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Thread: 3-21 Update Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default 6-27 Update Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    **UPDATED CHART - NEW READINGS**

    Sometimes you just have to see for yourself, you know? Before you read this, please understand this disclaimer – I make no claims that the readings from the home made, uber cheap ‘pseudo integrating sphere’ are accurate! This was put together for my own edification and to satisfy curiosity, but it worked pretty well so I thought I’d share the results.

    Paid $130 for the meter - $40 for the smooth foam ball (shipped), about $4 for the PVC pipe and $6 for a roll of black duct tape (which I still have most of). So for a total expenditure of about $180 I have a handy dandy 'poor man's' integrating sphere.

    Test measurements are at the end of the post, but I thought I’d show you the construction. Inspiration came from a great thread over here, so I take NO credit for the idea of how to construct this – precisionworks and others provided the inspiration and the ideas.

    Most of the photos are labeled.







































    And here are the measurements. Pretty darn close – again, I make no claims for accuracy – this was just a fun project for me. Just fyi, the lux rating is what my meter shows – I divided each reading by 36 to estimate the lumens rating. I read that somewhere in the forum, although I can’t remember where.


    This is the Spy 007 before (left side) and after (right side) DaFABRICATA XPG Neutral emitter swap


    And here's my newest chart including some oldies and a few new lights. As my collection evolves, I try to keep this updated.

    Hope this is of use or interest to someone!


    Please PM or post if you have any questions...


    Last edited by run4jc; 06-28-2010 at 04:15 AM. Reason: Update chart / add chart June 28

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    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Sweet!
    FAILURE TO PLAN ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MY PART.

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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Great work! interesting to see how the LS27 did... I would be curious to see how an LS20 would do in the same sphere.

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    Flashaholic* DimeRazorback's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Great work Dan!


    ^^Click for my beamshots!!^^ My Flashlights

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    Flashaholic* rayman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Great idea . Wish I had such a luxmeter.

    rayman
    My Lights (current EDC: Foursevens Mini MkII Titanium)

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    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Nice job. Nothing better than a do it yourselfer.

    Geoff

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    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Nice work!!!

    Love how you guys are keeping the manufacturers honest, its like putting them on a polygraph.

    An oversized one size fits all opening for the light inlet won't work though. It will throw off your conversion factor when measuring lights of differing bezel diameters. In bigchelis' sphere we trace the light bezel onto white paper and cut a hole out so it fits snug around the light. The paper gets lightly taped over the light inlet on the sphere, so its a snug fit.

    BC and MrG can elaborate on the technical aspects better than I can.

    Last edited by kramer5150; 02-28-2010 at 07:52 PM.
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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    Nice work!!!

    Love how you guys are keeping the manufacturers honest, its like putting them on a polygraph.

    An oversized one size fits all opening for the light inlet won't work though. It will throw off your conversion factor when measuring lights of differing bezel diameters. In bigchelis' sphere we trace the light bezel onto white paper and cut a hole out so it fits snug around the light. The paper gets lightly taped over the light inlet on the sphere, so its a snug fit.

    BC and MrG can elaborate on the technical aspects better than I can.

    Thanks! I read a lot of MrGman's writings within the post I mentioned, originated by precisionworks back in 2008. As mentioned in the thread, there's no way this sphere can be deemed as 'accurate' - BUT, it would be fairly easy to do as you say and snug up the fit for each light.

    I briefly considered using a 3 inch inlet instead of a 2 inch so large bezel lights would fit, but decided against it because I have only 1 such light (a Jetbeam M1X) and I feared that there would be too much 'leakage' with all the other lights I own.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Dan

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    Great work! interesting to see how the LS27 did... I would be curious to see how an LS20 would do in the same sphere.
    Thanks! Of course, my LS20 went away...but I'm not going to suggest anyone send one of those!

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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    do you have any UV lights to test?
    from my experience, the extech meters do not have a photopic curve response filter, the ea31 datasheet makes no mention of one either.

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    do you have any UV lights to test?
    from my experience, the extech meters do not have a photopic curve response filter, the ea31 datasheet makes no mention of one either.
    No sir - no UV lights...

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    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Outstanding!

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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Is that Milky E1B the same as an E2DL creemator? Readings, please!

