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  1. #1
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    New XPE light

    Since Troutie, Deesta, and the rest of the gang are turning out all their lights, I will attempt to satisfy this boards need for new lights and beam shots.
    Camera at my usual settings - f2.8, 2sec, ISO200
    Switch fromMouser (Thank you ZenBicycle)
    Rectangular Tube .75 inch x 1.5 inch x .125 wall cut to 1.875 inch long from Speedymetals.com
    3 XPEWHT-L1-WG0-R2-0-01 R2 Flux WG Tint from Cutter
    3 Carlco Tight Narrow 10417
    Aluminum slug is a .5 in high by .375 inch thick by 1.25 wide
    Rear plate is .5 inch x 1.25 inch x .065
    Tamiya connectors from Ebay
    Driver is Fatman Boost Driver set at 750 mA
    Emitters wired series so each seeing 750 mA
    Front cover polycarbonate from Home Depot
    Used a table saw to cut small grooves in top and sides for additional surface area.
    Velcro on bottom to attach to helmet or battery

    Complete unit next to 4 up XPE Fatman 500 mA per emitter

    4 up XPE at 500 mA per emitter

    3 up XPE at 750 per emitter

    Look alot alike to me. Look very close when seen by eye as well. 4 up is slightly brighter in person.
    Last edited by odtexas; 02-25-2009 at 12:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Cool "little" lights, I think a quarter in the pic for scale would show how small they really must be. Did you use the same switch on both lights, the 4-up switch looks slightly different in the pic? Do the ITW 48 momentary switches click when you press them, or is it just a smooth on/off with almost no sound?

  3. #3
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    Usually throw a 9 volt in the picture, but forgot. Sorry.
    Switch is the same. Guessing the aspect of the shot is causing the image difference.
    Smooth non-clicky engagement of the switch. Sort of disturbing not having resistance or noise when engaging the switch.

  4. #4
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    Super nice!!!!!!!!

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
    Easy DIY led light2

    The Beast!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas
    Smooth non-clicky engagement of the switch. Sort of disturbing not having resistance or noise when engaging the switch.
    Thanks, that is exactly what I am looking for.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the write up OD. I'm considering a simliar build myself for my first DIY and was having trouble sorting out what size metals to use that would create a nice tight fit between heatsink and outer casing...

    Have you had any issues with heat management? esp with the led's running at 750ma? I thought 700 was the max?

    also, am I the only one who the pics aren't working for?

  7. #7
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    NEs,

    No heat issues at this point. Don't really expect any either. The large slug and tight fit against the finned housing will give ample cooling when moving.

    700 is the rated max. Pushing a little past seems to work just fine and they are handling it well so far.

    I will build something else long before these LEDs would ever reach the end of their life span.

    Sorry that the pictures aren't coming up for you.

  8. #8

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    750mA is a little high but for short term use all should be fine.

    Question: between the emitter and the round pcb and also between the pcb and the aluminum base did you use any thermal transfer paste like Arctic Silver?

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    Nice even layer of AAA.

  10. #10
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    OD,

    what are you using for a battery, 7.4v? approx 2:15 run time?
    also, what are you using for a backplate? did you get the slug from speedymetals as well?

    I really like your design, it's small, powerful, and the build cost seems low... nice work

