Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch

    Things have been a little quiet in the shed of late so I though it was about time I fired up the lathe and mill again and built something new so I've spent the afternoon on the couch designing a focusable aspheric helmet light.

    What I came up with is another aspheric light that can focus from 12.5mm all the way down to 5.5mm (distance from aspheric lens to the top of the led heatsink). This will give a tight spot beam just projecting the die image to a nice wide flood beam.

    The idea is that as a helmet light I will be able to adjust the beam angle on the fly to suit the trail conditions and speed. I am tossing up fitting a detent ball and spring so the I can feel a positive click each 1/2 - 1 mm of movement to make it easier to get the beam right by counting the clicks. I have also added an anti rotation pin so the side always stay in line.

    Driver wise I'm going to use another Lflex and power it from a 1S2P li-ion pack since that combo worked so well with my last build.

    The weight of the complete light minus the battery should be around 95 grams.

    Since I haven't made any chips yet here are some cad renders of the light. This one is Octagonal since I have some of that bar stock left over but future lights will be either hexagonal or round.



    Housing extended to give a tight spot


    Housing retracted to give a flood beam
    Last edited by brad72; 05-20-2012 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice design! What will prevent the focusing part sliding off the light body? Only the spring and ball "mechanism"? Will you glue the lens inside the front part?

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    Toaster, here is picture showing the main parts exploded. There are 4 x 0-rings in the light. 1 seals the front bezel to the the aspheric lens, 1 seals the front bezel to the sliding body, 1 o-ring seals the sliding body to the led heatsink and the last seals the rear cap where the Lflex driver will be located.

    You can also see the anti rotation pin on the led body and the corresponding slot on the sliding body

    One thing I forgot to mention is that I am going to try and make this light remote control so the power and mode selection switch can be located on the handlebars via a wireless switch to save fumbling around on my helmet.


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    Brad72, how will you implement the wireless remote?

    Will it cause any interference or will any of the other electronics on the bike interfere with it?

    Will this be bluetooth or something else? What will power the remote that sits on the handlebar?

    Brilliant idea. I always thought that wireless control for a helmet light would be perfect. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  5. #5
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    If you could make the telescopic action remote control that would be out of this world..and I would simply bow down to you
    Looking good brad..and your right it has been quiet on here lately..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkBike View Post
    Brad72, how will you implement the wireless remote?

    Will it cause any interference or will any of the other electronics on the bike interfere with it?

    Will this be bluetooth or something else? What will power the remote that sits on the handlebar?

    Brilliant idea. I always thought that wireless control for a helmet light would be perfect. Can't wait to see the finished product.
    At present I am planning on using an FM signal to operate the remote module but I am still waiting for them to arrive so it is a little up in the air. The modules I have found use a 12v supply so I am going to need to modify the circuit to run of 3 volts and also find micro relay to provide the NO contact to operate the Lfex driver

    I have looked in to bluetooth as that would be ideal but I am going to need to do much more research as this is something I have no idea of how to actually achieve the end result. I like reading stuff though so this will be quite an enjoyable, if not frustrating challenge.

    As for interference well that is going to be suck and see but hopefully it will be ok

    .
    Last edited by brad72; 05-20-2012 at 04:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger View Post
    If you could make the telescopic action remote control that would be out of this world..and I would simply bow down to you
    Looking good brad..and your right it has been quiet on here lately..

    As Barney would say from How I Met Your Mother, "challenge accepted"

    I know how to do it but how to integrate it into the light and keep everything weather proof might be a bit of a stumbling block. There is also the issue of allowing for metal expansion when everything heats up. May be I should say, challenge accepted but this could take a while.

    .
    Last edited by brad72; 05-20-2012 at 04:47 PM.

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    This is going to be a complex housing to build and tough to keep the weight down. If anyone can do it though you're the one.

    Are you going to use thermal grease between the LED body and the lens body? Seems to me there will have to be to get decent transfer to the fins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    This is going to be a complex housing to build and tough to keep the weight down. If anyone can do it though you're the one.

    Are you going to use thermal grease between the LED body and the lens body? Seems to me there will have to be to get decent transfer to the fins.
    The weight should come at about 100 grams without the battery but your right it is going to be a pr#ck to machine, especially the threaded sections. Maybe I should cnc my lathe 1st.

    The heat transfer is something I have been contemplating also so I'm glad you mentioned it also. I am going to need a pretty tight fit on the sliding body if I want any efficient heat transfer. I might need to modify the housing so the bulk of the fins are are around the led body making the sliding body holding the aspheric a little smaller, or just make it and see how it turns out.

    If I only ran it at 1A then it would not be a problem but since we all like a light cannon on our heads it will need to handle the heat from 2.8 amps.

    Man, to think 15 years ago we were happy with the light output from a cateye light run off 2 C cells. and a 3v bulb, relying more on our night vission

    .

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    Up goes the bar again...!

    Looking good Brad - I had a crack at wireless remote (details here) but it was very rough compared to that design.

    Is that the sort of module you were thinking of using? If so they work a treat but I found I had to use a small aerial wire as the transmitter was very low powered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanner72 View Post
    Up goes the bar again...!

    Looking good Brad - I had a crack at wireless remote (details here) but it was very rough compared to that design.

    Is that the sort of module you were thinking of using? If so they work a treat but I found I had to use a small aerial wire as the transmitter was very low powered.
    Great light Tanner. I hadn't seen your wireless modules but they look pretty good and might be better as the receiver voltage is already 5 volts.

    The ones I am looking at are still 433mhz but I have the options of 1,2 or 4 channel, which would be great if I am able to motorize the focusing of the aspheric.


    .

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    jeez louise, way to go making us look bad Brad It'll be a stunning light though, once it's done. I think just the adjustable throw plus the wireless remote would be enough, but wirelessly adjustable throw would be the icing on the cake!

    I agree with others though, all that finning isn't going to do diddly without a gap between the sliding and non sliding parts that'll be so tight as to make it hard to adjust. Is there any way to make the finned part bigger? E.g to make the anti-rotation key actually part of the housing and fin that, so you have the sliding part a sort of "hood". The other approach would be to have the adjustment mechanism internal, but that might be a smidge too complicated

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    Thanks for your input Matt. I certainly agree with your comments about heat transfer if pushing high amps. I have started to design another housing so i might use this current design with an xpg or xte and run at a maximum of 1.5A.

    I have designed the mechanical focus unit but just need to find a small geared motor. I was going to use a cd laser drive but these are a stepper so i need a special drive circuit which is not doable.
    So the challenge is to find a small dc 3v geared motor.

    Think i have created a monster but fun none the less, but I might change my tune when it comes time to machine the fiddly little thing
    Last edited by brad72; 05-21-2012 at 07:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanner72 View Post
    Up goes the bar again...!

    Looking good Brad - I had a crack at wireless remote (details here) but it was very rough compared to that design.

    Is that the sort of module you were thinking of using? If so they work a treat but I found I had to use a small aerial wire as the transmitter was very low powered.
    Hey Tanner, I've had another good look at the RF receiver and transmitter you used. I can get them over here in Aus and it does come as a 4 channel module. Did you have any problems with RF interference and nuisance operation at all?

    thanks for your help

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Hey Tanner, I've had another good look at the RF receiver and transmitter you used. I can get them over here in Aus and it does come as a 4 channel module. Did you have any problems with RF interference and nuisance operation at all?

    thanks for your help

    .
    Hi Brad,

    I am in Aus myself now - freezing my bits off down in in Melbourne!

    I actually dug the module out last night, as I took it off that light which I now just use as a bar mounted commuter.

    I checked and it is a 4 channel module, I only used 1 channel for the on/off so it could be used to drive your focus too....! you can also get a little car remote type fob, with 4 buttons on which you could use rather than try and bodge something like I did.