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfca View Post
    Is that Milky E1B the same as an E2DL creemator? Readings, please!
    Not quite - and the readings are there. It's kind of confusing - you have to look on the next line because it is listed as "Milky ME1B Creemator/McGizmo 2x123 McClicky" - the reading is beside the line showing McGizmo 2x123 McClicky. To save you a bit of time, the E2DL read 215 lumens on high and the ME1B read 248...

    I found this particularly interesting since my E2DL is one of the OLDER ones before they 'updated' the rating to 200. So 2 things are certain - Surefire is very conservative with their ratings, and Milky can indeed 'milk' the max from an emitter! Hope that helps -

    Dan

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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    the E2DL read 215 lumens on high and the ME1B read 248...
    Ah! I see.

    It's nice to see more figures from the mod, I saw the beamshots here vs. a standard E2DL (second row on left) and I wanted that!!

    When I had my E2DL before I didn't like the fact it was a concentrated circle in the darkness, but with that milky mod it'd look alright.
    Slightly bigger hotspot, more lumens, higher lux.

    It looks like it's burning a hole in the ground LOL!!


    P.S. It's kinda odd to see the Nailbender making 300+ lumens (I see that was a /36 calculation) but so much more lux. The lumen number here is less then the >500 numbers elsewhere;
    However the lux numbers are closer here [11,500 lux] then I saw in Bigchelis P60 thread. That was only 4,200 lux. Compared with an E2DL (~8,500 lux), Quark Turbo (>E2DL) the SST-50 definitely has more lux.
    Last edited by sfca; 03-01-2010 at 03:47 PM.

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfca View Post
    Ah! I see.

    It's nice to see more figures from the mod, I saw the beamshots here vs. a standard E2DL (second row on left) and I wanted that!!

    When I had my E2DL before I didn't like the fact it was a concentrated circle in the darkness, but with that milky mod it'd look alright.
    Slightly bigger hotspot, more lumens, higher lux.

    It looks like it's burning a hole in the ground LOL!!


    P.S. It's kinda odd to see the Nailbender making 300+ lumens (I see that was a /36 calculation) but so much more lux. The lumen number here is less then the >500 numbers elsewhere;
    However the lux numbers are closer here [11,500 lux] then I saw in Bigchelis P60 thread. That was only 4,200 lux. Compared with an E2DL (~8,500 lux), Quark Turbo (>E2DL) the SST-50 definitely has more lux.
    Yes - on the Nailbender, I have feeling it is the massive flood the light puts out. I took all the steps I could think of to tame any of those beasts, but still, it is a bright monster!

    As for the Milky, as you probably know, Scott sets them up so you can focus the spot - you can have more spill or go to the max throw. I usually keep mine on a 'blend...'

    Anyway, it's all fun and I appreciate all the comments! The construction of the IS was such that mods can easily be made.

    Thank you!

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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    No sir - no UV lights...
    ah, oh well. It should still be reasonably accurate as long as you're not testing incandescent lights also!

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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    As for the Milky, as you probably know, Scott sets them up so you can focus the spot - you can have more spill or go to the max throw. I usually keep mine on a 'blend...'
    Can I ask hows yours compared to the beamshot link. How would you say that Creemator shot is set up as?

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    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    ah, oh well. It should still be reasonably accurate as long as you're not testing incandescent lights also!
    Curious.... are foot candle meters even capable of (accurately) measuring wavelengths to the far extremes of the visible spectrum? I know (for example) that red colors are hard for many to detect.

    ???
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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfca View Post
    Can I ask hows yours compared to the beamshot link. How would you say that Creemator shot is set up as?
    It looks like it is set for spot - but it depends on the camera. What I mean is that the 'flood' from the Creemator (at least on mine) is a definite 'step' - or a definite defined transition from spot to flood. If the camera were set up to reduce the exposure it might make it hard to see the spill. BUT, my guess is that it is set for max throw/spot. I know that with mine, when I focus it for max throw it's like an LX2/E2DL on steroids.

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    Curious.... are foot candle meters even capable of (accurately) measuring wavelengths to the far extremes of the visible spectrum? I know (for example) that red colors are hard for many to detect.

