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  1. #1
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    About to embark on my first light

    Hi All,
    Thanks for all the great info on this site, i have learned heaps since joining a couple of months ago.

    Parts List
    1 - 7.4v 3950mah Lipo
    These Drivers
    Cree XRE R2 and XRE Q5's
    These Optics For helmet
    And these Optics for Bars
    im going to build a couple Amoeba style lights.
    my main concern is with the driver I have chosen what switch do I use?
    and also can I raise and lower brightness? with a potentiometer???

    Can i use a switch like This?
    Or so I need a switch that clicks into position? like This? or like This?

    Sorry for all the questions

    Thanks in advance

    Josh

  2. #2
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    Those drivers put out varying amounts of current- they don't always do the 800mA as spec'd by DX. Test your drivers before mounting into your housing.

    You should use an on/off type switch, not the momentary switch in your first switch link.

    If you're using metal tubing for your casing, get the shallowest switches you can find. Most cheapie switches seem to be quite long, which makes them a bit of a hassle to pack into the housing. And I suspect that the square case tubing would be more correctly referenced as "Achesalot style" as I think he popularised the design via his triple LED housing first

    Good luck, and have fun.

  3. #3
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    ooops yeah, like the Achesalot style light. it looks like an easy way to get into the DIY side of things. if i run more than 1 LED off the driver do i divide the current by how many led's there are? so 2 would be 400mA 3 would be 266 etc?
    should i run each LED off a separated driver?

    Thanks

    Josh

  4. #4
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    If you connect the LEDs in series, the same (nominally 800mA for that DX driver but possibly way more) current flows through each. You just burn through your battery Ah faster because of the combined resistance of the LEDs. FWIW, if my experience is any indication, you should get a ridiculously long burn time off your battery pack for 2 LEDs.

    Hang on, I just looked at your original post. I don't think you can drive three Crees off one of those DX drivers- the input voltage you need to be pumping into the driver would be around 12.6 volts (3.7V per LED + extra for the driver). I don't think those drivers can boost voltage so you can't use a 7.4V source, nor can you use a 14.8V input without blowing up the driver. Those boards are only suited to one or two Crees.

  5. #5
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    Ok thanks

  6. #6
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    The optics that you linked for the bars are not actually designed to be used with cree's as far as i understand. They are made for ssc which have a different dome shape.

    My recent hiking light uses those same optics and they are full of artefacts i.e they are very "ringy". It might be possible to play around with the stand off distance between LED and optic to improve the result but I haven't done so.

    I don't have a DX alternative to suggest although perhaps a reflector may give a similar beam spread without the rings?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    Hi All,
    Cree XRE R2 and XRE Q5's
    These Optics For helmet
    And these Optics for Bars
    I would use 1920 (which you want to use for helmet) for bars.

  8. #8
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    Looks like a good start to the parts. With those drivers and a 7.4v battery, you can run 2 leds, just wire them in series and they will get the same current. you will not be able to run 3 of the leds because the vf of the leds will be greater than that of the battery. I have been running two leds off those drivers for a year now and it works fine, however you will get considerable dimming the last 30 minutes of runtime, or until the battery pcb shuts the battery down.

    I think that you can add dimming to the drivers, however it would be a pain to do so. If you are running three leds, you could always have one driver per led, but as stated above, those drivers deliver very inconsistant current from one to the next (from 900-1200 ma from driver to driver) Also, if you decide to use those drivers, make sure that you bench test them and give them 10-15 minutes to run before you put them in the housing. It seems that about 1 in 4 or so burn up in the first few minutes of operation with the battery voltage you are using. If they make it past the initial startup, then you should be good to go. I have found this out the hard way and had to pull lights apart to correct the issue... not fun.

    Looks like a good start!

  9. #9
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    DX1920 optic

    Quote Originally Posted by Itess
    I would use 1920 (which you want to use for helmet) for bars.
    +1 for the DX1920 optic on the helmet - great throw, very smooth pattern, snaps on the cree with no glue, and the $1 each price tag !

    With some sanding they'll fit well in the 1" square or round Al tubing, not sure if you could sand enough down to get them in 3/4" tube though.

  10. #10
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    thanks heaps for all your comments. My parts are in transit so when they arrive all the fun begins. i may end up getting some other drivers with different outputs, i would like to be able to have a high and low mode.

