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  1. #1
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    easy2led.com light build

    Well, I think a bunch of people are in the same boat as myself, planning to build a helmet light based on the new easy2led.com housing. Here is what I'm thinking. Please comment...

    Goals of the build:
    Light weight
    Multiple levels
    No SOS flashing modes (or at least hidden)
    >1000 lumens
    Compatible with my pile of 8.4V li ion batteries (Magicshine, Gemini, diy)
    Low profile mount
    Easy to upgrade

    Components I've pretty much decided on:
    easy2led.com housing
    L333-MC-XPGGC2-A light engine from lux-rc.com - 1280 lumens, 100% 20% 2% ECO capable, neutral white
    Carclo triple optic


    Anyone have a recommendation for which optic to choose? I was thinking the clear narrow one, but may just buy several options and see which I like best.

    For a mount, I haven't decided what to use. Options:
    MagicShine style rubber band mount (attached directly to helmet vent)
    Marwi style mount
    Cateye slider and helmet mount

    For wiring, I think what I'd like is a single cable exiting from the rear of the light through a cable gland. That wire would include an inline momentary switch. Does such a wire exist?

    Other options could include a remote momentary switch, a power jack in the rear of the light, etc.

    I think running just a momentary switch with the lux-rc board will limit me to 2 levels (100% and 20%) which would probably work. Ideally, I'd have access to the other modes, but don't think the complexity of both power and momentary switches is something I want to deal with.

    Thanks for any comments/ideas you might have.
    baker

  2. #2
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    Regarding a helmet mount - you can use this: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/univers...d-lasers-12000

    You will need a triple core wire to use a 333-MC module and an inline mom switch. Silicone servo wire will be a good fit - it is very flexible, but you'll need a thick gauge.
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  3. #3
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    I can't speak good enough words about the marwi helmet mounts. They're awesome.
    I WANT TO BUY YOUR MAGICSHINE LIGHTS! Working or not.

  4. #4
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    I like the cat eye mounts but I haven't tried the others for comparison.

    Also if you like a focused helmet light then I think you will be disappointed by the triple xpg. This is a person preference thing so if you are going to go ahead with it then would be buying a range of the optics starting with the tightest one you can get and ending with the one you currently think would suit your needs.

    That said, a triple xpg makes a fantastic bar light

  5. #5
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    With L333 board you're stuck with flood. You do get 1200+ lumens, but you wont be throwing them far from the light. For a helmet light most of us prefer throwers. You could acomplish that with let's say a single XM-L and a L-Flex or any other driver, that can push the LED up to 3A, and a decent optic. Since there's no way to fit an Iris inside, I' d go for a LXP-RS or LM-1. You would get about 300 lumens less, but those will be wisely distributed and not wasted. How much is the L333? 50$? XM-L is about 11$ and L-Flex is 25$. Add shipping and you still get away with lower price.

    Just my 50 cents.

  6. #6
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    Good points, emu26 and Toaster79.

    I already have plenty of bar lights that produce great flood. I'm really looking at a helmet specific build and I do like a helmet light that has good throw. So, I may look into the XM-L as suggested above.

    I've also built lights previously with the bFlex, so I have a pretty good idea of how this would go together.

    Hmm...
    baker

  7. #7
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    Good XM-L throwers have smooth deep reflectors. A cheaper build would be XM-L + 2.8A board from DX/KD + a smooth reflector. Battery pack - 18650 cells in parallel.
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  8. #8
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    A smooth deep reflector won't fit your housing, since there's only 21,5mm space from bottom of the deeper pocket to the top. Take away thickness of MCPCB and retaining ring and you'll hardly get 15 or 16mm space for the optics or reflector. That's why I suggested those two optics, since both were tested with a decent bit of throw. KD/DX drivers are mostly crap. They never put out rated current and they are very unreliable.

  9. #9
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    How easy is mounting the LXP-RS onto the XML? Do I need a holder or anything? And, I assume I should get an XML mounted to a 20mm star for this project, right?

    Anyone know a good stateside source for the XML and LXP-RS? I know I can get them from cutter, but would prefer to buy stateside.

