty tight fit (mine are protected, but the clips are pretty much as compressed as they'll go, so I'll make a new pattern whcih will be slightly longer, and should be better.


    Total weight with batteries


    Weight without batteries


    Cheers, Rich

  42. #42
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    Armed with the knowledge of the first pour, I made a few minor mods to the mould. I added more runners at the top, to make resin filling and air removal easier, and cut up and old inner tube to hold the 2 parts of the mould together more effectively

    Mould all bound and ready to go, with 5 runners


    The 2nd cast item, with only 2 minor air bubbles, pretty happy


    The bottom end looks pretty much perfect


    Still a little bit of paint coming off the mould, but a good coating of vaseline made demoulding and overall finish a lot better


    Moving forwards, I have a 2nd mould currently setting, hopefully fewer air bubbles in this one - I'll find out tonight!


    Cheers, Rich

  43. #43
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    Starting to look really good. It's great to see the project moving along so quickly!

    Count me in for a couple

  44. #44
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    Thought I should give an idea of estimated prices at this point:

    Battery pack without cable ~ £12
    Battery pack with cable ~ £15? (with 2.1mm male plug)
    Battery pouch ~ £7
    P7 tail cap (to replace the battery tube) ~ £20 (very rough guess currently)

    Complete package ~ £35 ish

    All would have about £1 postage on top to the UK, a bit more to the rest of the world

    Cheers, Rich

  45. #45
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    turboferret You are a genius!!!

    Greetings - Saludos

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    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  46. #46
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    Amazing how fast this progressed from theory to reality.....nice job!

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  47. #47
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    Right, after someone on BikeMagic got me worried about crazy currents, I did some tests.

    1 cell = 2.25A


    2 cells = 2.66A


    3 cells = 2.89A


    4 cells = 2.97A


    This was with 3 fully charged 2400mA Ultrafire 18650's reading about 4.15V, and one slightly discharged one (for the 4 cell test) reading 3.9V.

    As I had removed the emitter from my P7 for the test I didn't want to run it for ages due to lack of heat sink, so LED was fired up for about 2 seconds in each test.

    I hope this alleviates any concerns about pulling massive loads and blowing up lights left right and centre!

    Cheers, Rich

  48. #48
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    Production light with 4x18650 adapter:

    http://lightonlights.com/product/


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by syadasti
    Production light with 4x18650 adapter:

    http://lightonlights.com/product/

    ewwwwww fugly !!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEY HEY ITS HENDO
    ewwwwww fugly !!
    Its a battery pack, 4x18650 not fully inserted. Form factor isn't going to differ much if you want that.

    It looks like this closed:


  51. #51
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    ahh, .... ooops no offence intended, i was looking at the 2 x 2 light unit
    ................ wow, ..far too big in my opinion !!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEY HEY ITS HENDO
    ahh, .... ooops no offence intended, i was looking at the 2 x 2 light unit
    ................ wow, ..far too big in my opinion !!
    I don't own one but you are mistaken. It only weights 105 grams (lighter than most cycle lamp heads) and its not that big (3 in^2). Lots of quad units around that size or larger. The Dinotte 800L is bigger (3.7 in^2) and significantly heavier at 215 grams.

  53. #53
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    An interesting looking system, with a remarkably similar battery system to what I'm shortly to be producing.

    However, price wise, there is a small discrepancy...$475 for the Light On system vs ~£40 for a Dealextreme MTE P7, 4x18650 batteries + charger and ~£35 for my battery pack, pouch, cable and tail-cap, ~£4 for a 2 Fish lock-block or similar.

    Total price ~£80 or ~$120

    Cheers, Rich

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboferret
    An interesting looking system, with a remarkably similar battery system to what I'm shortly to be producing.

    However, price wise, there is a small discrepancy...$475 for the Light On system vs ~£40 for a Dealextreme MTE P7, 4x18650 batteries + charger and ~£35 for my battery pack, pouch, cable and tail-cap, ~£4 for a 2 Fish lock-block or similar.

    Total price ~£80 or ~$120

    Cheers, Rich
    Yeah, yeah...okay already!.. ..I'm interested in YOUR kit. Let us know when it's ready.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboferret
    However, price wise, there is a small discrepancy...$475 for the Light On system vs ~£40 for a Dealextreme MTE P7, 4x18650 batteries + charger and ~£35 for my battery pack, pouch, cable and tail-cap, ~£4 for a 2 Fish lock-block or similar.
    Cheers, Rich
    Any thermal protection mode? Short circuit protection? Low battery indication? A MTE P7 torch only put out about 500 lumens and is more floody than quad Q5 or R2 given the current optics available. Also are you claiming you are selling your light for no profit? So really, it doesn't sound like the same thing?
    Last edited by syadasti; 12-14-2008 at 05:50 AM.

