Trustfire light build-first attempt- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trustfire light build-first attempt

    I do a fare amount of Adventure Racing which requires a lot of movement at night either biking, paddling a canoe or running through the wild woods. Therefore the need for a good light weight lighting system was a necessity. After paying 100 dollars for a nightrider setup and being disappointed with the amount of lumens, battery life and weight I began to search for another way. I stumbled onto this site and a few others like Kanyon Kris that detailed several fine examples of diy lights. I was addicted and so began the creation that you see. Definitley not the best or worst out there but for the 120 dollars(3 trust fires,10batteries, charger,jb weld, box, solder and plastic box) invested I definitely blew away the nightrider setup I had.

    Lights-2 trustfire lights(230 lumens apiece...who knows what they really are?). They are hooked in parallel
    driver-whatever the flashlights had in them to begin with. Supposedly they will run 2 hours at full power and then taper off sharply in the next half hour
    batteries-8 trustfire 2500mah, 3.7 bolt batteries in parralel. This should give me the 8+ hours I need to make it to sunrise.

    I used a sacrificial flashlight to make the body of the light along with a pvc cap. The light bodies were hacksawed in half and joined together by a bolt. they mount to an aluminum strip that runs between them. This allows me to swivel the lights left and right. If I want them to angle up or down I have to just bend the aluminum backbone that runs along the profile of the helmet. The battery box just sits in the bottom of my pack. I feel the system is pretty water resistant. as long as I don't fall into water I should be able to handle a substantial down poor.

    The only problem I have now is trying to find a more flexible piece of tubing to house my scavanged cell phone charger cable. The housing I have is a little stiff and when it is cold it doesn't stay real flexible and I can feel it pushing my head forward when I ride. I might go with just some rubber hose from HD.

    All criticisms are welcome. Thanks to all who helped unknowingly with their design ideas and discussions.

    Here are some pic's























    Last edited by gexas; 04-16-2009 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: piesoup's Avatar
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    That light sure looks like it can handle adv racing! What about the hose from a Camel Bak? They stay pretty flexi in the cold.

  3. #3
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    Hey thanks. I hadn't thought about the hose from a camelbak. That is a great idea. I was thinking about some of that rubber surgical tubing but I do have an old camel back hose so I will give that a try.

    Thanks for the idea.

    E

  4. #4
    Spanish biker
    Reputation: msxtr's Avatar
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    Very nice!! but very coarse too

    Greetings - Saludos

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

    Easy DIY led light1
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    The Beast!!!

  5. #5
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    yes I do agree, coarse. all first attempts are coarse I'm sure. I learned a lot through it and will have the next one better than this one. I wish there was an easier way to do the battery box. I'm thinking of making some kind of cylinder that holds the batteries. the most ideal would be to find some kind of lap top battery or power drill battery that could work as well as the trustfire batteries.

    I'm sure it is out there...just have to keep searching and maybe play with different drivers to dial it in. A lot of the lights in this forum I think aren't designed for running at least 8 hrs or more on one charge.

    E

  6. #6
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    The DX lights are cool, and cheap. I like the way you set it all up with the pack, should be functional.

    If you plan on an improved setup, you could do a lower profile setup using the lights straped to the helmet with some velcro (less likely to get caught on stuff), you could cut them down and make the switch and battery external while keeping them sealed and small. You could save some more weight with a light based on one of the other DIY designs here (Easy DIY, the various Amoeba-like designs, dinotte-like designs) or you could get a case and make a light using Deetsa's Altair, or Troutie's tiny MCE based light.

    Here is a battery adapter that I have which works with a Makita battery, which is pretty bulletproof, but it is heavier than the bare cells since it has a case:

    http://theledguy.chainreactionweb.co...98b8d4&x=0&y=0

    You can also get batteries, chargers and connectors (such as a remote switch) at batteryspace.com.

    Some other thoughts about the batteries, you should do a run time test, since these batteries are always over-rated and if they are protected they will shut off when they drop too low. Also, since you are running them in parallel, it is a good idea to check each cell before you use them (and after they have settled a while - not fresh off the charger) to make sure they are very close to the same voltage.

  7. #7
    Lets RIDE!
    Reputation: Jim Z in VT's Avatar
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    The battery box is clever....you can put as many or as few batteries as you want in there depending on your ride time.

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

  8. #8
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    Great ideas on the battery box and possible housing ideas. My next light will have a better and more low profile as this one can catch tree branches, squirrels, etc. My first attempt was just mounting two lights side by side on an aluminum strap that went over the top of the helmet. This worked ok but with the batteries in the lights-didn't have the battery pack at the time, they were heavier than the light is now.

    My friend and I are making a set up Ayup clones that I think should be pretty cool. We'll see how they go.

    Thanks for all the info.

    E

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gexas
    My friend and I are making a set up Ayup clones that I think should be pretty cool. We'll see how they go.
    That sounds cool, I hope you post some pics of it (build pics would be cool too). I have seen a couple threads recently where people were asking about builds similar to the Ay-Up's, but I can't recall seeing one that looked similar yet.

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