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  1. #1
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    Very Easy XM-L Build

    Just sharing what I've picked up from reading in this forum. Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas!!

    Object of this build is:
    1) Make it as easy as possible so that anyone can do it.
    2) Use very little power tools, so no cutting / gluing of metal.
    3) To run the XM-L at high power from two to four hrs.
    4) Use as little of this $$$ as possible!

    The Parts
    Led Supply dot com
    XM-L Cool White - $10.05
    Optics Carclo 20mm - Plain Tight Lens for helmet / Medium Ripple Lens on bar - $1.25ea
    Optic holder - $0.23

    Deal Extreme (DX)(Free Shipping)
    LED Driver sku#57779 - $5
    TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery (2500mAh 2-Pack Blue) sku #5790 - $7.99 (if you want to save you can use rechargable AA 8 min. good for ~2hrs but not as bright as using four 18650s).
    14.8V 4 x 18650 Battery Holder Case Box with Leads sku#103855 - $2.80
    Universal Adjustable Bicycle Mount for Flashlights (2cm~4cm Diameter) sku#31871 - $2.39
    Clicky Switch for Flashlights (17.8mm 5-Pack) sku#5602 - $1.90
    JST Cables (10-Pair) SKU#15234 - $2.78

    Westburne Electrical Supply (Pricing in CDN$)
    1 - 3/4 ALUMINUM CONDUIT COUPLING - $5.52
    2 - CUP-2 KILLARK 3/4" CLOSE-UP PLUG - $1.95
    1 - R32 KILLARK CONDULET - $2.30

    Total comes to $52.17
    If you have your own batteries - $33.37
    Less if you have your own wires and switches.

    The Build
    Here is a pictures of most of the parts


    1 - Mark out the holes you need to drill through the heat sink (cup 2 close plug) and drill.

    2 - Using a soldering iron, solder the wires to the Led and paste it to the heat sink. ( I used Fujik compond that I got from DX working on other projects).Make sure to press down so that the Led is in good contact with the heat sink. You can use the optic holder and screw the R32 down on top of them. Note: I shaved off the tabs on the optic holder that hold down the optics, the R32 will hold it down for you.



    3 - Now solder the Led wires to the Led Driver. Remember to use some heat shrink to cover the expose wires.


    4 - The opening of the body (3/4 ALUMINUM CONDUIT COUPLING) is big enough for the driver to fit through.


    5 - Take the second Cup 2 Close Plug and drill a hole through the middle. Make sure the hole is the same size or a bit larger as the wires you're using for the battery. After this no other power tool is needed. As you can see I have two sets of wires, one for the battery, the other for the remote switch.


    6 - Push the wires through the second Cup 2 Close Plug and solder it to the Led Driver. Positive goes in the middle, negative around the edge. I used some heat shrink and a zip tie a cable strain. As you can see I've already screwed on the light head to the body


    7 - Before closing it up, test to see if it's working!


    8 - Once it's working, close it up by holding the power / switch wire steady and rotate the Cup 2 Close Plug into the body. Make sure the wires are not rotating also!! You should be able to have the Close Plug flush with the end of the body. When it's done you'll be holding this in your hands.
    **There could be a small chance that the soldered points may make contact with inside the light body creating a short. You can wrap it with electrical tape or thermal paste the yellow metal thingy to the inside to secure it. Thanks to "slcpunk".for pointing this out.


    9 - Sit back and have a cold one!!

    10 - Wait for the darkness to arrive!! Then go out and ride!!

    I have used clear RTV Silicone to seal the seams from water especially the back where the power wires are, fill it up with silicone. I'll be using a 30mm lens to cover the front and seal it the same way. All my wire conx are sealed the same way.

    Water proofing accessories for the batteries.


    The light on my bar and remote switch.



    Beam shots


    Outside
    Camera set to manual
    ISO 200
    Shutter 4s
    WB - Daylight
    Jpeg
    No post processing
    Fence is about 50 feet away.

    No Lights "Duh"


    Wide on bar "High"


    Wide on bar "Low"


    Spot on helmet "High"


    Spot on helmet "Low"


    Both "High"


    Both "Low"



    Some other info
    Weight - .095lbs according to the scale in the cafe at the place of work.
    Been riding for close to two hrs at night and running at high and body only slightly warm to the touch. Lights up the trail pretty darn good!
    Don't know what lumens it's producing, I'm guessing around 900? I know XM-L's produces over 1000, I'm happy with 900 hopefully.
    Ordering from DX was easy and took about 1 1/2 wks to arrive from the time of odering. Led Supply was much quicker, but then they are only in the US.

