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Thread: DIY done cheap

  1. #1
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    DIY done cheap

    While I have a good set of lights ( Wilma 6, Edison 5, and a Dinotte 200L) I was interested in the DIY approach many on this board have pioneered.

    Design criteria:
    1. I'm going to use this light on my helmet so I don't want hot spots and the beam must be wide and uniform. Will use in parallel with a bar mounted light so I don't want to see a bright spot dancing in and out.
    2. Easy contruction - no milling or machining. Keep metal part count to a minimum. Only simple hand tools required.
    3. Simple assembly.
    4. Maximum heat transfer to ambient. Will be running at 1000ma.

    I haven't finished it yet. Still need a connector for the power in and to try it out with the 2600mah Li-Ion battery I bought and of course mounting. Not too worried about that part. The beam shot is with an 8 AA NiMH pack so I expect this is not the brightest beam I will end up with.

    Parts:
    Aluminum pieces
    case - 50mm wide with 1.5mm wall thickness cut to 1.7 inches in length
    L-bracket - 1/8" thick
    back cover plate - 1/16" thick
    Front cover - Polycarbonate - .093 thick (wish I could find a thinner piece)
    driver - 3021-D-E-1000 Buckpuck
    optics
    - CRS-D +/- 7 degree
    - CRS-M +/-14 degree
    LED - 2 Cree XR-E WC tint Q5 mounted on the MCPCB star

    assorted screws, thermal adhesive, glues, wires, etc.




    I think I achieved my design objectives. The construction was very easy especially once I found the perfect fit case material. The inside width and length perfectly fit the optics with 1mm gap on each side. The use of the L-bracket serves to mount and position the leds just right while maximizing contact with the top of the case. Only required two screws to hold the assembly in place. I have approximately 2 square inches of surface contact between the inside case and the top of the L-bracket. The case gets hot fairly quickly but even after 10 minutes on high it is not too hot to hold in your hand. The beam is excellent. I'm most pleased with that part. The first pic is of my DIY at 1000ma using 2 9degree optics. Those Q5s are VERY bright. The second pic is my Wilma on high for reference. The Wilma is only slightly brighter in the center. Aperature 4.0 and shutter was set at 1 second.

    Thanks to all those that posted earlier DIY projects. Your efforts are inspiring.
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    Last edited by il2mb; 11-11-2007 at 01:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    Brilliant design!

    How do you fasten the front glass and back plate? Silicon glue etc?

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    Glad you like the design...


    I'll use a lite amount of glue to hold the polycarbonate face plate in place as I don't expect to be removing it. The rear will be attached with 4 small machine screws.

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    This is an awesone design. I really like your design criteria 2, 3, & 4. This is exactly what I've been striving for. Can I ask where you found the case, angle bracket, and polycarbonate?

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    Thanks

    I got the aluminum rectangular stock here:

    http://metricmetal.com/products/squa...FRdPagodUB0GUQ

    Unfortunately, they have a minimum order requirement. I had to purchase 5 feet of this stuff at a cost of $95 dollars. 5 feet should translate conservatively into at least 25 housings. That's fine as I have friends that want me to build lights for them. I doubt I will need all 5 feet though. Want some?

    The L-bracket, polycarbonate, and back plate are readily available from just about any hardware store. Get a good file and some sandpaper to fine tune the fit after rough cutting the material.

  6. #6
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    Try this link for cheaper aluminum:

    http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant...=70&top_cat=60

  7. #7
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    more pics

    Pulled out the arsenal last night and took some more pics.

    The first pic is the Edison 5. Noticeably brighter than the Wilma but with the jagged beam edge
    Second one is the Dinotte 200L with spot beam
    Third pic is the DIY but this time with 2 25degree optics on board. Really lights up a wide swath of yard.
    the last shot is the Fenix L2D Premium100 flashlight

    All pics taken with an aperature value of 4.0 and a shutter speed of 1 sec.

    Not sure yet which optics combo will be the best for helmet use. I'll have to try them all.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    I got the aluminum rectangular stock here:

    http://metricmetal.com/products/squa...FRdPagodUB0GUQ

    Unfortunately, they have a minimum order requirement. I had to purchase 5 feet of this stuff at a cost of $95 dollars. 5 feet should translate conservatively into at least 25 housings. That's fine as I have friends that want me to build lights for them. I doubt I will need all 5 feet though. Want some?

    The L-bracket, polycarbonate, and back plate are readily available from just about any hardware store. Get a good file and some sandpaper to fine tune the fit after rough cutting the material.
    Thanks for the info and the offer! I'd like to copy your design in a 3 LED version. How did you connect the back plate to the housing?

  9. #9
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    Screws

    The wall thickness of the case being 1.5mm provides plenty of surface area for a screw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxCycler
    Thanks for the info and the offer! I'd like to copy your design in a 3 LED version. How did you connect the back plate to the housing?
    I've been planning to do a 3-led version (great minds and all that) as a variant on Achesalot's excellent design, and while I too originally thought of using an angle, my final choice is to use another piece of rectangular tubing, slicing off the top surface to create a channel. That way I get both a led mounting surface and a back wall in one. I tried to find pre-formed channel stock to avoid doing that cut, but without success. I haven't decided whether I'll make it with my jeweller's saw, or my circle saw.

    The channel will slide into the housing the way a drawer slides into a chest, the rear surface forming the back wall. If I had access to precision metalworking tools, I'd cut lips and channels for o-ring sealing, but since I don't I reckon to recess the back wall by 0.25 inch and run a bead of silicone caulk to take care of it. With a well-polished mating surface (the bottom of the channel), some thermal grease, and bolts to clamp them together, I should think the thermal transfer will be very good. The only thing I (slightly) regret is that the 3x1 tubing from online metals has a 0.125 wall.