  11. #11
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    Run either the 7.4 or the 3.7. The Fatman works harder with the 3.7, but the run time with a 2 cell 5200 mAh 3.7 battery was 2.5 hours.
    The back plate was cute from aluminum stock from Home depot.
    The slug is 1/2 in alumunum square bar from Speedymetals.
    Thanks for the compliment. I subscribe to keeping it easy and simple. Would like to try a Maxflex someday, but anything with a programmable UI feature is more thinking than I want to do. Fatman has a nice dial on it and you just turn it. That is my sort of technology.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas
    Run either the 7.4 or the 3.7. The Fatman works harder with the 3.7, but the run time with a 2 cell 5200 mAh 3.7 battery was 2.5 hours.
    The back plate was cute from aluminum stock from Home depot.
    The slug is 1/2 in alumunum square bar from Speedymetals.
    Thanks for the compliment. I subscribe to keeping it easy and simple. Would like to try a Maxflex someday, but anything with a programmable UI feature is more thinking than I want to do. Fatman has a nice dial on it and you just turn it. That is my sort of technology.
    Simple solution using the .5" square alu bar and pressing it in sideways... I was trying to find a rectangular piece and it was proving to be alot harder. The dial on the fatman sounds nice, def my kinda tech. Thanks OD

  13. #13
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    OD,
    I got my LEDs and carlco optics in the mail the other day. When I was looking at the optics and the led boards (round 10mm from cutter) I noticed that the posts on the optics do not extend past the top of the 10mm heatsink. So basically the optic just kind of floats on-top of the led.

    How are you securing your optics in place? are they simply held in by the plastic cover? or are they somehow adhered to the .5" square alu heatsink?

  14. #14
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    Good to hear that you are making progress.

    Put a tiny dab of either of these on the touching edges of the optics.

    A little on the top of the optics, in a corner, also will bond it to the cover and keep the optics from chattering in the light. Stuff dries crystal clear and heat has not caused any discoloration. It is also removable even after it cures.
    After pressing the optics cover in I put a thin layer of the Stik'n Seal around the edge and remove any excess with flat edge of a toothpick.
    Do you have your housing sorted yet??
    BTW I get the adhesive at Lowe's or Home Depot.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas
    Good to hear that you are making progress.

    Put a tiny dab of either of these on the touching edges of the optics.

    A little on the top of the optics, in a corner, also will bond it to the cover and keep the optics from chattering in the light. Stuff dries crystal clear and heat has not caused any discoloration. It is also removable even after it cures.
    After pressing the optics cover in I put a thin layer of the Stik'n Seal around the edge and remove any excess with flat edge of a toothpick.
    Do you have your housing sorted yet??
    BTW I get the adhesive at Lowe's or Home Depot.
    Do you install the optics cover mainly to protect them from scratching, or to make for easier waterproofing? Does an optic cover affect the beam shape or size?

  16. #16
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    Lens cover protects optics from dust/dirt/water, and holds the optics in place.
    Interior height of light body is 12.5 mm while optics are only 10 mm.
    No significant bearing on beam size or shape. There will be a small amount of light loss due to reflection off interior and exterior surface of optics cover. There will also be a small amount of distortion due to the lens cover imperfections and aberration value.
    Not so much that any of us could notice it.

  17. #17
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    Thanks. I like to get other builders perspective on the features they put on their creations. I did not put a cover on my light as I was able to size the optic opening very closely in the housing. I sealed around the optic with a bit of silicone in a small chamfer cut in the housing. I thought a little about scratching, but decided that the optics are cheap and easily replaced if damaged. Simplified the housing build .

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas
    Good to hear that you are making progress.

    A little on the top of the optics, in a corner, also will bond it to the cover and keep the optics from chattering in the light. Stuff dries crystal clear and heat has not caused any discoloration. It is also removable even after it cures.
    After pressing the optics cover in I put a thin layer of the Stik'n Seal around the edge and remove any excess with flat edge of a toothpick.
    Do you have your housing sorted yet??
    BTW I get the adhesive at Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Thanks OD.

    I sourced the housing and heatsink from speedymetals. I don't have a table saw so I'll have to figure out a way to get some heat fins carved in, probably with my dremel.

    Right now I'm just getting all of the peices together. I pretty much poached your design (same housing/heatsink, fatman drivers, r2 leds from cutter, etc..) I hope you don't mind. I still have to figure out what I'm going to use for a switch. I'll probably get something cheap from radio shack.

    I know you said you got the polycarbonate lens cover at home depot, do you remember what department of the store you found it in?

