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  1. #1
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    Latest Build - Triple XPG with XPE spot

    Well I have committed to make another light to add to the triple XPE's I made last. After getting the 20mm 1C tint triple XPG's i found the beam a little wide with the available optics and the colour was a bit cold to get good contrast out on the bush trails...so i have added a XPE R3 WH tint with a Ledil LXP spot optic, to give more throw and soften the light a bit.

    The lights will be driven off a 1000mA 3023 bubkpuck and a 18.5v Lipo. The housing itself is 65mm(w) x 40mm(H) x 55mm(L) including the hood. Cooling area of the fins is about 8000mm² so should be enough, but I have plenty more space to machine more grooves if not. The joy of prototypes i guess. There is enough room to add bflex or similar in the housing for when I upgrade drivers, but since the buckpuck is what I have, that's what going in at the moment

    Compared to the last build I have added silicone "o" rings front and rear and a 2mm polycarbonate front lens to protect the optics. She should be nice a waterproof without the the mess of silicone sealant. I'll try and work out a water resistant depth with the vacuum chamber method.

    Couple of cad renderings of the housing design so far...now just to machine her up. Going to be fiddly with the manual mill but always fun

    Last edited by brad72; 06-05-2010 at 03:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looks awesome!

  3. #3
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    what's the estimated weight?

  4. #4
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    The weight via cad is 145g. A bit heavier than I would of liked so i'm playing around with the main housing and shaving alloy off here and there. If i didn't have the 1mm dia 'o' rings i could get the weight down a fair bit but not having to use silicone sealant is a plus for ease of tinkering with the light once made

    Just shaved to 135g......getting better


    .
    Last edited by brad72; 05-26-2010 at 08:24 PM.

  5. #5
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    F*****G finally someone designs a light that has practical parallel cooling fins instead of USELESS perpendicular ones.
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  6. #6
    A waste of time it is is
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    Leopold, there are lots of them around, you just have to look harder.

    Take this one as just one fine example of what you suggest

  7. #7
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    Very nice, I like the design

    What size screws are you going to use?

    Where are you going to get a piece of glass cut in that size?

    Is there any o-ring on the front side of the glass?

    Also, some of these edges look like they are going to be very easy to cut yourself on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    F*****G finally someone designs a light that has practical parallel cooling fins instead of USELESS perpendicular ones.
    I've done ALOT of analysis on this, computer modelling show a minimal difference...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Leopold, there are lots of them around, you just have to look harder.

    Take this one as just one fine example of what you suggest
    Yes, that one works.
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  9. #9
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    hi brad

    it seems to me that the frontplate would be a bit hard to machine and/or you will have a lot of wasted material!

    What do you think?

  10. #10
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    To answer the questions from above:

    -screw size will be M2.5 or M3 cap screws

    -i will machine a piece of 2mm polycarbonate for the front lens

    -at present the front lens will be siliconed into place, but i may yet put an o-ring there. Depends how fiddly the groove is to machine

    -the edges are sharp because the cad program(inventor) has a hissy fit when i try to radius incomplete edges. The finished product will be smooth as a babies bottom

    -yes there will be wasted material to make the hood. A piece about 15x60x30. One option I have though of is to attach the hood via cap screws from the rear of the front cover. That way is can be removed if the light was mounted to a helmet. On my current triple xpe light the hood is invaluable when standing over the bars so it is a must.

    Anyway below is a couple of snaps of the housing taking shape. Only have a lathe, manual mill with DRO and a rotary table and 2 arms to operates the slides. A bit time consuming but all fun just the same.


  11. #11
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    Well I started machining the housing then changed the design mid stream and started again. Must be a glutton for punishment. I'm sure I said to myself the next build will be from round bar and made fully in the lathe as it is a lot faster. I must have a short memory.

    After whitedog1's comment about wasted material I am opting for a bolt on hood. That way the front plate will be heaps easier to machine, plus it enabled me to add more cap screws to the front plate which will help compress the o-rings correctly.

    The main body below is just waiting for the top and bottom cooling fins to be machined. The XPG triple will go on the left and single 10mm XPE and LXP ledil spot optic on the right.

    Last edited by brad72; 05-29-2010 at 02:50 AM.

