Its time, first DIY Build.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Its time, first DIY Build.

    OK heres the original plan for the design on paper:



    Final will look similar but has been a few changes due to limitations of my equipment, changes to internals and those were just front and top views to give me an idea. Itll also end up a bit smaller.

    Specs:

    25mm tall, 72mm long, 35-40mm deep.

    3x3 XP-G2 S3 3C emitters. So 9 total.

    Now something I am now trying to figure out, why the world is stuck on 8.4v battery packs??? Going up to 12.6v pack makes life so much easier for 3X set ups. Can produce more output with better run times.

    That said:
    3s2p panasonic pack being made from 2 yinding power banks. 6800mah capacity. Run time on "high" will be 3+ hrs for this "prototype". But this will have a turbo mode on a 2 minute timer. If all went well with driver firmware, turbo will be actionable from any mode but it simple click on, none of this push and hold crap, goes back down to high when timer is up. Then L-M-H are the modes, long press is off so off is out of cycle.

    Modes:
    Lumen calculations are based on current vs cree minimum at 85C and includes 15% loss from optics (rounded)

    [email protected] 175mA =140 lumens for 35+hrs
    [email protected] 700mA = 570 lumens for 9+ hrs
    [email protected] 2100mA = 2100 lumens for ~3 hrs
    [email protected] 3500mA= 3100 lumens

    Turbo is a "test", want to see how head will do for thermal management before increasing timer (to 3 mins) and increasing current to 4-4.5A. If I go 4.5A turbo will push right about 4k lumens but heat will be immense and Im keep size as small as I can without creating a "battery powered hot plate". Driver is also a "prototype" and will be able to be changed to find the sweet spots for the modes and make UI changes if I need. Gotta live Richard and his passion for this stuff.

    Have pouches on the way from xeccon for the pack.

    And this was the point of putting dual 3x set up in the 880 clone. Give me an idea on outputs vs drive currents (visual with all variants of optics) and what kind of heat i was looking at dealing with going this route vs simple 3 XM-L2 or XP-L. This way is a bit more light, nothing crazy, but temps are MUCH MUCH lower. 20+deg F lower.

    Ill get some pics of the driver and all that up hopefully before I leave for vacation next week, I would have actually started the machining by now but work dumped a ton of OT on us the last couple weeks.
    Last edited by tigris99; 09-14-2015 at 12:28 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    ......... Driver is also a "prototype" and will be able to be changed to find the sweet spots for the modes and make UI changes if I need. Gotta live Richard and his passion for this stuff.
    Who builds the driver you are using???
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  3. #3
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    Richard at mountain electronics.

  4. #4
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    How are you planning to wire the emitters? They often come on boards that allow them to be wired series or parallel. Are you using a boost or buck driver? I am just retrofitting a dual 3x XPG-2 light. I had de-domed XP-Ls running 3 amps each but they didn't focus properly. At 3amps drive current off a Taskled b3Flex I can wire them series on the boards and parallel off the driver so each emitter sees 1.5 amps and a 14.8v 4s pack will be perfect. That will produce around 3.5k lumens before losses and be a lot smaller and lighter than what I see in your picture.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  5. #5
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    Never mind, just saw your old thread about your mod with the triples.
    I'm curious about your thoughts on the XP-L HIs. I had huge hopes for them but was really disappointed with the beam. Lots of flood but no centre intensity to the beam and quite inferior throw. Even running them at 3 amps all in series of a 5s pack the beam was just not that good. Now I'm just waiting on some XP-G 2s on Noctigons, S4 2C. They are the highest lumen bin I could find at Cutter and pretty cool, but I'm planning to de-dome 2 on each board for XP-E like throw, which will warm up the tint.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  6. #6
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    Only reason im not using xp-l hi is the cost. Xp-g2 are half the price. This is for a bar light so have no need for extreme throw. And im assuming your using triples with carclo optics like I am, guess what, your not going to get the beam your after, just not going to happen regardless of what you try to do. Single emitter on tight optic or reflector is the only way your going to get good throw.



    I have a flashlight modded that uses xp-l hi triple, beam looks about the same as it did with xp-g2 triple, just a bit brighter due to the higher output of the xp-l emitters.
    Last edited by tigris99; 09-01-2015 at 10:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    .... im assuming your using triples with carclo optics like I am, guess what, your not going to get the beam your after, just not going to happen regardless of what you try to do. Single emitter on tight optic or reflector is the only way your going to get good throw.
    It is a shame that the 20mm triples are so floody. My bar light uses 35mm triples and even the tightest Ledil triple is still pretty wide.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  8. #8
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    Well one thing I learned there, like garry posted at some point, more emitters equals more flood. It does suck that the triple optics for "narrow spot" are still a ~30deg angle. Wish they would pull them down to 15deg range.

