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  1. #1
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    DIY dual cree light

    Hi All, i have been putting off a LED light build for a while and i have finally orderd some parts to get things going. I have posted a similar question on CPF so sorry if you read that forum also.

    I have ordered 2x cree drop in modules from Ebay. i am currently working on a housing that will look similar to this design http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=162245

    i have a couple of questions in relation to powering it up. I have a 9.6v 3ah battery that i would like to use. would i be best wiring it up in series?

    If i were to use a batterypack that takes 4x AA's to reduce the size and mount the pack on my helmet, Would i be best wiring it up in parrellel?

    I will post up pic's as soon as i get the design sorted.

    Thanks for any help you guys can give me.

    G

    FRONT


    BACK


    DROPIN MODULE


    BATTERY - OPTION 1 - MAKITA


    BATTERY - OPTION 2 - HELMET MOUNT
    Last edited by Pitto; 06-20-2007 at 06:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    another style i had in mind


  3. #3
    Spanish biker
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    Hi, the picture are well, now you have that do it reality

    Greetings - Saludos
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  4. #4
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    yes, the waiting game has started, just need the dropins to get here and i can start the build.

    G

  5. #5
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    I'd forget about the 4AA pack, and just go with the 9.6v, 3A pack and a bFlex (taskled.com) to drive the dual LED light (wire them in series). Not sure what kind of beam you will get from the drop-ins. Probably more of a spot light beam intended for flashlights, which may be fine if that's what you want. Also, do you know if the Crees are XR-Es and do you know what bin you are getting. All worth considering.

    It's all about experimentation... have fun!

  6. #6
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    the drop ins have their own built in regulators, so they are a lens+emitter+regulator built in a compact unit. it worked out more cost effective to do it this way rather than build from scratch, the downside is yes, the lenses are more of a spot than a wider spread, but it should be fine.

    the 3ah 9.6v battery is a stick battery for my cordless drill. i have a 1 hour charger at home for it so it simplifies the setup somewhat. i should get good running time out of it thats for sure.

    G

  7. #7
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    hoping the dropins land today, as i am keen to get started.

    heres a new design i am going to aim for.



    G

  8. #8
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    Nice.
    Do you plan to cover the front with anything to protect the LEDs from the elements?

  9. #9
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    just wathcing ebay at the moment for a glass cutter and then i will butcher a bit of 2mm glass from a picture frame. a little tidy up on the belt sander and then some tiny dobs of silicon should do the trick nicely.

    G

  10. #10
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    actually, work has come into possession of some optical grade 3mm lexan polycarbonate which i think would machine up great on the cnc.

    G

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto
    actually, work has come into possession of some optical grade 3mm lexan polycarbonate which i think would machine up great on the cnc.

    G
    I think that would be safer than glass.

  12. #12
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    Not to knock on Achesalot's design, because it is a great one. But if i had access to a CNC machine I would go for a round tube and press fit the assemblies into it, add a step to the end for an O ring and glass. Round is better than square for several reasons especially if you have the equipment to work with it.

    my 1/2 cent

  13. #13
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    its not a Milling CNC, more of a flatbed CNC for doing Joinery.

    I see what you mean though.

    G

  14. #14
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    dropins landed on my desk today, time to buy some components from the local electronics shop and get down to building.

    G

  15. #15
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    found some black anodised tube and some plastic stoppers.

    time to start the build shortly.



    Last edited by Pitto; 07-05-2007 at 05:11 PM.

  16. #16
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    "That's hot."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto
    found some black anodised tube and some plastic stoppers.

    time to start the build shortly.



    WTF did you find that anodised black tubing? Damn.... that looks nice!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto
    found some black anodised tube and some plastic stoppers.

    time to start the build shortly.



    WTF did you find that anodised black tubing? Damn.... that looks nice!

  19. #19
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    it was bought at the local hardware store.

    heres the web page for the manufacturer.

    http://www.rcr.com.au/connect-it/

    G

  20. #20
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    finally sorted the mounting system out. building will start shortly.



    G

  21. #21
    Gone riding
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    Looking forward to the build log and finished light!

    Dave.

  22. #22
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    i am pretty much 95% there. i just need to sort out a small table for my router, then i can start the fabrication process.

    i have done a test run on my work CNC for the polycarb lenses and they look great. the tolerances were off a bit so i have to re run them so they are a tighter fit inside the tubing. i also only have 4 cree p4 dropins at the moment and would like to get 2 more in a SSC config for helmet mounting. but i think it can wait till i build the bar mounted versions first. i will however machine the housing up for it so its just a matter of mounting the dropins and a bit of soldering.