    Sorry no trail shots, to much of a hasle to bring camera, tripod etc. One of these days, maybe.

    Well hope this help anyone looking for an easy DIY light build with little power tools needed. Everything just screws right in!

    UPDATE:
    Adding this video on how these lights work on the trail. Sorry but the GoPro does not work very well in low light. But well enough when the lights are on high. Enojoy.



    Update:

    Do you guys wish this build could be a little lighter and smaller? I would also say easier, but this is about as easiest as it gets.



    Well you're in luck! Cause meet XM-L's little cozin..."XM-L2"



    They are about the same in length but the new body has a smaller diameter.




    It weights less too!! I assuming it'll weight in at around 81g with driver, optics, emitter and wires in place.

    I'm going to be using XM-L2 emitters with AMC7135 3.0A driver on this new build.

    Will I really see a difference in light output between a 2.8A and a 3.0A driver?

    Anyways here is the info you'll need if you want the smaller body.
    Mainbody is 1/2 ALUMINUM CONDUIT COUPLING $5.00
    Optic holder is R-21 $1.83
    Heat sink is CUP-1 KILLARK 1/2" CLOSE-UP PLUG $1.60

    To close up the back end, I'll use one of the sliding door thingy with a cable gland through it.
    Last edited by pucked up; 09-30-2013 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
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    Looks like you know your stuff. Nice builds and write up.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas View Post
    Looks like you know your stuff. Nice builds and write up.
    Brilliant

  5. #5
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    Very nice. I've got a couple friends interested in lights, but were put off by the $150 or so price tag on what my last build and batteries would run. I'll have to direct them to your build.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas View Post
    Looks like you know your stuff. Nice builds and write up.
    You learn a lot in these forums. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipless in PA View Post
    Very nice. I've got a couple friends interested in lights, but were put off by the $150 or so price tag on what my last build and batteries would run. I'll have to direct them to your build.
    I hope this will help them out.

  8. #8
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    Added liinks to the parts and corrected the sku# for the Trustfire 18650 batteries. Once you have all the parts, it should take you about 45mins to assemble.

  9. #9
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    Sweet! I'm personally not a fan of the trustfire batteries since there seem to be so many counterfeit batteries out there that are using the name, but otherwise a really nice tidy build. Thanks for sharing.
    The study du jour: can one's reputation be artificially inflated by simply putting a request for rep in one's sig?

  10. #10
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    Fantastic use of easy to find parts.

    pucked up, you've given me a few ideas on how to get around the fact that my lathe can't cut threads

  11. #11
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    Cool build.

    Instead of the coupler and second plug could you use two of the Condulet's and join them with the one plug in the middle?



    After this tuck the driver up tight to the plug then screw on a second Condulet to cover the driver. You would need to make a little plate to close up the end of the housing. some thin plastic sheet cut round and glued in with silicone.

    Housing would end up a bit smaller and the thread would provide surface area to act as heat sink.

    There would be no single smooth surface to mount, but perhaps file one side flat to tap screw hole for a mount.

    I need to build a couple lights for an event in September, this gives me ideas.

    Anyone know what the height of a modified Regina is vs these Carlco and holders? I have some Regina's I had ordered to use in a sled design.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Cool build.

    Instead of the coupler and second plug could you use two of the Condulet's and join them with the one plug in the middle?
    Hey Shirk
    I've tried that but unfortunately the Cup 2 Plug only screws in to the Condulet one way, smooth side in first.

    I what I can't believe that I didn't think of during the build is, you can file down either the remain threads on the Cup 2 Plug or the threads from inside the Condulet slide it together and JB Weld the second one to the plug / first Condulet..



    You can hammer in a sliding closet door thingy into the opening of the back side to cover up the driver.Or there could be a cable gland big enough to cover it whole killing two birds as you can now pass the wires through it. The opening itself is 20mm.



    I like this idea, which I think I will explore some more. Just waiting on parts to arrive. If it works it'll reduce the cost and weight of the build! Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by borrower View Post
    Sweet! I'm personally not a fan of the trustfire batteries since there seem to be so many counterfeit batteries out there that are using the name, but otherwise a really nice tidy build. Thanks for sharing.
    Yeah I don't know if these are real or not, I just bought the ones with the most positive reviews. Price wasn't bad either. So far on a charge I would use a set twice for about 1 1/2 hrs on high before recharging.

  14. #14
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    Ah yes thinking about it now you would need reverse thread cut on the 2nd Condulet.