  56. #56
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    syadasti, I was simply giving a quick cost comparison between the 2 systems - for 1/4 of the price, clearly there will be a slight discrepancy between features.

    I am offering a simple remote battery pack to be used in conjunction with a P7 torch, and a small adaptor to allow the pack to plug in. I'm not adding any features just the opportunity to increase run-time.

    At no point did I say I was selling these for no profit, there is a small margin in there, but most folk seem to be happy with the price I'm offering my parts at.

    I can assume that you aren't interested.

    Cheers, Rich

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by syadasti
    Any thermal protection mode? Short circuit protection? Low battery indication? A MTE P7 torch only put out about 500 lumens and is more floody than quad Q5 or R2 given the current optics available. Also are you claiming you are selling your light for no profit? So really, it doesn't sound like the same thing?
    Wow, why so touchy? You post as if someone was personally attacking you or your product. This is a light forum where many feel their offerings are superior for personal, design or costs reasons. Let them rejoice in their accomplishments.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgardnez
    Wow, why so touchy? You post as if someone was personally attacking you or your product.
    I was just noting there are significant differences and I did not insult him. DX torches aren't the most reliable thing around if you've played around with a few.

  59. #59
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    turborret, it's looking good...will you sell just the holders on their own?

    If so I will have a couple, I'm n the UK.

  60. #60
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    yetibetty, more than happy to sell some holders on their own.

    I've pencilled your name down, hopefully won't be too long before I have some saleable items.

    Cheers, Rich

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    Hi I'm the 1 that wrongly got you worries, although the amp's increase still within spec on that torch : it's Dyl by the way

  62. #62
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    Rich, nice work on this little project of yours!

    Also, I'm super interested in how the voltage will drop down as the batteries drain. Was wanting to use a similar array for running an MCE through a 4 channel linerar regulator ...but was worried the battery voltage woud drop below 3.4 volts.

    Done a voltage vs. time @ constant current run yet? Thanks ~Chris

  63. #63
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    Ya, not the slickest looking, but seen worse. They screwed up a design issue though ....they should have oriented the cooling fins vertically. Makes a HUGE difference in the convection cooling coeff ...meaning, it runs much cooler than with them horizontally. MUCH much cooler.

  64. #64
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    deja vu all over again...

    Quote Originally Posted by syadasti
    Production light with 4x18650 adapter:

    http://lightonlights.com/product/

    I've seen something like that somewhere. It looks vaguely familiar.



    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnative
    Ya, not the slickest looking, but seen worse. They screwed up a design issue though ....they should have oriented the cooling fins vertically. Makes a HUGE difference in the convection cooling coeff ...meaning, it runs much cooler than with them horizontally. MUCH much cooler.
    I don't think I'd want to have any part of my anatomy land on the fins if they were vertical. In still air, vertical fins have better cooling, but in real world outdoor bike performance, there is probably very little difference.

    The LightOn square arrangement is efficient, the form factor is smaller than a round one (like a DiNotte 800L) and having the fins directly on the back is better than most of the round tubes with radial fins (where only the first fin really has any effect). Maybe not the best on looks, but a function follows form design. It be nice if it could mount in front of the bar instead of on top.

    And to get back on topic, yes, I'd like a battery holder. I'd prefer a 2-cell holder, but nothing wrong with a 4-cell version.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    I don't think I'd want to have any part of my anatomy land on the fins if they were vertical. In still air, vertical fins have better cooling, but in real world outdoor bike performance, there is probably very little difference.

    The LightOn square arrangement is efficient, the form factor is smaller than a round one (like a DiNotte 800L) and having the fins directly on the back is better than most of the round tubes with radial fins (where only the first fin really has any effect). Maybe not the best on looks, but a function follows form design. It be nice if it could mount in front of the bar instead of on top.

    And to get back on topic, yes, I'd like a battery holder. I'd prefer a 2-cell holder, but nothing wrong with a 4-cell version.
    It's easy ...just don't crash spread eagle over the bars!! lol...

    The fins are radius'd, so ....

    Since the air is not forced over the fins in that config, the only thing left to drive air is free convection ...doesn't work as well with horizontal fins... period.

    The 4 X config like they did however, would be my choice as an engineer ...and is no doubt a league above most the lights I've seen on this forum as far as raw performace goes ...so, was a trade off on their part, form v function.

