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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJWilly View Post



    3. This is the driver I am using: https://illuminationsupply.com/8xamc...ver-p-142.html


    Can y'all make any recommendations to help me get a better spot out of this light?

    Thanks.
    Hey TJ, as Van has already said, the only way to improve the spot is to go with a reflector.

    One note...I see the driver that you are using has a max input voltage of 6V. Is your 3 cell pk a 1S3P? If not you'll have a 11.1V pack, which will blow out your driver.

    Any ways glad you like the build!!
    "By Your Command"

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    If you have room (depth) for a Regina reflector, it may tighten it up some. My experience with Carclo optics is they always seem to have more flood than the spec's would indicate. The Regina is 20mm diameter so that should fit. It is deeper than the Carclo by a bit and you will need a cover for it adding another mm or so.
    Thanks. I'll look into it.

    And right... I was rather surprised when I saw the degree illumination advertised was 12. (I went back and looked at it!)

  3. #203
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    Mini by hacksaw

    So I found the 3/4" coupling to be a perfect snug fit in the Park steerer tube cutting guide. Using the guide I was able to make a good square cut on the coupling. I then threaded a cup-2 plug part way into the coupling and cut off two-ish threads of the cup-2. The cup-2 is difficult to cut square with a hacksaw...

    I used the small half(?) of the cup-2 to plug the back and the large piece for the heat sink.

    I use the 2.8 amp driver from EL34. The Anderson Powerpole connectors, switch and Marwi mounts were also purchased from EL34. No two month wait here. Thanks EL34!

    LED and optics are same as OP.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Very Easy XM-L Build-2012-12-14_19-42-28_205.jpg  

    Very Easy XM-L Build-2012-12-14_21-16-44_751.jpg  


  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarniwoop42 View Post
    so i found the 3/4" coupling to be a perfect snug fit in the park steerer tube cutting guide. Using the guide i was able to make a good square cut on the coupling. I then threaded a cup-2 plug part way into the coupling and cut off two-ish threads of the cup-2. The cup-2 is difficult to cut square with a hacksaw...

    I used the small half(?) of the cup-2 to plug the back and the large piece for the heat sink.

    I use the 2.8 amp driver from el34. The anderson powerpole connectors, switch and marwi mounts were also purchased from el34. No two month wait here. Thanks el34!

    Led and optics are same as op.
    genius!
    "It looks flexy"

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarniwoop42 View Post
    So I found the 3/4" coupling to be a perfect snug fit in the Park steerer tube cutting guide. Using the guide I was able to make a good square cut on the coupling. I then threaded a cup-2 plug part way into the coupling and cut off two-ish threads of the cup-2. The cup-2 is difficult to cut square with a hacksaw...

    I used the small half(?) of the cup-2 to plug the back and the large piece for the heat sink.

    I use the 2.8 amp driver from EL34. The Anderson Powerpole connectors, switch and Marwi mounts were also purchased from EL34. No two month wait here. Thanks EL34!

    LED and optics are same as OP.
    Awesome build!!
    "By Your Command"

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    Hey TJ, as Van has already said, the only way to improve the spot is to go with a reflector.

    One note...I see the driver that you are using has a max input voltage of 6V. Is your 3 cell pk a 1S3P? If not you'll have a 11.1V pack, which will blow out your driver.

    Any ways glad you like the build!!
    Hey Phucked up... Yep I built 1s3p packs based on an earlier question I had in the thread. Thanks for posting up though. A few days ago, I would have been the proud owner of a toasted driver.

    I am trying to source a regina optic now to try out.

  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarniwoop42 View Post
    So I found the 3/4" coupling to be a perfect snug fit in the Park steerer tube cutting guide. Using the guide I was able to make a good square cut on the coupling. I then threaded a cup-2 plug part way into the coupling and cut off two-ish threads of the cup-2. The cup-2 is difficult to cut square with a hacksaw...

    I used the small half(?) of the cup-2 to plug the back and the large piece for the heat sink.

    I use the 2.8 amp driver from EL34. The Anderson Powerpole connectors, switch and Marwi mounts were also purchased from EL34. No two month wait here. Thanks EL34!

    LED and optics are same as OP.
    I sit here lol'ing. I just measured out and sketched almost that exact design. I came to it because I shorted myself some material in my order. I was a little worried about space but I am glad to see it worked. It looks great. I was on the fence with my mounting choice.

    Looks like you chose a 1s2p pack since I think EL34 uses the same driver that I picked up. What mah did you go with? On bright with that driver I got about 45 mins on high with one 2400mah 18650. (I forgot to start my watch when I started so it could have been a little bit more)

    Heat was a non issue for me. I used the cheap Dynex or whatever that is Best Buy has for heat sink paste. I have some artic silver epoxy paste now.