    Maybe the conduit coupling could be shortened to make it a bit smaller/lighter.

  15. #15
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    anyone know where i can buy these parts from the uk? i can find the electrical parts but cant seem to find the aluminium parts.

    thanks

  16. #16
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    Excellent job Puckedup. The photos along with the concise description makes this a Do-It-Yourself project that anyone can build. Bravo!

  17. #17
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    Total noob questions here, but I have to ask - this build was so simple and didn't require any fancy tools, i just wanted to make sure i understood all the aspects.

    1) would it be necessary ( or recommended ) to heat sink the driver?
    2) should the driver be insulated from the body of the light? Seems like it could make contact with the sides touch the solder joints or just the bottom

    sorry if I missed something, but those were the only differences i saw with this build vs. a simple sled build where the driver is physically attached to the body. ( maybe i missed how that is done here - seemed to just be sitting inside attached to the LED and switch by the wires.

    thanks!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieron_67 View Post
    anyone know where i can buy these parts from the uk? i can find the electrical parts but cant seem to find the aluminium parts.

    thanks
    Try electrical outlets that supply companies in the industry. The aluminium parts I got is pretty common which companies use in their construction business. I don't know if the UK has the same electrical standards as Canada / North America but if you do companies there maybe using the same parts.

    These parts can not be found in your local hardware stores. But many distributors are willing to sell them to the regular Joe, Westburne is just one of them. Another is Fastenal which I see has distributors in the UK.

    Good Luck.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk View Post
    Total noob questions here, but I have to ask - this build was so simple and didn't require any fancy tools, i just wanted to make sure i understood all the aspects.

    1) would it be necessary ( or recommended ) to heat sink the driver?
    2) should the driver be insulated from the body of the light? Seems like it could make contact with the sides touch the solder joints or just the bottom

    sorry if I missed something, but those were the only differences i saw with this build vs. a simple sled build where the driver is physically attached to the body. ( maybe i missed how that is done here - seemed to just be sitting inside attached to the LED and switch by the wires.

    thanks!
    Hi slcpunk,

    1) You can heat sink the driver but I did not in this case and have not has any issues so far.

    2) Yeah didn't think about that. But it's so tight in there that there is a very low chance that it will. But there still a chance so taking caution is always a good thing! Don't want your lights to go out in the middle of you ride. I may have to squeeze some thermal paste in there to keep things still. Thanks!!

    I should update that step!

  20. #20
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    I have never had an issue with the drivers overheating. I don't heat sink mine.
    I do coat all edges and power connections with 5 minute epoxy. The epoxy keeps the driver from ever shorting out against the aluminum. Oxidized aluminum isn't all that conductive to start with though.
    During assembly I usually add a little more 5 minute epoxy to the driver so it glues into one spot. Had a driver that would rattle in one light that I built and it made me crazy.


  21. #21
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    The driver that you've speced has a board on top of the coil, have you modified the board to remove it?

    also you state 3/4 coupling which is 19m but it says the driver measures 22mm

    is this the correct driver?

    thanks
    Last edited by kieron_67; 08-10-2012 at 10:59 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kieron_67 View Post
    The driver that you've speced has a board on top of the coil, have you modified the board to remove it?

    also you state 3/4 coupling which is 19m but it says the driver measures 22mm

    is this the correct driver?

    thanks
    Hi Kieron 67

    The driver I received did not have the top board, don't know if the design has changed but the sku# matched that was on the packaging. I'll guess I'll find out if the ones I received was a mistake as I have ordered some more.

    The size of the opening of the 3/4 coupling is 26mm more than enough room for the driver to fit. I don't know where I said it was 19mm?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    Hi Kieron 67

    The driver I received did not have the top board, don't know if the design has changed but the sku# matched that was on the packaging. I'll guess I'll find out if the ones I received was a mistake as I have ordered some more.

    The size of the opening of the 3/4 coupling is 26mm more than enough room for the driver to fit. I don't know where I said it was 19mm?
    no you didnt say it was 19mm, i dont work much with things in inches so assumed that the 3/4" was the internal size of the thread which was 19mm, thats my mistake,

    thanks for clearing that up

  24. #24
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    For the ones that pm me for trail shots, here's the update.

    All shots taken with the following settings:
    ISO - 200 (sorry no 100)
    WB - Daylight
    Shutter - 3s
    Manual
    Jpeg straight from camera.