    Thanks
    Josh

  11. #11
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    you can achive a simple high/low mode by using a resistor across the throws of a SPDT switch like this. This light uses a 1000ma driver, but is throttled to 200ma with this 15ohm 2w resistor (resistor values will depend on your setup.) In this case, wires are attached only to the middle and bottom terminals. Throw up gives you low through the resistor, throw down gives you full current.


  12. #12
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    ok for a complete newbie that knows bugger all, how hard is this to do? are any of the switch's in my first post capable of having this done to them?

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    Im going to start playing with my lights tonight, i have a couple of questions on the driver. Opposite the red and black leads that are attached to the driver are 2 solder tabs G1 and G are these the + and - to go to the LEDs?

    here are also R3, R1, R5 and D1 does anyone know what these are for?

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    Im going to start playing with my lights tonight, i have a couple of questions on the driver. Opposite the red and black leads that are attached to the driver are 2 solder tabs G1 and G are these the + and - to go to the LEDs?

    here are also R3, R1, R5 and D1 does anyone know what these are for?

    Thanks
    Dx is down at the moment so I can't see exactly what boards they are. However, going from memory..... look at the back of the board. There should be two round tabs that cover the whole back of the board. The middle part or bulls eye section is your positive Vin and the outside ring is the Vin negative.

  15. #15
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    Thanks but im a real newb when it comes to electronics so een what you said is going straight over my head

    If you put an 'S' infront of the http you can get onto DX
    Click on this link to view driver Link

  16. #16
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    The silver bit in the middle is where you solder the (+) wire from the battery. The outer metal ring is where you solder the (-) form the battery. Hope that helps ie don't worry about the stuff on the other side of the board

  17. #17
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    The red and black wires go to the LED, the pads on the back go to the battery (middle is +, outer is - ).
    The others R1 etc are just component labels.

    Makes sure you hook up the led before you connect the battery.

  18. #18
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    awesome thanks heaps

  19. #19
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    Good luck, and have fun.

    As I sit here writing this, I'm using testing one of those drivers in a new dual Q5 setup with 2 Li-ions in series. Getting 1.46A and, with a fan, the outer casing has reached 31 Celcius (or 88 for the Imperially-minded).

  20. #20
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    These drivers have a rep for getting pretty hot, and sometimes putting out more current than advertised, if they're powered by more than 6v. So 2 x Li Ion cells are 7.4v nominal and ~8.4v fully charged....maybe too much. I run my 2 x XR-E Q5 helmet lights off a 4.8v pack, 2 of these drivers parallel off the battery, each driving one LED. I get 900+mA and the heat is OK while moving.....no problems so far. With this setup you can switch each driver separately, giving you high, low, and off options.

    My drivers were from a batch purchased 7 months ago. I've read here that some of the newer ones are putting out more current.

    The 1920 optic is a pretty tight spot.....excellent on the hat; maybe too narrow for the bars? (but that comes down to personal preference). If you're doing the 1" square tube housings, you should look at the square ledil optics...2 x smooth spot for the helmet, diffused spot + medium for the bars (IMO). You can get them for a good price through Brum's group buy on the CPF forums. The other optic you mentioned is, like Salty said, not designed for Cree LEDs, but can be made to work OK if you're going the DX route. (combined with a 1920 optic it adds some flood and you don't notice it's faults as much as when used alone...might be just right for the bars?)

    Have fun!

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    ok for a complete newbie that knows bugger all, how hard is this to do? are any of the switch's in my first post capable of having this done to them?

    Thanks

    Very simple, but you'd need an SPDT switch so you have a single line in and two lines out. In my case I wired this light with the switch between the second emitter and the (-) pad on the driver board. This is what your circuit would look like, in this case I used a different buck driver and higher voltage battery pack:



    And the wiring like this:




    You'll need to decide on the current you want for the low mode, and get a resistor accordingly, in this case I used a 15ohm 2w resistor, better to go overkill on the wattage if you have space.

    https://ledcalc.com/#calc
    Last edited by dsjc; 06-15-2009 at 10:06 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    The 1920 optic is a pretty tight spot.....excellent on the hat; maybe too narrow for the bars? (but that comes down to personal preference). If you're doing the 1" square tube housings, you should look at the square ledil optics...2 x smooth spot for the helmet, diffused spot + medium for the bars (IMO). JZ
    Couldn't agree more, the 1920 is a great throwy spot, so really good on the helmet and even better when using 1" round tubing since it can fit so tight you can just seal around the edge rather than use a lens cover.

