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  1. #1
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    First Time LED Build!

    Hi everyone! I have been reading and learning in this group for a few months and think I am ready to build my first LED lighting system. I have put together a list of components and created a wiring diagram which I think will work. It is based on Citizen Kane's Hammond light

    Hammond 1455C801 aluminum enclosure
    3 x Cree XPG 10mm LEDs
    1 Taskled bFlex driver
    14.8 V 2600 maH li-ion battery
    Momentary push button switch
    3 mm status led
    10 mm Carclo optics (2 narrow, 1 medium)

    The Vf would be 3.3 (XPG) x 3 = 9.9 + 1.1 (bFlex) = 11 V. This would mean I should use a 14.8 V battery to maintain voltage above 11 V at all times for the bFlex driver.

    If I understand correctly, 3 XP-G leds wired in series should output about 1000 lumens when run at 1000ma, and according to my LED calculator program I should get run times around:

    High (1000 lumens) 2 hours 58 minutes
    Med (500 lumens) 5 hours 56 minutes

    My experience with electronics & wiring circuits is minimal, so I was hoping that some of the more seasoned members of this forum could take a quick look at my components and diagram and let me know if I am on the right track. I may also have a few additional questions when it comes time to actually assemble the system - hope that is alright!

    Also wanted to say that this is a great discussion group and I am very impressed with the quality of LED systems that people have built. Very cool!!

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Time LED Build!-led-design.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Yeah, that looks spot on. I like your scematic, very clear and easy to understand! Just make sure your heatsinking is upto scratch, I hear these XP-Gs get hot, especially when run at 1000mA. Also, maybe 3 spot optics will give a better beam. I'm sure someone who has seen them in the flesh will comment.
    Good luck with your build and be sure to post pictures up when its done!

  3. #3
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    Spot on ( pardon the pun )
    that is a sweet set up with no problems .

    if it is for off road and the bars stick with the 2 narrow and 1 med .

    or helmet 3 narrow . you will be well pleased with the result
    and as long as you get a good path to the case it should handle the heat easy .


    they do throw a wider beam than if you used xpes but in my opinion the extra power negates this and makes a super light

  4. #4
    recognize the slowness
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhuge
    I have put together a list of components and created a wiring diagram which I think will work.
    I am planning my DIY light and reading a bunch on here as well. Thanks to all in advance for dropping the knowledge!

    What did you use to draw the schematic? I think something like this will help me visualize my setup and maybe get an opinion or two from these guys...
    "mountain biking and flyfishing, what more do you want?" - Yeah, I said it

  5. #5
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    Live Wire

    When you wire the LEDs, you don't need to use the upper/lower pads. The one I have has solder connections from the A-C pads in the shortest path possible. Here's a pic from trouties as an example. the stuff at the bottom is glow paint.
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  6. #6
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    bhuge, as the others have said you have it spot on. Try to have the least amount of joints possible in your housing, and use a good thermal paste/glue.

    You may get slightly more run time than you expect if you go with the PROPEL battery in your pic, I have that same battery and it's better than I expected. PROPEL being Tenergys' top of the range Li-Ion.

  7. #7
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    Thanks very much to everyone for your review of my design. Looks like I will go ahead and ordering the parts tomorrow. Is Cutter the only place that carries the XP-G LED currently?

    My plan is to order enough parts for 2 units and use one on the bar and one on the helmet. I will go with your advice for 3 narrow on the helmet and 2 narrow and 1 medium on the bars.

    The wiring diagram was created in CorelDraw and I exported it as a jpeg to post. You could probably use just about any graphics program - preferably one that is object or vector based.

    As for cooling I will go with the highly recommended Arctic Alumina Epoxy and make sure of a solid connection between the LEDs and aluminum.

    That is great news about the Propel battery, extra runtime is always welcome.

    Thanks once again for all your input, I will post some pics of the build once I get all my components.

  8. #8
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    Cutter is the most reliable option for XPG and optics. If you're not in Australia you might save a few $ by ordering the driver direct from george at taskled.com.