  11. #11
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    Katz,

    I was also looking at a 3 led design originally but that was back when I had the Cree Q2. With the Q5 and higher bins becoming available I'm beginning to think 2 leds get the job done. The Q5s in my light supposedly put out 235 lumens each at max current. The Cree R2 now available should be in the 250 lumen range. This is the main reason I bought the Wilma and not the Betty. 7 leds, in my mind, is not upgradable. 1400 lumens to what - 2000! Sure Lupine will offer an upgrade at some point but I don't need that much light. I think the next upgrade Lupine offers for the Wilma will take its output comfortable over 1000 lumens. Bike light designs will peak at around 1000 lumens and from there the direction in the market will entirely emphasize lighter and smaller heads with smaller batteries and loonger run times. Ever increasing light outputs have to peak at some point. Also remember that fewer leds makes for a simpler design.

    I'm quite surprised how the beam on my DIY looks. Very similiar in shape and uniformity as the Wilma. The intensity is slightly less but the Wilma cost me $600! As led output increases eventually we will only be buidling DIY with a single device. Wow! imagine a single led running at 600 lumens.

    Good luck with your build
    Last edited by il2mb; 11-10-2007 at 05:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    Good luck with your build
    Thanks for the good wishes. It was great seeing the results of your build - it was like seeing a preview of my own, only narrower.

    The success of your build also convinced me to use the square optics - they really do a good-looking job. And with the amount of light you're getting out of 2 leds, I think I'll be able to do a successful "lo-beam" by turning off my spot altogether and cutting the power on the floods to the bone. And with all three cranked up, plus big arrays of amber leds flashing maniacally, I hope even the drivers talking on their cellphones will get scared and think Godzilla is bearing down on them.

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    ready for a ride..

    I'll be taking the prototype out tonight for a spin. Here's a pic of the mounting. I had a spare Lupine helment mount laying around.
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  14. #14
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    That's a good looking design. Really simple and solid. Maybe I should do 3 2xSSCs instead of 2 3xSSCs. Hmmm.
    It is really comparable to those commercial lights. Great job.
    What kind of thermal adhesive did you use for the L bracket? Is it in there for good, or can you remove it?
    BTW - How cheap is cheap?
    Wrecker of fine things

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    thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by 02Slayer
    That's a good looking design. Really simple and solid. Maybe I should do 3 2xSSCs instead of 2 3xSSCs. Hmmm.
    It is really comparable to those commercial lights. Great job.
    What kind of thermal adhesive did you use for the L bracket? Is it in there for good, or can you remove it?
    BTW - How cheap is cheap?
    It really is a simple design. Now that I've built this one I'm going to build two more for the bars. However, I will connect them to a single power supply. Two Q5s on full is really a lot of light. Going with a 2 led light head is simpler build than a 3 led head. One of these on the bars and one on the helmet is plenty of light. But for really technical trails I have the option to add the second bar light and frankly there is space to do it so why not.

    I use Arctic thermal paste (NOT adhesive) between the L-bracket and the case. Yes, that is removeable.

    Cheap? Optics, driver, LEDs cost about $50. I bought a 2600Mah Li-Ion battery with charger for about $100 but you can use 8 NiMH AAs for a lot cheaper. (I can also plug in a 9 volt transistor battery for backup - can't do that with a 3 led head.) For your first light build more expense is incurred due to the need to buy wiring, solder, adhesives, glues, and all those things that when you buy them you have to buy enough for 20 lights because that is just how things are sold. For example I bought a tube of Arctic thermal paste. It wasn't cheap but I only needed a little dab. If I go on to build 10 more lights I'll end up using it and getting my money worth. I also had to buy 5 feet of the case material for $95 and I doubt I'll use all that up. In addition, this doesn't take into consideration any tools that you might have to purchase. So the title of this thread should have been "DIY - done easy" rather than done cheap. it only gets cheap after building 10 or more lights. If I take those economics into the calculations I think this design could be put together for about $150.00 - $175.00 using a good Li-Ion battery

  16. #16
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    Yes, I am finding those hidden costs too. But hey, new tools are pretty fun, so what the hell. I'm in it for about $200 at this point, but I've got the stuff for 3 or 4 lights. (3 Cree Q5s and 6 SSC P4s). The Aluminum tube I bought at wholesale via metal supply warehouse scrap pile/shop set me back only $22, along with a nice 1/4 inch (7 mm) Al slab to use for heatsink. I have some square tubing from work for free, but I saw some rectangular tubing at the metal supplier just like yours and I thought it would work too. You proved it works, and looks good doing it. Wish me luck!!
    Wrecker of fine things

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    where are you guys getting these square optics? I have alot of 20mm round ones but i can't seem to find the square ones where i can buy them. I really like how yours looks and am currently building a helmet light. I have built 3 lights already that mount on the bars that use 6 led's and its alot of light. But i am looking into a smaller 3-4 led setup for the helmet and am trying to make it as small as possible and simple. I bought a 35mm round lens that holds 3 led's that i might use or go with a design like yours. I also already bought a shark controller (boost) so I can use a pot.

    I have narrowed it down to either 3 led's in the 35mm lens, 2-3-4 led's in 1" round tubing with round lenses (which will be harder to work with) or 2-3-4 led's in 1" square tubing (but can't find square lenses yet). I think the square tubing would be the easiest to work. Just waiting for all the supplies to come in so i can start working on it.

    But i really like your design. Good work.

