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  1. #1
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    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)

    Hi everyone.

    I've got the itch to make lights again.

    Here's the progress so far:

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8595410643_381ca344b0_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8596512720_4666460b79_c.jpg

    Feel free to make a guess at what I'm planning.

    Details of my last build:

    Revolver Mk II
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  2. #2
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    Mate, nice work as always. I'm guessing a double triple xml after having an intimate knowledge of your last work of art.

  3. #3
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    Good guess again Brad, but I've been inspired by Troutie's merciless treatment of his Spidereyes, so I'm eying up the MTG-2s. Two of these on the helmet with aspherics, and two on the bars with no optics.

    I have been vaguely toying with the idea of wireless mode control of the helmet after reading about your adventures in wireless control.

    Also wondering about direct mounting the MTG-2 on copper slugs. for effective heat dissipation.
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  4. #4
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    Well Blair is will certainly be an impressive light and I am wondering how I missed the MGT-2 thread of Trouties. Those look awesome and should have a nice big beam with the aspherics. Looks Like I need to buy some. Have you thought of purchasing some copper bar and parting off some disks to attach them to?

    I am hoping to get the get the remote finished soon, time permitting. Takes too long to do things when work and family commitments take over.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Well Blair is will certainly be an impressive light and I am wondering how I missed the MGT-2 thread of Trouties. Those look awesome and should have a nice big beam with the aspherics. Looks Like I need to buy some. Have you thought of purchasing some copper bar and parting off some disks to attach them to?

    I am hoping to get the get the remote finished soon, time permitting. Takes too long to do things when work and family commitments take over.
    Tell me about it. (time constraints that is..)

    Yes, I'm thinking about doing exactly that. Getting some copper bar, parting off some disks and soldering the leds directly to them. Actually it's a bit more complicated than that even, as I plan to run some copper through the middle of that threaded cavity and down into the core of the heat-sink to get the heat down to the rear fins effectively.
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  6. #6
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    Looking really good, you know how to get the best out of your lathe..

    What is the copper coloured thing the light head is on, that's held in the jaws of the chuck?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger View Post
    Looking really good, you know how to get the best out of your lathe..

    What is the copper coloured thing the light head is on, that's held in the jaws of the chuck?
    Thanks Goldigger.

    The copper looking stuff is tape. It stops the jaws marking the alloy when I clamp it. I sent a roll of the stuff to Brad a year ago when he anodized my last set of lights for me. He doesn't know it yet, but I'm wondering if he will be willing to do it again.

    To see what the tape is actually designed for, look here:

    WOBlog: I Can Make Your Watch Look NEW!
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  8. #8
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    Blair, cutting the new wheel for the Rolex certainly illustrates just how much patience and accuracy is needed to be be a watch maker. Nice blog mate.

    I am happy to anodize the new lights when you have them finished.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Blair, cutting the new wheel for the Rolex certainly illustrates just how much patience and accuracy is needed to be be a watch maker. Nice blog mate.

    I am happy to anodize the new lights when you have them finished.
    Cheers Brad.
    I had actually forgotten about that Rolex wheel.

    Anyway, I've been doing a bit more machining this morning. I turned up the second light head for my helmet, and on a whim I added some decoration to both of them, kind of in keeping with the Revolver theme from the last couple of builds, but also to save a bit of weight.

    Click on photos for larger view.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8619633811_55c8f38946_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8620735948_9f364128f6_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8620736834_3f1c2a425e_c.jpg

    I found that by screwing the jacobs chuck arbor, I could use the milling machine as a guide to make sure the tap went in straight. This makes for a very clean job. I'm using the chuck key as a tap handle.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8620736580_9ddd91f310_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8619635723_1e6819e4aa_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8620737332_93df7f7542_c.jpg
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  10. #10
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    Nice lights but what you show being done in your blog blows them away totally. A tip of the helmet to you! I bust a sweat facing tapping a few #2 threads and you're cutting gear teeth one has to see with magnification!

  11. #11
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    Cheers for those nice comments there Vancbiker.

    Quick question.
    I'm thinking of integrating a rear light into my bar set-up, and need some electronics advise.

