Cheap-O Cree helmet light- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cheap-O Cree helmet light

    My friend's new Mini-Newt inspired me to need a small helmet light, but I wanted something super cheap and super simple. This is what I ended up with, it is not the prettiest light, and was just put together without much layout, just doing whatever worked at the time:






    Below are the parts I used.

    This reflector:
    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5951

    This glass for the front:
    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5630

    This driver:
    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3256

    This LED:
    https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11023

    And a $2 4xAA battery holder from Radio Shack. It has a neat switch which is really handy since I did not put one on the light. I did not get really creative with the mount, it is just glued to the battery case and there is some velcro ties glued to the case as well. I put some rubber under it so it does not slide around on the helmet.

    I ran a runtime test using some eneloops and found that it runs bright for over 2 hours and gets quite hot in still air (measured it to 150 deg F), but with some air flow it gets down to around 125 deg F, which seems fine to me.

  2. #2
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    Hey HuffyPuffy, you've been here long enough to know the routine...

    Beam shots. Please!

    How did you make the light body? Plumbing parts?
    Last edited by Calina; 06-18-2009 at 02:52 AM.
    When you think that life is though, keep a positive attitude : remember that it is short ;-)

  3. #3
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    Doh! You are correct (and I am usually the first one to ask for them too). I also did not post a beamshot of my last light (quad cree hammond light). I will try and get something half decent tonight. The last beamshots I took went off the side of the mountain so they were not very good

    If you have a good imagination I can describe it in the mean time - it is very tight and similar to, but brighter than my friend's mini-newt USB.

    The body was cut out of a chunk of round bar aluminum on my new Harbor Freight mill - all done by eye so it is far from being perfect. After looking at it though, a body made from some copper plumbing tube end caps back to back looks like it would work just as well, maybe with a adaptor to use a bigger optic. The optic is about 18.5mm and I used a 3/4" end mill to make the hole which is a tad too big.

  4. #4
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    Because none of my point and shoots have a true manual mode, I rode around getting funny looks because I had my SLR slung over my shoulder. Even so, I could not find a suitable (dark, public) location to take some beamshots, and I am pretty well tired out from a long ride today. There are way too many lights around and it is also overcast, so pretty bright out anyway. All I was able to get were some really smudgy pics with poor (not dark) ambient light. I will try and get some decent shots soon though.

  5. #5
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    These were the best I can do with MTBR settings and no tripod, I plan to take some better shots when I find a way to, but these will do for now.


  6. #6
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    Looks very neat to me!

  7. #7
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    Thanks! Mounting is the only drawback so far, it needs to be centered or it feels unbalanced on the helmet.

  8. #8
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    Perhaps something soft, such as rubber, underneath?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMSAlmer
    Perhaps something soft, such as rubber, underneath?
    I originally put a thin rubber piece under it for anti-slip, however there is a nice ridge on my helmet right smack in the middle of where I would like to mount the light so I need something more aggressive. I think I a cateye mount is in the future, just need to check their stock on the spacers.

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