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  1. #1
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    First Build - Double Sled Design - Double XP-G R5 + Regina

    Hello, (1st post!)
    I basically had an XPG torch for my lid, which was great. I have lost it, so now I have an excuse to build!

    I just want to run through what I propose, along with the bits I am not sure about (lots of questions), so that you kind people can help me decide which way to go, and point out any mistakes I have made. I also hope to encourage others to build!

    I know the double XPG Regina thing has been done many times, so I hope this doesn't bore to many people.

    I have based this on Mattthatmuppet's Sled Design, but creating a Double Sled - The sled concept just seems to make sense to me, simple, and available to anyone with access to regular hand tools and materials.

    I am in th UK and trying to keep delivery costs to a minimum (ordering what I can from dx/kaidomain/bestofferbuy etc.)

    see the attached design in pdf.

    Emitters:
    XP-G R5 Stars 20mm or 16/14mm dia.?
    -I was initially going to buy the 20mm dia. star from Kaidomain, but the I saw the stated
    dimensions are too big. are these dimension correct? - read as 25mmx 25mm

    Drivers: - this area was/is a tad overwhelming
    I preferably want a driver with 3-modes(low/med/high). and will work with my
    8.4V-7.4V 2s pack (which I haven't built yet, so this can change)
    options I have come across:

    1. b2flex - preffered by many here, sounds great, just the high cost and programming the thing
    that is putting me off. - maybe upgrade to at a later date.

    2. something like sku6190 from DX. - amc7135 type
    - but would need it to be able to take a higher Vbatt from my supply, so I can drive 2x XP-G's in series. - I cant find one out there, so forget this.

    - OR (the big question)!! Would it be possible using the above (sku6190), to run 2x drivers in series, each separately feeding an XP-G?
    I believe this is what."download" is doing here post #13 and #16

    he is using 1driver without modes in series with another driver with modes..... the driver with modes switches the other non-mode driver/s.....would this actually work??...
    this is where i am out of my depth.....
    i have only found this one post about this setup...

    the other way would be the poormans setup, but I can't work out whether that would work with the modes??

    sorry for all the questions... thanks for reading
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    TV-Kid
    That is an excellent illustration.

  3. #3
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    Thanks SBJohn,
    It's not too detailed as to internal components, but is pretty much what I want to build.

    Anyway, I had to give you lot some eye-candy after reading through the OP... I didn't realise how much I ramble on!

  4. #4
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    Avoid the guesswork of the series drivers setup by changing your battery configuration to 2P and run the drivers in parallel off that.

  5. #5
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    oh you git, I knew someone would do this before I got a chance to do mine !

    looks good, pretty much how I'm planning on doing it, except mine will be a double U (instead of your single U) as I have to fit a h6flex in there to drive 2 XM-Ls.

    If you're using 1in square tubing, 20mm stars and Reginas will fit fine. If you're going for 3/4in sq tubing (like Scar's Amoeba) you'll have to trim both.

    I know alot of people on here have good success with DX drivers, but personally I'd skip them altogether and get an lflex from Taskled.com. It'll be an order of magnitude more expensive ($26 inc. p+p vs. $3-4) but it will be superior in every single way - programmable modes, temperature controls, battery warnings and guaranteed to be more reliable. Plus it'll fit inside this light pretty easily (back of the U) and you'll be able to run your battery as a 2S pack. I've built 6 lights with taskled drivers and I can't see myself using any other, well, apart from a cheap bitza rear light, but that's another story..

    I don't know if you've sorted out the mounting yet, but I'd recommend going with the Cateye spacer/bar mount/ helmet mount setup. Cheap, super easy and you can attach the spacer with the same bolt that holds the sled in place.

    Looks like you have it pretty buttoned down, but if you need a hand, let me know!

  6. #6
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    thanks for responces

    @Vancbiker
    I was thinking this before, but I got a bit stuck with the emitter end of the circuit. bare with me...
    So a 2P battery-pack (4.2V to 3.7V), drivers in parallel also. But how would I wired the xpg's... series or parallel?
    and would the emitters each get the 3.3 Vf each they require at say max setting 1000-1100mA each?
    Would I be able to also have modes?
    many questions I know!
    Thanks

    @mattthemuppet
    Sorry mate! I didn't want to step on your toes! It was your 1st double XPG build that got me interested in the whole idea of building... then I saw the possiblities with the sled design... either way, i'm not in a rush, so you will probably beat me to the finish line!