    Can I successfully wire 1 xml in parallel and two MTG-2s in series off a B3Flex? I realise it will steal some system power, but I'm figuring on fitting either an inline switch or something so I can turn it off when I'm on the trails. I'm just looking for a decently clean commuting set-up, and I really hate my current big blocky rear light.
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  12. #12
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    Progress

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8632233887_b3c44995dc_c.jpg

    Lining up the light perpendicular to the cross-drill hole for the mount
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8633341616_3a85c89da3_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8633341868_bfbdb92cd9_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8633342152_05a3f7fb22_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8632235127_ebc5c46019_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8633342714_d5e6881931_b.jpg
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  13. #13
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    Fantastic as always Blair. Your making me itchy to purchase / make more bits for my mill, especially the motorized 4th axis.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Fantastic as always Blair. Your making me itchy to purchase / make more bits for my mill, especially the motorized 4th axis.
    Cheers, Brad.

    Yeah, that CNC fourth axis is absolutely magic.

    So this morning I have bored and shaped the other light head for the helmet. Here's a shot with my morning coffee to give you an indication of size. (30mm diameter at the head and 20mm heatsink). I always return to the 20mm heat sink as this is the largest size I can fit in my collet closer. Now I have to wait until some more stuff turns up. I have some smaller diameter alloy and copper coming in hopefully today, and I've got my leds, drivers and aspherics en route from Australia.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8636237002_ebc18b911f_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8635131895_0e4ec61c6e_c.jpg
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  15. #15
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    Just for the hell of it, here's a quick vid we shot of the rotary table in action..... Just to inspire you to buy one Brad.
    I was taking super-light cuts to avoid any horrible accident that might undo hours of work. You should be able to see the automatic back-lash compensation on the rotary table when it spins backwards.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4owhsKP3hLU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  16. #16
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    Nice movie Blair. I have a rotary table but it is not powered. I see you have a pendant fitted to the motor control. Is that running through software or do you manually set the endpoints then manually cycle the forward / reverse?

    I am in the process of pricing up doing a cnc conversion of my mill, but the price is beginning to scare me
    Last edited by brad72; 04-11-2013 at 06:35 PM.

  17. #17
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    absolutely stunning work there, something I can only aspire to! Cool lathe too, I've never seen one where the headstock can rotate - must make doing tapers much easier. Any details on the machinery? It'd be cool to geek out on it

    Oh, and great to see you making a start on your light too Brad!

  18. #18
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    Cheers guys.

    To answer your questions, Brad, I was using the divisions mode on the pendant. Set how many divisions you want and then press either forward or back. I had it set on 2 but I could just as easily have done it by setting 180 in degrees mode.

    Matt, check this site out:

    The Sherline Lathe, Milling Machine and Precision Miniature Machining Page

    But be sure to come back ok? Because the Sherline site is HUGE and so is the drool factor, and I'm afraid you might get lost in there and forget about us.
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  19. #19
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    Let the Cackling Begin...

    I have to admit, I actually cackled when I opened my mail this morning and saw the sheer size of these suckers!

    Mwaahaahaa and all that.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8649295219_64b8464fd5_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8650397214_56e0d56408_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8649296317_5d3bcdf61f_c.jpg

    and here just for good measure is my first go at machining copper. It is quite interesting stuff to turn. I had to turn the spindle speed right down and get the feed rate just right, as the copper is really soft and chewy, but get those speed and feed right and it gives a beautiful surface finish.
    This is the little core that will carry heat from the led star down into the finned area of the light. I have given up on the idea of reflowing the leds directly onto the copper. Yes, it would make them cooler and brighter, but I figure they are going to be so damn bright anyway it isn't worth the hassle.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8649294753_e519582d14_c.jpg
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  20. #20
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    Thanks for the info on the pendant. Copper looks like a different beast to cut. Always though it would be a bti like bronze but forgot about how ductile copper is, unless we can get hold of hard drawn bar.

    Those leds are pretty big but I think I am going to buy some for the focusable aspheric, I wouldn't feel right if I didn't

    As for the Sheline site they have some great stuff and really pretty reasonable priced. $2600 for a full mill and lathe package is pretty good for teh hobbiest or someone who doesn't require a larger machine.

  21. #21
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    ooh, a sherline! I've heard about them, but never seen one in action - they look very cool. I had a quick look (mostly at their chucks as I need a 4 jaw), but used my supreme strength of will to pull myself out again. Actually, I'm used to being in a perpetual state of befuddlement about a lot of things, so adding another source of befuddlement shouldn't be too big of a deal

    Sweet piece of copper machining. They're all over copper on BLF, mostly because they love doing super powered lights in tiny formats (7-up XM-L 20mm star anyone?), so it's always a pleasure to see.

