Easy2LED/LFlex assembly hints/help?
I'm assembling an XM-L/LFlex/Easy2LED light using one of the RP8011 switches.
The enclosure is great quality for the price, and the switch is great, too--but, *man*, is it hard to get everything stuffed in. I drilled the second hole for the wires, but I'm still having problems; I actually broke one lead for the switch's LED when getting the cap on, even after pre-twisting.
(Much of this soldering has been redone)
Any hints here? Any way to salvage the LED lead break (I would think not)? I'm currently (no pun intended) using 22 ga wires. My switch wires appear to not be copper and seem to be quite brittle. I have ordered the silicone wires that someone recommended, but they're something like 20 ga so I might have to find something smaller since the small end of that light is pretty small.
Am I going to be able to solder the LFlex while it's stuck in there or am I going to have to pry it off and get another pad? By the way, that LFlex is still hanging in there after way more heat (poor soldering technique) than any driver should ever have to endure.
Have you tried using shorter wires? Or, get the deeper rear end from Easy2Led site.
Use a bit shorter and thinner wires, there's no real power in them, and make sure you pre-twist them exactly as many times the tail cap needs to twist to close the enclosure. Shorten those contacts on the switch so they don't hit the driver when the cover is fully tightened, also use heat shrink on exposed ends just to be sure there are no shorts and to strengthen the fragile side of the soldering. Id also use some hot glue so the contacts on the switch don't snap.
you can salvage the switch by digging into the plastic around where the broken wire comes out and soldering the wire to the bit inside. It's a PITA to do, but perfectly possible. I'd second the above suggestions and use some hot glue or similar to strain relieve the joints so only the wire and not the joint twists. You might also be able to space the switch out a little by putting an o-ring between the outside bit and the end cap. Also use the thinnest wires you can - they'll be carrying 10s of mA, so you can go down to 26 or 28 gauge with no worries.
Perfectly fine to solder the Lflex in place, that's how I did mine.
It's a fiddle, that's for sure, but you'll only be doing it once!
that is the deeper rear end - looks like the 7mm version too.
Originally Posted by pucked up
This a situation where something like R/C servo wire might be useful. the do make it for HD servo situations that is a little bigger.
TowerHobbies.com | Hitec HD Servo Wire 20GA 50'
Edit - my brain was still thinking about the switch being the latching style, not a momentary.
Last edited by adrenalnjunky; 10-25-2012 at 10:05 AM.
Yep, looks like he used the correct deeper end. I found it needed too many turns, so I filed off some of the threads so it only needs about 2 full turns, reducing the wire twisting factor.
Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky
I've built about a dozen of these. If using an l-flex you only need signal wire going to the momentary switch, so you can use thin flexible silicone wire. You can pre-twist this stuff easily. The light on the button doesn't draw much either. If you're stuck pm me and I'll send you some.
I've also done a couple using the cheapie AMC drivers. For these I used a stainless cable gland in the back cap for the power wires, and a remote clickie switch. I left the gland loose until the cap was tightened, then cinched down the gland screw.
Be sure to use Loctite Thread Sealer on the front cap as there is no way to use an o-ring.
Note- my last one had a triple XPE thrower from Cutter with a Carclo optic that fit in the shallow end. The l-flex went in the deeper end, and the standard back cap was fine, making for a smaller and easier build, once I got the triple wired right. Cutter can do the wiring for you too.
I see they now have the XPE2 out, so I may need to do another one, unless the XML 2 comes out soon.
Shipping from Cutter costs more than the LED unfortunately- group order, anyone?
Sorry, this is turning into a hijack.
Bottom line- easier build with triple and Carclo if you want a thrower.
I'm using the deeper cap, yes. Good idea on shortening the threaded portion; I'd do that but I think I'm already pretty tight on that particular switch's depth. The only source I could find for silicone wire was 20 ga. *(from Radical RC; I bought some). Does anyone know where to get thinner? Actually, I'm thinking USB signal wire might work if I can avoid breaking it, since I remember it being quite thin. Too bad I can't tighten it down after assembly. I guess I could theoretically get a second nut. Or, maybe, lightly glue the nut and try to tighten the switch from the outside (but it would be tough to get a good grip on it).
No worries on the hijack, Ofroad'bent. I'm actually using this light for the road, so it's possible that at some point I might prefer the XP-E's throw. I did look at the Quazzle board. I have a fairly short commute, though--less than an hour round trip--so I was preferring something that let me only use one or two batteries and just swap batteries if I was going for distance. Seems like a triple would normally be best with a buck driver and probably four 18650's.
Go to Digikey.com and search "illuminated snap-in pushbutton. Leave the switch out, screw the housing together with the leads hanging out the hole. Then connect the switch, test, and if good then snap into the housing.
I got the wire from Quazzle's store. He sells a very thin signal wire.
Originally Posted by Praxis
As for the XP-E triple, I got the one from Cutter, wired it in parallel, and used an l-flex with it. I run it and my XM-L lights with a 2-cell battery on the helmet.
I will use it with a single 18650 cell to run home tonight through the forest in the dark.
Praxis, one more tip- if you place a fairly thick o-ring (or two) around the switch before inserting it, it'll stick out the back more and give you more room inside the housing. It'll still be waterproof.
I was able to get a switch to fit in the standard back cap, but it works much better with the deeper cap.
Hopefully not too much of a threadjack - can you post pics of the reflector, etc in the other side? Want to see how your setup looks. I ordered up an extra body (doing a L334 build now) because I have this killer 1000lm MCE that's been kicking around and I need to do *something* with it.