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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
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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
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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
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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.

  26. #26
    conjoinicorned
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    sweet lights. i made a version out of straight copper, it's worked well through a 24hr. race and a whole bunch of night rides last season. the only shot i have....

    Last edited by ferday; 12-28-2007 at 11:46 PM.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  27. #27
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    Thanks ferday. That's a nice one as well... thanks for sharing.

  28. #28
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    Cool light!

    That's an interesting mount - what's it from? Looks like you'd strap some o-rings across the bottom hooks?

  29. #29
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    heat dissipation

    Pretty interesting look to the design. I like the package. Just how warm does the entire package get ? I suspect the copper cap alone would disspate a lot of the heat for the LED's, what is your experience ? I am putting the finishing touches on a single LED lamp ( Cree 1 watt) using the copper cap as heat sink and adding copper tube, about 2 " as additional heat sink. All enclosed in a PVC housing with a brass back plate for heat transfer. For 1 watt I doubt even need to expose the copper given the thermal mass of it all.

    In your opinion for what you have set up do you really think the heat sinks on top are needed ?

    Thanks,

    Brian_LG

    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot
    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.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb00
    Pretty interesting look to the design. I like the package. Just how warm does the entire package get ? I suspect the copper cap alone would disspate a lot of the heat for the LED's, what is your experience ? I am putting the finishing touches on a single LED lamp ( Cree 1 watt) using the copper cap as heat sink and adding copper tube, about 2 " as additional heat sink. All enclosed in a PVC housing with a brass back plate for heat transfer. For 1 watt I doubt even need to expose the copper given the thermal mass of it all.

    In your opinion for what you have set up do you really think the heat sinks on top are needed ?

    Thanks,
    Brian_LG
    Thanks Brian. I imagine that for a single 1 watt LED, the copper cap alone would dissipate enough heat. I don't necessarily think putting your light in a PVC housing is a good idea however... airflow across the heatsink surface is our best friend in bike lighting.

    Did I need the fins on my light? Well, the extra heatsink surely can't hurt things, but I also added them to help protect the copper caps from getting knocked off (since they are glued on with AAA)... plus I think they look cool on the light

  31. #31
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot

    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.
    Wow, just went to Lowe's today and picked up a 8"x10" plexiglass for less than $2! I just assumed it'd be pretty pricey, nice surprise, eh!

  32. #32
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    Great cdn-dave, that's probably enough to build quite a few lights! I think you can find all of the hardware to build this light housing at Lowe's/Home Depot or a similar home superstore, or in your local hardware store.

  33. #33
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    Great looking light!

    A definite advantage to the Copperhead is the ability to knock off the copper plug with the star LED when it comes time to upgrade it to the inevitable brighter LED. I always thought that using an emitter (versus a star) gave you this advantage because it would be much easier to remove and emitter than a star...Joe

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by spano
    Great looking light!

    A definite advantage to the Copperhead is the ability to knock off the copper plug with the star LED when it comes time to upgrade it to the inevitable brighter LED. I always thought that using an emitter (versus a star) gave you this advantage because it would be much easier to remove and emitter than a star...Joe
    Thanks! And BTW, thanks for the tip on using the threaded rod through the body... that worked out well.

    I just hope one of the copper plugs doesn't get knocked off while I'm riding That's my biggest worry with this light and why I added the fins and extended end covers to help protect the copper plugs from being knocked off. I did drop it onto the concrete floor in my garage the other night (from handlebar height) ... no problems other than a slightly dented corner.

  35. #35
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    Thanks for the response. I see your reference to AAA ? I suppose that is a metal filled epoxy ? or is that a bad guess ?

    I have been using bronze wool (like steel wool) mixed with epoxy for heat transfer, easy to make.

    Ever see anyone use the handle bars as the heat sink ? Seems like a natural nearly infinite absorber. Thought I might try that out with a few 3 watt Crees.

    Thanks,
    Brian

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb00
    Thanks for the response. I see your reference to AAA ? I suppose that is a metal filled epoxy ? or is that a bad guess ?

    I have been using bronze wool (like steel wool) mixed with epoxy for heat transfer, easy to make.