  18. #18
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    cutter.com.au has them that I know of.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent878
    where are you guys getting these square optics?
    There's a group buy going on now at:
    http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sho...d.php?t=168870

  20. #20
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    Another option for batteries (if you can source a base) is your standard Li-Ion camcorder battery. I'm using a Sony InfoLithium M style base, and can get anywhere from a 1000mAh pack up to a 5000mAh pack for them. If you happen to own a camcorder, you can do the same thing and not have to buy new batteries. I got a broken camcorder and pulled the base off it for my DIY.

  21. #21
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    Well I finally upgraded the case on my DIY. Thought I'd share it with ya.
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    Very, very sharp! How did you do the housing like that?

  23. #23
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    il2mb Wowwwwww, very, very nice!!!! I'm like it!!!!

    How you have did the housing?? seem machined

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  24. #24
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    I took the original stock of square tubing I had left over from the first light I built. There was enough material to build 20 more housings. I had a machine shop I use through my work crank 'em out. Turned out pretty good.

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    Time to sell the extra housings. how much? with everything( front len cover, nuts, and rear plate) except the internal parts.

  26. #26
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    Wow. thats one of the best looking DIY lights that I've seen yet. Great job..

  27. #27
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    Sweet...nice job

  28. #28
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    OK, I've had several requests from others that I might sell some of my cases. I've got 21 cases and enough material to build them up - excluding the actual leds, drivers, etc. I don't plan on building all 21. I've decided to keep only 8. There are already takers for 6 cases so that leaves 7 available.

    Each case "kit" will come with the following:

    > one each .031 & .062 polycarbonate plate. The .031 fits flush in the front. The .062 sits a little above the front surface and looks really cool as the side walls illuminate when the light is on - Dinotte style. Some people may not like that but I have both sizes so I'm including it.
    > 1/8 angle bracket cut to size and hardware
    > rear cover plate and hardware

    The case and rear cover plate have a nice bead blasted finish.

    I'm asking $30 for each kit. I'll pick up the shipping charge if it is within the US.

    Here is how I arrived at the $30 price.


    My costs

    Material
    - square aluminum tubing - $100 shipped
    - angle bracket - $15.00
    - rear plate - $10.00
    - polycarbonate - precut $1.00 each ( I had to buy 30)
    - assorted hardware - about $5.00 - $10.00

    Machining - $350.00. My machinist cut and finished 21 cases, the angle bracket to fit inside the case, and made the rear plates. This is a very good price as any of you that have had to work with custum machining will know.

    So my total outlay comes to about $500 ( I know - could have bought a nice light for that!). Divide by 21 and you get about $24.00 for each kit. I'm telling everyone this so they don't think I'm making a profit. And keep in mind that doesn't include my labor. Those of you that have attempted the DIY path for acquiring a bike light know that the case is the most challenging portion. I think this kit will make your task a lot easier.

    So if anyone wants a "kit" send me a message.

    Bob

    PS
    Mr. moderator if this post is inappropriate as it obviously is me selling something let me know and I'll place an ad in the classifieds.
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  29. #29
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    I don't think it is all inappropriate for you to make a profit. Your time and skill are worth something. You know what they call girls who give it away.

    BTW, PM sent.
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

  30. #30
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    That looks Great!

  31. #31
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    Sorry, after clicking on "Quick reply..." I realized I should have just clicked on your name to send a private message, which is what I did.
    Last edited by sloshred; 12-24-2007 at 09:58 PM.

  32. #32
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    Looks great, but didn't you bust your original design criteria #2? (no milling or machining)
    Still, the original was indeed a nice simple design, and the machined version looks terrific!
    Keep up the good work! (and $30 for that kit is a steal)

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    thanksalot

    Coming from the master DIY that means a lot.

    Yea, the thread should read DIY done easy. Cheap is a matter of perspective. For me the experience certainly hasn't been cheap. But it has been fun.

  34. #34
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    Check your PM's il2mb.....I'm interested in one of the lights housings.

    Thanks!

    Brian
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    Well I finally upgraded the case on my DIY. Thought I'd share it with ya.
    That is superb!

  36. #36
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    i'll buy one!

    In case you see this before your private message, I'd like to buy a kit. They look sweeeet!
    sloshred@hotmail.com
    thanks, Ed

  37. #37
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    kit status

    folks,

    I'm down to the last 2 kits. 13 have been sold. There are many of you that have sent PMs telling me that you want a kit but have not sent payment. Each of you has my email address so please email me first if you still want a kit. DO NOT send payment unless you have an email from me after this date and time > 12/27/07 @ 8:15 AM PST. I don't want to have to send money back to you.


    Bob

    PS

    To the scammers trying to phish into my paypal account. Eat SH&*#@!T

  38. #38
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    Light Kit

    Great looking design. Sent you a PM to see if you have any kits left.

    Could be a nice little side business for you.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  39. #39
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    last two

    Update:

    since posting this message there has been a slew of requests. I only have two left so they are on hold for the first two persons that contacted me today. They know who they are. I gave them a deadline to make payment so if they fail to by the time I set I will contact the next person on the list.

    PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY PAYMENTS TO ME THROUGH PAYPAL UNLESS YOU ARE ONE OF THE TWO THAT I EMAILED.

    Thanks

    Bob

    PS
    This is a major pain in the A$$!




    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    folks,

    I'm down to the last 2 kits. 13 have been sold. There are many of you that have sent PMs telling me that you want a kit but have not sent payment. Each of you has my email address so please email me first if you still want a kit. DO NOT send payment unless you have an email from me after this date and time > 12/27/07 @ 8:15 AM PST. I don't want to have to send money back to you.


