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  1. #1
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    First build - 4x XP-G, Regina & MaxFlex5A

    Hi.

    I've just finished my first DIY light. I've been using a cnc mill to create the housing. The project has been going on for a while, since all the milling has been done at school. I'm quite happy with the result.

    I've been testing it indoor (~21 degrees C) with no airflow and it doesn't dim with the thermal protection set at 60degr and I can still hold it in my hand without getting burned.

    Part list
    Housing: Custom aluminium
    LED: 4x XP-G R5 (led-tech.de)
    Reflector: Regina (led-tech.de)
    Driver: MaxFlex5A (taskled.com)
    Button from CRC (http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=52251)
    Connectors from DX (http://www.dealextreme.com/p/5-4mm-m...64-100cm-32751)
    Cable glands from ELFA (https://www.elfa.se/elfa3~se_sv/elfa...8-35&toc=19896)

    And now; a lot of pictures!


    Received some xp-g:s and Reginas last autumn. Trimmed the legs of at once.



    Started off with a solid piece of ali. Each hole took about 3min to drill. Wasn't as fast as I thought it should be.



    Testing the coolant system while milling the backplate. It needed some improvements.



    It start to look like a housing. There's place for four 20mm stars.



    Some more milling done and a lot more hours spent. Could have made another light out of the chips.



    Since the milling was done in several occasions I did some other preparations in between. Here I added a status led to the button cable.



    Soldered the leds together and made sure they worked. Notice the prototype of the housing made out of plastic.



    Finally the house was finished and I started to mount things.



    No problem fitting the MaxFlex in the rear. A lot harder to solder all the cables though.



    Reflectors fitted


    Back of the housing



    Power connected and turned on for the first time. Instead of the expected magic blue smoke this is what came out of it.



    Almost the final version! At least a usable one. Front and front glass mounted and some modified flash light mounts from dx to. Will make some other mounts later on though.



    Mounted on the bike, right where it's supposed to be!


    And since no thread is complete without beamshots:
    The big tree is about 25m away. Didn't have time to find a bigger place dark enough.



    MS900 @ full power (for comparison)



    4x XP-G @ 350mA



    4x XP-G @ 750mA



    4x XP-G @ 1300mA

  2. #2
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    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
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    Great work!!!!!
    Very creative design. You've given me some ideas!!!!
    Awesome step by step run through from start to finish.
    What are you running for batteries? 7.4V?
    Beamshots look good!!!
    If you don't mind I may try to sort of copy your design using a drill press and hand tools.....make a mini dual XML version....= )
    Gotta love the round bottom fins.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  3. #3
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    Thanks!
    I think I've just picked up some ideas from different builds here and forged them together into something that became this light.
    I like to photograph the process. In that way I can look back at what I've done.
    I'm running 7.4V batteries, since I want to be able to mix lights and batteries without any trouble.
    You're more than welcome to copy the design! It's just showing that I did something right. I'm actually thinking about building a helmet light with similar design.

  4. #4
    help with the zip please
    Reputation: emu26's Avatar
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    nice work.
    Should be more than enough light for the bars

  5. #5
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    This guy is a pro! Great lookin light...looks kind of like a boat anchor, but i'm also not the one using it.

  6. #6
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    What mill you using?

  7. #7
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    Reputation: HEY HEY ITS HENDO's Avatar
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    Very impressive for you first light,
    thanks for the links for the hardware !!
    that button switch from CRC.. is it momentary??
    [edit] ahh it must be,.... for the maxFlex!
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone! Wasn't expecting that much nice words.

    emu26: It sure is! Will probably be running it at 750mA most of the time.

    BKruahnndon: It sure is heavy. I guess I could shave of 50-100g doing it now. But I had never used a mill before this project so there were a lot of margins. Wanted to be on the safe side.

    kan3: It is a cnc converted Optimum BF20 L Vario. Actually don't know much about it.

    HHIH: Yes, it is momentary. Not much info at crc, but I ordered it when I ordered a lot of other stuff so I figured it should be worth a try.

  9. #9
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    Nicely done.
    Love the multiple shots of the milling stages and the plastic prototype rocks......

  10. #10
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    Nice mill
    Only real problem they have is the plastic gear stripping

  11. #11
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    xyz-saft, nice build pictures, nice beam shots and a very nice lght.

    I like the tint from the LED's. Do you know what tint bin you got?

  12. #12
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    Nice light, and great photog work.

    I never thought of using a drill press like that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by P220C
    Nice light, and great photog work.