    I never had any issues with interference - but I only used it for a few weeks before I decided more throw and less flood was required for a head light. These modules seem pretty good from an accidental activation/interference point of view - you have to programme the receiver to accept the individual transmitters (which is much easier then it sounds!) so even if your so-called-mate bought a remote, he couldnt turn your light off just at the track got a bit technical at night....

    You have got me thinking now - I may have to try and incorporate the module into my current head light (twin XPg/regina) rather than letting it gather dust - but thats another thread!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanner72 View Post
    Hi Brad,

    I am in Aus myself now - freezing my bits off down in in Melbourne!

    I actually dug the module out last night, as I took it off that light which I now just use as a bar mounted commuter.

    I checked and it is a 4 channel module, I only used 1 channel for the on/off so it could be used to drive your focus too....! you can also get a little car remote type fob, with 4 buttons on which you could use rather than try and bodge something like I did.

    I never had any issues with interference - but I only used it for a few weeks before I decided more throw and less flood was required for a head light. These modules seem pretty good from an accidental activation/interference point of view - you have to programme the receiver to accept the individual transmitters (which is much easier then it sounds!) so even if your so-called-mate bought a remote, he couldnt turn your light off just at the track got a bit technical at night....

    You have got me thinking now - I may have to try and incorporate the module into my current head light (twin XPg/regina) rather than letting it gather dust - but thats another thread!
    Fantastic. I'll order some modules tomorrow and have a fiddle.

    Good old Melbourne. Up in Toowoomba it is still shorts and t-shirts during the day.

    .

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    Was bored this evening so I mocked up a more heat efficient housing with a motorised focus mechanism. I still need to source the 3v motor to drive the focus ring and machine a prototype to ensure there isn't too much friction between the drive pin and the slot it runs in. The 3rd part from the left that looks like a top hat has a slot in it that guides the stainless pin on the focus ring holding the aspheric lens. The part to the right of the aspheric has a straight slot in that captures the stainless pin, and when it is rotated the pin follows the contour of the slot in the top hat looking part, moving the aspheric in and out.

    My other option is to use a small lead screw from a floppy disc drive mounted to a geared motor, mount the aspheric to a cradle and and move it in and out that way. Less parts than the housing I have mocked up but we will have to see.

    Here is the first motorised mock up, minus the motor and gear.


  18. #18
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    This looks really cool. I really need to get around to adding wireless control to my light.

  19. #19
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    Brad do you have an old camera you can butcher? mayber the motorized focus/lens can be adapted?

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    Great idea Jay but Ii think the modern camera's use a stepper motor so i would need to find an alternative motor. I do have an old camera at home though so i might pull it apart and have a look.

    I think the lead screw and craddle method might be the easiest thinking about it over night as there is bugger all machining and components. The old floppy drives are also really easy to get my hands on.

    Time to mock up another design i think

  21. #21
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    I am really liking this idea and just though up a possible solution..

    Why not just butcher a tiny RC car? Or buy a rx unit from hobby king. It would give you a 2 or more channel controller 1 channel for light level/on off and another for the lens zoom. Small simple cheap parts to be had. Many are even 2.4ghz. Even included the necessary stuff for controlling a stepper motor, servo or brush less motor properly. A lot of them also have a battery voltage to 5v converter built in. You could even use a servo for adjusting the focus. lots of RC servos only weight 1-5 grams. You could even get a tellimetry enabled unit and have the battery level displayed on the handle bar remote. Of course many of the TX units are bulky and you would have to come up with something small and low powered.

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    Or a motor like this one.

    Although an old camera motor would be probably much easier to harvest.

    Brad, once you finish the wireless part, would you open separate thread with how to, step by step, wireless for dummies content.

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    Thanks for the the suggestions guys. It's going to be hard to focus on work stuff today with all these ideas buzzing around.

    I am looking at a 2 channel control board from a micro helicopter as we speak but it is IR so not suitable unfortunately. I found a micro 3v geared motor outputting 140rpm this morning very similar the the one in your link Toaster on fleabay so that should be perfect to drive the focus so I will order that today.

    Again thanks for all the input guys.
    Last edited by brad72; 05-23-2012 at 12:10 PM.

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    you're just nuts, that's all I have to say

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    Well I haven't done to much more on the housing side of things but have settled on a 3mm diameter lead screw with a 1.8mm pitch to drive the aspheric (mounted on a slide) back and forth driven from a 3v DC motor so I can still use a single cell supply. Since the single cell puts out 4.2v when fully charge I am going to fit a 3v voltage regulator to keep the motor speed constant.

    I have ordered a 4ch RF receiver and transmitter to deal with driver mode changes and operate the dc motor in forward and reverse. The Australian module from RS Components is not as cheap as I would like but for testing it will do fine. There is a company in the states selling receiver/transmitter kits nice and cheap but the UPS shipping makes them far to expensive ($20 for the parts, $90 for shipping) so I am looking at another supplier. This is the USA module 4Ch RF Remote Control System featuring KeeLoq Code Hopping

    I have ordered 2 SMT NO tactile switch's which will act as a limit switch's, cutting power to the motor when full retraction or extension of the lens has been reached. Therefore, if fully extended, the motor will only be able to be retracted until the extended switch state has changed and vice versa.

    I also have some SMT reed relays in case the transistors are not capable of the motor current, but I will have to make a small pcb to mount them to as it could get a bit messy otherwise.

    So all in all it is getting a little complicated but nothing like a challenge, or it might be mid life crisis as I turn 40 on Sunday. Now, just to design an integrated driver and multi channel RF module in one.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Now, just to design an integrated driver and multi channel RF module in one.
    If your going to go to that much trouble why not also incorporate a servo or stepper motor controller negating the need for the stop switches. And while your at it make both communications modules 2 way so the handle bar remote will show the zoom point, light level and, battery status. In case that is not enough pre programmed zoom and light level steps would be nice. And can't that handle bar remote also warn if the light head is getting hot. And while your at at can it allow the user to program the unit with the remote. You know to create your own light level and zoom pre settings and battery voltage levels. Oh yea and make the whole board out of a thermally enhanced material and have the XML soldered to it like a quazzle lux-rc light engine.

    That was meant to be toung and cheek, I am already so impresses that I would not be surprised if implementing all that was doable. Keep up the good work, this design when built will once again push the boundaries.

    This project of yours should also make me less lazy and perhaps I will finally get around to adding wireless to my helmet light like I have talked about in that thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjay View Post
    If your going to go to that much trouble why not also incorporate a servo or stepper motor controller negating the need for the stop switches. And while your at it make both communications modules 2 way so the handle bar remote will show the zoom point, light level and, battery status. In case that is not enough pre programmed zoom and light level steps would be nice. And can't that handle bar remote also warn if the light head is getting hot. And while your at at can it allow the user to program the unit with the remote. You know to create your own light level and zoom pre settings and battery voltage levels. Oh yea and make the whole board out of a thermally enhanced material and have the XML soldered to it like a quazzle lux-rc light engine.
    Mate if only had the skills as your ideas are fantastic. If I go back to uni it should be achievable in 3-5 years

    .
    Last edited by brad72; 05-24-2012 at 01:55 PM.

  28. #28
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    Well, where is it?

    I sometimes wonder if it's so quiet on this board because every time you build a new light you lift the bar about another meter higher and us mere mortals are scared off.

    This should be interesting and +1 to the request for a separate "remote thread" once you get it all sorted out.

    And hurry up will you

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    I made a start on a manual focus aspheric housing today. Machining wise it is pretty easy as 3/4 of it is done on the lathe so much faster than a mill built light.

    I have opted for this housing to have a remote driver or an all in one driver so I have cut heat sink grooves in the rear of the housing to get the heat away. I also tried a 125mm carbide tipped saw blade to cut the grooves in the rear of the housing and it worked really well. Took about 2 minutes per 12mm slot deep groove vs about 15+ minutes using a slot drill.

