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  1. #1
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    DIY Triple Cree XR-E Q5--Maglite Mod

    Here is another DIY LED light that my brother and I have been scheming. Three Cree XRE Q5 LED's on star boards. TaskLED maxflex driver. 7.2 VDC Li-Ion, 4200 mA-hr battery. The lens is a "medium" focus with the bulk of the energy concentrated in a 30 degree cone, but as you can see there is significant spill, making this light an ideal bar-mount. I rode with a large group of riders, all with ~$400 HID lamps this past Wednesday night for 2 hours of nightriding. Although the HID's all had a more concentrated beam with higher spot intensity, I would guess that my light matched or surpassed theirs in terms of total lumens...but my opinion is perhaps a bit subjective. anyway, fun project ...soon too be complimented by a smaller (single LED) helmet mount light. that's my next project.
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  2. #2
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    ...a few more photos

    ... mas fotos ...
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  3. #3
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    very cool

    Congrats on the build. That 3 - Cree Q5 combo is a killer. Why did you make the cut-outs I see in the pic - to lessen the weight? How much does it weigh?

    I hope we get more folks taking the DIY approach. Puts a little heat on the mainstream manufacturers if the DIY option gets easier and cheaper.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=il2mb]Congrats on the build. That 3 - Cree Q5 combo is a killer. Why did you make the cut-outs I see in the pic - to lessen the weight? How much does it weigh?
    QUOTE]

    Thanks.

    There is a HEAP of mass in the head of a maglite. The 'cutouts' remove significant weight. They also increase surface area and decrease wall thickness to more efficiently transfer heat.

    Everything included (battery, mount, cables, lighthead) weighs one pound; the light is a bit more than half of the total. My scale is only accurate to 0.1 lb, so no uber accurate weights.

  5. #5
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    Nice work. Was that a C or D cell mag? I'm looking to do a similar thing with a 2C, but will keep it in a proper torch setup rather than for a bike light.

  6. #6
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    Nice!! So does it work better on the Turner or the Litespeed?

    Can't wait to try S/N 2

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DireWolf
    Nice!! So does it work better on the Turner or the Litespeed?

    Can't wait to try S/N 2


    I think that's a trick question!

    ...but seriously, I found I was running the light at full output more frequently with my singlespeed (Litespeed) and at about 75% most of the time on my Spot. I guess singlespeed demands more precision through the techy sections and as you well know, the Spot is a magic carpet ride.

    S/N 2 almost ready bro. Just a bit more soldering.

  8. #8
    I don't huck.
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    Very nice light pattern.

    Couple of questions from a newbie. How precise does the placement of the LEDS need to be on the, I guess it is aluminum, backing plate to hit the lense correctly?

    Did the lense just replace the maglight front reflector cover or did you keep the maglight one as well? Source or part number for the lense?
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  9. #9
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    Hi, nice job!!!!

    Don't put very hot the maxflex circuit??

    Greetings - Saludos

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

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  10. #10
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    Wow, I've been going over doing something like this in my head for the past few weeks. I, too, was thinking of trimming off the very back of the head but I was going to make a plate that seals the back side that doubles as the handlebar mount extension. I like your idea better.

    Very nicely done!

  11. #11
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    some answers

    the back cap is the tail cap from the maglite, but trimmed and milled out to reduce weight. I put a spotface for the switch (and on my bro's version for a cable clamp). The cap is bonded to the head with black epoxy.

    the mount is a Light-and-Motion handlebar mount. the second light (for my brother) uses a different sort...but the idea is similar. a flat is machined into the side of the housing and the mount is screwed down. my hope is that if I WHACK the light into a tree that the mount will break, not the light.

    the real trick was the aluminum disc that the LED's mount to. it sits on the shoulder inside the housing so there is direct contact for heat transfer. the white crud you see in the photos is heat sink compound. messy stuff. The thickness of this aluminum disc is important, as it defines where the lense sits in relation to the LED's and in relation to the housing. I have a vertical mill and an assortment of end-mills that I used to do the machining.

    i didn't use the maglite lens cover...just the one I bought, but i needed to put a thicker O-ring between the clamp ring and the lens to create a seal. the lens is purchased from Marubeni America Corporation. info@led-spot.com. they make lenses for various LED manufacturers, single/triple, wide/med/spot, etc.

    yes, it is important to line up the LED's with the lens...but the lens sort of helps center them during the glueing process.

    Si, MSXTR, el pcb maxflex mantenga el calor adentro de la luz y ademas adentro del "heat shrink", pero el calor producido del pcb es solo ~1-2 Watts (menos que 15% del poder usado en total). mejor usar un heatsink, pero no hay espacio. ojala no rompe...el tiempo lo dira.

    cheers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootz
    the back cap is the tail cap from the maglite, but trimmed and milled out to reduce weight. I put a spotface for the switch (and on my bro's version for a cable clamp). The cap is bonded to the head with black epoxy.

    the mount is a Light-and-Motion handlebar mount. the second light (for my brother) uses a different sort...but the idea is similar. a flat is machined into the side of the housing and the mount is screwed down. my hope is that if I WHACK the light into a tree that the mount will break, not the light.

    the real trick was the aluminum disc that the LED's mount to. it sits on the shoulder inside the housing so there is direct contact for heat transfer. the white crud you see in the photos is heat sink compound. messy stuff. The thickness of this aluminum disc is important, as it defines where the lense sits in relation to the LED's and in relation to the housing. I have a vertical mill and an assortment of end-mills that I used to do the machining.

    i didn't use the maglite lens cover...just the one I bought, but i needed to put a thicker O-ring between the clamp ring and the lens to create a seal. the lens is purchased from Marubeni America Corporation. info@led-spot.com. they make lenses for various LED manufacturers, single/triple, wide/med/spot, etc.

    yes, it is important to line up the LED's with the lens...but the lens sort of helps center them during the glueing process.