    I may try a triple set up on the lid, I know spot is much wider but I think it may work out well just to "light up everything" beyond my bar light, well see though

  9. #9
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    There is simple "rule" about throw. Bigger reflector or optics would give you more throw. Now you all are (or being) trying to get something out of tiny optics which can only more or less disperse the light. Even 20mm reflector with single led doesn't have that much throw. Trying to squeze 3 leds on same size can only give you less throw and more spill.

    Next thing is the size of led dye - bigger dye means more spill. So you are seeing no better throw with XP-Ls vs. XP-G2 at same optics.

    So for in general for more throw you need bigger optics (or reflector) and smaller led dye.

    Just as an extreme example you can take C8 style flashlight and the old XR-E led which would make tiny hotspot.

    But the throw is not the main goal of the Tigris DIY as I can understand.

  10. #10
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    nope not for me. I dont need more than 100 Ft, maybe find a point where 150ft is needed (and my helmet lights can do it no problem).

    This light is flood. Will have 2 wide spot frosted and one narrow or medium spot frosted (just to give a little throw up the trail). Reference would be my video with the test of the bt21 on 10deg optics and mj880 clone, the optics used in the 880 clone are a wide spot frosted and a medium spot frosted, was almost perfect to get some light up the trail but not over power the helmet spot, while lighting everything up nice and clear (without over powering glare) the first 20-30 ft in front of me. Did want a tad more distance on the bars though.

    I do have mental plans for helmet light to pair with this, but its ideas only atm so I dont loose my thought process on this light lol.

  11. #11
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    Hi Intensity Leds

    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    nope not for me. I dont need more than 100 Ft, maybe find a point where 150ft is needed (and my helmet lights can do it no problem).

    This light is flood. Will have 2 wide spot frosted and one narrow or medium spot frosted (just to give a little throw up the trail). Reference would be my video with the test of the bt21 on 10deg optics and mj880 clone, the optics used in the 880 clone are a wide spot frosted and a medium spot frosted, was almost perfect to get some light up the trail but not over power the helmet spot, while lighting everything up nice and clear (without over powering glare) the first 20-30 ft in front of me. Did want a tad more distance on the bars though.

    I do have mental plans for helmet light to pair with this, but its ideas only atm so I dont loose my thought process on this light lol.
    Not sure your keeping up with Cree leds, you should consider Cree XPL Hi Intensity(DOME removed) for major throw improvement or for even more output XHP35 in Hi Intensity
    Cheers
    Mark
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    Cutter Electronics Pty Ltd www.cutter.com.au

  12. #12
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    I have some of them, but what im wanting and cost make xp-l hi not worth the performance upgrade. Dont gain any throw over xp-g2 (xp-l are nothing more than an xm-l2 phosphor stuffed on an xp-g2 die) and they are not at the point of having much more for lumens at low currents. So for twice the price, not enough of a performance increase for making a bar light that heavy oh the flood with just a bit of throw.



    My "throw" will come from a helmet light made with xp-l hi more than likely, but that's later after this head is done.

    Do much appreciate another positive view on the xp-l hi, the triple set I have is in a flashlight and is awesome.
    Last edited by tigris99; 09-04-2015 at 01:55 PM.

  13. #13
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    OK so been busy, and had a set back with my tooling set up. So had to get that corrected. I need a better job or win the lottery, too damn expensive for a CNC machine, but would be SO MUCH easier,lol.

    So now that all thats ready to go, figured Id get something for pictures loaded.

    First pic is driver, then 1 of the triples and 1 optic (they be 3 of each, just didnt feel like digging it all out) just to show what'll be inside. Driver is 22mm, optics/MCPCBs are 20MM just for size reference:




    Then My gutted Xiaomi Yi power bank cells. Right now set up to balance all the cells to each other. Then will turn into a 12.6v 3s2p pack.



    First thing Im going to do is take a piece of scrap and drill it to fit the driver and wire it up, see how the UI does. No worried about the LVP, and not going to sit around and test it right now, but pack will be unprotected as driver takes care of that in a more "safe" way. Ramp down, not cut off right away, to maintain voltage, can override it and keep going if needed. At the expense of the cells obviously.

  14. #14
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    Great, looking forward to see how your driver is acting with that 3S2P pack.

