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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

  44. #44
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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).

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYtailight
    hmmm, okay. I think it would be a little less than 18W, by my calculations around 16W ...
    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?
    Unfortunately not - that gives you 1.5 watts per square inch, not 1.5 square inches per watt. So you'd actually be running at 0.66 square inches per watt. To dissipate 16W with 1.5 square inches per watt you'd need 16 * 1.5 = 24 square inches of surface area.

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    Derp, yup you're right. Okay so it won't fit and it will melt... guess it won't work ; )

    Still want to pick up some of these housings for a couple builds

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYtailight
    Now just looking a the schematics I will try to estimate heat sink area (Mike can you perhaps provide better figures of surface area?).
    The total surface area is 92cm2 (14 sq.in.) without the rear cap.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by zemike
    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?
    You mean to not use the back cap at all, right, just leave it open back there?

    Mind a couple more questions?
    1- Do you think silicone grease on the front threads will be sufficiently waterproof?
    2- Can you give us a link to the 3-core wire again?
    3- Could a waterproof momentary switch fit on top of the light OK if you drilled back a few fins?

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfj197
    Unfortunately not - that gives you 1.5 watts per square inch, not 1.5 square inches per watt. So you'd actually be running at 0.66 square inches per watt. To dissipate 16W with 1.5 square inches per watt you'd need 16 * 1.5 = 24 square inches of surface area.
    I just re-read your post. Is the 1 square inch per watt rule measuring watts of heat or of total power? I was just measuring heat, in which case (assuming my 10 square inch figure) the housing would have 1.5 square inches per watt of heat. With Mike's figure of 14 square inches (with the previously calculated 7.1W of heat to be dissipated) there would be 2 square inches per watt.

    I don't understand why you would measure total system power as it doesn't take into driver and diode efficiency which drastically changes the heat sinking requirements.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYtailight
    I just re-read your post. Is the 1 square inch per watt rule measuring watts of heat or of total power? I was just measuring heat, in which case (assuming my 10 square inch figure) the housing would have 1.5 square inches per watt of heat. With Mike's figure of 14 square inches (with the previously calculated 7.1W of heat to be dissipated) there would be 2 square inches per watt.

    I don't understand why you would measure total system power as it doesn't take into driver and diode efficiency which drastically changes the heat sinking requirements.
    In my experience you need ~1 sq. in. per watt of system power to get a light to stay reasonably cool in warmer weather (60F+). Cooler temps, faster riding, housing and fin design all blur the requirements for surface area.

    My first LED light had >2 sq. in. per watt of system power. It trips the thermal protection at 120F after about 5 minutes in still room temp air. It stays below that level as long as air movement is at a walking pace.

    My current helmet light does not have thermal protection. It has a bit over 1 sq. in. per watt of system power. It reached 150F in still 50F air during testing. Too hot for my happiness. I try to make sure and drop it to low while stopped. A slow climbing pace keeps it below what I consider too warm though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYtailight
    I just re-read your post. Is the 1 square inch per watt rule measuring watts of heat or of total power? I was just measuring heat, in which case (assuming my 10 square inch figure) the housing would have 1.5 square inches per watt of heat. With Mike's figure of 14 square inches (with the previously calculated 7.1W of heat to be dissipated) there would be 2 square inches per watt.

    I don't understand why you would measure total system power as it doesn't take into driver and diode efficiency which drastically changes the heat sinking requirements.
    I've only ever seen the 1 sq in per watt guideline applied to total system power. But you're right-different driver technologies will give a significant difference in heat emissions which perhaps should be taken into account. I expect a linear driver driving a low Vf LED with a freshly charged Li-Ion (or even two LEDs & two cells) would need significantly better heatsinking than an efficient buck driver driving the same load (albeit probably from a different number of cells).

  58. #58
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    I took the easy2led/l333 light out for a spin last night. Did a quick dirt road descent, as well as some nice twisty singletrack. The throw was sufficient for the dirt road descent, but not astounding. The total amount of light seems huge. Definitely enough light to ride quickly through the twisty singletrack.

    Although the amount of light from the headlight is sufficient, I'd still prefer to combine it with a bar light for enhancement of contours through shadows.
    baker

  59. #59
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    is there any way to catch your spin on a video?
    something similar to this one but at night - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aJzYioSDi4

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    Quote Originally Posted by quazzle
    is there any way to catch your spin on a video?
    something similar to this one but at night - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aJzYioSDi4
    I do have a GoPro HD, but haven't really tried to capture night footage. I'll see if I can get something. It certainly won't be as interesting as that video.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent
    You mean to not use the back cap at all, right, just leave it open back there?

