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  1. #1
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    Copperhead Triple Seoul

    I'm almost ashamed to submit this after seeing some of the beautiful machined lights that some of you have built lately, but in the interest of the common folk who don't have a lathe... here goes.

    I had a little time over the holidays and decided to try something different. Having admired the simplicity of the lights I'd seen being built using copper tubing, I thought I'd try incorporating that into the design. The build is simple, but the copper adds about 30g to the weight of the light (compared to my all aluminum design). The heatsink fins are probably not necessary, but do add a nice look (subjective) and some additional cooling. I'll be posting build photos at my website soon.



    The light is made from one inch square aluminum tubing and 3, 3/4" copper pipe end caps (they actually measure about 7/8" (22mm) ID. The build would not be hard at all if you didn't have to cut some length off of the copper caps. I've used Arctic Alumina Adhesive to attach the copper caps to the aluminum body. Time will tell if this holds up, but I have some other AAA'd parts that have held well, so this is sort of an experiment (aren't most DIY builds?). The heatsink fins (3/8" aluminum C channel) are AAA'd on as well, and I made two aluminum end caps for the aluminum body and molded some JB weld onto them so that they will fit into body and stay put with some silicone caulk. This will be a handlebar mount and I still have to make the bottom part to connect to the bracket that I am using.

    The output looks about the same as my other Triple SSC P4 lights, bright, and a lot of light for the money.

    Inside: 3x SSC P4 U-bin, 2x15 degree and 1x5 degree L2 20mm optic.
    A 3023 wired Buckpuck @ 1A, with dimming (uses a 5k pot).
    A standard Type M DC power connector is used.
    14.8v, 4A Li-Ion battery pack.

    My son came up with the name Copperhead. Time will tell if the AAA holds the copper caps onto the aluminum body. Since I'm planning this as a bar mount, it will receive a lot more vibration than a helmet mounted light.
    Last edited by achesalot; 12-26-2007 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Pretty cool, achesalot! Almost wish I saw that a couple days ago

    Been working on making a 'traditional' all 1" square aluminum version, got the enclosure pretty much done (4 hrs) and just waiting on the AAA from ebay.

    Thought about using a CD case cover for a lens - cheap, clear, readily available...any drawbacks? Distortion with heat? Just trying to figure out a way to replace it easily, i.e. avoid glue!

    cheers,
    dave

  3. #3
    I spelled Knievel wrong
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    Man that is sweet! I dig the copper/aluminum contrast and the fins definitely add a lot of character. I really, really admire your work achesalot. Cheers to the Copperhead!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdn-dave
    Pretty cool, achesalot! Almost wish I saw that a couple days ago

    Been working on making a 'traditional' all 1" square aluminum version, got the enclosure pretty much done (4 hrs) and just waiting on the AAA from ebay.

    Thought about using a CD case cover for a lens - cheap, clear, readily available...any drawbacks? Distortion with heat? Just trying to figure out a way to replace it easily, i.e. avoid glue!

    cheers,
    dave
    Yes, the reason I decided to offer up this design, was because I was looking for one that was easier for folks to build. The front housing of my traditional all-aluminum version is a pain to build... but take heart for all your work... it is 30g lighter than this copper version!

    I wouldn't use a CD case for a lens cover. Most of them I've seen crack and scratch easily... unless you've got some different ones than I have. Try to get some plexiglass or lexan if possible... I think most hardware stores carry it. I use clear silicone to attach the cover.

  5. #5
    Spanish biker
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    Hi, how always, genial!!!

    Now, a few beamshots, please

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by msxtr
    Hi, how always, genial!!!
    Now, a few beamshots, please
    Greetings - Saludos
    msxtr
    Thanks.
    Well it should look exactly like my other Triple Seoul since it is using the same LEDs and optics. I'll try to get some beam shot action together soon.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot
    Yes, the reason I decided to offer up this design, was because I was looking for one that was easier for folks to build. The front housing of my traditional all-aluminum version is a pain to build... but take heart for all your work... it is 30g lighter than this copper version!
    I have made a few different lights only using the copper caps. I can't imagine anything easier to put together, all you need is a propane torch, some solder and a few minutes. Plus it's fun.