  12. #12
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    Nice work! I am eager to see the finished product.
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  13. #13
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    Well i'm getting closer. The housing is nearly finished. Was fun but bloody hard without a CNC. Would i make this design again by hand, probably not. Far too fiddly to machine. Finished weight was 122 grams

    The remote momentary switch I am going to use is a butchered led flasher that i had lying around. I have wired the button to the Bflex via a 4 core cable and inside the button is a red led that will illuminate when the battery is getting low.

    Proper testing will be hard since I only have 22.2v and 14.8v lipo's and i need an 18.5v since the bflex has a maximum input voltage of 24-25v where as a fully charged 6s lipo has 25.2v. I'm sure this was discussed in another post but i can't remember the outcome

    Will post more photo's when she's finished.

    Last edited by brad72; 05-31-2010 at 04:11 AM.

  14. #14
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    Thats bloody good thinking!

    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    The remote momentary switch I am going to use us a butchered led flasher that i had lying around. I have wired the button to the Bflex via a 4 core cable and inside the button is a red led that will illuminate when the battery is getting low.

  15. #15
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    Neat-o, that is really impressive work! Great idea using the LED keychain, however that could be the weak link in your waterproof setup if it is not sealed with some silicone. Most of my LED keychains stay on constant low mode when they get wet, until I take them apart to dry out.

  16. #16
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    Well I started machining the housing then changed the design mid stream and started again. Must be a glutton for punishment. I'm sure I said to myself the next build will be from round bar and made fully in the lathe as it is a lot faster. I must have a short memory.
    Brad, I think your work is great, so much so that it got me off my arse today and made me start something similar.

    Mine will be from round bar and only done on the lathe, it's all I have

    Thanks for sharing
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Latest Build - Triple XPG plus XPE spot-dsc00679.jpg  

    Last edited by yetibetty; 05-31-2010 at 12:51 PM.

  17. #17
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    Hi Guys, thanks for you comments. I look forward to seeing your light come together Yetibetty, and I'll deifinatly remember to silicone up the led button....thanks for that Huffypuffy.

    Just need to decide now if i diy anodize it or send it away to be done. Also need to work out how to program the V3 Bflex. Best read the manual 1st I suppose. This one has 13 menu's .

  18. #18
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    Yes you need to get your toes out....

  19. #19
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    It's a small world YetiBetty, I grew up in Crofton, not far from where you live.

  20. #20
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    Brad,

    Do you mean Croften road Bromley, or Crofton in Wiltshire?

    Either way you shouldn't have moved, that way I could have borrowed your milling machine

  21. #21
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    Crofton Lane (not road) Orpington. I remember playing in Sparrow wood as a kid.

    Got to admit mills are pretty handy. Although I used to only have a lathe that I mounted a compound vice to the tool post for milling jobs. Just put the slot drill in the 3 jaw chuck and your away, all be it slowly with lots of careful measuring.

    Have fun with you build
    Last edited by brad72; 05-31-2010 at 03:56 PM.

  22. #22
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    The light is nearly finished. The kids found a use for it however......might be onto something here

    Will post photo's in the next couple of days.



  23. #23
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    Well, the light is finished bar anodizing if I can find someone local to do it. The total weight of the light is 160 grams

    Part used are
    :-Cree Triple XPG R5 1C tint with 20mm frosted medium optic
    -Cree Single XPE R3 WH tint with Ledil LXP narrow optic
    -BFlex V2B driver with version 2 firmware
    -(all the above parts from Cuter Electronics)
    -22.2v or 18.5v lipo. (22.2 lipo will be charged @ 4.0v per cell to keep pack voltage down
    -Butchered bar flasher fitted with a tactile momentary switch and 20mA blue 900mcd Led
    -1mm o-ring cord for the front and rear rings (just cut and glue with Loctite)
    -2mm polycarbonate for the front lens cut with hacksaw and shaped with a belt sander.

    She all went together nicely. The bflex was a pain to program then I realized I was working from the wrong version of the manual. Was ready to email George thinking the unit was faulty when at 1am i found the correct manual and presto, everything worked fine. I left the space at the rear of the housing larger so the wires can be longer, making is easier to wire and work on if required. The

    She is a bright little thing and the single xpe spot adds the extra throw that compliments to the frosted medium. I also have the option of removing the single xpe and adding a triple if not bright enough. But so far is blitzes my triple XPE.

    I will post some beam shots tonight

    Hear are some assembly pictures.


    This acetal collar secures the bflex firmly to the housing behind the triple XPG so temp sensing is more accurate. There is some thermal paste on the center temp sensing IC



    Remote switch indicting low battery voltage. The blue led is almost too bright but better to know battery is getting low

    Last edited by brad72; 06-03-2010 at 11:30 PM.