    Ever see anyone use the handle bars as the heat sink ? Seems like a natural nearly infinite absorber. Thought I might try that out with a few 3 watt Crees.

    Thanks,
    Brian
    AAA is Arctic Alumina Adhesive. It's a thermal adhesive that is neither electrically conductive nor capacitive. It is especially useful if you need to electrically isolate some components such as when using bare emitters, as their slugs are generally not electrically neutral. It is supposed to have good thermal transfer properties as well (naturally).

  37. #37
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    Hi all,

    Great thread... I am loving seeing the different varations of the copperhead. I did not find this thread until last week and I already started down the path of using cyan luxeon leds (visit this link to see my inspiration http://www.instructables.com/id/Ulti...+-lumens-with- ). However, I was not a huge fan of the instructables configuration so I searched and searched and that is how i stumbled onto the copperhead (bravo to Achesalot). Anyway... I am in the final stages of making a quad version of the copperhead. This will be a bar mounted light when all is said and done. I will post pics in the next day or so.

    I have followed Achesalots design with the exception of using arctic silver adhesive instead of AAA as AAA was not available locally (hopefully it works equally well). And for the end caps I found some plactic caps that press into the aluminum tubing. I am comtemplating painting the entire unit black - no disrespect to the copperhead design.

    Thanks!

  38. #38
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    Good luck with the cyans. I prefer white light, and 3 SSC P4 (u-bin) would give you nearly 700 lumen. I guess using plastic end caps is OK, but you will be loosing two square inches of heatsink area, cause the plastic is not a heatsink.

    Let us know how things turn out!

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    Yeah not sure how much I will like the cyans either... but I already had the parts so I moved ahead using those LEDs. I know this setup will only be around 300 lumens, so I am having some lumen envy but I really wanted to get this build under my belt and your latest design has facilitated that. I WILL keep you updated!

  40. #40
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    Hi all. I took the light out for a couple of rides last week. I ran it on the bar for both rides and we rode some of the rougher trails with lots of roots, logs and small drops. The good news is, it didn't fall apart! I figure if it could take that, it can take a lot. This week I'm gonna try the light on my helmet... by itself, to see how that works out. Since the light is about 35-40g heavier than my all-aluminum design, we'll see how it fairs on the helmet. Of course the triple SSC is plenty bright. Lights definitely take a lot more abuse on the handlebar (from vibration) than on the helmet... unless you bang it on a lot of tree limbs

    One issue I did notice was a little perceivable flicker when I was going over bumpy terrain. I don't mean such flicker that it was cutting on and off, but sort of like that you get from PWM dimming. I've never noticed it before on any of my other lights, so I don't know if this Buckpuck has a lower PWM freq or perhaps my optics are wiggling around in the copper caps. I didn't think the 3021/3023 Buckpucks used PWM for dimming. Anyone know about that?

  41. #41
    conjoinicorned
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    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot
    I didn't think the 3021/3023 Buckpucks used PWM for dimming. Anyone know about that?
    AFAIK they do not. i have had no flickering or dimming issues with either my 3021 or my 3023.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

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    I rode last night with the light on my helmet. I only slightly noticed the extra weight as compared to the all-aluminum "achesalot" design. I didn't notice any flicker, but then again it was on my head and not subject to the vibration of the bars. I rode with this light alone and no light on bars, it did a fine job. All-in-all, I'd say that this copperhead design is the way to go if want an easier-to-build light and can stand the 35-40g extra weight. I might try a variation using some 1" round aluminum tube around the LEDs/optics next and I might go back and use silicone to better secure the optics inside the copper tubes to make sure they are not rattling around.

    For the addicted DIY LED bike light builder... there's always another light to build

  43. #43
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    A DIY newbie asks...

    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot
    I rode last night with the light on my helmet. I only slightly noticed the extra weight as compared to the all-aluminum "achesalot" design. I didn't notice any flicker, but then again it was on my head and not subject to the vibration of the bars. I rode with this light alone and no light on bars, it did a fine job. All-in-all, I'd say that this copperhead design is the way to go if want an easier-to-build light and can stand the 35-40g extra weight. I might try a variation using some 1" round aluminum tube around the LEDs/optics next and I might go back and use silicone to better secure the optics inside the copper tubes to make sure they are not rattling around.