  15. #15
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    Ok here's my little test block for the driver. Im going to link into the 880 clone head (disconnect its driver, tie into emitters) so the emitters have some heat sinking to run UI tests and since I know exact outputs, see what the driver is pulling to make it happen. Gotta assemble the 3s pack tonight so I can test.


  16. #16
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    DAMN, no go on the UI. My fault though. I didnt clarify exactly the layout and they are flashlight guys, so they played it safe and went how they know it. Hoping he can re-flash it for me, but Im ordering a second one next week anyway, turbo mode can go higher than I previously expected. So Ill push it to 4A instead. Will give a tad wider mode spacing between high and turbo.

    BUT DRIVER WORKS WELL, modes are right where I was hoping, works like a champ, and custom 12.6v pack made from 2 Xiaomi Yi power banks worked out well. Ill get a pic later of it before i put the shrink wrap on.



    PS:

    On the plus side, the current draw from the pack is less than expected. SHould give 4 hrs run time on High, 12 on medium with the 6800mah pack. With how little it uses, I could run it on a simple 3s pack for a 2hr high, 5hr medium run times. HIgh Im seeing 1.6-1.7A for 2.1A output, medium .5A for 700mA output. Turbo is set for 3.5A output and only pulling 2.6A off the pack A 3s pack built off Pansonic/Sanyo new 3500mah NCR18650GA cells could do wonders. With the lower internal resistance and higher constant output capability.... Going to get a pair soon to try in a fenix case, see how the BT21 and Yinding do with them.
    Last edited by tigris99; 09-14-2015 at 12:38 AM.

  17. #17
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    OK hit a couple snags in the UI, didnt realize how involved programming firmware code can actually be (assumed simple operation, simple commands). But chewing into aluminum has commenced, Ill post pics once I have something more than a few holes drilled for front plate threads, pilot holes in main section for where emitters will be and the thru holes on the front plate done. All the EASY stuff lol.

  18. #18
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    OK had a mishap with the front plate so gotta redo that

    But made progress on the main body:


  19. #19
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    God machining with my small set up is slow lol. But its coming along nicely.

    Got a new driver in with even better UI than the original plan. And turbo mode now will be pushing somewhere around 3600 lumens.

    Now have low-med-high turbo on 120sec timer and also hidden flasher. Gonna hook up and test here in a bit.

    Gonna send other driver back get the firmware changed to the new set up.

  20. #20
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    OK so Im about as pissed as it gets. Didnt realize my drill had a wobble, BRAND FREAKING NEW. Thought what I was seeing was just the grip ring on the chuck. Tried to drill the holes to tap in order to mount the front plate and now that whole piece of work is in the garbage. COnsidering if I even want to start over or not, cant afford $1000 drill press just so I have something that can drill a straight hole.

  21. #21
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    Ok I started over just going at it a different way. Guess its what Vance meant on first light head attempt never ends well lol.

  22. #22
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    No possibility of just going up to the next larger screw size?

    Each machining project gives one opportunities to learn. Even when things are going well, you see how you would do it differently if you were to start fresh.
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  23. #23
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    Yeap, and course corrections being made that are actually letting me make faster progress on the new one

    As for next size.....would have been way too thin on the lower holes. Im using 1" bar, emitter holes were offset to the "bottom" so I could machine the top down and groove it. M2 left about .5-.6mm from threads to outside of casing (I made the mistake of not leaving myself room in case something didn't work out). And with the bigger hole, m2.5 left a paper thin layer that if I tried to pull tight to compress orings it more than likely the threads would have pulled out.

    New one emitters holes are centered in the bar, about to drill screw holes for front plate but leaving myself room in case i even have to go up to m3 screws. But since I can't get a chuck (will take about 7-10 days to get here) I found a work around. Foam rubber to allow the part to move slightly under load. Test run worked hole was nice and clean, tap runs down and good threads from top to bottom.

  24. #24
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    OK heres attempt number 2, going alot better this time around. And a good bit faster.



    dreading cutting the thing down to size, takes forever. I may see if I can get the Mold shop cnc guys at work to cut it to size for me since itll take them 5 mins.