    Thanks!
    baker

  10. #10
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    is the LXP-RS the same as the Laura RS? If so, you can buy them from Newark - $2ish but $6 p+p

    I order my XM-Ls from Kaidomain, slow as a boat to arrive, but they're decent and a good price. I don't think LEDsupply or Digikey have XM-Ls on 20mm stars, though they may have updated their stock over the last month or so since I last looked. Cutter if you're in a hurry, KD if you're not (and tight as a duck's bum like me )

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toaster79
    With L333 board you're stuck with flood. You do get 1200+ lumens, but you wont be throwing them far from the light. For a helmet light most of us prefer throwers. You could acomplish that with let's say a single XM-L and a L-Flex or any other driver, that can push the LED up to 3A, and a decent optic.

    Just my 50 cents.
    I have to disagree here. My L332 board with XP-E emitters and clear narrow carclo optic is the best thrower I own, even though it's only 800 lumens. It out-throws my XM-L/ Regina at 3A.
    The L333 narrow beam option should have similar throw.

    The XM-L / Laura RS combo has a hotspot almost as tight as the L332, but of course it throws more peripheral light.

    If you do get the L333, ask Serge for one that is pre-wired, or get his wires with connectors. It can be hard to fit the optic on the board if the solder joints at the pins are in the least bulky.

  12. #12
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    XP-E's are known to have better throw (compared to XP-G's).

    Some comparative triple beamshots here:
    http://lux-rc.com/view.php?p=content...&_sx=0&_sy=800

    Also, so comparative beamshots from mtbmacgyver here:
    LED and Optics for Lightweight Helmet Light

    If I get an L333, I'll definitely get the wires with connectors. My fine motor skills verge on spastic.

    Still undecided what I'll go with. I bet any of the choices would suffice for my needs. I'd love to see beamshots/measurements like the one's above with an XM-L and a 20mm optic. Need to keep searching.

    Thanks for all the input.
    baker

  13. #13
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    4x XPG+Carclo10417 @ 1300 mA



    1x XML @ 3,5A + LXP-RS


    Get the idea?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toaster79
    [IMG]Get the idea?
    That looks nice!
    baker

  15. #15
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    Turns out the lflex isn't appropriate for 1 xml used with a 2 cell li-ion pack. And, the appropriate style taskled driver is too large for the easy2led housing.
    baker

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    Turns out the lflex isn't appropriate for 1 xml used with a 2 cell li-ion pack. And, the appropriate style taskled driver is too large for the easy2led housing.
    It's fine if your 2-cell Li-ion is in parallel instead of series, 3.7v. Not so good if you have a stock of 7.4v batteries.

    You can always buy one of these and waterproof it up:
    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...RK:MESINDXX:IT

    And here's a charger that should work.
    http://cgi.ebay.ca/DC4-2V-500mA-Smar...item4aa962f576
    and

  17. #17
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    or just rewire your existing 2S battery

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    or just rewire your existing 2S battery
    Given that I have 3 light heads and 10 packs at 2S, no thanks!
    baker

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    Given that I have 3 light heads and 10 packs at 2S, no thanks!
    so spend $80 or so on a L332 XP-E/optic/postage then, it's your choice

  20. #20
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    That's what I'm leaning towards. Any consensus on the HEW version of the XP-E? I see some strong recommendations against using it for a flashlight/bike light, but the beamshots from lux-rc actually look pretty damn good.
    baker

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    That's what I'm leaning towards. Any consensus on the HEW version of the XP-E? I see some strong recommendations against using it for a flashlight/bike light, but the beamshots from lux-rc actually look pretty damn good.
    I have one under construction now with an HEW, as I have the same issue- 4 nice battery packs and 2 other lights that run 7.2v.

    I had a problem working on the board, but it's headed back to Serge for repair. If you do get one, get the nice connectors he sells, or get it pre-wired. The optic is a very tight fit near the soldering posts and there is very little clearance for wire and solder there, as Golddigger and I found.