  24. #24
    what a joke
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    Nice work!
    blah blah blah

  25. #25
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    Latest Build - Triple XPG plus XPE spot with beamshots

    Beam shots as promised. I do not have a full manual slr camera so apperture is 4.0, iso 200, exposure 2 seconds, white balance daylight.

    As you can see from the shots the xpe spot really improves the xpg medium. This is a perfect handlebar light giving a usable wide beam but with good throw, plus the mix of tints makes the light excellent for making objects out and softens the stark white XPG tint.

    The XPG with the narrow optic does not give as much usable spill if the light is used for a handlebar only lamp. If it was combined with a helmet lamp, or as a helmet lamp only it would be perfect.

    test shot


    old light as comparison- triple XPG R3 medium lens @ 700mA (trees at 15 meters)


    triple XPG frosted medium optic @1000mA (tree at 15 meters)


    triple XPG frosted medium + single XPE spot @ 1000mA (tree at 15 meters)


    triple XPG narrow + single XPE spot @1000mA (tree at 15 meters)




    The next 3 pictures are the same sequence as above but at 25 meters




    Last edited by brad72; 06-04-2010 at 05:47 AM.

  26. #26
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    Well i took the light out in the bush tonight and I have to say the mix of triple frosted medium and single spot worked a treat for a bar lamp. Could easily see 50 meters ahead, and ever the roo's and rabbits got a fright, hopping along in front of me.

    Light spread was very usable and the spot gave excellent throw down the trails. Best part is there was no hot spot, just a smooth wall of light. Even on the road I couldn't outride the beam which was a plus. Also, unlike my old triple xpe, a few cars flashed me in protest so I'm glad i programmed 3 brightness levels into the Bflex.

    All in all very happy with the result

  27. #27
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    Good light man.
    I might have to do some purchasing and adjusting of mine by the look of that.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    Also, unlike my old triple xpe, a few cars flashed me in protest so I'm glad i programmed 3 brightness levels into the Bflex.

    All in all very happy with the result
    Brad, what model Bflex are you using and what is your highest current level? I'm only asking because the one that I have uses either 5-mode or duo-(2)mode. With mine if you program for three levels you end up losing the higher output modes. I would love to have only three modes but I still want the highest mode included.

    Anyway, very nice build you have there. Kudos... Later on you might consider changing that single XPE to an XPG with Regina reflector ( if it will fit the housing ) My bet would be it would be even brighter. Now about those cars flashing you...pay those idiots no mind, really. Of course if you had included that nice hood that was planned for the original build, that would have helped knock some of the light down that tends to go upward. I put a little hood on my triple just because I didn't want so much light shining up into the trees ( which I found annoying ). For the most part it seems to help. I say that because well...it seems like I can see better. In theory I was hoping it would reflect more light down to the ground. Mine, however is only made of thin cardboard and aluminum foil... ..nowhere near as nice as the one you had originally planned.

    OH, one last comment...you might want to use that picture with the eyes as your avatar.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 06-06-2010 at 12:31 PM.

  29. #29
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    Incredible work...jealous of the rotary table too.

  30. #30
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    Incredible work...jealous of the rotary table too.
    Me too, I've made a right balls up of mine Too much power in the wrong hands
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Latest Build - Triple XPG plus XPE spot-ballsup.jpg  

    Latest Build - Triple XPG plus XPE spot-ballsup2.jpg  

    Latest Build - Triple XPG plus XPE spot-ballsup3.jpg  


  31. #31
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    Thanks for the comments guys. Certainly am happy with the end result. Funny how we make lights on the spur of the moment.

    I am excited about the regina optics. My single xpe is on a 10mm board recessed into the housing so as long as the regina optic is 22 diameter x 14mm deep i will be fine.

    As for the bflex I have the V3 model and used V2.03 instructions to program it. I am using tri-mode and have a low, med & high and do get the 1000mA on high. (Light draws 820mA from a 16volt with 4s1p leds). I was using the wrong version of the instructions when I first started programming it and was tearing my hair out as nothing seemed to match up, clicks here, presses there. Stayed up till 1.30am as i wasn't going to let a 1 inch circuit beat me.

