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Thread: My first light

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
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    Default My first light

    Hey all, here is my first light. It's mostly a mule for me to get familiar with light building and all of the DC stuff.

    Case: 1/4" wall acrylic
    Ends: 6061 aluminum
    LED: Luxeon rebel tri-star 540 lumen (series soldered)
    Optic: Carolco 18 degree
    Driver: Luxdrive 700ma buck
    Battery: LG li-ion 18650 (3s)
    CPM: 11.4V, 3s, protection module
    Switch: reed activated MOSFET
    Battery Holder: laser cut acrylic

    So, this shot shows a temporary installation of the reed switch and magnet. I've since relocated it to the tail of the light along with a bulkhead charging plug so I don't have to remove the batteries to charge it. I know some people might think this is dangerous...and it might be. I'll keep you posted.



    The business end. I was hoping optics would make for a tighter beam but it seems like if I want a spot I'll have to go single LED and a reflector.



    This is next to my ancient Ikelite 6C dive light...which in the old days, was a bright light.



    This is taken from my second floor balcony, in terms of distance. I actually like the quality and brightness of the flood beam but I don't think it will be good for open water diving. It could be good for clear water or wreck diving though. Oh, this is going to be a dive light at some point. I didn't post it there because I hasn't been in the water yet I also imagine I'll swap out the rebels and driver for either an MCE, P7 or SST50 and go with a reflector of some sort.

    Last edited by archer6817j; 09-25-2010 at 12:29 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My first light

    I like it, I hope you will post follow up pictures.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Yay my first comment! I guess I didn't quite hit the pulse of CPF with this one I took a few more pics yesterday and I'll try and get them up soon.

    My next plan is to take out the rebel tri-star and 700ma driver, machine out the pocket a little more, and install an MCE, 2.8A driver, and a ledil reflector. Unfortunately I've found (so far) that the small/shallow reflectors, even the "spot" ones, are pretty floody.

    The rebel tri-star is actually a really nice set up for a medium power light. However, I can't find an optic with a very tight beam. I think the one I'm using is something like 18 degrees. Half of that might make a usable light. As is, it's a great flooder. I found some 35mm rebel optics that have a 9 degree beam, but that is a big waste of real estate since the typical star is only 20mm. Anyone know of a good 20mm optic for rebel tri-stars?

    It's interesting that virtually no one uses rebels. Sure they aren't the brightest anymore but 540 lumens out of a 20mm package is pretty decent. I also love that you can run the wires to the center of the board. Even the tri-XPG boards I've seen have solid centers. I guess a drill can change that. I'd also point out that the tri boards from luxeonstar are true 20mm boards. Other star boards are 20mm across the flats, not at the widest point...so they won't fit into a 20mm hole which is bad when you are trying to use 20mm optics like an aspheric.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My first light

    That's an interesting light. I guess that part of the reason you haven't gotten the responses in this section is because of the unorthodox appearance of the light, which, you explained, is because it's a dive light. I must have missed that part the first time I read your post.

    I can only imagine that the diameter of the light is, what, 2 inches? Are you planning on making a separate handle for it?

  5. #5

    Default Re: My first light

    Sci-fi! That's one wicked looking light, kinda manhattan project.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Quote Originally Posted by archer6817j View Post
    Yay my first comment! I guess I didn't quite hit the pulse of CPF with this one I took a few more pics yesterday and I'll try and get them up soon.

    My next plan is to take out the rebel tri-star and 700ma driver, machine out the pocket a little more, and install an MCE, 2.8A driver, and a ledil reflector. Unfortunately I've found (so far) that the small/shallow reflectors, even the "spot" ones, are pretty floody.

    The rebel tri-star is actually a really nice set up for a medium power light. However, I can't find an optic with a very tight beam. I think the one I'm using is something like 18 degrees. Half of that might make a usable light. As is, it's a great flooder. I found some 35mm rebel optics that have a 9 degree beam, but that is a big waste of real estate since the typical star is only 20mm. Anyone know of a good 20mm optic for rebel tri-stars?

    It's interesting that virtually no one uses rebels. Sure they aren't the brightest anymore but 540 lumens out of a 20mm package is pretty decent. I also love that you can run the wires to the center of the board. Even the tri-XPG boards I've seen have solid centers. I guess a drill can change that. I'd also point out that the tri boards from luxeonstar are true 20mm boards. Other star boards are 20mm across the flats, not at the widest point...so they won't fit into a 20mm hole which is bad when you are trying to use 20mm optics like an aspheric.
    If you are planning on using one of those Ledil plastic collinators, don't bother. Those suck for tight spot. I like the Fraen FRC and the DX 52mm reflectors. Those give decent spots with P7.
    BTW, that's one good beefy-looking light. Can you post a pic of it by your hand or a ruler, interested in the dimensions.

    Also, those look like SS screws going into aluminum. Should replace with aluminum screws to prevent galvanic corossion.
    Thanks
    Last edited by 350xfire; 09-28-2010 at 02:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    The diameter is actually 2.25 inches. I do plan on a handle of some sort but I haven't gotten around to it yet. It actually fits my hand relatively well but much too big if you have to hold anything else in that hand at the same time.

    Re galvanic corrosion: that's a good point. When I get around to it I'll anodize the AL parts to prevent that...or maybe use titanium ! Probably not.

    Here is a reference picky:


  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Anglepoise's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Very nice to see something different. Congrats and well done.
    David............................................." Some Homemade Creations"

  9. #9
    Enlightened marokero's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Nice and clean design, I like it! I've used tri-rebel stars in my builds, but they have all been flood lights for photography/video purposes. I use LuxDrive Endorstars which don't have decent optics available to them. I may use Cree XPG 3-up with optics in my future builds.

  10. #10
    Unenlightened buckeye_jeff's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Wow that is some nice work. How much time do you have in the build?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* archer6817j's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    I'm not sure, I've lost track of the hours I certainly spent a lot more time learning about the electronics than actually building the light. Designing and laser cutting the battery holder took some time as well. It didn't work out "great" but it's acceptable though I have ideas for a better one.

    You can see in this pic there is a slot that holds the PCB together with the batteries. The two Orings go around the whole thing and skim the inner wall of the tube where they pass over the batteries. This provides some grip and keeps them from sloshing around and I don't have to secure them at the ends.



    This is a shot after I installed the charging port and moved the reed switch to the tail.



    Here you can see the inside of the tail. The red/black wires on the right side go to the reed switch which is "on end" inside the hole. I wasn't sure if this orientation would work, but it seems to be fine.



    This is the back of the tail. The magnet is housed in the end of the black knurled knob. Neither the knob or the reed penetrate the case. But the charging port does.



    Here is a close up of the front of the light. One thing I LOVE about this accidental use of acrylic is that I can visually inspect each O-ring so I can be positive there are not cracks or contamination. I like seeing the guts as well so I know if anything happened like a wire coming loose or a short about to short.


  12. #12
    Enlightened shhh's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Nice!
    I love it how you can see thru it.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* DaFABRICATA's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Very cool!
    Great job!...the see-through design is very different!
    Can't wait to see what ya make next!
    Flashlight Modifications available upon request
    "I have to go return some video tapes." -Patrick Bateman



  14. #14
    Flashaholic* 350xfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: My first light

    Very nice and not as big as it looked in the first pics.. Well done!

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