    For the addicted DIY LED bike light builder... there's always another light to build
    Here and on your webpage you mention the copperhead is 35-40g heavier. What is the weight of this light? What kind of battery/charger are you using?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly_hank
    Here and on your webpage you mention the copperhead is 35-40g heavier. What is the weight of this light? What kind of battery/charger are you using?
    Sorry about that ...the copperhead weighs about 175g, while my all-aluminum "achesalot" design weighs about 135g.

    I'm using a 14.8v, 4A, Li-Ion from batteryspace.com and their 14.8v universal smart charger.

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    Thanks again for all the information posted here.

    I have another question on testing the set-up before I do all of the soldering. I have 6 volt battery that I have used aligator clips to hood t the Buckpuck 10000mA that I have. I then touch the wire leads for the Seouls to the proper connections and I do not get any light. Can the setup be tested this way? Can the Buckpuck be defective? Do I have to buy a ohm meter to see if I am getting current?

    Sorry for the dumb question. I am trying to make sure I am on the correct track before I invest $100 in batteries.

    Thanks

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadejp
    Thanks again for all the information posted here.

    I have another question on testing the set-up before I do all of the soldering. I have 6 volt battery that I have used aligator clips to hood t the Buckpuck 10000mA that I have. I then touch the wire leads for the Seouls to the proper connections and I do not get any light. Can the setup be tested this way? Can the Buckpuck be defective? Do I have to buy a ohm meter to see if I am getting current?

    Sorry for the dumb question. I am trying to make sure I am on the correct track before I invest $100 in batteries.

    Thanks

    Jim
    Hi Jim. I'd probably need more info to really help... but:
    6v is only enough to drive 1 LED using a buckpuck, if you're trying to drive 2 or 3 in series, they would not light at all with 6v. A multimeter is useful to do real testing, but you've got to know how to use it. Can you draw a diagram or photo of your test setup and post it? That might help.
    -Allen

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    Allen,

    Thank you, I went and bought a multimeter and followed the current through.

    I found the problem and about blinden myself :-)

    I am not giving up. I will get this to work before daylight saving.

    I think I owe you more than a few beers.

    Many thanks

    Jim

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    I like to share my aschelot copied design with everyone. I knew that fatman can only drive 4 led and copper would be heavier, so only use it for handlebar mount. I already did 2 4led setup for handlebar mount, but they are at 500ma 27 lux only. with copper, the heat transfer would be so much better at 700ma or 1000ma. the reason behind using fatman instead of buck circuit, bc I wanted to use 4 led driven at lower current 2 hour run time minumum for brighter light, better efficiency and heat managment. I wanted cost to be as low as possible. using cheaper 7.2v li-ion 4000mah battery cost $25 plus charger for $15. so my total cost for each 4 led copperhead is $115 w/ battery and charger, bc of the fatman cost and copper cost. my helmet cost for 4 led setup was $90 w/ battery and charger.
    trinewt lux reading is 21.8 lux is the base I'm going on.
    helmet 2 4led setup- one at 39lux and other is 27lux. lower height then niterider HID mounted.

    copycat copperhead on fatman 34lux 700ma

    another copperhead with cheap $1.50 circuit 1000ma 39lux

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    weight is 144g for the helmet 4 led setup. 150g for the 4 led copperhead. total weight with 7.2v 4000mah li-ion battery is 364g for a 2:10 burn time. Kinda short, so I'll turn down the fatman current to give me a safer longer run time. the trinewt total system weighted 549g on my scale.

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    That's awesome Eddielee... What would you guess the lux or lumens to be with 3 Cree R2's and run time w/ circuitry to run it at 750maH.

    I'm sure I have some 3/4" copper pipe laying around here somewhere as well as a tube cutter and some solder with some Mapp gas torch power to put a 3 or 4 pack together. What do you recommend for lenses to diffuse it a little? I have almost the same color Bell Influx helmet. LOL!
    Last edited by Boyonabyke; 01-27-2008 at 10:18 PM.

