My last EVER dyi mtb light ...uh huh ...finally posting it up- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My last EVER dyi mtb light ...uh huh ...finally posting it up

    Been riding w/this light for a while. A mill, a lathe, some material and some serious hours of work. Specs at the bottom.



























    -Cree MCE M-Bin (~730-830 Lu @ 700ma (above picture), ~838-855 @ 850ma (overdriven ~20%))
    -Fatman Boost chip (taskled.com) takes my lower battery voltage and boosts it to the ~12.5V needed @ the LED.
    -on-off push button w/700 or 850 modes (pull power cord out to turn off)
    -8x 2500mah NiMh (10.4 max volts), ~1.5+ hours burn time depending on charge and power level. (recently went to a 2X by 2 array of LiIon; so a 5.5-to-8.4V range. This is pushing the current spec for the boost driver, but my burn time is over 2.5 hours now)
    -Heatsink turned from Alum (very thermally sound design; almost cool to the touch @700, but feels pretty warm @850)
    -Body turned from Black Delrin
    -Lens Acrylic (they make an anti-glare grade)
    -Mounts are Cateye (cheapest and lightest you will find! But note: There is a slight compatibilty issue with their helmet & bar mount styles. I bought P/N 533-8730 spacers, P/N 533-8827 bracket, and P/N 534-1831 helmet mount. The spacer fit the helmet mount rail, but not the bracket rail ...had to take some material off so it would slide in; not real easy to do.)
    -I don't have a scale, but it's light enought to mount on the helmet and quickly forget it's attached.

    I'm happy nice little pkg that I can mount either on the bar or helmet, depending on who is borrowing what light from me. Otherwise my modded niterider on my bar, and this on my head. I recently switched to LiIon cells since DX had them for so cheap. These specific Trustfire's come in at an actual 2000mah ...which is pretty awesome for the price.

    Laters ~C

    Last edited by sdnative; 03-02-2009 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Gorgeous!

  3. #3
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    Very nice sdnative,
    you've posted pics of that heatsink before so it's nice to see it all finished.

    I keep meaning to have a go at working with Delrin, I might order some to have a play with.

    Nice job.

  4. #4
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    wow nice work!

    Does it stay nice and cool with those fins?
    We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace -Michael Franti

  5. #5
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    um, that beamshot on the right still looks like it's coming from a box-like thingie, not a small, cylindrical thingie...

  6. #6
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    Very nice.

  7. #7
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    Looks very proffesional ,

    Why is it your last ever

  8. #8
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    Is it possible to make your last ever? I haven't finished my first yet but already thinking of 2 and 3!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by racerdave
    um, that beamshot on the right still looks like it's coming from a box-like thingie, not a small, cylindrical thingie...
    har har ...gonna have to fix that little proto-slip in photoshop I'm thinking! ...cause taking more new pics in the living room is a pain.

    Main reason I keep doing this is because I have a collection of different light shots that I can compare in a true "side by side" fashion, to check beam angles and all that good stuff. Maybe a tad to scientific... and controlled

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuksul08
    wow nice work!

    Does it stay nice and cool with those fins?
    Lots of fin area ...think ~13 sq inches off the top of my head. Will get back on the exact. From what I read, if you are conducting/radiating heat from a flat horizontally oriented square finless plate, you should have at least, minimum, 1 sq inch per watt. So, given that my fins are in a vertical orientation (which works much better) and I have excessive fin area I expected it to stay pretty cool ...it does. But, when I run at 850 ma, I think the MCE starts making a lot more heat than light, because it warms up quite a bit. ...but not so hot you can't touch the metal heat sink to the inside of your wrist w/o pulling back. This was the main reason for making the body out of plastic and not alum ...just didn't need it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb
    Looks very proffesional ,

    Why is it your last ever
    Too many other projects!

    Ya, I would make lights full time if I didn't have a company I'm trying to run, much more fun. We sell machinery ...CNC and manual machinery, both new and used, so have a little bit of a shop to help turn out nice stuff. Helps with the build quality that's or sure.

