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  1. #1
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    Yet another Marwi LED upgrade

    Here is yet another upgrade for my Marwi (new style) Nightpro bike light.

    First off, thanks to all of those on the forum here whom I have gleaned information from and have provided input.

    This is my parts list:

    Marwi Nightpro housing (new bullet style) and switch

    Aluminum insert to mount LED mounted 20mm star mcpcb heat sink (shown in the 3rd image down - message me if you are interested in 1). This acts as a mount and heat sink to disperse the led emitter heat to the outer Marwi housing.

    Cree-XML LED mounted to a 20mm star mcpcb - u2-1c-tint-p-75

    8xamc7135-28a selectable mode driver (jumper'd to a 2 mode low/high setting & I un-soldered the spring off the board)

    Fraen FRC-N1-MCE-0R reflector

    34.8mm glass lens

    The reflector is actually made for a Cree MCE led but the XML U2 led is supposedly brighter. It is smaller in size (5mm x 5mm) so it actually fits the opening at the bottom of the reflector no problem.

    Here is an image of my purchased parts and my original Marwi new/bullet style light (disassembled and shown without the lens retention ring).



    Assembly procedure below:
    Solder led leads to the driver:


    Apply thermal grease/paste to both the insert and the rear of the mcpcb star (I used Arctic Silver Ceramique paste):


    Insert led leads from rear of insert, screw star in place using blue loctite (you will have to countersink the star under the flat head screws so that the screws get as low as possible so as not to interfere with the reflector), and solder leads to appropriate contacts. I like having the star screwed in place so I can replace/upgrade the led later on if need be. Some choose to glue it in place but I'm not sure how difficult it would be to break that bond.


    View of rear of insert/mcpcb/led assy with battery leads soldered in place (this is a good time if you want to solder/jumper your driver for a specific mode - see following image courtesy of El34)(Mine is jumpered for low/high mode - see the 4th star to the right is soldered/jumpered to the outer ring which is Battery -):

    This driver image is similar to the driver I used (I removed the center spring on my driver as you may have noticed):


    Apply thermal paste/grease to the outside of the insert and the inside of the light housing. Slide the insert assembly into the housing, set the reflector in place, followed by the o-ring, the lens, and then the lens cap. Prior to assembly, you will need to drill out the hole in the light housing with a 1/8" drill bit (it currently is a tapped hole), and lightly sand the inside of the housing to remove the burrs in this area. BTW - The o-ring is not the original. You will need to make a stop to your local hardware store in the plumbing department for the next size up o-ring with a thicker cross section. The final turn on the lens cap compresses the o-ring and tightens the lens and reflector in place.




    When assembled, the insert assembly presses up against the rear of the reflector (the reflector is a high temp plastic so there is not an issue of shorting the led out) giving the best possible throw this combination can provide. This can be a little tricky getting the reflector centered on the led but it is doable. Also, the rear of the reflector will need to be filed down to remove the little ridges/standoffs (where arrow is pointing to in image). Depending on how well your leads are soldered to the MCPCB contacts, you may need to file some clearances on the reflector as well (circled areas).



    Ready to solder the driver leads to the switch leads. I solder the leads and then heat shrink the connection.


    Here is the light fully assembled. The screw that holds the switch cap in place is used to also keep the insert in place. Some choose to press fit this insert but I like to take things apart easily if I need to. Plus, the machining tolerances do not need to be as fussy for a slip fit as they do for a press fit (too tight of a press fit and you could split your housing, in theory of course).
    Last edited by mntn-biker; 11-04-2011 at 06:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Cool beans
    I'll be watching your project

  3. #3
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    I would advise a trial fit of the aluminum heat sink sans led or driver. I found that wood liner in a vise let me press my sinks in and if they needed some work yet, the light could sit on top of the wood jaws with tape around the threads and the shoulder of the threaded section against the top of the wood, and a deep 3/8" drive socket on an extension, socket reversed square drive down against a steel washer could punch it back out for adjustments. Once the driver is mounted it would suffer from such treatment.