    No Lights


    Handlebar Wide Low (Cool White)


    Handlebar Wide High (Cool White)


    Helmet Spot Low (Neutral White)


    Helmet Spot High (Neutral White)


    Both Low


    Both High


    A second handle bar light was used cool white with a med spot. All 3 on high, two guys are about 60ft away.


    Both handle bar lights on high


    Hope this helps anyone out there looking at making this light build.

  25. #25
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    One more update.


  26. #26
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    Wink Wiring the switch to the board ?

    It's probably me, but can someone explain me how you wire the switch to the board and/or batteries to switch between modes ?
    I only see two wires going to the board ?

    This looks like a build I can see myself completing !
    Just try to figure out how to get the aluminum stuff here in europe as these are certainly not standard available here (not even in the industry) They are typical for Canada/ North America.
    Got some contacts there though....

    Thanks for sharing !

  27. #27
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    are the switch terminals wired directly to the + and - on the driver so in parallel with the battery?, cant really tell by the pictures how the switch was wired in.

    thanks

  28. #28
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    Hi Lavadome,

    The switch is connected via the positive wire coming from the battery. Thus connecting it to the positive terminal of the driver which is the middle ring.

    Hope this picture will help you out.
    " width="549">

    If you have any other questions just ask.

  29. #29
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    Thx !

    Now I see ...., Switch is in serie with the battery , just in the positive wire cutting the connection when operated.
    It was confusion on the earlier pictures where it looked like the switch was in parallel with the battery.

    Thanks again, now try to get the parts sourced....

    Lavadome

  30. #30
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    Is the switch waterproof?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by scribble79 View Post
    Is the switch waterproof?
    The switch itself is not waterproof, but I do cover it with shrink wrap and fill the ends with RTV Silicone to help prevent water from entering. This should make it more water resistant.

    I have not gone out for a ride while it's raining so I have not tested how water resistance the switch or the body is. But like I said in build, I have covered all seams (body and wires) with RTV Silicone which should get you home if you're caught out in the rain.

  32. #32
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    Great write up. Thanks. This will he my first light for riding. Nice affordable way to get out at night.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Great write up. Thanks. This will he my first light for riding. Nice affordable way to get out at night.
    Glad to hear that, good luck on the build. If you run into any issues post them here and I'll try to help you out.

  34. #34
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    Im going to order up some parts tonight.

    Only have budget for one right now. In your opinion would I be better to start with a wide or spot. I do have a pelican 7060 that is an amazing spot that I could mount to my helmet but it only has about 1.5h runtime.
    Are you in Canada?

    Thanks.

  35. #35
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    Oh and did you use 4 batteries per light or does that run both lights.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Im going to order up some parts tonight.

    Only have budget for one right now. In your opinion would I be better to start with a wide or spot. I do have a pelican 7060 that is an amazing spot that I could mount to my helmet but it only has about 1.5h runtime.
    Are you in Canada?

    Oh and did you use 4 batteries per light or does that run both lights.

    Thanks.
    Machine, yes I'm in Canada.

    Going spot or wide will be up to you. But the optics are not that expensive so I would buy one of each and try them both. With this build it's easy to swap out the optics.

    You can always carry extra batteries for the 7060 if you're planning to go for a longer ride.

    Right now I'm using 4 cells per light. I go out twice for about 2hrs before charging them again. I run the lights at high for 90% of my ride. You can use one battery pack for both lights just remember it'll cut down your burn time, 2.5hrs on high before recharging. You'll also need a Y adapter for the power supply. I created one from the original wires I bought from DX sku#15234. But I have since moved to the MS clone wires sku#32751 and use sku#32753 for the Y adapter.

    I'm also using a 3 cell battery pack as a friend wanted to use only 3 batteries. I haven't used them, they're more for back up or if someone new comes along and doesn't have their own lights set.

    Hope this helps.

  37. #37
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    Big help. Thanks. Good call on buying both optics. I will be building acouple more when i have more funds.

    I see some cheap "decent" looking lights on ebay and what not but I think I would rather build. At least I know what parts go in. I think my local westburn ruddy closed up so I hope ideal supply has the conduit.

    Thanks again for the write up.

  38. #38
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    Driver is out of stock. How tight was the fit in the conduit? Trying to find another to use

  39. #39
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    shiningbeam.com is a good source for drivers.

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    thanks. Didnt see anything near 3a. Closest they had was 2.8a but it was 2v-6v.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Driver is out of stock. How tight was the fit in the conduit? Trying to find another to use
    Try sku#128269 It's what I'm using for my current build. Couldn't wait for the other driver to come back into stock.