    Bob

    PS

    To the scammers trying to phish into my paypal account. Eat SH&*#@!T

  40. #40
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    About the PIA part.
    I've been through exactly the same thing and know what you mean

  41. #41
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    Sweet case, I like it! Gotta find a job with access to a machine shop!

  42. #42
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    All cases are sold

    I sold off 15 case "kits." I decided to keep only 6 instead of the 8 I originally posted. There was quite a bit of interest and I think I could have sold another 15 kits had I the parts. Maybe after the first I will do another run.

    To those that bought the case I have already mailed 6 and still need to get the remaining 9 out. I will mail them as fast as I can. I doubt I can get them all out tomorrow but more than likely it will take me until after the first of the year. Several of you asked if I would assist with your light builds - No way!



    Just kidding. You have my email. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I went through 3 prototypes before arriving at my final design. It isn't all that hard but it is easy to make stupid mistakes, as I did, if you don't think through things. I will also post a more detailed parts list and some assembly instructions.

    Good luck.


    Bob

  43. #43
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    improvement: since the tube is machined to make the fins, would it be more efficient for cooling to make the fins perpendicular instead of parallel, like in Hope 4led ?


  44. #44
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    Yes it would be more efficient when your are riding, but I don't think that heat is going to be an issue when you are riding. There are only 2 emitters and quite a lot of aluminium to dissipeat that 6-7 Watt. I am building a light that is half the size (1 inch square tube) with 5 leds, then heat is going to be a serious problem without additional heatsinking.

  45. #45
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    hey, what do you guys think about a pair of thriple Rebel stars (once optics are available) in one of these cases.

    1000 lumens in a small package. is it possible??

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0y0te
    hey, what do you guys think about a pair of thriple Rebel stars (once optics are available) in one of these cases.

    1000 lumens in a small package. is it possible??
    I think that's what everyone's dreaming about.

  47. #47
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    Off course that is possible, the stars will easily fit in the housing. But I was more thinking about putting 10 rebels inside with the Penta Ledil lens, 2000 Lumens @ 1A It can be done, but I am not going to do it. 10 Rebels cost me 70 euro, I'll need 2 Fatman drivers to drive them, 4 Li-ion cells in my standard batterypack won't do the job either, so it would be a bit too expensive joke. I am a roadie so the Penta Rebel I am building is already over-kill, I can only use it on "high" when I am on small roads when there are no cars.

  48. #48
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    I think it is possible to build a triple led light with this housing, but it is going to be tight:


    IMS 17 mm reflectors are 17.6 mm, with a little shaving from the reflectors it should fit. The IMS reflectors are almost as deep as the Ledil square lenses so that shouldn't give problems as well. For myself 3 leds is a lot easier with the electronics, my li-ion packs are 7.4V, so with 2 leds I can't use buck converters and boost converters. As an EE I can make my own lineair very low dropout regulator, but I am lazy sometimes. Soldering a fatman with 3 leds is a lot less work.

  49. #49
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    il2mb, are you going to be making up any more of these (housing) kits and would you be prepared to ship to the UK? Obviously I would have to pay the shipping costs.

    Thanks.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodoo
    il2mb, are you going to be making up any more of these (housing) kits and would you be prepared to ship to the UK? Obviously I would have to pay the shipping costs.

    Thanks.

    I'm thinking about it. This first round didn't fare too well. I underestimated my costs. I'll take a look at it a little closer in the next couple of weeks and decide. The good news is the light generated a lot of interest. I didn't have any problem selling 15 cases @ $30 ea. We'll see what happens if I up the price. One thing I did learn is the "kit" needs to include more stuff - maybe everything a DIY would need to build the light. For example, the kit I sold didn't include a DC jack, trim pot, driver, LEDs, or optics. I left considerable stuff for others to buy. But unless they have access to a good electronics store they might find getting those things a problem. Purchasing online is fine if you don't mind spending $7.00 shipping cost on a $2.56 part. So including those things in the kit will save buyers shipping costs and increase their incentive.

    Bob

  51. #51
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    The problem is that everyone wants something else. Some use AA's other Li-ions, all with different voltages and so different drivers are needed. For me a Fatman driver is fine as step-up, I'll make it multi-level myself but others will prefer a Maxflex cause it is less soldering and calculating. Everyone uses different plugs for their batteries and lightheads. Some prefer a spot light others a wide beam. These are the things that make DIY setup better then a stock lights. When you are going to sell a complete kit, people will ask you to put it also together, but what happens when it is broke after 2 months? When you'd also would give warranty you have become a manufacturer.

    But this doesn't mean we shouldn't professionalize the DIY scene a bit more. For DC plugs and jacks, switches and that kind of things Futurlec is a nice shop. Theire shippingcosts are low, when you'd buy together with a group it would be even less. I'd love to swap a nice li-ion batterypack for a nicely machined housing, but I didn't planned to start commercial building of batterypacks. When there are a lot of people looking for let's say a 4400 mAh 7.4V Liion pack, we should find a company that makes them for a good price.

    Just my $0.01

  52. #52
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    very good comments..

    Quote Originally Posted by super-fast
    The problem is that everyone wants something else. Some use AA's other Li-ions, all with different voltages and so different drivers are needed. For me a Fatman driver is fine as step-up, I'll make it multi-level myself but others will prefer a Maxflex cause it is less soldering and calculating. Everyone uses different plugs for their batteries and lightheads. Some prefer a spot light others a wide beam. These are the things that make DIY setup better then a stock lights. When you are going to sell a complete kit, people will ask you to put it also together, but what happens when it is broke after 2 months? When you'd also would give warranty you have become a manufacturer.