    The 3/4in sq tubing is very tempting size wise. Rather than chop the 20mm stars, I would go with smaller ones (14mm or 16mm dia)

    The" Cateye spacer/bar mount/ helmet mount setup", is the way I am leaning, except I haven't seen this helmet mounted yet, any advice or example pics would be great.

    Regarding the taskled drivers, I want to explore the DX route first. This is purely down to cost and the way I have always done things is to spend less but more actual work for me. Some times after many DIYs, I have spent equal to what I would have, if I had just bought the finish product or paid someone in first place... but other times I have paid alot less with sufficient succes, which gives me satisfaction. - so we will see!

    Regarding fixing the sled and heat dissapation. do you have problems? I would have thought it would be better if the sled was upside down so all heat is transferred to the top surface, rather than the enclosed bottom. If it was upside down then the fixing screw would be on top, and possible problems with waterproofing (due to the fixing hole), and of course more importantly there are the aesthetics to worry about!

    Strain relief recommendation? - i don't want to use a large cable gland, something internal would be nice. Dont mind DIYing it.

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    Think I just worked out what you wrote, Vancbiker.
    2P battery-pack (4.2V to 3.7V), drivers in parallel, each separately feeding an XPG. That way they get the require voltage.correct?
    but how do I manage the multi-mode... both drivers with modes? I'm lost with this part.

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Or 1 L-flex driving 2 XM-Ls from a 7.4v 2S battery pack I believe.
    You could even use a Regina in one and something wider in the other.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    Think I just worked out what you wrote, Vancbiker.
    2P battery-pack (4.2V to 3.7V), drivers in parallel, each separately feeding an XPG. That way they get the require voltage.correct?
    but how do I manage the multi-mode... both drivers with modes? I'm lost with this part.

    Cheers
    You got it. The modes could be handled with independent switches, one for each driver. It could also be done with a double pole switch (one mechanical operator switching 2 electrically separate circuits).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    @mattthemuppet
    Sorry mate! I didn't want to step on your toes! It was your 1st double XPG build that got me interested in the whole idea of building... then I saw the possiblities with the sled design... either way, i'm not in a rush, so you will probably beat me to the finish line!
    no problem, I'm just pulling your leg. That and the fact that others have done far more with this design than I have!

    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    The 3/4in sq tubing is very tempting size wise. Rather than chop the 20mm stars, I would go with smaller ones (14mm or 16mm dia)
    It's not just the stars that have to be smaller, but the reflectors/optics and the driver too. Scar files down the Reginas he uses in his to get them to fit and any driver that requires a thermal paths (eg. the Lflex) won't fit without using a larger alu extrusion (check out his 2x XM-L light in the Amoeba thread to see what I mean). That's why I use 1in sq - the weight saving is negligible, I'd guess 5-10g at most, which you just won't notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    The" Cateye spacer/bar mount/ helmet mount setup", is the way I am leaning, except I haven't seen this helmet mounted yet, any advice or example pics would be great.
    I ordered my helmet mount ages ago but Cateye has it out of stock. I'll pester y LBS to check again. Looks pretty simple though and not very expensive ($8 I think). I'll post feedback whenever I get mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    Regarding the taskled drivers, I want to explore the DX route first. This is purely down to cost and the way I have always done things is to spend less but more actual work for me. Some times after many DIYs, I have spent equal to what I would have, if I had just bought the finish product or paid someone in first place... but other times I have paid alot less with sufficient succes, which gives me satisfaction. - so we will see!
    to each their own. I go by the motto "buy cheap, buy twice". Plus, the fact that Scar, who's been using a simple fixed mode driver in his Amoebas for years, is going gagga over the Lflex, is a pretty strong endorsement. I think a good driver (not DX/KD) turns a light from being a glorified torch into something equivalent to what you get from the big name brands.

    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    Regarding fixing the sled and heat dissapation. do you have problems? I would have thought it would be better if the sled was upside down so all heat is transferred to the top surface, rather than the enclosed bottom. If it was upside down then the fixing screw would be on top, and possible problems with waterproofing (due to the fixing hole), and of course more importantly there are the aesthetics to worry about!
    My current sled light is running a slightly flaky XP-G @1.2A and auto-dims after 5min standing still with the temp setting at 50C, at which point the housing is about 35C. So 2 XP-G @1A in nearly the same surface area per LED should be fine. I added a piece of CPU heatsink to my 2x XP-G helmet light (now 1x XP-G + 1x XM-L) just in case, but I've never had it auto-dim. We'll see how it goes in summer temps instead of 10F temps I use it in over winter.