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    I wouldn't exactly call that copycat... looks like some nice doing on your own! Man you must have some bad night vision to need all that light Sometimes I think having a triple on my helmet plus a triple on the bars is overkill... but naa, it's about right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadejp
    Allen,

    Thank you, I went and bought a multimeter and followed the current through.

    I found the problem and about blinden myself :-)

    I am not giving up. I will get this to work before daylight saving.

    I think I owe you more than a few beers.

    Many thanks

    Jim
    Glad you figured it out... yeah, you'll definitely see spots for a while when you look straight into one of these superbright LEDs!

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    really can't help you with lux reading, bc it's different in each own enviroment. With light meter in your room, you need a base, then run your other light off on that. fc had the trinewt and 600L at 33, while I had 21.8 on the trinwet and 21.6lux on the 600L. fc had 121lux on the 30w hid, I only had 66lux. your run time will be base on the effeciecy of the circuit and truthfulness of the battery capacity. so you will need to test run your circuit and battery run time with a fan going at home. as I do 15 hour testing with my light to make sure the wire and circuit don't have any short and I can gauge the run time, so I won't have any problems on the trails... I had too much time on my hands as I was recovering from a surgery. I like to thank acheslot for his great info. now time to ride.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot
    I wouldn't exactly call that copycat... looks like some nice doing on your own! Man you must have some bad night vision to need all that light Sometimes I think having a triple on my helmet plus a triple on the bars is overkill... but naa, it's about right.
    I am definitly blind alright. I can't even pass my driving eye exam. past years, they do a overall test with both eye together, which I pass easily. now, they test one eye at a time at the DMV. I'm a one eye defect, so I had to get my Optometrist to ok me for driving as he knew I do very well driving on racetrack. DMV even took my driver's license away for two month until I can get the ok from the Optometrist. I need all the lights I can get to even out my depth reception problem. back to riding....

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    eddielee70 Nice job, what is the "cheap" circuit that have used you?

    Greetings - Saludos

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by msxtr
    eddielee70 Nice job, what is the "cheap" circuit that have used you?

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3256

    it says 800ma, but it's more like 1020ma at 8.2v full charge 7.4v li-ion battery. the current do go down as voltage from battery goes down. I was running them parallel to get 500ma only, but burning out circuits when it's gets too hot. until one nice forum mbtr "mofoki" told me that 7.2v li-ion can do 2 led in series easily and nicely w/o burning up. He was right. I think that's what scar is using also for his $200 led setup he is selling. I was able to get more then 2.5 hour from 4000mah battery for 4 led. They were very bright at 39lux running 1020ma, but do drop in lux to about 31lux toward the end of the battery life. This is compare to 21.8lux from the trinewt which doesn't drop brightness at all for 3 hours straight. I think I can live with drop in brightness on my setup. The fatman is a much better circuit that drive the 4 led w/o drop in current, but $22 is a little much for someone who wants to go the cheapest setup. overall cost $5 led, $1.75 optic and holder, $1.50 driver, $1.50 housing, $39 7.2v li-ion 4000mah battery and charger, $15 for misc solder, wires, thermal glue, $9 for bike mount, $4 for 4 copper caps. total cost $95 for 39lux 2:20 hour run time, smiling burning up the trail is priceless.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddielee70
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3256

    it says 800ma, but it's more like 1020ma at 8.2v full charge 7.4v li-ion battery. the current do go down as voltage from battery goes down. I was running them parallel to get 500ma only, but burning out circuits when it's gets too hot. until one nice forum mbtr "mofoki" told me that 7.2v li-ion can do 2 led in series easily and nicely w/o burning up. He was right. I think that's what scar is using also for his $200 led setup he is selling. I was able to get more then 2.5 hour from 4000mah battery for 4 led. They were very bright at 39lux running 1020ma, but do drop in lux to about 31lux toward the end of the battery life. This is compare to 21.8lux from the trinewt which doesn't drop brightness at all for 3 hours straight. I think I can live with drop in brightness on my setup. The fatman is a much better circuit that drive the 4 led w/o drop in current, but $22 is a little much for someone who wants to go the cheapest setup. overall cost $5 led, $1.75 optic and holder, $1.50 driver, $1.50 housing, $39 7.2v li-ion 4000mah battery and charger, $15 for misc solder, wires, thermal glue, $9 for bike mount, $4 for 4 copper caps. total cost $95 for 39lux 2:20 hour run time, smiling burning up the trail is priceless.
    Hi, thanks for the explanation