    Unfortunately, most buyers prefer sleek looks to performance

  67. #67
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    I HATE the way it posts linked to the person your talking to, BikeMagic is SOOO much less confusing, so your not alone!!

  68. #68
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    Haven't done any voltage/time runs I'm afraid, however, I'm sure this will vary on the exact batteries you're using.

    My cheap Dealextreme 2400mAh 18650's won't have the same discharge curve as more expensive units, so I'm not sure how useful posting a graph would be to be honest.

    Cheers, Rich

    P.S. Am I the only one confused by the fact that posts aren't necessarily in chronological order?

  69. #69
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    Indeed, you have to trawl back through all of the pages to check for replies which aren't tagged on the bottom

    Cheers, Rich

  70. #70
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    Dead easy to change how the threads on displayed on here:

    Click "My Account" (just above the 1st red Post Reply)
    Click "Edit Options" on the left hand menu bar
    Scroll down the screen until you "Thread Display Options"
    Change "Thread Display Mode" - Linear, Oldest First is what most people probably expect
    Scroll down and click Save

    Hey presto, everything makes much more sense
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  71. #71
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    Hey hey, splendid - thanks Harpoon

    Looks like that should help a few other folk too

    Cheers, Rich

  72. #72
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    Ya, this forum has weird posting going on. If you reply to a particular msg, it adds it higher in the sequence ...but, sometimes it just adds to the end. Inconsistent.

    Interested in the voltage because I'm worried that the 18650's won't be able to put out a high enough voltage potential to drive an LED after the battery has drained down a bit. I saw a voltage curve on candlepower forums that showed the batteries dip down to 3 volts after a short while ...which is not enough to run an led that requires 3.4 volts. Don't want to buy all this stuff to figure out it was all for not.

    Basically, I want to use 2 of DX's 1400ma drivers, and split each board in half (so have 4 circuits that each put out 700ma) Then use your 18650 array to power each leg on the Cree MCE. Worried it will be a waste of time and money.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    I HATE the way it posts linked to the person your talking to, BikeMagic is SOOO much less confusing, so your not alone!!
    Change the display mode:


  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnative
    Interested in the voltage because I'm worried that the 18650's won't be able to put out a high enough voltage potential to drive an LED after the battery has drained down a bit. I saw a voltage curve on candlepower forums that showed the batteries dip down to 3 volts after a short while ...which is not enough to run an led that requires 3.4 volts. Don't want to buy all this stuff to figure out it was all for not.

    Basically, I want to use 2 of DX's 1400ma drivers, and split each board in half (so have 4 circuits that each put out 700ma) Then use your 18650 array to power each leg on the Cree MCE. Worried it will be a waste of time and money.
    Li-Ion cells typically start out at 4.2V and end up at <3V when empty.

    DX torches come in 2 varieties, direct drive (with a resistor for low power), or current
    controlled with a boost-buck circuit.

    A boost-buck controller maintains constant current by reducing the voltage when it's too high, and boosting the voltage when it falls too low. I think DX even sells a version of that controller separately. Most DIY'ers use a simple buck or a simple boost controller, because they are more efficient. If you are making a bike light, you usually need several cells to get a decent run time, so you can easily arrange the battery pack to match the circuit.

    Boost-buck circuits are most efficient when your drive voltage is close to your battery voltage, and are ideal for single cell Li-Ion systems driving a single white LED.

    Direct drive circuits are more efficient at full power (beacuse you are not wasting power on the controller), but the light dims with the discharge voltage, and the LED is often over-driven when the cell is new, shortening it's life.

  75. #75
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    3 volts! Noooo

    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    Li-Ion cells typically start out at 4.2V and end up at <3V when empty.

    DX torches come in 2 varieties......
    Lower than 3 volts, that's what I was worried about. How long into the overall discharge cycle do you think before it reaches ~3.4ish volts? 50%, 75% ...that's why I was hoping he had done a Voltage/Time graph ...or something like that.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain, but well versed on the electronics myself. The DX setup would work well since the voltage is so close to the drive voltage ...and the drop across the driver is very small (and the diode can be removed to help a little too). Efficiency would be very high even though it's a linear style current control ...and it would be ~$3 for an MCE driver!!!!

    Very tempting ...but the 3 volt thing kinda is a bummer ...I may end up with dim lights after only an hour, maybe even less ...that's my worry.

    Thanks guys

  76. #76
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    Syadasti, THANKS BIG TIME!!!

