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Thread: Curtain Rail Tri LED

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Look what I found.


    Its a curtain rail.

    Its a little to narrow to fit leds inside, unless you do a little grinding. 17mm stars from Cutter need a little shaved off with the grinder. Q5s because they didn't have R2s last week. Boo. But my thursday order arrived on tuesday.

    Its a little too short to fit an optic in, unless you get some of those tiny little polymer optics. Its a perfect fit. About a mm on the sides and the top. Looks like it was made for it. I have found two almost identical rails, so I think its a standard sizing. Probably you can find end caps too. I haven't looked.



    Three is a good number. Two wide and one narrow optic for the MTB.
    File some curves to let the light out a little. A little glowinc glow in the dark magic paint on the inside too.


    Might get a bit warm in there. How about some air scoops on the side.
    Took a few extra cuts and a little bending. The main body is only 6cm wide. Thats over 100lm/cm. I have about 4m of curtain rail. Anyone need a 40,000lm light?



    Add some exhaust holes in the back, and a hole for a mount. Forced air cooling should keep 12w under control. Cool running. One piece housing means no junctions keeping the ergs in. The Aluminium is 1mm so easy to cut and file.


    LEDs are sitting on thermal paste and glued in place with araldite. Holes drilled through the mounting plate for the wires at each end. I had to cut away some of the optic mounts to solder in the wires. These optics need the stars with 6 pads. DX or Kai do Q5s on tiny stars which would eliminate the grinding step.
    Need to seal up the front, sides and the gaps in the scoops and wire into my old bflex/battery then I'm out on the trails again. More pics when finished.

    New bflex is waiting for inspiration for a mount. Anybody have any ideas?

    Oh, and I have another housing made for dual helmet light. Might finish that this weekend. Its something different again.

    Top marks for Cutter, Taskled and glowinc. All delivering to NZ in under a week.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Will the bflex fit into the area behind the lights? Not in the groove, but in the more "enclosed" section of the rail.

    It looks awesome. Good work, there.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Will the bflex fit into the area behind the lights? Not in the groove, but in the more "enclosed" section of the rail.
    No, its only 13x16mm. Bflex is an inch wide. Also putting anything in there would ruin the forced cooling.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    edit: double post
    Last edited by znomit; 04-03-2008 at 03:13 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Hey Timmo, the ram air cooling is a neat idea !! ....
    the bflex is a buck driver so maybe it wont really need a heatsink/cooling type mount?
    make a tiny plastic enclosure for it.....recycle/chop up a cd case or the the like
    polystyrene cement should make for a good solvent welded join
    ....
    .......

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    My last two builds the bflex lived in a little plastic box on the stem, with mom button and status led on the top. Its fine without cooling. It worked well. A nice big button I could quickly push once or twice to get the desired level.
    The new bflex UI required holding the button down to drop the power level through the five stages, means I need to hold it for a few seconds... longer than I would like to ride one handed.
    I have a nice led lit mom button so might waterproof that and make a remote button/led combo for the bars.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Good find!
    I am currently playing with a 2 metre long extruded aluminium bar, from a back panel of an office desk, it is kind of a double U closed profile. With a bit of cutting it makes a perfect mounting solution.
    Also, in my quest, I realised picture framers are probably one of the best places to get aluminum pieces, with a suitable profiles which provide good mounting options, and large surface areas. Also look at window manufacures.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Light head is up and running, wired into my old bflex.

    The ends I sealed up with carbon. When dry I back filled it with sellys "knead it" which is a polymer metal putty. Its good stuff, sets in 5 min and you can file it smooth. I also filled in the gaps where the scoops meet the main housing.
    Not sure what the plastic on the front is. Its glued on and the whole unit should be waterproof. I think I'll stick a replaceable layer of mylar over it for protection.

    Its about as wide as the front tyre. Its might end up living under the stem if I can find a mount.




    Exhaust holes out the back.


    Had my first ride last night, very happy with it. Heat isn't a problem, pedaled for a few km on the flats at a sedate 15kph and it wasn't hot, think the scoops are working well.
    Light output is good, its up from the 440 on my last MTB light, not as wide though. Its very low so every pebble casts a shadow. A few fast downhills around 45kph no problems.

    I have the parts ready for the new bflex housing, but first I'll do a helmet light and I have a SSC P7 on the way for another little light

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    That is VERY,VERY COOL.
    If you painted it black it'd look cooler still.