    As for heat dissipation, it doesn't really matter what surface the sled is bolted to - after a while the whole housing should be at the same temperature.

    Quote Originally Posted by tv-kid
    Strain relief recommendation? - i don't want to use a large cable gland, something internal would be nice. Dont mind DIYing it.
    I use Sugru now (it's from the UK) or you can make your own with acetic cure silicone and baking soda (or something), check out my "tis the time for ..." thread down a bit. I just think cable glands look ugly and take up a lot of space, but that's just my opinion - others on here have had a lot of success with them.

  11. #11
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    Thanks tv-kid for the detailed drawing of your sled housing! This was the clue I needed to complete my plans!

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    I do like the whole idea of "sled designs", especially if you already have 25 x 25 or 19 x 19 mm tubing to hand, but if you have to buy it in for a build, would it be just as cost effective to get a small hammond case from Maplin (or elsewhere) and save a lot of relatively accurate sawing, filing and polishing off?

    I'm sure you've seen the mega thread http://www.singletrackworld.com/foru...s-inside-light that morphs in to a very similar light to yours. With the exception of a very tiny amount of trimming of the 20mm star, all other components fit perfectly in the hammond case.

    Just offering this thought as an alternative, not as being better!

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    No worries Havi. Remember though, you must work out the overall length yourself, as I didnt accurately measure star thicknesses etc - I did the drawing/model before I brought anything, so I could picture how it sits/fits before I dove into buying stuff.

    NOTE: You probably dont need to have the central cutout (at the back), all the way to the top, as mattthemuppet has done is his recent thread:
    Thread: Finally, a Real Light (TM) for a Real Man (TM) - see post #30
    It would also allow for more contact area for jb welding

    Bobblehat, I think you have a perfectly good point. I just checked, and I started this thread on 04-15-2011, and have not yet finished my light. ok, so 2 weeks were spent waiting for items, and I have neglected the project due to DIY duties... BUT, there is alot of time consuming filing that could be halfed, and if you file off to much then you have knackered it.

    Im hoping to update this thread soon with some pics. and costs.(trying to do it on a budget). The one thing that wont be costed is the large amount of time spent building the light (i dont value my time much), or the even larger amount of time spent researching/sourcing components and overall setup. I wish I knew how many hrs I spend reading some stuff.

    laters

    ps. so annoying not being able to post links, private message etc.

  14. #14
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    I have to work out all measurement, I live in Germany, so I can only get hands on metric parts, e.g. 25x25mm square tube. And what is more, I use a different driver (Led-slave by pcb-components.de) which has a different size.
    My point was that the sled design enables me to disasseble the rear part, so I can access the driver. Thatīs a big plus as I am not the greatest solderer in the world....
    My idea was to drill a hole through front and rear part of the housing from underneath near the rear end an screw the parts together.
    I wanna use an old Hope-lights stem front plate instead of a handlebar mount so I have to figure out how to attach the housing to the stem plate...
    If I find a solution and build one, Iīll post it in here if you donīt mind.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. #15
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    I think the Hammond box approach is an excellent one and I agree that 4ft of 1in.sq. tubing ($20-25) is greater outlay. However, who on this forum has ever just built one light? I've built enough (6?7?) that I've finished one extrusion and had to buy another - the wife looked at me pretty funny over that.

    I find that the sled light is a lot less sensitive to precise cutting than the Amoeba/ Achesalot design (my 1st build) as the only bit that really has to be precise is the bit at the back of the sled, which is the back plate on the finished housing. All the other bits inside the light just have to fit - doesn't matter if there's a mm or two spare. I also used a jigsaw with a metal specific blade this time and it cut my build time in half, easily. Still takes an age though, but on the plus side, upgrading the LED(s) is a piece of cake

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    Guilty! Three LED lights built recently and already thinking about the next!

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    I also agree with Matt.
    I first saw the hammond case lights, which appealed . Then i stumbled across the amoeba style and fell head over heels for them, i really loved the simple aesthetics. But I just couldnt see myself building one though, due to the way they were put together.just wasn't practical - which is a must.