    But this doesn't mean we shouldn't professionalize the DIY scene a bit more. For DC plugs and jacks, switches and that kind of things Futurlec is a nice shop. Theire shippingcosts are low, when you'd buy together with a group it would be even less. I'd love to swap a nice li-ion batterypack for a nicely machined housing, but I didn't planned to start commercial building of batterypacks. When there are a lot of people looking for let's say a 4400 mAh 7.4V Liion pack, we should find a company that makes them for a good price.

    Just my $0.01
    I hear ya. There are a lot of reasons to not do what I'm suggesting. DIY allows maximum configuration options for the person with the skill and time. That is the main reason I jumped into it. However, from reading these threads I think there are far more people that would like to try DIY but are skeptical of their ability. They desire to get into night riding, need a good light but don't want to fork over a lot of money. A well designed DIY kit that minimizes their risk could be just the thing for them. The folks I'm talking about would probably have a narrower design critera than those on this board that are technically strong and have specific needs. For every one DIY person that has actually built a light there are probably 10 others that want one but, for whatever reason, aren't doing it.

    Thanks for the link and comments. Always looking for another good source.

  53. #53
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    Video Review

    Bob, I got one of your light kits from my Daughter for Christmas. It was my best present by far. Really nice work. She said she bugged you to death by email about it - Sorry about that. I would certainly buy another at increased cost. I am sure you could source some parts and offer them as a complete kit, but one thing is everybody has their own preferences for stuff. I would rather keep it simple and just offer the housing.

    A few questions:
    Did the machine shop do all the cutting of the housing and the heatsink? Where did you get the plastic front cover and did they cut to size or did you order a particular size?

    Here is my video review:
    <embed src="http://www.jumpcut.com/media/flash/jump.swf?id=20BD7D88BC9011DCABF1000423CF382E&asset _type=movie&asset_id=20BD7D88BC9011DCABF1000423CF3 82E&eb=1" width="408" height="324" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed>

  54. #54
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    Nice video

    Quote Originally Posted by mjzraz
    Bob, I got one of your light kits from my Daughter for Christmas. It was my best present by far. Really nice work. She said she bugged you to death by email about it - Sorry about that. I would certainly buy another at increased cost. I am sure you could source some parts and offer them as a complete kit, but one thing is everybody has their own preferences for stuff. I would rather keep it simple and just offer the housing.

    A few questions:
    Did the machine shop do all the cutting of the housing and the heatsink? Where did you get the plastic front cover and did they cut to size or did you order a particular size?

    Here is my video review:
    <embed src="http://www.jumpcut.com/media/flash/jump.swf?id=20BD7D88BC9011DCABF1000423CF382E&asset _type=movie&asset_id=20BD7D88BC9011DCABF1000423CF3 82E&eb=1" width="408" height="324" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed>

    Mjzraz,

    I really love the video..

    Yes, the machine shop made the case, rear plate, and the angle bracket. I just provided the material and cad drawing. The angle bracket shines up real nice with 200 grit sandpaper. You may also have to slightly sand down the edges of the polycarbonate to achieve a tight fit in the recessed front of the case. 200 grit sandpaper works good here as well.

    I got the polycarbonate plate from here:

    http://www.professionalplastics.com/...-Glazing-Grade

    They do cut to size. Minimum order is $30. That's why I ended up with so many. Polycarbonate sheet is usually available at your local hardware store. Though I was unable to find the thickness I wanted except online.

    Bob

    PS. You have a great daughter there taking the time to recognize what you really wanted for Christmas.
    Last edited by il2mb; 01-07-2008 at 07:54 PM.

  55. #55
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    Bob

    Very, very, VERY nice indeed, please check yor PM's
    Last edited by yetibetty; 01-07-2008 at 03:26 AM.

  56. #56
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    Edited the video

    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    Mjzraz,
    I really love the video..
    One concern I have is in the video - and I guess this is my fault for not getting some instructions out there - you showed inserting the angle bracket up side down. The long side should face the top of the case to maximize thermal flow. .
    I edited the video - I knew which way it went, but I was holding the camera (a hacked CVS camcorder) in one hand and couldn't get the bracket to slide into position with one hand. After 10 takes later, I finally was able to. I edited the video and the link is the same. I won't win any cinematic awards but.... I can now appreciate what people go through to edit video. Between the kids, the dog, and everything else I had so many interruptions. Plus try explaining why you are taking a video of a hunk of aluminum to a 7 and 14 year old. "Dad - who were you talking to?"

    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    PS. You have a great daughter there taking the time to recognize what you really wanted for Christmas.
    Yeah - She saw me geeking out on the laptop on the forums and asked what I was looking at and I explained it all to her with my Wife rolling here eyes about me and my "flashlights"

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by super-fast
    I think it is possible to build a triple led light with this housing, but it is going to be tight:

    IMS 17 mm reflectors are 17.6 mm, with a little shaving from the reflectors it should fit. The IMS reflectors are almost as deep as the Ledil square lenses so that shouldn't give problems as well.
    I have one of Bob's housings - What kind of beam would you get with 3 IMS 17MM reflectors VS 2 square Ledil optics? (one Smooth Spot 8 deg and one Diffuser 10 deg)

    Would the fact that there are 240+ additional lumens compensate for a tighter spot? I guess what I wouldn't want is a super tight spot that has no spill and isn't usable on the trails. I would rather have less overall light if it were more usable but...I would love to have 3 LEDs in this housing.

