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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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    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
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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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    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

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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.

  26. #26
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    Great build, nice find with the switch.

  27. #27
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    Thanks everyone! According to me it's nothing new, just a combination of a lot of different builds I found here.

    I did some calculations and I should still have more than 85% efficiency using the 2sxp battery set up. A 3sxp would be better, I'm aware of that but I prefer to use the same type of batteries to all my lights. At least as long as I use the same connectors. Don't want to let the magic blue smoke out of any of the components by mistake.

  28. #28
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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!!

    WD, as Toaster pointed out, it is a dual 3up, so 6 LEDs.
    I guess I should have just stated it was a 6up.......= )

    XYZ,
    I too like having similar batteries across the span of my light selection.
    But unfortunately, I always make it hard on myself and choose setups that don't really accommodate that.
    On top of that, I haven't settled on a standard connector for my lights, so of the 3 lights I have built recently, I have 3 totally different batteries, and connectors.
    You should see the pigtail coming out of my RC charger......= )
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toaster79
    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.
    Thanks for clarication!!

    Seems I missed the "dual" in the post!
    ..just ride...

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    Savagemann: Seems like I've put myself in a tricky situation too. Well, haven't built the battery pack yet so I still have the opportunity to do a 3s2p instead of a 2s3p.

    Don't have a RC charger, mean I'll have to take my pack apart every time I'll charge it if I build a 3s2p. Thinking about some kind of solution switching it between 2s3p and 3s2p.

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    Nice photos xyz!

    How did you get the reginas to sit down properly onto the stars? As those stars appear to be too wide for the regina legs to land in the open parts.

    Also how are the reginas stablized on the stars? compression from the glass?

    Nice work

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    How did you get the reginas to sit down properly onto the stars? As those stars appear to be too wide for the regina legs to land in the open parts.
    Remove the legs

  33. #33
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    Nice job, i too was puzzled by all the drilled holes at first..

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    Quote Originally Posted by kan3
    Remove the legs
    Where is it mentioned (officially) that this is the intended location for properly focusing the LED? The ledil data sheet doesn't say this.

    As there is still room for the minimal xp-g board to go further into the the hole of the regina.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    Where is it mentioned (officially) that this is the intended location for properly focusing the LED? The ledil data sheet doesn't say this.
    Ledil doesn't put actual mounting information in any of their data sheets.

    As there is still room for the minimal xp-g board to go further into the the hole of the regina.
    Not sure how unless you started removing more than the legs which are just guides.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by kan3
    Ledil doesn't put actual mounting information in any of their data sheets.
    Yes, but really to focus one of these properly, there needs to be some more information. From 10 of the reginas I've bought, the covering on the base is not uniform. So that means that mounting them on the star,in addition to whatever thickness is also added between the XPG::star interface, the actual dome of the XPG will not be identically aligned axially with where ledil anticipates it will go.

    Not sure how unless you started removing more than the legs which are just guides.
    The bare minimum for the XPG is the 4x4 (mm) board containing the emitter - that board doesnt have to be on a flat surface. Some designs create a small tower (imagine 4x4 perpendiclar copper rod) that can push the LED forward or back In this scenario the focusing (axial alignment of xpg dome with respect to the axial desired location of the regina) needs more precision and repeatability - which is why ledil should give this spec in their datasheet.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    which is why ledil should give this spec in their datasheet.
    If the production tolerance of the reflector is high enough for you to notice, then I doubt you'll see information in the data sheet regarding material removal on their product? Doesn't seem a like a good idea really.

    Also, that rectangle hole in the base of the regina isn't there for a special kind of xpg mcb but because they use the exact same reflector on the Luxeon Rebel.

  38. #38
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    the bottom of the regina ie. the bit that sits on the star/base/whatever should be at the same level at the bottom of the XP-G emitter board. If you're using stars, then that's one and the same thing. If you're using bare emitters (I personally don't recommend this from experience) then just make sure that bottom of emitter = bottom of Regina.

    simple as that

  39. #39
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    Jasong: Thanks. As others mentioned already I cut the legs of and made sure the back of the reginas was flat. Then I used some "superglue" I had laying around to fix the reflectors to the stars. The front of the reflectors is also aligned with the front of the body.

    GD: Thanks. I'm not sure the drilling method is a good way to go. It took quite some time. But now at least I've tested it.

  40. #40
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    Really slick work. If this was a school project, you deserve top marks!
    The study du jour: can one's reputation be artificially inflated by simply putting a request for rep in one's sig?

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    Thanks a lot. Wasn't a school project. I only used the mill and tools at school, I think it's a great opportunity to be able to do so. Soon it's time for exams so haven't been much time for anything else than studying lately.

  42. #42
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    It really annoys me that the majority of school kit is never used, I know full well my local school has CNC kit, industrial sized lathes etc that are never used. In my opinion they should open up access to the public. On the other hand, if you are at school, teachers will go out of their way to help kids that want to do more than create a plastic keyring.

  43. #43
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    This kit is used a lot. And there's some other kits at school that is used a lot toot. This particular kit belongs to the robot association and is mainly used to do details on small "sumo bots" used in competitions.

    There's also a electronics association and sort of a workshop association that have some kits.

    As a student you just become a member of the association and participate in a course or two, and then you can use the kits as much as you want. It's really nice I think!

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    Great stuff, I don't believe it is the case everywhere, at least not in the UK, even when I was at school years ago, I think I was the only person to ever use the lathes :-(

    I really like the idea of those TechShops in the states (techshop.ws) , although they do seem expensive!

  45. #45
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    In my opinion, why should the machines just stand there? Use them instead!

    The idea of TechShops seemed great, but really expensive! The annual fee for the associations at my school is aprox. $5-10 and the courses are free of charge. Only additional fee is for the material used

  46. #46
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    spammer?
    ..just ride...

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitedog1
    spammer?
    Huh?
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  48. #48
    A waste of time it is is
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    There was a whole heap of jiberish about windoze OS with tonnes of links buried in the text. It looks like the mods have deleted it but left Whitedog1's comment

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    There was a whole heap of jiberish about windoze OS with tonnes of links buried in the text. It looks like the mods have deleted it but left Whitedog1's comment

    Ahhh.....I must have just missed it before it was deleted.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  50. #50
    A waste of time it is is
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    I only know because it came through in the email notification

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