  25. #25
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    Keep going on! It is normal that first attempts are hard and mostly unusable. We always need to learn some tiny but important details. Wish you good luck

  26. #26
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    Omg im getting excited, thnx for the push guys! As vanc said, learning for the first one made a huge difference. And its starting to look like a light head. Got a $30 jig saw and metal blades, made much easier and less wasteful work of cutting to size. Gotta do on more major cut, cut the hole for the driver and such, fins and finishing work. Im a bit behind overall but should be ready for polishing and then testing this weekend. Time it takes to cut the fins is what's going to determine everything lol. Wish my drill press had a bit higher rpm setting for that (using slitting saw blade at least)

  27. #27
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    Ok cut down about to size, front plate about done. Hopefully after tonight ill be ready to start cutting fins. Hoping my mount design doesn't take too much work to do. The simple bottom mount isn't good enough for my ocd of having my light centered on the stem lol.


  28. #28
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    cut fins, clean it up and wire it up, be ready for next weekend FINALLY lol.

  29. #29
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    How it is going this weekend?

  30. #30
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    New fat bike and my 2yr olds birthday party I haven't had time to finish. I got the rear cover plate done (not like it was hard) and screw holes into the case for it but that's it.

    Hoping to get a lot of the work finished tonight after work.

  31. #31
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    Aight just for you ledoman. Should have machining done tomorrow night. Have to work a 12hr shift tonight so will come home and go straight to bed. Clean it up, polish it and wire it up after that. With some luck ill get the mount machined for it by the weekend, if not its quick and east to make the hole to use one of my gopro adapters from Vanc.


  32. #32
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    Thanks Tig. Looks odd with big holes in the fins . It is just prototype, isn't it?
    I'm sure it is nice feeling when you can do it all from the scratch.

  33. #33
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    Im not done with the fins yet . Their being machined to look like "Claws". Instead of cutting a bunch of skinny fins on small gaps I went with thicker fins on wide gaps, see how it does.



    Ya its alotta fun, I have plenty of aluminum for a while, have a few more designs in my head. Next is 2x single emitter for the lid. Xp-l regular or HI, haven't decided yet.

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    There's me about 80% done with the fins, shouldn't look so weird now.



    Crossing my fingers I can finish machining tonight. Need to angle cut the 4 corners from front to back, do some "fat trimming" and ready to go.

    Then gotta decide how I want to do the mount.... Trying to get away from my extension but trying to make any form of a qr type mount and remain centered on stem.......

  35. #35
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    And machining is done pretty much. Have a couple "touch ups" I need to do, sand and polish. Should be ready to wire up tomorrow night. Just in time to backyard test before the weekend






  36. #36
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    Looking good


    ****

  37. #37
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    Thnx!

    Decided to do a bit more "fat trimming". The outer most fins/case areas were really thick. So milling those sides thinner from the edge of the screw hole to the back. Should lighten it up a bit more taking an 1/8" off either side worth of solid aluminum.

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    And ready to be wired up. Im not going through the hassle of trying to make it all perfectly smooth and shiny (sanding aluminum sucks, such a mess as it was). Just smoother out, cleaned up all the rough edges and sharp edges. Ran the dremel with polish over everything to shiny it up a tad and good to go.

    Wire it up tomorrow night and see where Im at. Alot of time and work stretched out over weeks. But I wanted something that was purely MINE.

    Weight is lower than my 880 clone by alot, except obviously a bit wider to fit 3 emitter pcbs, its a fair bit smaller too. Beam shots as soon as its wired and ready to go.






  39. #39
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    Finished and ready to role!!! Works perfectly, and holy crap is turbo ALOT OF LIGHT lol.


  40. #40
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    Nice to hear that. Congrat on your first light made from scratch. It looks not that big at all.
    Now you can send one over for review or do it yourself.

  41. #41
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    its not, its tiny, trying to run tests now but my stupid meter isnt working right. Works for the other lights but cant get a proper current reading on this one. Want to know what its ACTUALLY drawing from the pack.

  42. #42
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    Nice!

    Love the remote switch.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  43. #43
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    Ya loving it too, I did a great job on that.....wiring it up .





    In all seriousness, I do actually LOVE IT. I'll have pics of it all mounted on my fat bike shortly. Gotta figure out where I put my big bag full of bands....that remote switch design is genius though, nice work on that, big thnx Vanc!



    You should recognize the gopro mount too hehe, I machined it a bit thinner but since bt40s is on a qr bar mount now for my son, it was perfect to make my life easy for this.

  44. #44
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    Case temps are what I expected. Turbo mode is insane, case only reaches 130F with 5mph breeze.

    And yes your reading that right 123g!!!! Damn im good! That's with gopro mount, wired remote, etc. I was shocked when I saw that, expected heavier.

  45. #45
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    Nice placement of the GoPro adapter to help center the light over the stem.