    Here's a couple of picks of the machining side of things:

    Led body in the lathe


    Aspheric holder getting some grooves turned up


    Cutting slots in the led housing using the 125mm carbide saw blade in a 3MT arbor I made up

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    Couple more pictures of the housing






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    looking good

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjay View Post
    looking good
    +1

    Looking great!

    Very good machining skills also

    Will

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjay View Post
    looking good
    Quote Originally Posted by wquiles View Post
    +1

    Looking great!

    Very good machining skills also

    Will
    Thanks guys. It's good to make something a little different.

    I bought some 200mm Sisal, Rag and Calico buffs on the weekend to mount in the lathe chuck to make polishing the housing easier and faster.

    Plus I've got to put a heater in the shed tonight as it was only 4c in their last night.

    .
    Last edited by brad72; 05-27-2012 at 10:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Well, where is it?

    I sometimes wonder if it's so quiet on this board because every time you build a new light you lift the bar about another meter higher and us mere mortals are scared off.

    This should be interesting and +1 to the request for a separate "remote thread" once you get it all sorted out.

    And hurry up will you

    You'll have to blame Goldigger for the motorised zoom idea and he put the challenge out, and you know how we can't back down from a challenge

    I've also found some nice economical RF receivers and remotes so once tested I'll put up a thread.

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    Cut the front hood and did a bit of polishing since I couldn't be stuffed doing anything else and since I'm now 40 I can afford to take my time




  36. #36
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    Happy birthday mate and welcome to masters, or veterans depending on which race your doing.

    What's with 4*c, I thought you were in sunny queensland?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Happy birthday mate and welcome to masters, or veterans depending on which race your doing.

    What's with 4*c, I thought you were in sunny queensland?
    Thanks mate. Qld was sunny and warm until Saturday when things went like Melbourne

    .

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    Now you know how I feel shivering down here in Melbourne.

    Bloody hell that housing looks good!

  39. #39
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    Happy birthday brad..
    Lights looking good mate..

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    happy birthday Brad, it's all downhill from here. Which, given our hobby, is a pretty good thing

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    Thanks for the birthday wishes guys. They say your only as old as the women you feel so really I'm only 36

    Got some of the RF gear today, and some transistors, voltage regs and diodes so I can start doing some testing. I have been able to find some smaller 1ch rf receivers but will start a new thread with those once I have received and tested them.

    The 3ch remote will get a new housing to suit handlebar mounting. The manual focus light really only needs a single channel Tx /Rx but this one gives better testing flexibility.


  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Thanks for the birthday wishes guys. They say your only as old as the women you feel so really I'm only 36
    LOL Brad.
    Do you realise that when you get an email notification of that post it comes through as 36 : D without the spaces not 36

    I thought you might have been getting a little bit too personal for such a public forum but then thought oh well, he obviously got some for his birthday. Anyway, back to this unique build.

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    Emu, my wife and I both had a chuckle at your post

    Got the circuit wired up on the breadboard tonight but still need to check it over with a multi meter so I can put some power onto it tomorrow, program the remote and test the operation.

    Since the receiver board needs 5v to operate I have ordered a little 5V DC-DC booster so I can run it from a single lithium ion cell. Cost was $6 so a nice cheap solution without the hassles. This is what it is https://www.robotgear.com.au/Product.aspx/Details/405

    I ended up removing the gear rotation stop tabs so the servo can run continuously and I wired the power wires directly to the motor so it can run in either direction just by reversing the polarity.

    Once everything is working correctly I'll make up a small circuit board with surface mount components to keep the size down and make it look pretty.

    Last edited by brad72; 05-30-2012 at 04:18 AM. Reason: added more details

  44. #44
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    that's nuts brad, I'm keeping my eye on this as a small single channel remote would be so awesome I'm temporarily speechless! I'm sure there'd be plenty on here who'd be happy to help defray the cost of board assembly if there's a minimum you need to meet

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    that's nuts brad, I'm keeping my eye on this as a small single channel remote would be so awesome I'm temporarily speechless! I'm sure there'd be plenty on here who'd be happy to help defray the cost of board assembly if there's a minimum you need to meet
    Hi Matt, I started a new thread with the RF stuff I have found so far for those interested. See it here

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    Tested the circuit today but I am going to need to wire up a half-bridge to control the rotation of the servo motor or use a couple of surface mount relays but I think the H bridge might be cheaper and easier.

    The only other thing i have found is the programmed length of time that the receiver output stays on for is too long so the servo horn moves about 90 each press of the remote. This will move the aspheric too far to give fine focusing so I will trial a lower voltage to the motor or use a simple timer circuit to shorten the 'on' duration. That way each press of the remote could move the aspheric lets say 0.5-1mm each press.
    Last edited by brad72; 05-30-2012 at 06:49 PM.

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    Hey Brad, is the aspheric one of the ahorton/troutie ones? Since I am lazy, would you give me the dimensions of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Hey Brad, is the aspheric one of the ahorton/troutie ones? Since I am lazy, would you give me the dimensions of it?
    Here you go mate, and yep it's one of Ahortons. I've got 8 of them so need to use them up.

    Base diameter is 27.15mm
    Base height is 3mm
    Diameter of aspheric where is joins the base 25.7mm
    Height of aspheric 14.81mm

    If you want a .pdf PM me so I can email it to you or the cad file

  49. #49
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    Looking great!

  50. #50
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    How's things going in the techno lab Brad?
    I fired up my mill last night for the first time in ages..nothing special..just need to make some mounts and finish off a few lights that I should really find homes for.
    As I have to many lights..

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger View Post
    How's things going in the techno lab Brad?
    I fired up my mill last night for the first time in ages..nothing special..just need to make some mounts and finish off a few lights that I should really find homes for.
    As I have to many lights..
    Been in bed with the flu so nothing much has been happening. Getting better though so hopefully I can do some more on the weekend.

  52. #52
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    Got out of my sick bed today and did a bit more work on the electronics to see if I could get the servo to work in fwd and rev and had success

    I ended up using a H-bridge circuit using some npn transistors and diodes, with the base pins wired through resistors to the RF receiver output pins. The modified servo rotates and small linear screw, moving the black rectangular test carriage back and forth.

    I need to use some different transistors though as the one I have do not let enough current flow to the servo so it is prone to stalling but it is nice and smooth, and slow enough to make small adjustments.

    Next is to design a housing to fit the servo in, and design a circuit board using surface mount components to to drive the servo and Lfex.

    Here is picture of tonight's test circuit. Current draw of the circuit on standby is 3-7mA and peaks to 30mA when a button on the transmitter is pressed switching on an led or motor. H-bridge motor driver is on the right hand side below the ammeter.

    Last edited by brad72; 06-08-2012 at 05:31 PM.

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    Very cool progress

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

    Will

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    man flu?

    I'm guessing with servo and everything else this isn't going to be your smallest build so I want to throw out another challenge for you, sub 100gm complete light head

    Keep up the good work mate, this is looking very interesting.

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    that 100g includes the battery, right? We don't want to make it too easy for Brad

  56. #56
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    Come on guys keep it real...
    Poor guys had man flu.

    Has to include the helmet too

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    Holy crap...sub 100g better find some of the voodoo helium filled alloy once my man-flu has subsided

    Emu I have found a smaller motor that I am testing. Just need to get the correct voltage into it by modifying the half-bridge controller diodes.

    Matt,you need to give me your supplier of light weight batteries, they sound awesome

    Here's a picture of the small motor I am testing


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    I replaced my crappy transistors with some KPS222A's and now the servo is getting 3v in stead of 1.2v (from a 5v supply) so the servo is nice and smooth with no more stalling.

    The upside of this is that the carriage that will hold the aspheric lens now moves 0.5mm each press of the remote, or can move it continuously if the button is held down.

    Amps wise the draw is now 40mA @ 5v when the servo is operating so it isn't going to kill my battery.

