My first light - input needed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My first light - input needed

    This is my first attempt at something like this and I have no prior experience with soldering or electronics, but I after reading around here for the last couple weeks, I'm starting to understand and I think I can do this. I'd appreciate a quick sanity check - do these parts appear to work with each other? Am I crazy to take something like this on as my first project? Thanks in advance!

    I'm building a light to be used for both road and mountain biking mounted on my handlebars. Here's the parts I'm thinking of using.

    Housing/heat sink
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13741 - $5.33
    It's cheap and has heat sinks built in. Looked like an easy place to start for a noob like me.

    LED
    4 Cree XP-E R2 bin mounted on a 10mm round from Cutters - 4x$10 or so
    This is a total guess. I know I want a XP-E R2, but I have no idea what/how to mount it for the optic below.

    Optic
    http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut883 in a narrow beam - $7.08
    The housing takes a 35mm optic, and this is the 35mm optic for the XP-E on Cutter's site. I would like to use the Carclo 10mm square optics so I can put a couple elliptical in there with a couple narrows, but I don't know how to get that into a round housing.

    Driver
    <s>Maxflex http://www.taskled.com/order.html - $35</s>
    bFlex http://www.taskled.com/bflex.html - $30 (per Hendo's suggestion)
    I think I need the 750mA version, but I'm not sure.

    Battery
    4x18650 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19770 - $13.50

    Battery Holder
    Turbo Ferret 4 holder http://www.turboferret.co.uk/4holder.php. - ~$16
    I think I need the 4 in a series version (14.8V), but I'm not sure.

    Still to be researched/resolved:
    Handlebar mount - I've read about the cateye mount which might work. I want to get the housing in my hand and see what is possible for this housing before I buy one.
    AA - I have read about people using AA to make a thermal connection when building lights for heat transfer. Sounds like good stuff, but I have yet to see a post that says what AA stands for. I have searched and I get hundreds of hits. Anyone help here?

    Battery Charger
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1251 - $13 (per Hendo)

    I still have to read about connectors, switches, and <s>battery chargers</s> so i'll do my research first and ask later.

    If you've read all the way to here, I sincerely thank you - you have some incredible noob patience.
    Last edited by guaps; 04-08-2009 at 05:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    your battery voltage is higher than your leds so
    change this ...
    Driver
    Maxflex http://www.taskled.com/order.html - $35
    I think I need the 750mA version, but I'm not sure.

    to this ...
    Driver
    http://www.taskled.com/bflex.html

    and AA is ...http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_alumina.htm
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEY HEY ITS HENDO
    Wow - I feel like one of the great mysteries of life has just bee explained to me.

    Thanks for the help with the driver. I'll change that in my original post so I keep an updated list of what I'm actually using.

    I've read about needing a buckpuck (sp?) for when the voltage is higher than the LED, but I thought the maxflex did that. I was obviously wrong. I thought I read Troutie used the Maxflex for his 6 XPE light though. How did he do that?

  4. #4
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    with 6 leds the forward voltage total(19v) is greater than the battery pack voltage(16.5v)
    so the need for a boost driver
    your choice 4 x R2 is 4 x 3.2v = 12,8v
    your battery pack fully charged is around 16.5v
    in this case you will need a buck driver

    here`s your battery charger....
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1251
    Last edited by HEY HEY ITS HENDO; 04-08-2009 at 02:38 PM.
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  5. #5
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    Stoopid question....

    Why use a Bflex driver at $30.00 instead of a Buck Puck at $15.00, or a DX driver a $2.00?

    Thanks,

    dj

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustjunkie
    Stoopid question....

    Why use a Bflex driver at $30.00 instead of a Buck Puck at $15.00, or a DX driver a $2.00?

    Thanks,

    dj
    Three stage battery voltage warning, thermal protection,selectable drive currents for high and low beam. Amongs other things.

  7. #7
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    Your optic choice will fit the DX heatsink/housing perfectly in diameter. You may need to add a shim of some sort (fat o-ring?) to take up space between the optic and the front bezel of the housing, as it's designed for ~15mm optic depth.

    The housing has a recess milled into the base to accept a 20mm star. You may run into trouble with four 10mm stars, as you won't have a flat surface to AAA them to. The cutter triple XPE on 20mm star would be a good fit, and they should have a 35mm triple optic to fit. I don't know if they have quad 20mm stars yet?

    A wired buckpuck is extremely simple to work with, but doesn't have the many features of the *flex drivers.

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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    Your optic choice will fit the DX heatsink/housing perfectly in diameter. You may need to add a shim of some sort (fat o-ring?) to take up space between the optic and the front bezel of the housing, as it's designed for ~15mm optic depth.
    I think that optic is 13.3mm deep so will a little extra silicon up front take up the extra 1.7mm? I can go dig around my local hardware store and see what i can find in terms of an O ring too.

