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Thread: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics) + Beamshots

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Timson's Avatar
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    Default My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics) + Beamshots

    Having been a member of this fantastic forum for over 2 years, I’ve seen a lot of wonderful creations thrown out to the community by the big modders that we all know and love, plus some very impressive offerings from the little guys.

    I like to think of myself as a bit of a flashlight modder – but when I think about it, all I ever really do is buy parts from the masters on these forums and put together my own version of the tried and trusted classics – i.e. Mag 85, Space Needle etc etc.

    As such I decided that it was high time that I tried to build something new and unique myself – After all… I have access to a machining late, so there should be no excuse.

    After some pondering on the format for my project, I decided to have a go at a Bike Light.
    I figured it should get some real use - as I’ve just moved to a new apartment which is next to a canal with a dark unlit toe-path which screams out for some real flashaholic illumination solutions.
    The toe path is part of the national cycle network and is ideal for bike riding away from the traffic and congestion.

    Decided that I wanted to do a multi Luxeon project, my inspiration being, Nightrider's Tri Lux Bike Light and more recently KonradC’s Tri-LuxIII bike light
    The latter kicked me into action as I was amazed at how simple it looked plus I felt shamed that such a new member was turning out his own scratch built light and here I was - having done nothing!

    So……

    Having decided on the format for my project I gave some thought as to how I could add my own little twist to the existing incarnations posted on CPF.

    Decided to copy KonradC’s format, but make the flashlight bodies myself out of billet Aluminium.
    I want the project to be a bit of a WOW light to the unenlightened out there and really show them what modern LED’s can really do.

    As such I wanted:

    Hard driven top spec Lux’s - for max output
    Impressive throw
    Hi-Tec HID look
    Variable light levels
    Long runtime
    Quick release handlebar mount (Too many thieves about)
    Good looks


    Hard Driven top spec Lux’s:
    Want to be able to run each ‘U’ flux luxIII at 1A.
    Decided that copper end caps might not be sufficient to heatsink 3 LuxIII’s at an amp – hence decided on my own machined aluminium body.

    Impressive throw:
    Everyone else seems to have constructed their bike lights around 20mm reflectors/optics.
    I’ve seen one with 30mm optics before, but I’m a reflector fan and I really wanted to try out the much underused IMS27 reflector.
    These things throw like mad for their size…So IMS27’s it is.

    Hi-Tec HID look:
    Well that’s LED’s anyway – (Photonfanatic’s) UWOK’s fit the bill nicely.

    Variable light levels:
    I needed a light engine capable of running 3 LuxIII’s at 1A.
    I didn’t want to incorporate a big clumsy potentiometer in my design.
    I wanted simple single button operation.
    The solution was obvious George's n-Flex Driver

    Long Runtime:
    Had to keep the spiralling costs down, so decided to steer away from Li-Ion – although this would have been my first choice.
    Went for a 14.4v pack of 12 x 3700mAh Sub C Ni-Mh cells providing power via the n-Flex to the 3 series connected Lux’s.
    Should be good for up to 5hrs runtime.

    Quick release handlebar mount:
    After much internet searching – I came across these - Lumicycle's Camlock Handlebar Mount

    Good looks:
    Somewhat subjective one….
    I liked KonradC’s format so decided to mount my lux’s in individual circular bodies mounted in a row….Yes I know I’m copying again – but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
    Still wanted the unit to be reasonably compact yet incorporate the bigger IMS 27’s and the n-Flex board and have good heasinking.
    Came up with the design that you will see in the finished product.


    I also wanted to do something else which no-one else seems to do on here…..Home Anodising !!

    Did plenty of research on the matter and figured that I could cope.
    The plan – Anodise the body black and have a silver bezel (Inova style).
    Biting off more than I can chew?….We’ll see………..


    One major hurdle that has stopped me creating my own flashlight to date has been that my dad’s rickety old – ex-school - metalwork lathe has no thread cutting gear, so making end-caps / bezels has been pretty much ruled out.
    My design is such that the bezel will be an interference fit.
    The Lux’s will be thermal epoxied into the end of the machined body (Copper end-cap style)
    Not very upgrade friendly and once together – a bit final – but once it’s together I don’t plan on taking it apart again anyway.