  8. #8
    I like Monkeys
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    I'm thinking about building one of these babies myself. But I have a couple of dumb questions.

    Do you need a holder for the optics or are they just held against the star with caulk?

    I figure 3.5-4 hours on a 4400 mah 14.4v LiOn battery, is that correct? If so I think I'll just skip the pot and run full blast.

    A friend and I are thinking about building them together, how far will a syringe of AA last. Will it be enough for a couple of these?
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  9. #9
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    With that battery your runtime @ 1A will probably be over 5 hours.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA
    I'm thinking about building one of these babies myself. But I have a couple of dumb questions.

    Do you need a holder for the optics or are they just held against the star with caulk?

    I figure 3.5-4 hours on a 4400 mah 14.4v LiOn battery, is that correct? If so I think I'll just skip the pot and run full blast.

    A friend and I are thinking about building them together, how far will a syringe of AA last. Will it be enough for a couple of these?
    I'm putting up some build instructions on my bikeled.org website, but it's not finished yet (but you can go see what I have so far). The lens and holder are held in place on top of the star by the plexiglass lens cover inside each copper cap. You might get two of these from one AAA syringe set if you don't waste any. They don't put much in those little syringes.

    You should get 4 hours easy from the battery you describe.

    Yes. This would be an easy afternoon/evening garage party project if you could get a production line going. Have fun!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevelKnivel
    Man that is sweet! I dig the copper/aluminum contrast and the fins definitely add a lot of character. I really, really admire your work achesalot. Cheers to the Copperhead!
    Thanks. I appreciate the kind words!

  12. #12
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    Looks like another excellent achesalot light! I like it!

  13. #13
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    Cool, thanks for the warning with the cd cover... will look for some lexan.

    With the copper version, the base aluminum (with electronics inside) is glued to the copper tubes. Do you end up gluing together the all aluminum version also? Or use the hardware to hold the two halves together?

  14. #14
    Singletrack Daydreamer
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    Yep, another inspirational design incorporating readily available parts and tools. Bravo!
    Train 'til you puke. Cheat to win. Party like a rockstar. We miss you, Jan!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdn-dave
    Cool, thanks for the warning with the cd cover... will look for some lexan.

    With the copper version, the base aluminum (with electronics inside) is glued to the copper tubes. Do you end up gluing together the all aluminum version also? Or use the hardware to hold the two halves together?
    No. The front housing of the all-aluminum version is held on by the two screws on the side as well as the backing plate behind the LEDs. It is not glued on.

  16. #16
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    Yours is prettyer than mine. I used 1" aluminum round tubing to hold the optics on my Achesalot version of 3 X P4s on stars. I anchored the stars on disks cut so I could press fit the round tubing over the disk to make the inverted "cap" glued with AA. I considered Chair feet covers bored out in the center to hold the optics(I even left space betwee the 3 tubes so they would fit) but ended up sealing them in with silicone.
    I ordered some lense holders which had square cutouts for the LEDs, so I had to file them open for the round LEDs, but the beam pattern turned out nice - 2 X 15 outboard, and 1 X 5 in the middle at 1000mA. Thanks for all the inspiration.


    Nice work.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the ideas. Now I need to figure out which of my batteries to use. I have a 14.4 LiIon that I'm testing for work, I may not have it forever. With the lightweight I'll probably just buy my own if I can't use the pack from work. I also have a 10AH 6v nimh battery of my own that I can also use. I think I'll go with the copperhead since I can do it with my current tools. I'm considering mounting the driver in a plug in module that I can swap between a buck or boost depending on the battery pack I'm using. Would this be a good solution?
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA
    Thanks for the ideas. Now I need to figure out which of my batteries to use. I have a 14.4 LiIon that I'm testing for work, I may not have it forever. With the lightweight I'll probably just buy my own if I can't use the pack from work. I also have a 10AH 6v nimh battery of my own that I can also use. I think I'll go with the copperhead since I can do it with my current tools. I'm considering mounting the driver in a plug in module that I can swap between a buck or boost depending on the battery pack I'm using. Would this be a good solution?
    Sounds like a great plan if you can figure something out.