    Same goes with the Ledil CRS lenses for 1" square tubing, they fit so tight you only need to seal around the edges. I used 2 CRS-M and 1 CRS-SS in this triple R2 driven at 1a and it's a great floody light on the bars !




  23. #23
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    hhhmm i think maybe the 7.4v lipo is to much for these drivers. i have fried 2 this morning, i dont even get a blink out of the LED before the driver is on fire, i'll have a look around and see if i can find a lower voltage pack at home. i have a 6v hump pack off my rc car. will this work? maybe i should have just bought better drivers from cutter

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    maybe i should have just bought better drivers from cutter

  25. #25
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    KENNAN driver from Kaidomain is awesome. i dont know what they are like now as they changed something, but i run 2x XRE p4's in series off 9.6v with no problems.

    http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDeta...ProductId=1640
    Last edited by Pitto; 06-14-2009 at 10:16 PM.

  26. #26
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    also, look at the "Citizen Kain" style light. it uses a Hammond enclosure that you can get from Prime Electronics in Bris for about $14.00 and takes the headache out of building a mounting.

  27. #27
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    im not to worried about building the light its more getting my head around the electronics.
    I'll have a look into the drivers abit more and see what ive done wrong.

  28. #28
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    Sorry to hear of your driver difficulties. I don't know what a "hump pack" is, but 6v should work fine.

    For about $15 US a pre-wired buckpuck is, IMO, the ultimate in simplicity. They're hard to kill (unless you reverse the battery polarity), they can handle a wide range of battery voltages (needs 2v over the voltage of your LED string), and can be dimmed with a pot or resistors. Even available with a pre-wired pot.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    hhhmm i think maybe the 7.4v lipo is to much for these drivers. i have fried 2 this morning, i dont even get a blink out of the LED before the driver is on fire, i'll have a look around and see if i can find a lower voltage pack at home. i have a 6v hump pack off my rc car. will this work? maybe i should have just bought better drivers from cutter
    It is probably the input voltage, however I would also double check your polarity on for the battery leads. I don't know that this driver would have reverse polarity portection.

  30. #30
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    woohoo got them working.
    now for the next question, the driver got pretty hot after a couple of minutes can i heat sink it? also i how do i check the Ma at the LED's? sould i run 1 or 2 LED's of these drivers?

    Thanks in advance

  31. #31
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    My drivers also get hot, so on my first light I've just attached it to the interior of the casing with a load of AA. With my second casing, I just used heatshrink to stop it from shorting out. It didn't burn out during my 2 hour runtime test last night.

    I think that ICs can get quite painfully hot before you have to worry about damage.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    woohoo got them working.
    now for the next question, the driver got pretty hot after a couple of minutes can i heat sink it? also i how do i check the Ma at the LED's? sould i run 1 or 2 LED's of these drivers?

    Thanks in advance
    Since the drivers are dirt cheap and you get quite a few, I would be inclined to use 1 per LED. That way, if one driver dies while riding, you have a second to give you enough light to limp home.

  33. #33
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    I used one driver per led in mine. As Salty said, they're cheap and the redundancy gives you some peace of mind (although I always ride with a little torch in my camelback just in case). And like I said above, it gives you 2 levels of brightness if each driver has it's own switch. My build is here. I used 2 switches but have built another with one center-off SPDT switch.

    JZ

    edit: Wow, I never put up a beamshot on that build....how was that allowed to happen?
    Last edited by Jim Z in VT; 06-15-2009 at 05:23 AM.
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  34. #34
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    Good to hear she's working How are your eyes?

    Checking the current at the LEDs is a bit of a pain because the meter needs to be in-line (in series) between the battery and the LEDs. And the connections should be soldered or otherwise made very secure, because if one of the connections on the LED side of the circuit comes loose the driver will go ~poof~.

    Also, if you're testing without the LEDs somehow heatsinked, don't run them for more than a few seconds....they can overheat fast. I have a 4" x 6" piece of 1/4" aluminum that I screw the LEDs to if I want to mock up or test a circuit.

    Heatsinking the driver --- I didn't, but if you can figure out which of the components on the board is getting hot you could put a dab of AAA on that part and stick it to the case, but be careful not to short anything out against the aluminum.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  35. #35
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    Thanks heaps for all the info guys,

    eyes what eyes after this this lit up I couldn't see for a couple of minutes. ill get some pictures up soon i just have to find some solid round bar for my heat sink. Can i run 1 driver per led but still have one switch? maybe a spdt and have up for 1 led and down for both?