    Greetings - Saludos

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

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    Allen, Back to the Copperhead...
    Cool looking light again - 2 Questions:
    - What is your source for the 5K Pot and knob?
    - How did you ensure the SSC Stars were isolated electrically from the housing? I know you used AA, but you didn't state anything specific about that.
    - Oops one more - Why do you prefer the DX SSC U bin to their Cree Q5's?

    One comment: I know you already showed beam shots of the other lights, but a few more couldn't hurt...

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    Thank you...
    The stars really don't need to be electrically isolated because their aluminum backing is not connected to the LED. But also, I used AAA which electrically insulates anyway. I like the SSC because they are cheaper and easier to get good affordable lenses for. I might get back into some Cree R2 or higher (if avail) for next season. I've just not been as happy with the optics I've tried for the Cree... I need to experiment more... I'm accumulating too many lights and parts right now... need to get rid of some.

    I have some 5k pots that came with the Buckpucks (wiring harness) but they are low quality, and some better ones that I ordered from somewhere (electronic goldmine I think) but they just have hit or miss items available. Just have to search around. Sorry.

    Beamshots... I know, sorry. I've just been pretty busy with other stuff lately and not had time. I want to get some comparison shots of the L&M HID to compare as well with some triple LED lights. I'll work on it Radio shack has knobs, and sometimes Lowe's.

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    A question for all you guys who are using Cree Q5's:

    What optics are you using that fit in a 3/4" copper cap? I just unexpectedly found that my LED supply OPTX lenses won't fit at all. Any ideas for alternatives? Would any of these work? Thanks.

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    Edited for more experimenting
    Last edited by .40AET; 02-06-2008 at 03:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nouia
    A question for all you guys who are using Cree Q5's:

    What optics are you using that fit in a 3/4" copper cap? I just unexpectedly found that my LED supply OPTX lenses won't fit at all. Any ideas for alternatives? Would any of these work? Thanks.
    NO. Those will NOT work. They are made for the Luxeon III and will work fine with the Seoul Semiconductor P4, but not with the Cree.

    Go look at cutter.com.au for optics made for the Cree XR-E 7090 series. There are several to choose from: I would choose either the Carlco 10xxx series or the Fraen FC series. They will fit inside the copper cap and work with your Cree.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by achesalot
    NO. Those will NOT work. They are made for the Luxeon III and will work fine with the Seoul Semiconductor P4, but not with the Cree.
    The first one will not fit inside the copper cap without grinding it down. Is ther any other reason that it wouldn't work? The second one fits in the cap and if you open up the optic holder a little with a dremel, it will fit over the LED. Is there something that I missed on both of these? On the bench they seem to work. I tried both in the copper caps and they seem to focus the light as well as the Cutter optic. Not to be disrespectful in your thread, I have both of these optics and would like to buy more of the second one, unless I'm going to have problems.

    Thanks!

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    Hey, give it a shot if .40AET has had success, but it's usually best to stick with an optic that has a fairly close fit to the LED's dome. The Cree is so bright anyway, that you'd probably be satisfied shining it though a Coke bottle Now you've got me wanting to go modify one of the 20mm L2 Luxeon III optics to see what it looks like with a Cree. It's certainly hard to beat the price and availability of the 20mm L2s from ledsupply. Generally, though, I have not seen many folks reporting good results using Luxeon III optics with Cree XR-Es... but I love to experiment

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    OK. I went and played around with modifying a medium angle 20mm L2 optic (intended for a Luxeon III, and known to work quite well with a SSC P4) to fit on a Cree XR-E. I would have to say that, sure, with modifications, you can make it fit. But I would have to also add that the results are quite unsatisfactory, IMHO, compared to some of the other Cree-specific optics that I have used (Ledil, Fraen, Carlco). I'd stick with the Cree specific optics.