    Personally, I think that if you're capable of doing such amazing work, not milling a post onto that copper heatsink and not milling a matching hole in that MT-G2 star and not reflowing an MT-G2 onto that heatsink would be a crime against humanity. Seriously.

    If I can reflow 20mm triple stars on my electric ring hob without a) screwing it up or b) dropping it into the dried rice overflow underneath, I'd be absolutely amazed if you can't do it. It's got to be the easiest thing electronics wise I've ever done.

    Thing is, not only will it make your lights brighter, but you'll be able to run them at the same brightness as non-copper mounted lights but with less current, ergo more runtime. Either of those things should be enough to convince you, but surely the fact that it'll be damn cool AND no one on here (well, perhaps apart from my shonky experiments, which don't count) will have done anything like it. Oh, apart from Troutie. hmm, anyway, you should do it, m'kay?

  22. #22
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    Nothing to do with your build, lathe or mills or sexy girls arses but I saw this vid on the weekend and I thought to myself, who do I know who is a kiwi that I can share it with, bro So break out the chilli bin and enjoy

    Last edited by brad72; 04-15-2013 at 12:11 AM.

  23. #23
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    ha ha ha, that's so funny - having lived in both NZ and Oz, I can really relate to that It took me years to get Ingrid to stop saying "ey?" at the end of every sentence, drove me nuts.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post

    Sweet piece of copper machining. They're all over copper on BLF, mostly because they love doing super powered lights in tiny formats (7-up XM-L 20mm star anyone?), so it's always a pleasure to see.

    Personally, I think that if you're capable of doing such amazing work, not milling a post onto that copper heatsink and not milling a matching hole in that MT-G2 star and not reflowing an MT-G2 onto that heatsink would be a crime against humanity. Seriously.

    If I can reflow 20mm triple stars on my electric ring hob without a) screwing it up or b) dropping it into the dried rice overflow underneath, I'd be absolutely amazed if you can't do it. It's got to be the easiest thing electronics wise I've ever done.

    Thing is, not only will it make your lights brighter, but you'll be able to run them at the same brightness as non-copper mounted lights but with less current, ergo more runtime. Either of those things should be enough to convince you, but surely the fact that it'll be damn cool AND no one on here (well, perhaps apart from my shonky experiments, which don't count) will have done anything like it. Oh, apart from Troutie. hmm, anyway, you should do it, m'kay?
    Curse you and your calling me out on my laziness! Ok, I will put the direct to copper heat path back on the agenda. I think you hit the nail on the head with what I was planning anyway. Mill a slot out of the back of the alloy pcb and fit the copper into it, heat it up and hey presto!... we have a decent thermal path. Yeah, it should be quite easy in theory.


    Brad, I've seen that before somewhere. Last year there were "beached as" T-shirts with a picture of the whale on them for sale everywhere. For the record, being married to an American, I don't think my accent is that bad. But get out of Auckland and into say, Taranaki, and phew boy, that's quite an accent. I particularly like the bit about "chups".
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    "You wana chip, you mean a chup, yeah a chip, a chup"....made me laugh also. We have quite a few kiwi's in our factory and hearing them say things like "ah that's choice bro" when you help them with something always makes me giggle inside

    As for the copper I have a length of copper bar coming also to achieve that better heat path. I was going to butcher and intel heasink and steel the copper but I threw it away. Look forward to seeing your method of attachment

  26. #26
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    More cackling.

    The optics arrived this morning.

    I am LOVING this!

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8652759771_502d14e645_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8652760437_b9ecab0c49_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8652760103_cd80eb61b7_c.jpg
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    Awesome. I reckon the MG2's are going to be prefect with the asppheics

  28. #28
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    I'm sorry. I think that passing feeling of discomfort was either guilt or a fart, I'm not sure

    That way of direct mounting on copper is by far the easiest - that way you get the pads to solder too, everything's lined up right etc. I'd take the LED off the star first though, otherwise you're just asking for trouble. Plop it onto the hob, electric mark 4, 30-60s later it should be moveable and take it off with a pair of tweezers (or, in the case of the MT-G2, a small earth mover). Once you've milled a slot out, put the star on the heatsink (with a bit of thermal compound underneath for good measure), a small blob of solder paste on top of the copper pillar then heat the copper heatsink with something (hot air gun?). As soon as the paste melts you'll see the LED get sucked down onto the pillar and the pads of the star. Remove heat and let it cool slowly(ish).