    I have SAE plugs, but those anderson plugs look really nice. SAE is a firm connection. How tight are the anderson style connectors? Never used them. They look less expensive.

    We'll see.

    Awesome job. Looks great. Did you use some cutting board trimmed down on that mount? That was my plan with some o-ring tabs/hooks.

    Great job on those cuts.

    Curious. What size cable gland did you go with?

    Great minds think alike!

  8. #208
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    TJWilly,

    Yes, the battery is a 1s2p 5200mah that I purchased from batteryspace. I installed the powerpoles and then dunked the pack in Plasti-Dip.

    The Powerpoles have a not so firm connection. There exists retention clips that I feel should be used when mountain biking.

    My wife has one of EL34's converted Marwi lights. I decided to use the Powerpoles and the driver he sells because I could use the wife's charger and the batteries would also be interchangeable. The Powerpoles are also inexpensive and easy to work with.

    Here is EL34's info for the Powerpole.
    LED Bike Lights 27

    I have some Arctic paste but on this light I used HexaTherm from Ledsupply.
    HexaTherm Tape - LED Supply.com
    I don't know how good this stuff is but I plan to find out.

    The cable gland is a pg7.

    Yes, the white piece on the mount is made from a thick plastic cutting board. Cut a shallow groove in the side that touches the light which gives the light a track to lay in thereby discouraging unwanted side-to-side movement.

    If you make a o-ring mount, please post some pics!

  9. #209
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    zarni,

    I used a spent tube (29er) to wrap my batteries in as it was less expensive but the plastidip looks good. The dip I have used in the past seem to have poor consistency. Which brand did you use?

    Thanks for the info on the powerpoles. These clips, do they not come with the connectors? I'll check out that link.

    Will do on the pics!

    Thanks,
    Phil

  10. #210
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    got my drivers from DX - just need to order the LED from somewhere else. (OP's shop does not ship to the UK I don't think)

    I have never heard of these batteries you guys are using... when I hear about lipos, I think of the ones I use for my rc helis - those 3cell lipos (11.1v).. can I use them? the ones you're all linking look like pen-cell batteries (AA)
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  11. #211
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    TJ,

    The Plasti-Dip I used is Performix brand. I've been happy with the couple batteries I have coated.

    No, the retention clips are not included with the Powerpoles. EL34 included one with the light that I bought from him. I'm not sure if he sells them. I have not seen them on his web store.

    Powerpoles are used in many applications and most would not require these clips.
    Road riding is fine without the retention clips but I would feel safer using them while riding singletrack.

    The part # seems to be 110G68.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muscleflex View Post
    got my drivers from DX - just need to order the LED from somewhere else. (OP's shop does not ship to the UK I don't think)

    I have never heard of these batteries you guys are using... when I hear about lipos, I think of the ones I use for my rc helis - those 3cell lipos (11.1v).. can I use them? the ones you're all linking look like pen-cell batteries (AA)
    Generally lipo batteries are more volatile than Lithium Ion batts... which is what the 18650s are we are using. Lithium Ion batts are different than those we use with our R/C rigs.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarniwoop42 View Post
    TJ,

    The Plasti-Dip I used is Performix brand. I've been happy with the couple batteries I have coated.

    No, the retention clips are not included with the Powerpoles. EL34 included one with the light that I bought from him. I'm not sure if he sells them. I have not seen them on his web store.

    Powerpoles are used in many applications and most would not require these clips.
    Road riding is fine without the retention clips but I would feel safer using them while riding singletrack.

    The part # seems to be 110G68.
    Got it. Thanks for the info and the part #.

  14. #214
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    Just an off topic question - the driver, can i use it for any LED types? non cree models?
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  15. #215
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    I got my drivers on Friday - so I've only just started looking for the LED here in the UK.
    Are these the same as what you've linked on your original post? the photo looks different (my link does not have the star board. only the LED it seems)
    XMLAWT-00-0000-0000T6053 Cree, Inc. | Mouser

    but it's the same part number from Cree. (sorry i'm new to LEDs)
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  16. #216
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    sorry for flooding this thread. is this the same led? NEW! Cree Single-Die XM-L LED T6 w/ 20mm Star Base | eBay
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  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muscleflex View Post
    got my drivers from DX - just need to order the LED from somewhere else. (OP's shop does not ship to the UK I don't think)
    Try Cutter Electronics they have more selections and also ships to the UK.
    "By Your Command"

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muscleflex View Post
    sorry for flooding this thread. is this the same led? NEW! Cree Single-Die XM-L LED T6 w/ 20mm Star Base | eBay
    Yes you can use this for your build. Having the led on a 20mm star base is much easier to work with than just having the led by itself. But both can be used, you just have to be more careful working with the bare led without the star base.
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  19. #219
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    Thanks Pucked! You and everyone else been more than helpful!