    I slipped a B2 Flex in the back after the sink was in place and soldered up the LED down the throat of the light. The B2Flex has temp sensing so I spaced it off the firewall/sink using a spacer. If I was doing it again, I'd run the LED leads back past the driver and solder them to separate LED leads from the driver out the back/bottom where I could work on them more easily. You design is neater. You may have smaller fingers.

    Looking forward to seeing this. The Eva and IRIS lenses rock and they were MC-E items.
    Though I misaimed my helmet light (also Marwi) in the ride along video you can see the twin XM-L Marwis at work here. So I think you have a very workable combination.

    BrianMc

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    I have 1 of my inserts fully machined and will be posting pictures tomorrow. Everything appears as though it will work. The fit of the insert in the housing is a really nice slip fit and the 1 original screw that holds the cap and the insert works like a dream (I just needed a 2mm longer stainless steel screw to replace the original) so there is no need to "glue" the insert in place. Same goes for holding the 20mm star in place. A couple of 3mm flathead phillips screws holds it in place. Upon final assembly, I will be using blue Loctite on the screws to keep them in place so I don't over-torque the screws or they will certainly strip the threads.

  5. #5
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    Pics added - see original post.

  6. #6
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    Nice!

    Does your front ring screw on and snug up the glass and reflector?

    I have to leave a tiny 1mm gap between the back rim of my reflectors and the body or else the ring screws on all the way and does not contact the glass.
    Then the glass rattles becuase there is no pressure against it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    Nice!

    Does your front ring screw on and snug up the glass and reflector?

    I have to leave a tiny 1mm gap between the back rim of my reflectors and the body or else the ring screws on all the way and does not contact the glass.
    Then the glass rattles becuase there is no pressure against it.
    I will know later on this morning when my lens is delivered (from you) I just measured the original MR11 bulb and the Fraen reflector lip and knowing the advertised thickness of the lens, I'm thinking it should and if not, I can always put a bit larger o-ring in.

  8. #8
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    Here's a shot showing about how much gap I have when I go to screw the front ring on. Probably about a 2mm gap

    The reason is that the front ring has so many threads that it bottoms out and your glass/o-ring and reflector don't make contact.
    I have taken a couple mm off the threads on the ring on a lathe and that fixes it.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    Here's a shot showing about how much gap I have when I go to screw the front ring on. Probably about a 2mm gap

    The reason is that the front ring has so many threads that it bottoms out and your glass/o-ring and reflector don't make contact.
    I have taken a couple mm off the threads on the ring on a lathe and that fixes it.

    I would advise that you look for a 2mm shim that fits under the shoulder of the reflector or a large o-ring to replace the existing one so that someone that buys your kit doesn't need to have access to a lathe to fix this problem or buy a new ring. The less mods to the original light, the happier your customers will be That is why I am using the original screw hole location that retains the switch cap. Granted someone will have to have a drill and an 1/8" drill bit to drill out the existing tapped hole but someone is more likely to have these items or know someone that does.

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    I don't think I explained it properly.
    The gap is there on purpose and is needed.

    The front ring with the threads is so deep that you can screw it on all the way until it will screw no more.

    You need some stack height so that you fill out that space and the reflector contacts the glass/o-ring.

    The original halogens solved this issue by having so much wire out back that you had to compress the wires. They acted like springs that pushed the halogen bulb forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    I don't think I explained it properly.
    The gap is there on purpose and is needed.

    The front ring with the threads is so deep that you can screw it on all the way until it will screw no more.

    You need some stack height so that you fill out that space and the reflector contacts the glass/o-ring.

    The original halogens solved this issue by having so much wire out back that you had to compress the wires. They acted like springs that pushed the halogen bulb forward.
    I think we are on the same page/sentence but we are reading different directions

    On my other original, un-upgraded Marwi with halogen bulb, the ring screws down, the o-ring makes contact with the halogen bulb, then the shoulder/underside lip of the halogen bulb makes contact with the housing, the o-ring continues to compress and my ring eventually makes contact and bottoms out against the housing. The o-ring compresses against the lens of the halogen bulb to make it waterproof and then the ring bottoms out on the housing (the o-ring continues to compress for another .5mm to 1mm further waterproofing the seal) to keep it from coming loose riding down the trail/road. This is how my upgraded light will react.