    Another (expensive) option would be six Rebels each with it's own McR-12 Rebel Reflector. That would be 6 x $13 = $78 just in reflectors

  58. #58
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    I have some limited experience with IMS 20 mm reflectors, the thing I like about is that they are very focussed. But when you shave of a from the bottom you can make the hotspot as wide as you'd want. Khatod has also some reflectors, both narrow and wide beam. But I am afraid the wide beam is to wide for my needs (a helmet light). They are sold for $4 piece @CPF, that is a price I like a lot better then that aluminium McR's. I skip aluminium reflectors until I find someone that can cnc a nice housing for me including the reflectors. That would be the ultimate, then I could design the perfect beam -> no light going to the sky. But it would be a terrible job to make it and a lot of prototypes before it will work properly.

  59. #59
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    Mr. moderator if this post is inappropriate as it obviously is me selling something let me know and I'll place an ad in the classifieds.
    Hi, Bob!

    First of all, don't call me mister!

    Second, I was away on holidays for the past weeks so i didn't see your post before. However it would be best if you buy an ad if you plan on selling more housings in the future.

    Cheers.

  60. #60
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    2 days ago I received my housing (I think the plain had some delays ). So I could check my calculations for inner height and length of the housing. The housing is an half mm higher then I calculated but 3 mm shorter in the other direction. So that makes it impossible to fit 17 mm relfectors without modifying. With 2 17 mm reflectors there is only place left for something with a diameter of 14 mm. I think I'll give it a try, I already wasted so much money trying out things these last few bucks for a few extra reflectors doesn't matter anymore.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by super-fast
    . So that makes it impossible to fit 17 mm relfectors without modifying. With 2 17 mm reflectors there is only place left for something with a diameter of 14 mm. I think I'll give it a try
    Super-Fast - Good stuff. Here was my crude hand drawing (to scale) of the housing with 3 reflectors and I came up with about the same thing. So what if we did this: Two 17mm Khatod reflectors (LINK) one in the 6 degree and one in the 35 degree and then a 14mm reflector of some sort? Does that even exist? I found a 16mm HERE

    I wish I could find some beam shots with 17mm reflectors out there.

    I am guessing the KCLP17ST are the stippled version and are 35 degrees. Looks like they are still available HERE

    If this doesn't work out, I was thinking of waiting around for a pair of the triple Rebel stars I have been seeing. I read in one thread that they were expecting an optic in Feb or so of 2008. Two Endor stars could put over 1000 lumens in this light housing. The good thing about this design is that the right angle bracket could be swapped out later for an upgrade to something newer without a ton of trouble.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/mjzraz/LEDBikeLightDIY/photo#5154229518056469314"><img src="http://lh6.google.com/mjzraz/R4eAcDqWs0I/AAAAAAAAA8Y/-i4aR1sTISo/s400/IMG_7028.JPG" /></a>

  62. #62
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    Yep, your drawing is right. I am thinking what the best solution would be. With shaving the outside from the reflectors it is possible to save 1-2 (??) mm. I'll order some 17 mm reflectors (and some spare ones) this weekend at CPF, my Seouls are shipped from DealExtreme, so in 2 weeks I should have everything and I will try a few things.

  63. #63
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    This project was really cheap.

    Luxeon K2's $5.60 ea.
    Lense holders .25 ea.
    Lenses $2.60ea.
    Driver is from DealExtreme pkg of 4 for $6.50
    Aluminum .125 x 6" x12" from the local hobby shop $8
    Screws, wire, thermal compound, Heatsink from computer CPU................all free

    Total......Less than $30

    I can get any cheap a$$ battery to run it as long as it's 9v.

    Cheap but alot of work in the housing using only a dremel tool. The driver is rated to deliver 800mA but my DMM meter says 1020mA. In the pic with the power supply the mA reading is actually double because I have it set to parallel output. This is a really bright little light. Will be great for commuting or I will probably build another one and mount them on the helmet.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mofoki; 01-11-2008 at 09:51 PM.

  64. #64
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    I think you need a power supply with a higher current output...

  65. #65
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    If you read the post I mentioned the power supply's meter. This is a tripple output power supply. I have it set to parallel in the picture which is putting out double the current display's value. It is putting 1amp to those lit LED's. I would like to get a higher output supply for the fun of it but it's really not needed. Any build done with the current leds on the market can only handle (long term) 1000mA safely.

  66. #66
    I spelled Knievel wrong
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    I'm fairly certain that K2s can handle 1.5A safely. You definitely have enough heatsinking on this housing! These drivers would get your output up there and only require 3 - 6 V input:

    http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Produ...px?TranID=1806

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mofoki
    If you read the post I mentioned the power supply's meter. This is a tripple output power supply. I have it set to parallel in the picture which is putting out double the current display's value. It is putting 1amp to those lit LED's. I would like to get a higher output supply for the fun of it but it's really not needed. Any build done with the current leds on the market can only handle (long term) 1000mA safely.
    Sorry, I forgot to put any smilies in my last post. I meant it only in jest. I've got a similar power supply here at work.

  68. #68
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    I placed an order with Kaidomain once back in Oct or Nov and never got the board I ordered. Insted they sent me a bag of led keychains that I recieved the day before Xmas. I complained but it didn't do any good.

    I always say, "Screw me once,Shame on you. Screw me twice, Shame on me."

    I'm not dumb enough to order anything from them again.

  69. #69
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    Kai and DX are slow on some items. Still have a open order from November 2007. when they out of stock, it's a long wait. if you are lucky, then it's 4 weeks.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by mofoki
    I placed an order with Kaidomain once back in Oct or Nov and never got the board I ordered. Insted they sent me a bag of led keychains that I recieved the day before Xmas. I complained but it didn't do any good.

    I always say, "Screw me once,Shame on you. Screw me twice, Shame on me."

    I'm not dumb enough to order anything from them again.
    KD is every bit as reliable as Cutter, DealExtreme, or any of the overseas internet shops. You're going to wait a long time if they are out of stock on an item and communication will be mediocre at best. Pardon me for pointing out a driver that could drive your K2s to their potential. What are you going to do when DX does you wrong? Flame them on the forums too?