    Thanks

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    maybe a spdt and have up for 1 led and down for both?Thanks
    Exactly. Get a "center-off" SPDT so you'll have one>off>two.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  37. #37
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    ok next question, does anyone in Aust have and 23mm solid alloy round bar? i need some for my heat sink, I have found 1 shop that has some but i have to buy 3.6m of it. i only need about 30cm to make a couple of lights for a mate and myself.

    Thanks
    Josh

  38. #38
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    try capral aluminium. they may have offcuts, or maybe try a aluminium fabricator in brisbane, you may be able to scrounge some bits from them.

  39. #39
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    With an Achesalot/Amoeba style housing don't you want square bar or thick flat stock to make a heatsink for the square tubing?

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    i have tried Capral thats who will only sell me 3.6m, i went around today and asked a couple on engineering shops but the hourly charge is more that the 3.6m from capral. If i cant find any ill just get the full length and scrap the offcut

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    oh i should have mentioned i have had a change of plans and im going to use 25x1mm alloy round tube, kind of Ay-up style

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    i have tried Capral thats who will only sell me 3.6m, i went around today and asked a couple on engineering shops but the hourly charge is more that the 3.6m from capral. If i cant find any ill just get the full length and scrap the offcut

    I have some 25mm stuff at home. I found somewhere local (i thought it was carpal ) who sold it by the meter.

    It is a real P.I.T.A but you can file it down with a little patience to get a pretty good fit. Expect it to take an hour with a bastard file to get a 10 mm section the right size.

    If you PM me your details, I will post some to you if you like.

  43. #43
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    Awesome thanks

    How much do you have? and how much do you want for it?

    PM sent

  44. #44
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    Bunnings sell small amounts of alloy tube in 1m lengths

    even have 1" square tube thats anodized black

  45. #45
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    sorry, you wanted solid bar.

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    yeah solid is what im after. i might even look into the square as well, i'll go to bunnings today.
    i just hope i can get some solid to fit inside the square

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    Hi all, i thought it was time for an update on my lights.
    I have completed my first ever DIY light, all my mates went out and bought Ay-Ups but i didn't want to pay the $450 aus for them. I dont have any pics of this build but im already half way through my second light and ill get some pics then. I have a couple of driver questions, im running http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3256 drivers in my first light, I have 1 of them driving 2 Cree XR-E R2 LED's from the 7.4v lipo, now my question is if i get http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1885 will my lights be brighter? and can i run a single LED of them? also is there a way to use more than 1 - 18650 without going over the input current of the driver? im wanting a greater run time, i have also found http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1886 drivers, will they make my lights even brighter again?
    Thanks in advance

    Josh
    Last edited by Joshp82; 06-21-2009 at 04:05 PM.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    Hi all, i thought it was time for an update on my lights.
    I have completed my first ever DIY light, all my mates went out and bought Ay-Ups but i didn't want to pay the $450 aus for them. I dont have any pics of this build but im already half way through my second light and ill get some pics then. I have a couple of driver questions, im running http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3256 drivers in my first light, I have 1 of them driving 2 Cree XR-E R2 LED's from the 7.4v lipo, now my question is if i get http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1885 will my lights be brighter? and can i run a single LED of them? also is there a way to use more than 1 - 18650 without going over the input current of the driver? im wanting a greater run time, i have also found http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1886 drivers, will they make my lights even brighter again?
    Thanks in advance

    Josh
    With the 1885 driver, yes, it probably will be brighter technically although it is pretty difficult to pick the between difference a XPE at 800mA and 1000mA. Battery life will suffer however.

    If you use the 1886 driver it will be really really really bright for about 2 seconds and then the LED will die without some serious heat sinking. For a dinotte style build, it is pretty much out of the question IMO.

    i assume the with the current question, you were probably actually meant voltage since the 1885 drivers is limited between 3.2-4.5V? You can parallel the 18650's to keep the voltage at 3.7v nominal and up the mAh rating of the pack.

    Have a look at www.cutter.com.au for drivers with better tolerances, that have dimming capabilities and are significantly more reliable.