    Mind a couple more questions?
    1- Do you think silicone grease on the front threads will be sufficiently waterproof?
    2- Can you give us a link to the 3-core wire again?
    3- Could a waterproof momentary switch fit on top of the light OK if you drilled back a few fins?
    0) yes, leave it open
    1) I think that a thread lock is way better than silicone grease
    2) servo wire: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=6904
    3) maybe, but there will be a problem with clamping it inside the rounded housing
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by quazzle
    is there any way to catch your spin on a video?
    something similar to this one but at night - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aJzYioSDi4
    Here ya go. Not particularly exciting, but sorta captures that tunnel vision feel of night riding. Actually, the camera seriously accentuates the tunnel vision, due to it's inability to capture enough light. In real life, this light puts out a serious amount of light.

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/In_HfiTuZ6U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    baker

  63. #63
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    Sorry if this has already been covered, what did you use to film the night ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger
    Sorry if this has already been covered, what did you use to film the night ride?
    I used a GoPro Hero HD attached to a chest harness.
    baker

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    OK, so I've been sitting on one of these light bodies for quite some time and today I finally got the last piece needed (waterproof push button switch) to complete my build. This was a good opportunity to use up some parts I had hanging around, an older Maxflex 2 driver, and a 3up XPG board from LED Supply.

    I'm currently driving the XPGs at 1000ma and have the Maxflex set at 60 degrees C thermal protection trip point. Runs for about 2-3minutes on high inside before throttling down... will see how the cooling is out on a ride and adjust from there.


    Easy2LED 3up XPG helmet light

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    OK, so I've been sitting on one of these light bodies for quite some time and today I finally got the last piece needed (waterproof push button switch) to complete my build. This was a good opportunity to use up some parts I had hanging around, an older Maxflex 2 driver, and a 3up XPG board from LED Supply.

    I'm currently driving the XPGs at 1000ma and have the Maxflex set at 60 degrees C thermal protection trip point. Runs for about 2-3minutes on high inside before throttling down... will see how the cooling is out on a ride and adjust from there.


    Easy2LED 3up XPG helmet light
    Very nice looking build indeed!
    Hmmm, I have all the parts needed in stock but the housing for an XM-L build

    How did you avoid twisting the wire on the switch when screwing in the back cap?

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    How did you avoid twisting the wire on the switch when screwing in the back cap?
    That's the one aspect of the build I wasn't too thrilled with. Fortunately the rear cover requires less than 3 complete revolutions to screw down, so in the end I just used longish wires (secured internally to the power leads with a small nylon wire tie) and pre-twisted them 3 turns in the opposite direction prior to screwing on the rear cover.

    Only other issue to address is making the enclosure waterproof, but still able to open it up for service or upgrading. I think thread locker has been suggested, but I don't know how effective that is as a sealant that could still be broken loose for service?

    Karl

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    OK, so I've been sitting on one of these light bodies for quite some time and today I finally got the last piece needed (waterproof push button switch) to complete my build. This was a good opportunity to use up some parts I had hanging around, an older Maxflex 2 driver, and a 3up XPG board from LED Supply.

    I'm currently driving the XPGs at 1000ma and have the Maxflex set at 60 degrees C thermal protection trip point. Runs for about 2-3minutes on high inside before throttling down... will see how the cooling is out on a ride and adjust from there.


    Easy2LED 3up XPG helmet light
    Sweet looking light! Please let us know how the thermal protection works in a real-world riding scenario.
    baker

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    That's the one aspect of the build I wasn't too thrilled with. Fortunately the rear cover requires less than 3 complete revolutions to screw down, so in the end I just used longish wires (secured internally to the power leads with a small nylon wire tie) and pre-twisted them 3 turns in the opposite direction prior to screwing on the rear cover.

    Only other issue to address is making the enclosure waterproof, but still able to open it up for service or upgrading. I think thread locker has been suggested, but I don't know how effective that is as a sealant that could still be broken loose for service?

    Karl
    You've hit my 2 questions about the housing exactly. How to waterproof, how to deal with the thread-on back.

    One suggestion was to run the power cord through the back via a gland that can be tightened, but you still need to figure out the switch- perhaps drill through the fins and mount it on top, or use an inline switch.

  70. #70
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    For the kind of switch I used putting it on the back cover is really the only option. I guess a smaller switch could be mounted on the top, but that means drilling a hole into the fins which would likely be a messy affair to say the least. Probably an externally wired remote switch is the most elegant and then use either a gland on the back like you've described or have the wire exit on the bottom like I did.

  71. #71
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    So the light was out for a shakedown run tonight and it totally exceeded my expectations for performance only tripping the thermal protection once after I'd been waiting for a light change at an intersection. Next ride I'll try bumping the current up to the max 1200ma for the Maxflex 2 and see how it does.

