First build critique please - XP-G helmet light.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First build critique please - XP-G helmet light.

    So I've been browsing around and reading up as many articles as my brain can handle within the past few days. There's still a lot that I probably still don't understand, but time is the essence. My nursing program is starting in 2 weeks and I will not have any time to research.

    I am looking to build my first light based on the Achesalot/Amoeba style; I will be using 1" Alu. tubing. This will be a helmet mount so it will be a spot beam; I will eventually build a flood for my handlebar.

    I am only wanting around 600 lumens so 700-800ma should be good.

    Lexin, AAA, and JB Weld to bond the unit together.

    A driver is still in the search, I know b2flex is awesome, but I'm looking for something that is a bit cheaper if possible. I would like 2-3 modes (high/med/low but will suffice with just high/low). Additional protection function would be nice (thermal/low battery warning).

    I am jumping on the bandwagon and going with what is tried and true.

    Internals/Switch:
    1.) LED/Emitter - 2x XP-G R5 20mm starboard
    http://cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut1019

    2.)2x Regina Optic
    http://cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut980

    3.) Still have not decided on a driver.

    4.) Switch and rubber boot
    http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...90614705907221
    http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...90614705907221


    Battery/Cable:
    1.) 2x 18650 Li-Ion 3.7V 2600mAH - LG or OEM from Japan/Korea (?)
    http://www.batteryspace.com/Li-ion-1...62Wh---LG.aspx
    http://www.batteryspace.com/li-ion18...apankorea.aspx

    2.) Battery holder - plasti-dipped - 1S2P or 2S1P (?)
    http://www.batteryspace.com/Battery-...ong-20AWG.aspx
    http://www.batteryspace.com/Battery-...ong-20AWG.aspx

    3.) Smart Charger 1.2A for 7.4V Li-Ion
    http://www.batteryspace.com/smartcha...-ullisted.aspx

    4.) Trail-Tech Male and Female
    http://www.batteryspace.com/connecto...h6prewire.aspx
    http://www.batteryspace.com/connecto...h6prewire.aspx

    5.) Water-proof gland
    http://www.batteryspace.com/componen...thlocknut.aspx

    Hopefully I covered everything that is needed.

    Any inputs will be greatly appreciated, especially in regards to a driver.

    Thanks,
    Anthony

  2. #2
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    First one on the following page. This might be a good choice, though I have not used one.

    http://cutter.com.au/products.php?cat=Low+Cost+Drivers

    Or use the 3023 buckpuck on this page or from ledsupply.com.

    http://cutter.com.au/products.php?cat=Luxdrive+Drivers

  3. #3
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    You should consider 3/4" aluminum square instead of 1". The very end of the Regina will have to be cut, but the beam isn't noticeably effected. The difference in size next to each other is huge.

    Go with a cheap driver from Dealextreme. Pick up an 800, 1000 and 1200ma driver and make your decision when they arrive.

    Edit: so many different places you're buying from....save on shipping and get a pack of clicky switches and some magic shine y-cables for connectors from DX as well. My opinion.

  4. #4
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    The link on your switch doesn't work for me. These were recommended to me in a recent thread 528PB-ND and 532PB-ND.

    Is 7-800ma going to give you 600l? That might be a little optimistic. You could use a 3*7135 current limiting driver in a poormans setup - 1050ma. Walt Dizzy seemed to be happy with his 2x xpg in a recent build. He used the 4*7135 (1400ma) version. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=672091

    Digikey has cheap battery holders: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...18650%20holder

  5. #5
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    It'll give around 600l rated. You'd want to run 1.1A to the pair if you want around 600l out the front.

  6. #6
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    I'm in the middle of doing the research for my first light. Don't you need to a protection circuit to keep the batteries from draining too far?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker
    First one on the following page. This might be a good choice, though I have not used one.

    http://cutter.com.au/products.php?cat=Low+Cost+Drivers

    Or use the 3023 buckpuck on this page or from ledsupply.com.

    http://cutter.com.au/products.php?cat=Luxdrive+Drivers
    Thanks but both are over 1" diameter and will not fit in a 1" aluminum square tube.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKruahnndon
    You should consider 3/4" aluminum square instead of 1". The very end of the Regina will have to be cut, but the beam isn't noticeably effected. The difference in size next to each other is huge.

    Go with a cheap driver from Dealextreme. Pick up an 800, 1000 and 1200ma driver and make your decision when they arrive.

    Edit: so many different places you're buying from....save on shipping and get a pack of clicky switches and some magic shine y-cables for connectors from DX as well. My opinion.
    I'm ordering about 10 of each item enough to make a few lights or a few scewups. A 3/4" sized light will also be in the works, but I have not been able to source out a XP-G R5 on a smaller MCPCB (<16mm).

    For the driver, I'm looking for some specific functions which I still have not came across searching at DX.

    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    The link on your switch doesn't work for me. These were recommended to me in a recent thread 528PB-ND and 532PB-ND.

    Is 7-800ma going to give you 600l? That might be a little optimistic. You could use a 3*7135 current limiting driver in a poormans setup - 1050ma. Walt Dizzy seemed to be happy with his 2x xpg in a recent build. He used the 4*7135 (1400ma) version. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=672091

    Digikey has cheap battery holders: http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...18650%20holder
    The XP-G R5 are rated at 139 lm @ 350mA, but I forgot to look into the voltage

    So running 2x XP-G @ 800mA will equate to ~635 lm. So roughly 572 lm actual output (I believe -10% loss(?)).

    XP-G requires 3.0Vf - Typ. Forward Voltage @ 350mA, and the LED will be wired in series.