    Hopefully I'll start the actual build soon.

  19. #19
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    I sourced the housing and heatsink from speedymetals. I don't have a table saw so I'll have to figure out a way to get some heat fins carved in, probably with my dremel.

    Might be better off using a narrow handfile. Cut off wheel on the dremel would work but they get a little wild.

    Right now I'm just getting all of the peices together. I pretty much poached your design (same housing/heatsink, fatman drivers, r2 leds from cutter, etc..) I hope you don't mind. I still have to figure out what I'm going to use for a switch. I'll probably get something cheap from radio shack.

    I purposely tried to design lights that were simple to build. They don't have the simple elegance that Achesalot came up with. But someong with basic carpentry power tools can duplicate my lights. I would never complain if people started building with my designs. Just shows I came up with a good solution.
    Switch is a tricky thing. The one ZenBicycle source for me works the best. His input was needed to make this smaller light possible.


    I know you said you got the polycarbonate lens cover at home depot, do you remember what department of the store you found it in?

    Polycarb is in the aisle where they do all the glass cutting. Usually in the area with the window screens and such towards the lumber side of most Lowes around here

    Hopefully I'll start the actual build soon.


    Have a feeling you are going to finish up very quickly. It is an easy build.

  20. #20
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    WOW,

    You are certainly on to something with this design, before stepping up to the vastly over sized and super over powered troutlight I was thinking about 1/2" square stock and the same tubing. You of course went a step further and actually built the thing. Its too funny i am looking a sketch for a 3 xp-e light with the same rectangular tubing and 1/2" square bar stock design. I was planing on adding a trimmed down computer heat sink to the outside, the table saw groves look much more professional. I was planing on using a khatod .5"x1.5" lens and trimming down the ends a tiny bit for one solid lens but it looks like the carclo lens fit tight enough. Also thanks for the tip on the loctite adhesives, I use blue and green loctite and all threaded and pressed bike parts with great success good to know they do adhesive as well.

    I do still want to see a 1/2 scale version of the original achesalot design but getting electronics that small is not doable yet and sourcing 1/2" box tubing is difficult.

  21. #21
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    Go with the Carlco optics with this particular housing.
    Really thought about the Khatod Linear as well.
    After looking at the data sheet, I determined that the linear strip would not work with my housing. Sanding the height from 12.7 mm to 12. 5 would be easy and would give a nice tight fit.
    The long axis is the issue though. Interior of my housing is 31.5 mm wide. Now look at the data sheet. There is a 2 mm separation between emitters due to design of optic. So 3 emitters set to khatod linear strip needs 34 mm minimum. One could trim the emitter MCPCB possibly. Then there is the optic to consider.
    The outer optics edge pushes linear distance to 36.1 mm (overall lens system is 38.1 mm). Which means one would need to remove the outer 2.3 mm of each lens. Lens has 5mm radius so you would lose nearly half of each outer optics lateral radius.
    To use the Khatod one would need a different tubing size than mine, or mill a housing to the khatod linear strip specifications.
    I want to see one done, so for now I am hoping that one of our mill guys here tackles this problem.
    If anyone double checks the math and finds mistakes feel free to correct. I was tempted to order and lens anyway and sand it down to just see how it turned out.

  22. #22
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    odtexas, do you recommend the round PCB over the square PCB for this application? I'm wondering if the choice would effect how the Carlco optics sit on top of the PCBs.

    This really is a cool little light! I didn't realize until now how small it really is. And, I like that you can velcro-stack it on a 2-cell 18650 pack on top of your helmet, instead of running a battery remotely out of a Camelbak.

    I also have a question about the battery configuration. Would a 2-cell 7.4v pack run longer than a 2-cell 3.7v pack, give same cell capacities?

    Thanks

  23. #23
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    odtexas, do you recommend the round PCB over the square PCB for this application? I'm wondering if the choice would effect how the Carlco optics sit on top of the PCBs.