    Given how expensive those things are, it wouldn't hurt to practice on some other LEDs you have kicking around - XM-Ls are easy as they're a nice size (XP-E/G, not so much).

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    I'm sorry. I think that passing feeling of discomfort was either guilt or a fart, I'm not sure

    That way of direct mounting on copper is by far the easiest - that way you get the pads to solder too, everything's lined up right etc. I'd take the LED off the star first though, otherwise you're just asking for trouble. Plop it onto the hob, electric mark 4, 30-60s later it should be moveable and take it off with a pair of tweezers (or, in the case of the MT-G2, a small earth mover). Once you've milled a slot out, put the star on the heatsink (with a bit of thermal compound underneath for good measure), a small blob of solder paste on top of the copper pillar then heat the copper heatsink with something (hot air gun?). As soon as the paste melts you'll see the LED get sucked down onto the pillar and the pads of the star. Remove heat and let it cool slowly(ish).

    Given how expensive those things are, it wouldn't hurt to practice on some other LEDs you have kicking around - XM-Ls are easy as they're a nice size (XP-E/G, not so much).
    Nice explanation Matt but it also sounds like a challenge to make a little reflow oven, so challenge accepted

  30. #30
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    Beautiful lights Understater! The reflowing of LED's is surprisingly easy. I was real intimidated about it but laughed at myself after doing a few. No need for a special oven, I just use my glass top stove. Using an infared thermometer I slowly increased the temp until it got around 200 degrees. As Matt has mentioned, get a syringe with solder paste. Apply a few small patched of paste on the board, lay down the LED's, slide the LED/MCPCB onto the burner and wait until the paste melts and LED "drops" down in place.


    Here are a couple of link to some tutorials that I found on the web -

    Solder Paste Syringes | SMT Manufacturing | Adafruit Learning System

    Reflowing LED's



    ***

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    exactly what scar said, although I was planning something along the lines of "reflow oven my hairy posterior", which would be a little less erudite.

    The key(s?) is solder paste and not very much of it. I had a very stressful time using solder and having to get rid of the excess. Once I got some solder paste even doing triples was mostly stress free. Even then the only stress came from "where the *&^% did that LED I dropped go?", so now I set everything up on a cookie tray

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    Adventures in reflow.

    So after Matt threw down the gauntlet I just had to go ahead with my earlier plan of creating a heat path for the led.
    After a quick experiment with an xml it was time.
    Rather than use the oven I grabbed a nice big chunk of brass, dropped some thermal paste and a piece of solder on it and took to it with the blow torch. The small torch wouldn't do the trick, but the big torch did it easily. As soon as I saw the solder melt I removed the torch and dropped the led star on it. When the solder on the star ran it was a simple matter to pluck the led off.
    After cooling I drilled through the pcb and then turned up a new piece of copper to join it to the fins. It isn't particularly long, but I think it will do the trick quite well.

    Once that was faced flush with the pcb it was time to put the led back on. I used a different piece of brass with a hole drilled in it, heated it up till solder ran, and then sat the copper plug in the hole. It took a bit longer for the solder to run, and I tinned the copper before placing the led back in position.

    Perfect. Quick check with a rather gutless AC led driver and it's good. Stuck some wires on and put it in the housing for a quick test with the optic. With the extremely low power from this driver it projects a spotty beam, but I think with proper current it will be fine. The optic sits about a mm down from completely focused. If not I will drop the optic half a mm, which should be artifact free, and give me a fairly good flood with a whole bunch of throw.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8655382129_9fbcefd430_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8656488480_25463268aa_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8656489006_9de1ee1582_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8656489440_6b109b014b_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8655386003_5740be2537_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8655386705_7a320156c5_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8655387429_996e0b394e_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8656491794_d55c615ee1_c.jpg
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    Beautiful job Blair. I reckon that is going to work realy well.

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    sweet! I should insult people more often, even though my wife keeps telling me not to Now, if I was being picky (he he he), having that copper slug threaded to improve the thermal junction would be super sweet. I'm guessing that it's going to be an interference fit? I thought that the copper slug was going to be bigger for some reason from one of your earlier pics, although there's always a trade off between thermal mass and, well, mass!