    Do the star base do nothing then? apart from enlarging the surface to solder connections to? Meaning I can get the bare LEDs and solder directly to them or I really need the star pcb?
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  20. #220
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    I just got the last of my part orders to build this light (helmet version).

    I plan to put the switch & driver in a flanged box like Marpilli did in the Cateye Double Shot upgrade thread. So I can probably cut the Alu coupler down fairly short, just for wire management. I got a Schedule 80 threaded cap to close up the back & provide for cable entry.

    Holy crap, the star & driver are tiny. Glad I have one of these laying around:


  21. #221
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    I've been using mine for a few rides now and it puts out a nice flood-like beam; even with the "plain tight"Carclo.
    Can anyone here recommend a more focused, tighter, spot style optic for this build?
    Oh, and please make it from a US based company. I'm in my 4th week of waiting for three more drivers from DX.
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  22. #222
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    I put a link to my favourite XM-L optic on the Parts and Suppliers sticky thread.

    Most of us seem to like them.
    Good XML optic

  23. #223
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    Good XML optic

    My vision is terrible, but it looks like those are all sold. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Good XML optic

  24. #224
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    I guess we all bought them out. I've contacted the vendor to see if they have more.

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    I too, find the plain tight to be a bit wide.

    When I ordered the optics i got the 2 Pucked had as well as a wider optic. It is just much fill to be usefull on the trails. The original optics do a fine job though.

  26. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    I guess we all bought them out. I've contacted the vendor to see if they have more.

    I hope it gets re-stocked in the new year, I would like to try it out.


    As for a tighter optics, I don't think there is one on the market right now. The only thing I can think of to make it tighter and may throw a bit further maybe a aspherical lens.

    How fast do you guys ride? I go pretty fast and still have enough light a head of me. Now I usually only ride trails that I know at night which may be the reason why I can ride at the speed I do.
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  27. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    Now I usually only ride trails that I know at night which may be the reason why I can ride at the speed I do.
    Knowing or not knowing a trail makes a difference to me. I frequently night ride trails that are new to me or ones that I ride very infrequently. Not knowing what is coming up has me scanning as far ahead as possible with the helmet light. I can drop the alertness level (and light level) down a notch when on familiar ground.

  28. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    I hope it gets re-stocked in the new year, I would like to try it out.


    As for a tighter optics, I don't think there is one on the market right now. The only thing I can think of to make it tighter and may throw a bit further maybe a aspherical lens.
    I contacted the vendor, and they do have more. They'll send you an invoice if you ask them. They got back to me immediately, so I ordered 5 more. Another item I'd like to see at the 1-stop DIY shop of my dreams.

  29. #229
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    So I am new to getting a light and had some questions. I like the idea of making my own and this thread is cool. I was looking at a 1200 lumen light on amazon that is about $34. I read the reviews below and all agreed that the light puts out tons of light.

    It seems to me that the main griping points from the reviews below were that the battery life was lacking, or wouldn't hold a charge, or something to that effect.

    Questions:
    Is it a good idea to buy this light and use it as a starting point and build a battery as you guys have outlined here and attach it to the existing light? Pros/cons?

    Am I better off to start from scratch and build my own?

    Thanks in advance,
    Travis

  30. #230
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    The biggest con to starting from scratch and building your own is the wait before you can get on the trails with it, especially if you buy from China this time of year -- the shipping times can be several weeks.

    If cost is an issue: when all is said and done (parts, batteries, shipping & taxes, etc.) you'll be around double what you'd pay for that light on Amazon; somewhat less, if you buy from places like DealExtreme. I'm already into it for around $57 and that doesn't include batteries (I already have) or the mount (I haven't bought yet). I did buy a few extra parts, though; but I bought my electronics and optics from USA stores so that accounts for at least $10 more than the OP got his from DX.

    Those lights from Amazon, etc. are great deals, but the comments about battery construction make my wary. Not as much for the potential of things going bad when charging, but mainly just having a pack failure when out riding -- if you're not prepared with a backup, you could be screwed. That said, I ride with folks who have them and they've had no problems.

    In the forum above this (Lights & Night Riding) there are threads about similar lights, in the ~$40 range. You should research these to see what is getting positive reviews.