    Sorry, my knowledge is a bit flakey in regards to voltage and wiring.

    So in order to run 2x XP-G at 800mA I will need to drive roughly 14V(?)..with only 7.4V I will need to use a booster(?)

    Digikey does have cheaper battery holders but does not have the built-in PCB failsafe..is that a necessity?


    Quote Originally Posted by kan3
    It'll give around 600l rated. You'd want to run 1.1A to the pair if you want around 600l out the front.
    Are my numbers correct ^

    Quote Originally Posted by resonance4x4
    I'm in the middle of doing the research for my first light. Don't you need to a protection circuit to keep the batteries from draining too far?
    The battery holders from BatterySpace have a PCB built in:

    PCB (5.0A limited, Manufacture part# PCM-L01S03-375) installed on front surface for protect the battery from
    Overcharge (>4.2V)
    Over discharge ( <2.5 V)
    Over drain ( >5.0 Amp)
    Short circuit

    Thanks for the replies!
    Anthony

  8. #8
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    Last edited by HEY HEY ITS HENDO; 12-27-2010 at 10:13 PM.
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn

    The XP-G R5 are rated at 139 lm @ 350mA, but I forgot to look into the voltage

    So running 2x XP-G @ 800mA will equate to ~635 lm. So roughly 572 lm actual output (I believe -10% loss(?)).

    XP-G requires 3.0Vf - Typ. Forward Voltage @ 350mA, and the LED will be wired in series.

    Sorry, my knowledge is a bit flakey in regards to voltage and wiring.

    So in order to run 2x XP-G at 800mA I will need to drive roughly 14V(?)..with only 7.4V I will need to use a booster(?)
    A good XPG R5 will put out about 300l ea with 800mA input at 25c. A realistic amount is loss is 20%. This takes into account 10% for the reflector, 5% for 50-60c operation and another 5% if you get a less than stellar LED instead of top bin. That means you'll want to input around 1.1mA to the LED to get around 600 actual lumens out the front.

    2 XP-G @ 800mA will be around 3.2v and 3.3v at 1.1mA:

    3.2v x2 = 6.4v x .8mA = 5.2w/h + driver loss
    3.3v x2 = 6.6v x 1.1mA = 7.26w/h + driver loss

    Most buck need at least 1v higher than the forward voltage to stay in regulation. You'd be better wiring the LED in parallel and using a buck driver.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    The battery holders from BatterySpace have a PCB built in:
    Gotchya, didn't realize that. Thanks. Looking forward to your build because this is almost what I want to do.

  11. #11
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    Thanks!

    First one seems to be a Q2..3000k is too yellow for me.

    The DX one looks perfect; are all MCPCB just about the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by kan3
    A good XPG R5 will put out about 300l ea with 800mA input at 25c. A realistic amount is loss is 20%. This takes into account 10% for the reflector, 5% for 50-60c operation and another 5% if you get a less than stellar LED instead of top bin. That means you'll want to input around 1.1mA to the LED to get around 600 actual lumens out the front.

    2 XP-G @ 800mA will be around 3.2v and 3.3v at 1.1mA:

    3.2v x2 = 6.4v x .8mA = 5.2w/h + driver loss
    3.3v x2 = 6.6v x 1.1mA = 7.26w/h + driver loss

    Most buck need at least 1v higher than the forward voltage to stay in regulation. You'd be better wiring the LED in parallel and using a buck driver.
    I thought wiring the LED in parallel isn't good.. supposedly uneven power distribution?

    So the increase in amp doesn't require the increase in voltage? I'll read up some more on the voltage calculation since I still don't really understand it.

    Other than that, isn't 1.1A a bit much without a great heatsink?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

  12. #12
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    I wired 2 XPGs in parallel with 2 individual drivers (cheapo 1-mode @1A AMC7135 from DX). Works fine from 4p 18650.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Thanks!

    Other than that, isn't 1.1A a bit much without a great heatsink?

    Thanks,
    Anthony
    I'm running a double xpg r5 at 1A on a Hammond box ( aprox.. 20x40x50) and it didn't need a heatsink.
    btw, Im using a 1A buck with a 2 cell +-5000mA batt. It goes out off regulation and I can see it dim but is only on the last 20 minutes off charge or so. It serves as a warning

    edit ( aprox.. 20mmx40mmx50mm)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Thanks but both are over 1" diameter and will not fit in a 1" aluminum square tube.
    Anthony
    The rectangular "low cost driver" from Cutter looks like should fit diagonally in 1" square tubing.

    The 3021 buckpuck will fit inside 1" square tubing with minor filing or shaving of the molded potting compound body.

  15. #15
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    at the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I've done something very similar here . Having used Taskled's drivers I wouldn't go back to anything else - the thought and expertise that have gone into them make me much more confident in in it lasting than something from DX.

    For me the pluses are many
    1, super helpful guy behind them (Georges80)
    2, programmable to exactly what you want - I have my light set up as threemode, where it starts on Low (which is programmable too - you can have it start on High if you want), click to Med then every click cycles between Med and High, with a press to go back to Low. I can also up the max current if I want more light output or dial it back a bit if I need more battery light (say for a 24h race).
    3, Med>Low>Empty battery warnings, completely programmable too. Means I could use cheap Digikey holders and not worry about PCB protection in either the pack or the cells
    4, temperature monitoring - just in case I over cook it on the current front or end up night racing in the middle of summer

    Sure, they're a bit of a hit to start with, I'd never argue with that, but they are the heart of your light and to me it makes sense to get the best I can afford for that.

    As for the rest - 1in sq. tubing does come out a bit bigger, but on the plus side you have more surface area for heat dissipation, more room for driver and switch, and less faffing around grinding stars and reflectors down. I think the bare metal housing was around 40g (total head lamp was 92g), so stepping down to 3/4sq in isn't going to save you all that much - 10g?

