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Thread: Spike Light - V3

  1. #1

    Default Spike Light - V3

    EDIT: This thread was initially a teaser that went on for several months. I slowly revealed information about it, but now I have collected it all in one place for easy reference. This is why it seems a bit disjointed.




    The background:

    The Spike V1
    The Spike V2
    The Worm Light

    And after more than a year (+ over $2500) in development, there will also be the V3.
    EDIT: Ha! it turned out to take another year and much more money than that!

    It's not quite here yet, but I've sent the parts off to be machined / moulded. Many different parts from different suppliers. I'm hoping that it'll be ready in about 4-6 weeks. I'm pretty excited! I like headlamps and this new one is like nothing I've made before.

    A few teasers for those who like headlamps as much as me:

    1
    7075 aluminium screws (+ many other weight savings)
    Plastic moulded brackets
    Most comfortable and stable of anything I've made or worn in the past.
    Powered by 2x regular 18650s
    Waterproof tested to 30m (in pressure tank)


    2 The "Road Train" variation (temporary name)
    There are 2 variations
    - The original* dual beam 1A XR-E Aspheric / 1.4A Dual XP-G
    - A new 2400 (theoretical, emitter) lumen single (multi-emitter) beam.**

    *Almost. It's very similar to the original but with a few minor upgrades.

    **No the heatsinking is not adequate. Not by far. At full power it does get pretty hot, but it has over-heating control. So far it has never triggered while I've been using it (so it is stable) but the output drops a bit. I think 1000 lumens is the practical maximum and point of diminishing returns.

    3 Neutral Flood
    The flood beam comes from two XP-Gs in Neutral R4. For some people, this will seem silly knowing that there are R5s and S2s available, but it's a much happier and warmer glow. It really makes a difference at 3am when you are cold, tired and depressed.

    The spot has stayed cool.

    4 Microcontroller Access
    [Geek Warning]
    The V3 has a microcontroller which can be reprogrammed by the owner. This means you can connect it to your computer and download a new UI if you don't like the one you selected when you bought it. ...

    5 New Lens
    It has a whole new lens which I designed specifically for the V3. Similar material (BK7) and quality to my aspherics, but a new mould was made along with whole batch of funny shaped lenses. The manufacturer thought I was crazy. They said they couldn't imagine how it would be useful for anything.

    6 Colours
    3 Colours available (Red, Blue, Black)

    Some of the hardware will stay black as well as the plastic parts. So they'll either be all-black or red/black etc.

    The switch button is being machined from 7075-T6 Al and is coming in each of the colours. So I'll be able to make a black V3 with just a red button (along with many other combinations). I don't know what I'll like yet so I just ordered a bunch of each to try out. When they arrive I'll start playing dress-ups.

    7: Parallel Cells
    The two 18650 cells are in parallel and individually accessible.
    Implications:
    - You can run the headlight with only one 18650 cell if you want.
    - You can replace one cell at a time and never be without light.
    The second assumes you don't mind mixing cells of different charge levels. For the 5 seconds it takes to swap a cell, I don't mind.



    Runtimes with 2x protected XTAR (Panasonic) 3100mAh cells:

    The current to the spot XR-E was 1050mA and the twin XP-Gs each received up to 700mA (1400mA total).

    Logarithmic scale:



    Without the lowest mode, it can now be viewed on a linear scale:



    Bottom line:
    I can get at least:
    3 goods hours on the spot,
    4 on the flood at 100%,
    10 on the flood at 40%,
    28 on the flood at 15%,
    85 on the flood at 5%,
    and probably more than 400 at 1%.



    User Interfaces:
    Here are some diagrams and a crude video to show how the 3 standard UIs work. Nothing pretty. I'd rather spend my time making the headlights, but I realised that people need this info first.











    Broing YOUTUBE video to teach you how to use the competition interface:

    http://youtu.be/RK63BGZ1hVA


    NB: All UIs have a low-voltage protection. When the voltage approaches 3.0-3.1V, the highest modes are disabled. This allows the lower modes to continue for several more hours before the cell's protection circuits are triggered. So if you think your headlight is broken because the spot mode doesn't work, try recharging the cells. I have had several complaints that all turned out to be exhausted cells!


    Here are a few extra pictures:



    My new lens! Part aspheric for throw and frosted elsewhere for a smooth flood.
    Remove the 4 x 7075 aluminium screws and the coverplate comes off.
    Lift the lens out to service the 2.62mm o-ring or access the programming header.


    Big switch. Very strong (7075 aluminium). Nice solid press. Non-mechanical (very hard to break).
    No moving parts penetrate the sealed body so there's no gaskets or rubber boots to fail.
    Also note the low profile and low weight which makes it very stable on the head.



    Nice wide elastic for comfort and stability.
    The battery pack at the back.



    Focus on the 18650 holder. Uses one or two cells in parallel.
    Big fat (3.53mm) o-ring makes an excellent waterproof seal every time.
    All wires are embedded inside the plastic.