    BTW, it's generally thought to be better for reflowing LEDs if you heat up the star and LED at the same time, so that it doesn't get heat shocked. Same goes for cooling it down. I don't think that it's super critical for what we do, but it wouldn't hurt to roughly follow the reflow profile Cree supplies.

    These lights are going to be the bomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    These lights are going to be the bomb
    +1 to that Matt.

    The light building bar seems to be getting higher every season. A small nuclear powered light is the only logical step from here

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    I agree. I've resigned myself years ago to not being up to that bar, so I just hassle the bar raisers instead

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    These lights are going to be the bomb
    Actually I'm rather hoping that nothing blows up...

    My new helmet turned up, so I've done some more work.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8659793306_78f433afb4_c.jpg
    Time for some extra support.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8659793908_f4f33dbc6d_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8659796294_5a3514bf7b_c.jpg
    And some light chamfering.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8659797234_667e006da3_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8658693401_579f3ba654_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8659798350_b0783c0594_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8658694019_47309de522_c.jpg
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  38. #38
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    Perfect winter helmet / light combo, warm air will flow straight through those air vents.

    Well done Blair for completely intimidating the rest of us mere tinkerers. I really should set up that mill and learn how to use it.


    Edit: I can't spell
    Last edited by emu26; 04-18-2013 at 02:51 PM.

  39. #39
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    damn, you make it look easy For once I'm not distracted by rubber clad beauties either, which is a mighty fine complement!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger View Post
    Yeah I'm not distracted either...


    Oh good job by the way..is that a ER collet holder on a Morse taper in your rotary table?
    The collet holder is one of these:

    The Beall Tool Company

    It screws onto the headstock spindle of the lathe, mill, and a threaded insert on the rotary table. It has been an extremely useful bit of kit. I bought a full set of ER32 collets off ebay and they've been perfect.
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    Brilliant work Blair. Appears you have been distracting yourself at work

    Certainly agree on the ER32 collets. Couldn't live without them. My rotary table takes has 3 morse taper bore so I t looks like I should utilise it more.

  42. #42
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    What are your thoughts on ano color?
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  43. #43
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    lime green or yellow to match the helmet, or black, it has round bottom finns on it and they always look good in black

  44. #44
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    Made the driver housing this morning. I don't really know how hot the driver gets when cranking out 2 or 3 amps, but I like the idea of separating the various components to maximize surface area and spread the weight out. I can do a quick touch test with my hand to see how hot the lights are getting so I'm not particularly bothered with the heat monitoring function of the driver.

    Anyway, here is the nearly completed driver housing. Two parts that clip together with a watch case-back seal. I still need to drill some holes for the wiring.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8673911206_22433eafd6_c.jpg
    Using a clock gear cutter as a bit of a nod to my profession.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8673911518_64c149279f_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8673911804_46e6bc9bd5_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8673912114_2a808fa2bd_c.jpg

    Oh, and about the color.... I think I will go with gold again, but maybe a bit darker this time.
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  45. #45
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    Sweet looking lightset,

    How are you going to wire this puppy up, and what driver, and what Battery set are you looking at.

    Im bout to order some MTG2s but not quite sure yet of the best way to drive these beasts
    Defcon Cycles - Brisbane Australia

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu44 View Post
    Sweet looking lightset,

    How are you going to wire this puppy up, and what driver, and what Battery set are you looking at.

    Im bout to order some MTG2s but not quite sure yet of the best way to drive these beasts

    Cheers Stu.

    I'll be using a Taskled b3Flex to drive them. I have this snazzy looking gold cable that I bought off ebay a couple of years ago, and I've drilled my entrance/exit holes in the driver base. It should be a fairly easy matter to arrange all cables in and out of the base plate there, solder up the driver connections, sugru up the holes both inside and out to seal it, then stick the driver to the inside of the cap using some really thick thermal tape I have and press it on. Truth told, I've been seriously considering moving the driver unit down to my shoulder strap to keep it off the helmet, but since I'll be using my camel back for trail riding and a different bag for commuting, I decided I really can't be bothered with that... so back to plan A.
    For a battery, I have 8 Panasonic 3400mah 18650 cells on their way, and I have some protection pcbs to wire them up with. I'll be making up two 3400mah 14.8 volt packs.


