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  1. #1
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    cree MC E light but need a little help

    As you might have seen from some of my posts I have been making the bar mounts on my lights in the hope that they will use the bars for a bit of heat removal.

    so I thought I would take it a bit further with a housing for the cree mc e led when it becomes available

    here is the idea for my light .



    this will also keep it out of the way when turning the bike over to fix a flat.

    So with this design where do I put the driver to keep it as small as possible
    I am not sure which optic to use either the 20mm or 26.6 mm
    if I used the 20 mm then I could put 2 mc e`s side by side in the aluminium I have

    but I figured the larger 26.6mm optic may be the best for the leds and would make a smaller light.

    any ideas please

  2. #2
    Happy in Happy Valley
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    I'd be a bit worried about getting good thermal contact with the bars. IMO you'd want to clean off whatever paint was on the bar, and use some thermal paste. Your bar mount has to make strong clamping pressure with the bar.

    Even assuming a good thermal connection to the bar, you're not really adding alot of mass. I think it may saturate rather more quickly then you might like.

    What kind of wattage do you want to push through the LEDs?

    Where are you planning on putting the battery? My first thought is a water-bottle setup, where you cold keep the driver in the bottle with the battery.

  3. #3
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    ref contact with the bars they are anodised so no need to remove any paint
    the light will hopefully be machined to be a good fit and a little tip here is to use a little
    zinc baby botty cream as zinc is a great heat conducter and the other ingredient is caster oil so will not hurt the bars.

    also there will be 1.8 square inches of contact with the bars.

    the cree mc e leds will be powered at 700 ma

    I already put my battery in small camera bag under the stem it is a 15 v li ion

    I have been doodling again and here is my next idea on this theme.


  4. #4
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    Looks good troutie, but since you asked for feedback Ill try and shoot it down...
    Its gonna get hot. It might expand enough that it gets loose on the bars.
    I would make it hang or sit on top of the bars, and COG right over or under the bars so it doesn't want to flop down. Over the bars means you don't have to deal with cable shadows either...not so bad on a triple of quad but with such a small source a cable in the way would be really bad.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit
    Looks good troutie, but since you asked for feedback Ill try and shoot it down...
    Its gonna get hot. It might expand enough that it gets loose on the bars.
    I would make it hang or sit on top of the bars, and COG right over or under the bars so it doesn't want to flop down. Over the bars means you don't have to deal with cable shadows either...not so bad on a triple of quad but with such a small source a cable in the way would be really bad.

    Cheers znomit , that is why I posted for constructive feedback

    good point about the expansion ok I make the rear of the clamp oversize and line it with inertube .

    I like the vertical idea too and it might give me more space for the driver but the heat then has to travel down to soak to the bars .

    cant hang down cos the cables will deff be in the way but I like that too keeps the light out of the way from over the bar dismounts too .
    will have to check where the cables are

  6. #6
    dweeby
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    I have always liked the idea of using the bike as a heatsink and I think it should work fine, copper grease is a good heat conductor but I never knew about zink cream. The only problem I can find is you can't aim the light left to right.
    Becouse heat rises having the light under the bars will allow the heat to rise into the bars, but then as said before you may have cable probs. EDIT the post above wasn't there when I started typing.

  7. #7
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    Cheers dweeby
    never even thought about the heat rising into the bars
    I will have a close look at the cables and see if it can go under and experiment with my exsisting light to see any shadows .

    also copper grease I have a massive tub of that just never thought about using it
    for heat transfer

  8. #8
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    What are the masses with carbon bars going to do?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb
    good point about the expansion ok I make the rear of the clamp oversize and line it with inertube .
    If you do that it wont transfer the heat.
    Im really liking my under stem setups. Totally out of the way. I used some welding rod to spread the cables. I think all stems are different though so a machined clamp is no good.... maybe a double clamp to the bars or a single offset one? Someone made a double clamp to the bars either side of the stem and it looked fantastic, think it was that curvy triple???

  10. #10
    dweeby
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    I had an idea some time ago after too many beers. It was to make a stem face plate with Leds in and put the driver insde of the hollow stem. It never happend but I still look at my wobbly drawing for a laugh now and then.
    But you never know, one day........