  12. #12
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    New pics replaced (better quality) and one new one added to show the cup for the driver to reside in.

  13. #13
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    Pics look good!

    Some of the halogen bulbs had real thick front lips when you added the bulb and the glass.

    Some of the front rings had less threaded area than others.

    If you find that you get some slop, all you have to do is slide your cup forward and put your threaded hole in a new place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    Pics look good!

    Some of the halogen bulbs had real thick front lips when you added the bulb and the glass.

    Some of the front rings had less threaded area than others.

    If you find that you get some slop, all you have to do is slide your cup forward and put your threaded hole in a new place.
    Just got my lens. I'm within .020" of the lens cap compressing the o-ring against the lens and reflector stackup So off to the local hardware store to sort thru their o-ring assortment for that perfect o-ring...

  15. #15
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    yes, that is what I was afarid of.

    All of that has to be calcualted when creating a heat sink and figuring out exactly how far back into the housing it should go.

    I would just slide yours forward and drill and tap a new screw hole.
    Can't you do that?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    yes, that is what I was afarid of.

    All of that has to be calcualted when creating a heat sink and figuring out exactly how far back into the housing it should go.

    I would just slide yours forward and drill and tap a new screw hole.
    Can't you do that?
    I would rather my plastic Fraen reflector not touch the heat sink for 2 reasons:

    1. Would rather not have the heat transfer into the plastic reflector (directly).
    2. I don't want my reflector bottoming out against my heat sink for fear of cracking the bottom of the reflector. I also have close spacing from the bottom of my reflector to the tops of the flathead screws. I haven't introduced the wire and solder yet on the top of the 20mm star.

    A 25cent o-ring should fit the bill here. By doing it this way, my heat sink length and depth of cup has some tolerance built in so it does not have to be a perfect fit (think +/-.010" on tolerances).

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    Ah ok, was not sure if the reflector sat down into the rim of the cup or not.

    About the only way I can get it all straight is to do a side view CAD and then stare at it all for a few days to make sure I have thought of everything. Beer is involved also.

    This is a CAD image of the Bell shaped Marwi's before I prototyped a couple heat sinks on my lathe and then had them made for real at a machine shop
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Yet another Marwi LED upgrade-marwi.gif  


  18. #18
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    Ok, I looked at your CAD drawing again and still do not see why the whole assembly cannot be slid forward .02.

    Everything moves forward and the relation between all the parts stays the same.

    Your reflector sits on the rim of the LED just like mine does, correct.
    If you silde it all forward, the reflector and the cup move at the same time and do not touch.

    I guess I am not getting something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    Ok, I looked at your CAD drawing again and still do not see why the whole assembly cannot be slid forward .02.

    Everything moves forward and the relation between all the parts stays the same.

    Your reflector sits on the rim of the LED just like mine does, correct.
    If you silde it all forward, the reflector and the cup move at the same time and do not touch.

    I guess I am not getting something?
    Oh you're seeing it correctly - I could slide the entire assembly forward/to the left but I would need a shim/washer under the lip of the reflector which may be another option if the o-ring doesn't work out. I know hardware stores have brass shims for plumbing or something but a larger o-ring would be more forgiving and cheaper...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntn-biker View Post
    I would rather my plastic Fraen reflector not touch the heat sink for 2 reasons:

    1. Would rather not have the heat transfer into the plastic reflector (directly).
    2. I don't want my reflector bottoming out against my heat sink for fear of cracking the bottom of the reflector. I also have close spacing from the bottom of my reflector to the tops of the flathead screws. I haven't introduced the wire and solder yet on the top of the 20mm star.
    You may find the beam quality not as good as it could be. You won't know until you try it with the XML. The Fraen reflectors are meant to sit right on the MCE star. I have not experimented with how positioning the emitter in the Fraen reflector affects it. I have found that an axial position change of as little as .01 inch makes a noticeable difference beam quality and intensity when playing around with XPGs and a 32mm reflector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    You may find the beam quality not as good as it could be. You won't know until you try it with the XML. The Fraen reflectors are meant to sit right on the MCE star. I have not experimented with how positioning the emitter in the Fraen reflector affects it. I have found that an axial position change of as little as .01 inch makes a noticeable difference beam quality and intensity when playing around with XPGs and a 32mm reflector.
    Yep, that has been nagging at me in the back of my mind. I may need to move my insert and led forward/left. We'll find out in a few days.....

  22. #22
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    It's ok, it's all part of the trial and error design process.

    Just when everything looks perfect on paper, real life sneaks up and kicks you in the pants.

    I steam about it a couple minutes and then tear it all down and figure out what needs to be done.

    You just keep at it, dial it in till it all works.

    I find that beer always helps me get through it.

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    Just back from the hardware store and found an o-ring of similar diameter but with a thicker cross section. Just thick enough to give me the same compression as I had with the original MR11 bulb and lens.

    Now I'm just waiting for my black Teflon wire to arrive and I can wire up my driver and led....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntn-biker View Post
    Just back from the hardware store and found an o-ring of similar diameter but with a thicker cross section. Just thick enough to give me the same compression as I had with the original MR11 bulb and lens.

    Now I'm just waiting for my black Teflon wire to arrive and I can wire up my driver and led....
    Sorry was occupied and just got back to this thread. I used a ring of copper from the core of solid copper wire to make shims and retained the original o-ring as my hardware store had none of the same diameter. Worked like a charm. Easily reduced in thickness if need be. A little late for this light but here for others to find.

    BrianMc

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    I can see that wiring and soldering the positive wire from the driver to the + pad on the star will be a bit tricky so as not to solder the wire to the star itself or it will short out. Seems like there would be an easier, safer way of making this connection.... Also, it would be nice if there were some spades coming off the pads so that I could get my reflector right down to the star. Maybe I will look into making something low profile to do this (I might be able to scavange some contacts off a AA battery holder or something) and keep my amount of solder to a minimum so it doesn't "mound up". I can dremel the star down under the flat heads to get those somewhat flush. I still like the idea of screwing the star down instead of gluing it down in case I want to try a different led later.


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    Those screws are kinda huge!

    I use tiny 1/72 pan head stainless screws
    very tiny, but very strong
    Only problem is that you have to drill and tap the holes

    I was thinking of adding the drill bits and taps to my catalog

    The P7's have a tall black ring that the reflector sits on, so there no problem of the screws holding the reflectors up off the LED

    I'll have to get a look at the XML's I ordered to see how they look
    Never seen one in person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    Those screws are kinda huge!

    I use tiny 1/72 pan head stainless screws
    very tiny, but very strong
    Only problem is that you have to drill and tap the holes

    I was thinking of adding the drill bits and taps to my catalog

    The P7's have a tall black ring that the reflector sits on, so there no problem of the screws holding the reflectors up off the LED

    I'll have to get a look at the XML's I ordered to see how they look
    Never seen one in person.
    The screws look huge but are only 3mm. They actually center the star/led nicely.

    The XML's are supposed to be brighter and have a better light pattern from what I have read. The problem is that they have such a low profile, you need to get your reflector right down on the mcpcb to give the led maximum exposure inside the reflector. I like the looks of the P7 for the tall black ring and because it is a round body which makes it easier to locate the reflector. Fraen currently does not make a reflector to fit the Cree XML. The one I am using fits the Cree MCE which is ~7mm x 7mm. The XML is 5mm x 5mm so there is some trial and error to get the reflector centered and "squared" to the led. I may just order a P7 mounted on a 20mm star as well as a Fraen reflector to match. Sounds like it may work better. I may try a MCE led as well. They have a bit taller led "dome" and my reflectors would actually fit that led.

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    So the xml round dome is 5mm in diameter, is that correct?