    You might consider a 20mm triple board for the hammond case. It will be a squeeze, you'll need to trim the MCPCB and optic slightly but will be less fiddly than the three small boards.

    As others have said thanks for the nice clear newbie post!

  9. #9
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    I'm in the process of ordering everything and I see that Cutter does not have stock of the Cree XP-G LEDs R5 bin until next year

    I guess I could always go for the R4 - how many lumens would I be loosing by going this route? I wouldn't think that it would make a huge difference overall and I would like to assemble this during the holidays.

    Please let me know what you think guys....

    Thanks,

  10. #10
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    It's not much fun at the moment, taskled has no Maxflexi(loads of bFlexi) cutter has no R5.
    This happens every winter!!!
    Decision time: you can go for the R4, probably not much lower output than the R5 or wait 'till next year when the R5 are back in stock. Thing is: at that time the S2 bin should be out & should be quite a reasonable jump over the R4.

    If you want it now just go with the R4.

  11. #11
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    Kaidomain seems to have XP-G R5s in stock as I ordered some a few weeks ago and they have been despatched so should be delivered this week

    16mm round
    20mm star

    Regards,

    OTH

  12. #12
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    I'm having a very diffcult time finding the Cateye bar, helmet and spacer mounts from the Cateye small parts store. They will only ship to USA. I'm located in Canada. Does anyone know of a Canadian source for these parts?

    http://www.cateye.com/store/parts.php?cid=2_25

    http://www.cateye.com/store/parts.php?cid=2_97


    If not, maybe a similar product from another company that likes to sell to Canadians

    Thanks a bunch!

  13. #13
    Lets RIDE!
    Reputation: Jim Z in VT's Avatar
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    I didn't realize the discounters were selling them already. Although not on 10mm boards, and $4 more expensive than Cutter!

    I don't see any on the DX site yet.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhuge
    I'm having a very diffcult time finding the Cateye bar, helmet and spacer mounts from the Cateye small parts store. They will only ship to USA. I'm located in Canada. Does anyone know of a Canadian source for these parts?

    http://www.cateye.com/store/parts.php?cid=2_25

    http://www.cateye.com/store/parts.php?cid=2_97


    If not, maybe a similar product from another company that likes to sell to Canadians

    Thanks a bunch!
    El34 sells mounts that may be of use.

    This is his add: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...?product=42912

  15. #15
    Lets RIDE!
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    For the mount, look at El34's site....the Marwi mounts he sells are very similar to the cateye. He's in the USA and I'd assume he would ship to Canada.

    JZ

    EDIT: YetiBetty sneaks in for the win by 1 minute!
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  16. #16
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    That's a first! I'm the slowest typist in the world.

  17. #17
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    Hi everyone,

    Most of my parts have arrived by mail and I am getting ready to start assembling, but I have a question regarding what type of wire to use to connect the leds, drivers & switch. Is it best to use solid or stranded wire and what gauge is most recommended? I was thinking either 20, 22 or 24 but wasn't sure....

    Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Hi there BH, You are only going to carry a max of 1A. #24 stranded wire is fine. This is what I use inside the light head. I prolly would use #22 or #20 for the wire from the battery. Only because the wire will be longer and the larger wire is stronger. There will be about 600-700mA in the battery wire. James

  19. #19
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    Is the polarity of the status LED correct in your diagram? other than that it looks good.

  20. #20
    Lets RIDE!
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    +1 on MTBfreak's wire gauge suggestions. That's exactly what I use too. I pull my 24g out of a roll of old ethernet cable I have lying around here.

    Stranded is better than solid....more flexible, and supposedly able to carry more current.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  21. #21
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    Thanks Chicken, in my diagram I do have the polarity of the status LED reversed. I'll be sure to wire it correctly during the build. However this brings up an interesting point which I read about on this forum. How do you tell which lead on the status LED is postive and which is negative? One is a little longer than the other, but I'm not sure how to tell with certainty.