  71. #71
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    If you consider KD to be reliable then you have my permission to spend your money there, and I hope you spend alot. Eventually you'll get taken and I can say I told you so. I'm lucky it was only $3.10 this time, what if it would have been $50 or $100. I have no way to get my money back from those little Chinese bastards. Safer to deal in the US with Taskled.

  72. #72
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    Bob, what kind of power connection did you use on the back of this thing?
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

  73. #73
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    would you sell me one of these

    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    Well I finally upgraded the case on my DIY. Thought I'd share it with ya.
    I am very impressed with your light and do not have the confidence to pull this off on my own. if you would let me know how much you would be looking for one.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddielee70
    Kai and DX are slow on some items. Still have a open order from November 2007. when they out of stock, it's a long wait. if you are lucky, then it's 4 weeks.
    You are right, I are waiting an order from 11-3-2007 and still I don't have recived nothing...above all, Kai works very, very bad!!!!! I are very, very make angry with them...GRRRRRRRRR

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  75. #75
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    Has anyone built up one of these cases up yet. i scooped up one from il2mb as soon as he put em out there, and wow. it looks cool. alot smaller than the pictures suggests.

    I'm planning on using Cree R2 stars, fatman driver, 6V battery, L&M helmet mount. I'm still debating on optics, connectors, switches

    Just curious what everyone else is doing.

  76. #76
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    ... and if we just ...

    Mine is 90% complete. I am waiting on a battey from All-Battery (14.8v lion)
    this is what I used
    2 Cree Q5's
    2 Ledil CRS-SS (7degree)
    Buck buck with dimming
    On/Off Switch from Radio Shack.
    Also used an old Niterider mount for helmet

    I have it powerd off a 9v to "play with it" . It is very bright, but may be to spotty, but will find out next week if the weather is decent (above 15F)

    I did have to sand the buckpuck just a very slight amount to make it fit, it is tight.

    Good luck with yours!

  77. #77
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    My plan

    Quote Originally Posted by k0y0te
    Has anyone built up one of these cases up yet. i scooped up one from il2mb as soon as he put em out there, and wow. it looks cool. alot smaller than the pictures suggests.

    I'm planning on using Cree R2 stars, fatman driver, 6V battery, L&M helmet mount. I'm still debating on optics, connectors, switches

    Just curious what everyone else is doing.
    I've got one of these too. I'm still waiting for stuff to come in, but here's the parts/store list:


    I decided to go with the buckpuck and 14.8v battery so that the bar/headlight are the same voltage.

    Wish I could find somewhere in ABQ to get the Buckpuck and AAA. Those are the missing pieces.
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  78. #78
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    Do you have a link or part # for the rubber boot you used??

  79. #79
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    Marine/Boat Place

    Quote Originally Posted by jspell
    Do you have a link or part # for the rubber boot you used??
    I took the switch to a boat place and asked them for a boot. For what it would cost to mail one from an online store, I could make a mold and pour one myself (clay/mold builder latex).
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by super-fast
    Yep, your drawing is right. I am thinking what the best solution would be. With shaving the outside from the reflectors it is possible to save 1-2 (??) mm. I'll order some 17 mm reflectors (and some spare ones) this weekend at CPF, my Seouls are shipped from DealExtreme, so in 2 weeks I should have everything and I will try a few things.
    Super-Fast - What's your build status? Did you get your 17mm reflectors yet? I am interested in some trial fit info... I am wondering if a combination of shaving reflectors and a mm or so and shaving a mm or so pocket in the housing might fit 3 17's in there.
    If so what do you think of 2 Khatod spots and one wide in the center? as a helmet light?

  81. #81
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    I didn't ordered the reflectors yet, but I will do it in a few hours so I will have them in less then a week. I will start with shaving the 3 reflectors without destroying the reflecting layer, then I will see or there is enough space. Otherwise I'll need to do some additionel shaving, but I am not sure where at this moment. (Some thinking needs to be done then).

    I will order only reflectors with a tight beam. When it is to spotty, I'll shave a bit from the reflectors at the bottomside, that will make a bigger hotspot.

  82. #82
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    Great housing! Can you get a 3" version w/ same wall thickness?

    I love this housing design. It has everything I'm looking for except one thing. I want to run three LEDs. However, I'm bumping into one minor problem. Going to 3x1 aluminum tubing bumps the wall thickness up from 0.065" to 0.125". This ends up leaving an inside height of 0.75" or 19.05mm (compared to the wonderfully perfect 22.1mm that the 0.065" walls allow). The Ledil optics are 21.6mm. Has anyone looked for tubing that is 3x1x0.065"?

    While I know that there are work-arounds for this problem, I am hoping that I can just find some 3x1 with the thinner walls.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Rich

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbeans
    I love this housing design. It has everything I'm looking for except one thing. I want to run three LEDs. However, I'm bumping into one minor problem. Going to 3x1 aluminum tubing bumps the wall thickness up from 0.065" to 0.125".
    I wanted to run 3 LED's too. I bought some 1.5"x3" to compensate for the wall thickness. I'm waiting for optics from Cutter. I'll have 3 different optics to choose from. I'm going to be more patient this time and pick which ones will throw the most light the furthest.

  84. #84
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    I don' know why you guys don't just go to your local salvage yard or recycling dump and scavage some tubing from old awnings or something. Hobby shops have unique stuff too. Seach Tower Hobbies web page for things you can use. Hope some of this helps.

