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  1. #1
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    Ordering parts for Triple Cree DIY light

    With night riding season fast approaching us here in the northeast, I'm looking into building a triple Cree XR-E light inspired by achesalot. I need to start ordering the parts, but I have a few questions.

    1) What is the diference with the Ledil Smooth Spot optic compared to the Diffuser Optic? They are both +/- 7 degrees.

    2) Has anyone tried the Ledil square oval optic? Seems like it will be great for a handlebar light.

    3) What is the difference between the nFlex and bFlex?

    4) The salesperson at Radio Shack indicated that the momentary contact switch works only when pressing the switch. Do I need an on/off switch instead or does the momentary contact switch tell the controller (nFlex/bFlex) to keep the light on/off.

    5) What are my options on batteries? Do I have to get a 14.8V or can a 13.2V work. Does more mAh mean longer running times? I also noticed that the battery links provided by achesalot has a 2 pin connector, whereas the light is built with a size M, DC power connector. Do I have to change out the connector on the battery?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure that I get all the right parts before I start my build. I'm sure that I will have additional questions once I start building the light. I am looking forward to building the light once my parts come in. My riding buddies have asked me to build them the same lights too, if all goes well . . .

  2. #2
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    From the datasheet it looks like the hotspot is smoothed out a little between the Real Spot 6 degree (CRS-RS) and the Smooth Spot 7 degree (CRS-SS), and is smoothed out even further for the Diffuser 7 degree (CRS-D). I assume that you will loose some throw the smoother you go, a trade off for a smoother and fuller beam. The Oval 6 by 24 degree (CRS-O) may work for you if you would like a bit more flood directly in front of you. Perhaps to start with you could try a Single Oval and perhaps a pair of Smooth Spot optics, or just three Smooth Spot optics. Iíve never tried any Ledil optics so I canít really make any recommendations.

    The only real difference between the TaskLED nFlex and the bFlex is the shape of the regulators. The nFlex is a rectangular 1.1Ē by 0.8Ē board, and the bFlex is a round board 1Ē in diameter. Both of these boards need a momentary switch if you would like external control.

    For power, you will be fine as long as your battery pack voltage is around 1.5 volts higher than the combined forward voltage of your emitters in series. For a given voltage, the higher the mAh rating, the longer burn time you will have. The LED Pro program may be worth playing around with to gain a better understanding of the relationship between forward voltage / regulator efficiency / battery pack capacity.

    Depending on what battery and charger you decide to use, you may have to change connectors around so that your light, charger and battery pack are all the same. As you're building from scratch it would make sense to make the connector on your light the same as the battery and charger, rather then having to replace the connectors on the whole lot.

    Good luck with the build, and be sure to ask plenty of questions and keep us posted!

    Dave.

  3. #3
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    Update

    First of all, thanks Low_Rider for responding. I have already received the bFlex. The Ledil optics are coming in this week. The LEDís that I ordered from Deal Extreme a few weeks ago has been extremely slow in getting here. However, Iíve been busy building the housings while waiting for my parts. Been so busy with building the housings that I burned out the motor on my Dremel. As you can see, Iíve built 3 lights based on Achesalot design. My fourth light is based on a modified Achesalot design that was built by a person named David. His photo album is: http://picasaweb.google.com/shawvale/DLH_2xCreeXRE I tried this last design partly because it seems as if it would be easier to wire since one side of the square tube is cut away. The only negative is that there is much more cutting involved with this design. Weíll have to see how the finish build goes.

    The only thing left to order are the batteries are chargers. So, I need opinions from all the Do it yourselfers on the forums. I was looking at ordering this battery from All-Battery along with this charger. According to my calculations, I will get about 3 hours run time at 1000mah. My night rides only goes for 2 Ĺ hours at the most and Iím looking for a lightweight battery at a reasonable price. For my connections, I would use this connector that will be soldered onto the battery and will plug directly into the Triple Cree light. I would then use this connector to attach to the charger in order to recharge the battery. Do you experts see anything wrong with my choices? Thanks to you all for your inspiration and Iím dying to finish these lights so the night riding season can begin!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Those run time numbers sound about right roughly.

    You may get a little variance depending on emitter bin and regulator efficiency, but it will be very close.

    Your choices look pretty good to me!

    Dave.

  5. #5
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    I use the CRS-D for the helmet and the CRS-M for the handlebar. This combination is really good. I ordered WG binned CREE's for the helmet and WD binned CREE's for the handlebar. The color difference is quite dramatic IMO and I have already ordered more WG's to replace the WD's in the handlebar light.

    BTW, the CRS-M makes the light look less intense than the CRS-D because it is more of a flood pattern. The CRS-D would not work mounted on the handlebar for eastern singletrack.

  6. #6
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    BigBlue. Looks like you've gotten excellent advice from some experts here (Low_Rider and Lumbee1) and I can't really think of much to add except that it looks like you're really on track and have quite a light production going there!

    Some of the batteries (the ones from batteryspace) came wired with a 2-pin connector and a pack of adapters that plug into it giving you various sizes of standard DC coaxial connectors. You can work with a bare wire from the battery just as well and solder on whatever length of wire and connector you like.

    Let us know how everything turns out.
    - Allen

  7. #7
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    I used a boost setup as opposed to a buck. This allows me to run much smaller battery pack but still get good runtime. Once I paint my lights, I will weigh them and the battery pack.

  8. #8
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    Boost or buck doesn't make a difference for runtimes. Runtimes depend on 3 things, the efficieny of the constant current regulator, the amount of energy in the battery in Whr (Ah * V) and de powerconsumtion of the leds in Watt.

  9. #9
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    question about housings- what are you using for fabricating them? Is that just bar-stock aluminum or are you using some kind of project box?

  10. #10
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    Housing is constructed for 1" square aluminum tubing (1/16" thickness) available from Home Depot or Lowe's. Comes in 4 foot lengths. I am using a miter box, hacksaw, dremel and different size files to shape the tubing. Achesalot uses a bandsaw and a table sander to get achieve better angles and straight cuts. I hope this answers your question.

  11. #11
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    Free Shipping at All-Battery.com

    Use coupon code Tenergy2007. Just saved $10.26 on my order.

  12. #12
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    Doesn't matter much since you already ordered them, but here are some beamshots I've taken of a few various optics...

    http://christexan.com/biking/bikelig...nsComparisons/

    Basically the difference in the diffused and non-diffused 7* optics is the "cleanness" of the beam... the non-diffused will show artifacts (lighter and darker regions) and basically a "picture" of the actual LED die itself (square, and at the right distance can even see the segments individually of the LED die). The diffused slightly blurs all that together to make a smoother pattern, at the expense of a slight bit of overall output, and a bit "fuzzier" cutoff. In my pics on my webpage, compare the middle row first 2 pics, the diffused spot Ledil, and the "clear" Polymer Optics one, and you'll get some idea of the difference at the same beam angle (although not apples to apples since they are different brands, same concept applies).

  13. #13
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    Where is everyone ordering their LED Optics from?

    Is there a source for Ledil in the US?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by soslow
    Where is everyone ordering their LED Optics from?

    Is there a source for Ledil in the US?
    this is where I am going to be getting mine from. they are $3 each.

    http://led-spot.com/index.shtml
    It's go time

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