    Just a thought on expansion, if the bar clamp and bar are both made from the same meterial won't they both expand as they get warm and then still fit tight. Maybe not, not sure on that.

  11. #11
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    Okay :-

    Heat only rises in air/water not in solids, because it makes the air expand and therefore lighter than the normal sized air around it in Metal heat will radiate equally, feel your copper central heating pipes same heat top and bottom, yes the heat of the bars will convect up towards the unit but as your moving it'll have zero effect.

    NO way is this thing going to get hot enough for it to become loose on the bars, 80c is the internal max temperature, so doubt you'll get to 40c external temperature while riding outta and even then the bars will heat up and expand to fill the gap anyway.

    Wouldn't use Copper Grease, yes the copper part is good but the grease part isn't better off with CPU thermal paste.

    What you really need is copper water filled bars though

    Water filled bars, would really increase the transfer rate, then a pump and a motorbike radiator mounted under your stem

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweeby
    I had an idea some time ago after too many beers. It was to make a stem face plate with Leds in and put the driver insde of the hollow stem. It never happend but I still look at my wobbly drawing for a laugh now and then.
    But you never know, one day........

    Just a thought on expansion, if the bar clamp and bar are both made from the same meterial won't they both expand as they get warm and then still fit tight. Maybe not, not sure on that.
    Thats a cool idea Dweeby.

    Regarding expansion, the light housing is going to be significantly hotter than the bars and hence get bigger.... probably a lot hotter.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    Okay :-

    Heat only rises in air/water not in solids, because it makes the air expand and therefore lighter than the normal sized air around it in Metal heat will radiate equally, feel your copper central heating pipes same heat top and bottom, yes the heat of the bars will convect up towards the unit but as your moving it'll have zero effect.

    NO way is this thing going to get hot enough for it to become loose on the bars, 80c is the internal max temperature, so doubt you'll get to 40c external temperature while riding outta and even then the bars will heat up and expand to fill the gap anyway.

    Wouldn't use Copper Grease, yes the copper part is good but the grease part isn't better off with CPU thermal paste.

    What you really need is copper water filled bars though

    Water filled bars, would really increase the transfer rate, then a pump and a motorbike radiator mounted under your stem
    I Believe Turveyd is correct in regards to heat transfer in solids and I agree that thermal paste would be the best option. Copper cote/grease gets everywhere, regardless of how hard you try not to spread it.

    Just thinking out loud here...How would you go making your housing a rectangular shape with rounded corners and 3mm x 2.5mm cooling fins equally spaced around the entire housing?...mmm, I do like dweebys stem mounted light idea, though!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit
    If you do that it wont transfer the heat.
    no I would leave the front of the clamp bare and a good fit to the bars

    dweebys idea is good can you get into the stem with the bars in the way
    now that would take some making
    can we see your wobbly drawing dweeby please

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb
    no I would leave the front of the clamp bare and a good fit to the bars

    dweebys idea is good can you get into the stem with the bars in the way
    now that would take some making
    can we see your wobbly drawing dweeby please

    You could spring load the mounting bolts too to keep things tight... hmmm.

    Yeah, that stem mount would kick arse. Are the bolts a standard spacing?

    ps, I was snooping cutter.com.au and they have prices up on MC-E leds.
    Last edited by znomit; 06-29-2008 at 11:50 PM.

  16. #16
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    well Hope do make a stem faceplate with mount for their lights and battery
    I bet the bolt holes are not standard though

    MC-E prices http://www.cutter.com.au/products.php?cat=45
    but not until august/september

    Oh well that gives me plenty of time to get the housing sorted

  17. #17
    dweeby
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    It's a funny old world, but I mentioned the stem light to fellow mtbr members about a year ago and most thought I was mad so I listened to advice for once and never bothered. Only to find people now like the Idea and most annoying is that exposure lights have gone and done it(well a commuter version). I don't want to take the subject off of troutie-mtbs light just agreeing with using an alloy bike as a heatsink.

  18. #18
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    Dont worry about my thread it is threads like this that spark ideas for folk.