    I'm happy with the Digikey battery holders (I'll eventually plastidip mine once I get my 3S balance charger) and MS cables. Didn't bother with a cable gland as looking at all the options made my head hurt, plus they all looked a bit big and ugly, so I just used silicone and a strain relief thing.

    I'd also recommend screwing the stars down, if you have or can get hold of some taps. I'm about to swap out one of my XP-Gs and replace it with an XM-L, which was the whole reason for screwing down the stars to begin with It's a bit more effort, but it'll mean you'll be able to keep the same housing and driver, but upgrade the LEDs as newer better ones come out with minimum effort.

    That said, plenty of people have had a lot of success with different drivers/ materials/ methods, so I'm sure you'll get a great light out of it whatever you choose (and substantially better than other riders more expensive lights ).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    at the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I've done something very similar here . Having used Taskled's drivers I wouldn't go back to anything else - the thought and expertise that have gone into them make me much more confident in in it lasting than something from DX.

    For me the pluses are many
    1, super helpful guy behind them (Georges80)
    2, programmable to exactly what you want - I have my light set up as threemode, where it starts on Low (which is programmable too - you can have it start on High if you want), click to Med then every click cycles between Med and High, with a press to go back to Low. I can also up the max current if I want more light output or dial it back a bit if I need more battery light (say for a 24h race).
    3, Med>Low>Empty battery warnings, completely programmable too. Means I could use cheap Digikey holders and not worry about PCB protection in either the pack or the cells
    4, temperature monitoring - just in case I over cook it on the current front or end up night racing in the middle of summer

    Sure, they're a bit of a hit to start with, I'd never argue with that, but they are the heart of your light and to me it makes sense to get the best I can afford for that.

    As for the rest - 1in sq. tubing does come out a bit bigger, but on the plus side you have more surface area for heat dissipation, more room for driver and switch, and less faffing around grinding stars and reflectors down. I think the bare metal housing was around 40g (total head lamp was 92g), so stepping down to 3/4sq in isn't going to save you all that much - 10g?

    I'm happy with the Digikey battery holders (I'll eventually plastidip mine once I get my 3S balance charger) and MS cables. Didn't bother with a cable gland as looking at all the options made my head hurt, plus they all looked a bit big and ugly, so I just used silicone and a strain relief thing.

    I'd also recommend screwing the stars down, if you have or can get hold of some taps. I'm about to swap out one of my XP-Gs and replace it with an XM-L, which was the whole reason for screwing down the stars to begin with It's a bit more effort, but it'll mean you'll be able to keep the same housing and driver, but upgrade the LEDs as newer better ones come out with minimum effort.

    That said, plenty of people have had a lot of success with different drivers/ materials/ methods, so I'm sure you'll get a great light out of it whatever you choose (and substantially better than other riders more expensive lights ).
    Great information!

    Did you attach your taskled driver to a heatsink? The reason I did not want to go with a more expensive driver was the idea that I would probably want to move the driver to another build in the future.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Great information!

    Did you attach your taskled driver to a heatsink? The reason I did not want to go with a more expensive driver was the idea that I would probably want to move the driver to another build in the future.
    I used a bit of scrap alu bent into a fish hook, JB welded it to the potting area on the b2flex, then after everything was wired up, wedged the driver into the housing with a couple of vacuum plugs and JB welded the other end to the housing. I think the achesalot/ scar method is good, but it's a pain to work in and quite time consuming - I've since started using "sleds". Only single LED ones so far, but I'll be using that method to do a 2x XM-L bar light in the coming months. See here for more details.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    I used a bit of scrap alu bent into a fish hook, JB welded it to the potting area on the b2flex, then after everything was wired up, wedged the driver into the housing with a couple of vacuum plugs and JB welded the other end to the housing. I think the achesalot/ scar method is good, but it's a pain to work in and quite time consuming - I've since started using "sleds". Only single LED ones so far, but I'll be using that method to do a 2x XM-L bar light in the coming months. See here for more details.
    Nice.

    I've just finished building the housing for 2x dual XP-G and a triple XP-G. I also have a pair of XM-L T6 on the way which will go into a 3/4" sized housing.

  19. #19
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    Matt's "Sled" design looks very simple and effective.
    I could see building another Quazzle module light this way when the next generation emitter comes out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent
    Matt's "Sled" design looks very simple and effective.
    I could see building another Quazzle module light this way when the next generation emitter comes out.
    Thanks man the big pluses for me are fewer and less precise cuts with my dremel and ease of wiring things up. I'm still very happy with my achesalot style light, but it was an awful lot of work by hand and wiring it up was a pain. I'll be doing all my future lights "sled" style.

  21. #21
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    Alright so ordered everything earlier today except for the driver; I'm going to settle for the b2flex. I also have 2x XM-L T6 14mm on the way from cutter that I will fit into a 3/4" square tubing..still going to have to find a sizable driver.

    Thanks for all the help everybody!

    BTW. does anybody know how long it usually takes for delivery from cutter?

  22. #22
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    I think that they are closed until 10 Jan. I ordered my Xmls before the 23 Dez, but since "something" that I ordered is out off stock, I guess I wont see nothing shipped until they open again.
    Last edited by bravellir; 12-31-2010 at 02:20 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bravellir
    I think that they are closed until 10 Jan. I ordered my Xmls before the 23 Dez, but since "something" that I ordered is out off stock, I guess I wont see nothing shipped before until they open again.
    Ah. Thats a bummer.