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon
    Dead easy to change how the threads on displayed on here:

    Click "My Account" (just above the 1st red Post Reply)
    Click "Edit Options" on the left hand menu bar
    Scroll down the screen until you "Thread Display Options"
    Change "Thread Display Mode" - Linear, Oldest First is what most people probably expect
    Scroll down and click Save

    Hey presto, everything makes much more sense
    To syadasti and Harpoon: I'll add my voice to the thank list as well. I never knew that my account was set up in hybrid mode. Hybrid mode display was a PITA!

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    To syadasti and Harpoon: I'll add my voice to the thank list as well. I never knew that my account was set up in hybrid mode. Hybrid mode display was a PITA!
    Good and bad. In massive threads like Dinotte, it lets you follow a single conversation without all the other stuff in the middle. Just so long as you don't have tools like me sticking random posts to the OP that don't seem to be related to anything

  79. #79
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    ......... and so it seems that everybody's preferred choice of linear mode, myself included,
    is not the default setting !!
    ...... high time it was changed i think

    you can put me down for 1 holder, for now

  80. #80
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    Hi there,

    Just registering my interest :-)

    Am at the beginning of a homebrew light project, and was planning on a remote battery and switching unit. I was going to use two 18650 batteries, so if you do make a 2 cell holder, I'd be interested.

  81. #81
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    Hendo, you already said you wanted 2 on CPF, you can ask for more, but not less

    Quotes are coming in for the machined part, so I think we're on course for mid January

    I also have in my hand now a new pattern which has been rapid prototyped, and as soon as I have my vacuum degassing chamber (next week fingers crossed), I'll be making some more moulds, hopefully bubble free!

    I'll set up a proper page on my website (currently just lots of photos) here for ordering and paypal payment etc, as I can see it getting very confusing with orders coming in from 5 different forums!

    Cheers, Rich

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboferret
    .....I'll set up a proper page on my website (currently just lots of photos) here for ordering and paypal payment etc, as I can see it getting very confusing with orders coming in from 5 different forums!

    Cheers, Rich
    I like what you did to the MTE torch in the last picture. Looks like you plan on replacing the push button with a toggle type switch. Is that going to work with the multi-mode torches? I'm very much interested in the kit you are going to offer when you get this all done. My only worry is that if I get the kit I'll have to find some way of removing the pill from the old battery tube. There must be some way of doing it that won't wreck the threads.

  83. #83
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    Yup, simple on-off toggle switch on the end - I thought a photo of what it'll likely look like would be helpful.

    However, the 2-mode and the 5 mode seem to have different construction, so a single part will not be transferable between the 2 torches

    I have a 5 mode on order, to see about how different it is inside, but my thoughts at this stage are that this will only work with the 2-mode, and by fitting my adaptor, you'll be just getting a 1-mode (plus off )

    By pill do you mean the brass slug and the board with the emitter? If so, this unscrewed very easily (much more easily than the battery tube itself) just using a pair of fine nosed pliers.

    I'll post up my compatibility findings when my new torches turn up.

    Cheers, Rich

  84. #84
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    I got the sewing machine out last night to whip together the battery pouch, and discovered quite how much of a barsteward neoprene is to work with! Slippery on one side, and sticky on the other, so learning from this, the production pouches will have the coloured surface on the inside, and the plain black on the outside.



    and a few shots of it strapped to various bikes in different places


    Fits fine on a long-ish stem



    slightly more cosy on a short-ish stem

    As you can see, I spend a lot of time cleaning my bikes after riding

    The strap for bike attachment is removable, so it won't be a pain if you just want to stick the battery pack in a back pocket or rucksack.

    After buying various cables and plugs, I have come to the conclusion that this is an area best left to the professionals, as my best efforts haven't been quite up to scratch.

    Therefore, I'm planning on buying a load of these so that's what you'll get if you request a cable.



    I'll hardly be putting a markup on these, just to cover postage and potential exchange rate fluctuations, and a bit of soldering time.

    For those wanting to run 2 lights, Batteryspace also offer this



    however, I think that's a bit of an expensive and bulky solution to the issue - what I would prefer would be to run a pair of cables from the battery pack, which would also be cheaper. What are the collective Mtbr thoughts?

    I am delighted to report that my rapid-prototype has arrived, and I'll be making some new moulds using this as soon as my vacuum degassing chamber (to eliminate bubbles) arrives. This is a darn sight nicer than my cardboard version, and is geometrically perfect I've got high hopes for the quality from these.







    Progress continues!