    Realised that I would need to make something to house the rectangular n-Flex board in my round body.
    I came up with a nylon ring which the board was a press fit into.
    The board would then be sandwiched by another nylon ring to stop it popping out and jiggling about.






    So with a plan and a design in mind I set about ordering everything that I needed and began machining.
    I probably spent about 2 days at the lathe, messing about with the limited tooling that we have for it, but finally turned out all the planned parts shown in the following pictures.






    Next came the home Anodizing:
    Found a lump of aluminium in the garage. I machined it off to represent my project bodywork and make a rough calculation of its surface area to calculate my Anodizing current.



    The first attempt at Anodising was a flop….The part would not take on any stain.
    I concluded that I need I needed MORE POWER.

    Threw the calculator away and pulled a figure out of my head.
    Instead of the calculated 0.5A for 40 minutes that I gave it the first time around, I gave it 1.3A for 45 mins.
    This time – Eureka – It took on the stain…produced a pleasing, shiny Maglite black which by my scientific ‘scratch test’ proved to be pretty hard and durable and should serve to offer some real protection.




    Now on to my actual body parts…..
    I made a calculated estimation of required current based on my findings and came up with this:
    Gave the small parts 1.85A for 60 minutes each
    Gave the main body 2.5A for 60 minutes.
    Not sure whether it was my current calculations or the fact that the Aluminium was of a different grade to my test piece, but I couldn’t seem to achieve a black finish.
    It ended up more ‘Dirty Bronze’ coloured, which – on reflection I actually quite like.
    The surface was good and hard again.
    The pictures don’t really do them justice – they look much nicer in the flesh….but you get the idea.



    Next I realised that – having machined the inner diameter of my bodies to be an exact fit for the outer diameter of the IMS27 reflectors that I would need to devise a way of epoxying the Lux stars into the base of the body perfectly centred.
    Found some more scrap – cast aluminium in the garage and made a custom centering tool.



    The 3 body parts were then joined together.
    I accomplished this by having an aluminium tube ‘dowel’, pegging the bodies together – affording a mechanical brace and a conduit for my wiring between the 3 parts.
    The dowels were epoxied into place with Araldite Metal Epoxy and all touching surfaces of the bodies had epoxy applied as well, before being taped up to hold everything in place and left to set.

    The stars were later epoxied into position and wired in series.
    If I’d have paid more attention to the orientation of my stars, the wiring could have been neater, but I didn’t - so this is how it came out.



    Next the n-Flex was wired up and mounted with the nylon ring epoxied into place.
    The gauge of wire was the heaviest that I could use - and still get through the connection holes in the n-Flex.
    The wire was a bit thick and made things a bit tight in there – but it all fits in!



    The reflectors were then dropped into position and seated correctly.
    The Pelican M6 lenses dropped on top, followed by ‘O’ rings for a bit of cushioning and a good seal and then the bezels pushed into place with a bit of epoxy to boot.
    The unit would have been water tight if it were not for the switch at the back.
    But it’s a minor point – and I’m strictly a fair weather cyclist!

    The back plate mounts with 3 x M2 countersunk screws.
    The handlebar mount, screws to the main body with an M5 screw.
    Mount was modified to fit exactly to the contour of the main body. (Sandpaper wrapped round a main body sized drum).
    I would have machined a flat onto the body – but the lathe has no milling facility – there’s always an alternative.


    It’s no lightweight – especially when you take into account the battery pack, but I recon its fits the bill and meets all my criteria.
    It probably took me a full weeks work (The Anodizing alone took up 2 days).
    Yes I do actually have a job…But this is what I chose to do with my week off instead of going on holiday!

    Here’s the final product:








    Would have done beam shots too - but its hammering it down outside.
    Will add on later when it's a bit nicer outside.

    Don't really have the know how to do good beamshots...But here's my effort, showing light on Low, Med and High.
    Light source is 55ft from subject. Camera is about half way inbetween.
    Not sure what exposure settings were...They are the same in each shot and were what I came up with to most accurately depict what the eye sees in real life.