    Thanks once again for everyone's assistance!

  22. #22
    Lets RIDE!
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    The long lead is +

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  23. #23
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    I'm new to bike light building but played with race and off-road cars for a long time.
    I always use flexible wire (copper if possible) not solid.
    It has much greater longevity .... less tendency to crack from vibration, bumps, etc.

    A question for you fellas though.....

    what size/dia is either thousandths of an inch or metric equivalent is 24 gauge?
    Sorry...never used it that way before.
    Used to be measured here in e.g. 2.020" I.e. 2 strands x .020" diameter.

    I tried to make a lead yesterday from an old phone cable (had 2 pos + 2 neg strand in it)..... ended up very happy.... or not.

  24. #24
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    letssee here, 1972 Radio Amateur's Handbook, #24 is .021". Always use stranded wire due to solid wires breaking under the vibration.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    letssee here, 1972 Radio Amateur's Handbook, #24 is .021". Always use stranded wire due to solid wires breaking under the vibration.
    Thankyou.

  26. #26
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    Hi guys,

    Here are some build pics I took over the past 3 days. I ended up making 2 lights - one for the helmet which had three narrow optics and one for the bar which had 2 narrow and 1 medium optic. Overall things went pretty smoothly although my nerves got the best of me when trying to solder all the wires to the bFlex driver. I had to call it a night around 1:00 am and try again the next morning

    I am hoping to get outside soon and take some beam shots but tonight it's windy and snowy so I'll try later. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has provided me with help and insite into this great (but sometimes frusturating) hobby. I am already thinking to what my next light may be - I was thinking possibly a dual SSC P7, but I'll have to research it some more.

    For now I am content with my two new riding lights. I just hope the throw on the XP-G with give me the distance I am looking for. They definitely give a nice wide, even beam pattern down in my basement thus far.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing everyone's new DIY lights...

    Cheers and good night!
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  27. #27
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    Nice build!

    Please post details about the switch you have used, it looks interesting as an alternative to the ever popular APEM.

  28. #28
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    The switch I picked up from a local electronics supply store. It did not have any packaging so I do not know who makes it. I can check next time I am at the store and ask the owner to check his product catalogues. It is not too deep, and mounts in a hole a bit larger than 1/2". It is just small enough to fit in the Hammond enclosure. I'm pretty sure it is not submersible, but should keep out some light rain. Here's another shot of the switch from the back.

    I have another question in regards to the voltage settings for the bFlex driver. I read the documentation and wasn't able to find the numbers for Vmid, Vlow and Vcut for my 14.8 v battery pack. I would like to program it to make use of the status led, but I'm not sure what numbers to use. Someone mentioned doubling the 7.4 v numbers, but I don't know those numbers either. If anyone in the know could let me know which numbers to use it would be most appreciated!

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Time LED Build!-dscn0034b.jpg  


  29. #29
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    Read the documentation again! In section "4.4 Menu features/choices of all UIs" you have factory defaults for all those voltages specified. And incidentally, those factory defaults are configured for exact same battery voltage you have.

  30. #30
    recognize the slowness
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    where did you pick up the connector you have on the battery?

    I am looking for a local store front and can't seem to call it the right name so people have a clue what I am looking for...

    JB
    "mountain biking and flyfishing, what more do you want?" - Yeah, I said it

  31. #31
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    Ortelius - Thanks for bringing that to my attention - I can't believe I missed it twice while reading the documentation..... That is great news since I don't have to program them and I'm all set to go!

    JB - I think the cable is called a DC power cable with barrel connectors. I bought a couple from the Cygolite spare parts web site because I have a TridenX and a Mity Crosss and really liked the quality of the wire and the connectors. I found them located here:

    http://www.shop.cygolite.com/product...&categoryId=63

    I ended up cutting one in half and soldering the shorter female side to the battery and the longer male side to the light.

    Hope that helps

  32. #32
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    Beam shots please.

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