    One issue, which I've encountered before using 18650 packs is voltage sag. The voltage monitoring of the Maxflex will warn that the pack is half exhausted prematurely due to excess sag from the 2+ amps I'm pulling out of the 2s2p 18650 8.4V pack. So I either have to adjust the thresholds or resort to the solution I went with for my 7up lights... use RC Lipo packs which have next to zero voltage sag under load.

  72. #72
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    If it's already is tripping the thermal protection, surely bumping the maxflex up to 1200ma isnt going to do any favours?

    The voltage sag and maxflex issue, is this because your using the fresh of the charger voltage (8.4v) to base your maxflex warnings on? would it not be best to use 7.4v as your upper limit 6.2v mid and 5.0v cut off?
    Yeti is pretty good with the voltage settings for drivers...hopefully he will add his 2p

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger View Post
    If it's already is tripping the thermal protection, surely bumping the maxflex up to 1200ma isnt going to do any favours?

    The voltage sag and maxflex issue, is this because your using the fresh of the charger voltage (8.4v) to base your maxflex warnings on? would it not be best to use 7.4v as your upper limit 6.2v mid and 5.0v cut off?
    Yeti is pretty good with the voltage settings for drivers...hopefully he will add his 2p
    Not when it comes to boost drivers I'm not GD.

    I can get the bFlex and other buck drivers to monitor voltage spot on but I only ever used a maxFlex once (in my 7up) and as it is trying to drag more from the batteries than they want to give(boost). The voltage monitoring isn't too great with Li-ion due to voltage sag.

    As kwarick found it's best to use Li-Po or a very high capacity Li-ion with a boost driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post

    I can get the bFlex and other buck drivers to monitor voltage spot on but I only ever used a maxFlex once (in my 7up) and as it is trying to drag more from the batteries than they want to give(boost). The voltage monitoring isn't too great with Li-ion due to voltage sag.

    As kwarick found it's best to use Li-Po or a very high capacity Li-ion with a boost driver.
    Slightly off topic, but would voltage sag therefore also be a problem driving two XMLs at,say, 2.5A using an Lflex driver off a 2S2P Li-ion ? That might affect my plans...

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by JezV View Post
    Slightly off topic, but would voltage sag therefore also be a problem driving two XMLs at,say, 2.5A using an Lflex driver off a 2S2P Li-ion ? That might affect my plans...
    No you won't, but you will have some waste(inefficiency) for the first part of discharge due to it being a linear driver and not a buck driver. The waste will be from full charge 8.4v to about 7v (it just turns to heat)

    I like buck drivers and so do batteries

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    For the kind of switch I used putting it on the back cover is really the only option. I guess a smaller switch could be mounted on the top, but that means drilling a hole into the fins which would likely be a messy affair to say the least. Probably an externally wired remote switch is the most elegant and then use either a gland on the back like you've described or have the wire exit on the bottom like I did.
    great looking light, very tidy!

    my current plan with the Easy2LED housing I have is to have the power cable coming out of the back through a cable gland. The inside nut will be epoxied to the inner face of the back plate, so that I'll theoretically be able to screw the outside part in once the back plate is tightened (I could use the gland as designed, in which case I could do without the epoxied nut, but they look damn ugly that way). The switch will be a remote tactile switch, with the cable entry from either underneath (cateye spacer permitting) or the side, between the fins. I'd then waterproof/ strain relief the entry point with Sugru.

    As for waterproofing the housing itself, a small amount of non-acetic silicone should be fine - it will prevent the parts from loosening but also allow disassembly if needed. I'll hopefully be finding out that all this theory works in a couple of weeks

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    Thanks Yeti. Yes, I like buck drivers too, but the Lflex offers a great combination of size, price and output providing you are careful with battery & LED selection. I was concerned about pulling up to 3A through 22AWG cable but I hadn't considered the risk of voltage sag

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by JezV View Post
    Thanks Yeti. Yes, I like buck drivers too, but the Lflex offers a great combination of size, price and output providing you are careful with battery & LED selection. I was concerned about pulling up to 3A through 22AWG cable but I hadn't considered the risk of voltage sag
    You'll be fine. Your battery will be over 4500 ma capacity. Just don't bother running the light over 2.4 A. at least according to this: Another Cute Tripple XML



    Keep wires short to reduce voltage sag though.
    Last edited by yetibetty; 08-18-2011 at 02:54 PM.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post
    Not when it comes to boost drivers I'm not GD.

    I can get the bFlex and other buck drivers to monitor voltage spot on but I only ever used a maxFlex once (in my 7up) and as it is trying to drag more from the batteries than they want to give(boost). The voltage monitoring isn't too great with Li-ion due to voltage sag.