  59. #59
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    Damn Brad this thing is sweet, looks like one of those tiny motors from $15 indoor choppers.

    Have you worked out to stop the sliding aspheric holder from jamming on the body given it is about 1" round and you are only pushing it from one side or do you plan on centring the servo screw on the holder and having it pushing a two pronged fork type set up?

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Damn Brad this thing is sweet, looks like one of those tiny motors from $15 indoor choppers.

    Have you worked out to stop the sliding aspheric holder from jamming on the body given it is about 1" round and you are only pushing it from one side or do you plan on centring the servo screw on the holder and having it pushing a two pronged fork type set up?
    100% right on the motor origin but it needs a gear train because the little bugger spins so fast and has no torque so I might still use the 9g servo, but stripped down a bit to reduce the size.

    To guide the carriage I am going to use some 2.5mm ground rod on 1 side and the linear screw on the other. The linear screw will be supported by a small pin at one end and teh servo output shaft at the other.

    To stop aspheric carriage at it's limits I am going to use the 2 surface mount switches seen in the picture below mounted at each end of the carriages travel. A better way would be a micro-controller with programmed limits but that type of programming is a bit beyond my electronic expertise at the moment. If I was use a PLC that would be easy as I program them every day, but hey, something new to learn.


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    Stellar machine work and now electronics wizard, I 'spose we"ll find out you're a brain surgeon or rocket scientist next!

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    Given our three day weekend and the fact it is far too wet to be riding, am I right in thinking we'll be seeing a working light sometime tonight?

    How's the man flu coming along?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Given our three day weekend and the fact it is far too wet to be riding, am I right in thinking we'll be seeing a working light sometime tonight?

    How's the man flu coming along?
    You'd think so wouldn't you but all I got done were to drill and tap 2 x M2.5 holes to hold the led in place in the manual focus housing and do some research on building a constant current driver with built in rf receiver.

    Hopefully the rest of the week will be more productive since the man flu is nearly gone.

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    Really enjoying this thread. A perfect balance of machining and electronics.

    Looking forward to seeing the PCB layouts for surface mount!
    Jeff
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    Quote Originally Posted by minisystem View Post
    Really enjoying this thread. A perfect balance of machining and electronics.

    Looking forward to seeing the PCB layouts for surface mount!
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am getting a bit bogged down with work projects so I need to allocate some time to do more on this one. Need more hours in the day

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    Got some more done on the manual focus aspheric tonight.

    For the power cable entry I ended up milling a 10mm hole in the fins then drilled a 7mm hole in the housing. I then machined a 10mm bush stepped down to 7.1mm and pressed into the housing. The bush is threaded with an M8x1.0 to suit an M8 cable gland.

    The anti rotation cap screw is M3 with the head machined to 5mm to suit the 5mm slot in the light body that hold the aspheric lens. The action is nice and smooth and I just need to cut an o-ring groove to keep the moisture out.

    Here's a few snaps

    Milled hole to take the threaded bush, bush pressed in place and M8 cable gland fitted to the housing



    Anti rotation cap screw mounted in the fixed led housing and the assembled light showing the anti rotation / focus limits slot.


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    Looks quite nice so far.

    Could you have cut the bore in the fins just larger than the corner to corner dimension of the gland and then tapped the M8 in the housing to to fit the gland body? Looks like that would leave just the nut of the gland proud of the back surface?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Looks quite nice so far.

    Could you have cut the bore in the fins just larger than the corner to corner dimension of the gland and then tapped the M8 in the housing to to fit the gland body? Looks like that would leave just the nut of the gland proud of the back surface?
    Good point Vanc. I can do it but was worried about loosing more of the heat sink fins with the 13mm hole but looking at in in the light of day I think it would look much better. The gland stands out like dogs balls like it is.

    I will have to drill out the bush as there is no way it is going to come out easily. What i might do is make a bush and tap it to fit the nut on the gland. That way the diameter will be smaller and it can still be anodized the same colour as the housing. Just need to see if I have a tap with the correct thread pitch or i'll have to cut a thread with the lathe. I'll post a pic when done

  69. #69
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    I kind of like the way it looks with the bushing pressed in because it reminds me of my 044 stihl chain saw engine. Looks just like the top of the cylinder head with the spark plus sticking out.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    What i might do is make a bush and tap it to fit the nut on the gland. That way the diameter will be smaller and it can still be anodized the same colour as the housing. Just need to see if I have a tap with the correct thread pitch or i'll have to cut a thread with the lathe. I'll post a pic when done
    Maybe just turn the flats off the gland body and the threads to the 7.1mm press fit size and there you have the bush. Or leave the threads, tap the housing and screw together with red loctite.

  71. #71
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    Looking good Brad

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    Bought a new camera so I though I would take a few shots of the assembled light.



    Last edited by brad72; 06-17-2012 at 05:09 AM. Reason: added another picture

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    Here's how the led is held in place. Easier that thermal epoxy. The hole at the top is for the wires


  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Here's how the led is held in place. Easier that thermal epoxy. The hole at the top is for the wires

    Id be tempted to turn a thread on the outside of the led part, and with an o'ring groove either side of the thread..
    Then thread the inside of the part that that holds the aspheric..
    Job done

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Bought a new camera so I though I would take a few shots of the assembled light.



    Dude! That looks awesome - very nice machining work too

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    This light engine looks like an engine, totally cool. All it needs is some orange plastic shrouding and a stihl logo. Nice.

  77. #77
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    been a while between drinks Brad, how's it going?

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    been a while between drinks Brad, how's it going?
    Having the flu for a couple of weeks has meant lots of projects to catch up at work but the smoke is clearing so hopefully I will get back onto this light soon

    I have received most of the surface mount stuff so i need to design and fabricate a small pcb to fit them on.

    I am also tossing up integrating a 3 amp driver into the equation using an A6201 driver and possibly the ATtiny85 or the PIC12F615 to send the PWM signal for dimming. Since I have non existent programming experience of these controllers I will go for the easiest which I think will be the ATtiny using AVR software. I have a pickit2 and AVR STK500 programmer so working with either chip will be possible. Nothing like learning new things I guess. Might need to get some books though to teach me C programming. In reality though if I can get a PWM signal out of them to start with and possible 2 or 3 preset dimming levels I will be happy. How hard can it be

    Anyway, back to the bat cave, ie, very cold shed.

  79. #79
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    very cold shed my hairy butt! When you have to press your fingers against a spinning drill chuck to prevent frostbite then we'll talk about cold

    I don't know abotu the ATiny85, but there are several people over on BLF (Tido, DrJones, JonnyC) that program the ATiny13 chips on Nanjg drivers and there is a bunch of opensource driver code available. I'm not sure if that'll help, but I'm sure they'll be able to give you some pointers.

  80. #80
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    I also program the Tiny85 and Tiny84 and can help out. It is not difficult, but it takes a little bit of time to get the AVR development setup ready - after that you can tweak an existing firmware file to suit your needs.

    The AVR software from Atmel is free (but get the older version 4.18 - the newer stuff 5.x) is too buggy!. Then you need a development platform to test the code, make LED's blink, etc., to know the software is working properly, and then finally you need a target/production board to download your executable - a board small enough for your application.

    As Matt points above, you could re-program the cheap 7135-based drivers from Asia - plus the BLF guys have good threads on how to do just that. I would recommend against trying those cheap boards first. Instead, I recommend that you first get your feet wet on a standard, reliable platform from Atmel, like the "ATSTK500" starter kit:
    ATSTK500 Atmel | ATSTK500-ND | DigiKey

    Will

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    Matt and Will, thanks for the advice

    I already have the ATSK500 programmer and Amtel studio 6 so i think it is time to load some code into my attiny85 that I have. It's nice that the starter it board has built in switches and led's so at least I can see what is going on.