    123 grams for a first effort is really good.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  46. #46
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    Thanks man!!! Ya im stoked, 123g running 9 xp-g2 s3 3c emitters. And case at 70f ambient on "high" (55% 750mA ea.) you can still hold it in your hand. Gets good and warm but not hot. Turbo is gets toasty on the wind tunnel (5-6mph) but wont burn you. And turbo only runs for 3mins anyway. High is so much light, medium is all I need for most things. Turbo is a "light up the houses down the street". Literally like my car on high beams lol.

  47. #47
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    Sorry phone went dead and my video camera is about dead, so no beam shots or video tonight, but i did go for a ride. HOLY SH**. Medium is good, low is almost useable in town, if near street lights it doesnt do much (next firmware change Ill probably have it brought up a tad), HIgh is AWESOME, and turbo is WTF!!! Went out to paved path, road some of it, around the park at the little league fields (loving my fatty, 29er would have basically gotten stuck). Played with the modes.

    FInal optics choices:

    Narrow spot x1 in the center= some throw but not too much to overpower helemt light

    medium frosted spots x2 outers= brightens up the spot just a bit while creating a smooth transition all the way to the edge. Gives me a TON of very clear coverage on the sides to full extent of vision, but the hot spot is just a bit brighter up the center.

    FREAkING AWESOME FOR A BAR LIGHT!!!

    Thanks guys for the tips and all that, I managed to build my ideal bar light. Now to design my light for the Fat bike for "stompin". My newly modded (new driver with same UI as this light head) BT21 on XP-L HI emitters will do nicely for a lid light for now.

  48. #48
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    Awesome light. Definitely something to be proud of. Congrats!

  49. #49
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    And I got a beam shot tonight:


  50. #50
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    oK went out and did a "comparison" to get a better idea.

    First pic is my fenix bc30r. truely 800 lumens give or take a couple.



    Heres this light on "high" which is 55%, 700mA/emitter. Turbo created too much glare on the wet grass to get a good pic.



    After playing with it this weekend, its ALOT for single track use. Itd be a waste to run it on medium all the time so its now assigned to the fat bike. After I finish my helmet light, the Trail Bike is going to get a 2x triple on XP-L HI.

  51. #51
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    The spread and distance is excellent.

  52. #52
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    Thanks.

    So in search around last night I found something. These optics are designed to sit behind optical quality polycarbonate (aka Lexan). Was wondering if the fact that there was a .75mm lip overlaping the optics edges like on my light, if it would effect output. Researching I found (flashlight guys) it does.

    So face plate being modded and getting lexan to hold things in place between optics and face plate.

    Goin to take a bit of extra machining which ive started on. But I want this light to be "all it can be" lol.

  53. #53
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    Ok machining done, now to get the lexan cut and light all put back together.

  54. #54
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    Mod done. It did help out a bit, cleaned the beam up. No gain or loss (maybe a little gain) since now optics are fully exposed but loosing a little due to lexan cover. I did use 0.030" but think tomorrow ill run down and grab a 0.020" sheet as the face plate doesnt want to quite close up the front all the way.

    Weight stayed the same since material machined out was replace by lexan.

    Rode around last night in a mild fog, this light is REDONKULOUS!!! I have a paved path thats almost 1 road lane wide, and too the fullest extent of my vision was fully lit! With just the slight extra brightness to the front of what is 25deg stop optics.

  55. #55
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    So the lexan idea is annoying me slightly. Have the optics fully exposed helps on one aspect but tried it with lexan removed, noticeable gain. I think the loss due to the optics being partially covered wasn't corrected, just beam pattern cleaned up with the lexan. Since Im still using orings behind the lexan im thinking of drilling holes through it to allow unhindered light from each of the 3 10mm optics in these triples.

    On a good note, new driver, Rev. 3 came in today. Higher efficiency (90-94%) with couple component changes and firmware tweaks. All still in the standard 22mm diameter "flashlight driver". Rich's passion for these things is crazy. But gives us DIY guys another top quality driver option for around $25 and im yet to see ones in this small of form factor while maintaining high efficiency on a 3S set up.


  56. #56
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    learned something new today. I never really paid attention to the fact lexan is 2 sided. and it matters which side you put towards the emitters lol.

    Switch to the 0.020, first piece was "backwards" apparently cause it was ok but not right. went to cut holes and screwed up. The reminded me that lexan having 2 different backings, which way matters. So I cut the new one to fit the opposite way and NO NEED TO CUT HOLES NOW.

    SO new driver in, UI works great, efficiency is noticeably better, and light is at full capabilities now!!!

    Hopefully I get some ride video with it this weekend (overtime is killing me lol)

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