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  1. #1
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    ugly sextuple XP-G buildup

    Recently, I was PMd by someone on these forums who saw some pictures of a very bright 20W LED taillight build I’d posted pictures of on the http://forums.roadbikereview.com website, and was encouraging me to throw some pictures up of the build process.

    Well, I “suffer” from adult “ADHD”, which I have apparently had since I was about eight years old (times were much different back in the 1970s, as were the attitudes of teachers/authority figures/etc.), and so I got carried away INSTEAD by deciding to build up a sextuple XP-G light. It’s one week later and now the light is DONE.

    Here’s the formula: two 1A 3023 Buckpucks, two 3-up CREE XP-G LEDs, a 4400mAh 14.8V Lithium Polymer Ion battery pack, some square aluminum tubing, a heatsink from a 1997 Apple Powermac G3 computer, some assorted adhesives, and nice beer.

    The end result, according to my rough calculations, is a very compact light that outputs in excess of 2,000 lumens (each 3-up XP-G module is rated at 417 lumens when run at a wee 350mA; I am running each module at 1000mA—do the math, you EE guys). This thing is seriously uncomfortably bright, I try to avoid looking into it even though it has to be seen to behold the insane light output. I was skeptical of the XP-Gs due to their size, but I am now a believer!

    Below (and possibly spilling into further posts, should the number of images I will attempt to cram into this one post exceed the limit for a single post) I will provide some captions for each image, which hopefully will explain the process.

    1. Partial list of materials (and another project seen in the background).



    2. Adhesives—Arctic Silver Alumina, JB Weld, 5-minute epoxy, and a big caulk.



    3. The circuit—two 1A Buckpucks driven in parallel, with each output going to separate 3-up XP-G modules, driven from a 4400mAh 14.8V pack.



    4. Really hard to tell from a picture just how much light that is, but if you put your hand right up to the optics you will soon feel a burning sort of sensation.



    5. One can never have enough clamps.



    6. The assembly has already begun.



    7. Wiring things up and soldering them. Always remember to put the heatshrink tubing over the wire before soldering (duh!)



    8. Gotta partially insert everything before proceeding. At this point I was skeptical of everything fitting into the case.



    9. Well, one of the Buckpucks fits!



    10. At this point it’s always a good idea to make sure the circuit still works before closing it all up.



    11. Well that certainly is a relief!



    12. Time to solder the remaining connection, and stuff the switch into the hole.



    13. Ready for a magic trick? Me too!



    14. Nothing up my sleeve…



    15. HOLY CRAP IT ALL FITS!!!



    16. Behind shot. Lots of things look good from behind.



    17. I know all that caulk looks hella ghetto-ass, but I want this thing to be waterproof.



    18. That’s a lot of caulk for one hole.



    19. *SIGH* Must be nice to have a milling machine.



    20. Final test fitting of housing ends. Yes, that is a 22-ouncer of Port Brewing’s Old Viscosity Ale, and yes it is very tasty.



    21. Or maybe this was the final test fitting???



    22. That heatsink had 1/3 of the end cut off of it when all was said and done.



    23. See what I mean?



    24. Time for some JB Weld action!



    25. This type of clamp is freakin’ awesome. It really rocks for projects such as this.



    26. I found a great way to speed up the cure/hardening time of JB Weld (as well as Arctic Alumina thermal adhesive)…



    27. FORCE IT WITH HEAT!!!!!



    28. Here is the finished product. Since JB Weld isn’t as indestructible as a real metal weld, I added the nylon cable tie as a precautionary measure. It’s purpose is that of a goon cord is to a surfer and surfboard.



    29. *PHEW!!!* It still works!



    30. Compare the brightness of the 10W LED module below it. Oh wait, I have to turn the switch on…



    31. HOLY CRAP that’s bright!!!



    32. Close-up shot. Yes, I am using the Marwi light mounts. They seem pretty rugged. Thank you, JensonUSA.com for having these available for the purchase.



    33. I did mention the light was ugly, yes??? I prefer function over form.
    Last edited by Leopold Porkstacker; 05-12-2010 at 11:27 PM.
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  2. #2
    Spanish biker
    Reputation: msxtr's Avatar
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    Super nice job!!!!!

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Was my toughest build so far. I’ve built one copperhead light (used one 5W LedEngin + two Luxeon K2s), and two triple CREE lights (one with three CREE XR-Es, the other with two MC-Es and one XR-E), and the effort involved with those ones was really elementary by comparison… although I finished this new one in record time (glad to have a table saw and a nice $80 “Metal Master” circular saw blade).

    So, I think now it’s time for me to build another Dinotte-killer tail light, as I had originally set out to do.
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  4. #4
    help with the zip please
    Reputation: emu26's Avatar
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    Nice magic trick, very impressive. Are you sure you're not David copperfield?

    It will be interesting to see how the pucks handle the heat, there will be a fair amount of it in a small housing with very little air space between / around components.

    Nice work

    BTW, I think the cable tie might be over kill, unless you OTB

  5. #5
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    Nice write up.
    Must agree with emu though. Cable tie is just for style. Not going to help much in a crash.
    Lose it unless you just dig the red racing stripe.

  6. #6
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    Red cable tie + lots of JB weld + lots of silicone = ultra ghetto

    I love it!

  7. #7
    my body breaks the falls
    Reputation: twindaddy's Avatar
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    I have yet to find a Green Flash that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. In fact it can be blamed for many delayed projects
    $500 million for more irresponsible EBRPD land management? No thanks.
    www.noonmeasureww.org

  8. #8
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    Beamshots, beamshots!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    Beamshots, beamshots!!!
    You Lights DIY veterans are the masters. What is the best way to document beam shots? If I lived in a more remote part of the world, I could possibly leave the video camera running while I ride up the road several miles toward the camera, to show how bright it is, but with my luck some assclown would come along and swipe the camera.
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  10. #10
    The former Blue 'Goose
    Reputation: aliensporebomb's Avatar
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    Awesome build process - kudos. Wish I could do that.

    I can imagine if you manage to dump the bike though - your face will have the hot pattern of a heat sink in it seared right in. Scary.

    Lovely light though even if you think it's ugly.

  11. #11
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    How's it do for heat?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    How's it do for heat?
    As long as the bike is moving a few miles per hour, it seems to stay a bit warm, yet not hot. I would imagine that if the air temperature were 74F or warmer while the bike was stationary (and the light was on), then it might get too hot (in other words, possible damage to the individual XP-G LEDs). This happened to a custom-made triple Luxeon Rebel I had been using as a worklight while painting one semi-warm early summer evening. The end result is that now the light is really dim, essentially useless.
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  13. #13
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    Oh, and today I ordered one of those el cheapo DealExtreme digital light meter thingies. Although I suspect the accuracy of the lux readings to be questionable, if I am to test all my lights I might have a semi-acceptable benchmark for each light as compared to this awesome-o sextuple XP-G.
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