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Thread: My DIY lights

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    My DIY lights

    Just thought I'd do a quick post on my DIY efforts.

    I've got a 30w Philips Energy Saver (50W equiv) MR16 lamp in an aluminium pot (from JabilCyclist on ebay, search for 250338153529 to see an example) powered by 2 x 4300mAh 7.2V NiMh radio-control car racing packs wired in series & fitted in a water bottle giving about 75 minutes of run-time. Would have made my own light but couldn't find a suitable case. It's bright. So very very bright. 1500 or so lumens.

    I decided a helmet light would be a good addition; means I can turn off the MR16 if stopping without being in total darkness, can see cycle computer and can look places other than straight ahead.

    So I modded a 3W Tesco CREE torch with a separate 3 x AA battery box. 3 rechargeable AA batteries gives 3.6v which is slightly more than the 3V two alkalines the torch is designed for and I've no idea if it's within tolerance for the driver in the Tesco torch as I've no details on what that is!

    Then I decided that the MR16 lamp, though stupidly bright, had a rubbish battery life and I preferred the sharp white colour of the LEDs. So I picked up a few more of the Tesco torches and made a quad bar light.

    I chose 4 torches so I could use the MR16 battery pack, but now feel I might be pushing things a bit much as they get very warm. Won't be a problem when riding as even a moderate pace keeps the MR16 cool, but might find they don't last long before being burnt out! I toasted one during the build.

    The MR16 is (in case I've not made it clear enough) fantastically bright and lights up the track as well as a car headlight. The helmet light is an excellent addition. Only finished the quad-CREE tonight so not ridden with it, but a quick "garden test" suggests it'll be fine for the simple stuff I do and that maybe 4 LEDs are no better than 3

    Pictures here

    Total cost of three complete lights and two battery packs? About 60% of a MTB set of Ay-Ups. Weight? Pretty heavy. Fun building these things? Loads. Value of building the quad to distract me from thinking of wifey having major emergency surgery? Priceless

    Hope that's of interest.

  2. #2
    aka RossC
    Reputation: ocean breathes salty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Hey, Nice quad... Kinda like my duster... Great minds think alike

    Any photos of the mr16 set up aswell?

    Hope the wifey is A OK

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: troutie-mtb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    That looks vaguely familiar . I have been wondering about When someone was going to do that with some tesco torches.

    Very nice and you sound to have enjoyed the tinkering thats it it is in the blood now
    Your Doomed.

    Best wishes to yhe Wife.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    @Ocean - HeHe, it was a case of great minds thinking alike, hadn't seen this forum till I mentioned my idea to a friend and he pointed me over in this direction. Some fantastic DIY stuff going on here. Because I couldn't find a case and don't have access to a lathe I bought the MR16 off ebay - See here It's primitive but works well, and he's started doing CNC versions

    @Troutie - I was born with tinkering in the blood! e.g. Have had a 37-year old LandRover for coming up to 8 years and in that time she's been fixed, tweaked, modded and re-chassised by me. Also renovating a house. Have a nice little workshop at the side of the house but no metal lathe or mill One day though!

    My stuff was done using a pillar drill, band-saw (to cut the fibreglass), Dremmel clone and basic hand tools like vice, hacksaw and taps. Clamps are from Lumicycle, expensive but very nice - I filled the back of the torch with chemical metal and then tapped them to take the clamp screw. My goal with the quad was to make it all repairable/upgradable and I've managed to do that - it all comes apart to a set of parts. The head torch is filled with epoxy so that'll have to be binned if it goes wrong. Not a problem as you just make another, but to bin a quad if one LED goes would be tragic.

    As for the wife, consultant says she's doing really well considering how major it was and the fact she had no time (<48hrs) to prepare mentally. She gets two months off work now! Thanks for the best wishes even though you've idea who she is! Better go see her!

  5. #5
    Fists of Ham
    Reputation: TheBigYin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    The MR16 will coonvert quite cheaply to LED as well....

    Look familiar? It's another of Bruce's Overgrown Lumi Clones Edit: Oops - didn't realise yours was the tin-can version

    Conversion involved cutting a disk of 10mm Alu as heatsoak and mounting plate for the Cree's, epoxying a couple of stand-offs to the case to stop the plug sliding in too far, and a bit of wiring...

    I've stuck to 3 led's for this one, but may well have another go, this time with the 4 way lens from dx, 4xQ5's (on those dinky 14mm boards) and another MaxFlex3.
    Last edited by TheBigYin; 12-14-2008 at 02:23 PM.
    When I die, I want to go like my Grandad, peacefully, in my sleep - not like his passengers - shouting and screaming!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Looks good Big Yin. Lumens?

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