    Tim.
    Last edited by Timson; 09-24-2006 at 02:24 PM.
    M3-CB, C3-HAIII, A2-RD, Fenix L1P, Fenix P1D-CE, Tri-Star Phaser, Inova T3, Mag85, SNII Clone, DD LuxIII Mag,

    Trilobike
    , Hot-Diver

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Oh man, that is a nice setup there.

    Congrats on all your hard work.

    Curtis
    -- CUE

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Kryosphinx's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    WOW. I'm speechless.
    Got busted lights? Send me a PM and depending on the situation, I'll take 'em off your hands. I always like a good modding challenge.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    That's truely a work of art and functionality!! Nice, nice job!!!


    Karl

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Long John's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Great work Timson......

    Best regards

    ____
    Tom

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Anglepoise's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Bloody marvellous.

    Two comments. The 3 bodies are connected with hollow tubes, for wiring, and glued. Will that stand up to vibration etc?

    Also love to hear more about your home made Anodizing set up.
    David............................................. "A few of my Home Built lights"

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    One of the best projects I have sceen on here in years ! Grats! I have been wanting to make almost exactly what you have done for over 2 years now but don't own a lathe

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* jar3ds's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)



    that is awesome! Very nice work... I bet your proud as heck at that thing... Doing your own anodizing and stuff... i bet really makes you feel good about that fine piece of work!

    I really like the nylon ring idea... where did you get these? Thanks!

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Excellent job!!
    First time I see someone do a home-anodized project.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Timson's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    WOW - Thanks for the kind responses....and so quick after just posting it.

    In response:

    Anglepoise:

    The strength of bond is something that I'm worried about too.
    Maby 2 dowells - front and rear would have been better...but it's a bit late now.
    The epoxy is designed specifically for bonding metals -the blurb states that it stands up to very rough treatment - and it does feel nice and rigid - only time will tell.

    As far as the Anodizing goes......Relatively straight forward really.
    I was amazed that I could order 98% pure sulphuric acid on the iternet. (Will probably have the FBI banging on my door demanding to know what I need such chemicals for)
    The parts came out of the acid looking a lovely matt silver colour and I was sorely tempted to leave them as such....But a plan is a plan and I was going to stick to it.
    There's a wealth of information on home anodizing on the net.
    When the parts come out of the acid you soak in fabric dye before fixing in near boiling water. Quite simple really - but very 'trial and error' and difficult to achieve colour consistency....Just ask Surefire.

    Justintoxicated:

    I really feel for you...I'd love to say I'll make one for you....but it was a real labour of love......not to be repeated.......Until my next 'holiday'

    Jar3ds:

    The Nylon rings were simply turned on the lathe, then little corners to accept the n-Flex were ground out with a Dremmel.


    Thanks again all,


    Tim.
    M3-CB, C3-HAIII, A2-RD, Fenix L1P, Fenix P1D-CE, Tri-Star Phaser, Inova T3, Mag85, SNII Clone, DD LuxIII Mag,

    Trilobike
    , Hot-Diver

  11. #11

    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    GO team BIKE!!!

    Looks sweet!!! Well Done!!!



    enjoy

    Ktronik

  12. #12

    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    great work! Thanks for sharing.
    I'm glad it is dark, half of the time.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Changchung's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Incredible and amazing job...
    Zebralight Spark Princeton Inova Petzl Maglite Bushnell 4 XM-L MagMod and a lot of Cree XM-L Lights Nitecore i4 Intellicharger Intl-outdoor 3400 Panasonic 3100 Bare and protected Samsung 3000 Sanyo 2600
    Please, respect the planet, dont kill animals...

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    That finished product looks AWSOME!!!!! Very nice craftmanship you must be very proud of yourself. I know I would be. Great Job!

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Anglepoise's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Timson
    .

    As far as the Anodizing goes......Relatively straight forward really.
    I was amazed that I could order 98% pure sulphuric acid on the iternet. (Will probably have the FBI banging on my door demanding to know what I need such chemicals for)
    The parts came out of the acid looking a lovely matt silver colour and I was sorely tempted to leave them as such....But a plan is a plan and I was going to stick to it.
    There's a wealth of information on home anodizing on the net.
    When the parts come out of the acid you soak in fabric dye before fixing in near boiling water. Quite simple really - but very 'trial and error' and difficult to achieve colour consistency....Just ask Surefire.