    I'm not used to dealing with such small measurements. I do a lot of wood working where wood will shirnk/grow by a 1/16 of an inch (1.6mm) just from the humidity in the air. So I'm not used to worrying about 1.7mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    The housing has a recess milled into the base to accept a 20mm star. You may run into trouble with four 10mm stars, as you won't have a flat surface to AAA them to. The cutter triple XPE on 20mm star would be a good fit, and they should have a 35mm triple optic to fit. I don't know if they have quad 20mm stars yet?
    I was worried about this. A triple would be plenty of light for what I'm doing, but it sure would be fun to have a quad. I'll have to keep working on a way to get 4 in there...

    This was the only triple I could find. http://www.cutter.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=cut890 It's only a 20mm optic though.

  9. #9
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    dj .......



    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  10. #10
    Lets RIDE!
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    Hendo, how did you get a photo of my car?

    The red and black one is nice too And it gets along fine with triple lights


    But seriously.....the buckpuck is an excellent driver, damn near idiotproof, wide range of input voltage, dimmable. It just doesn't have all the luxury options.

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

  11. #11
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    I'll add in that I'm doing this for the first time too and from what I have learned thus far I will say you can do it, even with the lack of experience. I'm maybe slightly ahead of you in that I had minimal electrical knowledge and at least some experience w/ soldering and electronics on R/C cars.

    The people around here have been most helpful to where I've gone from a complete noob to at least thinking I know what I'm doing in a fairly short time.

    I just received my 20mm triple XPE's today and am going to start fabrication this weekend if not sooner.

    My bit of rambling is http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=502149

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimZinVT
    Hendo, how did you get a photo of my car?

    JZ
    I thought that was the car of my butler

    Greetings Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleboy
    I'll add in that I'm doing this for the first time too and from what I have learned thus far I will say you can do it, even with the lack of experience. I'm maybe slightly ahead of you in that I had minimal electrical knowledge and at least some experience w/ soldering and electronics on R/C cars.

    The people around here have been most helpful to where I've gone from a complete noob to at least thinking I know what I'm doing in a fairly short time.

    I just received my 20mm triple XPE's today and am going to start fabrication this weekend if not sooner.

    My bit of rambling is http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=502149
    I've been reading quite a bit in your thread. I learned a lot in there, but I can tell you've got a bit of a head start on me in the knowledge department. I'm getting there though.

    Thank for the vote of confidence.

  14. #14
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    As we share same housing, maybe you find something interesting in my build
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=482921
    One is 4x2R & cutter quad optic and two others are MCE led & EVA optic.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozen
    As we share same housing, maybe you find something interesting in my build
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=482921
    One is 4x2R & cutter quad optic and two others are MCE led & EVA optic.
    Thanks! I don't know how I missed your thread. I like it a lot - well done. I'll go do some reading and I may have a few questions for you. I'll be back...

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by frozen
    As we share same housing, maybe you find something interesting in my build
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=482921
    One is 4x2R & cutter quad optic and two others are MCE led & EVA optic.
    That looks like a Hirose HR30 connector to me, yes? I've been looking at using that - how have they held up to abuse? I picked up a couple and they felt pretty lightweight... worried a crash could destroy em.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozen
    As we share same housing, maybe you find something interesting in my build
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=482921
    One is 4x2R & cutter quad optic and two others are MCE led & EVA optic.
    Are those XPE R2s in your light? You refer to them as R2s, but I'm not sure what thos are. If so, where did you get the 20mm board with the for XPEs on them? That's exactly what I'm looking for!

    Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Frozen used the quad XRE board from cutter, I have the same and the board is 32mm,
    I like them as they can be run up to 1000ma unlike XPE's max of 700ma.

  19. #19
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    unlike XPE's max of 700ma
    shhhh..... don`t let my XP-E`s hear that
    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

  20. #20
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    Don't chuck the buck-puck

    Quote Originally Posted by dustjunkie
    Stoopid question....

    Why use a Bflex driver at $30.00 instead of a Buck Puck at $15.00, or a DX driver a $2.00?

    Thanks,

    dj
    I will just chime in regarding the buckpuck (not the DX driver or the X_flex drivers). I have used the buckpucks in all my bike lights and have not had any issues so far (knock on wood). They are super simple to use and can use a PWM or simple potentiometer for control. They are also potted so that should help with sealing in a worst case. They do lack the thermal sensing of the more expensive drivers, but if you have a well designed housing and heatsink or just use some common sense when running the light without airflow, that should not really be necessary IMHO (I have never had an issue with overheating yet). Battery monitoring is nice to have, but if you use protected cells and have an idea on your min and max runtimes, then it is not as much of an issue (that said, I did find it enough of an issue to make a monitor for mine since I was building a driver anyway). All I am saying is don't count the buckpuck out just because it lacks some bells and whistles, it is cheap and does the job.

  21. #21
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    Connectors ..........here`s my choice ...
    small size, low cost, easy to source,... Deans micro connectors are superb,
    Lovely tight push fit and rated up to 10 Amps

    Available in 2 pin non polarized Black (2NB)
    also ............//............................ Red (2NR)
    these are ideal for connecting up a remote switch



    And polarized, Black (2B)
    ........................Red (2R)
    Great for power connections ......
    battery pack to lights, charger to battery pack,



    ...Scun.thorpe, UK

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