  24. #24
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    Yeah, still no response from Cutter, so I assume they really are closed until the 10th.

    I have the b2Flex on the way from George, and I just finished building my battery pack (7.4V 2600mah) which will be plasti-dipped once I get the chance. So just waiting on the Regina and XP-G from Cutter.

    I also picked up a Hakko 936 soldering station to replace my oxidized Weller 40W iron. Anybody have a recommendation on which sized tip would be best for soldering onto the b2flex?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

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    We shipped all orders up until 22nd, we have entered all orders up until today but wont start shipping until Monday. Sorry for the delay
    Cheers
    WeLight

    Cutter Electronics Pty Ltd www.cutter.com.au

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeLight
    We shipped all orders up until 22nd, we have entered all orders up until today but wont start shipping until Monday. Sorry for the delay
    Wow, thanks for the reply! There were a thing or two that I wanted to adjust on my order; I've already e-mailed you all and was just waiting on a reply. Please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Anthony

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    **Disregard post. Ended up figuring out the problem.

    Thanks,
    Anthony
    Last edited by equalme; 01-06-2011 at 01:59 AM.

  28. #28
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    What???

    Originaly posted by bravellir
    I think that they are closed until 10 Jan.
    Originally posted by WeLight
    We shipped all orders up until 22nd, we have entered all orders up until today but wont start shipping until Monday. Sorry for the delay
    Where was this informatiom posted? I did not see it on your website. Really sucks to find this out on a forum.




    ****

  29. #29
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    Finally received my order from Cutter the other day. Now I'm still awaiting for my switches from digikey (they reshipped another order) that never came in via USPS. Great customer service.

    Is it necessary to heatsink the driver to the body of the light? Looks to be a pain since it will be sitting in the 1" square tubing at an angle. Would it be enough if I just soldered a 'L' shaped piece of aluminum to the driver? High will be at 1A to 1.2A.

    What is the best way to protect the driver from shorting out on the housing? I've seen pictures of it in a balloon or with a piece of rubber wrapped around it..any other idea?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

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    I would use Arctic Alumina to epoxy it to the L bracket, then to the housing. It's easy, quick and seems to work good.
    You could use some heat shrink around the driver to protect it. I don't think the b2Flex gets hot, and as long as it is heatsinked to the body like you are talking about doing (which I highly recommend) you should be good to go.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

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    Is the steel-reinforced JB weld thermally conductive enough for this?

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    Probably not as good as AA.
    I'd be most worried about it being electronically conductive as well. Thats why I recommend the AA.
    I've heard of people using the JB to glue down stars and such with good results.
    But I wouldn't want to put it on the pad of the b2Flex, as that pad is also a ground potential.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann
    Probably not as good as AA.
    I'd be most worried about it being electronically conductive as well. Thats why I recommend the AA.
    I've heard of people using the JB to glue down stars and such with good results.
    But I wouldn't want to put it on the pad of the b2Flex, as that pad is also a ground potential.
    I found quite conflicting information about the conductiveness (electricity or thermal) of JB Weld - I think the iron concentration is only ~5% and the general consensus what that it wasn't particularly electrically conductive. I used it to pot my b2flex and it's been fine so far, though there is no other part of the light that grounds to the housing so (if my scant electrical knowledge is right) it shouldn't matter even if it was conductive. Possibly

    As for thermal conduction - kinda crap. Good enough for potting a driver (1-2W losses) but not for heatsinks IMO. I JB welded a heatsink on top my my light and, although it gets warm, it doesn't heat up as much or as fast as the rest of the case. That might be because of the larger surface area though. Either way, I wasn't terribly impressed. In future I'll screw heatsinks down using thermal paste instead.

    @Antony - if you're not going over 1A, you don't need to pot the b2flex, although you will lose a lot of the thermal protection feature. Above 1A it is highly recommended as losses in the driver are both greater and increase faster the more overdriven XP-Gs are. If the driver's rattling around loose, wrap it in some electrostatic wrap (any spare PC parts kicking around? They almost always come in grey plastic bags that would work) or even electricians tape. If it's potted to the housing, just make sure nothing protrudes out of the driver (like wires pushed too far through before being soldered) and you'll be fine.

  34. #34
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    Screw down + thermal paste sounds like a good idea.

  35. #35
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    I did once try mixing JB Weld and thermal paste, absolute disaster as the heatsink fell off by itself the next day Another idea would be to put JB Weld around the periphery of the heatsink. However, I still think screwing it down gives the shortest thermal path and best transfer though

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent
    Screw down + thermal paste sounds like a good idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    I did once try mixing JB Weld and thermal paste, absolute disaster as the heatsink fell off by itself the next day Another idea would be to put JB Weld around the periphery of the heatsink. However, I still think screwing it down gives the shortest thermal path and best transfer though
    Screwing it down + thermal paste is not an option on the b2flex...neither sides are flat.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    I did once try mixing JB Weld and thermal paste, absolute disaster as the heatsink fell off by itself the next day
    nice one!
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Screwing it down + thermal paste is not an option on the b2flex...neither sides are flat.
    oops, sorry, Ofroad'bent and I got a little distracted. We were talking about external heatsinks, not potting the driver.

    For the b2flex, I just used JB weld. The alu hook was first JB welded to the gold patch on the driver taking care not to get JB weld on anything (not easy, hate that stuff). Then, after I'd wired everything up, I stuff the driver inside the housing at an angle, wedged it so that the other end of the hook was next to the inside of the housing (rubber vacuum plugs are very handy for this), then very carefully added JB Weld to the join. Absolutely no idea if it's still stuck there (hope so!), I'll find out when I upgrade one of the XP-Gs to an XM-L in a bit.