    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8679178207_d35af344d4_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8680287538_672f827eed_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8680287762_8c730f47ab_c.jpg


    This afternoon I also wired up the driver and did a few test fits to set the depth of the aspherics. I had designed the housings around Brad's recommendation for an XML with aspheric, but that causes these to project a grid-like pattern showing all the elements of the emitter, so I've de-focused them some more. Now lenses sit 11mm and 10.75mm above the seating for the led star. I set them slightly different heights to soften the edge of the beam slightly. And they now give a really good beam with no artifacts. I've only shone one of them at the ceiling, so I can't be sure of the beam width, but I'd say t would be fairly similar to Troutie's Zombie Eyes. Not too much to do now before I can send these for anodizing and start work on my bar lights.
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  47. #47
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    great progress report! Where's the remote going to go?

    I'd be a little wary of Sugru, as it doesn't hold up well to abuse - the bit that I have on my bar light (sealing the remote cable entry) has been fine as it never moves, but the stuff I used on my commuter light that lives in my pannier cracked open along a stress line pretty quickly. Wiring harness grommets would be another option, if they fit your design and wires.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    great progress report! Where's the remote going to go?

    I'd be a little wary of Sugru, as it doesn't hold up well to abuse - the bit that I have on my bar light (sealing the remote cable entry) has been fine as it never moves, but the stuff I used on my commuter light that lives in my pannier cracked open along a stress line pretty quickly. Wiring harness grommets would be another option, if they fit your design and wires.
    Hey Matt, cheers for the warning on sugru. I don't think flex is going to be any sort of problem, so the sugru should be fine. I'l be using it in my remote switch, which I finally got around to doing this evening. I'll be using dual lock to stick it to the helmet.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8701395556_c37aa291fa_c.jpg
    And look what arrived this morning in the mail.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8700273313_3133550e8b_c.jpg
    Now I just have to figure out how to wire this up.... making two 4s1p packs with these protection circuits. Anyone know how they go together? Do I have to run wires from battery to board rather than battery to battery or a bit of both?
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8700273053_936b69f828_c.jpg
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  49. #49
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    You may have figured it out already but the data sheet on their website has additional info on the drawing. I haven't built one up but I assume you can wire the batteries together in series and then use wires to the necessary points on the board.

    http://www.batteryspace.com/prod-specs/14.8vpcb.pdf

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-image.jpg

  50. #50
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    Thanks Fourtrax.

    I'm going to call the guy I bought the protection circuits from at Night Lightning here in NZ and ask him how to do it exactly. Not something I really want to stuff up, you know?


    In other news, I've done all the machining on my helmet rig, and sent the stuff for anodizing. Apologies to Brad. Mate, you won't get to see these ones up close unless you come over and do some night riding with me. I've got a 24 hour race coming up next weekend, and I realized I was running too low on time to send them to you. To be fair, it's not a hell of a lot cheaper anyway by the time I pay for postage and whatnot.

    I'm going to see how these work out in the mean time before I decide on my new bar-light configuration. I have a young guy wanting to learn watch repairs from me who works with a bunch of top end CNC gear for a big manufacturer. He's getting a new inner chain-guide that I designed 3D printed for me this week, and if that's all good I'm going to talk to him about CNCing an integrated stem cap/light housing. It'll be way cooler than what I can be bothered to machine manually.
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  51. #51
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    Not something I really want to stuff up, you know?
    Ya, I would hate for you to mess up those shiny new 18650s.

  52. #52
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    Ok, so I've found out how to wire up the battery packs, and I've gone ahead and down one. It's not the world's neatest battery, but with all the cells side by side it fits easily in a hip pocket. I'll take a photo fo the completed pack later.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8735789459_05011db730_c.jpg

    Also, all my stuff came back from the anodizers and I've done a bunch of wiring up. It's always good to know that what I plan in my head works in practice, even if it's crazy fiddly. The wire I'm using is really stiff and doesn't much like to bend, but it's good and heat resistant, and should carry current really well. So I've got the light wired and running, and as I type, it is under the black light setting the glue that will hold in the optics. This is UV glue from Loc-tite. It is used to hold in watch crystals. Really strong, has a bit of flex, and will resist whatever heat the lights manage to subject it to. When this is done I'll be going to town with a bit of Sugru.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8736909564_06b75e026c_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8736909904_eed3b746d0_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8735791169_2b07943770_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8735791565_220ae652db_c.jpg
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  53. #53
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    That is pure Gold Blair

    Looking really good.