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    thanks mate, yeah voltage is what i meant, with the driver only being 800ma i have wired the LED's in series. Does this mean that each LED is only getting 400ma? I'm only very very new to this so i'm sorry if my questions are dumb. As stated in an earlier post is it more beneficial to run separate drivers for each LED? will they be brighter?

    Thanks

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    thanks mate, yeah voltage is what i meant, with the driver only being 800ma i have wired the LED's in series. Does this mean that each LED is only getting 400ma? I'm only very very new to this so i'm sorry if my questions are dumb. As stated in an earlier post is it more beneficial to run separate drivers for each LED? will they be brighter?

    Thanks
    Each die will be seeing the full 800mA if you are running them in series. If you were running the LED's in parallel, then the current to each die would be halved.

    Think about it like 800 people walking along a path. If it is a straight line, they will all go the same way (i.e series). If there is a fork in the road, 400 will go one way and 400 will go the other (parallel).

    Is it more beneficial to run two drivers?? Personally I would, but only for redundancy since those drivers have a habit of failing.

    Don't worry about questions, I asked a bunch of them as I was starting out and the people on this board helped me out a lot.

  51. #51
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    Did you measure the currentfrom the driver yet? Almost all of the 3256 drivers I have used with 7.2v battery packs have deliveredbetween 980 and 1200 ma of current... So you probably would not see a difference in brightness...The drivers are rated at 800 mah but they never come that way...

    Also, I have not had one fail in over a year and a half in my lights... If they did not go poof when I first hooked the up... Pretty good drivers for themoney.... Just some issues with some of them!

  52. #52
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    Like Salty said, ask questions...that's how we all figured it out. (truthfully, I'm still figuring it out )

    I can't seem to open your links to the other 2 drivers (DX site acting up again?). But from what Salty wrote, you should keep in mind that you can't use that 1885 driver with your 7.4v battery as it only rated to 4.5v.

    Congrats on getting your first up and running!

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    I can't seem to open your links to the other 2 drivers (DX site acting up again?).

    JZ
    I think he might have reversed the order when adding a hyperlink. i.e pasted link into text, highlighted it and linked it to the word "these" rather than the other way around. I just found them by searching the DX site for the SKU's

    Oh, and congrats on the first light too Josh!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    Like Salty said, ask questions...that's how we all figured it out. (truthfully, I'm still figuring it out )

    I can't seem to open your links to the other 2 drivers (DX site acting up again?). But from what Salty wrote, you should keep in mind that you can't use that 1885 driver with your 7.4v battery as it only rated to 4.5v.

    Congrats on getting your first up and running!

    JZ
    Yeah i understand that i cant use the other drivers with my lipo, Im hoping i can make a lighter battery pack for my helmet light. so if i run 2 or 3 18650's parallel they will be fine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    so if i run 2 or 3 18650's parallel they will be fine?
    yes, should work fine.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    ok im about to order my new drivers should i just get the same ones i got on my first order or should i get the 1885's and make some new battery packs? im getting confused now

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    ok im about to order my new drivers should i just get the same ones i got on my first order or should i get the 1885's and make some new battery packs? im getting confused now
    1. The output from your original driver will be pretty close to the 1885's. Like mentioned earlier, they are known to give more than the 800mA it is rated at.

    2. The input voltage tolerances of the original driver is wider so it will let you use your existing battery.

    Other than that, NFI which one you should use... hell, order both and play around a bit!

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    Well i bit the bullet and bought the 1885's, i'm going to make some new battery packs for my helmet and use the lipo on my bar light, is there any way to get some more flood out of the LED's? im using the 5 pack of Optics from DX at the moment and they put out a really nice spot but i would like a bit more flood from my bars. can anyone recommend some other Optics for my bars?

    Thanks
    Josh

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    DX doesn't really have a medium optic made for the cree xr-e leds. They have this one, which is made for Luxeon III's or Seoul P4's. Some people have used it on the xr-e...if positioned just right it gives an OK beam. (or just get some P4's). I've also seen someone mention just sticking a piece of scotch tape (not the shiny clear stuff, the matte finish kind) over the front of the 1920 optic to diffuse the spot. No personal experience with that trick.