  39. #39
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    I was just checking out the JB weld site.
    http://jbweld.net/products/jbstik.php
    They actually say you can use the JB STIK stuff as an electrical insulator....
    Quote from the site
    "Use J-B STIK as an adhesive, laminate, plug, filler, sealant, and electrical insulator."

    And here is what they say about the regular JB weld
    "Use J-B WELD as an adhesive, laminate, plug, filler, sealant, and electrical insulator. Squeeze out equal portions from the black and red tubes. Mix thoroughly. Clean surface to be bonded. Apply J-B WELD, and let it cure. That's all there is to it! "

    Good to know.

    But it doesn't sound like the best at thermal transfer.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  40. #40
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    Be careful using JB type epoxies on boards like a flex for potting the shrinkage when it sets can pull a component off the board .

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    I didn't realize the stuff shrank that much.

    Troutie, talking glues and such, what are some good products for potting drivers?
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    oops, sorry, Ofroad'bent and I got a little distracted. We were talking about external heatsinks, not potting the driver.
    Well, I think the XM-L will have a flat surface that could be attached with screws and thermal paste, but I digress.

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    In regards to heatsinking/potting the b2flex, how inferior is it to solder a 20ga stranded wire from the driver to the body vs just a 'L' shaped aluminum AAA'ed to the driver and NOT attached to the body?

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    where did you get you b2flex from?

    If you're ordering it from cutters then order some of the double sided transfer tape they sell, electrical insulator but good thermal path.

    If you get them direct from taskled, don't they come with similar stuff?

    I have cut a small al block, the size of the gold pad. It is stuck to the b2flex using cutters tape and then once it is wired the block is "glued" to the housing using JB weld. It is clamped as it sets for at least 24hrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    where did you get you b2flex from?

    If you're ordering it from cutters then order some of the double sided transfer tape they sell, electrical insulator but good thermal path.

    If you get them direct from taskled, don't they come with similar stuff?

    I have cut a small al block, the size of the gold pad. It is stuck to the b2flex using cutters tape and then once it is wired the block is "glued" to the housing using JB weld. It is clamped as it sets for at least 24hrs.
    Ordered direct from taskled, did not receive any additional parts other than the driver itself.

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    Finally, I finished my first light...well almost! Still need to acrylic the lexan, seal the body, and awaiting for my switch.

    Love ALL the functions of the b2flex. Setup using threemode with low~350ma, med~750ma, hi~1000ma.

    In regards to the voltage cutoff/low/med, what is the best setting for the 2S1P?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

    **Next up will be a triple for a bar/flood light. Setup will be 2x CXP RS and a Regina in the middle; still can't decide if I should go 3x XML or 2x XML and a XP-G for the middle/Regina.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Finally, I finished my first light...well almost! Still need to acrylic the lexan, seal the body, and awaiting for my switch.

    Love ALL the functions of the b2flex. Setup using threemode with low~350ma, med~750ma, hi~1000ma.

    In regards to the voltage cutoff/low/med, what is the best setting for the 2S1P?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

    **Next up will be a triple for a bar/flood light. Setup will be 2x CXP RS and a Regina in the middle; still can't decide if I should go 3x XML or 2x XML and a XP-G for the middle/Regina.

    forget the XPG as you will need 2 drivers in your light .

    I suggest using the maxflex cut off settings a s they are for a 2s pack .

    where are the pics you cant say its finished and not show us

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Finally, I finished my first light...well almost! Still need to acrylic the lexan, seal the body, and awaiting for my switch.

    Love ALL the functions of the b2flex. Setup using threemode with low~350ma, med~750ma, hi~1000ma.

    In regards to the voltage cutoff/low/med, what is the best setting for the 2S1P?

    Thanks,
    Anthony

    **Next up will be a triple for a bar/flood light. Setup will be 2x CXP RS and a Regina in the middle; still can't decide if I should go 3x XML or 2x XML and a XP-G for the middle/Regina.
    cool! As Troutie said - where are the pics?!

    As for the threemode, I didn't realise this until George and a bunch of others explained it, but when you set the max drive current (L5, 1A in your case), L1>4 values are based on the L5 value. So L1 is almost always 50mA (good for trailside fixes/ road work) and L4 is about 1/2 L5. I think the values are more or less exponential because of the way the eye sees increases in light (logarithmically?).

    For the med/low/cut values, George suggested working them out from the 4S values in the manual - so a 3S pack would be 3/4 of each value (9.8/9.4/9 I think) and a 2S pack would be 1/2. I'm not sure if your light would dim before the low setting was reached though, as 6V is below the Vf of 2x XP-G.

    2 XM-L driven by an Lflex + 2S2P (or 2S3P) pack at 3A would be more than enough light. 3 XM-L is going to get harder to cool and you'll need a h6flex to run it. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just going to add cost, weight and complexity (especially if you already have a 2S charger).

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    Thanks guys!

    That's good to know about the levels of brightness, ill need to read into it some more.

    No problems with the 3x XML since I already have the housing and 3s2p built. I also have the thunder ac6 charger.

    Now what adhesive would work best to seal the lexan to the aluminum housing?

    **Sorry, will also get pictures up later on today. Nothing fancy at all though, Amoeba/Achealot style housing in 1" tubing (not as clean cut lol).
    Last edited by equalme; 01-25-2011 at 10:29 AM.

  50. #50
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    Just out of curiousity, why are you using 2S packs with 2 LEDs and 3S packs with 3 LEDs - are these just packs you already had? I have that charger as well, simply awesome

    I've used odour free silicone to seal my housings (lexan, cable entry, joints) but it's a pain to work with and ugly as sin. Someone (Ofroad'bent? Homebrew?) suggested 5 min clear epoxy, mix and working a small section at a time. Check here, post 26. I managed to find some in Lowes, for $4, so hopefully you have one around where you are.