  85. #85
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    Hey Mofo. Let's not get crazy with the salvaging and recycling stuff. One thing leads to another, and someone will be suggesting dumpster diving. Seriously though, I've been looking for something that I can get again if I want it. In addition, something that everyone else can get easily. The online metal suppliers were not that expensive and shipping was reasonable.

  86. #86
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    I thought the topic of this thread was "DIY Done Cheap".

    Want to talk about being cheap, look at this;

    I decided to expand on the dual and make it a quad. I had the LEDs and didn't know what I was going to do with them. I know it isn't done yet but I wanted to show my creativity and what I meant by salvaging stuff and making unique light sets. I had this tube from an old pump and spare parts ordered from Future a long time ago, I got the UHMW from work. The end caps are from some handlebar plug ends that everyone has lying around. I had a few of those drivers from DX left over. Pretty much this thing is hardly costing me anything. The big item is going to be the battery.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mofoki; 01-26-2008 at 11:07 AM.

  87. #87
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    Minature machine screws

    Can il2mb or anyone else give me advice on where I can find machine screws small enough to use with that 0.065 sidewall? I've looked everywhere and I'm striking out. Also, il2mb what size did you use.

    Also, will I be back for help after looking for a drill bit for pilot holes? How hard is a bit this size to find? Any suggestions there?

  88. #88
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    The holes are drilled and tapped for 1-72 thread if you're talking about the holes at the back of the housing for attaching the rear plate (hardware was provided). Are you drilling additional holes? Why? Where?

    Small machine screws in reasonable quantities can be purchased here:

    http://www.mcmaster.com/

    Some hardware shops will maintain a stock of 1-72 hardware though.


    Bob

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    Thanks!

    That is the exact info that I need! Thanks for the help.

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    ...
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  91. #91
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    Mofoki, thats a nice build. I was looking at ponoko yesterday, which is a "you design it we laser cut it" service. Not doing metals yet, but the cutting place in town here will do 8mm Al!
    I'm imagining a getting half a dozen lights off a small sheet.

  92. #92
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    Thankx but as it turns out this design didn't work so well. The board got too hot and blew a component on it. If you look close enough you can see it in the pic. It ran for three hours on it's highest setting ( 1200mA ). Appearently the heatsinking wasn't enough. One would think based on the chart of sample setups on the Tasled website that running four leds using approximately 11.1v the driver would be running efficiantly enough and not producing a whole lot of heat. As you can see from the design none of the heat produced from the leds was getting to the board. I checked the board for heat several times while it was running and it wasn't even really warm to the touch. George said he could fix the board and I'm going to do that but next time I'll set the thermal protection in the UI. I have my doubts about building any more boosting designs. I've had mostly bad luck with them when running for long periods of time.
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    Last edited by mofoki; 02-02-2008 at 04:35 PM.

  93. #93
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    For some reason I cannot upload a pic now.

    Damn! I'm having a really good day.

    After giving some thought to the heatsinking of the Maxflex I've come up with an idea. I'm going to change that little square aluminum plate in the front and I'm going to design something alot bigger and ressembles a set of bull horns. That should not only have more cooling effects but give this build a cool factor too. Any other suggestions as to what I can put in place of the plate?
    Last edited by mofoki; 02-02-2008 at 08:04 PM.

  94. #94
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    mofoki Really a great job!!!

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  95. #95
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    But the design isn't really good at all. It looks very heavy with the big heatsinks and the weight isn't in the center of the helmet.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by super-fast
    But the design isn't really good at all. It looks very heavy with the big heatsinks and the weight isn't in the center of the helmet.
    Hi, don't are bad, chap it isn't a perfect work, but which it is?

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by super-fast
    But the design isn't really good at all. It looks very heavy with the big heatsinks and the weight isn't in the center of the helmet.
    I wouldn't even call this one a design. I just used a bunch of scrap parts and came up with a way to use the K2's. I really don't care if it works or not but I'll keep pissing with it for something to do. As for the weight, I know from your point of view it looks heavy but it's amazingly light. I couldn't tell that they were there much when I mounted the helmet on my noggin. Honestly, who really cares what these things look like at night anyway, as long as they throw some kick azz light.

  98. #98
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    Got it done

    Well, I finished up last night:

    Cree XR-E, R2
    fatman driver @ 1A
    6V niterider battery
    L&M helmet mount
    ledil optics (7 deg smooth spot & 9 deg diffused spot)

    I was looking to build a good tight spot to use primarily as a helmet light.

    I am really surprised how bright this thing is. I currently have a L&M Solo and a Niterider Trailrat. This light blows them away...

    Clean and simple. On/off switch only. I originally intended to use the blue switch as a dimmer and to install an inline power switch. The more that I considered it, the more I thought simple is the way to go.

    One minor change that I made was to flip the internal L bracket upside down. I threaded a hole through the bottom, and used the helmet mount bracket screw to secure everything. So the only visible screw heads are the ones that hold the back cover on.

    I added a 3mm red led to the back. hopefully it will help make me more visible to cars when I road ride.

    L&M helmet mount works well. I had to fab a small plastic offset on the bottom of the light to fasten to the helmet mount.

    I do have one BIG complaint. NOW I'M ADDICTED!!! I started looking into my next light project before I was half way done with this one....

    Thanks Bob.
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  99. #99
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    Nice work k0y0te. I got the same housing and just got the lens from cutter. Now I need to decide on the driver. Anyway, can you post pictures of how you attached it to the helmet mount? Any pictures of the wiring would be great too.
    Thanks!

  100. #100
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    great job!

    k0y0te,

    I was beginning to think none of the housings I sold would result in a functional light.

    Very sharp looking. Yes it is addicting - but don't blame me.



    Bob

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