    Then when i saw Matts sled style, it all fell into place.

    Just gotta finish the dam thing now!!!

    Cheers

  18. #18
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    Great looking light TV. Love a well though out design.

    In response to other posts, that's the problem with diy, it's an addiction. You finish one light then think, ooooo, could i make one a bit brighter, so you do, then a new led chip comes out and you have to make yet another, and the process starts all over again.

    It's really a perfect example of perpetutal motion.

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    I've been getting in a couple of great night-rides over the last month, and this has renewed my enthusiasm to finish my light. I eventually found my xpg dx-torch, and have been using this on my lid. Although the light is great, it lacks the run time (<2hrs), and the weight strains my neck on a long ride (even though it is mounted very close the the helmet). So, my new light should improve on these factors!

    Anyway!

    I have previously wired the circuit up to see if it works, and it seems to work as desired. BUT, the wire I have been using is too thick, and strains the solder joints.

    Can I have some advice on wire gauge/mm2 please? and whether I should be looking for a specific insulation etc (heat and flexibility). I'm guessing that multi-strand would be best for flexibility and soldering.

    cheers dudes,
    tv

  20. #20
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    others on here have far more experience at choosing wire gauges than I do, so hopefully they'll chime in, but just use whatever I can salvage from old computer PSUs and the like. For 3A current draw (XM-L on full) you'll want multicore that's kind of hard to bend, for momentary switches you can use stuff that you can tie tiny knots in and for everything else use something in between.

    It's worked pretty well for me so far

    Hopefully the nights drawing in will inspire you to finish this off. I've been riding with my twin XM-L sled light for months and it's simply awesome!

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    brad72: forgot to say fanks

    matt: cheers for responce and encouragement. I think I have a suitable donor...

    some basic pics for you all:

    As you can see, rather than using self tapping screws, I have opted to use M3 self-clinching fastners. I was'nt confident about using the self tappers long term in the soft aluminium.

    I will be using the same fastners (maybe M3.5), to fix/clamp the sled into position.






  22. #22
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    wow, that's way neater than anything I've ever done! Waaaaay neater, especially the back plate fitting. Well done! Neat touch with the self-clinching fasteners too, be interesting to know where you got them from. Did you glue them on?

    I imagine the rest of the build shouldn't take long. Are you still going to use XP-Gs or will you use the newer XM-Ls? Decided on the driver and optics yet?

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the complement dude. It's just the way I work...I wanted to take my time making a complete one first time, rather than having to scrap rushed ones. The back plate looks flush in the photo, but I will have it set in a bit so the silicon sealeant is slightly protected. All done without power tools, apart from using a drill press for the holes.

    The fasteners were given to me by the sheetmetal worker we sub stuff out to. I/we use them on nearly all our sheetmetal components/products. They don't glue in, they are pressed into a specific diameter hole, and cold form the metal to "clinch" the fastener in place. Search for "PEM Fasteners", they even do studs, standoffs, allsorts of stuff. I just pressed them in with a vice, but studs and standoff would need a specific press tool.
    blah blah blah...

    Anyway, I've already got the xpg's so I will stick them in this along with the reginas, and some cheapo drivers... - I can always upgrade at a later date which is the beauty of it...

  24. #24
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    tv-kid, it looks like you have a lot of accuracy going on there. Nice! Good luck.

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    Nearly there people....
    Some more OVERSIZED pics for you guys before I seal it all up.

    M3.5 fasteners press fitted, and holes for cable entry and switch drilled:


    All wired up and it seems to work (and fit in!) .....which is ace!


    A shot showing the toggle-switch.
    The switch is wired as: OFF-ON-OFF(mom) - single pole.
    As these are'nt actually available, I manage to configure a ON-ON-ON(mom) double-pole switch which seems to do the trick! - the sprung (MOM) position allows me to switch modes, by flicking it down - I will see how I get on with this.


    Need to do list:
    -Mount the reginas - this is just done which normal silicon sealant right?
    -Secure lexan window. - 5min epoxy?
    -Then make water tight with a bit more silicone...
    -I was just going to use velcro to mount it on my helmet... any objections to this?
    -use very fine wet'n'dry paper to give a nice fine brushed finish to the main body (as I have already done to the back of the sled) - at least it will look nice for it's maiden ride

    Sorry, I know this is all more of the same that you've all seen already... I started the thread, so I'll finish/complete it.

    Thanks for reading

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