    Cheers, Rich

  85. #85
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    Rich, with regard to the cables...maybe you could provide a length of straight cable without the stretchy bit to peoples length requirements. I had a battery off smudge and he cut the cable to the length I wanted. it makes the whole lot tidier IMHO.

    Just a thought

    Steve

  86. #86
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    Wow! That turned out really nice, which means the cast parts should as well. I can only envy your skills with the needle and thread

    I really like your site with the pics showing the evolution of this project.

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    Impressive ! Looking forward to seeing the end product and hopefully buying a set

  88. #88
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    Turboferret, how is everything coming? It looks great!
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  89. #89
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    Progress is temporarily paused as I rip up the slopes in Switzerland snowboarding

    However, on my return I should have a prototype torch insert, and several more P7 torches to compare and contrast to try and deduce which of them my mod will be compatible with.

    Cheers, Rich

  90. #90
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    Awesome, thanks Rich. Enjoy the snow!
    Maverick Durance Ano-DUC32/C KING/XTR
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  91. #91
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    Updates - I should receive my prototype torch adaptor this week, it's been made and in the post, so I'll be testing this on my new 58 mile round trip commute

    I've cut up a load of neoprene for battery pouches, still trying a few different sewing machine attachments and thread combinations to make sure the quality of construction is up to scratch, as neoprene is a bit of a bugger to work with

    My vacuum degassing chamber arrived the other day, so I'll be making some new moulds with my rapid prototype, which I have high hopes for

    I have received 2 new P7 torches from DealExtreme, and hope to confirm shortly the compatibility with the 5 mode. The pills in my new torches seem a much tighter fit than my previous one, and take some effort to remove, which is slightly concerning, hopefully the design hasn't changed between batches

    Progress has been somewhat affected by moving house, christmas, snowboarding holiday, considerably less working space than before, and the recent slight inconvenience of my motorbike gearbox dying a death, so I'm afraid this project has slipped slightly from the top of the priority list

    Cheers, Rich

  92. #92
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    The prototype P7 torch fitting arrived yesterday, so here it is next to a standard torch



    This one hasn't been anodised, the production ones will be black



    Unscrewed from the head



    With a 2fish lock-block onto the closest thing to a handlebar I had without getting cold going outside!



    One issue I see is the balance point of the modified torch - previously using a lock-block you could velcro it onto the centre of the torch, now the centre is in fact where the little cooling fins are. I'll give this a good test and see if heat is a problem, but I'm sure other mounts would alleviate this issue.

    Cheers, Rich

  93. #93
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    Rich,
    That looks really neat, are you happy with the prototype??

  94. #94
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    Steve,

    Apologies, an email to you should have been the first thing I did this morning

    Prototype is great, really pleased with how it's turned out, and those threads work perfectly

    I might shorten the overall length by about 5mm, but overall, it's ace, exactly what I had anticipated

    Perhaps for aesthetic purposes removing a few mm of knurling at the switch end would neaten it up a fraction too.

    Need to solder up the internals, and get it on a bike now

    Cheers, Rich

  95. #95
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    No probs Rich,
    I know what it's like when you get your hands on a bit you've been waiting for

    Glad you're happy with it...It didn't come out too bad for a bit of manual turning. With regard to the Knurling, it would look good have a small plain length on the switch end. It would be easier to get a better knurl too as I could knurl the diameter, then turn the 2 ends and go over the top of the knurl to remove any sharp edges.

    Can't wait to see it working...

    Steve

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    Nice work there Steve , I did wonder when I first saw it if it was from you.

    Can I make a sugestion ref mounting Rich

    you have the lock block round the cooling fins If steve had machined a 10 mm groove round the adapter A large zip tie works very well with the lockblocks might be an easy answer to mounting .

    Or you could just use the tie round the cooling fins if it is a ballance thing
    at least it uncovers the fins then

  97. #97
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    Chris, good call on the zip tie front - I could replace one of the bits of velcro with a zip tie or 2, which would uncover the majority of the fins.

    I have seen other mounts which are probably better than the lock blocks, but these have the advantage of being very versatile. Balance is an issue with them though as you can't transmit a huge amount of torque through them to the bars without them moving.

    Cheers, Rich

  98. #98
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    Why, thank you Chris...yep, it's one of mine!! I'm like dogsh*t now..getting everywhere lol

    Steve

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    This is looking awesome.

    i'm i alone in running 2 P7's?

  100. #100
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    I think a few people run a pair of P7's you can get a small splitter cable to divide the output, assuming they are both on the bars, or the other option would be to have 2 power cables coming from the pack.

    Cheers, Rich

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