    Si, MSXTR, el pcb maxflex mantenga el calor adentro de la luz y ademas adentro del "heat shrink", pero el calor producido del pcb es solo ~1-2 Watts (menos que 15% del poder usado en total). mejor usar un heatsink, pero no hay espacio. ojala no rompe...el tiempo lo dira.

    cheers.


    Hablas español?? Guauuuuuuuu!!!!

    Te lo preguntaba por que yo me me comprado una maxflex y aún tengo que montarla y claro, no quiero estropearla, o sea que mejor le pongo un disipador (heatsink) para que no se estropee, no?

    Gracias por la respuesta

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  13. #13
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    Mofoki's Mag Mod

    Been following both these posts with interest as I have a cannibalized D cell mag ready to go. In the post link, he mentions not having enough spill yet your pics seem to show quite a bit. Any thoughts on the diffs?

    LED placement in relation to the lens maybe?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootz
    i didn't use the maglite lens cover...just the one I bought, but i needed to put a thicker O-ring between the clamp ring and the lens to create a seal. the lens is purchased from Marubeni America Corporation. info@led-spot.com. they make lenses for various LED manufacturers, single/triple, wide/med/spot, etc.

    I looked at that site and they do not list an MR-16 lens for the Cree XR-E Q5...or at least I can't find it yet. Any part number on the lens you have?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtroy
    I looked at that site and they do not list an MR-16 lens for the Cree XR-E Q5...or at least I can't find it yet. Any part number on the lens you have?
    They have it in narrow/med/and wide. Give a phone call or drop them an email. I don't recall the part number.

  16. #16
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    Nice setup, couple of questions though.
    - I really like the switch, do you have a part source/sku number?
    - I assume the plastic pouch around the bflex is just heat shrink tubing?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    Nice setup, couple of questions though.
    - I really like the switch, do you have a part source/sku number?
    - I assume the plastic pouch around the bflex is just heat shrink tubing?

    mouser part number: 850-59-111

    it's a real nice switch but a bit expensive at $9 each.

    yes, its heat shrink around the maxflex board to isolate all of the current conducting components from the housing. i wish i had the space to properly mount and heat sink the board...but such is the case with DIY one-off construction. Time will tell if the ~1 to 2 watts of wasted energy (heat) creates a problem with the board's components.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootz
    mouser part number: 850-59-111

    it's a real nice switch but a bit expensive at $9 each.

    yes, its heat shrink around the maxflex board to isolate all of the current conducting components from the housing. i wish i had the space to properly mount and heat sink the board...but such is the case with DIY one-off construction. Time will tell if the ~1 to 2 watts of wasted energy (heat) creates a problem with the board's components.
    Thanks very much, just ordered the switch.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    Thanks very much, just ordered the switch.
    Hi GW, I see you're in NH. I'm the OP's brother and have S/N 2 of this light here in Exeter, NH if you want to check it out sometime.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DireWolf
    Hi GW, I see you're in NH. I'm the OP's brother and have S/N 2 of this light here in Exeter, NH if you want to check it out sometime.
    Sounds good to me. I did a halogen maglite mod 2 years ago and it has worked well for me, but I am building up the design that aschelot (sp?) did for my first led mod. If it turns out well I will probably retro my original maglite mod and will need some pointers from your lights.
    I am impatiently waiting for my emitters to get here from hong kong and hope they come this week. They are the last item on the list before I can put everything together. The housing is complete, bflex soldered with leads to everything but the emitters.

    Do you ever get out to FOMBA or bear brook? I try to ride there 1-2 times a week, but once my light is functional I'd like to do a field trip since I don't get out to the coast too often.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by galleywench
    Do you ever get out to FOMBA or bear brook? I try to ride there 1-2 times a week, but once my light is functional I'd like to do a field trip since I don't get out to the coast too often.
    I mostly ride Ft. Rock since I can ride there from home. Lately all my field trips have been to Mt. A. I need to get back to FOMBA soon and have never even been to Bear Brook but would like to.

  22. #22
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    Shootz, nice light - I am trying to do one myself. But how do you get the optic to fit? In my mag there is about 19 mm from the inside shoulder to the inner part of the front cap when fully screwed down - i.e. not enough room for a sink+PCB+optic. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated :-)

    Best regards, Morten

  23. #23
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    it fits

    here is a photo with the parts arranged in order of assembly. the pcb (maxflex) and wiring live behind the heat sink. the heat sink is 0.125-0.128 thick, but the led boards are mounted on shallow counterbores which places the led in the proper location for the optic.

    cheers
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  24. #24
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    what optic is it - I was looking at the Khatod (which is 19.9 mm deep). Now I found the Ledil Rocket 3 (which is 15.6 mm deep). So I should be good - just need the right thickness on the sink-plate, like you mention. Pretty easy mod then, even easy to swap lenses if necessary.

    I just need a good idea for an end cap (if not modding the existing one) and a mount.

    Thanks for answering :-)

    Best regards, Morten

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