    The square Ledil optics have really nice beams....maybe they have a round version to fit your tubing? A combination of the medium and the DS (diffused spot) makes a nice beam for the bars.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    Thanks JZ i bought some of them on my original order ill have a play with them and try get them to work. i might also try the Ledil ones after my new drivers arrive,
    Thanks znomit i have some of that here ill try it later when it gets dark
    Last edited by Joshp82; 06-23-2009 at 11:06 PM.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    I've also seen someone mention just sticking a piece of scotch tape (not the shiny clear stuff, the matte finish kind) over the front of the 1920 optic to diffuse the spot. No personal experience with that trick.
    Glad press'n'seal is the stuff to use.

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    Ok now onto my next newbie question. Im going to buy some 18650's to run my new drivers, If i run a couple in parralel will the Mah go up? im looking at some on ebay they are 3.7v 3000Mah does this mean that when i wire them in parralel it will be 3.7v 6000Mah? so for a longer run time i could add another battery? or am i better off sticking with 2?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    Ok now onto my next newbie question. Im going to buy some 18650's to run my new drivers, If i run a couple in parralel will the Mah go up? im looking at some on ebay they are 3.7v 3000Mah does this mean that when i wire them in parralel it will be 3.7v 6000Mah? so for a longer run time i could add another battery? or am i better off sticking with 2?

    Thanks
    Yeah, you add the mAh if you wire in parallel. If you wire in series, you add the voltages.

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    thanks will i get away with running 3.7v to drive 2 Cree XR-E Q5's im going to run 2 drivers as well, Im also looking at getting some trail tech connectors and some cable glands, but the shipping cost is way more than the cost of the goods. Does anyone know if i can get some in Australia? or does someone want to buy me some and post them to me?
    Last edited by Joshp82; 06-25-2009 at 04:56 AM.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    Ok now onto my next newbie question. Im going to buy some 18650's to run my new drivers, If i run a couple in parralel will the Mah go up? im looking at some on ebay they are 3.7v 3000Mah does this mean that when i wire them in parralel it will be 3.7v 6000Mah? so for a longer run time i could add another battery? or am i better off sticking with 2?

    Thanks
    Are they protected cells? Li-ion cells don't like being dishcarged below about 3v. If you do discharge them too far, then you will probably considerably shorten their life.

    PProtected cells have a PCB that shuts off the cell when the voltage drops to far so that you can't over discharge them. They usually cost a little more but it ultimatley means that your battery life is longer.

    The downside being that you don't' get a progressively dimming light to give you some warning that you are about to lose the battery, it just goes dead and you are then left in the dark if it is your sole light.

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    yes they are protected cells, ill have a bar light and helmet light i will also carry a spare battery pack just in case. if im running 2 drivers how long will 2 3000mAh batteries last?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    thanks will i get away with running 3.7v to drive 2 Cree XR-E Q5's im going to run 2 drivers as well
    I tried that exact setup on my helmet light. Two 18650's parallel, two 3256 drivers, two Q5 xr-e's. 4.2v at full charge. It ran about 1.5 hours before the voltage dropped enough to take it out of regulation, but still bright past 2 hours. Of course the more 18650's you run in parallel, the longer the runtime.

    But I'm currently running it on 8 rechargeable AA Eneloop batteries, in a 4s2p arrangement, giving a 4.8v pack (5.6v at full charge). The higher voltage keeps the light in regulation longer, and stays below the 6v "too hot" threshold of the old 3256 drivers. This may not be a worry with the new 3256's....I've read a couple posts saying the chip they're now using can handle more voltage.

    (this all gets rather complicated for a simple little light, doesn't it )

    Do you know about the on-line runtime calculator? (use 90% for the efficiency of the 3256)

    ,
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    Im also looking at getting some trail tech connectors and some cable glands, but the shipping cost is way more than the cost of the goods. Does anyone know if i can get some in Australia? or does someone want to buy me some and post them to me?
    DX has these Deans knock-offs that work nicely and are inexpensive Personally, I think the TrailTechs are too big and stiff for a helmet light.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    Thanks JZ i have considered the Deans plugs but i was hoping to have something water proof.
    Thanks for the calculator it shows ill get about 2hr40mins form 6000mAh

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    More, if you figure a full charge = ~4.2v
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    yeah and thats heaps for the time that i ride for. Looks like ill order my batteries today. now all i need is to get some waterproof connectors

  71. #71
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    4 pages and no pictures?? Surely that violates some kind of DIY forum rules.......