    As kwarick found it's best to use Li-Po or a very high capacity Li-ion with a boost driver.
    So I just wanted to clarify something: With the Taskled buck or boost drivers, would it be correct to say both types have the same issue with voltage sag affecting the V.med, V.low, V.cut level accuracy?

    I've only built bike lights using maxflex so I was wondering if I should consider using bflex for the next light? Instead of driving 3 x XPG with a maxflex and a 7.2V pack, I could use a 14.8V pack and a bflex. Given the same load which provides the better performance?
    Last edited by kwarwick; 08-18-2011 at 04:23 PM.

  80. #80
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    No voltage sag with bFlex, so accurate voltage warnings are not a problem.(unless your batteries are really crap)

    With a buck you have plenty of battery juice so the batteries are not over worked. 3 x XPG will want aprox 9.6v so a 14.8v battery won't even think about sagging, the driver won't have to try and boost the battery so will stay nice and cool.

    With a boost you are trying to drag more volts from the battery than it has ( my 7up example was 24ish volts from a 14.8 v battery). The battery will sag under the strain and the driver will get hot as it boosts the poor little battery.

    Lot's of people use boost drivers so they can't be all bad but my 7up up was the worst light I ever made and is now in bits. Boost is not for me!

    Remember that Flex drivers cut the power to the light 1min after it has detected the cutoff voltage, and a lot can happen to the batteries in that 1 min with a boost driver. Not a problem with a buck as the battery will be draining slowly.

  81. #81
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty View Post
    No voltage sag with bFlex, so accurate voltage warnings are not a problem.(unless your batteries are really crap)

    With a buck you have plenty of battery juice so the batteries are not over worked. 3 x XPG will want aprox 9.6v so a 14.8v battery won't even think about sagging, the driver won't have to try and boost the battery so will stay nice and cool.

    With a boost you are trying to drag more volts from the battery than it has ( my 7up example was 24ish volts from a 14.8 v battery). The battery will sag under the strain and the driver will get hot as it boosts the poor little battery.

    Lot's of people use boost drivers so they can't be all bad but my 7up up was the worst light I ever made and is now in bits. Boost is not for me!

    Remember that Flex drivers cut the power to the light 1min after it has detected the cutoff voltage, and a lot can happen to the batteries in that min with a boost driver.
    '

    Interesting... your experience is counter-intuitive... at least at first blush, but I after thinking it through it does makes sense. It's all about the power (watts) being consumed by the light and watts = current * voltage. With the example of 3 XPGs driven off a 14.8V (instead of 7.4V) the voltage is higher and hence the current being drawn from the batteries is less, so they aren't anywhere near as stressed and therefore less inclined to sag.

    For a 7 up light a buck driver wasn't terribly practical due to the need to supply an input voltage above the total voltage of 7 LEDs in series and a bflex maxes out at 24V for input. Now that we're talking about 3 LEDs in series a buck is way more practical and actually convenient because I can use the same 4s LiPo packs I'm driving my 7 up lights with.

    Anyway, much thanks for your thoughts, next light might well be driven with a bflex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    I'm currently driving the XPGs at 1000ma and have the Maxflex set at 60 degrees C thermal protection trip point. Runs for about 2-3minutes on high inside before throttling down...
    60 deg C is rather conservative, I would suggest 80 deg C. It is interesting how you installed the Maxflex inside the housing.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by zemike View Post
    60 deg C is rather conservative, I would suggest 80 deg C. It is interesting how you installed the Maxflex inside the housing.
    Yeah I was thinking of bumping the current up to 1200ma and thermal trip point up to 70c. I believe Taskled recommends keeping the trip point low to protect the driver as the thermal monitoring has some latency and being a boost driver the Maxflex is somewhat more prone to overheating.

    Mounting Maxflex in such a small space was fun. After soldering all the wires I fashioned a little square pedestal out of aluminum (about 10mm thick) and bonded it to the heat sink pad on the Maxflex and then bonded the other side to the inner wall of the body. Fitting that large switch and power cord into the remaining space took some careful planning to say the least.

  84. #84
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    I think the rule of thumb is that the LED temp is ~20C higher than the driver temp which is in turn ~10C higher than the housing temp. So if the housing is getting uncomfortable to hold (~50-55C), then your driver is between 60 and 70C and the LED is at most ~90C.

    All very rough estimates, but it seems to jibe with my experience - when the thermal monitoring is set to 60C it will trip before the housing gets more than lukewarm and when speeds drop to walking pace. When it's set to 70C, it rarely trips unless stationary and when it does, the housing is uncomfortably hot but not burning hot.

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    I know sod all about electronic but you can deffo use thread lock to stop water traveling down the threads on the case back.

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