    ???
    Oh, man - you are way over my head technically. While I understand what you are talking about, I have no clue of the range of the light spectrum that light meters such as mine can detect. Sorry!

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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    It looks like it is set for spot - but it depends on the camera. What I mean is that the 'flood' from the Creemator (at least on mine) is a definite 'step' - or a definite defined transition from spot to flood. If the camera were set up to reduce the exposure it might make it hard to see the spill. BUT, my guess is that it is set for max throw/spot. I know that with mine, when I focus it for max throw it's like an LX2/E2DL on steroids.
    For the reading is it set on 'blend'? I'm hypothesizing on max throw the reading would be higher, but who knows.

    Since I sold my beloved E2DLit will be some time before I get a chance to have my own Creemator w/ 2-way clip.
    Seeing as the new T20C2 R5 will have a similar sized hotspot and greater lux this would then be a (much cheaper) alternative.
    It's bigger, and sticks out too much for pocket-carry, but whatever.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Nice Job...I wouldn't mind doing something like this! Nothing like a sense of accomplishment when you build somethnig yourself, or "finally get it right"! Nice Job!

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    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Beautiful project and more than accurate enough for comparing one source to another IMO. I really love seeing the precise results from a true IS like MrGman has been using, but in reality, +/- say, 7% or so is more than accurate enough for the purpose of comparing portable light sources, especially considering that the eyes can't see that differences anyways.

    I've been thinking about something from PVC parts or other plastics to make a cheap IS.

    Eric
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Great Job Dan! Everything from the pictures to the layout of readings is very impressive. A lot of info that will benefit a lot of people (including me). I have to ask though,

    Do you get some nostalgic feeling having an original Haiku back in your hands?

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfca View Post
    For the reading is it set on 'blend'? I'm hypothesizing on max throw the reading would be higher, but who knows.
    Yes, I believe it was set with the bezel tightened down all the way...i.e., 'blend.' However, since it is so easy to take readings, later today I'll read it set for max spot and post the findings. I've also been wanting to test the M1X anyway, but the readings will surely be off because the darn thing won't fit into the 2 inch tube. I'll just shine it through as best I can and see what we come up with!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfca View Post
    Since I sold my beloved E2DLit will be some time before I get a chance to have my own Creemator w/ 2-way clip.
    Seeing as the new T20C2 R5 will have a similar sized hotspot and greater lux this would then be a (much cheaper) alternative.
    It's bigger, and sticks out too much for pocket-carry, but whatever.
    Following a wave of McGizmo purchases, i was doing some major liquidating - even my much cherished Surefires. LX2 went away, C2 went away....but I couldn't sell the E2DL! The form and function of it make it one of my all time favorites! Then after reading the output, it seems like it was the right decision. Just wish I had taken LX2 readings before it "left the building", but based upon this test I assuming it would have read about 25-30% higher...

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Nice Job...I wouldn't mind doing something like this! Nothing like a sense of accomplishment when you build somethnig yourself, or "finally get it right"! Nice Job!
    It is really easy - and relatively cheap. I just had to remember not to take it TOO seriously...after all, a REAL integrating sphere costs $$$$$. But considering the results, it was very rewarding considering the small amount of $ involved and the short construction time. If you are interested, the sphere was purchased HERE and the the meter HERE. Everything else came from Home Depot - an alternative idea is a round novelty cooler sold at WalMart - but I like the foam. It's easy to work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdocod View Post
    Beautiful project and more than accurate enough for comparing one source to another IMO. I really love seeing the precise results from a true IS like MrGman has been using, but in reality, +/- say, 7% or so is more than accurate enough for the purpose of comparing portable light sources, especially considering that the eyes can't see that differences anyways.

    I've been thinking about something from PVC parts or other plastics to make a cheap IS.

    Eric
    Thanks! Please see the last quote and you can see where everything was purchased. As you could see, PVC parts played a big role in mine. I wish more people would build one - perhaps everyone's experiences would bring about many improvements.