    I like the 6X XPE light you did. I was planning on doing an 1MCE + 1XPE for the next light ...since the XPE is such a tight beam, it will fill what the MCE is lacking ...and I have some Fatman drivers that max out at 16 volts; and I've done all the math and can squeek by on 4 LiIon's. But now thinking I'll do a 4X XPE, as 6 XPE at full power is a lot of light!... and a single fatman can't run 6.

    Or just make a light for my dirtbike ...and make a MONSTER 1 mile desert cannon!! You get to shed the need for batteries there, so ....maybe 20 XPE?

  12. #12
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    Dirtbike???

    Sdnative,

    I'd love to see what you come up with for your dirtbike. I've been thinking of the same, but I'm limited due to no battery on the bike and I'd like to do it without modifying the electrics, so stuck with AC and about 40W on my 200EXC.

    ndrordr

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndrordr
    Sdnative,

    I'd love to see what you come up with for your dirtbike. I've been thinking of the same, but I'm limited due to no battery on the bike and I'd like to do it without modifying the electrics, so stuck with AC and about 40W on my 200EXC.

    ndrordr
    The output of your AC lighting coil can be rectifed, filtered with a couple of electrolytic caps, regulated with a semiconductor regulator and be used as very nice source for a LED driver or battery charger. I did that to charge the battery on my sailboat whenever the outboard motor is run.

  14. #14
    Spanish biker
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    Very nice!!!!

    Where bought you the cateye holder and spacer?

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  15. #15
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    That is a great looking light, you could probably sell em, but it may not be worth your time. I have also said that I was building my last light, but my "last light" has always ended up as my last light - it is a fun hobby anyway

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by msxtr
    Very nice!!!!

    Where bought you the cateye holder and spacer?

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    I got them directly from the cateye 'parts' webstore ...but I think they only sell to North America You can find the parts section from the homepage.

    But .....There is a slight compatibilty issue with their helmet & bar mount styles. I bought P/N 533-8730 spacers, P/N 533-8827 bracket, and P/N 534-1831 helmet mount. The spacer fit the helmet mount rail, but not the bracket rail exactly ...had to take some material off. Still searching for their bar mount that would fit the spacer mount. ~C

  17. #17
    Bigger is better!
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    Wow! Nice looking housing!

    What's the outer diameter of the cooling fins?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by langen
    Wow! Nice looking housing!

    What's the outer diameter of the cooling fins?
    Outside is 1.875 in, fins are 0.3125 deep. Total externally exposed surface area is 14.23 in Sq (by LED thermal design conventions I needed ~10 sq inches)

    If I ever get that turning center out in the shop going, and I start making these things to sell, I think I'll plug some data into a heat transfer program and optimize the fins first ...I think they are a tad thicker than they need to be. Thicker is better though, as it ensures there is a good path for heat to flow all the way to the coolest, most outer part of the heat sink. Anyway ...ya, TMI, diameter is 1.875
    Last edited by sdnative; 03-03-2009 at 02:53 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuksul08
    wow nice work!

    Does it stay nice and cool with those fins?
    Actual cooling area turns out to be 14.23 in sq. (a nice solid modeling program feature to have)

    FYI, If your fins are oriented so air blows throught them (forced cooling), as opposed to across them as in my design, you could get away with much less surface area.

    I had another light that was higher wattage but was always cold to the touch. Below...

    500+lumens+50+bucks

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    That is a great looking light, you could probably sell em, but it may not be worth your time. I have also said that I was building my last light, but my "last light" has always ended up as my last light - it is a fun hobby anyway
    Yeap, and thanks. I want to sell them, but the $ really isn't there. Need to bump the volume way up, and labor cost way down .....or get some people with deep pockets

    I have at least one light left for the dirtbike ...but that's a longer term project as most the riding I do is during the day. It's the hot summers, short winter days, the 9-5 job, and addiction to MTB that make night riding A MUST!

    And then there's my scuba diving lights ....