    I prefer the round for the light. I have used both types and the squares are cool since they are all stuck together, easy to solder bridges, and optics sit perfectly on them.
    The issue is that there is less than a 1 mm on each side of the string of 3. So you have to take a dremel to the edge where you solder the leads on both ends. I just really hate doing that. The rounds have cuts for the wires to sneak in around the edges. Lining the optics up and soldering bridges isn't a big deal for me with the rounds. YMMV



    I also have a question about the battery configuration. Would a 2-cell 7.4v pack run longer than a 2-cell 3.7v pack, give same cell capacities?


    My understanding is that the fatman won't work as hard with the 7.4v batteries. I usually think of each battery being a gas tank. If you have 2 five gallon cans both being drawn from at the same time or you have one can emptying into the other you still have 10 gallons of gas to use. I would guess that the run time might be marginally better with the voltages being similar due to energy loss from heat. I am not an expert in that area but George has done many graphs over the years showing efficiency values versus input and output. I use both 3.7v and 7.4 v batteries with my lights. For the helmet though I only run 2 or 3 cell batteries. The 3 has to be a parallel 3.7v since series would give you 11.1v. So I get better weight/size flexibility using the 3.7 packs overall.
    Last edited by odtexas; 04-09-2009 at 08:00 PM.

  24. #24
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    OD,

    RE: The .5" sq slug you're using for a heatsink:

    How important is it that the sink be press fit on all four sides? I ordered a few different length pieces from speedymetals; some are too long and others would leave about 1mm open on either side of the housing.

    The 1mm will make it easy to run the wires from the driver to the LED's but I'm just not sure how important that extra contact with the external housing is to proper heat dissipation.

    Thanks.

  25. #25
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    Just need top and bottom tight. So vertically snug. Horizontal surface area is minimal anyway and is the best path for passing wires through. Best to lightly round all long edges when pressing in tightly. The inside corners of the tube are not square so feel free to sand the short edges , the two square ends, alot.
    The leds are AAA'd to the slug after the slug is AAA'd and pressed into place. Put some AAA in the body and tap the slug into place. Your wire pass through should already be cut, drilled, sanded. However you plan to do it. I have done all three. Sanding or cutting off the two top corners of the slug is easiest. Maybe 2 mm along each side. Not a great loss of heat sink and surface area interface.
    Last edited by odtexas; 04-12-2009 at 09:11 AM.

  26. #26
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    OD, I just picked up some XPe's let me know what you are thinking about on a housing becasue I keep getting stuck on a 3up or 4up troutie copy and I don't want to do that.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle
    OD, I just picked up some XPe's let me know what you are thinking about on a housing becasue I keep getting stuck on a 3up or 4up troutie copy and I don't want to do that.

    OI Whats wrong with a troutie copy Darn good design


  28. #28
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    It was out of respect and nothing else. It's your design. If I want to use it I should buy a CNC case is all.

  29. #29
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    We need to have one of these Ride-Beer- & Build get togethers and compare notes.

  30. #30
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    Sounds great, but once I get to step 2 I never seem to remember to move on to step 3

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle
    It was out of respect and nothing else. It's your design. If I want to use it I should buy a CNC case is all.

    Yes I know I am only joking as normal I have no problems folk copying any of the ideas I come up with , That is what this forum is for and hell I have done my fair share of using other folks ideas.

    I thought there was this big bike event and chilly cook off that happens on your side of the pond .
    it was discussed a plenty on the chilly thread . It sounded so good I was tempted to get in a plane and go.

  32. #32
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    OD,

    I'm getting ready for my final assembly.

    Is there a significant difference in light output at 750mA vs 700mA?

    I only ask because my fatmen came already setup at 700mA. Thanks

  33. #33
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    There will be no perceptable difference

  34. #34
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    +1 to Zen's post.