  19. #19
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    I'll just add a couple of photos that show the Copperhead with it's feet and mounted on my helmet. I decided to give it feet, and then made an adapter for the handlebar mount that the feet can sit on as well... that way I can use any of my lights with helmet feet on the bars as well.





    Anyway, in an attempt to further fulfill the goal of making this an easy-to-build light, I ended up trying one of your suggestions (thanks Spano). I ran a threaded 8-32 rod through the body to fasten the end plugs and feet onto the light. It seems to work out well. I'll have some detail photos of this on the website in a day or so.

    I just weighed the copperhead with its feet attached, as shown above: 175g
    My all-aluminum traditional design in the same configuration weighs 135g, so the copper does add some weight and perhaps the threaded rod contributes a little as well.
    Last edited by achesalot; 12-28-2007 at 07:38 AM.

  20. #20
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    This is my copperhead light I made a month ago all cree Q5`s I was 1 optic short but it is an awesome light.



    and here is a video of the beam compared to a triple mr11 .

    I apologise for the video quality the helmet cam lens fogged up a bit
    and it lost quality when compressed for media player.

    http://www.penninelrc4x4.co.uk/VIDEOS/cree-lights.wmv

  21. #21
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    Awesome Troutie, that thing must really put out some light!. Looks like you blinded that person in the car at the end of the video

  22. #22
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    Achesalot.
    Yes it was an awesome output the helmet light is a cutter triple .
    and the pipe light 6 cree`s so 9 leds at 1000ma is that some where near 2000 lumens

    it was 04.00 in the morning I quess the car driver thought it was an alien space ship.

    The copper pipe light was a R & D project and has been recycled into a triple for my bars now.

  23. #23
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    I did a little more refinement on the end covers for the main body this morning. I went and picked up some 1/16" X 1-1/2" aluminum bar at Lowes and made some new end covers that extend past the front of the body and cover up about half of the end copper caps. It looks more balanced now and the feet appear more centered. I still have some finish sanding/polishing to do, but I think I am pretty much done now! I took some more photos of the threaded rod that runs through the body of the light. It sort of reminds me of the magic trick where a girl gets into a box and the magician inserts a bunch of swords into the box, but the girl comes out unscathed. The reason I say this is that there is a lot of stuff in the body of the light and it's a miracle that the rod goes through... it's just in the right spot... about 1/4" up and back from the lower front inside corner... It barely clears the pot (I actually had to bend one of the solder connectors a little. I also covered the threaded rod with heatshrink so that nothing could short out against it.



    Compare the aluminum body end cover in this photo to the the photo in my previous post (#19) above. I got rid of the 1/8" thick aluminum and extended them out toward the front of the light and rounded the corners.

  24. #24
    I like Monkeys
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    I like the look, a steampunk bike light if I ever saw one.
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  25. #25
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    Steampunk... yeah, I like that. Maybe used as one of the lights on Jules Verne's Nautilus submarine...

    Here's two more photos of the bar mount platform that I made. I used this Marwi Nightpro bar mount that I got for about $10 + S&H from JensonUsa. This mount does offer left/right rotation which is nice. I cut off the funky side-offset mount arm.

    I made this type of mount so that I could use my standard design that has "feet" either on my helmet or onto this bar mount platform. If you new for certain that you wanted a dedicated bar light it would be best to mount the light directly to the Mawri (or whatever you choose) bar mount.



    Last edited by achesalot; 12-30-2007 at 08:53 AM.

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