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndrordr
    Sdnative,

    I'd love to see what you come up with for your dirtbike. I've been thinking of the same, but I'm limited due to no battery on the bike and I'd like to do it without modifying the electrics, so stuck with AC and about 40W on my 200EXC.

    ndrordr
    Like vancbiker said, you can use a decent sized capacitor to get around not having a battery. It will help smooth the current out so when you go up and down in engine speed the light won't flicker at all ..... also, as long as the stator output voltage is decently high, way higher than the LED voltage in most cases from what my investigating has shown, you probably won'd have an issue with just a simple sq wave rectifier and smaller smoothing capacitor going right into a buckpuck (max volts 32 I believe, so may have to pick off the correct stator taps to lower in within this range, or run multiple buckpucks that add up to the total current needed). But, no light when engine is off.

    FOR SURE i will post a dirtbike setup when I build it though! I'm getting a KLR 650 soon, so plan to do a couple serious backcounty lights for it! I think I could make them plug in swapable for my CRF 250 R too though.... evern w/o a battery and different stator specs. May have to add another custom winding on the 250 though. Anyway ...for another thread.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnative
    I got them directly from the cateye 'parts' webstore ...but I think they only sell to North America You can find the parts section from the homepage.

    But .....There is a slight compatibilty issue with their helmet & bar mount styles. I bought P/N 533-8730 spacers, P/N 533-8827 bracket, and P/N 534-1831 helmet mount. The spacer fit the helmet mount rail, but not the bracket rail exactly ...had to take some material off. Still searching for their bar mount that would fit the spacer mount. ~C
    You're looking for P/N 533-8825 for a 31.8 bar mount (called a H-31 mount), or P/N 533-8880 for a 25.4 bar (called a H-32 mount).

    I have the helmet mount too, and the 533-8730 spacers work fine with them.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky
    You're looking for P/N 533-8825 for a 31.8 bar mount (called a H-31 mount), or P/N 533-8880 for a 25.4 bar (called a H-32 mount).

    I have the helmet mount too, and the 533-8730 spacers work fine with them.
    Man, that explains it some more, Thanks.

    ....But, those are the non-flex tight ones. I really wanted the flex tight since the design is both effective and elegant, lowproflile, and weighs only a few grams!

    You had any success with finding another flextight model, or a H-34 style mount (spacer)?

    That site is so fricken confusing ...example, this link. You would expect that all these are compatible yes? ...they are all listed as replacement parts for the same light right! Why are they not compatable

    Is what it is ...I'm still sold on the cateye products

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb
    Why is it your last ever
    I already made another

    It rocks too Pic up tomorrow

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnative
    I already made another

    It rocks too Pic up tomorrow
    So much for cold turkey....

  26. #26
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    My last light ever ...part 2.

    Yeah, so after drooling over the 6X xpe light thread by the troutster, having a single ride with 2 MCE w/boom lights (both bar mount and helmet mount), and getting called out by so many, I decided there was still a little lacking. There was tons of light don't get me wrong (~1500Lu), but it just wasn't blinding all the night critters and fellow riders enough I needed something on my head that would go just a tad further down the trail; I still found myself squinting when looking way ahead, and blinded when I looked down and the two MCE Boom SS lens overlapped.

    I still had some parts left, so did some calcs, and made the below light. Using a Fatman driver that is stuffed under the cap, I am at the max capability of the chip. I'm pushing the 16 Volt limit at 700ma (all wired in series), and at low battery state pushing the max 2.2 amp input limit. I have stretched the Taskled fatman as far as it will go, and ....it was worth it! Used in combo with my (above) bar mount light. The beam combo leaves nothing left to be desired! The beam easily goes as far down the trail as I will ever need, and it balances well with the bar mount output to illuminate the entire trail to max. I'm officially done for the mtb season

    Lens are a ledil EVA-D for the Cree MCE, and a DX pencil beam on a Cree Q5. I'm using 4 LiIon 18650 cells, wired 2X series 2X parallel, so 8.4 - 6V workign range (max for the taskled fatman is 12, otherwise would have wired in series). After 2 hours, the cells are still above 3.5 volts, which seems to be the voltage when these 18650 cells really are at the end of their usefull range. Looks happy !!