    Your stem faceplate idea just lends itself to the new MC-E led and 20 mm optics
    with there small footprint I think the optic and led mcpcb will be max 15 mm deep and the driver in the stem ok you lose the thermal protection but I am sure you could put 2 MC-Es on a face plate and there would be plenty to take the heat away

    one main issue would be getting the vertical angle right for your own stem.
    I do have an idea how to make it adjustable though.

    Come on dweeby you can do it , you know you want the challenge

  19. #19
    dweeby
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    There are a few problems and the biggest one has always been the aim of the thing. but it can be done. The idea at first was to have it permanently fitted as no real point removing it when the only added weight is two leds and a driver. But not too long ago someone posted (maybe znomit)a dynamo light with the elecronics inside the fork steerer and that got me thinking again. A DC socket in the top cap and you could just plug the battery into it and go. I don't know about this one as a challenge, I end up not sleeping untill it's done, it pisses the wife off and turns my house into a load of wire and metal dust.

    What is your idea for adjustability, mine is simply to have slots instead of holes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweeby
    There are a few problems and the biggest one has always been the aim of the thing. but it can be done.
    ... not too long ago someone posted (maybe znomit)a dynamo light with the elecronics inside the fork steerer and that got me thinking again.

    What is your idea for adjustability, mine is simply to have slots instead of holes.
    Theres is a bit of adjustability in the face plate anyway. If its a floody beam the adjustment isn't critical so you could guess and design most of the angle in.
    If you dont need to transfer heat to the bars you can make a simple pivoting plate for perfect aim.

    Yes, there is a lot of spare room in the steerer tube. The board I bought from pilom.com for my dyno is custom designed to fit, clever. A bflex should squeeze in a switch seals the top. You should be able to run wires past the star nut. Battery and LED wires out the bottom. Very tidy.

  21. #21
    dweeby
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    I bet you are the first to do it znomit, I've looked at your lights and this is right up your street.

    When I had the idea a year ago it was all buck pucks and no one had thermal protection, also 2 single die LEDs was the norm so you could squeeze 3 x 18650 cells lenth ways for the required 11.1 battery into the steerer and just have a charge socket on the top cap or bottom of the steerer. Soon though we will have a lot more heat and require bigger batteries. Unless ofcourse you have dynamo power.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweeby
    ... you could squeeze 3 x 18650 cells lenth ways for the required 11.1 battery into the steerer and just have a charge socket on the top cap or bottom of the steerer. Soon though we will have a lot more heat and require bigger batteries. Unless ofcourse you have dynamo power.
    Oh, never thought about putting batteries in there... I did have some ideas for putting the lights into bar ends and batteries in the handlebars. If I get a commuter with flat bars Ill probably do this... micropucks and 4AA batteries in bars. That might be a good MC-E solution too. One light either bar end.

  23. #23
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    Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Quote Originally Posted by dweeby
    I end up not sleeping untill it's done, it pisses the wife off and turns my house into a load of wire and metal dust.
    I just got in and read this still laughing

    now off in to the garage to pull the faceplate off the bike and have a look.
    and I bet I am not the only one

    That would be so cool batteries inside to with a charge jack and pretty much unstealable
    on a comuter bike.

  24. #24
    dweeby
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    can we see your wobbly drawing dweeby please
    Too much beer. Thomson x4 stem is just the thing. I will do a new drawing
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  25. #25
    dweeby
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    And trouti, you've almost drawn it anyway. I just did a little change.
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  26. #26
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    that looks doable just need to work out the angle for the lights .
    with the MC-E and 2 * 20 mm optics you have got 1500 lum in a tiny footprint on the bike
    1 medium optic and 1 wide oval optic with the driver in the stem just plug the battery in and go .