    Brilliant thinking to get such a compact housing.
    Love that airfow bit

    Cheers
    Dom

  10. #10
    Flashaholic msxtr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    znomit, why have you perforated the bridge of your fork???? Could are very, very dangerous for your teeth

    By the way, nice light

    Greetings - Saludos
    Last edited by msxtr; 04-13-2008 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Do correction about tooth in plural

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    msxtr: Some forks come with holes in them- the idea being you can shove your excess cable from your V brakes through them to keep it out of the way. What with V brakes redundant, the holes are getting more and more uncommon.

    Interesting mounting it on the fork bridge. I find the lower you mount something, the better for riding, but never thought of mounting there. That said, my mudguards would probably get in the way

    I'm surprised you put a big wodge of plastic in front- that'd cut down on light transmission somewhat, I would have thought?

    Awesome design, needless to say!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    WOW tops!! Now thats railing it...

    Love the 'air scoop' technology


    K

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Msxtr...I don't drill into important bits...The hole is there for mudguard mounting I think. My teeth are safe

    Dom, anodising would be the best bet, don't know about how much the paint would insulate. The anodising guy here has moved on and all that acid scares me.

    Jarl
    Light was built with stuff I had lying around. Previously to let the light out I've used paper thin mylar from OHP sheets, I wanted something super tough to stand up to a bit of bush bashing, this stuff did the trick!
    I dont know if the losses from having it thicker are that significant, a lot of losses are getting the light into and out of the material. Its 750 odd lm out of the leds so I think I have a few to spare anyhow!

  14. #14
    Flashaholic msxtr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Msxtr...I don't drill into important bits...The hole is there for mudguard mounting I think. My teeth are safe
    Ok, I'm glad of it

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    I need one of these, but with red leds, and one very wide optic in the center. I am talking of a tail light.
    And diff_lock said, Let there be light: and there was light.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Light finished!

    A small plastic box holds the bflex and momentary switch. The box...one end of base rounded to sit nicely on the stem, the other end I cut a channel up to sit around one of the handle bar clamp bolts. Perfect fit. The lid of the box is pushed up inside and the wires exit through holes in it. Wrapped tape over it and under the stem, held nice and firm.

    A RGB led on the top has a green power led and a red status led. Not sure why I wanted a power on LED, maybe to remind me to ride my bike? its wired through a 500k resistor so only draws 0.5mA. The status LED is much brighter though I have a resistor in there too. I found direct driving it from the bflex stat pin is way too bright.

    Switch is dustproof and waterproof, LED is glued to the inside of the box to seal the hole, and after a few field tests I will seal up the underside of the box.
    Total weight is 106gm, lighthead is only 58gm. Battery and holder add 400odd!



    I picked up a couple of cateye blinky mounts to hang it under the handlebar stem. Light is easily adjustable for angle. Being sprung now it should be more durable, and no shadow from the front tyre.





    The only problem is the cables run in front casting shadows, I will get them shortened to pull them out of the way (makes a big difference with lights this small!).
    Planning a 5hr ride one evening this week to test things.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Are you running at 1000ma? If so, I'd advise dropping to 700 or 800- with a buckpuck, I can switch between 800 and 1000ma easily, with no dark flash while it switches, and I'm hard pressed to see any increase in brightness. However, the extra battery life is definitely noticeable!

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarl View Post
    Are you running at 1000ma? If so, I'd advise dropping to 700 or 800- with a buckpuck, I can switch between 800 and 1000ma easily, with no dark flash while it switches, and I'm hard pressed to see any increase in brightness. However, the extra battery life is definitely noticeable!
    Jarl its running off a bflex. Thats a microprocessor controlled buck driver from taskled. Five levels from 1A down to less than 100mA, roughly halving each step. Level selectable on the go at the touch of a button, and the LED tells me when my battery is half full(blinking) and near empty (steady).

    Yes the difference between between 1A and 750 isn't huge light wise but battery run times drop significantly at 1A, and heat becomes more of an issue if there is no airflow. Note this thing is designed around only running on high while riding, and works very well... but it really cooks in the lab without airflow. Point a small cpu fan at it and things cool down so you dont actually need a lot of airflow for sufficient cooling.
    I'll probably set it to 750mA max which will give me 600lm for downhills, 330 for flats and 180 or less for those long slow uphills or when riding through town.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Very cool with the minimalist design and RAM AIR scoops. (GTO's have ram air too! but my '66 doesn't)

    What is it with the mounts? Seems to be the last thing to build and one of the most difficult. I finally made an aluminum platform with 3M Dual Lock fasteners adhered, so I can quickly take on and off all of the lights I am currently experimenting with (all two of them...).