    Heat .... is not even an issue. The total surface area is rediculous ~58 Sq Inches (a cpu heatsink chopped down)

    ...these icons crack me up



  27. #27
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    That looks awesome mate, really, really neat!! The surface area is HUGE So much for 'last ever'

    Steve

  28. #28
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    Wink Never say Never Again

    That is a very tidy Build for a last last light or is it just the second last light after the last last light which was the first last light , how long will it last as the last last light before the next last light and lastly how long will it last ?
    Oh and lastly where are the beamshots

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb
    That is a very tidy Build for a last last light or is it just the second last light after the last last light which was the first last light , how long will it last as the last last light before the next last light and lastly how long will it last ?
    Oh and lastly where are the beamshots
    lol ...this is the last for this season (winter hours gone etc) ...except, that it was so much faster to make than the others it has got me thinking .

    I think I'm going to introduce it as a DIY kit package. The beam was impressive for the low pricepoint, and being all CNC milled parts, it will be pretty easy to pump out realistically priced parts. Was up till 3 last night thinking about streamlining the entire process.

    Beamhots, yeah ...will have to remember to drag the camera along for the next ride. ...actually, what are you talking about, you know what the ledil EVA looks like! The XRE just extends the middle hotspot even further.

    Will post some beam pics asap

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesta
    That looks awesome mate, really, really neat!! The surface area is HUGE So much for 'last ever'

    Steve
    Thanks Steve! Next time I'll even remember to leave enough facepanel thickness to FULLY counterbore the allen screws too! Was pissed about that little mess up, but who's noticing right!

    Was saving the CPU heatsink for something bigger wattage (4 MCE) for the dirtbike ...but oh well. More where those came from.

  31. #31
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    That light deserves its own thread.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnative
    lol ...this is the last for this season (winter hours gone etc)
    I thought that was why you build all summer, so you have something more impressive for the trail each winter?

    Course I've been building my MR11-based housing for so long, that MC-E and XP-E's weren't available when I started.

  33. #33
    I spelled Knievel wrong
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    That's what I'm talking about... great job on the heatsink. Awesome. It seems like the CPU heatsink would be a cheap and solid starting point for some seriously high power DIY lights!

  34. #34
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    nice light! The fatman fit in the housing?

  35. #35
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    sdnative,

    What optic did you use in your first light? Also how is the aluminum element secured to the Delrin body? I really like how it turned out, and innovative of you to try Delrin!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnative
    FOR SURE i will post a dirtbike setup when I build it though! I'm getting a KLR 650 soon, so plan to do a couple serious backcounty lights for it! I think I could make them plug in swapable for my CRF 250 R too though.... evern w/o a battery and different stator specs. May have to add another custom winding on the 250 though. Anyway ...for another thread.
    I'll be watching for this new thread. I also have a CRF250R in the garage and a WR400 with dual-sport setup. I've been planning to work over the summer on a light setup for the WR since it's already got plenty of power generated from the stock coil.

    I feel another $$ pit in the works

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsjc
    I'll be watching for this new thread. I also have a CRF250R in the garage and a WR400 with dual-sport setup. I've been planning to work over the summer on a light setup for the WR since it's already got plenty of power generated from the stock coil.

    I feel another $$ pit in the works

    Hey, watt's the light in the WR rated @? (Watt's har har ). Curious, cause recently was working on my GF's SV650 (wiring issue) and noticed the voltage in the system wasn't necessarily 12 DC volts everywhere. May be able to pick off something higher than 12, or use and AC buckpuck directly off a stator winding, and drive some serious LED's.

    I was thinking a 4X MCE EVA setup for my CRF. She has a 250X, so while i personally like my R better for serveral reasons, I ocassionally have some light envy. Anyway... will be a NEW dirtbike thread at some point.

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