    There is not much room in there. The only other driver that should fit would be from Taskled. I'll be using them in the future, but they are pricey!

    You have about a 29mm wide, 26mm deep area to work with.

  42. #42
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    Awsome. Thanks again.

    I guess I should order a charger as well.

  43. #43
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    Yes, you'll need a charger. If you want to cut down your charge time get two. You will be able to charge four batteries within 3-4hrs instead of 6-8hrs.

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    This is a great guide. I want to update from my old 2 x P7 setup and this looks perfect. I plan to build two, one with the wider flood and one with a tighter spot as a "high beam" aimed up a bit. I plan on following your design pretty closely but my current battery back is a 4P 18650 setup so it has less voltage than yours obviously. I realize I could rewire it (and get less resistance loss in my cables and more headroom for the driver) but I prefer to keep the parallel arrangement because I feel like it's safer in this scenario since you tend to get dimming rather than sudden cut-out and I can charge the whole bundle together on a traditional 4.2V charger. I also plan on using NW emitters but that is a personal preference.

    Can anyone recommend a decent (and not too $$) driver than will drive the XM-L to at least 2.0A, provide well spaced modes and ideally dim rather than cutting out on a 3.7V input?

  45. #45
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    Well I cant find the aluminum fittings anywhere. Westburn is out of stock and even then they want 25.00 to ship it. I have checked all the supply stores in town and All I get is funny looks.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Well I cant find the aluminum fittings anywhere. Westburn is out of stock and even then they want 25.00 to ship it. I have checked all the supply stores in town and All I get is funny looks.
    Grainger carries them mailorder. Not cheap, though...
    Edit, Fastenall carries some, too. There are local Fastenall stores that may or may not stock them.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    Well I cant find the aluminum fittings anywhere. Westburn is out of stock and even then they want 25.00 to ship it. I have checked all the supply stores in town and All I get is funny looks.

    Local hardware stores don't carry them. So they will not know what you're talking about.

    Where in Canada are you? Is there only one Westburne outlet in your city?

    I know Fastenal carries them but this one is made from PVC. Can't find the sku for the aluminum one right now, I'll have to check when I get home.

    The manufacture is hubbell-killark you can contact them and see where in your city you can go to purchase them.

  48. #48
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    Ontario georgian bay area. Only one westburn. I logged in to the website but they are out of stock on a few of the parts.

    As it stands now.
    West burn has the 3/4 coupling
    Fastenall can get the r32
    Just need the plugs. Fastenall had none in the US

  49. #49
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    All the parts for the body is made by Killark which is part of Hubbell Canada. You can call them and see if there are other companies beside Westburne in your area that has stock. Toll Free: 1.800.465.7051

  50. #50
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    Thanks for making this such an easy project. It seems you know your stuff! One question, is there any alternative to LED Driver sku#57779 - $5
    as it seems to be sold out?

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    All good. Called local westburn with part numbers and got someone that wasnt lazy. All good. Had to order from other stores, but thats fine as I imagine deals extrem is going to take abit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markiemark79 View Post
    Thanks for making this such an easy project. It seems you know your stuff! One question, is there any alternative to LED Driver sku#57779 - $5
    as it seems to be sold out?
    Please see post #14.

    Use this one sku#128269

    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321
    All good. Called local westburn with part numbers and got someone that wasnt lazy. All good. Had to order from other stores, but thats fine as I imagine deals extrem is going to take abit.
    Good to hear, seems like you're all set.
    Last edited by pucked up; 10-05-2012 at 07:58 PM.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    Please see post #14.



    Good to hear, seems like you're all set.
    My last DX order was Aug 26th. It hit New York Aug 30. It set there for weeks - customs, apparently - I received it Sept 26. So yeah - there can be delays.

  54. #54
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    Another update.

    I had a helmet mount from DX sku#32754 and took flashlight holder from DX sku#31871 cut it in half to mount it on the helmet mount. Held on with zip tie and Velcro from the flashlight holder to hold the light in place.

    I can now shine the light out on to the trail without moving my head so much.





    Last edited by pucked up; 10-17-2012 at 04:48 AM.

  55. #55
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    Nice. I just finished my helmet mount a fe nights ago. Used a sirius sat radio mount. Turned out great. Waiting on drivers to get these finished up. Itching to get riding.

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    Too high IMO. Depends on your riding locations, but that's a branch catcher on the most trails I ride.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Too high IMO. Depends on your riding locations, but that's a branch catcher on the most trails I ride.

    It is higher than what I would like, but in Southern Ont. there are not many blow downs on the trail I ride most so catching it with a branch is not an issue.

