Zero D Mag bike light build-
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Zero D Mag bike light build

    Hi all,

    I posted this at CPF thought it might be useful here too:

    Hello Bike light people...

    Over the last few days i have been building a "Zero D" Mag 3xP7 Bike light using a HipFlex Driver... thought i would upload some pics of the build incase anyone else is thinking of building something similar. ie: relatively compact and light wieght for the amount of lumens...with 3 stage voltage sensing, temp sensing and constant current output....
    Yes i am a fan of the HipFlex driver

    The main issue i had trouble with was fitting the HipFlex into the Mag D tube so i used a different approach i have not seen before and just ditched the tube... hence the "Zero D" name... I have used the no tube approach for a couple of bike lights i have made, all i do is simply drill and tap an M5 about 90% of the way into the mag head to attach the handle bar clamp salvaged from a reflector. cut the threads off (like a butcher with a hacksaw) the mag tail cap. and glue the sawn off tail cap inside the mag head with 2 part epoxy "Selley's 90 second Araldite"

    The pics are pretty Self explanatory, but one thing to watch out for with all the wiring inside this compact enclosure is the HipFlex connections need a layer of fiberglass tape around them to ensure once inside the enclosure they do not inadvertatly touch the casing/wiring/etc.

    1 HipFlex was sacrificed for the greater good in this build thankfully no leds were harmed (as yet)

    Any how let me know what you think !


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    very nice Dan. where are the beamshots!
    What reflectors and what battery

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: piesoup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Looking good!
    I received my first hipFlex a few weeks ago and couldnt believe how big they were!
    Love your clamping solution, I may have to borrow the idea form you!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: HuffyPuffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Those look like the "Der Wichtel" P7 optics:

    Dan, how do you like them? Any beamshots?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Hi Thys Hi Piesoup,

    Beam shots are coming - sorry for delay just got back from interstate !
    Feel free to use the clamp idea been using it for ages, it is easy to do and strong also !

    Last edited by dan1million; 08-31-2009 at 10:42 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    this project of mine is also on the "cpf" forum

    Here is the rough "parts list" and somewhere to get it from:

    D Maglite:
    online or just from supermarket

    Connectors / Heatshrink / wiring / blue "status" led (1k dropper resistor) / IP68 cable gland / momentary tactile switch / battery fuse / fuseholder / 3M Fiberglass tape or Silicon insulating material/ cable ties / 2.5 mm self tapping screws:
    (Jaycar/Aztronics/Dick Smith etc etc)

    "UCL" Glass Lens:
    CPF marketplace

    "Der Wichtel" 3xP7 heatsink: CPF thread:

    "HipFlex" programmable led driver: / Cutter electronics(Aus.)

    Thermal Epoxy to glue the leds:
    I mix 30% Unick silicon heatsink grease with 70% "Araldite"
    Silicon grease from local electronics shop
    Araldite from hardware store (bunnings / Mitre 10 etc)

    Seoul Semiconductor P7 leds x 3
    Easiest way to get them is online from
    Various CPF members ie photonfanatic etc:

    or DX ( KD (
    or other online distributor.

    The Seoul P7 bin code i used is DSWOK

    LiPo Battery:
    Turnigy LiPo 5s 18.5 Vnom, 21 Vmax, 3000 mAh, 20 C max discharce rate with balance connector.
    from "Hobby King" online

    Turnigy Accucel 6 - excellent charger available at
    "Hobby King" online

    Charger power supply
    Available at
    "Hobby King" online

    Water bottle:

    JT cycles (Australian store over the counter)

    A few little tips if you want to build one....
    Place fiberglass insulation tape around the edge of the Hipflex driver
    To protect the solder connections and obviosuly isolate the thermal conduction area on the underside of it with thermally conductive insulator (thin) of your choice.

    Tools which came in handy...
    Drill press, various drill bits
    Temp controlled solder station
    "Helping hands" soldering clamp/stand
    Various pliers/screwdrivers
    Heat gun

    This build is quite pricey be warned !!!

    Dont look into the light - it is blinding with your eyes closed.

    The measured Vf of the DSWOK Seoul P7 i used is 3.971 (each P7)
    at turn on @ 2.8A

    This drops to approx 3.794 (each P7) @ 2.8A fairly rapidly.

    Depending on if you are riding fast or if the light is sitting still rising temperature will affect Vf of the leds and hence the output which falls slightly as the light heats up - not enough to notice by eye.

    in terms of the drivers efficiency

    I measured the following:

    Input to Hipflex measured at input connector:
    18.5V, 1.75A = 32.375 W

    Output from Hipflex measured at Led terminals:
    3.79V*3*2.8A = 31.836 W

    Efficiency of Hipflex in this setup ***note this is when the setup has only been running for approx. 30 seconds: (31.836/32.375)*100 = ~98.3%

    Once the light heats up the Vf of the led drops a bit and you end up with: (30.1896/32.375)*100 = ~93.2% *(Vf 3.594)

    So obviosuly with this one it pays to ride faster to keep it cool :P

    any how I am impressed alot by the Hipflex made by "Taskled", CPF member "Georges80" george or task led has really made an excellent product i would recommend it for sure.


  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Great build Dan...I like the recycling of the MagD head.

    I am thinking of trying something similar with either a MagD or MagC head, depending on what I can find at the local pawn shops. Have you had a chance to weigh it yet? I am curious as to the weight of the head with that huge slug of aluminum. I don't think this would make a great helmet light, but for the bars...why not?


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Hi Bryce,

    I have not weighed it sorry - I have however been using it this morning (finally) despite the wet weather / cold / my whingeing :P

    So finally here are the beamshots..... note they are quite large and are totally unaltered apart from the file name.

    ***note it was not 100% dark when i took the shots despite leaving at ~5.40am Adelaide time.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MacGuyVer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Idea! i see the light..

    Quote Originally Posted by dan1million
    This build is quite pricey be warned !!!
    ..ball park the cost for us please

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    ball park is $500 US i didnt bother with cateye stadium or lupine betty etc because i figured i could do better in terms of light output for less money and its fun to build these things.... previous light was a halogen 15 in a similar head running approx 80W...
    with a NiMh bottle battery weighing about a kilogram.

    If someone wanted one made they can contact me over email/PM so as not to upset anyone here.

    the reason i built it is for riding either early morning to work or late night back from work.
    i ride on a track which has both sections with trees and obstacles which you cannot see easily and to make sure i can see people running or walking their dogs and vice versa.


    anyhow compare the light output of 3 x P7 to some of the other lights out there.....

    cateye stadium... 10W solarc does not compare 299.99 pound price tag
    Lupine betty 1500 Lumens.... 699 US....

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