    Focus on the battery case.
    Very simple and reliable Velcro strap to keep the piston-like cell holder in place.
    The velcro should be good for a few thousand actuations, but can easily be replaced.
    No breakable clips or hinges. Nothing to fall off. No fiddly screws or latches.
    Case mounts to bracket with 4 screws. Can mount to other things too.



    Note the back of the bracket. Smoothly contoured to fit the head.


    Edit: All these pictures are out of date now. Small changes keep being made. It now has a spiral cable, a better hinge, one less buckle ... etc. The same basic shape remains unchanged.

    Only the aluminium parts are coloured. The plastic parts are all black.
    Total mass for this little guy is 187g without 18650 cells (282g with the cells).





    Last edited by ahorton; 12-31-2012 at 02:45 AM.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    That's just plain teasing!

    Look forward to seeing this mystery reveal itself.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* psychbeat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    oooooohhh

    Ill bet its SICK!

    subscribed..

  4. #4

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Indeed it is a tease. In order to increase the final joy. My joy that is.

    Another tease:
    There are 2 variations
    - The original* dual beam 1A XR-E Aspheric / 1.4A Dual XP-G
    - A new 2400 (theoretical, emitter) lumen single (multi-emitter) beam.**

    *Almost. It's very similar to the original but with a few minor upgrades.

    **No the heatsinking is not adequate. Not by far. At full power it does get pretty hot, but it has over-heating control. So far it has never triggered while I've been using it (so it is stable) but the output drops a bit. I think 1000 lumens is the practical maximum and point of diminishing returns.

    Edit: I plan to keep on dropping teasers until it's ready, but they'll mainly be about the dual beam. This is the real Spike V3. The other one doesn't have a name yet. Suggestions are welcome.
    Last edited by ahorton; 11-02-2011 at 02:52 AM.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* kevinm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Interesting! 1000 lumens is a lot, and I like that you decided to go waterproof!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinm View Post
    Interesting! 1000 lumens is a lot, and I like that you decided to go waterproof!
    Initially I was only going for rainproof, but a bunch of my earlier customers kept on going kayaking with them, so they forced me to raise the bar.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* psychbeat's Avatar
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    Default

    Hehe I've yet to try night surfing with a headlamp....hmm

  8. #8

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    I did it a few years ago. Madness.

    Not with any of the lights listed here, but with a simple 8x XP-G with narrow 10mm optics. Approx 40W for the whole thing. Every time I got dumped in the whitewater, the ocean would glow for the spectators. I never tried it a second time.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Amazing. This is the kind of stuff that puts the "actuals" of what we get from CPF participation way above what anyone could consider reasonable expectations. Very, very cool.

    I have watched your linked threads with interest but more or less peripherally...especially the last one, with it being most recent. Can't wait to see the latest as this Spike V3 takes shape.
    Last edited by varuscelli; 11-02-2011 at 05:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* kevinm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post

    And after more than a year (+ over $2500) in development, there will also be the V3.
    Was the $2500 for machining, or development only? Either way, I feel your pain there!

    Kevin

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* psychbeat's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    I did it a few years ago. Madness.

    Not with any of the lights listed here, but with a simple 8x XP-G with narrow 10mm optics. Approx 40W for the whole thing. Every time I got dumped in the whitewater, the ocean would glow for the spectators. I never tried it a second time.
    Whoa!
    Maybe it would be better to have someone following me from shore with an ASHpheric

    Great day here BTW got some awesome waves then paddled in and watched Kelly clinch the worlds.

    Back on topic-
    I think the waterproof idea is rad.

    I'm still stuck in the p60 world but may need a spike v3 too...
    What voltage in does it take?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    The $2500 was not even the machining costs of the final product. I've been through 4 fully functional prototypes but each time there was something not quite right. So I decided to chalk it up to experience and keep working. A couple of times I thought I had finished and so purchased a batch of minor parts (eg 100 switch covers) then a few months later I'd think of a better way to do it without using that particular part.

    So it'll take a few sales before I'm back in the black!

    Quote Originally Posted by psychbeat View Post
    ...
    I'm still stuck in the p60 world but may need a spike v3 too...
    What voltage in does it take?
    The P60 range definitely has something for every person in every situation. The Spike V3 is very purpose-driven.

    Nominally 3.7V for the V3. The high power variant works well on 14.8V. I can set it up for lower voltages but the higher current is a pain to deal with.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    ...A couple of times I thought I had finished and so purchased a batch of minor parts (eg 100 switch covers) then a few months later I'd think of a better way to do it without using that particular part.
    If you want to put together a grab bag of parts (ie, a few of each thing you've got surplus) that ship reasonably inexpensively, I'm probably in.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* nein166's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Sweet I always regretted not getting one of the Spikes I'll be in on this one.
    I loved the oval window on the V1 for the flood XP-Gs
    Any chance of neutral tint for the flood, the spot could stay cool

  15. #15

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Well, since you asked for it, I'll give you teaser number 3 ahead of schedule:

    The flood beam comes from two XP-Gs in Neutral R4. For some people, this will seem silly knowing that there are R5s and S2s available, but it's a much happier and warmer glow. It really makes a difference at 3am when you are cold, tired and depressed.