    I really like the QR mount from Exposure Lights, but a bit expensive for me in the US. It looks to be pretty easy to use, and the QR is a must for me.

    Nice Light!

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Quote Originally Posted by GeeTeeOhh View Post
    ...
    What is it with the mounts? Seems to be the last thing to build and one of the most difficult. I finally made an aluminum platform with 3M Dual Lock fasteners adhered, so I can quickly take on and off all of the lights I am currently experimenting with (all two of them...).

    I really like the QR mount from Exposure Lights, but a bit expensive for me in the US. It looks to be pretty easy to use, and the QR is a must for me.
    ...
    Building the lighthead is easy as you are not constrained, but integrating with the bike is difficult. My dyno light has been a big pita as the original mount wasn't up to it, but the light was designed around it.

    For QR Dom has a good idea of using the standard cateye brackets and spacers. I don't need QR but have done lights that mount directly to the cateye handlebar bracket, they are good quality.

    Anyhoo
    This is my next curtain rail light awaiting assembly.
    I wanted something to replace my minewtx2 helmet light(which is a fantastic light).



    Dual LED light.
    Velcro fastening to helmet.
    Q5s with polymer optics.
    One narrow 350mA 100lm.
    One wide 500mA 140lm.
    Independently switched.
    Independent micropuck drivers and batteries. 2xAA x2 in jersey pocket for 2+hrs run time(or Ds for all nighters).
    Integrated tail lights if I can squeeze the LEDs in the back.

    Coming together nicely. Its tight but everything fits in behind the LEDs.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Hi,
    I love the neat design of this light, It is just the size I was after.

    I know it sounds like a dumb question, hoever where did you source the curtain rail from. I tried a couple of sources around me but couldn't find anything similar.

    I am in Melbourne Australia.

    Cheers
    Mark

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Mark, I have heaps of offcuts so I'll send you some.
    See my pm.

    I've had a nosey around online without luck for this extrusion, but this is similar(not enough room for the leds though) and given where I work its likely thats what it was originally.
    Last edited by znomit; 04-22-2008 at 05:47 AM.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Finally got a beamshot of the triple.



    Beam is perhaps a little wide if anything, lots of light everywhere so can't really complain.
    Theres always some improvement to make though....... the battery charging is really a pain. Quad R2 dyno powered light on the drawing board...
    Last edited by znomit; 05-03-2008 at 12:13 AM.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Helmet light up and running!



    Pretty compact at just over 3cm long.

    Yes, I managed to fit the red leds in the back... They are always on (drawing about 10mA.

    Narrow and wide beams:


  25. #25

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Sweet!!!! so 2 LED?? one narrow one wide?? got a pic form the front??

    Love the red...Safety first!

    K

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Yeah two Q5s. Should be a good upgrade from my minewt. Brighter and lighter. Will post final pics once the carbon sides are on and a front plate.
    I usually run a red cateye sl-ld100 on the back of the helmet, makes sense to have an all in one (plus those coin batteries cost me 10 bucks a couple of times a year).

  27. #27

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    So red LEDs run off a CR2032 or sim?? what is the driver for the 2 main LEDs??

    K

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Nah, my cateye light runs off 2x CR2025. I can ditch that now.

    Red LEDs driven from battery, dropping resistor in there, I forget how big.
    Micropuck driver is switched after that.



    Circuit is duplicated twice, including batteries. 4core cable runs out the back and will keep 4AAs in my jersey pocket, holder from a nighthawk light.

    The micropucks are roughly 11x7x7mm, tiny. You can configure them as buck, boost, buck and boost or run two together to double output! Very versatile. And they come in 350, 400, 500mA versions. I had a think about it and decided to configure the narrow beam at 350mA and wide 500mA for extra spill.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Aaa the good old micropuck...one of the first drivers you could get from memory... & still a gooden... that & the now huge nflex...

    back before 'stars' I was using DIY 5mm white LED headlights...for the some of the front & side mounted LEDs, I would use a flashing RGB 5mm (each side) in series with a 3mm white (front x2)... (7.2v batt & resistor) It was a easy way to get them flashing...& looked pretty too... ... still got some left... might try it on some uggas...

    Keep up the good work mate...

    K

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Curtain Rail Tri LED

    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    The micropucks are roughly 11x7x7mm, tiny. You can configure them as buck, boost, buck and boost or run two together to double output! Very versatile. And they come in 350, 400, 500mA versions. I had a think about it and decided to configure the narrow beam at 350mA and wide 500mA for extra spill.
    Please explain how you can get them to buck?

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