  58. #58
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    Mine is a bit higher. I will make a lower mount at some point but I just want to get out on the trails atthis point. Most of my trails are also pretty clear of branches.


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    Nice!

  60. #60
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    Another shout out, these lights are great. Just got mine all done today. Had so much faith that i built them and 5 min later was on a 3 hour night ride in the rain(started just as we left ) and i wasnt stopping. No issues to report. Stayed cool and put out great light.

    I am wondering if the drivers that i subbed in are really 3000ma. Specs said 2500-3000. Not sure what that meant.

    Plans are to upgrade wire from the batt holders as its a bit thin for my liking and find a nice way to mount the switches. The heat shrink I had was to thick and wouldnt allow the switch to move.

  61. #61
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    That's awesome to hear that the build worked out for you. Also that it held up in the rain! Hadn't had a chance to test it in wet weather.

    The trick with the switch and heat shirking is, just get it snug enough so don't apply the heat for to long. Also make sure the switch is off so that the button is on the higher side when the heat is applied. Then fill the open ends with silicon..

  62. #62
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    I've finally found some suppliers in the UK to supply the conduit...I'll be ordering tomorrow and getting my first like underway!

  63. #63
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    "pucked up"

    Cheers for sharing ...



    Now I need to look for suppliers here in the UK ...

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinv89 View Post
    I've finally found some suppliers in the UK to supply the conduit...I'll be ordering tomorrow and getting my first like underway!
    That awesome, keep us posted on your build.

    Quote Originally Posted by chinaman View Post
    "pucked up"

    Cheers for sharing ...

    Now I need to look for suppliers here in the UK ...

    Maybe kevin can help you out.

  65. #65
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    any chance you have beam shots using just 2 batteries or even just single battery? 4 pack seems too bulky to carry on my helmet and i dont like wires hanging from my head to keep the battery in backpack. thanks

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    any chance you have beam shots using just 2 batteries or even just single battery? 4 pack seems too bulky to carry on my helmet and i dont like wires hanging from my head to keep the battery in backpack. thanks
    The driver used in the build list has a minimum input voltage of 6volts. If you're talking about lithium, a single cell wouldn't work. A pair of cells might work, but you'd have to be very careful to stay over 6volts.

    The number of cells used shouldn't affect brightness as long as the driver stays in regulation.

    Sent from my cm_tenderloin using Tapatalk 2

  67. #67
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    You could always make a pack using smaller sized cells, like 18350 or 16340.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    It is higher than what I would like, but in Southern Ont. there are not many blow downs on the trail I ride most so catching it with a branch is not an issue.
    Where are you in Southern Ont?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    Where are you in Southern Ont?
    East of Toronto, Pickering / Ajax area. Lots of great trails just a short drive or about an hours ride away!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    any chance you have beam shots using just 2 batteries or even just single battery? 4 pack seems too bulky to carry on my helmet and i dont like wires hanging from my head to keep the battery in backpack. thanks

    Sorry I don't have a two cell pack. I do have a three cell pack, but as other have said, there is no difference in light output. Your run times will vary depending on how many cells you use. Two would be the minimum which gives you around 2hrs on high.

    If you want something using only one battery, I would recommend a good flashlight.

  71. #71
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    great thanks, two cells seems reasonable for helmet. btw do battery holders exist for mentioned 18350 or 16340 sizes?

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    great thanks, two cells seems reasonable for helmet. btw do battery holders exist for mentioned 18350 or 16340 sizes?
    Don't know, you'll have to search on dealextreme.com or the place you get your batteries from. Good luck.

  73. #73
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    You could use a 2 pack for the helmut. I may do the same. But I do have the 4 18650 and could carry them a extras.

    Just a note. The chargers I bought are incredibly slow. Like a good 8-9 hours per pair. Thankfully I took Pucked up's advice and bought 2.

    The ones I got charge 18560 and 16340. I had 16340 for another light and it just made sense. I would avoind that charger. I think I read it runs ar 550ma.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    East of Toronto, Pickering / Ajax area. Lots of great trails just a short drive or about an hours ride away!
    I'm in Caledon, right next to Albion Hills and Palgrave. Lots of singletrack out the door.

  75. #75
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    If anyone is up for a dangerous night ride, come up to Owen Sound.

    Some of the stuff I run into. Its about 25ft deep

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    I'm in Caledon, right next to Albion Hills and Palgrave. Lots of singletrack out the door.
    Lucky you!