    The spot has stayed cool.


    borrower, I may try to sell off my excess parts at some point. I've thought about it, but I'd need to set it up at the CPFMP and haven't been bothered yet.
    Last edited by ahorton; 11-04-2011 at 01:04 AM. Reason: punctuation
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    but it has over-heating control.
    sounds sweet. what temperature is the over-heating control set at?

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* nein166's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    Well, since you asked for it, I'll give you teaser number 3 ahead of schedule:

    The flood beam comes from two XP-Gs in Neutral R4. For some people, this will seem silly knowing that there are R5s and S2s available, but it's a much happier, and warmer glow. It really makes a difference at 3am when you are cold, tired and depressed.

    The spot has stayed cool.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    1st in line! ..... don't forget about me .. hehe

  19. #19

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    maddog - I haven't forgotten! Though I thought you might have lost interest since I've made you wait so long. Sorry about that, I just kept finding new ways to improve it.

    simples - The overheating control is meant to trigger around 60C on the copper pad of the MCPCB. This means that the LED junction can be quite a lot hotter than 60C. Well within safe working limits, but this does mean that the body can get above 50C which is hot to the touch and the efficiency is dropping off.

    nein166 - I'm glad you appreciate it. I am curious to see how it will go down with the max-flux crowd.
    Last edited by ahorton; 11-04-2011 at 01:06 AM.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    The overheating control is meant to trigger around 60C on the copper pad of the MCPCB. This means that the LED junction can be quite a lot hotter than 60C. Well within safe working limits, but this does mean that the body can get above 50C which is hot to the touch and the efficiency is dropping off.
    60 deg sounds good. I would expect that body will transmit fairly effectively to mcpcb, so I wouldn't expect body / LED junction to get much higher. All good.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    maddog - I haven't forgotten! Though I thought you might have lost interest since I've made you wait so long. Sorry about that, I just kept finding new ways to improve it.
    LOL .... never, your stuff is da bomb! can't wait to see all the new goodies on it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    I'm in, let the fun begin

    ahh yes, wouldnt mind a warm xml up front, three speed and perhaps a battery pack set up with 26650's that can be attached to an upper arm or hip belt...oh yes and a stable headband for hanging upside down
    Last edited by Baddog; 11-07-2011 at 01:27 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Ash-

    I'm in for a V3. My V2 has been absolutely bulletproof in everyday use in a marine environment.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    You keen guys make me smile. You haven't even seen it yet!

    Here comes teaser number 4:
    [Geek Warning]
    The V3 has a microcontroller which can be reprogrammed by the owner. This means you can connect it to your computer and download a new UI if you don't like the one you selected when you bought it.

    Maybe you thought you wanted 4 modes but then realise you hate the 2nd lowest one. --> Just plug it in and download a 3-mode UI!
    Or you wish the lowest mode was much lower. --> Plug it in and download a UI with an ultra-low mode.
    Want to use single-clicks to turn it on, but double-clicks to turn it off? --> ... you get the idea...
    Want to add a strobe?
    Want ramping instead of modes?
    Want one of the modes to be a clock?
    Want to make the battery indicator have 10 levels instead of 5?
    Want a timer which lets you choose a number of minutes or hours and then flashes when the time is up?
    Want one mode to be a momentary-on to use like a flashlight?
    Want to record a message in Morse code then replay it over and over until the battery runs out?
    .... . .-.. .--. / -- . / .. / .... .- ...- . / .-. ..- -. / --- ..- - / --- ..-. / -... . . .-. / .... . .-.. .--. / -- . / .. / .... .- ...- . / .-. ..- -. / --- ..- - / --- ..-. / -... . . .-.

    ... There's one switch and 3 LEDs. After that it's up to you to use your imagination.

    There are 2 catches:

    1. You do need an extra bit of hardware. I use a simple AVRISP MKII which cost me about $30. This goes between your USB port and the V3. Setting it up will be a bit tricky the first time but I'll give instructions. If you can set up a printer, an internet connection or a router, then you can set this thing up pretty easily.

    2. Not everyone knows how to program a microcontroller. If you don't want to learn, then you'll need to rely on other people writing the software. I'll host anything that people want to write and upload. Hopefully between me and any other geeks out there we'll be able to build up a database of UIs.


    ... Sorry, but the GPS, touch screen, wireless and HD video camera will not be available until the V5.
    Last edited by ahorton; 11-07-2011 at 03:27 AM.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    now ur cooking with gas!

  26. #26

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by Baddog View Post
    now ur cooking with gas!
    nope.. even better ... cooking with 18650s!
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    nope.. even better ... cooking with 18650s!
    with IMR 26650's on the back burner?????

  28. #28

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Possible, but you wouldn't want them. They're twice as heavy on your head.
    Maker of Aspheric Lenses and Headlamps.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    Quote Originally Posted by ahorton View Post
    Possible, but you wouldn't want them. They're twice as heavy on your head.
    correct, thats why we need a battery pack on a hip belt or arm belt...

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* nein166's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spike Light - V3

    OOh arm belt with batteries and LCD read out and voice control! just geek dreaming

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