    I never thought of using a drill press like that.
    He's using a mill..not a drill press. Some people do convert a drill press to function like a mill, it is not recommended though since a drill press is not build to handle the side load.
    Current Ride:
    Ibis Mojo SL-R - Medium - South Beach White
    '11 Specialized Roubaix Compact Rival

  14. #14
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    Very well done. Those fins look good and doable with a simple drill press

  15. #15
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    Odtexas: Thanks. The documentation is nothing compared to yours though. The plastic prototype is nice. Didn't want to realise something didn't fit when it all was milled.

    Kan3: Yes, it is nice. Does what I want to. Can get a bit hot after some hours, but I guess there's nothing to do about that.

    Yetibetty: Thanks a lot. I don't know the tint right away. I think I can check when I'm home from school.

    P220C: it's my sister who should have the cred for the beamshots. The other are mostly shot with my phone just to show what I've been doing. As anthonylokrn said I've been using a mill, but the the holes could as well have been done using a drill press.

    Bravellir: Thanks. Was a bit worried about the fins but they turned out good. Drill press should be good to do the holes.

  16. #16
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    that's such an innovative way to make a housing. I was puzzled when I saw the first picture of the block of alu, but then it became obvious what you were doing. Really neat.

    Now you just need to get a h6flex, a bigger battery pack and 4 XM-Ls

  17. #17
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    I agree
    If I were to just look at the end result I would have just assumed someone sent a ball end mill over the edges to create the fins.

  18. #18
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    Nice build! About the battery and the maxflex, it woul'd be more appropriate to run 3S battery pack so Mr. MaxFlex doesn't have that hard of a job to do, and won't heat up as much. You're running 4 XP-G's at approx 13V Vf but your fully loaded pack makes only 8.4V, so maxflex has to step up for aditional 4.6V, but with fully loaded 3S pack the voltage difference would be only 0,6V in the beginning so almost direct drive.

  19. #19
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the VF need to be measured at low currents to figure out which pack to run with a maxflex? Like what current you are running when dimmed?
    And from my understanding, you don't want the maxflex going out of regulation.
    Or maybe I've just been erring on the safe side.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the VF need to be measured at low currents to figure out which pack to run with a maxflex?.
    Correct
    At the lowest setting you can expect around 3.0 VF give a take a small amount. In terms of keeping the setup in regulation...it's what I've attempted when built mine. In his case, it would just mean that he shouldn't use the low setting until the battery voltage drops a little. Usually it seems you can get away with 1 cell less than the number of LED in a serial config.

  21. #21
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    I'm running setup like this for about a year, and haven't had any issues so far, and I'm using 3S2P pack, so the voltage of the pack doesn't drop so easy. Leds are a bit brighter when the pack is fresh of the charger and runing L1 mode (50mA I think). Aand mxflex also adds some voltage drop via shottky.

  22. #22
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    Good to know guys.
    So if running this setup, would you want to setup the driver to turn on on a higher setting, so it doesn't go straight into the lowest mode when you turn it on with a fresh battery?

    Also, when running 2s packs with 4 leds, do you think additional cooling of the driver is needed?

    I just built up a dual 3up xpg with a maxflex and am running a 14.8v battery.
    I only push it to 1000mAh, and the battery is drawing about 1.5a.
    Wondering if I should consider additional cooling.

    Sorry if wandering off topic, but I think it applies to the OP as well.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  23. #23
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    Push it to 1300mA and see if it trips easily at 60C. If it does, rise it to 70C and take it to ride to see what happens. If it works for me in this housing, why wouldn't it in any other one.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    I just built up a dual 3up xpg with a maxflex and am running a 14.8v battery.
    I only push it to 1000mAh, and the battery is drawing about 1.5a.
    Wondering if I should consider additional cooling.
    Are you serious?

    The maxflex is a boost driver so the battery V must be lower than the Led Vf

    If not, the maxflex goest into direct drive until the battery V are below the led vf!!
    ..just ride...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitedog1
    Are you serious?

    The maxflex is a boost driver so the battery V must be lower than the Led Vf

    If not, the maxflex goest into direct drive until the battery V are below the led vf!!
    Dual 3up is 6 leds in series that makes 18V Vf on min. 4S lion makes 16.8V fresh off the charger. You get 0.4V drop on Schottky before regulation, so maxflex has to step up for about 1.6V on min and about 2.6V on high, meaning it's in regulation all the time. It's a perfect setup.

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