    I've only rode Albion once a few years back an O'cup race I think it was. Miss the 24hrs event this year but family members took part in it and had a blast. Came 2nd in their group class. Didn't have these lights ready for that event and didn't know that the Hot Aug Night race was cancelled. I was looking forward to that one which these lights were made for. Oh well next year.

  77. #77
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    So I just got my meter on my drivers and they are only running at 2.3a at best. From there it does go down after a few min to 2.285 ish. I assume this is a heat issue.

    This is the driver that I subbed in as the original was out if stock.

    They are still bright but I had a feeling they could do more. I guess this is a "get what you pay for" type thing. Now to find a true 3 amp driver

  78. #78
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    Thanks for the update. Wonder if there is a way to mod this driver so it pushes out closer to 3A?

    The first set of lights I created was with the older driver, I don't think it was at 3A also. Side by side they both seem to have the same output. Yeah we get what we pay for, but it is still a lot of light for the price.

  79. #79
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    Exactly!! No complaints here. Its kinda nice to know theres more room in there

    The taskled stuff looks awsone, just wasnt in the budget for a first light.

  80. #80
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    Driver with a middle mode.

    I am going to build one of these regardless but does anybody know of a driver with a higher low mode of a 4 mode driver with a middle mode. Can these things be modified by changing a resistor?

    Great design but I've got a wood lathe with a 4 jaw chuck and some carbide tools. Will not take long to clean up the threads and make that pretty as well as usefull .

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    Lucky you!

    I've only rode Albion once a few years back an O'cup race I think it was. Miss the 24hrs event this year but family members took part in it and had a blast. Came 2nd in their group class. Didn't have these lights ready for that event and didn't know that the Hot Aug Night race was cancelled. I was looking forward to that one which these lights were made for. Oh well next year.
    I was there this year, along wit 6 light sets for my team and other friends. Not often you see an offroad recumbent on the podium there.

    I used 1 xm-l on my helmet and a second floodier one on the bars.

  82. #82
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    cool white or neutral?

    I was all set to order some LED's to build one of these and don't have the knowledge to select between a cool and neutral LED. I asked my son if he knew anything about LED and he replied "Dad get the neutral, your not cool". Anybody have a more scientific approach to making this choice?

  83. #83
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    Neutral will be a more daylight type lighting. The cool will produce more lumens but have a more blueish tint.

    I went with cool and it looks just fine on the trails.

  84. #84
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    Color temp is a personal preference. Sunlight is ~5780K for reference and would be considered truly "white" light.

    Cree XM-L color temp is rated like this:

    Cool white is between 5000K and 8300K. This produces from white to slightly blue-white light.
    Neutral white is between 3700K to 5000K. This produces slightly yellow-white to white.
    Warm white is between 2600K and 3700K. Thsi produces a pretty yellow-white light.

    In automobile lighting, my eyes prefer light between 5000K and 6500K. Based on my experience with automotive lighting, I selected cool white LEDs for my build. Cool or neutral should be fine, but I wouldn't want the warm white personally speaking.... it is far too yellow.... of course, warm white would penetrate foggy conditions better than the others, but I don't ride in fog.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by hugh088 View Post
    I am going to build one of these regardless but does anybody know of a driver with a higher low mode of a 4 mode driver with a middle mode. Can these things be modified by changing a resistor?

    Great design but I've got a wood lathe with a 4 jaw chuck and some carbide tools. Will not take long to clean up the threads and make that pretty as well as usefull .
    The TaskLed drivers can be programmed to whatever you'd like. I run mine on Multimode, 5 levels of brightness equally spaced visually, with a 3A max. There are other modes where you set each level yourself.

    I like the neutral tints, even though the lumen count is less. Better depth perception.

  86. #86
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    Most commercial LED systems use a cool white LED, it's a higher temperature colour, and it's definitely got a bluish hue to it.

    This is my experience: The neutral is a much more natural colour, it is a little warmer in tone. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. The cool has a slightly better throw length; it seems like it projects deeper into the woods, but at the same time, it washes colours out a lot, so you lose contrast. The neutral doesn't seem quite as bright, but it gives a much more accurate colour illumination, so the contrast seems sharper.
    I like them both, but personally, I prefer the neutral.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggles604 View Post
    The neutral doesn't seem quite as bright, but it gives a much more accurate colour illumination
    This is correct for most LEDs, including the XM-Ls. Here's a good short article on typical white LEDs and color rendering. The picture of the spectra in the center of the article is worth a thousand words and explains why neutrals show colors/contrast/depth better.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by hugh088 View Post
    I was all set to order some LED's to build one of these and don't have the knowledge to select between a cool and neutral LED. I asked my son if he knew anything about LED and he replied "Dad get the neutral, your not cool". Anybody have a more scientific approach to making this choice?