  51. #51
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    Just out of curiousity, why are you using 2S packs with 2 LEDs and 3S packs with 3 LEDs - are these just packs you already had? Both lights will dim before the Low warning flashes. I have that charger as well, simply awesome

    I've used odour free silicone to seal my housings (lexan, cable entry, joints) but it's a pain to work with and ugly as sin. Someone (Ofroad'bent? Homebrew?) suggested 5 min clear epoxy, mix and working a small section at a time. Check here, post 26. I managed to find some in Lowes, for $4, so hopefully you have one around where you are.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    Just out of curiousity, why are you using 2S packs with 2 LEDs and 3S packs with 3 LEDs - are these just packs you already had? I have that charger as well, simply awesome

    I've used odour free silicone to seal my housings (lexan, cable entry, joints) but it's a pain to work with and ugly as sin. Someone (Ofroad'bent? Homebrew?) suggested 5 min clear epoxy, mix and working a small section at a time. Check here, post 26. I managed to find some in Lowes, for $4, so hopefully you have one around where you are.
    Thanks Matt. I remember reading that some time ago about the epoxy but could not find the source when I needed it.

    As for the battery, I wanted the light to dim as the voltage gets low. The 2S1P will be mounted on the helmet so I didn't care for the extra weight of a 3S1P. Both battery packs are new builds.

    Here are some pictures (sorry for the blurry pictures...best my phone can do):





  53. #53
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    looking good! Looks neater than mine, going by the pictures Did you choose the pack layout before you knew about the voltage warning of the *flexes? I don't mean to hassle, just curious. It'll be interesting to see which is more useful to you - the light dimming or the warnings; you could even test with your 3S pack..

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    looking good! Looks neater than mine, going by the pictures Did you choose the pack layout before you knew about the voltage warning of the *flexes? I don't mean to hassle, just curious. It'll be interesting to see which is more useful to you - the light dimming or the warnings; you could even test with your 3S pack..
    Yeah sort of. I was trying to find a cheaper driver, but nothing was available with the settings that I wanted other than the b2flex. Going to have to play around with the settings to find the perfect configuration.

    Started working on the 3x XML, here is the housing so far:

  55. #55
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    Alright here's some more pictures of the build process for 3x XML (bin 2S). I ordered some Laura RS due to Troutie's great rant about them; will decide if I will do 2x Laura RS + CXP RS or 3x Laura RS.

    Wish I had a drill press...so dangerous holding the aluminum with bare hands and drilling 1/2" holes with the other.

    Holes drilled and stars AAA'ed.


    Wired in series.


    b2flex wired and ready for test.


    Success!


    Thanks,
    Anthony

    **Off topic, but just picked up a '11 Specialized Myka FSR today for the girlfriend...next up will be a pair of helmet/bar light for her. =D

  56. #56
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    nice! What cables are those? Trailtech? They look like they have good thick wires.

    Will you be running the XM-Ls with the b2flex? At 1.5A?

    As for a drill press, I bought myself a bench vice (you can get them for as little as $40) after cutting through a nail for the second time with a piece of spinning metal. Aluminium's not soo bad, but bits can easily get stuck in steel and when they do it doesn't matter how tight you're holding them, they'll still spin. A vice isn't as good as a drill press, but you can use if for an awful lot of other things.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    nice! What cables are those? Trailtech? They look like they have good thick wires.

    Will you be running the XM-Ls with the b2flex? At 1.5A?

    As for a drill press, I bought myself a bench vice (you can get them for as little as $40) after cutting through a nail for the second time with a piece of spinning metal. Aluminium's not soo bad, but bits can easily get stuck in steel and when they do it doesn't matter how tight you're holding them, they'll still spin. A vice isn't as good as a drill press, but you can use if for an awful lot of other things.
    Cables are Trailtech - 18 gauge, the rest of the wires are 20 gauge. Once fully assembled, I will most likely run it at 1.5A depending on how well it handles the temperature.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn
    Cables are Trailtech - 18 gauge, the rest of the wires are 20 gauge. Once fully assembled, I will most likely run it at 1.5A depending on how well it handles the temperature.
    How are you going to heatsink the gold pad on the back of the b2flex? At 1.5A it needs to be connected to a heatsink and to get a bflex into those housing they have to go in on an angle so it can't be connected flat to a side.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    How are you going to heatsink the gold pad on the back of the b2flex? At 1.5A it needs to be connected to a heatsink and to get a bflex into those housing they have to go in on an angle so it can't be connected flat to a side.
    Bent piece of aluminum just like I have it for the 2x XP-G; I wrap the driver in a electrostatic material and make a cut for the heatsink to pass through. In the XPG, it's not bonded to the housing but is resting against it. The 3x XML will be AAA'd to the housing though.

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    Picked up some Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy from Lowes today (FYI..Home Depot does not carry any clear and liquid epoxy). Lexan is now mounted and awaiting for the switch for completion.

    Also plasti-dipped the batteries, awesome stuff but the odor from curing is toxic.

  61. #61
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    Nice and should be OK heat wise only going up to 1.5 amps
    you will like the Laura / CXP mix I have just done a double one of each and am impressed

    Like the pics TA

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    Haven't done much due to school, but heatsinked the driver and will adhere it to the housing later. Will finish fitting the lexan possibly later today.


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    So the switches came in..and doh..ordered the wrong switch, instead of momentary it is on/off.