    Justintoxicated:

    Tim.

    I have got to try some 'home' anodizing. Thanks again for the extra info.
    David............................................. "A few of my Home Built lights"

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    That is one hell of a nice piece of work !!!!!
    Even did your own anadizing !

    ~John

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* PEU's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    very nice work you did there!


    Pablo

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Trashman's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    CPF forum members never cease to amaze me. You actually did your own anodizing! Wow!

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* hotbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Well done Tim! If I rode, I'd get you to make me one

  20. #20

    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Great work.....I'm impressed


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  21. #21
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Tim,

    Very impressive, especially for your first project. Congratulations!
    PhotonFanatic—fanatic@photonfanatic.com
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  22. #22
    Flashaholic* orb's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Timson, I enjoyed that Read. Big & well Done
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  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* wquiles's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    That was totally awesome !!!



    Will
    Please no PM/Visitor Msg's. Email for questions/Paypal: wquiles [at] gmail {dot} com. Please visit my new website.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    WOW! You get rain? We never get rain around here anymore!

    BTW, cool light.

  25. #25
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Great work Tim, very professional looking, and thanks for the kind words. Makes my efforts look agricultural ;-)

    I wouldn't worry too much about the bonding. When i did mine, I did some tests on the bond strength to make sure it would hold after leaving the araldite to fully cure on a radiator for a couple of days. First i tried to pull the parts appart by hand but only succeed in hurting my fingers. Then i tried tapping with a hammer and that had no effect. In the end, the only way i broke the bond was to drive a chisel between the endcaps. It's strong stuff, particularly as you've used stronger adhesive than plain araldite.

    How do you find the throw with the reflectors? I'm thinking of replacing some of the optics in mine with reflectors as i think that a combination of both should be just about perfect.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Timson's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by KonradC
    I wouldn't worry too much about the bonding. When i did mine, I did some tests on the bond strength to make sure it would hold after leaving the araldite to fully cure on a radiator for a couple of days. First i tried to pull the parts appart by hand but only succeed in hurting my fingers. Then i tried tapping with a hammer and that had no effect. In the end, the only way i broke the bond was to drive a chisel between the endcaps. It's strong stuff, particularly as you've used stronger adhesive than plain araldite.
    That's good to know - thanks for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by KonradC
    How do you find the throw with the reflectors? I'm thinking of replacing some of the optics in mine with reflectors as i think that a combination of both should be just about perfect.
    The throw with the IMS27 is really good.
    They're a fairly tight beam - but when you have the light shining out 50ft in front of you they give a nice even carpet of light.
    I've always preferred reflectors to optics - They just seem to put out a nicer beam (To my eye).

    If you want to try out some reflectors in your light - The IMS20 should fit.
    Not as 'Throwy' as the 27's, but should be better than the optics and they will give a nice amount of sidespill too.

    Haven't got round to doing beamshots yet.
    Had a go at a hurried attempt and it came out way overexposed.
    I'm back at work now - so don't have much time to tinker about, getting good beamshots - plus my dad has taken his camera back.

    I'll get some done in the not too distant...Hopefully with some comparrison shots of known benchmark lights.


    Tim.
    M3-CB, C3-HAIII, A2-RD, Fenix L1P, Fenix P1D-CE, Tri-Star Phaser, Inova T3, Mag85, SNII Clone, DD LuxIII Mag,

    Trilobike
    , Hot-Diver

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Icarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics) + Beamshots

    ... great job Tim! ...

  28. #28
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics) + Beamshots

    Great job.
    Great story.
    The anodizing part was really interesting.
    And when did you ever see such a string of luminaries offering congratulations as you have????!!!!!!
    Thanks a lot- quite inspiring!
    Kind Regards

    David

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* TENMMIKE's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics) + Beamshots

    BEUTIFUL WORK ....GOOD JOB

  30. #30

    Default Re: My Creation - TRILOBIKE (Lots of pics) + Beamshots

    What's impressive is that some guy gets some tools, spends a bit of time and gets a product that's better than what some multi-million or trillion "dollar" corporation can come up with.

    It's kind of like a home rocket scientist sending a guy to the moon faster than NASA.

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