    Or is that the black square the dome sits on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    So the xml round dome is 5mm in diameter, is that correct?

    Or is that the black square the dome sits on?
    The 5mm x 5mm I was referring to is the square board the dome is mounted to.

    Everything you need to know about XML's is found here and here.

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    you won't need to worry about soldering the wire to the star as long as you leave only a short (2-3mm) piece of wire exposed. If you do end up needing to trim the reflector (which isn't a big deal) it often helps to have all of the bits that need trimming together, so by soldering the LED wires to the pads nearest to the screws, you'll only need to make 2 cut outs on the reflector, not 4.

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    The reason I was asking was that I was hoping to use the same reflector that I use for P7's

    The spec sheet on XML only showed the 5 x 5 mm square
    Could not find the diameter of the dome.

    Anywho, the reflector comes with a 7mm hole and I increase that to 9mm for P7's
    I have an idea how to set that reflector down onto the XML's, but I have to wait for them to arrive to confirm my idea.

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    the dome is ~3.5-4mm in diameter, but I can get a precise measurement tonight if that would help

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    Na, that's close enough

    Thanks

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    The dome on my xml measures (with a digital caliper) 4.5mm in diameter.

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    Here's another thought but using a SSC P7 led and Fraen FRC-A3P7-N1 reflector....
    (I haven't given up on my XML, just looking at all options and comparisons).

    Use a SSC P7 led mounted to a 20mm star


    Mount it to my heat sink insert similar to this:


    Then screw the reflector to the above assembly so the led is fully inserted into the reflector opening.


    The lip on the reflector would dicate how deep the led/heat sink/driver assy would go into the housing. The problem is that you can't just buy 1 or 2 of the reflectors from a US distributor to prototype this. They have a 100 piece minimum order

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    If you can get the XM-L mounted at the focal point of the reflector you will end up with more throw than with the P7 due to the fact that it is an LED with a smaller emitting surface and dome. It will also give you more overall light (higher lumen output for given current) and more efficiency (lower forward voltage required). The hole in the back of the reflector presumably only let through the dome of the P7, in which case you only need the dome of the XM-L to be located at the same place. Can you machine the reflector to suit, i.e. sand off the four protruding legs and two screw pegs down to the correct height?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfj197 View Post
    If you can get the XM-L mounted at the focal point of the reflector you will end up with more throw than with the P7 due to the fact that it is an LED with a smaller emitting surface and dome. It will also give you more overall light (higher lumen output for given current) and more efficiency (lower forward voltage required). The hole in the back of the reflector presumably only let through the dome of the P7, in which case you only need the dome of the XM-L to be located at the same place. Can you machine the reflector to suit, i.e. sand off the four protruding legs and two screw pegs down to the correct height?
    The Fraen MCE reflector is quite a bit different than the one for the P7. Data sheet link to the MCE:
    http://www.fraensrl.com/images/Fraen-FRC-MCE-datasheet

    Fraen MCE reflector I currently have:


    Fraen A3P7 reflector:


    The MCE reflector actually has a larger hole in it since it is made for the MCE led which is ~ 7mm x 7mm. The XML board is 5mm x 5mm. The difference in height between the MCE and XML is about 1.5mm overall. The difference in the dome height is .75mm. The standoffs on the back of the MCE reflector are about 1mm tall. Once I get my Teflon wire in and wire up my driver, led, and switch. I will test the stackup/throw with the standoffs and then sand them down and test the stackup/throw without the standoffs.

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    There is another factor that needs to be considered when mixing optics or reflectors and emitters. Emitters have different radiation patterns. Looking at the MCE and P7 datasheets show this. The MCE concentrates more of it's output in a narrower angle than a P7. Not being an optical engineer, I don't know how one would need to adjust the optic design to compensate that.

    Through experience I have learned that axial and, to a lesser degree radial, positioning of the emitter in a reflector is critical to getting a great beam versus an OK beam.

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    Mission accomplished!!!