    Now I just need a new clock with a few more hours on it so I can get some of this stuff done.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Matt and Will, thanks for the advice

    I already have the ATSK500 programmer and Amtel studio 6 so i think it is time to load some code into my attiny85 that I have. It's nice that the starter it board has built in switches and led's so at least I can see what is going on.

    Now I just need a new clock with a few more hours on it so I can get some of this stuff done.
    Excellent - the 500 kit is excellent.

    Feel free to send me email privately if you have specific questions on the Tiny85. Right now I am writing code for a custom board/project for a customer in California, and I am using a Tiny85 to offer various features/modes and to control 3x 7135 linear regulators, all in a custom PWB I designed for this project.

    But yeah, the challenge is to get more hours in each day - there are never enough

    Will

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    Well I managed to to get round 2 of the flu so have spent a few days in bed but did manage to get the STK500 up and running with an attiny85. I have started to learn C and can at least get leds to blink, cycle etc but is certainly going to be a steep learning curve. C seems a little easier than assembly code so I will stick with C

    In my hunting I also found a servo library and code so I might try to implement that to send PWM signals to the focus servo instead of using the h-bridge controller. The advantage of controlling the servo with the code is I can set the end points in degrees of the servo horn but this is only useful if I don't use the linear screw.

    This build is proving to be quite an eye opener in terms of learning new things but should be finished in 1 month -5 years

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Well I managed to to get round 2 of the flu so have spent a few days in bed but did manage to get the STK500 up and running with an attiny85. I have started to learn C and can at least get leds to blink, cycle etc but is certainly going to be a steep learning curve. C seems a little easier than assembly code so I will stick with C

    In my hunting I also found a servo library and code so I might try to implement that to send PWM signals to the focus servo instead of using the h-bridge controller. The advantage of controlling the servo with the code is I can set the end points in degrees of the servo horn but this is only useful if I don't use the linear screw.

    This build is proving to be quite an eye opener in terms of learning new things but should be finished in 1 month -5 years
    Yup, I only write in C for the Atmel stuff. And once you know which files to use in your "include" statements, you will have even more versatility in coding. On my project I am using the Tiny85's internal temperature sensor to adjust the output, the A/D to first detect that size battery I have, then monitor battery voltage based on the detected cell. I am also using one PWM output to control the 7135 chips, and 3x I/O pins to select modes and output levels. You will also be having lots of fun doing this and a lot more

    Will
    Last edited by wquiles; 07-08-2012 at 07:27 PM.

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    I'll retreat to status of observer on this thread until you guys start speaking English again.

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    same here. Quote from Marlin to Squirt in Finding Nemo:

    Crush: Okay. Squirt here will now give you a rundown of proper exiting technique.
    Squirt: Good afternoon. We're gonna have a great jump today. Okay, first crank a hard cutback as you hit the wall. There's a screaming bottom curve, so watch out. Remember: rip it, roll it, and punch it.
    Marlin: It's like he's trying to speak to me, I know it.
    [to Squirt]
    Marlin: Look, you're really cute, but I can't understand what you're saying. Say the first thing again.

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    Matt and Emu, it's quite simple, like this tutorial on how to draw an owl..

    1, draw some circles
    2, draw the rest of the owl.


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    that's the one!

    Any update on the wireless remotes that you're working on? I'm idly daydreaming about a new helmet light and using a wireless remote would a) be sweet as, b) make all my friends jealous and c) mean one less hole to find space for.

  89. #89
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    The wireless remote is up and running fine but I haven't implemented it into an existing helmet light yet. Also, I need to purchase some of the cheaper Tx and Rx units form the states as the aussie ones are about $40 dollars.

    The manual focus aspheric just needs an o'ring groove cutting in the led body and some anodizing and it will be finished. I'll show the complete light with remote then. This bloody flu has slowed me down.

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    sweet, I'm looking forward to it. If you need a US address to ship stuff to and forward on, let me know. I'd also be interested in a tx/rx set of my own if it's not to challenging to integrate them into a light.

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    Matt and Emu, it's quite simple, like this tutorial on how to draw an
    owl

    1, draw some circles
    2, draw the rest of the owl.
    I had to skip step 2 and go right to beer drinking. The owl looks great after a few.

    Cool post, been away for a while
    Can't wait to see a movie of this thing in action with the remote control

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    Well I spent some today designing an interface PCB in Eagle that will piggyback onto the RF receiver that I purchased for RS components. The board size is 65mm x 14mm.

    Essentially the PCB is soldered to the Rx board and then they connect to the battery and use an onboard 5v boost driver (attaches to JP2) to ensure that the circuits receive a continuous 5v regardless of the draining battery voltage. There is a h-bridge ic (LB1930M) to control the fwd and rev directions of the servo plus a stat led to indicate button presses and an npn transistor to operate the led driver switch.

    Here is a picture of what I came up with. Looks a bit scrappy but with practice things should start to look better. I don't have a silkscreen layer or anything fancy like that but need to work out how to do it mind you. I just need to buy some glossy photo paper so I can etch a board tomorrow and give it a whirl.

    Last edited by brad72; 07-13-2012 at 06:08 AM.

  93. #93
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    damn that looks fancy, even more so because I barely understood a word of what you wrote

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Dude! Looks very nice!

    I use Eagle for my boards. What are you using for yours?


    Will

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    Brad...I read all that but none of it actually went in..because I keep looking at your new Avatar..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldigger View Post
    Brad...I read all that but none of it actually went in..because I keep looking at your new Avatar..
    First thing I noticed as well, what's wrong with me? Don't know if I'm sad that your bike stand has gone or happy that you've upgraded to a model strong enough to hold the bike with rider on it.

    I'm lost with that last post too but I did understand the owl one, my kids have that "How to draw" book as well.

  97. #97
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    GD, do you have to swipe your credit card before or after you use your bike rest?

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    why do women in skimpy shorts and high heels always seem to be checking out their ankles? Makes no sense.

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    I know our bike stands are far more pleasing the eye but back to the build (your stand is rather distracting though Jay as I keep scrolling down for another look)

    Will, I am using the Adafruit Eagle library that I downloaded and so far things have been pretty good, fingers crossed.

    I made the pcb today to replace the circuit that was on the breadboard back in post #43. Size wise it is 14mm x 65mm so it matches the size of the RF receiver board. I have only soldered on the DC-DC boost driver and the h-bridge ic as I am still waiting for some other surface mount components to arrive.

    Here are some pic's of how it was made.

    1. The circuit layout is laser printed onto to some glossy photo paper and some copper clad circuit board is cut the desired size



    2. The photo paper is then placed image side down onto the board and then ironed for a minute then allowed to cool. Then it is put into some water so the paper will soften and can be removed. What is left is a board ready to be etched as seen below.



    3. Once the copper has been etched off all that is left to do is remove the toner with some acetone leaving a board ready to be drilled and be populated. On the image below the antenna for the receiver is the track that goes around the outside of the board so about 140mm long which should be heaps for a good strong signal. The ic chip in the middle is the h-bridge motor drive and on the right is the dc-dc boost 5v regulated supply.

    Last edited by brad72; 07-15-2012 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    why do women in skimpy shorts and high heels always seem to be checking out their ankles? Makes no sense.
    I reckon they're trying to work out where the draft is coming from, I know I would be
    Last edited by brad72; 07-15-2012 at 11:00 PM.

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    The easy part is done (tongue in cheek) but now I have to work out how to fit this lot into a housing and get it all to work well.




    I have a few ideas floating around but it might be easier to put a lump of alloy in the mill and just start making chips.

    One thing that made me very happy was there was no magic smoke when I applied power to it all and the servo runs smoothly with lots of torque but I need a minimum of 3.3v input for everything to run properly.