  66. #66
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    Achesalot: Thanks for taking a look at the optics. I'll look for more Cree specific lenses. Your help is really appreciated.

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    if you are deadset on using the $9 Cree Q5 instead of the $5 SSC u-bin. this len will fit the Cree perfectly using copperhead, but you can not use the white holder( or require a lot of sanding). just take out the holder and silicone it into the copperhead per archesalot's instruction. it is a narrow 8 degree beam though. I have not try the other lens on Kaidomain. as I found archesalot best advice to use the cheap no-mod require $1.50 len with SSC from ledsupply.com and you can build yourself a 4 led lightset in under 30 minute and under $100 with battery and charger.

    http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Produ...px?TranID=1603

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    I posted beamshots of the my copycat copperhead design at this tread. I like to share it if you are not subscribe to that.

    DIY-Triple Cree in 1.5"x3" housing

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    I have anothe newbie question,

    Does the color of the lens holder have any effect on the light. I ordered every color LED Supply had because I wasn't sure but now I am think about using different colors so I can identify whether it is a spot or a flood light.

    Will that work?

    Also has anyone found a supplier for the 5K pot. I got one from LED but a terminal has broke on it already.

    Thanks in advance

    Jim

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    I try white, black and clear before. the dry silicone really disappear with clear holder. you can see the silicone with black and white holder. I don't know or have measure the difference b/w the colors. you can tell from the len to see if it's spot, medium, or wide. no need for color holder.

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    achesalot,
    Do you have a prefrence at this time on which optic you like better between the round and square type?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jims
    achesalot,
    Do you have a prefrence at this time on which optic you like better between the round and square type?
    Well, Jim it's not because one is round and one is square, but I have not been totally happy with the square Ledil optics... with their available choices I either get a beam that is too narrow or too washed out. They use diffusers to achieve wider angles and it steals a lot of the light. I do like the way the fit into the sqaure aluminum though...it looks real sexy. I know I need to try the Carlco and Fraen with the Cree XR-E, but lately I've just been too happy with the inexpensive 20mm L2 optics (available from LedSupply) paired up with the Seoul Semiconductor P4 (U-bin)

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    Achesalot: Out of curiosity, have you tried any of the reflector type of optics? Not really "optics" per say, but they seem to throw the light further than the lense type of optics.

    Thanks,

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    Double Tap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .40AET
    Achesalot: Out of curiosity, have you tried any of the reflector type of optics? Not really "optics" per say, but they seem to throw the light further than the lense type of optics.

    Thanks,
    Yes. The IMS 20 reflector works well with the SSC P4 and Luxeon III. But then you get a lot of throw and not much width to the beam... too much of a light tunnel for trail riding. I have one light that has a modified reflector on the middle LED and two 15 degree L2 optics on either side... this is my favorite light. It is the 3rd light down from the top in the stack of lights photo on my web site. The one right above it has the 5 degree L2 optic in the middle... that light has a smoother overall beam, but doesn't throw as far... it just depends on what you're looking for. When I use both a helmet and bar light, I kind of prefer the smoother beam (with no evident spot) for both lights, so that there are not two beams crossing over each other all of the time. But actually reflectors are more efficient.

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    Just wanted to chime in that the Ledil LC-1 (new rocket style) should fit inside the plug. I have some arriving tomorrow or the next day and will let you know for sure.

    Brum took some measurements and the holder came out to be 21.5mm wide and 16.4mm tall, which is VERY close to the L2 optics currently in the Seoul copperhead.

    EDIT: the Ledil optic holder is actually ~3.5mm taller than the L2 holder, therefore cutting of the copper plugs is not necessary. Actually, I'm afraid that it all won't fit inside the plug. I will update you when it arrives.
    Last edited by joraff; 03-04-2008 at 11:06 PM.

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    I like the look of the copperhead. It's different but not ugly. I have watched your developments for some time.