    I put my light together and what a great throw it has. It has a lot tighter pattern than the MagicShine dealextreme.com SSC P7 light I have. I didn't take any pics during assembly since I was so excited about the end result. I have another Marwi light I plan to upgrade with the same components so I will take pics for a step by step assembly on that light.

    The XML led and the Fraen MCE N1 reflector is a great combination (with a little bit of altering).

    I was able to get my screws to seat lower on the mcpcb by "countersinking" the slots with a dremel type bit in my drill press. I also drilled a couple of different hole locations for the driver wires to go thru which worked a lot better for feeding the wires thru and soldering.


    I removed the ribs (where the arrow is pointing to) with a file and also had to "bevel" the circled area in 2 places to clear for the wire soldering points on the mcpcb since they were interfering with getting the reflector right down on the mcpcb which, in my opinion, was necessary to achieve the tightest pattern/throw). I could move my heat sink/insert in and out of the housing slightly before I drilled a new side tapped hole so I could see firsthand the effect of not having the reflector as close to the mcpcb as possible. Too far away and their was lots of spill.


    I will post up some pics of my assembly on my other light when I get my components delivered and start work on that one. I will also try to take some night pics of my light throw compared with my SSC P7 light but it won't be an apples to apples comparison with 2 different lights. Not even sure if my Olympus C-720 digital camera can take the correct shots at night or not. I saw someplace on here about some settings I need to use. If anyone can share those settings here, I will see what I can do.

    Also, I found a local source that can make my inserts relatively cheap so if I can get 25 takers (that was the minimum order for the price I was quoted), I can sell you 1 for ~$10 plus shipping.

  40. #40
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    nice work....

    I just got in some XML's
    Going down to the shop to cnc a reflector and see if I can make it sit pretty on the XML
    It's a bit tricky compared to a P7

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    nice work....

    I just got in some XML's
    Going down to the shop to cnc a reflector and see if I can make it sit pretty on the XML
    It's a bit tricky compared to a P7
    Especially since your reflectors are aluminum. You might want to use a nylon washer to isolate your reflector from the mcpcb.

  42. #42
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    You must have ESPN
    I was doing just that this afternoon
    See my thread here.
    Machining metal reflector for XML

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    You must have ESPN
    I do have ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Classic

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    Nice work... I have been thinking about trying this.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by tybeede View Post
    Nice work... I have been thinking about trying this.
    If you can build a bike frame, you most certainly can do this (I read some of your stuff on your mechanical hacks site)..... Being a mechanical engineer/tool designer myself, I've been fascinated with the idea of making my own singlespeed frame but realize there is a lot of expense, time, and trial/error involved with it. Maybe someday when I am retired....

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    Some new assembly pics added to initial post.

  47. #47
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    So I start looking at wiring my original Marwi switch to my driver and to my surprise, look what I found, bare copper strand wire. This can't be good....



    I'm wondering if that came from the factory like that?

    Guess I'll cut the zip tie free and peel some insulation back to see what's up with this jerry rigged setup and fix it properly.

  48. #48
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    That looks correct to me on how they used to wire up the old Marwi Halogens.
    The Trailtech type connector had a braided outer shield that they used, but they never took the time to heat shrink things.
    They used small gray wire nuts to make the connections.

    They just stuffed all the wires way back in the plastic housing.
    As long as the battery negative wire did not come in contact with battery positive, you would not have any problems.
    Battery positive was not exposed anywhere inside the housing.
    The ceramic bulb holder wires were insulated.


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by El34 View Post
    That looks correct to me on how they used to wire up the old Marwi Halogens.
    The Trailtech type connector had a braided outer shield that they used, but they never took the time to heat shrink things.
    They used small gray wire nuts to make the connections.

    They just stuffed all the wires way back in the plastic housing.
    As long as the battery negative wire did not come in contact with battery positive, you would not have any problems.
    Well maybe I was getting my undies in a bunch for nothing Maybe I will undo the wire nut and slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over it at least.

  50. #50
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    yeah, I would get rid of the wire nut, it takes up too much space
    heat shrink and soldered wire is much better, IMO

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