    Here is another image showing the 2 boards together soldered together

    Last edited by brad72; 07-17-2012 at 04:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Here is another image showing the 2 boards together soldered together

    Project looking great


    I also use the Adafruit library. Another one that has a lot of good parts is the Sparkfun library:
    https://github.com/sparkfun/SparkFun-Eagle-Library

    Will

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    that's a damn sweet piece of work already Brad. Is the board on the bottom the receiver? Are there any smaller ones than that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    that's a damn sweet piece of work already Brad. Is the board on the bottom the receiver? Are there any smaller ones than that?
    Matt, yep, the RF receiver is on the bottom of the board I made. The receiver (Hirk-433A) is 63 x 15mm but I haven't been able to find any smaller. You can get smaller boards that look after the radio part of things but you still need a decoder chip to deal with the signals and give an output. To that end I am going to see if I can make something up and use a small programmed micro contoller to handle the output.

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    Hell Brad it a complex project you have there .
    all them chips n things way over my head but enjoying watching it progress .

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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb View Post
    Hell Brad it a complex project you have there .
    all them chips n things way over my head but enjoying watching it progress .
    It has turned into a bit of a challenge but I heave learnt a bunch of stuff so not all bad.

    I reckon it might nearly be easier to train a troupe of circus cockroaches to do the remote stuff via voice commands. The could sit in a little heat and wind proof enclosure so cook or get blown away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    that's a damn sweet piece of work already Brad. Is the board on the bottom the receiver? Are there any smaller ones than that?
    Hey Matt check out these as the do look smaller 4Ch RF Remote Control System featuring KeeLoq Code Hopping

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    What can I say Brad.

    Love the machining part, you're etching your own PCBs, and making lights with wireless control incorporating uC.
    Just awesome.

    Hope you manage to finish the wireless part really soon and start selling it as a kit with preprogamed uC

    I'll have to start thinking about early retirement to find enough time to catch up with you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toaster79 View Post
    What can I say Brad.

    Love the machining part, you're etching your own PCBs, and making lights with wireless control incorporating uC.
    Just awesome.

    Hope you manage to finish the wireless part really soon and start selling it as a kit with preprogamed uC

    I'll have to start thinking about early retirement to find enough time to catch up with you
    Thanks for the compliment Mate. It is certainly satisfying seeing it come together after many many many hours on Google learning how to do new stuff, whilst annoying my wife with my laptop on my lap night after night.

    It proves that men can multi task better than women though if we can be on our laptop designing stuff, watch tele, yell at the bickering kids and dote on our wives all at the same time

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    Nice to see so many updates. Well done on etching your own PCBs. I had a heck of a time a few years ago using the toner transfer method to etch a small PCB. Maybe my printer sucked. Or my iron. Or my copper clad board. Who knows. After 3 attempts, lots of cursing and blowing close to $40 on supplies I finally got it to work, but have sworn off DIY etching for good!

    I've had good luck so far using Seeed Studio's PCB service for cheap boards. Anything smaller than 5 cm x 5 cm works out to about $15 USD for 10 boards with shipping and takes 2-3 weeks. 5 x 10 cm bumps it up to $25 with shipping. My tendency to make things go up in smoke makes having spares quite handy. Seeed's Fusion PCB Service

    I also recently learned AVR programming from scratch and didn't find it that bad, for the reasons you already mention: there's a ton of tutorials and example code out there. Getting PWM up and running on the Attiny85 wasn't too bad, but it did take a bit of a slog through the reference manual.

    Looking forward to seeing a video of the servo in action once it's all together.
    Jeff
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    Quote Originally Posted by minisystem;950942}

    I've had good luck so far using Seeed Studio's PCB service for cheap board.
    Thanks for the feedback and the link to the board maker. I cannot tell you my joy when the 1st board I made turned out really well, although I made a mark 2 as the solder pads were too small to drill, (One of the problems when prototyping is everything looks so big on the computer screen) and I forgot to add a capacitor to the circuit (distracted by the Tour De France) .

    As fun as a prototype board was I wouldn't want to try and make any volume, especially when all testing can be done on the breadboard, and $15 is bugger all and they come back pretty and green.

    The AVR's are a lot of fun (and frustrating) to learn, and after seeing the leds flashing on the STK500 test board my 2 girls have asked me to make some lights for the 7 rooms in their doll house, controlled with some tactile switches and a programmed attiny2313 on a nice little home made pcb keeping everything nice and small.

    My next road light is also in the pipeline using 3 aspherics, the attiny85 to control a fancy new feature but I mustn't get distracted till this build is finished.

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    Nice work mate, well done

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    thanks for the link Brad, I can see that I'll have to do a ton more reading before starting this project! Still, the possibility of controlling both bar and helmet lights off one remote is pretty damn sweet.

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    Not too much more progress as I have been working on some other lights but I did do some anodizing this weekend so added a splash of Caswell Blue 4A to the manual focus housing. Didn't come out too bad, although I would liked a more vibrant blue (photo makes it look a bit brighter as I upped the exposure to get better detail in the dark area's), but oh well.




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    Had a play around in CAD last night and have nutted out a design that can fit everything in so now to get a lump of alloy and make some chips.

    Weight wise it should be around 140g with a size of 75x50x38mm.

    Here's some renders of what I have come up with. The pictures do not have the circuit boards added which sit in front of the servo as you would not see inside otherwise.






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    You're too much brad! The manual focus light looks great and the CAD of the power focus light is too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    You're too much brad! The manual focus light looks great and the CAD of the power focus light is too!
    Thanks Vanc.

    To be honest mate I'll be glad when this one is finished. She has certainly consumed a lot of brain power. Just hope it works after all this effort.

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    that Cad design looks seriously seriously cool and a very neat way to house everything at the same time as providing a good heat path.

    I have to say though that, given the ridiculously high bar set by you and others on here, when I saw the manual focus light above, I just thought "hmm, that's nice". Crazy huh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    that Cad design looks seriously seriously cool and a very neat way to house everything at the same time as providing a good heat path.

    I have to say though that, given the ridiculously high bar set by you and others on here, when I saw the manual focus light above, I just thought "hmm, that's nice". Crazy huh?
    Thanks Matt. I admit holding the little blue focusable housing I feel the same way. No real feeling of Wow. It's nice, works well but that's about it.

    I think to be completely honest we are just making a rod for our own backs as we have to be increasingly more innovative and fancy just to be better than the last build. Might need to go back to a hacksaw a files and ditch the lathe and mill joking of course.

    Might need to start cloning the bike stands. Never get sick at looking at those
    Last edited by brad72; 07-26-2012 at 10:31 PM.

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    well, as long as it does what you want it to do, who cares? I still have a 1in.sq. project on the books (admittedly, because I don't have the lathe tooling I need, but still) and I'm sure I'll be perfectly happy with it when it's done.

    One bike stand is enough for me - the salesman in the shop never tells you how much time and money they need in order to be kept in as-new condition

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    er, yes, anyway, whilst avoiding doing real work, I stumbled upon a Wixel;

    Pololu - Wixel Programmable USB Wireless Module (Fully Assembled)

    which seems like a dead easy, great for electronics idiots like myself and a potential wireless remote option with this "app" (gah, how I hate that "word"):

    Pololu - 9.d. I/O Repeater App

    Kinda pricey, but since when has using money failed to compensate for lack of intelligence or effort

    Potential problem might be involve the output voltage of the output pin(s). It's 3.3V and a few mA, but I don't know if that would count as a button press to the *flex controller. How does the switch circuit on the *flex drivers work for that matter? Simple connection to ground via a momentary switch or is it a positive voltage signal? I'm sure there's a big flaw in here somewhere but I don't know enough to see it

    Other than that, these could be really cool. I'd power each end with a lithium coin battery of some description to save worrying about DC>DC converters and it would even be possible to make a single transmitter that controls multiple lights/ disco vests/ bike mounted coffee bean grinders.

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    Looks interesting Matt, nice find.