    Ah yes the rotary table is great. It doesn't get used much but is one of those items that is worth its weight in gold. You can pick them up for about $300. Having digital readouts on the 3 axis's of the mill helps a lot also and being able to produce the cad drawings an knowing exactly where to drill/cut.

    Yetibetty, I stuffed up my first housing, i forgot to to tighten the clamping nuts, so i started again. Your's still looks go though mate and i'm sure she'll punch out some light
    Last edited by brad72; 06-06-2010 at 03:39 PM.

  32. #32
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    Brad, I don't think you'll get a Regina reflector in your housing.

    Mine is designed as a twin regina housing (tweeked now to look even more strange )

    You'll require in the region of 19mm dia x 17mm deep depending on the type of front glass over the reflector.

  33. #33
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    Thanks for the heads up Yetibetty. I would need to make a new front cover to accommodate the Regina but they do seem like an excellent optic. Perhaps I need to make another light

    One good thing for stuff ups is "Durafix" allow brazing rods. We have tigs that we can weld alloy with but also have the alloy rods that can be used with a standard blow torch (map gas being the best). We picked them up from the local welding shop, and all you do is heat the workpiece with the blow torch and scrub with the supplied brass brush till you notice the alloy starting to gloss up/melt, then just rub the alloy rod onto the area just like standard brazing and presto, mistakes disappear or new parts are joined. The rod also is stronger than the base metal.. Great for wrongly drilled holes etc. because we all make mistakes.

  34. #34
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    I simply put it back in the lathe and make a new shape with what's left of the mess up then pretend to myself that I like the new design.

    I think I actually do like it......I think. well It's unique-ish.

  35. #35
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    Yeah...I've actually got mine 25mm deep fr the Regina. I'm working on a double-barrel dual round stock thingy.

    I figured 2mm for the LED base MCPCB...15.3+2.5 for the Regina (18.8)...1mm for the lens...1mm for the O-ring...1mm for the snap ring...1mm lip.

    This is based on a 10mm star from LEDsupply.com...I'll shave that down to 19mm.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    One good thing for stuff ups is "Durafix" allow brazing rods. We have tigs that we can weld alloy with but also have the alloy rods that can be used with a standard blow torch (map gas being the best). We picked them up from the local welding shop, and all you do is heat the workpiece with the blow torch and scrub with the supplied brass brush till you notice the alloy starting to gloss up/melt, then just rub the alloy rod onto the area just like standard brazing and presto, mistakes disappear or new parts are joined. The rod also is stronger than the base metal.. Great for wrongly drilled holes etc. because we all make mistakes.
    Just don't try to anodize the brazed alloy.

    Great work on the light!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmoworks
    Just don't try to anodize the brazed alloy.
    What happens...different colour or the die doesn't take?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72
    What happens...different colour or the die doesn't take?
    Depends on what the filler is. Some aluminum brazing alloys can be anodized though the joint will dye differently than the parent metal. Harris Cor-Al is one. It has a pretty high working temperature, you'll need an oxy-fuel torch to use it unless working on small thin sections. The lower working temp brazing alloys have many different metals in them to reduce the working temp range. These other metals may comprise up to 50% of the braze material, the balance being aluminum. This makes them unsuitable for anodizing in most cases. Bath contamination or erosion of the braze are likely. Contact the manufacturer of the filler you are using to see what they recommend.

  39. #39
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    ^^ What Van said. Some low-temp brazing alloys literally will dissolve when current is applied to the part while in the acid bath.

  40. #40
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    Thanks guys, you learn something new everyday

  41. #41
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    Well i've been using the light for a couple of months now and I am really impressed.

    On single track and fire roads the light output is great when using the xpg medium triple and xpe spot, in fact it can almost be too bright if the ground is light coloured.

    Waiting for the new mountain bike to arrive I have also been using this light on my road bike with the triple spot and xpe spot. Whilst the light output is great on dark roads, I struggle to see a great distance ahead due to night blindness from on comiong cars, street lights etc. This is not a fault of the light output but I think for a road bike light 4 individual xpg dies with a mixture of tight spot, spot and medium would be the go to enable more throw down the bitumen. I don't like out riding the beam at 50km/h. I have found however that if I leave the light on 1000mA I get flashed from blinding oncoming traffic. Another reason to use optics with less side spill. I don't want some tosser throwing a stubbie at me because I blinded him.

    So my next build will be a road specific light since the mtb light is perfect.

  42. #42
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    just looking on the cutter site, the Regina optics look pretty good with a 4º spot

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