  22. #22
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    I pulled the trigger on the XPE-HEW triple from lux-rc. 1100ma version. I picked up all the carclo triples from ledsupply.com just for the heck of it. narrow, narrow frosted, medium frosted, wide frosted, and elliptical.

    Now for the hard part...waiting for everything to arrive.
    baker

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    I pulled the trigger on the XPE-HEW triple from lux-rc. 1100ma version. I picked up all the carclo triples from ledsupply.com just for the heck of it. narrow, narrow frosted, medium frosted, wide frosted, and elliptical.

    Now for the hard part...waiting for everything to arrive.
    Did you get the connectors or get it pre-wired?
    http://lux-rc.com/view.php?p=content...es/accessories

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent
    Did you get the connectors or get it pre-wired?
    http://lux-rc.com/view.php?p=content...es/accessories
    I ordered this:

    BA-CONN-KIT
    Super-flexible Silicone Wires with Pre-soldered Connectors (For All Engine Types). Includes: 2 Power Wires (Black and Red), 2 Signal Wires
    baker

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent
    I have one under construction now with an HEW, as I have the same issue- 4 nice battery packs and 2 other lights that run 7.2v.

    I had a problem working on the board, but it's headed back to Serge for repair. If you do get one, get the nice connectors he sells, or get it pre-wired. The optic is a very tight fit near the soldering posts and there is very little clearance for wire and solder there, as Golddigger and I found.
    Cannot disagree with that, I finally got round to sticking mine in the post today off to Serge for repair. Top marks to Serge for customer service

    If i like the output of the new board i'll definetly get some more as they are great for simple lights and tiny builds. There was rumour Serge will release a XML version of a 20mm board.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    If i like the output of the new board i'll definetly get some more as they are great for simple lights and tiny builds. There was rumour Serge will release a XML version of a 20mm board.
    I was figuring he'd release the XML version tomorrow, since I ordered the XPE one today.
    baker

  27. #27
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    I wouldn't be too annoyed, the XM-L is likely to be even less of a thrower than the XP-G due to its larger die size, plus the efficiency advantage of the XM-L over the XP-G (or XP-E) is only notable at higher currents (>1.5A) which you'll never reach on the 20mm triple format.

    so, no buyers remorse needed

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    I wouldn't be too annoyed, the XM-L is likely to be even less of a thrower than the XP-G due to its larger die size, plus the efficiency advantage of the XM-L over the XP-G (or XP-E) is only notable at higher currents (>1.5A) which you'll never reach on the 20mm triple format.

    so, no buyers remorse needed
    That's good to know.
    baker

  29. #29
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    you're welcome

    on the plus side, making your own lights pretty much means you never need to feel buyers remorse. All you have to do is upgrade the LEDs or make another light and you're back in the lumens arms race. Easy!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    I was figuring he'd release the XML version tomorrow, since I ordered the XPE one today.
    I think Serge is also planning on a simple on-off XM-L module only, not really what we're looking for. I think you'll be happy with your XP-E HEW, and your wiring will be easy too with those connectors.

  31. #31
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    So, here is what I've ordered:

    Light housing from easy2led.com
    Triple XP-E HEW light engine from lux-rc.com
    Flexible wires with connectors from lux-rc.com
    Carclo triple optics ledsupply.com
    Marwi remote switch (from hoffmanamps.com (and momentary switch to put in housing)
    Marwi helmet and handlebar mounting hardware from hoffmanamps.com

    Still a couple random things to deal with that will probably come out of my parts box (cable gland, Magicshine connector).
    baker

  32. #32
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    I received my Marwi switch housing and the momentary switch to go in it. There are two wires exiting the switch. How do I attach those two wires to the l333 module? The diagram here:

    http://www.lux-rc.com/view.php?p=con...ence/L333/L333

    shows one connection for momentary button. Where does the other wire attach?

    Thanks
    baker

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    I received my Marwi switch housing and the momentary switch to go in it. There are two wires exiting the switch. How do I attach those two wires to the l333 module? The diagram here:

    http://www.lux-rc.com/view.php?p=con...ence/L333/L333

    shows one connection for momentary button. Where does the other wire attach?