    Will have a bit of time to read up on it since I will be on the couch for a few days as I went over the bars today landing heavily on my side and have either bruised of fractured a few of my ribs. Either way they hurt like hell. Just glad it wasn't on the rock garden 5 minutes before or more than my ribs would have hurting.

    Maybe your seat warmer as a warm compress on my ribs would be nice Jay.
    Last edited by brad72; 08-02-2012 at 03:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Will have a bit of time to read up on it since I will be on the couch for a few days as I went over the bars today landing heavily on my side and have either bruised of fractured a few of my ribs. Either way they hurt like hell. Just glad it wasn't on the rock garden 5 minutes before or more than my ribs would have hurting.
    Ouch - sorry to hear about the bad fall man. I hope you will recover soon

    Will

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    that sucks Brad, hope you feel better too. Just order some 7-up and you'll feel might fine in no time! I went through a spell of crashing every ride, which hurts like buggery around here given all the rocks. Quickly got bored with that.

    I think I'll email George to get the skinny on the switch thing to see if these might work. Let us know if the Wixels are capable of doing the more fancy stuff you're interested in.

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    Sorry to hear about the ribs Brad.
    I had had broken ribs many years ago(nothing to to with cycling).

    Don't laugh, cough, or breath and you'll be OK.

    Get better soon.

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    Thanks guys. Never realised just how much the ribs can hurt when the get a bashing. Funny that it hurts even lifting a litre of milk. Fingers crossed they heal up quick.

    On the plus side it has got me out of jobs for the weekend but hopefully I can still turn the handles on the mill

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    Getting a little frustrated now as the plan was to have the housing machined this weekend but the rib fractures are proving to be too painful. Itching to get this light finished

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    take more pain killers or, in the words of some famous Australian, "man the F*** up"?! Pain is just another mountain to climb/ frontier to conquer/ "insert No Fear T-shirt slogan here".

    I think you should just lie in bed with a kettle, big bottle of water, box of tea bags, a good book and just drink tea and read all day. It's not like us men get many opportunities to lie around doing nothing, might as well make the most of it.

    Waiting to hear back from Pololu peeps about using the Wixel as a remote switch. According to George the Taskled switch circuit works by shorting SWA to ground (SWB), so I'm trying to find out if and how that can be done with a Wixel. They work down to 2V Vin, so a lithium coin battery should run one for just about forever. I wonder if it'd be worth adding a tiny on-off switch though?

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    Hope they heal quickly Brad, I separated rib cartlidge years ago playing rugby and that was bad enough.

    Just remember though that "What hurts us educates us", time for a lesson my boy, a bag of this is on its way


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    wow, that must have cost a fortune in postage!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    wow, that must have cost a fortune in postage!
    nuh mate, us aussies are tough, I'm just going to throw it on my back and run it up the coast for him.

    Actually given the current state of Brad I don't think I can say we are all that tough, but isn't he part pom?

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    ha ha ha, you so funny! (aren't you all part pom, technically?) Besides, I thought you still used pigeons for mail down there?

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    Your right Emu, I am a pom so probably explains why I am such a nancy. I haven't even got even got my Aussie citizen yet (only been here 32 years)

    In the words of Chopper Reid, harden the f#%k up. My wife just thinks it's hillarious watching me trying to get out of bed or get dressed

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    My wife just thinks it's hillarious watching me trying to get out of bed or get dressed
    the funny thing is, you try doing the same to her when she's having any kind of ache or pain and you'll be sleeping on the sofa for a week

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Your right Emu, I am a pom so probably explains why I am such a nancy. I haven't even got even got my Aussie citizen yet (only been here 32 years)

    In the words of Chopper Reid, harden the f#%k up. My wife just thinks it's hillarious watching me trying to get out of bed or get dressed
    Oih Poms is tough look at Yorkshire if it was a country same gold medal count as OZ
    so come on Brad the FU

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    Quote Originally Posted by troutie-mtb View Post
    Oih Poms is tough look at Yorkshire if it was a country same gold medal count as OZ
    so come on Brad the FU

    Good call Chris, the poms have had a great olympics and flogged the aussies. The mtb cross country circuit was pretty full on.

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    Hope your ribs are on the mend brad and not the barby..:

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    Earth calling Brad, earth calling Brad where are you mate?

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    Emu26, I was thinking of Brad also when you posted up. Hope everything is OK.



    ******

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    Hey guys. Yep all is good, just been busy lately and have had no time to tinker. Managed to break my little toe mind you but it healed really quick, ribs are still causing problems, stupid ribs.

    In the process of shifting sheds to make way for a deck and Gazebo by the pool but should be good once finished, just never realized how much crap one can accumulate in the shed.

    Need to get back into the build now the days are longer

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    Good to hear Brad.

    Your first post mentions focusable from 12mm to 5.5mm giving a flood to a projected die. Which is the flood and which is the die? What distance, from top of star to closest side of aspheric, would you recommend for a helmet light on typical Aussie trails? I have 4 of these little fellas on the way , plus 5 of those led-dna optics here already and am kind of getting excited about actually using my mill to make something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Good to hear Brad.

    Your first post mentions focusable from 12mm to 5.5mm giving a flood to a projected die. Which is the flood and which is the die? What distance, from top of star to closest side of aspheric, would you recommend for a helmet light on typical Aussie trails? I have 4 of these little fellas on the way , plus 5 of those led-dna optics here already and am kind of getting excited about actually using my mill to make something.
    Mate, I measure from the top of the led heatsink board to the underside of the aspheric. 5mm gives a wide beam and 12mm gives a nice spot with the led die out of focus so you can't see all the led elements in the projection, if that makes sense.

    I quite like the 12mm focal length as it is tight but with some spill. Perhaps you would like a lend a of the manual focus aspheric to play with on the trails so you can choose for yourself. PM me if you are interested. It is set up with a 10mm XML board.

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    Thanks for the info Brad, appreciated.
    Thanks also for the offer but I will politely decline. I haven't been on the bike for about 4 months, busy renovating the house, and probably won't get the chance be out at night till the other side of Christmas. I'm thinking 12mm will be perfect as it will be a dual led and the other will have the LED DNA on it which also looks to give reasonable throw and a nice pattern.

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    I dug out all the bit this morning tidying the office out so I think my new years resolution is to get this build finished, since I have spent enough hours getting all the bits ready. Now just for some motivation.

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    Awesome man - it will be great to see the final result of all of your hard work

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    Finally bit the bullet and started making some chips. The billet of alloy was 50mm square so I faced it off in the lathe then milled it down give a rectangle of 40x50mm.

    I ended up using the mill and a rotary table to cut the led and lens pocket, plus the 1mm grooves in the housing front to make it look pretty. could have used the lathe but in the rotary table I could do more differnet elements without having to set the workpiece up each time.

    Here's a few pics of thisafternoons progress

    All set up in the mill

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-dsc05439a.jpg

    30mm deep Led pocket

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-dsc05440t.jpg

    Halo led light around the spindle (temporary mount cause I was feeling lazy)

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-dsc05441b.jpg

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    I really like that light on your milling machine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wquiles View Post
    I really like that light on your milling machine!
    It's the light off a vision system that I no longe use. What I am planning do is make the light mount so the halo light can be lowered and raised to eliminate the small shadow around the tool tip created be the collet holder, but still enable the collet chuck to be used.

    Other than the small shadow the light is great and doesn't get in the way which is fantastic.

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    I totally get the part about the shadow. You can always have a goose-arm, magnetic LED light like the ones I use in my own milling machine - you can then orient/move to complement the fixed one on the spindle:

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    Those would do the trick nicely, thanks for that

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    Made a bit more progress thisafternoon milling the 20mm Radius curve on the side of the housing.

    I used the radius function in the DRO which is someting I haven't used yet with this mill. I used a 2 flute 8mm diameter ball nose end mill and ended up taking about 90 passes to remove the material at 0.5mm steps on the Z axis.