    So I searched up the Judco 506PB-ND switch via digi-key (switch fucntion: Off-Mom)...I believe it means "normally off and momentary open while pressed(?)". Somebody please confirm.

    http://search.digikey.com/scripts/Dk...B-ND&x=14&y=27

    Thanks,
    Anthony

  64. #64
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    ........... your link
    Description; SWITCH PB SPST N/O MOM RED
    switch, push button, single pole single throw, normally open, momentary, red

    So I searched up the Judco 506PB-ND switch via digi-key (switch fucntion: Off-Mom).
    ..I believe it means "normally off and momentary open while pressed(?)". Somebody please confirm.
    in momentary switch lingo
    N/O is normally open ....press to close, (press makes a circuit)
    N/C is normally closed ....press to open, (press breaks a circuit)
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  65. #65
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    Taken from the b2Flex manual.....................

    "An control switch may be connected via leads soldered to the holes SWA and SWB. The switch
    needs to be a momentary action, push to close type, i.e. normally open contacts."

    so yes, the one in your link would be the right one......but I always get confused with switch lingo.

    Here is what I used for my build.......
    http://www.mouser.com/Search/Product...ey107-6217-EVX

    then I picked up some of these, which are actually pretty nice quality and showed up in less than 10 days............
    http://cgi.ebay.com/12-Waterproof-Mo...item1c18edf37e

    So normally open = MOMENTARY OFF -- ( ON ) = Off-Mom = N/O
    which I believe is what all the flex drivers need.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

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    Great thanks all!

    The LXP RS should be arriving today or tomorrow..but I am still awaiting for my 'correct' switches from digikey.

    Took the dual XPG helmet light out yesterday for a short 5 mile ride and it was awesome...crossed under a bridge and looked up to hundreds of bats!

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    First light completed.!

    3x XML (bin 2S) running at 1.5A with 1x CXP RS and 2x Laura XP RS. With a slight breeze, it does not get very hot nor trips the thermal protection on the b2flex (50C).





    Thanks,
    Anthony
    Last edited by equalme; 02-03-2011 at 12:28 AM.

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    wow, nice job anthony, that was quick! Have you taken it out for a spin yet? I'm interested in what you think of the beam pattern as I'm still weighing up optics for my twin XM-L light.

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    anthonylokrn
    Isn't it dangerous to have a piece of metal at such height from the bars?
    I've hit the bars couple of times in road accidents - and it wasn't amazing at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    wow, nice job anthony, that was quick! Have you taken it out for a spin yet? I'm interested in what you think of the beam pattern as I'm still weighing up optics for my twin XM-L light.
    Thanks! I've been so anxious but haven't had the time/weather to take it out yet. But seems nice and floody with good throw.

    Quote Originally Posted by klynk
    anthonylokrn
    Isn't it dangerous to have a piece of metal at such height from the bars?
    I've hit the bars couple of times in road accidents - and it wasn't amazing at all.
    I've never had a problem smashing my face into my bar yet lol. But in any case, the pictures make it seem higher than it is in reality; it really can't go any lower at all but 5mm or so.

  71. #71
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    if you want it lower, why not cut the sides off of the adapter mating pieces and JB weld it to the bottom of them (instead of the top)? Although it does look a bit Tron-like as it is

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet
    if you want it lower, why not cut the sides off of the adapter mating pieces and JB weld it to the bottom of them (instead of the top)? Although it does look a bit Tron-like as it is
    Thanks for the suggestion Matt. I don't mind the height of the light so I'm keeping it as is. The setup is very sturdy and the quick-release of the Marwi mount slides on and off easily.

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    Picked up a new camera and decided to ditch the 3S2P and went with a 4S1P using the 18650 holder from batteryspace.

    Beamshots will be coming soon once I pickup a tripod.




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    Some beam shots. I couldn't get any shots while behind the bike since I did not have a tripod or anything else leveled to place the camera on, so it sat on top of the bar light.

    All pictures are shot with ISO 80, F4, 6 sec shutter, and daylight WB.

    Triple XML-Control


    Triple XML-Low


    Triple XML-Med


    Triple XML-Hi


    Double XPG-Control


    Double XPG-Med


    Double XPG-Hi


    Looks like the CXP/Laura RS out-throws the Regina by quite a bit. Both are running at 1.5A on Hi.

    Thanks,
    Anthony
    Last edited by equalme; 02-23-2011 at 12:30 PM.

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    Seems like too big a jump in output from the XPG light to the XML. Is the XPG your dual, and the XML your triple?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker
    Seems like too big a jump in output from the XPG light to the XML. Is the XPG your dual, and the XML your triple?
    That's right.

    Setup is:
    -Triple XML (bin 2S), 1x CXP-RS and 2x LauraXP-RS, and b2flex @ 1.5A.
    -Dual XPG (bin R5), 2x Regina, and b2flex @ 1.5A.
    Last edited by equalme; 02-23-2011 at 04:24 AM.

  77. #77
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    Roughly 1680 versus 917 without allowance for any losses.

    It still looks way more that twice as bright. Are you sure you've selected the correct current tables on the xpg version?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Roughly 1680 versus 917 without allowance for any losses.

    It still looks way more that twice as bright. Are you sure you've selected the correct current tables on the xpg version?
    Just checked and it is at the correct 1.5A current. The XPG is only receiving 8.4v though (2S1P) and the XML 16.8v (4S1P). Both batteries were pretty much at full capacity when the pictures were taken.

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    IMO there must be some factor that is making such a big difference in apparent output. The difference in XPG and XML at 1.5 A is just not that much.

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    Cutter quotes a 20% increase in lumen per watt for the XML over the XPG. The intensity of the brightness in that image appears greater than 20%.

