Light assembly in the UK?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Light assembly in the UK?

    Looks like I've killed another bFlex

    My light shuts off after 1 minute. George thinks I've caught one of the components and killed the voltage monitoring, so the bFlex thinks it's hit voltage cutoff and turns off. It turns straight back on again, then goes off after 1 minute. Repeat...

    Once I've got my hands on a new bFlex, I was hoping to find somebody (or a company) that would take make my bits and nicely solder everything together for me.

    I've e-mailed a couple of local businesses but nothing back yet. Given it's probably less than an hours work for a decent electronic engineer, I'm not holding out much hope though.

    As much as I hate to give-up on my DIY build, I'm reluctant to fry another 30 worth of bFlex!

    Does anyone have any contacts?

    Cheers,
    Chris.
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  2. #2
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    I am really sorry to hear that mate. Sorry I can't help but i am sure somebody can. Have you tired Troutie. He has always been super helpful and has the skills to assist you.
    Thys

  3. #3
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    It is an older Troutie housing I'm using but I figure he's knee deep sorting out enquiries and orders for the Liberator if the thread on SingleTrackWorld is anything to go by.

    I'm happy making up the SuperSeal connectors I use but they are much less fiddly
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  4. #4
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    You should just practice a bunch with your now half dead b-flex and order a new one and do the job when you are comfortable. Practice makes perfect just like any thing else. I have even had a little bit of success un soldering and re-soldering surface mount components with my cheap iron because I practiced on a dead computer main board.

    The half dead b-flex you now have is perfect for this if how it works changes again you botched it. But there is no harm in botching it now. Remember to use the proper technique. Tining every thing before soldering is a must, as is a decent iron and some nice rosin core solder. When you tin the b-flex put enough solder on the hole that you plan to solder to that on both sides the solder is at least even with the top of the hole. The trick to perfect clean solder joints on the b-flex is to strip back the wire insulation far longer than you need. Heat the wire and hole on the b-flex and at the same time. As soon as the solder melts shove it all the way in up to the insulation and trim from the other side.

    Also as soon as you solder the new one shrink wrap the thing so there no way to short it against any thing conductive.

  5. #5
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    We will have none of that defeatist attitude on here. Pull yourself together man, this is lights diY !!!

    Use a nice fine tipped iron and decent solder and practice, practice practice

  6. #6
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    Hey up Chris I have some Bflex s so could pre wire one for you if that would help .

    Yes I am snowed under with emails about the new housing but dont worry about that .

  7. #7
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    i use one of these helping hands...
    very bright lights and an arm rest
    and dont rush!
    and check/test every joint very carefully as its made and after,
    for bridges/whiskers, poor joints ...
    go for it!!
    ............. or just get a pre-wired one off troutie lol


    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  8. #8
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    Several things. Get a good soldering station. I have a Weller WTCP. IMO this is the bomb. Other ppl MCM and others sell the Chinkese soldering stations; they are ok. DON'T practice on your projects. Get an old, dead piece of electronics and practice soldering components on and off the pcb. DON'T use ROHS solder, that stuff suxz. Get a small roll of 1/32" rosin cored 60/40 solder. Solder ages and the older stuff sux, always use fresh solder. Practice, practice, practice. I have taught many ppl how to solder, there are articles on the 'net about it. It's sorta like sex, with more practice you WILL get better. lol

  9. #9
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    I have a couple of dead maxfexi you can have to practice on. Or go to maplins and get a piece of board and practice on that.
    Perfect practice makes perfect!

  10. #10
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    No dig on george at all - but seriously how many times has a I fried my flex controller been posted on here. Quite a few. Shorting out or other wise destroying a perfectly good flex driver seems to be the cost of entry to DIY lights. I have shorted a b-flex, it was with thermal epoxy. If I had a video camera I would totally post a youtube of how to solder leads to the b-flex properly and have a link made a sticky.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the encouragement folks.

    I have got some stripboard, I'll have to dig it out to practise.

    I'm going to make soldering a bit easier and get a race remote switch from KTronic so I can ditch the Cateye switch with it's (stupidly) thin wires.

    My soldering iron is a Antex 25W XS, I'm going to get a new 0.5mm and 1mm tip for it.

    How important is the quality of the solder? I've just been using bog-standard (cheap) stuff. Anyone recommend something on here? Ideally in a small pack that doesn't cost 25 for a huge amount of the stuff.

    When soldering onto the bFlex, do people pull through more (stripped) wire than is needed, solder and then cut off the remaining? Previously I've tried to get just enough bare wire to get into the hole and then solder that. Even with one of the "Helping Hands" that Hendo posted, I find I run out of fingers for holding, pushing etc.

    So, far I think I've killed 3 bFlexs and have one more that has some of the wire holes stuffed full of solder / dead wire.

    Does anyone use a magnifying lamp like one of these? Do they make life easier?

    One thing that has made me smile despite blowing up too much stuff - I was riding at SITS (24hr race event in the UK) and did a two lap stint that finished just as it went dark. Coming back into the campsite I had my light on the bars and my Troutlite XPE on my helmet, both turned on. A guy sat next to the track shouted, "ooo, bright lights"
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  12. #12
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    If it makes you feel any better, I killed my bFlex too. I went through a period of self examination,admitted defeat, and went with a prewired 1 mode buckpuck. I still have my dead bFlex. Maybe I should practice on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon
    Thanks for all the encouragement folks.