    So a nice middle ground, as you already suggested, is to buy a light like that and also build a reliable battery pack to alternate with the other one. Lots of great info in this forum on how to do it. If your original pack goes south, you've got a replacement. And you'll have educated yourself on the configuration and construction of a battery pack.

    And then you can work on building up another light during the times you're not out enjoying night riding

  31. #231
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    My next light is going to be a china light. I will. Be using a better battery pack and hopefully a better driver.

    For the price of them, you cant go wrong for the price, unless it dosent work. Its a quick and cheap way to get on the trails and see if you like it........You will!!

  32. #232
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    You don't build lights for economic reasons anymore. Just a few years ago it made sense, but no longer. If you appreciate quality beyond what is outwardly visible, the chinese lights might not be for you. If you like building things and like to tinker, then building might be for you. Buying a lighthead and building your own battery is a great intro IMO.

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    Very interested in doing this, and glad to see people are still able to order these items that appear to be out of stock

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    what battery pack to use with this?

    Great stuff here in this thread looks like a perfect first DIY light. This will be a first high power light for me as I am starting to get the desire to ride more trail at night.I can handle the electronics build side of this but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the battery power. I'm not confident enough to put together my own mainly because I don't know exactly what to get for this setup, so I've been looking here :
    batteryspace.com/14.8V-2000mAh-2600mAh-Battery-Modules.aspx
    (sorry not above 10 posts yet)

    Can someone reccommend a good pack from this page or point me to another page with better options...same price point would be good as well.
    Trying to avoid DealExtreme as well and put atleast some of my dollars here in the states.

    I'm planning on using the TaskLED b3flex driver with the XM-L and then everything else as listed on the first post. So my voltage range is pretty wide. I am however trying to stick it all into one of these:
    usa.zefal.com/products_led_light_set.htm]products_led_light_set.jpg
    Because everything measures out to be about the right size, and I have it laying around and it doesn't work....heat may be an issue but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    any advice on the battery pack would be awesome.

    Thanks

  35. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by njsanna View Post
    Great stuff here in this thread looks like a perfect first DIY light. This will be a first high power light for me as I am starting to get the desire to ride more trail at night.I can handle the electronics build side of this but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the battery power. I'm not confident enough to put together my own mainly because I don't know exactly what to get for this setup, so I've been looking here :
    batteryspace.com/14.8V-2000mAh-2600mAh-Battery-Modules.aspx
    (sorry not above 10 posts yet)

    Can someone reccommend a good pack from this page or point me to another page with better options...same price point would be good as well.
    Trying to avoid DealExtreme as well and put atleast some of my dollars here in the states.

    I'm planning on using the TaskLED b3flex driver with the XM-L and then everything else as listed on the first post. So my voltage range is pretty wide. I am however trying to stick it all into one of these:
    usa.zefal.com/products_led_light_set.htm]products_led_light_set.jpg
    Because everything measures out to be about the right size, and I have it laying around and it doesn't work....heat may be an issue but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    any advice on the battery pack would be awesome.

    Thanks
    If I'm not mistaken, with a b3Flex driving one XML you'll need an input voltage of > 4.2V so a 7.4V pack would be appropriate, something from this page: 7.4V 1900mAh - 5200mAh Battery Modules

    Maybe it's an optical illusion, but that Zefal light body looks pretty small -- will it fit the b3Flex?

  36. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by random walk View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, with a b3Flex driving one XML you'll need an input voltage of > 4.2V so a 7.4V pack would be appropriate, something from this page: batteryspace.com/7.4V-1900mAh---5200mAh-Battery-Modules.aspx]7.4V 1900mAh - 5200mAh Battery Module

    Maybe it's an optical illusion, but that Zefal light body looks pretty small -- will it fit the b3Flex?
    thanks...
    so 7.4v is enough? is the goal then to get the highest mAh at the lowest voltage? I dont know why the battery stuff confuses me as i continue to read this forum non stop....everything else i understand.

    you are very right about the diameter...i just checked taskled site and it lists size at 1" The zefal body is only 20mm ID and the head is 25mm. For some reason i was thinking the b3flex was 19mm. Thanks for the heads up.

  37. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by njsanna View Post
    thanks...
    so 7.4v is enough? is the goal then to get the highest mAh at the lowest voltage? I dont know why the battery stuff confuses me as i continue to read this forum non stop....everything else i understand.

    you are very right about the diameter...i just checked taskled site and it lists size at 1" The zefal body is only 20mm ID and the head is 25mm. For some reason i was thinking the b3flex was 19mm. Thanks for the heads up.
    An l-flex will fit. You ca drive 1 XML with a 3.7v battery pack with the l-flex.