    I do worry about aluminium, copper, electricity and possible damp or water.I know you have used glue, but if there is damp, there is still the possibility of electrolysis.

    Nick

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    I like the look of the copperhead. It's different but not ugly. I have watched your developments for some time.

    I do worry about aluminium, copper, electricity and possible damp or water.I know you have used glue, but if there is damp, there is still the possibility of electrolysis.

    Nick
    There's no current running through the body of the light, so corrosion caused by DC electrolysis shouldn't be an issue. Unless something shorts and there is stray DC current it still probably won't be an issue if enough AAA was used to isolate the copper and aluminum, or copper and the star.

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    We'll keep an eye out for it (corrosion) but as Joraff said, there is not direct contact between the copper and aluminum, and no current flowing through the light body. I guess constant wetness over the light might contribute to some corrosion, but I don't ride in the rain much, so we'll see... but Florida is humid.

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    Yeah. I thought about it as I was reading your post. It's virtually impossible to _get_ a torch or light that does not have copper and Al in it together somewhere!

    Nick

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    Thought you guys might be interested in my black 3xCREE Q5 copperhead. Many thanks for the inspiration and design tips, its a good, clean design.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nouia
    Thought you guys might be interested in my black 3xCREE Q5 copperhead. Many thanks for the inspiration and design tips, its a good, clean design.
    It certainly looks neat and simple. I do have to say that having that bolt stick out the sides does give a sort of Frankenstein-ish appearance though, especially on the helmet! <G>

    How does it handle the heat factor?

    Can you post:
    - Beam shots
    - Optics details
    - Amps
    - Construction ideas?

    Thanks

    Nick

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    Good job Nouia,

    How did you attach it to the Bell Helmet?

    Jim

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    Great job Nouia! Although I'd cut the threaded rod and put some acorn cap nuts on the ends... just looks a little dangerous sticking out like that and might get snagged on a vine or tree limb.

    Yeah which optics did you end up with?

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    triple-triple-triple

    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    It certainly looks neat and simple. I do have to say that having that bolt stick out the sides does give a sort of Frankenstein-ish appearance though, especially on the helmet! <G>
    It's obvious what that's there for.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

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    That's great! How could I have overlooked what those were for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by notaknob
    It's obvious what that's there for.

    Urgh urgh urghhhh!

    Nick

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    BTW guys. I forgot to mention it in this thread, but a week or so ago I posted some comparison beamshots on my website where I compare a friend's L&M HID light to the Copperhead and one of my traditional all-aluminum lights. Take a peek if you're interested in how well the typical DIY triple LED light stands up against the venerable Light & Motion HID.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldNick
    It certainly looks neat and simple. I do have to say that having that bolt stick out the sides does give a sort of Frankenstein-ish appearance though, especially on the helmet! <G>

    How does it handle the heat factor?

    Can you post:
    - Beam shots
    - Optics details
    - Amps
    - Construction ideas?

    Thanks

    Nick
    The optics are Fraen low-profile FC 9 degree jobs from Cutter. They fit perfectly, but the beam is kind of ringy. I might just be spoiled from my Fenix/Surefire lights though.

    16xAA NiMh pack driving a 1000ma Buckpuck

    I'll cut down the threaded rod like everyone says, ha. It's attached to the helmet with super-strong velcro right now, as an experiment. This may change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nouia
    The optics are Fraen low-profile FC 9 degree jobs from Cutter. They fit perfectly, but the beam is kind of ringy. I might just be spoiled from my Fenix/Surefire lights though.

    16xAA NiMh pack driving a 1000ma Buckpuck

    I'll cut down the threaded rod like everyone says, ha. It's attached to the helmet with super-strong velcro right now, as an experiment. This may change.
    OK. Thanks.

    That ringy beam thing is interesting. I always was told that where incand. stuff was involved the bigger the better with reflectors. I assumed it made more light, but it may well be that it makes it easier to get a controlled beam. When we get down these tiny things, both the maker and builders are up against a whole new level of tolerance.

    Are you getting any heat problems at 1000mA?

    I wonder about mountings. Toss up between the thing not coming off, and it (or you) getting damaged by a stack or a low branch

    Nick

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