  27. #27
    dweeby
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    OK, I'm on the boil, the wife likes it because she doesn't have to carry a light in her backpack and then fit it and remove it etc. it's just there! Anyway I will try and make a mock up out of MDF tomorrow and I have found (and ordered) some 18mm aluminium reflectors on DX that I think will work and give a bit more room, one smooth and one textured

    Just thinking out loud but a nice silver aluminium stem and some alloy reflectors built in, very bling. Can't afford a new stem though so odd silver front on black stem will do.
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  28. #28
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    Whoa , way to go Dweeby , just cant resist
    are you a salesman , you sweet talking ( sold the idea to the missus )

    cant wait to see some pics how you are going to do it.


    here is a doodle of my adjustable idea not really sure how to do it though
    and keep the good thermal contact.
    the more I think about it I think you just need to get the angles right first time .





    please update us as you progress
    Last edited by troutie-mtb; 07-01-2008 at 04:43 PM.

  29. #29
    dweeby
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    Yes the sun did come out in the UK and it went to your head as well, troutie

  30. #30
    dweeby
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    Feel free to laugh your socks off, I already have!
    I made a Qiuck mock up of the stem face plate out of MDF and found that getting the light angle right will be very very hard, the rest isn't too bad. Oh and MDF is crap should have used plywood.
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  31. #31
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    dweeby, that looks uber cool i love it, but like you say aiming the beam will kill the deal
    if you go more flood than spot it wouldn`t have to be so precise

  32. #32
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    Yeah, thats real tidy.
    ...Almost as nice as the design in my head, which solves the heat and aiming problems. Hopefully its as nice when drawn out on paper

  33. #33
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    Dweeby
    That looks really ace , How long did it take you to do it.
    get it patented quick

    What are you using to do the machining

    can we please have a picture with it on the bike .

    I have been working away for the past 2 days with no tinterweb so have only just seen it.

    Look what my brother gave me



    19 inches long and 2.5 by 2.25 inches of top quality aircraft qrade aluminium
    so should be enough to make the odd light there.
    Last edited by troutie-mtb; 07-03-2008 at 03:07 PM.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweeby
    getting the light angle right will be very very hard

    If you machine off about 2 mm from the back of the faceplate and ovalise the boltholes a little you will have some fine tuning for the angle without losing too much clamping area .



  35. #35
    A waste of time it is is
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    How will you be able to aim the light where you want it? The majority of MTB stems face slightly upwards, so your lights would also shine up, not down on the trail where you want the light

    For the bars, I like to have two lights. A wide beam angled just in front of the front wheel and then a second wide beam angled so that it illumintaes just in front of the first.

    Supplemented by a helmet light I find this gives the best coverage.

    Good luck guys, I like where this is all heading


    OOps, clearly I didn't read to the end of the thread before I posted that comment. Sorry

  36. #36
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    Im wondering about optics and drivers. One wide and one narrow driven with a balance and a brightness adjustment for full control would be nice.

  37. #37
    dweeby
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    The model only took 15 mins with the Dremel and was just to find out if there was enough space and there is plenty. can't put it on the bike 'cos the crap MDF just crumbles with bolts done up.

    It's good I think to do a mock up but use plywood. I may make a better one out of ply and bolt it on. The problem I have is only having a Dremel a drill and a bench grinder and the only aluminium I have is 10mm thick sheets. So it may just end up as a wooden model.

    Troutie, I'm still thinking on your swivel point idea it may be possible. And it's nice having a brother like that, it's my brother who gives me the 10mm thick sheets.

  38. #38
    dweeby
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    znomit, can we see the idea thats in your head please, it might give my brain a rest

  39. #39
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    Dweeby are your bars oversize ie 31.56mm

    if you want I will post you a bit of this ali as I have plenty

    I will post a pic of what I am doing soon with more details

    Znomit I second Dweebys request for your ideas

    we have shown you ours so you show us yours

  40. #40
    dweeby
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    troutie yes oversize bars. A bit of your aluminium would be very nice thanks.
    shall I pm you my address? Let me know if you want a piece of 10mm it's quite handy.
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  41. #41
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    The reason I asked what size your bars are is this



    being lucky enough to have a mini lathe and milling machine I figured that if I bored the hole the same as the bars then cut it in half then I would have 2 blanks that fit the bars

    like so


    I quess getting the clamp size right is the hardest bit without a lathe so you can have the other half if you want it , and dont mind me doing a bit of the work for you