    There are still little ridges where the tool didn't cut but I don't mind the look. Had I used a 6mm tool and moved less than 0.5mm steps it would have been smoother but then the number of passes would have been around 200 and my arm was tired enough after 80.

    Bring on the CNC conversion.

    Here's a few pics of the progress

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-dsc05484r.jpg

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-dsc05489g.jpg

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    Nothing a couple of hours and some wet and dry paper won't fix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad72 View Post
    Bring on the CNC conversion.
    That would be awesome to have!

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    That radius calculator is a very nice feature Brad. Good job on what is quite a complicated housing to machine manually. I find figuring out how I can actually manually machine something to be the largest part of the challenge in designing my lights, which is why I tend to do most of the work on the lathe... It's easier.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

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    Could you not have mounted your rotary table vertically and used that to do milling?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Could you not have mounted your rotary table vertically and used that to do milling?
    Emu I could have done that and just rotated the table 180 but really I wanted to try the radius feature and I actually think it was a little faster because I was able to cut longer lengths before changing the tool path. If I had more patience I could have taken 0.05mm steps, around 1000 passes and had a really smooth radius but I would have been sitting in the shed for quite a few more hours, and a very tired arm

    Blair you are right about the manual machining and making sure it can actually be manually machined. I look at some housing and drool at the machining but if ever get around to the cnc conversion with a 4th axis then really anything should be possible. Maybe I should cnc the lathe 1st since there are only 2 axis's.

  158. #158
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    damn Emu, where do you find those avatar pictures? Tightclothesloversanonymous.com? I was going to say something warm and encouraging about Brad's efforts, but I've completely forgotten what I was going to say!

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    damn Emu, where do you find those avatar pictures? Tightclothesloversanonymous.com? I was going to say something warm and encouraging about Brad's efforts, but I've completely forgotten what I was going to say!
    Something about a nice curve?
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by emu26 View Post
    Inspired by the OC Matt but I must say I need to find a new search engine 'cause it's getting harder and harder to up the anti every time. I think next time I only have one way of improving, two latex butts at a time
    It's photo shoots like that where being the photographers assistant would be a pretty good job. "Assistant, get in there and buff the finger prints from those latex clad bottoms, they will ruin the perfect reflection, oh and make sure the zippers are done up properly whilst you are there"

  161. #161
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    wow, just wow. I need to have a sit down for a while before I can think again.

  162. #162
    A waste of time it is is
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    not in the garage in case you grab the super glue by mistake

  163. #163
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    that reminds me of a scene in a Swedish film called Together

    Tillsammans (2000) - IMDb

    where the dad pretends to be "working" in the workshop by banging a hammer on the bench as he looks at pictures of disturbingly hairy Swedish women. Such a classic film - on a par with Little Miss Sunshine, if you've ever watched that (if you haven't, you should).

  164. #164
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    Bit of a grave dig brad but what ever happened to this light? Things seemed to get side tracked with those pics, sorry.

  165. #165
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    I was only thinking the same myself the other day. I still haven't finished my shed expansion to make room for my knife making gear, so have no shed to work in at the moment. I really need to spend some time on it get it finished then back to the light. Council is being a pain with the new slab.

  166. #166
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    Had a bit more of a play and am toying the control of the lights function, focus and brightness to be via a wifi module and a smart phone. I always have my iPhone with me to track my course via gps or ring my wife if I break my ribs again so why not control the light also. (need to add an accelerometer to detect a heavy fall to auto send a text to my wife if I come a good cropper again)

    I am waiting on an RN-VX wifi module to arrive for testing with an arduino since they are easy to work with and have installed the Ardumote app on my iphone as a simple interface to get started.

    I am also changing the way the servo drives the lens back and forth to make it more accurate, but also to get feedback from the servo to negate the use of the limit switches at each end of the travel since they are a pain to mount and wire being SMT switches. This way I can also set a home position at the lights startup eg, full flood, or the last state before power off.

    Add to that I have some components arriving to make a 3A led driver to be integrated with the wifi and focus control. Should be a fun little project but the C code is looking a bit daunting but where would the fun be it were easy.

    For simplicity I also received today a smaller 433MHz FM keyfob transmitter and receiver to remote control my current head lamp. The Rx is alot smaller at 38 x 18mm. Both are again from RF solutions, the Rx being an RRFQ1 and the Tx an 120T2-433F

    Now to find some extra hours in the day
    Last edited by brad72; 11-27-2013 at 05:41 AM.

  167. #167
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    Managed to find some time and made some progress on the light. These parts were all made with my 3D printer and I must say the results are very pleasing and there would be no way I could of feasibly made the parts manually on the mill. All the parts still need an Acetone vapour bath to give them some gloss but I will do that another day. As for the part colour I only have white filament at the moment but will get some other colours down the track

    Any way, these first 2 pictures show the aspheric lens cradle with screw drive, fitted with spring steel retainer to ensure the screw keeps engaged and the support rod.

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-xjet.jpg

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-0v53.jpg

    These show the side cover of the light with the receiver board and control for the for the servo and light operation clipped onto it. The clip is nice and tight and will save the need for any glue

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-5ynp.jpg

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-gpp1.jpg

    Lastly we have the 1S2P 3.6v 6000mA battery pack. These were printed at a slightly lower resolution to ensure they worked ok but so far everything fits in so I am happy. I will make a removable seatpost retainer that will attach to the back of the pack just to keep it more stable but these will be mounted to the back of my helmet so no problems there

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-fb7e.jpg

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-xde3.jpg

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-av82.jpg
    Last edited by brad72; 12-28-2013 at 01:57 AM.

  168. #168
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    That looks fantastic Brad
    we do need a video of the printer doing its stuff next time you fire it up please

  169. #169
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    Printing your own parts? What ever next? It's amazing how things have moved on in only a few years.

    I think that I could do with a 3D printer and the skill to program the thing right now. Could it print reflectors? I know they will have to be plated but if it's possible that would be great.

  170. #170
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    Yetibetty, my 3D printer came as a bonus with Autodesk Inveter and sat in the box for a couple of months as I had intended to sell it and then though stuff it, lets see what I can make. I must say I am hooked and the quality of the parts is great. Made some handle bar mounts last night, letting the job run when I went to bed.

    I can't see why you couldn't print reflectors. The finished print is not perfectly smooth but exposing the part into acetone vapors (heated jar with acetone liquid in the bottom) renders the part nice and glossy as the vapors melt some of the ABS plastic. Not sure what coating could be used but worth some research. You can also sand the part prior to the acetone treatment to get an even better finish

    As for programming you design your parts in a cad program, export as an .STL file, upload to the printer and press go. It's that easy. Th only part you need to take ito account is the orientation of the part to get the maximum strength

  171. #171
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    Not only is the 3D printer great but it was free. I'm going to buy some new socks tomorrow, I wonder if they will throw one of those in as it's the Christmas sales.

    Some of the best reflectors have a textured finish so I should think it would work. I'm still messing about with mince pie foil to try and make a prototype reflector to go with the aspheric lens I made. I only want a 35 mm one but without a hole in it as the LED will be firing into it from the front.

  172. #172
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    Free is a bit loose as i spent a lot of money on the Cad package. It did sway my decision though

  173. #173
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    Printed this little servo cradle this afternoon taking 9 minutes to print. The 7.5g servo will drive the linear screw to move the aspheric back and forth. The cradle will be secured to the light via two M2 countersunk caps screws

    The servo is a snap fit so easy to remove if ever it needs replacing

    Except for the helmet mount and bar mount for the transmitter all the internal light parts are now made so I just need to finish machining the body and start installing and testing stuff.

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-88ks.jpg

    Single XML focusable Aspheric light with wireless bar switch-fe9j.jpg
    Last edited by brad72; 12-29-2013 at 03:04 AM.

  174. #174
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    sweet, great to see that you're still making progress on this. Always love reading about people using 3D printers too.

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