Triple Cree XRE with Bflex & MiniBlaast
Just sharing my creation. I guess this counts as an assembly job not a build. I'm not one for machining, milling, drilling metal, etc. Also, my soldering skills are really lousy. But I managed to get all the pieces together and make a nice bike light that works!
No beam shots, yet, gotta wait until dark! Here's the list of components. Prices included the freight
LED: Cree XRE x3 Q5(from Cutter) - $36
Driver: Taskled B2flex (hot off the assembly line) - $36
Housing: MiniBlaast housing from Adventure Lighting Products, NZ $60
Optic: The medium optic from Cutter's MR11 kit $3
Battery: 12V 4400mAh NiMH (basically a dive light battery stuffed in a freebie water bottle) - $45
Connectors: Trailtech connectors (I might want to shorten up the one from the battery) - $12
External Switch: I cut the switch off a dead Cygolite 10w Halogen lamp, opened it up and swapped out the clicker with a momentary switch. It took a little soldering and shimming to get it just right.
Mount: Cateye spacer & Handlebar mount from the Cateye parts site. I used a screw and some epoxy to stick the spacer on MiniBlaast L-shaped holder. It works out nice that I can adjust the light left and right a bit. $10
Heckuva lot more than a Magicshine, I suppose, but I enjoy tinkering with the stuff.
Last edited by MarvelousMark; 11-10-2010 at 10:11 AM.
looks really professional, props to you! Have you had it out for a ride yet? Impressions?
It might be more than a Magicshine but you know it's going to keep working, plus you can always upgrade the LED module later with the latest and greatest, when it comes out
That looks good
I'll do some beamshots tonight. Tomorrow will be the first real ride on the Ohio & Erie Canal towpath. The mount seems really sturdy, and the light & beam is a huge improvement from a Cygolite HiFLux light I was using before.
Been sort of messing around with the programming a bit. Not sure about stuff like voltage cutoffs & warnings. Also, this b2flex driver can run at 1500mA, but I sort of got the impression that the Cree XR-E's can only go up to 1000mA. I'll be conservative with that until I hear otherwise. The MiniBlaast Housing does a great job dissipating the heat. The whole thing is pretty much one big heatsink.
The Specialized frame has an extra set of water bottle cage bolts on the underside of the down tube. If I ever go with L-ion batteries, I'll try to figure out a way to use those bolts to hold the battery.
That looks Marvelous Mark, well done!
I tried to take some shots on the towpath with the iPhone, but that doesn't really work. (as a side note, the iPhone's flash is extremely bright).
I got triple XR-E's running at 1000mAh with a medium optic. Adventure Lighting told me that I'd probably prefer the narrow beam, which is en-route to me in the next few days. The wide beam does light the trail nicely for me and allows me to see well ahead, but you never really see a "beam" with it. It's more like holding up a floodlight than a spot light. You're just this big bright glow.
Optics are inexpensive and easy to switch out, so I can experiment in that area a bit.
The mount worked perfectly. Nice and sturdy, not much bouncing. I loved that I could easily adjust the aim left and right with Cat-eye's multiple positions on the mount. Adventure Lighting's idea of a bike mount is an L-shaped piece of plastic and some industrial strength sticky-back velcro, so this was a step up. Also, my handlebar switch worked out well - I could see riders coming my way and dim the light easily, even with cold-weather gloves on.
Battery was great. I ran 1 hour, 45 minutes on high, and the light output showed no signs of slowing down. The temperature dropped from 48 to 39 degrees during the ride - Heat wasn't an issue at all. The light was barely warm to the touch.