WOW! is there a FAQ or something???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    TXAG
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    New question here. WOW! is there a FAQ or something???

    OK, so I have been around the boards for years but never really ventured into this forum. I have done a very few night rides using my little LL Bean camping headlamp zip tied to my helmet. Have been poking around here for a while tonight and am very intrigued and now thinking about building me a light. Sounds like a project I would like.

    Is there a FAQ or something? I am reading lots of terms that I am not familiar with and am feeling a little overwhelmed. Also, obviously in addition to the great feeling of building a light myself I am also donig so to avoid the cost of off the shelf models. What should I expect to spend?

    Some info, I think I would prefer a helmet mount but don't really know the advantages/disadvantages to either. I ride all singletrack that for the most part is nice and forgiving but does have it's fair share of roots, short steep climbs and decents, etc. Light would be used mostly for casual night riding, as well as some adventure racing and possibly some endurance mtb races in the future.

    Thank you guys so much for your help. You don't even have to answer here, just link me to some helpful places and I can do the leg work. Appreciate it!

  2. #2
    MTBiker
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    www.bikeled.org is extremely helpful.
    We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace -Michael Franti

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    As a noob who just completed my first light, I can say most people could do this if they think through their plan before buying/assembling stuff. Definitely read around this forum and sites like bikeled.org. Also, click on people's links in their signatures on this forum (such as troutie and deesta).

    How much it will run will depend on how fancy you want to get and how much your initial plans do or don't work out (and therefore cause you to get extra parts or change directions midstream). I will say aside from the fun of designing and tinkering, my primary motivation was that I've always thought the store-bought lights are too expensive. In order to be set up with a bar light, helmet light, and enough battery to last me for a solo or 2 person 24 hour race, I was looking at spending $500-$1000.

    I got my housing, front cover, and back cover for free, so that helps, but you can get these things pretty cheap if you go the copper pipe or square Al tube route. I'm going to do an actual cost breakdown this weekend, but my estimate is that it ran me $160 for a light, battery pack, and charger. The second light will be more like $130 because I don't need a second charger. The output and run time should compare pretty closely to the Niterider Trinewt at $300. So I will spend around $370 including a second battery for each and the NR would run me $600 for 2 lights, plus I would need a second battery pack for each.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: deesta's Avatar
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    Hey Luke,

    Welcome to the shed You'll find loads of helpful guys on here to give you advice along the way..don't be afraid to ask! I've been on here a while now and alot of it is still gobble-dee-**** to me.

    Warning: once you start you may get the bug. This DIY business is VERY addictive

    Steve

  5. #5
    Bandolero
    Reputation: notaknob's Avatar
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    C F O approval required

    My first light cost about $115. I got the case and info on how to do it from this thread https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-do-yourself/diy-done-cheap-355347.html

    Case $30 (il2mb from DIY Done Cheap
    LEDs: $13 (DealExtreme)
    Buckpuck Driver: $18 (LED Supply)
    Arctic Alumina Adhesive: $12 (LED Supply)
    Switch: $3 (local electronics)
    9.6v NIMH Battery & Charger $38 (all-battery.com)

    My next light ran about $260. Quad Cutter.com LED board and lens, bFlex, Troutie case and a 18.5v Li-Ion. The battery was the most expensive part.


    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  6. #6
    Go faster!
    Reputation: sergio_pt's Avatar
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    notaknob do you have a link from where you got that rectagular case?
    Looks good. Is it aluminium?

  7. #7
    Bandolero
    Reputation: notaknob's Avatar
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    Alu

    Quote Originally Posted by sergio_pt
    notaknob do you have a link from where you got that rectagular case?
    Looks good. Is it aluminium?
    It is aluminum. I got it from il2mb. He was selling a few extras after making his lights and might have one left over.

    One other light that's easy for a beginner DIY is the DIY Dinotte. I've been making them for about $17 each. I normally carry one on my after-work and potential extended weekend rides. P97z put together a pretty good tutorial on building them.

    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  8. #8
    Lets RIDE!
    Reputation: Jim Z in VT's Avatar
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    DIY Dinotte

    Notaknob (great screen name!) beat me to it....you can make one or more DIY Dinottes for next to nothing. There's a giant thread here devoted to them.

    Helmet vs. bars is a personal preference, but a lot of us like to have both. On the bars shows the trail "texture" better, because the lower light position casts longer shadows. On the helmet obviously puts the light where you are looking, but no shadows.

    JZ

    edit: Oh, that's the same link that Notaknob posted.....doh!
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    A faq would be a great help for a lot. For everyone without an electrical background it seems to be a bit difficult. I don't have time to write a FAQ (college, racing and already too many projects), but when something needs to be checked I am well willing to help.

  10. #10
    TXAG
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    Thank you guys very much for the help. The link in the first reply helped a lot and once I get CFO (wife) approval I will be attempting the copperhead light. Will keep updated on how it goes. Have a baby due this week though so it will probably not be happening real soon. Thanks again!

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