    Quote Originally Posted by SFfanman View Post
    Great Job Dan! Everything from the pictures to the layout of readings is very impressive. A lot of info that will benefit a lot of people (including me). I have to ask though,

    Do you get some nostalgic feeling having an original Haiku back in your hands?
    You'd better know it! And who knows....but the budget is definitely in a mode of REST for some time to come...unless a deal I can't refuse pops up on the B/S/T...
    Last edited by run4jc; 03-02-2010 at 05:09 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: **UPDATED**Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    **updated chart in first post**

    One of my many failings (now in my 50s it seems there are more and more!) is that hobbies quickly become obsessions. Such is the case with flashaholism. But there could be worse things, right?

    So with all the questions that have been posted I decided to do a few updates. Regarding the Creemator, here are 3 photos followed by a photo of a stock, older Surefire E2DL. Photos are totally unretouched - activated the shutter by remote control. The light was mounted in a mic holder - it may have moved slightly when I adjusted the bezel then when I changed to the E2DL. Photos are labeled...








    There's more flood than you can see, but perhaps when there's complete darkness I'll use a longer exposure so you can see the spill. This still gives you a good image of how the beams are different.

    Here's a photo of the sphere with a light in it. As you can see, there is a small amount of light 'leakage' - hard to believe since this is 1 inch thick foam. What was interesting to me (and you can't see it in the photo) was the light emanating from the port...pure white, no spot, totally 'even' to the naked eye - and hopefully that's exactly what the sensor 'sees.'


    What else was interesting is the commentary on the regulation. After turn on the M1X drops like a rock. 10% in 30 seconds! The Surefire E2DL holds steady on low, but drops on high. Creemator suffers from some drop off, too. No biggie - hard to notice with the naked eye, but I was tempted to video the meter in the first 30 seconds just to show it. Maybe another day.

    The Jetbeam reading has to be off - the light was pressed up against the edge of the port, but there's a few inches of tube that it had to shine through - I know that threw it off. Still impressive.

    The little Quark Ti MiNi 123 is amazing - it was over 200 lumens (again, I know this isn't accurate - but it is all relative.)

    At the end of the day, what continues to be interesting to me is the difference in batteries and regulation. FAR MORE SCIENTIFIC info is available throughout the forum - cool run time graphs and so forth - but with the meter you can at least watch for the regulation. McGizmos hold like a rock - at least for the minute or so the lights are on - haven't done continuous run longer than that. The Nitecore and Quark lights do a good job, too. The Surefire L1 did well - the E2DL did well on low but suffered from dropoff on high. Same with the Creemator.

    Too much fun...hmm - can you make a living doing this?




  27. #27
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: **UPDATED**Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Hmmm...what if you painted the inside of the foam with a few coats of black paint (dull finish, somethnig like rustoleum)...that might stop the "leakage"???

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: **UPDATED**Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Hmmm...what if you painted the inside of the foam with a few coats of black paint (dull finish, somethnig like rustoleum)...that might stop the "leakage"???
    I had thought of that, only my thought was to paint the outside...I could be wrong, but shouldn't the inside be white to ensure maximum light reflection?

    Great idea, though - and one that will most likely happen...and perhaps I could paint the inside with a flat, matte white?

  29. #29

    Default Re: **UPDATED**Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Actually, you wouldn't want to paint black on the outside or inside, because black absorbs light. There wouldn't be any difference between the light escaping from the foam ball in to the surroundings and having it absorbed by the black paint. As far as I understand this IS stuff, you have the right idea - get a very flat, very white paint onto the inside surface for maximum diffusion of the beam. I was thinking if you first put on a coat of silver paint before the white, that would achieve even better results. Cool project, thanks for sharing!
    Pretend the scepter is a flashlight.

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: **UPDATED**Home Made Pseudo Integrating Sphere - photos and readings!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint_Dogbert View Post
    Actually, you wouldn't want to paint black on the outside or inside, because black absorbs light. There wouldn't be any difference between the light escaping from the foam ball in to the surroundings and having it absorbed by the black paint. As far as I understand this IS stuff, you have the right idea - get a very flat, very white paint onto the inside surface for maximum diffusion of the beam. I was thinking if you first put on a coat of silver paint before the white, that would achieve even better results. Cool project, thanks for sharing!
    GREAT input - thank you. Maybe a silver primer followed by a couple of coats of flat bright white? Don't know where my head was with painting the outside black - by then the light has already been 'absorbed' into the foam.

    Here I go again - my intent was to not take this too seriously! But what the heck - this improvement would be very easy!

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