    Thanks
    The other wire needs to come off the - pin
    Or if you use a 3 core wire you can run a 3rd wire straight off the battery - terminal to the momantary switch. There isnt a lot of room for soldering 2 wires to the - pin!

  34. #34
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    OK. I'm thinking that I'll use the pre-soldered connector wires on the board, then wire the external wires to them in the rear of the housing.

    I'll have to think about the 3 core config.

    Thanks!
    baker

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent
    I have to disagree here. My L332 board with XP-E emitters and clear narrow carclo optic is the best thrower I own, even though it's only 800 lumens. It out-throws my XM-L/ Regina at 3A.
    The L333 narrow beam option should have similar throw.

    The XM-L / Laura RS combo has a hotspot almost as tight as the L332, but of course it throws more peripheral light.

    If you do get the L333, ask Serge for one that is pre-wired, or get his wires with connectors. It can be hard to fit the optic on the board if the solder joints at the pins are in the least bulky.
    I can't advocate here for my products but this beamshot comparison can help to decide (I even tested an XP-E R3 at 1.5 amps, sorry, counld't resist)

    better to use the link as it provides an animated comparison but let me show just three self-explaining shots from there:





    I'm still waiting for more green in the trees to redo this test and add more leds and optic variants (including elliptical pattern)

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    OK. I'm thinking that I'll use the pre-soldered connector wires on the board, then wire the external wires to them in the rear of the housing.

    I'll have to think about the 3 core config.

    Thanks!
    Here's the 3 core approach..on the L332 board, but same applies to the 333

  37. #37
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    Just received the light engine. Sooo small. I'm very glad to have the presoldered wires/connectors.

    Can't wait to get the housing and put it all together!
    baker

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    Just received the light engine. Sooo small. I'm very glad to have the presoldered wires/connectors.

    Can't wait to get the housing and put it all together!
    I received mine from zemike four days ago as well as these items from LED Supply

    light engine

    optic

    These will be mounted in the shallow end of the housing; I've tried it and they fit perfectly.

    Just waiting on a driver from DX now to make what I hope will be a tail light which will outshine all of my previous efforts.

  39. #39
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    The L333 wiring diagram (master + slave)
    Just exclude the slave if only master is used.


  40. #40
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    Received my easy2led body today and slammed everything together. Decided to just drill a couple holes in the side of the body for wiring. I'll use some silicone to make it relatively waterproof. No o-rings on the front or rear, so ultimate waterproofness is probably not going to happen.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5720747486/" title="DSCF5670 by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3241/5720747486_f36ed9d396_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="DSCF5670"></a>

    Total weight for the light head comes to 59g. :-)

    Weight for the Marwi helmet mount configuration is an addtional 29g! I may forgo the Marwi mount and just use velcro. We'll see. I plan to velcro the momentary button to the helmet, for sure.

    Output from the light is impressive. Ceiling bounce tests show a value of 163 for this light versus 121 for my MagicShine 900. So, it's putting out a buncha light. Lows on both lights were identical.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5720175025/" title="DSCF5665 by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2200/5720175025_9f7349d22d_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="DSCF5665"></a>

    Build was very very simple. Without the presoldered wires/connectors, I would have had a hard time.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5720730262/" title="DSCF5657 by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3572/5720730262_7d3081247e_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="DSCF5657"></a>
    baker

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    baker, looks good. I do like the housing.

    Did you order the MC or SM version from Lux-rc? I have a question about the ECO Mode and SM version in another post. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...49#post8049549


    Clayton

  42. #42
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    baker
    I have an idea for a faster Lux-rc build
    Just remove the rear cap, pass the wires through the existing hole, silicone it.
    BTW what is the switch you used?
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence77
    baker, looks good. I do like the housing.

    Did you order the MC or SM version from Lux-rc? I have a question about the ECO Mode and SM version in another post. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...49#post8049549


    Clayton
    I ordered the MC version as I wanted multiple levels.
    baker

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    How is the diameter? Are any shims needed for the L333 module w/ lens to fit?

    I really like the matthew housing, but I might just go for two of these, with a peg of threaded rod between them with a mounting plate in between, so as to create a double for a flood on the handlebars.