    I have got some stripboard, I'll have to dig it out to practise.

    I'm going to make soldering a bit easier and get a race remote switch from KTronic so I can ditch the Cateye switch with it's (stupidly) thin wires.

    My soldering iron is a Antex 25W XS, I'm going to get a new 0.5mm and 1mm tip for it.

    How important is the quality of the solder? I've just been using bog-standard (cheap) stuff. Anyone recommend something on here? Ideally in a small pack that doesn't cost 25 for a huge amount of the stuff.

    When soldering onto the bFlex, do people pull through more (stripped) wire than is needed, solder and then cut off the remaining? Previously I've tried to get just enough bare wire to get into the hole and then solder that. Even with one of the "Helping Hands" that Hendo posted, I find I run out of fingers for holding, pushing etc.

    So, far I think I've killed 3 bFlexs and have one more that has some of the wire holes stuffed full of solder / dead wire.

    Does anyone use a magnifying lamp like one of these? Do they make life easier?

    One thing that has made me smile despite blowing up too much stuff - I was riding at SITS (24hr race event in the UK) and did a two lap stint that finished just as it went dark. Coming back into the campsite I had my light on the bars and my Troutlite XPE on my helmet, both turned on. A guy sat next to the track shouted, "ooo, bright lights"

  13. #13
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    Harpoon,
    I'm as blind as a bat and have a magnifier just so that I can find my magnifier, big fat fingers and only a 15w Antex soldering iron yet I have managed to do four bFlex drivers.

    So if I can do it you can, but you must take your time even if that's a cup of tea and half an hour break between each wire.......don't rush.

    As you are in the UK best get solder from Maplins as they do small quanities at low cost, also get the thinnest solder you can.

    Have a pic to get you in the mood
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by yetibetty; 09-11-2009 at 07:49 PM.

  14. #14
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    Thanks YB.

    I will freely admit I lack patience at times What probably doesn't help is the only place I have to work is the kitchen table, so I try to get bits finished before having to clear all my stuff away.

    Time to get the work bench for the garage organised...
    The Novice's LED Light Building Blog

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpoon
    Thanks YB.

    I will freely admit I lack patience at times What probably doesn't help is the only place I have to work is the kitchen table, so I try to get bits finished before having to clear all my stuff away.

    Time to get the work bench for the garage organised...

    The kitchen table is no excuse when Yetty has to use the garden for his workshop
    the offer still stands for a prewired bflex if you get stuck

    Doesnt the bflex look huge in that pic

  16. #16
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    Troutie, not any more.
    I now do all my work in my lovely well organized workshop in my converted spare room

    I too have the messy gene
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
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    Thats superb yetty, but positively tidy compared to my lot!
    i see only one beer can, no pizza boxes or takeaway food containers!
    ...... a mate has been slowly rebuilding a BSA Rocket gold star in his small kitchen for the last 15 years,
    yep, right beside his mint Triumph trident!!
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  18. #18
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    i once stripped my suzuki x7 down one winter to paint built it back up in my bedroom my mum went nuts lookie the front door was at the bottom of the stairs lol.
    thwang

  19. #19
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    Wow Ron,
    That's a step up from working on the ironing board in the laundry room. LOL

    You deserve a nice workshop with all the nice lathe work I have seen you do.
    Maybe we should start the YB help fund and get you set up.

    As far as that bflex goes, that's why I adhere to the KISS rule when it comes to LED electronics. Just my .01

  20. #20
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    Count me in

    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjay
    No dig on george at all - but seriously how many times has a I fried my flex controller been posted on here. Quite a few. Shorting out or other wise destroying a perfectly good flex driver seems to be the cost of entry to DIY lights. I have shorted a b-flex, it was with thermal epoxy. If I had a video camera I would totally post a youtube of how to solder leads to the b-flex properly and have a link made a sticky.
    ....and put me down for 2 Fatmans. I thought I had the second one figured out and it actually fired up, all was wondeful, bright light flooding my basement bikelight tinkering/construction lair. Fine. Turn it off, unplug it. Then, I went to solder the switch/resistor combo to get me some dimming love at 350 mA, slip! whoops! and sizzle. Its so small and one wrong move just terminated that little guy.
    I know loads of us love George's stuff, but my plan B when I ordered my stuff was to get a couple 1000mA Buckpucks, and they work mint. It almost doesn't even seem close how easy they are to solder, install, use, and design around. Sure, I'm a hamfisted clydesdale, but these guys are kinda pricey to go ripping through them. However, my new light, you know, the one I can't stop thinking about that I'm going to build as soon as I'm done with the one that I'm building now, will most likely need a boost driver since 22.2 Vf is tough to outvolt with what I've got for batteries now, and I may have to try another of George's creations. I know they work, and work well, its just that they seem to go snap, crackle, pop way to easily. I feel like I'm playing "Operation" when I'm trying to work with those things. "Here goes his Funny Bone......" Except there's no buzzer and red light. Just puffs of smoke and 25 bucks out the window.
    Wrecker of fine things

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