    This is cool white on the trail.


    This is Neutral white on the trail.


    Both of the pictures the lights are on high mode. As other have said, it's really your choice as which one you want to use. I've use and like both, but I do end up using the cool light set more often.

  89. #89
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    Are those identical lights, except for the tint? Also it 'appears' that maybe the cool white is pointed down a little which may affect it's appearance of, or lack thereof, throw. I have to say I can see why some builder's love the neutral white. It's not as impressive at first glance but it does look more 'natural'.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy13 View Post
    Are those identical lights, except for the tint? Also it 'appears' that maybe the cool white is pointed down a little which may affect it's appearance of, or lack thereof, throw. I have to say I can see why some builder's love the neutral white. It's not as impressive at first glance but it does look more 'natural'.
    Yes both lights are using xml's. Powered by the same driver and type of batteries. You're right, I had the cool light pointed down more. I've always wanted to re-do the shoot but don't have any time right now.

  91. #91
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    Has anyone tried sourcing parts from big box stores? I found some items at Home Depot I will try once the LED and driver arrive.

    Halex 3/4 in. Rigid Conduit Coupling

    Taymac 3/4 in. Metal Closure Plugs, Gray (4-Pack)

    I still have a problem trying to find something local to replace the R32 condulet but I'll see what I can do with reducer bushings and possibly some threaded conduit.
    Halex 1 in. x 3/4 in. Reducing Bushing
    Halex 3/4 in. x 1/2 in. Reducer Bushing

    I will also look into some water tight compression joints once the parts arrive.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong - I am no electricitian by any means but I thought conduit was non-conductive which is why its used for housing electrical wires.

    Btw, great write up!

    EDIT: Grainger carries fittings in aluminum
    POWER FIRST Rigid Conduit Coupling, 3/4 In, Alum
    Last edited by Koollata; 10-30-2012 at 05:28 PM.

  92. #92
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    Well the ones you listed are steel. So yes they will be conductive. Also as far as I know aluminum is much better at conducting heat and would be a better choice.

  93. #93
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    Yeah aluminum has a much higher heat conductance than steel, but would it be significant in this application without being finned? I think the bigger advantage of aluminum in this case would be the weight savings.

    (Not trying to sound argumentative - just trying to learn)

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koollata View Post
    Yeah aluminum has a much higher heat conductance than steel, but would it be significant in this application without being finned? I think the bigger advantage of aluminum in this case would be the weight savings.

    (Not trying to sound argumentative - just trying to learn)
    Your biggest issue is not so much the heat that the led is producing. You'll be moving and as you are riding your bike will cool the housing. The biggest issue as you've already said is weight. The parts you'll be using is 4 - 5x the weight I've listed. If you can make this work, it's fine if you'll be using them on your handle bars. It will be too heavy to use as a helmet light.

    If there is no Westburne where you live, try Fastenal. The 3/4" coupling part #0749523

    R32 KILLARK CONDULET

    Fastenal seem to be more of an international company.

  95. #95
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    Thanks for clarifying!

  96. #96
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    Try an electrical supply store that deals with electricians. They got it or can get it and they are all over the place. I got my parts in 10 minutes at the shop across the road from the Home Depot after spending twice that long digging through shelves at HD and trying to find someone to help me. Might have spent an extra 50 cents buying it there but the guy behind the counter gave me some good advice and pulled a wire off something and said it was what I wanted for the wire to the battery. He gave it to me for free. Of course my wife was with me and now I be spending a couple of hundred replacing fixtures in the kitchen.

  97. #97
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    Just wanted to add some voltage info.

    Did a large night ride and got about 3.3h of mostly high. Just got back to the car as it kicked from high to low. Still not 100% sure it was a voltage thing. When I git home the batteries were stilat 3.5v each. This was without load. I will get a with load reading just to see if they dipped down alot more.

  98. #98
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    Oh, I have to build this! The results look excellent!

  99. #99
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    Does the remote switch have the high and low settings built in? I didn't see anything about that in the build, but all the photos of the lights in action show high and low settings...

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by schraderlp View Post
    Does the remote switch have the high and low settings built in? I didn't see anything about that in the build, but all the photos of the lights in action show high and low settings...
    It's a click switch. On and off, but you can half press it to get a momentary interruption of power. This momentary off is what switches modes.

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