    I wish you luck with the dremel This aluminium must be very good quality it is quite hard compared to the stuff I have been using in the past ideal for this project

    yes pm me your address and I will get it in the post asap but you must keep sharing the ideas

    What I am impressed with is if you can do a similar quality of build in ali as the mdf mockup with the tools you have that will be fantastic

  42. #42
    dweeby
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    Just another thought...
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  43. #43
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    Yes something like that would work , be adjustable and porbably easier to make

    BUT I really like your concept and mdf mock up and if you don`t mind I am going to blatently steal it and have spent the afternoon in my garage starting it.

    also I am going to ask for help on here whenever I dont know what to do

    Which is about now .





    I have got to the point where I need to try and work out the angle for the lights before I cut anymore metal off it .

    My idea is with the bike on a level floor set the forks which I can lock down to my normal riding position. Then assuming the lights need to point level or just a bit tilted down .

    I am thinking of using a medium beam and a eliptical beam but when ordering the mce`s I will probably order some other optics too

    I do have about 4 degrees of up and down tilt with the faceplate a bit more with the removal of more aluminium.

    I will wait untill it gets dark and see where my bar light points and try and measure the angle somehow.

    any new ideas will be gratefully received ta

  44. #44
    dweeby
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    Man your keen,
    I was thinking that I would tie some string to a tree or something in the distance, tie it at the hight that you want the centre of the beam then tie the other end to the stem. use a spirit level on the string, then put a mark on the spirit level where the bubble is. Then you can use the level any time now that the bubble has been marked. This can be done in daylight but you may get someone asking why you are tying your bike to a tree.

    Everyone must think we are mad.

    And thanks for the help.
    Last edited by dweeby; 07-04-2008 at 10:01 AM.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by dweeby
    Man your keen,
    I was thinking that I would tie some string to a tree or something in the distance, tie it at the hight that you want the centre of the beam then tie the other end to the stem. use a spirit level on the string, then put a mark on the spirit level where the bubble is. Then you can use the level any time now that the bubble has been marked. This can be done in daylight but you may get someone asking why you are tying your bike to a tree.

    Everyone must think we are mad.

    And thanks for the help.
    No not keen I just got the day off and find it relaxing carving something out of a piece of metal.

    The string idea is a damn good idea the more I think about it I bet if the beam centre of say a spot beam was paralell to the ground then a spot and a flood would be about right .

    If I set it with the bolt holes tight at the top and aim it level then I have the 4 degree tilt available in a downwards direction . or do I set it to have 2 degrees up or down .

    right off to get some string

    next question how far away is going to be the optimal distance for a 790 lumin *2 light
    20 /30 mtres

  46. #46
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well major xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxproblem



    Oh dear glad I didnot pay for the aluminium that is friday afternoon and the aluminium a total write off just because I didnt spot the problem on my drawings.

    and it was looking good too



    anyone spot the fatal flaw.

    the good news is I sorted the perfect angle so the mark 2 will be a lot easier

    Dweeby your bit of ally is ready to mail in the morning , just dont make the same mistake as me.

    I did learn a lot on how to use the lathe though

  47. #47
    dweeby
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    troutie when I made the model I did discover that this helped but obviously all stems are different. Good Luck
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  48. #48
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    Good luck screwing that on.
    Nice work though. Im impressed.
    Regarding aim, mine are 600-700lm and point down a little. At that brightness its not critical. I can move mine up and down a little without noticing. Maybe tie the string to the base of the tree 30m away and line up to that? If your bike has suspension it might change things too so hop on.

    I'm loving this thread guys.

  49. #49
    dweeby
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    Don't throw that bit away, just cut the front off then make a little housing with the bit you cut off.
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  50. #50
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    Thanks for all the sympathy guys

    I didnt even get any from the wife when she found me

    I cant wait untill Dweeby gets his piece of aluminium and starts cutting it
    it is the hardest aluminium I have ever had the privalidge of screwing up

    It does polish to a fantastic finish though

    I might polish the cockup and mount it on the wall as a reminder to take notice of the drawing better

    This might be my last post untill they let me out of the asylem

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