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    uummm yeah sporry about that.
    Here are 2 pictures i took the other day, i don't have any beam shots yet. plus they aren't very impressive. i still have a little bit of refining to do on them but they do the job for now. im pleased with the way my first light has turn out. i tested it out last night and it was so much better to ride with this than my elcheapo flea bay light
    Light and battery

    Mounted on helmet

    I just stuck a piece of velcro on the helmet and then wrapped another piece over the top of the light
    Im going to make a couple more over the weekend so ill get some more pic up then

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    sorry about the really poor quality pictures, they were taken on my camera phone

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    Glad I'm not the only one guilty of fuzzy cell phone photos :-)

    Does it get hot? The velcro wrap won't help that. My light housing is similar construction. I built a little standoff to lift it off the helmet for better airflow. I'll try to post a picture later. (I've got to get the heck away from this computer and accomplish something useful today!!)

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocean breathes salty
    4 pages and no pictures?? Surely that violates some kind of DIY forum rules.......
    4 pages? Only shows as one page here, but photos are always appreciated....especially for the newly unemployed, wasting way too much time on the internet (like me )

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    I'll try to post a picture later. (I've got to get the heck away from this computer and accomplish something useful today!!)JZ
    Or I could post them now....a thunderstorm is rolling in and has spoiled my plans for a ride

    The standoff is just a piece of .75" square tubing cut in half and slotted, and JB Welded to the underside of the light. I velcro it through the helmet vents, and put a small square of neoprene wetsuit material under it so it doesn't dig grooves into the helmet shell. (someday I'll glue neoprene over the bottom edges so I don't keep losing the the little square in my gear bag!)

    no more fuzzy cell pics...camera is back from warranty Took a while to get the fish to cooperate Now lets see if I can remember how to attach photos. It's been a while....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    4 pages? Only shows as one page here, but photos are always appreciated....especially for the newly unemployed, wasting way too much time on the internet (like me )

    JZ
    I think it depends on the user settings in "my account". You can specify how many posts to a page. I thought I left mine at default (25 ish) so that picture heavy threads didn't take forever to load.

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    Looking good Josh, How have do you have the heat sink set up? Is the LED mounted on something that is making contact with the outside housing?

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocean breathes salty
    I think it depends on the user settings in "my account". You can specify how many posts to a page. I thought I left mine at default (25 ish) so that picture heavy threads didn't take forever to load.
    Good idea....I'll have to look into that. Threads like the DX light and some of sir Troutie's do take forever to load.

    edit: mine was set to "forum default", but no indication of what # that is. I changed it to 30. Thanks.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    it didnt feel like it got hot. i have a piece of 12mm alloy as a heat sink. that i glued on all sides into the housing. is that over kill? i just took a couple more for you to look at. i like the idea of making it sit up a bit higher, the main thing i don't like are the connectors, they are a bit dodgy for my liking, i will just use deans connectors on my next one with a zip tie on the inside to stop the cable from being pulled out.
    Pics soon

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    finally some pictures
    here is my LED, heatsink and lens

    housing

    back of housing, i know it needs some finishing but its good enough for now

    Red LED in switch

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    it didnt feel like it got hot. i have a piece of 12mm alloy as a heat sink. that i glued on all sides into the housing. is that over kill? i just took a couple more for you to look at.

    the main thing i don't like are the connectors, they are a bit dodgy for my liking, i will just use deans connectors on my next one with a zip tie on the inside to stop the cable from being pulled out.
    Pics soon
    Josh that's exactly how I did mine. Definitely not overkill; a heavy chunk of Alu. in good contact with the housing will move the heat out fast. Your design looks a lot like mine, except I forced it all into 3/4" tubing instead of 1", which was tight.

    Scar just uses industrial strength velcro, just on the underside of his Amoeba lights. I tried that, but with the velcro I have, the light warms up, the adhesive gets soft, and the light slides right off the velcro

    Someone (Troutie probably) posted pics once of a way to reinforce the wiring to the deans-type plugs. Once they're soldered up, cover the area with 5-minute epoxy. Then just as the epoxy begins to set up, shrink some heat-shrink tubing over the plug/epoxy/wire. Fairly professional looking. Absolute waterproofness doesn't seem to be required for this connection. I guess at 12v it's just not a big deal. I don't intentionally ride in the rain, but I have been caught in heavy rain with absolutely un-waterproof cable connections and never had an issue. More important I think is keeping water out of the driver and LEDs.