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    Fantastic Blair and just in time for winter.

    Glad I read the description and not just look at the pictures as I was wondering what the black light was for, apart from a mini rave in your workshop

  55. #55
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    very tidy, looks great! I'd just add some strain relief for your battery cable if you haven't already. No balance tap?

    looking forward to the beam shots already!

  56. #56
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    Finished.

    Well almost... Just need to seal up a couple of holes and re-jig the power cable from my last light, but rode home from work with it last night.... on low of course.

    I'm pleased. It projects a solid wall of light right where I want it, and shining it around the garden last night it seems to have plenty of throw. I'll be hitting up the forest tonight for it's first proper test.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8739882134_682e4a74cf_c.jpg
    switch held in with Sugru. I left the cap off overnight to set.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8739883438_c2ca56ede9_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8739882818_18b432480c_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8739884982_cbac7c930a_c.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8738767171_27e05ccdee_c.jpg
    This should give an idea of beam shape, but doesn't tell you anything about the actual intensity. I'll take some proper beam shots outside sometime soon.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-8739884400_4f3c797d9c_c.jpg
    Old and new. I haven't weighed the lights, but the Hex is 90 grams lighter than the flux, so overall it's a lot lighter.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
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  57. #57
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    Trail tested last night...... I finally have the amount of light I've always wanted. (At least on my helmet.... Now I just need to build the bar set.)

    I have a 24 hour relay race this weekend... Should be interesting.

    Beam shots to follow.
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  58. #58
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    looking good! Can't wait for the beamshots and race report. I imagine that you'll be casting many shadows

    As for the bar light - the mind boggles. I expect at least a twin triple MT-G2. At least

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post

    As for the bar light - the mind boggles. I expect at least a twin triple MT-G2. At least
    ... or drive two mt-g2 to their full glory with your copper-cooling-system reaching 3'000 lumens at about 5.5A!

  60. #60
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    pft, I see your twin MT-G2 at 5.5A and raise you 16 XM-L2 at 1.25A with watercooling!

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-led2.jpg

  61. #61
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    The new light sounds great but for some reason I cant see the images has something changed in the new forum that I should do to see them

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb View Post
    The new light sounds great but for some reason I cant see the images has something changed in the new forum that I should do to see them
    Yeah, something went a bit screwy with the forum a couple of weeks ago and a bunch of attachments got lost.

    I'm on my phone at moment and can't attach anything new but you should be able to see all the photos on Flickr. Search user teebeeess.
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  63. #63
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    So I don't know why the attachments all disappeared, but since I never did post up any beam shots, I snapped some with my phone tonight in the driveway. The phone tends to auto adjust to the light, so I had to time it right to try to get an accurate indication of the amount of light output. The photos don't show it but there is considerable difference between the light levels.
    I have the max power set to level 4 of 5 until I get around to adding another cell to my pack to stop the forward voltage sagging too much, so I've taken beam shots on levels 3 and 4. You do get a really good idea of the shape and intensity of the beam. As you will see, it is octagonal in shape, and fairly wide with no hotspot. and very little spill. It also throws as far as I need it too. I like having bar lights with really wide spill to fill in the stuff in my peripheral vision, so I shot one each with helmet and bar lights on both low and then both high. I had the helmet pointed up a bit high for the high/high shot, but you get the idea.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-helmet.jpgcontrolBazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-control.jpglowBazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-helmetlevel3.jpghighBazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-hemetlevel4.jpglow/lowBazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-lowlow.jpghigh/highBazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-highhigh.jpg
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  64. #64
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    Here's another beam shot for you.
    Not from a bike ride, but we spent a few hours crawling around in some caves yesterday and I figured you can never have too much light, even deep underground. I ran it on level 1 unless I wanted to see everything, in which case I turned it back up to level 4.

    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-caving.jpg
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  65. #65
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    Time for a thread dredge.

    After using these for a couple of years as a helmet light I tired of the beam pattern of the MTG-2 and aspheric optic, and made a new set using twin triple XP-G 3s.
    Eventually I decided to re-purpose these light heads as bar lights.
    I ended up using two quad XP-G 3 boards with 25mm Khatod optics run off a B3-Flex at 3 amps. They are wired 4s2p. Due to a bit of a stuff-up I have one neutral white light head, and one yellow, but so far I quite like the resulting tint, and the light output is quite decent.