    I also like the idea of making a double sided helmet light with a thrower up front and a taillight in back.

    Would it have enough dissipation to run an XML up front, and then an XPE L333 board with red diodes in the back? I assume it would be possible to thermal epoxy a plumbing end cap in the longer end of the housing to provide a 'booster chair' for the L333 board.

    Sorry for all the questions, but this housing is very intriguing to say the least!

  45. #45
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    The diameter is larger than the l333 module. I didn't use any shims, I just screwed down the ring w/ glass on top of the optic.

    I don't have a clue on the heat dissipation question. I used Artic silver behind my l333 to ensure a good thermal path.
    baker

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYtailight
    Would it have enough dissipation to run an XML up front, and then an XPE L333 board with red diodes in the back?
    18W in total? Well, you'll have to rely on thermal protection or ride fast
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    hmmm, okay. I think it would be a little less than 18W, by my calculations around 16W. The red XPE's of the L333 board being driven at .7A w/ fV of 2.3 each gives 4.83W for three diodes, and based off the 12.9W consumed power rating of the 1.1A L333 @ 4.75V (minimum efficiency) the L333 looks to consume about 2W. Driven off of 2S cells, it'll have ~90% efficiency meaning .2W heat from the L333 driver. Assuming even terrible 80% efficiency of the diodes at ~5W means another watt in heat, for a total of 1.2W of heat to dissipate for the taillight.

    The XML driven at its max 3A (I'd probably run it at less), consumes 10W, assume again terrible 80% efficiency and add 2W to the heat. The Lflex driver, mounted under the copper end cap and thermaled to the divider 'wall' driven at 1S, even with fresh batteries, George has estimated 3.9W heat dissipation. So assume 5.9W for the headlight.

    Total 7.1W heat (worst case) to be dissipated.

    Now just looking a the schematics I will try to estimate heat sink area (Mike can you perhaps provide better figures of surface area?). I see 18 whole fins, about 3mm tall, and 40mm long. Since there is more surface area I don't account for, I will inflate the area of the top of the fin to be the same as the area of one of the sides, I think this is a good guesstimation (also, the fins aren't fully 40mm long, but it is good enough for a round solution). That would mean 40x3x3 (360) square mm per fin, so 6500 square mm for 18 fins, or near exactly 10 square inches of SA.

    That would allow for the 1.5 square inch per watt rule to fit, which is already generous from the 1W rule.

    Is this correct? That would be great since, while the L333 board is more efficient, I don't want an XPG helmet light since it's too floody. It might even be possible to squeeze a maxflex in for the taillight to allow flashing functionality. Hmmm... I might just be getting a little carried away here. Thoughts?

  48. #48
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    You put L333 in the smaller compartment, right? Then you put XM-L in larger compartment, right? Where the heck do you put the lFlex?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toaster79
    You put L333 in the smaller compartment, right? Then you put XM-L in larger compartment, right? Where the heck do you put the lFlex?
    Oh, the XML needs more space than the L333 right because it uses reflectors? I think I've heard that there are XML lenses too, but they might not have as good through as a tall reflector.

    If it works with lenses so that an XML with its lens is as tall as the L333, it would fit nicely in the smaller compartment, then I was thinking you have about 10mm extra in the larger compartment left over after you put the L333 with its lens in there, so I was thinking a little spacer ring to boost up the L333 so that it sits against the retaining glass, and inside this thin ring I would put an lflex, up against the barrier wall between the two compartments for good thermal path and also so that the thermal protection of the lFlex also protects the XML (sure, the XML can take a lot more heat than the lFlex, but it doesn't hurt to have a thermal cutoff for it too).

  50. #50
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    Okay, strike all of what I said, I just looked around a little and the optic I was imagining for the XML was just a figment of my imagination : (

    Oh well, I guess the taillight wouldn't have been much use anyway without flashing and extra brightness modes. And anyway, you would need 2 different batteries: the lFlex only working with a 1S pack, and the L333 only working with a 2S pack.

    But nice to know that the housing could probably have taken that much heat.

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