    I will take a heap of pics when i get the ball rolling shortly. The CAD work is easy, now here comes the hard part.

    G

  23. #23
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    I like.....looking forward to seeing the plans and the how to do it's!
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  24. #24
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    regulator questions

    i am in a bit of a quandrum. i have done the mounts to my LED lights i am building and i had 2x drop ins wired in series and when i hooked up 9.6vc, both blew thier regulators. the p4's are ok, but i have now ordered some replacement regulators from DX and should get here next week.

    my question is, i have 9.6v, 3000ah battery and i want to drive 2x p4 leds. can i run 2x p4 leds and use only 1 regulator to drive it? ifnot, whats the best way to acheive this.

    heres the link to the regulator.

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

  25. #25
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    Those drivers can only handle an input up to 9 volts so a 9.6v input will blow the driver

    You really want to look at a 3023 DE or a nflex/blfex driver from taskled as those can manage input voltages above what you are looking at. Otherwise you are looking at two seperate drivers and battery packs.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle
    Those drivers can only handle an input up to 9 volts so a 9.6v input will blow the driver
    Jups, but 8 NiMH/NiCD cells fresh off the charger are more like 11,6V, maybe even more.

  27. #27
    Gone riding
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    You should get away with just one of those regulators driving both of your emitters, but you’d still likely have issues with your pack voltage.

    If you want to keep your current pack, I think the easiest way out would be to look at an alternative driver with a wider input voltage range. The nFlex and bFlex from Task LED are excellent drivers, and would be the way to go in my opinion.

    Another alternative for you could be the “Downboy” or “Sun of Buck (SOB)” drivers which may suit you better due to their smaller size. Check them out at The Sandwich Shoppe.

    Dave.

  28. #28
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    What gives? It seems most the photos in this thread don't work...

    BM
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  29. #29
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    what about these Regulators?

    http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut763

    and i will still be able to use my 9.6v battery packs.






  30. #30
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    It looks like a nice little driver, although I notice that it will only handle a total forward voltage of 4.5 volts.

    This means you will only be able to drive one LED per driver.

  31. #31
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    so i will be up for 4 of them, but save the money of buying a 7.2v battery.

    G

  32. #32
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    New question here. Maybe photobucket...

    Quote Originally Posted by bmadau
    What gives? It seems most the photos in this thread don't work...

    BM
    Me too. I'd like to check out the design if possible.
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein

  33. #33
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    @Pitto, take a look at some other drivers for example from the Sandwich shoppe or Taskled. They have drivers that you can use with 2 (or more) leds connected in serie, they are a bit more expensive, but when you'd want to add dimming for example later on it will be a lot easier and less complicated.
    But when you'd want to power 4 leds from your 9,6V battery you can also use a step-up driver like the Fatman from Taskled or the Shark driver from the Sandwich shoppe.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto
    what about these Regulators?

    http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut763

    and i will still be able to use my 9.6v battery packs.





    Pitto, where did you get the endcaps for the square tube?

    BTW, wouldn't the figure above present 9.6V to each light? You will need a buck controller to keep the lights in regulation.
    I use a boost controller with my LED lights.

  35. #35
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    yes, thats right, the 9.6v it so each light, there is a "Y" loom cable that connects to both lights.

    the Tubing was from a Hardware store over here ine AUS, called Bunnings. its primary use is for RTA shelving and they sell endcaps and T joiners for the tubing.

    G

  36. #36
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    Alrighty, heres an updated schematic that im trying to do. i have also attached images of the housings i have made, there are two, but have pics of one.

    G











    and yes, the images in my last post have gone due to photobucket links changing. tnx

    G

  37. #37
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    You are always going to have 9.6v going to the LED's with a 9.6v battery pack(allowing for charge fluctuations). The driver is to regulate that current for the LED, but it has upper and lower limits as well. WIth that many drivers you would have a lot of redundancy, but a lot of inefficancy as well. No matter how many times you split it it will still be 9.6v (allowing for current drop due to connections and resistance)

  38. #38
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    So ideally, the supplied voltage should be as close to the forward voltage of the leds

    so if i series'd two leds together [6.8v roughly] and used 1x regulator. i could use a 7.2v battery pack instead? [ .4v difference?]

    So regulators only sort out the current only, not voltage.