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

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    i went for a ride tonight ended up doing just over 50klm, after having my light on for about an hour or so. the housing was ice cold, so i dont think i need to worry about lifting it up tp get more air flow. im already thinking about a CNC'd housing, i have a mate that can draw and write programs in cad now all i need is to befriend someone with a CNC.... overall im pretty happy with the way my light has turned out and the info i have received on this forum is second to none, thanks heaps for all your help

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    Please delete double post
    Last edited by Joshp82; 07-01-2009 at 07:56 PM.

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    Please delete double post
    Last edited by Joshp82; 07-01-2009 at 07:56 PM.

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    Please delete double post
    Last edited by Joshp82; 07-01-2009 at 07:57 PM.

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    Please delete double post
    Last edited by Joshp82; 07-01-2009 at 07:57 PM.

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    ok next question.

    How do i make it Brighter????????? that is all

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    ok next question after going for a night ride last night.


    How do i make it Brighter??????
    Will an MC E fit in my housing????

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    XRE R2's rather than Q5's would gain you some lumens for equal wattage, or you could push more current through your current emitters. Did you measure the current between the driver and emitter with a DMM before putting it all together ? I think the consensus will tell you that you can run the XRE up 1a safely, but you won't see much difference in output between 800ma and 1a.

    The MC-E would fit, but then you'd need different drivers and optics and deal with heat issues in that small housing.....in other words you'd be starting over.

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    no i didn't check before putting my light together, im a complete newb when it comes to Lights, that ok if i have to start over i had planned on making a couple of lights anyway. would the heat sink i have at the moment be enough? my mates all had Ay-ups last night and they left my light for dead

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    I think i used XR-E R2's on this light i bought a couple of each, Are the R2's slightly bigger?'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    ok next question after going for a night ride last night.


    How do i make it Brighter??????
    Will an MC E fit in my housing????
    Did you measure the current on the LED? Probably you have not a good driver. I think Ayups use XR-E R2 also.

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    No i didn't check the current, does anyone have a picture on how to do this as im not sure what to do.

    Thanks

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    sorry if everyone is getting sick of me asking all these questions.
    My new 3.7V 1050mA drivers arrived today and i cant wait for muy 18650's to get here so im going to make a pack out of 1.2v 2450mAh AA's, can someone please put a diagram up for me, so i can see how to wire it up, i know that if i wire it +/+/+ and -/-/- i will get 3.6v and 2450mAh how do i wire it to get 3.6v and 4900mAh? is that called series and parrallel?


    Edit: after a bit of searching on the net i found these 2 diagrams, what one would work better and be easier to put together
    1.

    2.

    Thanks
    Josh
    Last edited by Joshp82; 07-02-2009 at 04:02 AM.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshp82
    No i didn't check the current, does anyone have a picture on how to do this as im not sure what to do.

    Thanks
    Set your DMM to measure current, most have a 10a setting and you'll need to move the anode (red) DMM lead to the 10a input. Your DMM now becomes part of the circuit and acts as the path between the driver board and the LED while measuring the current passing through it. Doesn't matter whether the DMM is before or after the LED, as long as it's between the board and LED.

    If you were to put the DMM between the battery and driver, you'll see the current drawn from the battery which will differ from the LED current due to the difference between battery voltage and Vf of your emitters.

    Here's a simple picture I found that shows how to measure Vf and current:


  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsjc
    Set your DMM to measure current, most have a 10a setting and you'll need to move the anode (red) DMM lead to the 10a input. Your DMM now becomes part of the circuit and acts as the path between the driver board and the LED while measuring the current passing through it. Doesn't matter whether the DMM is before or after the LED, as long as it's between the board and LED.

    If you were to put the DMM between the battery and driver, you'll see the current drawn from the battery which will differ from the LED current due to the difference between battery voltage and Vf of your emitters.

    Here's a simple picture I found that shows how to measure Vf and current:
    Awesome thanks dsjc

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    Ok next question so i can stay up all night building lights,
    I received my new drivers the other day. but thay came un-wired from what i can see on the website do i have the correct spots in Pic 2 marked for the LED wires?
    Pic 1

    Pic 2

    Website
    Thanks in advance
    Josh

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    ok i guessed the wires and looks like i guessed correct. i did what DSJC said with my DDM and it started out at 0.14 then slowly dropped to 0.09 over about a minute or 2. does this sound ok? Im pretty sure the LED dimmed just after it got below 0.10 ill charge my battery back up and see what it read then

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