    You won't be able to tell any difference at all. I just did it to do it. Make sure you AAA the fatman to the bottom of the housing. I push it off to the left as far as it will go to give room for soldering the power switch. Also you can short the driver against the floor of the housing. Put a thin coat of AAA on the bottom of the driver. Let it solidify. Then put some more on and let it bond to the floor of the housing. A sharpie pen is the perfect diameter for holding the driver against the floor of the housing.

  35. #35
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    OD, here is what I came up with. Just can't leave the mill alone yet







    Thanks for the optics I think I really like the beam they produce in this configuration. Perfect for a bar mount I think.

  36. #36
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    I hate you on so many levels.
    That 4 up is just sick. Now I have to go and buy a mill.
    So where are the beam shots.


    Beautiful light there buddy. How is the mill time compared to your Darkstar?

  37. #37
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    Hard to say yet as I spent a lot of time measuring and thinking and fiddeling. It seemed like in the end it should be a fairly similar though. I will try and get some beam shots tomorrow night and post up


    Here you go
    http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/tls/1122900017.html

  38. #38
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    Many, many things on craigslist will get you in trouble with the wife.
    Looking forward to the beamshots.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas
    +1 to Zen's post.

    You won't be able to tell any difference at all. I just did it to do it. Make sure you AAA the fatman to the bottom of the housing. I push it off to the left as far as it will go to give room for soldering the power switch. Also you can short the driver against the floor of the housing. Put a thin coat of AAA on the bottom of the driver. Let it solidify. Then put some more on and let it bond to the floor of the housing. A sharpie pen is the perfect diameter for holding the driver against the floor of the housing.

    Thanks OD.. I had no plans of AAA'ing the fatman to the housing.

  40. #40
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    Wiring the Switch?

    Does the switch get wired on the (+) or (-) feed from the battery?

    I was under the impression that the (-) would go directly from the battery to the VIN(-) on the fatman driver and the (+) from the battery would go to the switch and then to the VIN(+) on the fatman.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  41. #41
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    That would work.
    I always run the hot directly from the battery to the driver. Then a really short wire from the VIN (-) to the switch and then a longer wire from switch out to battery.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by odtexas
    That would work.
    I always run the hot directly from the battery to the driver. Then a really short wire from the VIN (-) to the switch and then a longer wire from switch out to battery.

    thanks OD..... by "hot" you mean (+) right? sorry, total noob here.

  43. #43
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    Yes, hot ='s positive in my world. Sorry about that.

  44. #44
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    First light is nearly complete. I'm using an 1x elliptical sandwiched between 2x narrow carlco optics. Looks like a pretty good beam for a helmet light.

    My next light will be for the bars and I'm looking for more of a flood light to light up the ground immediately infront of the bike. I'm thinking either 2x elliptical w/1 wide or 2 wide w/1 elliptical.

    Anyone have an opinion on which setup would be better? Thanks.

  45. #45
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    Happy to hear about the progress on light number 1.
    If the second light is a 3 up housing then I would suggest two ellipticals and one narrow. You still want some down range punch on you bar light.
    If you are making a 4 up light then two or three ellipticals and then one or two narrows.
    I did make a 4 up with two ellipticals and two narrows. It had great fill and throw.

  46. #46
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    I'd like to get alittle more punch out of my helmet light. Currently I have 2xCarlco-narrow and 1xCarlco-elliptical.

    Would switching the elliptical for a narrow provide a noticeable difference in throw?

  47. #47
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    Yes,
    I run 3 narrows in some lights and some 2 narow 1 elliptical. The throw is better with the 3 narrow.
    Hoping even better throw with the XP-G. Chatter over on CPF about distributors listing prices on reels. Hopefully Cutter will be getting their reels soon.

  48. #48
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    I am very pleased with 4 narrow and 2 medium. The efficiency on the medium is 5% better than the others. I have not gotten an elliptical to play with.

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