    G

  39. #39
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    Drivers do both, but eachone has limits on the range of voltages and currents it can handle/produce

    Depending on your driver it is going to either buck(drop down the voltage down to the Vf) or boost (raise the voltage to the Vf of the led's)
    Both make sure that the power is at a constant level i.e. 1000mah

    The trick is to find a regulator that will handle your input voltage, in this case 9.6v and drive the led's at the proper level.

    You should have a little over the minimum forward voltage from your battery pack at its full discharge when using a buck driver so that the Led's stay in regulation. For a boost You need to get a close to the forward voltage of the LED's at inital charge.

    So with two leds in series you have a forward voltage of 7v or 3.5vX2=7v

    You have a 9.6v battery pack with a minimal voltage of I would guess 9 volts without knowing the exact battery make up.

    so you need a buck driver that can handle 10volts(due to batteries charging beyond their rated volts at initial charge) and will drive 2 leds in series at 1000mah.When the battery is total spent it will be down around 9 volts and the LED's will slowly go dim as the batteries can no longer sustain them at 1000ma. If you drop below the magic 7 volts with your battery pack I am pretty sure the LED's will just turn off(although I have never tested this).

    With 4 Led's as in your last drawing you would be looking at a boost driver like the fatman from www.taskled.com. It can handle an input voltage up to 12v and can drive at 1000ma.

    This works becasue your forward voltage with 4 Leds is around 3.5 X4=14V so your 9.6 volt battery won't overcome the forward voltage when wired in series unless you use a boost driver that bumps up the voltage from your 9.6 source to the 14v source.

    make sense?

  40. #40
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    Right, ok.

    So, having said all that. disregarding my second schematic, if i want to use my 9.6v batterypack, and use one driver per light and series them up as per the first schematic i need something that will take the higher voltage, but can also output the voltage also.

    something like this maybe?

    https://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/Prod...px?TranID=2982
    http://www.micro-bridge.com/data/CRpowtech/PT4105E.pdf

    i have chekced out the Taskled site, but i will be up for 2 regulators and the cost is starting to climb, so i am looking at trying to get out of it with minimal outlay on the driver.

    Thanks for everyones help so far.

    G

  41. #41
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    correct

  42. #42
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    the only issue is i cant find the output voltage on the Kaidomain driver, or the pdf data sheet.
    the data sheet shows 2x LED's in series, so i assume its ok.

    G

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto
    the only issue is i cant find the output voltage on the Kaidomain driver, or the pdf data sheet.
    the data sheet shows 2x LED's in series, so i assume its ok.

    G
    Sandwich Shoppe Converters
    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.co...cPath=48_49_61

    Taskled
    http://www.taskled.com/

    IMO, I would avoid the cheap converters. Kaidomain and Dealextreme are good for somethings but this is not one of them.

    For a boost controller, the fully charged battery pack should measure as close to the total Vf of LED's to keep them in regulation.

    For a buck controller, just make sure the battery's lowest voltage limit (I am assuming integrated battery protection) is above the total Vf of the LED's.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by brum
    Jups, but 8 NiMH/NiCD cells fresh off the charger are more like 11,6V, maybe even more.

    Yeah, just checked the fully charged battery, 10.6v

  45. #45
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    update.

    i have finshed building both light units and bench tested them. i get 2.5hours out of them and i am happy with that. i dont ride for more than that anyways.

    heres the schematic. it works a treat, after i had some initial issues with the wiring of the leds. i learnt alot about leds with this build. its very addictive, i want to build a mk2, but will enjoy these fore a while.



    images to come after i test ride them.

    G

  46. #46
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    heres the mounted lights, they will have zip ties on them in use to help hold the lights on the bars. the clips are a tight fit on the bars.

    i still need to look at getting some glass, or acrylic lenses. next job

    the beam is a spot, very tight, very much like a pencil beam with car spotlights. i have a trilux helmet light which will give me a flood and these will light up the track further down as well as providing me with "shadowing" of trail features that generally gets lost with high mounted helmet lights. i cant wait to give them a trail run. next time i think i would buy emmiters, lenses & kennan regulators seperately as you have more options with the leds. i also thought that making the mounts for the dropins would be easy, but was far from it. Anchalots method of using ledil lenses is the way to go.

    G



  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto
    update.

    i have finshed building both light units and bench tested them. i get 2.5hours out of them and i am happy with that. i dont ride for more than that anyways.
    G
    When was the last time you rode that long Pitto?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruz
    When was the last time you rode that long Pitto?





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