    I looked at the stored Exif data on those two images, and the camera setting were the same (f/4, 6.0 sec, ISO 80), so it's not that.

    In your recollection, was the intensity to your eye similar to that represented in the photos?

    Could be different beam shapes, and we are loosing the hot spot of the beam out the black hole in the back?

    Could be that the sensor got 'full' and saturated the image.

    *shrug*

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by P220C
    Cutter quotes a 20% increase in lumen per watt for the XML over the XPG. The intensity of the brightness in that image appears greater than 20%.
    Triple xm-l vs double xp-g

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker
    IMO there must be some factor that is making such a big difference in apparent output. The difference in XPG and XML at 1.5 A is just not that much.
    Probably XPGs have some heat issues at 1.5A while XMLs haven't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kan3
    Triple xm-l vs double xp-g
    Ahhh, I see now.

    20% increase per watt x 2 emitters = 40%
    60% increase x 1 extra higher output emitter = 60%
    Total increase 100%
    reflector/lens losses (92% * 90%) (83%)
    Net Gain of 83%

    An 83% increase is damn close to a doubling of output, which is what the photos look like.

    Amazing amount of light that little sucker is capable of.

    Very nice work, sir.

    Later edit: I think I 'double dipped,' by subtracting the lens losses, since they are implicit in the base figures. If so, this really is a doubling at a solid 100% increase in lumen output. .

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by P220C
    Cutter quotes a 20% increase in lumen per watt for the XML over the XPG. The intensity of the brightness in that image appears greater than 20%.

    I looked at the stored Exif data on those two images, and the camera setting were the same (f/4, 6.0 sec, ISO 80), so it's not that.

    In your recollection, was the intensity to your eye similar to that represented in the photos?

    Could be different beam shapes, and we are loosing the hot spot of the beam out the black hole in the back?

    Could be that the sensor got 'full' and saturated the image.

    *shrug*
    The intensity of both are represented correctly based on what I saw.

    I am going to try to finish up on a triple XPG with 2x LauraXP-RS and 1x CXP-RS today and will try to get some more beamshots tonight. I'm also finishing up on another double XPG but can't decide if I want to use another Regina or 2x LauraXP-RS instead.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by P220C
    Ahhh, I see now.

    20% increase per watt x 2 emitters = 40%
    60% increase x 1 extra higher output emitter = 60%
    Total increase 100%
    reflector/lens losses (92% * 90%) (83%)
    Net Gain of 83%
    IMHO, your math is wrong, but the result is non the less pretty accurate. If one XML is 20% brighter than one XPG, then two XML's are still only 20% brighter than 2 XPGs - not 40% brighter as in your calculation...

    For getting more exact comparison in this particular case, we must compare produced lumens of both led types at 1.5A. Based on Cree's datasheets and some extrapolation from the numbers and graphs in there, the approximate numbers for both leds are:

    - XP-G R5 @ 1500 mA: 139 lm x 3.3 ~ 460 lm
    - XM-L T6 @ 1500 mA: 280 lm x 1.95 ~ 550 lm

    So, 2 XPGs (without considering any losses due to die temperature or other factors) output roughly 920 lumens, while 3 XMLs produce roughly 1650 lumens.

  86. #86
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    Alright so I wasn't able to get any beamshots tonight but I did finish the dual XPG with LauraXP-RS.

    When comparing it to the dual XPG with Regina, the Laura has a brighter hotspot, and the Regina has more spill.

    Is that right? I thought the Laura was supposed to have more spill than the Regina.

    Ceiling shots:

    Laura-RS


    Regina


    Laura-RS side-by-side Regina


    Thanks,
    Anthony

  87. #87
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    Finally finished with all the lights and batteries. Just have to plasti-dip the 4S1P packs.

    Beam shots will hopefully be taken later on tonight at the same location under the bridge.





    Thanks,
    Anthony

  88. #88
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    Plasti dipping the packs for protection and waterproofing I presume? What do you do to waterproof / protect the end of the balance lead while you're riding? Interested to hear other peoples solutions for this one as well, particularly for helmet mounted packs

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26
    Plasti dipping the packs for protection and waterproofing I presume? What do you do to waterproof / protect the end of the balance lead while you're riding? Interested to hear other peoples solutions for this one as well, particularly for helmet mounted packs
    I mainly plasti-dip just for protection. I initially intended to mount the 2S1P to the helmet, but I ended up not like the extra weight sitting on the helmet, so I now either keep the pack in my camelbak (mtb) or rear shirt pocket (road) using a extension coiled cord.

  90. #90
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    I could not get beam shots under the bridge again since they lit it up tonight. But here are all the shots of all four lights; all lights are using b2flex @ 1.5A.



















    Here is both bar and helmet light together. I still don't know if I prefer the LauraXP-RS or Regina for the helmet.


    Thanks,
    Anthony

  91. #91
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    Nice shots. This looks to be a more accurate comparison of the XPG double and the XML triple than the under bridge shots.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn View Post
    First light completed.!

    3x XML (bin 2S) running at 1.5A with 1x CXP RS and 2x Laura XP RS. With a slight breeze, it does not get very hot nor trips the thermal protection on the b2flex (50C).





    Thanks,
    Anthony
    Well bumping up my old thread. Haven't used my lights in a few months now and just brought them back out to tinker with.

    Initially I had it mounted like above...and other did say it was mounted quite high..though it never bothered me.

    Never thought of it, but found out another way to mount it that made it quite lower.



    The light to the left is how I wanted it, but it is not an option for me anymore since the cable out from the light is blocking the left side and the stem. I still happy with the mounting position for the light on the right though.

    Just updating this thread for those that are having trouble figuring out how to mount/position their diy lights.

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