  38. #238
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    Found another, US based, option for drivers:

    https://illuminationsupply.com/8xamc...a2624baa697c44

    It does look like you have to change the battery setup as this driver seems to be limited to 6V input. Does anyone see anything else that might make this a less desirable option?
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxtar View Post
    Found another, US based, option for drivers:

    https://illuminationsupply.com/8xamc...a2624baa697c44

    It does look like you have to change the battery setup as this driver seems to be limited to 6V input. Does anyone see anything else that might make this a less desirable option?
    You can use a 3.7 volt battery with this driver.

  40. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarniwoop42 View Post
    You can use a 3.7 volt battery with this driver.
    That's what I thought. How do you calculate run time?
    I'd like to figure out how much run time would be avail with:

    -Single cell
    -1S2P
    -1S3P
    -1S4P
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  41. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxtar View Post
    That's what I thought. How do you calculate run time?
    I'd like to figure out how much run time would be avail with:

    -Single cell
    -1S2P
    -1S3P
    -1S4P
    If you had one 3000mAH cell and ran the driver on 3000ma, it will run about 1 hour. Probably a touch less due to various losses.

    Most cells are more like 2500 mAH, and connections, drivers etc draw something so you're looking at maybe 50 min per cell on max. For lower power settings, just divide the maH of the battery pack by the mA the driver is drawing.

    A good 1S4P pack is 10500 maH or so, so you divide that by the ma you are running the light at.

  42. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxtar View Post
    Found another, US based, option for drivers:

    https://illuminationsupply.com/8xamc...a2624baa697c44

    It does look like you have to change the battery setup as this driver seems to be limited to 6V input. Does anyone see anything else that might make this a less desirable option?
    Need an on-off switch, and it goes low-off-med-off-high-off- (and strobes if configured)
    Not sure if there is thermal protection.

    I prefer the l-flex's multimode with a momentary switch, where you have 5 levels and can go up a level with one click, or down a level with a press. Considerably more $ and trickier to wire though.

  43. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxtar View Post
    Found another, US based, option for drivers:

    https://illuminationsupply.com/8xamc...a2624baa697c44

    It does look like you have to change the battery setup as this driver seems to be limited to 6V input. Does anyone see anything else that might make this a less desirable option?
    That's the one I ordered and the place I ordered it from. I also ordered my XML, plain tight lens and optic holder from there. Shipping was about $2 for the combo.

    I like the fact I can run a 3.7V battery pack and get decent run time with that setup, since it'll weigh less on the helmet than a higher voltage pack. Currently I use a single-cell XML T6 torch on the helmet. It's not always on, depending on the terrain, and when it is on I don't run it on high very often. I get through a 2-hour ride on a single 2600 mAh cell with capacity to spare.

    EDIT: What Ofroad'bent said about calculating capacity. If you run the light constant on medium, or about 1500 mAh, you would expect somewhere a little less than 2 hours if using a 3000 mAh cell or pack.

  44. #244
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    OK, my newest project based on this thread:

    The final product with the donor Snap-On Mini-Mag clone. Flashlight was a POS but it had a nicely machined anodized head.
    It just needed a new base, heatsink, and 26mm optics.







    Last edited by roxtar; 01-04-2013 at 03:35 PM.
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    Liberty is a well armed sheep, contesting the vote.

  45. #245
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    Nicely done and worthy of it's own thread!

  46. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Nicely done and worthy of it's own thread!
    +1!

    I would like to know how conx the them.

    Great build!
    "By Your Command"

  47. #247
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    Roxtar- that is really awesome!

    That turned out really good, is the driver in the first box off of the light head?

    Where did you source the switch from?

    This is a great thread
    09 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er

  48. #248
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    Roxtar- that is really awesome!

    That turned out really good, is the driver in the first box off of the light head?

    Where did you source the switch from?

    This is a great thread
    09 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er

  49. #249
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    Wow, thanks for all the kind comments.
    I went ahead and started a thread about this build. If you have any questions you can ask them there to keep this thread on subject.

    Semi-first attempt at XM-L build

    BTW, thanks again for all the help, Pucked.
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    Liberty is a well armed sheep, contesting the vote.

  50. #250
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    BTW, found a driver that is even smaller, seems to be better quality, and is avail in the US, no 3-5 week wait.
    https://illuminationsupply.com/8xamc...a2624baa697c44
    It is a linear driver though so you need to keep the voltage under 6V. This is actually a good thing. I'm now using three 18650s in parallel, more than doubling my run time.
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    Liberty is a well armed sheep, contesting the vote.

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