    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-img_5652.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-img_5651.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-img_5656.jpg
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-img_5660.jpg
    Last edited by The Understater; 04-25-2017 at 01:12 AM.
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  66. #66
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    Nice rebuild!
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  67. #67
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    Nice one. Are those the lights I anodised? Soooo long ago now

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Nice one. Are those the lights I anodised? Soooo long ago now
    No, I just took those off the bike to fit these. These have more light and more even flood, and they are much less of a pain to mount and dis-mount. I haven't given up on them though. I have a couple of spare XP-L HI intensity leds that I just re-flowed onto 16mm noctigon copper pcbs. I originally bought noctigon triples with XP-L HIs for my current double triple helmet set up, but I found the Carclo triples couldn't deal with the bigger die size, so I replaced them with XP-G 3s... four of which I de-domed using the heat-gun method. I have had the XP-Ls sitting around doing nothing ever since, but I have been wondering how well they would go replacing my old XMLs in the Regina reflectors.

    Actually I spent a large chunk of the morning today stuffing about with these lights. They worked perfectly initially, but then one of the light heads suddenly dimmed down to barely any output. It seemed the board was not accepting the current, so since the boards are wired in parallel, the other board would get almost double the current. The overall output was about the same as one side was being massively over-driven, seeing close to 3 amps on high beam. The leds were handling it but the light head was getting seriously hot seriously quickly.
    After pulling out the offending board this morning and doing some tests, I figured that I must have one dodgy led or something, but wasn't sure which one. I had a scrap board that I had accidentally damaged trying to get the optics in, scraping the domes and most of the phosphor off two of the leds, so I decided to experiment with some re-flowing. It was actually super easy and I replaced all four XP-G 3s with XPL-HIs. The bigger Khatod optics seem much better able to handle them, and the light output is pretty decent. I'm not driving them hard at all at 1.5 amps each and I'm getting a really good beam.

    Here's a daylight shot of the set-up.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-img_5662.jpg

    And here are the switch and driver housings... both of which clip to the bar using clips I machined out of acetal, and bodged together using Polymorph with black pigment mixed in. It is now very easy to mount and un-mount them, but I can leave the wires, switch, driver in place while taking the light-heads off to flip the bike over to lube the chain. I used some modified Hope quick release mounts.
    Bazooka Light... (or Revolver MkIII)-img_5663.jpg
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  69. #69
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    Create a company

    Hey, I am so frustrated with the quality of lights on the market. I started looking at DIY lights because I thought I could probably make a better one than what is on the market.
    I stumbled across this and I love this design. I created an account on here because I wanted to specifically comment on this thread. Is there any way you would do a kick starter campaign to make a business out of this? You should. I would immediately become a backer and I have plenty of MTB friends who would too.

    Private message me if you'd like to talk

  70. #70
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    Making one thats possibly better than whats in the market is doable, but thats a huge cost. Thats the issue. Lights are very strong on the "get what you pay for". Expensive to produce modern, high powered lights but people expect walmart grade prices.

    Why DIY has been fading badly anymore it seems. The prices of decent lights with a warranty are begining to make DIY a waste of time for all except those that do it purely for enjoyment.

    There is one user here, scar, that does sells "diy" style lights. The amoeba lights.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ccrawford View Post
    Hey, I am so frustrated with the quality of lights on the market. I started looking at DIY lights because I thought I could probably make a better one than what is on the market.
    I stumbled across this and I love this design. I created an account on here because I wanted to specifically comment on this thread. Is there any way you would do a kick starter campaign to make a business out of this? You should. I would immediately become a backer and I have plenty of MTB friends who would too.

    Private message me if you'd like to talk
    Hi there.

    I don't check this forum very much, and I found this message last night quite by chance.
    Thanks for your compliments.
    Actually I reckon the lights on the market right now are extremely good. Bruce from Gloworm lights lives fairly close to me and I gave him some advice very early on when he was first developing the X2. His lights have gone from strength to strength and are really a great product.

    I have no plans to go into the light business any time soon. The only reason I use DIY lights at all is because I have a lathe and a milling machine and I like playing around to see what I can come up with..... but it costs me more to do that than it would just to buy an off the shelf light.

    Cheers,
    Understater.
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